Monday, September 25, 2006

More On Same Sex Marriage

Bachman is probably hopeless, whether because she is a sociopath or she is just in it to advance her political career or whether her prejudices are rooted too deeply to be subject to reason. But the main goal of writing this leaflet was not just to reach her. It was distributed to all the legislators in both 2004 and 2005 during both debates about same sex marriage as well as handed out in the GLBTI communities and to people who passed by during our demonstrations. The purpose of all reasoned tracts, whether in the form of open letters or not, is to reach members of the public who may be open to reason.
I would like GLBTI's to win the right to marry before the state "gets out of the Marriage business." Otherwise, the impression would be left that "before we had REAL marriage and then those GLBTI'S came along and demanded it so we had to settle on this inferior, ersatz substitute for everybody."
I feel the same way about demanding "civil marriage" instead of marriage. The state has always been able to marry people without requiring that they go through some particular religion's ceremony. In fact, my own parents got married that way in 1939 by going before a Justice of the Peace. But they always thought of themselves and were viewed by the community as MARRIED, not "just civilly married.
That is just what wining same sex marriage for GLBTI's would achieve anyway. The state would stop discriminating and provide the 1041 legal benefits of marriage equally to both same and opposite sex couples. The Constitutional provisions about freedom of religion would preclude the state from ordering an official of any particular religion to either perform or not perform a religious marriage ceremony. I am all for emphasizing that all we are demanding and indeed all we constitutionally can demand is equal access to the civil benefits of marriage.
But just as my parents considered themselves and were considered by all others as married after they went through a civil ceremony in 1939 without the qualifier "civilly" being viewed as necessary to add, I would want us to win the right to be plain old MARRIED first before we start calling it something else for everybody so that we would be viewed as having won the right to get MARRIED instead of just being granted aninferior substitute for "those people."
When African Americans won the right to be married after the Civil War, they won the right to be considered MARRIED in the same sense as the word was used for whites, not just REAL MARRIAGE for whites and some inferior substitute for African Americans.


Post a Comment

<< Home