Gay marriage: II


I’ve been thinking much about the gay marriage issue over the past 24 hours; have held several discussions; etc. Plus, as opposed to last night, I’m not exhausted. My mind is working competently.

What I really wanted to say—what I really want to say—is that there is no longer a viable justification to oppose gay marriage None whatsoever. Let’s break down what we hear …

1. Heterosexual marriage is the bedrock of society: Fact—More than half of American heterosexual marriages end in divorce. More. Than. Half. If that’s a bedrock, well, it’s a joke. Our society’s bedrock is decency and compassion and open-mindedness. That’s not liberal blather—it’s truth. We tolerate one another, even when it sucks. Even when it’s painful. Uncomfortable.

2. God’s will: If you believe homosexual marriage is against God’s will, well, that’s your belief, and Mazel Tov. But it has no bearing on governmental rulings and laws. If you don’t want to marry gays in your church, don’t. But that does not impact what two consenting adults do elsewhere—in their own church, or before a judge.

3. Marriage is the union of two who will procreate: A. Gays can procreate, though not in the oft-thought of way. B. Many hetero couples can’t procreate—does that mean they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

4. (And I heard this on Larry King last night) If we have gay marriage, little boys and girls will grow up wondering whether they should be with boys or girls: My reaction: So?

I am a 37-year-old father of two. If my daughter and son grow up to be gay, nothing changes. Nothing. I love them the same. I embrace them the same. I encourage them the same. I hope they wind up with nice partners; hope they have kids; hope they enjoy their lives and live with decency and goodness.

There’s this mindset among conservatives … this warped, “What if my child falls under the gay influence … blah, blah, blah.” Like being gay is a disease or an infliction. Being gay is … being. It’s a part of who you are, along with 8,000,000,000 other factors. There’s nothing wrong with it; nothing devilish or sinful.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of the so-called moralists acting so immorally about this. If you really love God, you love—period. You don’t discriminate and reserve your love for those who share your way of living. I remember, back in the early 1990s, living in Tennessee and having Christians tell me they loved me, yet not my religion. It was the standard bullshit line—love the sinner, not the sin. Yet they didn’t love me. They were disgusted by me, just as they’re disgusted by homosexuals.

I am a straight man standing up against bigotry, and I hope others—straight and gay—take the path, too. I wasn’t around for the civil rights battles of the 1950s and 60s, but I’m here for this.

We all are.

10 thoughts on “Gay marriage: II”

  1. hetero guy over here, who couldnt agree with you more. i just dont understand why fundamentalists need to decide who someone else can or cannot marry. i mean, what does it take away from them, if gays can marry?

    you made some excellent points.

  2. Just for that, I’m buying some of your books today. (OK, it’s payday, and I was going to buy them anyway.)

    I’m a straight guy who got married 6 years ago. If any two people, regardless of gender or orientation, are willing to make the same commitment my wife and I did, then who the hell am I to deny them this?

  3. I do agree with your points about it being a state issue and not a religious issue. As far as most religions are concerned they don’t recognize marriages performed by the state anyway no matter who gets married, so nothing changes there.

    I also do not have a problem with Gay marriage at all. I do however think the process is broken and I don’t care for it.

    I don’t see this issue as being anymore different than any other issue. The people voted and they voted it down. What that means is that the people who want this to pass have to work harder to get people on their side. They have to win people over to their point of view. You can’t just attack people who don’t agree with you and bully them into thinking the way you do.

    I know many good people who aren’t “fundamentalists” who don’t agree with gay marriage. I think it would be a mistake to group this as an issue of one side against another because Obama himself said he is not for it. Many people who are left on many issues are not for it. It is there right, just as much as it is your right to be for it. We need to respect that. The problem might be that they haven’t had enough experience or information to see the many loving families who exist that are gay and face the same daily life struggles as they do. But the one thing I can’t understand and quite frankly kills me every time is that the same people who are supposed to be liberal minded and so open to different ways of thinking attack and try to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I don’t agree with most of the things Obama has done since he has taken office. I didn’t want him in office. But a lot of people I care about do support him and voted for him. It would be irresponsible for me to call myself an open minded person and then label them as “idiots” or stereotype them as “fundamentalists” to bully them into my way of thinking for fear of public reprisal. And I am not the one calling himself open minded, so what does that say?

  4. “But the one thing I can’t understand and quite frankly kills me every time is that the same people who are supposed to be liberal minded and so open to different ways of thinking attack and try to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with them.”

    everytime someone says some mid-western drivel like this, it kills ME. why are liberals held to a different standard than conservatives? when liberals disagree and stand up, theyre “attacking.”

    no liberal is asking for any conservative to lose his or her right. yet its fine and dandy for the majority to deny the same right that they themselves have?

    like i said in the previous post, civil issues should NEVER be up for vote by the people directly. otherwise, segregation would still be prevalent, women wouldnt be able to vote, there would be no chinese people in the country, on and on and on.

