Great post as usual. I agree with you 100%. However I wish to reply in regards to your comment about Obama.
"And congratulating President Obama for coming out in favor of legalizing gay marriage."
I have nothing but contempt for Obama's speech on the matter yesterday. I was and am an Obama supporter and will remain so. However, I am a citizen of North Carolina, and his speech comes one day AFTER our disaster of a primary on Tuesday that resulted in a 22% landslide for the piece of excrement amendment one.
I found his speech to be nothing but a cowardly and ultimately meaningless token of support. If he supported gay marriage, then he should have put his political money where his mouth is. He should have condemned publicly and visibly amendment one and all related amendments that came to be under his watch.
He should have forbade the justice department from defending DOMA from the get-go. He should have made more efforts to stop enforcing DADT.
Now that everything is over and done with, his support for gay marriage has zero impact on any meaningful election anywhere in the country now. There may be some votes coming in the general, but that's too many news cycles away. It will be forgotten.
I have a personal interest in seeing amendment one struck down in the federal courts. It stripped what few benefits my sister and her wife had in this state. My brother also has a similar situation with his boyfriend. They at least had a domestic partnership recognized for some insurance and a few other things. Now even that is gone.
Obama's speech was nice and pretty. I'm glad he finally came out of the political closet and endorsed it. I'm just massively angry and disappointed he did that at a time when it serves no meaningful purpose and did nothing to help the people of North Carolina. If he had spoke out a week ago or a month ago, he may have been able to swing more voters to come to the primary. The 10% that misunderstood what the amendment was about (they thought it allowed, not banned, gay marriage) may have understood. That may have been a difference maker.
The whole time, my one and only thought for the matter was... "Too little, too late."
I understand your anger at Mr. Obama.
However, does this mean you will either not vote or vote for Mitt Romney?
From what I have heard and may have misunderstood on things, it is anger toward the President that had a lot of people staying home or voting Republican instead, thus giving the results from the 2010 election.
DADT is gone. Yes, it took longer to get it gone than a lot of people would have liked, but it IS gone. DOMA... well, that is another story.
I also have to wonder whether what happened in North Carolina was actually the last straw and made him realize that things were not right.
(I have also occasionally wondered whether he did not really want to influence people but instead wanted people to come to their own conclusions... except that it took him a while to actually figure out that a lot of people DO look up at the Office of the President for leadership and guidance.)
That's my opinion. That and $5 will get you a decent drink at Starbucks or Panera...
I will vote for Obama in November, the alternative is something I do not wish to contemplate. But I do so with a heavy heart knowing that the man I voted for in the first place did has not really lived up to the expectations he set forth, even accounting for a hostile congress.
He holds a lot of influence. If he feels strongly about something, then he needs to stand up and *lead.*
Edited at 2012-05-11 03:37 am (UTC)
Actually, he *did* speak out against Amendment 1. It just didn't get much press.
Also, the polls leading up to the election showed that a large chunk of the folks who were in favor of the amendment had no idea of what it *actually* would do, rather than what supporters *claimed* it would do.
I especially like the bit about, "there's no justification for forcing those beliefs on someone who doesn't share them."
Wish we could get that through a few* peoples' thick skulls.
*as in a few million
I too wonder why so many people are so eager to judge others. The last time I checked, God was the one who was supposed to judge you and your sinning ways. So what gives anyone the right to judge someone else for the state of their own personal grace? Shouldn't they be worrying about their own? I think some of these people need to go back and read their bible. Specifically Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:36-37 and John 8:7. Glass houses people, glass houses.
I live in Washington State and the next several months are going to be interesting-and I don't mean in a good way. The Senate and House passed a gay marriage bill and Governor Gregoire signed it but Referendum 73 was filed to overturn the law. They have until June 6 to collect 120,577 signatures. Initiative 1192 was also filed and they have until July 6 to secure 241,153 to get that on the ballot. Either or both would overturn the law. Sometimes I love living in this state-being so politically active-but other times? Not so much.
As for the people in WA that are all RAWR, if it isn't overturned I am going to move out of the state. Please don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.
Actually, if these folks were being consistent, they couldn't use St. Paul either. Seems that in one of his letters he told folks complaining about the immorality of their neighbors that if those folks weren't members of their church, it was none of their business.
Just wish I hadn't misplaced the cite years back. :-(
Then again, the whole *point* of things like the Reformation was that the priests shouldn't tell you what to believe, that you should read the Bible and decide for yourself.
Yet the churches that are really big on this are all into "trust the preacher, don't try to figure out the bible on your own".
1 Corinthians 5
but I don't know how much help that would be -- it says they should get rid of the "evil" people and not associate with them, but let God judge them. I'm a little hard-pressed to understand how the exclusion actions are an example of not judging the evildoers.
