Equal marriage. Not gay marriage. My thoughts are probably fairly predictable for those of you that read me often, and know me in some way.
What interests me about myself regarding this issue, is my evolving in regard to it over the years. The thing is, equal marriage was an issue, a topic, a area of discussion and desire, for myself and many of my friends over the years. This is not a new issue for me, or for many within the community. Marriage, for many of us, has been a topic that we have considered for ourselves for most of our lives. I know that I have. Always wanted to have it for myself, gay or straight.
I call it equal marriage, not gay marriage, because what it is that I want is not something special, some sort of privilege that is drastically different than the institution of marriage that exists now. I want the the option of marrying the person that I love more than anyone in the world. I want the option of scheduling a ceremony, an official, legal ceremony. Applying for the license. Hiring a caterer. Getting pictures taken. Choosing our attire. Rings. Flowers. Family and friends. The whole thing. Whether you call it a right, a privilege, whatever, I feel that we are entitled to it. We are good citizens, we are peaceful, loving people, we are not criminals or evil in our manner. We do good in this world.
I do not believe, as some have stated that are against equal marriage, that to give myself and others the right to marry, then eventually rights of marriage will be requested for polygamists. That people will want to marry their siblings, their pets. I guess my response to that is why do we always have to go the route of some logic that really seems silly, and does not make sense? I am not criticizing those that feel very strongly from a religious point of view, that equal marriage is wrong. Religiously, I understand why those persons feel the way that they do, I just don’t agree. But, I am not asking that my church perform my ceremony, although that would be wonderful. I am asking that the government acknowledge my right to marry in a legal sense.
What about the idea that our civilization has been built on the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, and has been built strongly and successfully at that? My right to equal marriage will not negatively impact on that. One marriage out of two now end in divorce. The opportunity to have equal marriage as gay couples doesn’t mean EVERY gay couple will run out to get married. Just as not every heterosexual couple goes out to get married, so would not every gay couple marry. Some of us want to, however. To represent the full and permanent commitment we have to one another.
Yes, some of those that are advocating for the overturning of Prop 8 in California, use means to get their point across that is violent and inappropriate. Not all of us do that, and I am in no way saying that we should advocate for rights by whatever means necessary. I absolutely live by and admire a commitment to nonviolence, so any committing of violent acts for our goals are not necessary nor appreciated or supported by me. We are not the only groups that have used such means, however. There are some extreme religious groups that go so far as to say that soldiers that are killed in Iraq deserve to die, because they fight for a country, the USA, which allows for gay persons to have rights. Seriously. Google Reverend Fred Phelps if you are unaware of what I say here………
As far as the comparison to civil rights, there is no doubt that in some ways, this battle for equal marriage is nothing like the fight for civil rights for black Americans forty years ago. No, we don’t have to sit in the back of the bus, or drink from an alternate water fountain, or eat at a separate lunch counter. But, gay persons have been denied housing, jobs, and medical care because of their sexual orientation. We have been denied membership in churches. We are denied the right to marry those that we love.
Sure, we could have rights of visitation in a hospital, property, housing, etc., all through the legal document of power of attorney. Anyone can have rights to any part of our livelihood if we just secure a legal document. I want more than that. I want the fifteen hundred rights that married couples have, that we don’t as a committed lesbian couple. I envision us growing old together, sharing our retirement together, maybe having our dream orchard and gardens and bed and breakfast one day. To enjoy and care for each other and be there for each other.
I want all of that under the protection and commitment of equal marriage. Just because my picture of my beloved is of the same gender, should not exclude me. I am not an abomination, I am not a freak, I am a human being, a Christian, a giver, a lover, a fighter, a committed, hard working individual.
Giving us equal marriage will not rock the world, but it will rock my world…..