  5. Matt – Not that it would matter to you what some stranger in an unknown place thinks (I am not so arrogant 🙂 ), but I have to disagree with you on your crucial point of open-mindedness.
    In my religion (Unitarian Universalism), we hold very high the principles of acceptance and tolerance. However, most of us are quote vocal about the one thing we will not accept or tolerate, and that is intolerance. I would apply the same principle to your open-mindedness idea. One can be open-minded, but not to the point that one would tolerate closed-mindedness on the part of others. People who “don’t understand” or “haven’t been exposed” to gay people and families, have not tried, plain and simple. A simple web search could answer so many of their questions and clear up so many of their misconceptions. But they choose not to be informed. That is the very essence of closed-mindedness, and I will not tolerate that.
    That being said, brilliant article, Jeff. It has to be one of the most concise articles I have seen on the subject. Simple, to the point, and expressive of most of the good arguments we make for gay rights to marry. I am a straight woman in Texas with a gay parent and a gay grandparent. I just married, and I couldn’t help but think of them and others in California and elsewhere who can’t share in the same joy that my husband and I can. It makes me sad and it makes me sick that I may never see my “moms” legally married no matter where they travel in the US. It’ll probably be a very long time before we see this issue arise in Texas courts and amongst Texas voters, but every loss just pushes it even further away.

  6. Great commentary from the best blog on the’net.
    By the way, I am hetero with a late,lesbian sister. She was denied rights for far too long. Most of these right-wingers who are such staunch oppenents of gay rights are just closeted gays anyway,

  7. “Most of these right-wingers who are such staunch oppenents of gay rights are just closeted gays anyway”

    That sound like an attack Jason? Why are they held to a different standing? Because they claim they respect everyones opinion. The other group doesn’t claim to be open minded. And the people shouldn’t decide? That sounds awfully fascist to me. The right thing needs to be done and you can decide what that is? Not the Union?

  8. Matt, Thanks for your iconoclastic response. It’s important to point out that many, many people who do not identify as fundamentalists are also opposed to gay marriage. However, whether or not that term applies, ANY argument that is based on the perceived will of a deity that cannot be summoned to a court of law to speak for itself has NO business informing public policy. Period. Non-negotiable. If there are solid arguments from reason or social policy for denying to same-sex couples the approximately 1,190 federal rights and benefits that inhere in opposite-sex marriages, let them be heard. I haven’t heard any.

    (I quibble about the very common use of ‘believe in gay marriage’; it’s an imprecise shortcut for ‘believe that gay marriage should be sanctioned by the government’ but it reads like ‘believe in Santa Claus’.)

    You oversimplify the workings of democracy and the rights of humans as generally construed. Extremely good arguments are being made all over the place right now about the need to protect the rights of a minority from the will of the majority—no need to rehash them here, but if the founding fathers’ term ‘self-evident’ doesn’t pop to mind, ‘mind’ would itself seem absent. In the case in question, the majority took away rights that had already been legally granted to a minority group. I find that appalling, and I find it appalling that you do not find it appalling. Instead, you go out of your way to explicitly defend the rights of anti-gay persons to take away my rights. And I’m not supposed to think of this as us versus them? Hmmm.

    Yo yo yo Jeff, you da man. I totally want to do you now. Peace.

  9. I have my rights taken away all of the time. I have my social security taken away all of the time.I have my taxes taken away all of the time. Why is this any different? Because YOU say so? Any right that one group feels entitled to tramples on the rights of another. But you would rather trample on others rights to voice their opposition because you disagree? If the vote came out in favor the other way would you proclaim it still as fraudulent? To what lengths would you go to as to ensure that “the right thing” is done over the voice of the people? Are you are the judge of what is right? Do you decide when the majority is wrong? Isn’t this what everyone hated Bush for? Imposing his will and values on others?

    I find that appalling that you are so appalled by me.

  10. Taxation is not ‘rights’. No one is taxes differently because of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation or other immutable characteristics.

    Your statement that granting rights to one group necessarily tramples the rights of others indicates that you profoundly misunderstand what a right is. Do you really meant to maintain that ending Jim Crow ‘trampled the rights’ of white bigots? That women’s suffrage trampled the rights of male voters? We are talking about the application of equal constitutional protection under Federal law. Right now people of opposite sex who love each other may marry and two people of the same sex who love each other may not (except in a few states). This constitutes the unequal application of legal rights, protections, and benefits to one group. We’re not talking about my values or my decision about anything. We’re talking about rank unfairness under the federal legal system.

    It is absurd and untenable to say that two men or two women getting married ‘tramples’ the rights of other people—the only ‘right’ being trampled is the right not to have to hear about two guys getting married, and that’s not a right in any sense of the word.

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