I've come to think that the (or at least *a*) major reason that gay marriage is thought to "undermine" heterosexual marriage is this: if two men or two women getting married becomes normal, then society will come to understand marriage -- and by extension, other relationships -- as voluntary and collaborative, rather than automatic and authoritarian.
If a man and a woman marry, you can, if you wish, imagine that the man is the head of the couple and the woman is submissive -- whatever the facts of that particular relationship may be. If two people whose social status is equal marry, there's no getting away from the fact that it has to be a collaboration of equals for it to work.
That's pretty much Doug Muder's assessment in Red Family, Blue Family
, in which he contrasts the Inherited Obligation and Negotiated Commitment models of family. It's a very interesting article, and rather than try to summarize his arguments, I'd suggest that everybody take a little time read it in his own words.
That is an interesting article. Hmmm....
One thing he doesn't mention (and maybe it's my specific background) is that many of the liberals I know--the Democrats who never mention leaving the country if the next election goes badly, for instance--do have a sense of inherited commitment to the _country_. (That's why, I think, so many more Democrats--sons of Democrat politicians included--volunteered for military service in 'Nam than did Republicans. Yes, more Dems were also drafted, because white Republicans had means of evading it not open to men of color and men without political and financial resources...but just looking at the volunteers, the white guys with connections who served were Democrats.) I know I had it--grew up with it.
Commitment to the country as a whole--if one sticks to the family metaphor--means a commitment to the country's people and the country's resources. Wasting resources--either people or material resources--is wrong. Conserving them, ensuring that they prosper, is fulfilling one's duty. Inability to see beyond one's own family, or business, or industry, or region harms the whole...unwillingness to see beyond is morally wrong; inability to do so is proof of unfitness to lead. Exploitation--of people or material resources--cannot ever be called "conservative"...because conservation is essential to long-term survival.
That's an interesting reason, and by far the most plausible I've heard, even if it is not acknowledged by those against gay marriage. That sort of authoritan mysogyny is very much what I have come to expect from this group
I suspect that Xrian is right. But I also suspect that those who feel that way -- that they have to understand that one person (male, of course) is the 'head' of the marriage -- are not self-reflective or introspective to recognize why they react the way they do. If they *were* self-reflective or introspective -- or just had a little empathy and compassion, as Jesus so often advised -- they wouldn't be such hidebound assholes. But they can't acknowledge it, because they aren't even aware it exists.
Unfortunately I'm sure you are right.
There is also the fact that there are a whole lot of closeted people in that particular group, and they are dealing with their own departure from straightness to one degree or another by being viciously anti-gay.
I pass as straight and married myself. As does my husband. We're both bi, and I know for myself if I had to play it straight every second of my life, even in my inner most thoughts? It would twist me up in desperate and sad ways. And I see that twist in many of the people who are so loud on the issue.
The only POSSIBLE objection to legalizing gay marriage that I can see is that it'll increase the business of divorce lawyers by 25%. I don't find that a reason to refuse people a chance to be happy and secure.
--And anyway, up until the Middle Ages, the only business religion had with marriage was, literally, business: rich people sometimes paid to have a blessing said. Marriage was a private pact.
I realize the current Bible says different-- but it also mentions plowshares.
Which also didn't exist before the Middle Ages.
Oh wow, you think it will increase business for divorce lawyers by only 25%. That's way better than the numbers I hear quoted - which usually are people claiming it will double the business.
I sat down and thought over the couples I know and realized something. I know a lot of people in secure relationships. The split is close to 55-45 straight-gay relationships since some of my friends are in the States and can't legally marry. Of those couples, only a very small percentage have been in a relationship of less than 10 years.
Of all those relationships, the ones that have broken up have been straight.
That's right, straight.
Not a single one of the same-sex couples I know have ever split and they all say their relationships are going strong.
Now I realize I know only a very small section of the population and most of the couples I know have stayed together, which throws off the stats, but it still shows me that gay marriages appear to be stronger than straight marriages.
Maybe that's why they are so threatening to their opponents.
I'm basing it on the proportion of 20% of the population.
I'm glad your gay friends are staying together. Not as many of mine do. Actually, I can't think of _any_ of my gay friends who have sustained a relationship for as long as my girlfriend and I have been together (29 years), but I can't draw conclusions about gay people from that; neither have most of the straight ones, and the only reason there are more of those to consider is that there are more of those in the general population.
I tend to associate with people who are about as odd as I am, but in different ways, which is why they're interesting. Judging by your post, you are better at picking stable friends than I am. (But I suspect yours aren't as much entertainment.)
Oh some of my friends are extremely entertaining. I seem to have an interesting mix of artists, musicians, writers, gamers (lots of those *rolls eyes*), and what are generally called run-of-the-mill type people.
Congrats on being with your girlfriend for 29 years. I've been with my husband for 31 and we just had our 28th anniversary.
Btw, I looked at your user info. We seem to have some similar tastes so we probably share the same sense of humour and would find the same things entertaining. =^.^=
Bravo, Elizabeth. This is a fine and clear statement, and one to be grateful for.
