Maggie Gallagher claims that "Unions of husband and wife really are unique, and they deserve their unique status in law and society." (You should read the article--it's amazing how she can spin restricting freedoms of a minority group into a "We Christians are the victims here!" pile of shit...)
How do I explain it...?
I guess the best place to start is with The Children. After all, it seems that in today's society, everything must be about The Children, we must protect The Children, we can't let The Children see this or that, we can't let The Children hear this or that...
And now, according to the right-wing extremism, we must restrict individual freedom in the name of The Children.
I, for one, am still waiting to find out what harm The Children will come to if one woman and another woman commit their lives to each other in matrimony. If two men stand before a magistrate (or even one of the many open-minded clergy in this country) and declare their love for one another in front of friends and family. If, like opposite-sex couples, when one of them dies, the other doesn't have to worry about buying the other half of their home from their dead spouses estate; automatically gets pension payments, social security, and any other of the 1,138 federal benefits, rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.
Is it that The Children may grow up gay? Here's a news flash for you: I was raised by--brace yourselves--an opposite-sex couple! Rich was raised by--yep--an opposite sex couple. All of our gay and bi friends? Give you one guess--opposite sex couples! In fact, I know quite a few STRAIGHT people who were raised by GAY couples!
"You mean"--you are thinking--"that gay isn't contagious?"
I know, I know--I was shocked myself, and I was one of The Children who became one of The Gays! And I bet you'll find this an even bigger shocker, dear reader--I wasn't raped as a child, beaten by my parents, coddled by my mother, OR raised by heathens and pagans! Nope, I became one of The Gays just by virtue of being born--albeit, in a used-to-be-righter-wing right wing, born again, baptized Christian family. If a god even existed who could give a rats ass, he couldn't have put me in a more non-gay-friendly childhood environment... (No offense, Mom and Dad...)
I'm wondering when it became kosher to actually hide behind your children, you know? When did parents suddenly start expecting the world to conform to their standards? "We must get violence off television!" Ever hear of a television switch? "We must stop people from cursing in front of my young ones!" Well, you know what? Learn to explain to your children why you don't want them using those words! "We must stop gays from getting married, else The Children will think it's okay to be gay!" Guess what? I thought it wasn't okay, tried to change it, almost killed myself, was filled with self-loathing for years, and for what? So that your children wouldn't find out that gay people exist? That people do swear? That just because you are standing in line to see a movie that it doesn't necessarily mean you are there to see--wait for it--an R rated film!
Be a parent! Don't want your kids to be gay? Guess what--there is nothing you can do about it. Gays have been being created by the straights for years. And will continue to be. Not because we have an agenda, but because that's the way the ball bounces. That's life. And legislating against it isn't going to change it.
Legislating morals is never a moral thing to do--in fact, it's downright immoral and disdainfully un-American (but please note that I am not calling right-wingers un-American--just the fact that they are trying to legislate their morality...)
But I'm going off on a tangent...
Back to The Children. Yes, they are our future. And they must be prepared for the future by realizing that not everyone is just like them, just like their parent(s), and just like their home life (my biggest beef with home schooling...) Sheltering The Children isn't preparing them to be our future, it's preparing them to live in a bubble--and as anyone on Wall Street knows, bubbles burst. Harshly. Loudly. Messily.
I remember my first day in public school--seventh grade. "Culture shock" would be an understatement. After spending K through 6th grade at Chapel Christian Academy (now defunct), going to a blue-jean wearing, T-shirts okay, hair-allowed-to-be-past-your-shirt-collar public school was just too much, and I pretty much shut down socially for the next 3 years. I survived, but some kids do not, especially if their sheltered education lasts far longer.
And The Children should not be an excuse for limiting freedoms. Constitutions are designed to protect minority groups from majority rule, and in this, the California legal system has failed. What's even more surprising is the amount the Mormon church contributed to stopping gay marriage--a sect of Christianity who themselves are victims of marriage discrimination! (DISCLAIMER: Plural marriage, IMO, should be legal as long as all are consenting adults, of legal age to make legal decisions, and are not being forced, coerced, or threatened into such an arrangement...) Most main stream Christians (if such a thing exists) don't even consider Mormons to be real Christians (whatever that means... QED? Thoughts or clarification on that point?), but as the old saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," and all denominations came together to prevent a right and freedom that in no way affects them, their church, their religion, or their god... (Could someone clarify how this is treating your neighbor as you would like to be treated? Anyone? How this shows the love of god?)
Let's face it--preventing gay marriage isn't to protect The Children. And if it were about "protecting traditional marriage," it wouldn't have been a ban on gay marriage, it would have been a "Ban on Divorce"! It would have been a "Ban on Sex Outside of Marriage". It would have been a "Ban on Adultery". But after all that, the South just wouldn't be the South anymore, would it?
I know in another fifteen or twenty years, people who supported this ban will be viewed with the same shame and disgust at all those who opposed inter-racial marriage. Like those who supported preventing women from voting or owning land.
But until then? Until then, I will continue to sock away money so that when the time comes that either Rich or myself pass on, the other can keep what we two have worked so hard to build together: our home, our land, our lives...
And even though we can't get a stinkin' little piece of paper for $40 dollars like the rest of the hetero's, we're as married as you, and will continue to live together as if we are.
After all, the marriage fight isn't about the piece of paper. It's about the rights all straight couples get to take for granted, to use or not as they please: to make medical decisions for their spouse and not think twice; to fill out the same customs form at the airport and not get a funny look from the agent; to file taxes on the same form and not have to do double the paperwork or pay H&R Block twice for one household's taxes; to know that Rich will get to keep the house and not have to "buy my half" when I die...
I will continue to plant this tree, so that in the future, The Children--your children--will enjoy the shade. Because The Children? They'll be just fine either way.
Once they get you to stop hiding behind them...
Photos courtesy of Gay Twogether