Saturday, November 15, 2008

Marriage: A Sentence

The issue of marriage is -- to me personally -- a yawner either way. I'm neither pro- nor anti-, having been married and in no rush to repeat the process. For me, it's a luxury. But not so for all adults, at least not everywhere. Looking up Soledad O'Brien's biography while putting together yesterday's post, for instance, I was reminded that in the USA until very recently, "interracial marriage" was illegal in many states. (O'Brien's mother, Cuban; father, Australian). Seems absurd to have such restrictions now, doesn't it? And yet prejudices continue to block certain marriages, specifically gay and lesbian marriages.

Today, in fact, is a national day of protest over the passage of California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that specifically "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry." This is particularly heinous for taking away a right already granted by court of law. For now, this state amendment leaves Connecticut (as of just days ago) and Massachusetts as the only states or "commonwealths" in the USA where same-sex weddings can be granted by civil authorities. (And also in North America, Canada.)

My question is this: what are those who oppose same-sex marriage afraid of? Equal rights under the US Constitution? I'm not even concerned with the religious sanctioning -- separation of church and state keeps these jurisdictions from merging into theocracy, or should. We are not living in Iran or a Taliban zone. And there's no reason to take hypocrites like Ted Haggard seriously, either, precisely because they are hypocrites. So what's with it, America? What gives? And what next? I suspect a mix of direct political action combined with a protracted legal fight, in this latest battle royale over civil rights. May the progressives win sooner rather than later. Though personally at this juncture I don't give a damn about marriage, for those who want it, I do.

Today's Rune: The Self.


Lana Gramlich said...

I'm with you...totally.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't get the resistance either. I think it must have something to do with the Biblical condemnations of homosexuality. If people truly accepted homosexuality I don't they'd be against gay and lesbian marriages. Seems like such a waste of time to me. Why should I care who marries who? How in the world does that impact me?

Johnny Yen said...

I was talking to a co-worker about it last night, and we were mystified. It's a pretty simple issue in the end: marriage is a civil (literally) right. And what does any straight person lose by recognizing that right?

The "Proposition Hate" proponents spread a lot of fear and outright lies in getting it passed. We had a protest here in Chicago and there were demos in most major cities. This will come back to bite them in the ass. As my co-worker pointed out, gay Americans have flexed their muscles and aren't ever going back into the closet. Good for them.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Some folks will argue that "marriage" is a religious ceremony. These same folks recognize "marriage" as a "civil union" between man & woman. Whatever floats your boat, as far as I'm concerned. I'm no so sure either way it's "a luxury."

the walking man said...

Seeing as how there 10000000000000000000000000 interpretations on what the sacred texts say and mean that i suppose the religious aspect can wait for God to figure it out.

And seeing as how we have set up our society to be favorable regarding taxation, health care, housing, parental rights and a slew of other things based on legal marriage, the homosexuals have, by being denied the right to marriage, been truly relegated to non-citizenship status.

I do believe that them with the wherewithal in the gay community should start the court fight now in the hope that Obama can send up a couple of justices that will take the court more to the centrist left.

Sidney said...

I think we may be seeing the nucleus of change with all of the rallies. It reminds me of the song from Les Mis. People are ready to give all they can give so their banner may advance. Prop 8 wasn't the end, it was the beginning.

t said...

Remember the hilarious Wanda Sykes standup routine on Gay marriage?

El Vox said...

it must have something to do with the Biblical condemnations

I think that's basically it. I guess it's tied up into some superstitious belief, if we (the USA) turns our back on God, he/she/it will turn on us. Oddly I was listening to NPR and it was the topic of gay marriage, and the narriation went. What would happen if you had three children, two boys and a girl, and you raised, nurtured, loved them dearly, and happily, and once they matured into adults the girl came to you one day and said, I'm lesbian, gay or whatever. Wouldn't you want the same happiness, equal rights, and so forth for her as with anyone else? I would.