I live in Massachusetts. My fiancee and I applied for our marriage license on Tuesday. A pair of forty-something gentlemen were filling out the same forms beside us. I gave them a huge smile and wished them both congratulations as we left.
Someday, I hope to tell this to my children and grandchildren and have them look at me funny, like when my grandmother explained about the White and Black drinking fountains that were once in the South.
I so hope and Pray. Btw thos lound people with issues we just need to ignore them they are not the magority any longer. Love You and Your Guts Miz Moon and stormsdotter.
My thought is those people are un diagnosed suffers of Borderline personality dis order.
The only way I've ever been able to see that same-sex marriage would threaten heterosexual marriages is very indirect.
If one's kids decide to marry same-sex, the potential for grandchildren goes waaay-down, and thus one's own potential for being "grandparent of the bride/groom"
I am a lesbian. I have a son. When I do get to marry my lovely girlfriend, her daughter will be my folks' step-granddaughter. In comparison, my mother's sister married once, with no kids, and remains committed in a long-term relationship with a man.
It seems to me that there is still the same potential for grandchildren no matter what kind of partner the kids have, and the same potential for being the grandparent of the brides/grooms.
Yeah, but people have no right to assume their children will have children. some will be unable to have biological children (happened with us) and the pressure of a parent to "keep trying" and "try everything" puts strain on the childless couple. Others just don't want children. I'm in my sixties; I don't expect ever to have grandchildren (and if I did, they wouldn't be biologically grandchildren.)
I've seen slips from a few people indicating, and outright admissions from a few more (anonymously being interviewed in that second case), that what those individuals meant when they said that gay marriage threatened straight marriage was that gay marriage threatened their marriage. Basically, it boiled down to the fact that they're severely closeted, and it would be much harder for them to resist the temptation to divorce their current spouse and find a partner of their own sex if gay marriage were legalized.
So they feel it necessary to force an entire nation to go along with this because they're too weak to resolve their own issues one way or another.
I can't get behind that.
One of the worst things that closeting has done, IMO, is to produce marriages in which one person is gay and has had to lie to his/her partner (and children.) There is this theory that marriage will "cure" homosexuality--which it doesn't--can't--but it can be devastating for the family when the admission comes after years of commitment and children, and a huge strain on the closeted person trying to act a role in all parts of his/her life. Far better to be able to safely admit one's sexuality (requires a society that doesn't sanction attacks!!) and then form a life plan and relationships in accord with it. An apparently traditional, hetero marriage with one gay/lesbian partner has a lie at its root.
And churches that promote hetero marriages as a way of containing or 'curing' homosexuality are promoting dishonesty--and are immoral. My opinion.
Bingo. I've never had a problem with gay folks, but closeted people have always bugged me because of the dishonesty inherent in it. It just causes more suffering all around.
I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the term "gay marriage". I can stretch to "same sex marriage" (I would not turn gay if I should marry a woman, I'll still be a pansexual
), but I feel the right term should be "marriage".
Love is love. I'm fortunate to live in a country with an equal marriage law. I can marry whomever I want, should it be a man or a woman. Same law.
Same-sex marriages don't threaten my marriage at all. Exactly what you said, the responsibility for the success/failure of a marriage rests solidly on the people in that marriage. And we definitely have a Marriage of Equals; he has his strengths and weaknesses, as do I. Hopefully we end up strengthening each other (sometimes, like with housework, not so much unfortunately).
We'd be very happy for all our gay/lesbian friends to be able to marry, with all the legal protections and possibly insurance and other benefits that we enjoy automatically. And I'd really like it if my kids had no idea it had been any other way, by the time they're old enough to marry themselves (next 10-12 years, tops).
What really amuses me is when multiply-divorced people start fussing about "the sanctity of marriage." Especially the ones who were carrying on with Spouse #2 (or 3) while still married to Spouse #1.
2012-05-24 12:40 pm (UTC)
You are so awesome!
You are so much more than just my favorite author right now. I love reading about your knitting - and this stance on gay marriage pretty much says exactly what I feel. Thank you so much for putting into words what I could not.
The only "danger" I can see to traditional marriages is that perhaps these people are afraid that their husband/wife will leave them for a same-gender partner if that sort of relationship was socially acceptable. We've seen a number of anti-homosexual preachers turn out to be gay/bi, so maybe they are right to worry. :) But I'd argue that if they let us marry our own gender, we'll stop marrying THEM. :)
When it comes to homosexual relationships, I think it's clear that the need to hide one's real identity--the closeting of gay/lesbian people--is what led to marrying someone of the opposite sex.
A truly hetero person might well leave a marriage in which they were unhappy--but not then choose a partner of the same sex. The people I've known who left their marriage and then re-married usually re-married the same way they had first. Often, unless they got good therapy, marrying the same kind of person they'd just left (but convinced the new one was different.)