Marriage

Apr. 17th, 2006 03:29 am
dumblemop: (ewan)
[personal profile] dumblemop
Something I wrote for a Gaia Extended Discussion thread about gay marriage. Since I spent a hella long time on it and it's now 3:30 AM 'cause I am an INSOMNIAC, I thought I would post it. The thread I am replying to basically said that pride (marches, parades, buttons, etc) is an essential component of the fight for marriage equality.

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Anyway, I did read the first post, but I'm not entirely sure that I agree. I can agree that gay pride does foster visibility for the movement and keep the general public aware that there are still problems.

However...I am personally proud in the gay sort of way because I am. I also think marriage rights for gay couples are necessary, but I see my pride and my work for equal rights as separate things. I like who I am as a person--why shouldn't I be proud of that?

I know some people in the transgender community don't understand why people would be proud of something they see as a birth defect. That's fine for them. Personally, I don't see my gender identity as a birth defect. I like being me. There are plenty of things about me that are mostly an accident of genetics, upbringing, and environment, but I'm still proud of them.

I have a good singing voice--an accident of genetics and early opportunities to sing.
I'm smart--an accident of genetics and good schooling.
I'm friendly and I care about people--an accident of genetics, family environment, and early experiences with other friendly and caring people.

I'm proud of and happy about all these things, as well as my androgyny, my pansexuality, my polyamory--things that could all be components for a gay pride parade. I don't see how my pride in myself diminishes anyone else's pride in themself, whatever traits or identifications they carry or hard work they've done.

I don't expect to simply be handed things I haven't worked for or that my forebears haven't worked for on their behalf and that of future generations. My parents worked hard so I've had the opportunity for good schools and good nutrition, and so on. Generations of women worked hard so I have the opportunity to attend school, work, vote. Generations of Americans worked hard so I have the opportunity to attend school, work, vote, call myself an American.

There's still more to work for. Those who came before me did their jobs, now it's time to do mine. Equal rights for everyone irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation is my cause to work for, for myself, my peers, and future generations. I only want the rights that others who are just like me except that they fit some arbitrary society rubric for sexuality and gender identity.

To bring this back to marriage because that's what this thread is nominally about, if marriage is a privilege, why is that privilege not accorded to me if I wished to marry a woman, or if I wished to marry a man as a man? What does sex have to do with anything?

There is a line between according gay people the same rights as heterosexual people have, and opening the floodgates. Allowing interracial couples to marry didn't destroy marriage. Allowing gay couples to marry won't destroy marriage. Marriage will still be between one person and one person, 'til death or divorce do them part. I'm polyamorous, but I'm not looking to be able to legally marry more than one person, because the legalities of that would be insane. I can spiritually, intellectually, or symbolically marry anyone, and anyone can spiritually, intellectually, or symbolically not marry anyone else.

The propponents of marriage equality do not advocate requiring any church to go against their beliefs and marry two people they feel should not be married. It's not my place to dictate another's faith or religion--neither is it the government's place, that's in our constitution. I know of several couples who are legally divorced but still considered married in their church.

Separation of church and state, a right, not a privilege. Marriage equality means that any two people can walk into the appropriate government building and obtain a marriage contract that will confirm their marriage in the eyes of the state and accord them the full legal benefits thereof. It does not mean that a man may marry his dog, that a woman may marry her nephew, that two eight-year-olds can be married, or that pedophilia will be legally sanctioned. None of these scenarios has anything to do with the scenario in question and are simply strawman arguments designed to confuse the issue.

If pride marches, parades, petitions, forums, film, writings, discussions, lectures, lobbying, and good and simple everyday personal pride can help us achieve this goal, pride away. Pride is a way to say "I am not ashamed of who I am just because you say I should be." Gay pride does not diminish straight pride, it does not diminish Christian pride. A marriage of two men or two women does not invalidate a marriage of a man and a woman. A marriage between any two people is wholly dependent on that legal contract you both signed and whatever covenant with whatever god you entered, if any, not upon what anyone else has or does not have.

I could've "married" my laptop at a "cheesy Vegas-style white wedding" sponsored by the Student Events Board last week--no contract, no marriage, who cares. I'm not in love with my laptop. If I am in love with a woman and I can't marry her because two women cannot legally get married, I am not considered a real person by the state as long as a man and a woman can get married and I can't.

The Red Cross still bars men who have had even one sexual encounter with another man from donating blood for life. No tests for blood-transmissive diseases, just a flat-out question and if you answer yes you're off the list. Gay couples are still barred from adopting children in many states. You can be surveilled and jailed for the suspicion of engaging in non-procreative sex in states with sodomy laws.

This is ridiculous. You can't tell us that we have equal rights when these things are going on. We're not barred from voting on the basis of sexual orientation, but we're not explicitly protected from such action. Only 17 out of 50 states have discrimination clauses that include sexual orientation, and only 8 of those 17 also include gender identity. These are not privileges.

We need all the awareness we can get. Sick of all the fags parading up in your face? Get a clue and give us our rights.

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Haha, I got a "May I take this moment to stay that you are fucking awesome?" from Sean. :heart:

Thanks to Johanna for the "your marriage has nothing to do with anyone else's marriage" argument. :)

Also, I got my program done on time and it works! Thanks to Liz. <3 God it feels good to get work done and kick people's debate asses. I should do this more often.

And now it's time for bed.

Date: 2006-04-17 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clotpolelis.livejournal.com
You rock. I wish I were that eloquent.

Date: 2006-04-17 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johanna17.livejournal.com
yay i agree... i especially like:

"I know of several couples who are legally divorced but still considered married in their church."

the sodomy laws, fortunately, were ALL struck down two years ago in a Texas court case... you can probably google it, i'm late for work :-P

Date: 2006-04-17 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dumblemop.livejournal.com
Ooh. Thanks. I will.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2006-04-17 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dumblemop.livejournal.com
Crazy birds.

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