Saturday, November 8, 2008

Photohunter: Together

(No on prop 8 post-election rally)

I was going to do a post on colonial organisms for this week's together post, but given what has been happening here in my home state, I thought I'd hijack my own blog and talk about something more political this week.

As you all know, three states have passed bans on gay marriage this election cycle. I am most disappointed in California, which recently allowed gay marriages, and where I have been listening to very weak arguments for this ban. First off, why is this an issue? CA does have a very good civil union package which offers most of the rights and responsibilities that married have, but these unions are not recognized in many of the other states or by the federal government. A marriage performed in one state is recognized in other states. "Marriage" as a secular term does not (or did not) include a religious aspect, people can get their marriage officiated by whoever they want, but cannot force someone (or a church) to officiate. So offering marriage to same-sex couples does not change anything for different-sex couples, but does allow same-sex couples to stay married if they move and paves the way for federal benefits/taxes to be given to same-sex couples.

(Parents of gay children show support in a gay pride parade)

Protecting "traditional marriage" is a poor excuse to refuse same-sex marriages. Just because something has "always" been done this way does not make it right to continue to deny a minority's rights. Of course, marriage has NOT "always" been done this way. Marriage was about transfer of property (cows/land for women to establish bloodlines), which meant it could be between one man and several women. Currently, marriage is about two people deciding to pool their financial and physical resources to set up a household together, and formalizing that agreement through governmental records.

(Me and my spouse after our civil wedding)

I am very ashamed for this state, in which the narrow majority has decided to strip a minority of legal rights, and codify that bigotry in the state's constitution. Saying it's the will of the people does not excuse it. An unpopular minority cannot expect that the majority will look after its rights. Until a short while ago (1958), the majority disavowed marrying people of differing races. I hope that soon, I will be able to express the same disbelief that marrying people of the same gender was ever an issue.


Bengbeng said...

i understand the minority is always bullied by sheer numbers. it is a shame. a dreadful shame for anybody to take away legal rights from others.

Annie said...

It just blows my mind that in this election, where we took such a great step forward, we also took this big step back. I was so surprised to hear that CA voted this way. Great post and I too hope that attitudes shift about this very soon.

earthlingorgeous said...

Wow! Very good points you raised. I am not so familiar with American laws and stuff but well things don't change overnight. If people now view marriage the way you do then I now understand why in Canada they are not so big about it.

June said...

I was confused by California too...not as liberal minded as I thought. My Florida did the same, though I expected that. You know, I never have understood the fear surrounding this issue...seems to me that divorce is a bigger detriment to the institution. Why not outlaw them? It's all beyond my understanding.

Kate said...

Good for you! call me later and let me know how things went last night... and check out my blog for a listing of other rallies in CA going on this month!

YTSL said...

Well said and hear, hear.

jams o donnell said...

Well said Brine Queen. I can't see how the marriage of two gay men or women threatens the institution of marriage.