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February 19, 2004

Everyone Loves A Wedding

Unless it's a gay wedding. Why is that? Why are straight people so vehemently opposed to allowing gays the right to be married? I've read accounts, seen pictures, read the news about what's going on in Massachusetts and San Francisco. Just reading about people camping out overnight to wait in line at the courthouse, and city workers volunteering to help so more people can be married, makes me want to cry with happiness. But at the same time, I'm troubled. Not "troubled" the way Yahoo-in-Chief is troubled, but more like Barney Frank, who's worried that what's happening in San Francisco will hurt the constitutional efforts going on in Massachusetts.

But honestly, I don't think civil unions are good enough, because at best you have rights in one state, or in the states that are willing to acknowledge other states' granting civil union certificates. Whatever the name for the license, whether it's "marriage" or "civil union," the rights should be equally the same, recognized by the 50 states and the federal government. Less than that is legalized discrimination and - let's call it what it is - selfishness and bigotry.

What rational reason can there be for defining marriage as only between a man and a woman? Why do straight people insist on reaping all the benefits of marriage - the ease of getting married, the legal status and benefits, as well as the ease of dissolving the marriage - but leave everyone else to bear the costs? Religious arguments are irrelevant because matters of church and state are separate - at least they're supposed to be. If the church (whatever church, whatever religion) wants to discriminate, that wouldn't be anything new, but that's up to the church. The government should not be in the business of interfering with people's personal lives.

If the "sanctity of marriage" is such a big deal, why is it that no-fault divorce is so popular, so that even if only one of you wants out of the marriage, that's enough for the divorce to go through? Why is it that a dimwit like Britney Spears can get married and divorced within 55 hours, but not gay couples who have been together for decades?

What are straight people afraid of? That your wedding announcements won't get into the newspaper because you'll also have to compete with gay couples? Too late - as if it weren't hard enough to get into the New York Times wedding pages, the paper now publishes those of gay couples as well. Just think how the wedding industry would get a serious boost if gay people had weddings - wouldn't that be good for the economy?

What, that somehow more people will "turn" gay? That your straight marriage is less meaningful because gays can marry too? I mean, what, what reasonable explanation can there be for otherwise intelligent people to get so emotional and irrational about this issue?

Why are straight people allowed to arrange their lives as they wish, but not gays? What makes gays second-class citizens, who are in every way equal to straight people except in whom they love?

Yours, &c., LC | 04:26 PM | Politics | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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Sometimes, I have the impression that the time of first embarcation to American shores [the settlers, I mean, those who proclaimed themselves the Second Chosen People while still at sea] isn't too far away.

I browsed the picture gallery this morning - just see how happy, really happy, these couples are.

It's nearly hilarious how, through history, and since the end of Antique, homosexuality has been denied. And great care is taken to have us 'forget' that.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. at February 20, 2004 03:56 AM

Come now, sweet thing. Did you really think that church and state were separate here, where we live Under God, With Liberty And Justice For All?

Posted by: Dash Riprock at February 20, 2004 02:28 PM

thank you lady c.!

it is my suggestion that gay couples everywhere begin to refer to themselves as married, call their partners husband or wife, and hold wedding ceremonies. and invite everyone! i believe that the more gay people talk about their wives and husbands the faster it will become accepted.

Posted by: marco at February 20, 2004 04:14 PM

Yes people should be free to make vows and express their love as they wish.
But isn't Family Law based largely on the aim of protecting women from the aggression of men, protecting women and children from neglect, compensating for disparities in earning power, and other purposes peculiar to conventional marriages, which among other things are the only kind that create children?
Then if this body of law is applied to same-sex couples, won't it have to be reinterpreted via numerous cases of same-sex divorce, abuse, etc?
Among other things, the courts will have to develop a consistent and meaningful way to determine who is the 'husband' and who is the 'wife.' That won't be easy.
The reinterpretation of Family Law, via future years of litigation, may undermine that law's original goals of protecting women and children within traditional relationships.
Instead, I believe we should just say that if two (or more) adults agree to make public vows in whatever ceremony they wish, and live together as they wish, it's their own business. As for their having children, biology dictates that those would be step- or adopted, and Family Law already covers their situation.

Posted by: eibon at February 22, 2004 11:18 AM

I know gay people and I think that they should have every same right anyone else has. They are people. Some of them have better relationships and families than straight people - even to raise kids in.

Posted by: stef at February 22, 2004 03:36 PM

The basis of many of the laws in the US are from Christianity and Christian theology. That's not a value judgement, but it helps to be cognizant of the sources.

Posted by: none at February 23, 2004 02:03 AM

Eibon: If I'm reading you correctly, the application of Family Law as to gay families would have to address new variations of the idea of the "family" but I think this reinterpretation or inclusiveness is currently in progress, especially given that there are already adoptions by gay couples in this country. New legal disputes will always appear at some point and challenge existing laws - which can lead to reinterpretation or perhaps even revisions of or additions to existing law. And just to reiterate, I'm not a legal expert, these are just my thoughts.

None: Being cognizant of the sources is certainly to be noted - it certainly explains a lot of the hysteria and paranoia in this debate. However, religious sources shouldn't dictate the secular governance of a country in which not all citizens are Christian, let alone even religious.

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at February 23, 2004 09:38 AM