« PGP Public Key | Main | Peanut Sonogram »

November 10, 2005

Gay Marriage

Gay rights is an emotional issue, especially in the buckle of the Bible belt, where I find myself. Well-meaning, church-going folks think nothing of deriding homosexuals for their "choice" of lifestyle, which is the root of the issue.

While the faithful seek to contort the Bible to fit their worldview about homosexuality, I think it's fair to say that the logic of right-wing religious folks derives from their definition of homosexuality as a choice, something that gays do, not who they are. If, as their reasoning goes, homosexual tendencies are a choice then they can be punished and ridiculed as aberrant behavior not to be tolerated, like writing hot checks and farting in public.

I, on the other hand, feel that homosexuality is inborn, part of who a person is, not what they decide to be. From that premiss, I find it hard to deny equal protection and rights to them based on their lifestyle. In fact, the language of the recent Proposition 2 denying gays not just marriage, but any sort of civil union, smacks of Jim Crow laws that made miscegenation illegal. After all, ethnicity isn't a choice, but yet a short time ago, it dictated personal freedom to a large extent. The premiss is different, but the spirit is the same: we fear the Other in our society, the thing that is not like Us. But laws about equality and freedom are there to counter just such irrational behavior. We profess to be a land of rights and equality, yet every advance in civil rights has cost pain and lives. Yesterday it was blacks and lefties, today it's gays. Will we live up to our own ideals in this country?

Now, I'm not calling for the sanctioned union, in a church, of a homosexual marriage; Church members must always be free to follow their creed. I am calling for legal recognition of a relationship between same-sex couples. Why? Because right now partners who happen to be the same gender are unable to function with the equal rights and protections of a heterosexual couple. Wills, insurance, finances, taxes, medical decisions, adoption--all legal and supposedly secular aspects of life--are cumbersome or denied and therefore unequal in practice for them, denying their "equal protection" under the 14th Amendment, a secular law.

A generation from now, we'll be just as ashamed of our mean-spirited treatment of homosexuals as we are of our treatment of minorities, particularly blacks, only a generation ago.

Posted by tat at November 10, 2005 08:28 AM

after you review the 14th Admendment link, dig a little deeper and look at the Dred Scott Case, where the Supreme Court ruled:

"[Granting the rights of citizenship to blacks] would give to persons of the negro race, ... the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, ... the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went." Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), 417, 450-451 (describing the ostensibly horrible results of granting blacks citizenship for purposes of filing suit for their freedom). [From Wikipedia.com]

The US government has, throughout it's history, discriminated against people for all types of reasons (with slavery, it was mostly property rights of the owner). THIS DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. The "sanctity of marriage" admendments that have recently been passed ARE NOT RIGHT. They are a thinly veiled way of discriminating against a minority of our population.

Gay marriage DOES NOT threaten any heterosexual who is married, or wants to be married. What it does do is give homosexual people the same rights and privileges afforded any other member of our society. Period.

What the christians/republicans/religious right don't seem to realize is that if we granted homosexual marriage, gay people would be bound by the same laws of marriage heterosexuals are bound by. Marriage is a CONTRACT between two people, with certain penalties if that contract is violated. This is a civil issue, not a religious issue. The government has a responsibility to meet the needs of ALL citizens, not just the members of a particular political party.

I have news for the christians/republicans/religious right. Homosexuals are not going to stop having relationships or being homosexuals any more than a black man is going to change the color of his skin.

Take a look into the Dred Scott case, and how this case of discrimination led to the start of the Civil War.

I hope that's not what it takes to grant gays the rights they are born with.....


Posted by: hareball at November 11, 2005 07:46 PM

Well, at least ENGLAND is finally getting it right! I wonder how many more generations we'll have to go through before we allow civil unions.

Hooray for Elton John! :)


Posted by: Deb Taranik at November 24, 2005 10:13 AM