Tag Archives: Gay Rights

A Matter of Love

I thought Tom might have hit this already, but since he hasn’t I’ll fill in the gap. This is too important to pass by. ~Ryan

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8. And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry.
What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work. And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling.

With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Gay Rights

Social Propositions Update

PROP 8 (CA): Looks like it, unfortunately, will pass, although the result has not officially been called yet. Prop 8’s passage makes California the first state to not only ban same-sex marriage, but actually rescind the right already granted by the California State Supreme Court, who determined that it was unconstitutional and discriminatory to ban gay and lesbian marriage. This is a huge blow, and to be perfectly blunt…

California, my homeland, I’m very ashamed of you. You’ve turned your back on me and millions like me. You’ve made me, in unapologetic terms, a second-class citizen. You have proven that it is still acceptable to treat gays and lesbians worse than dogs and cats. I’m so ashamed of my fellow Californians right now. I grieve, that the most prominent state in the nation cannot see that this is a matter of civil rights. We now have a black president; but two men and two women would still be the death of America.

ARIZONA & FLORIDA: Have voted to ban gay marriage. Florida, I’m especially upset with you. If it wasn’t for gays, there would be no one to work at Walt Disney World (and I used to work at Disneyland so I know that’s a fact) and without the World, Florida would shrivel away like a penis struck with leprosy.

ARKANSAS: Has voted to make it illegal for “unmarried” couples to adopt or become foster parents. And, hmm, isn’t this a coincidence, it’s also illegal for gays and lesbians to get married there. Because I’m sure roommates are rushing out to adopt.

WASHINGTON: Has voted to allow assisted suicide under medical observation.

MICHIGAN: Has voted to allow medicinal marijuana.

MASSACHUSETTS: Has decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Now, I’m not a drug or marijuana advocate, as I still see it as harmful and the “gateway” drug. I know other bloggers on this site disagree. However, I know that we could be spending tax dollars in better ways than stopping people from doing a little 420. We’ll see how it works out.

SOUTH DAKOTA (I believe in my last post I incorrectly said South Carolina): Has defeated a measure banning abortion in all cases except rape and extreme health concerns. As I have said, pro-choice is not anti-life. Good job, South Dakota.

COLORADO: Defeats a ballot measure to define “personhood,” a term that sounds like it was made up by Stephen Colbert, as the instant of fertilization. Religious views may disagree, but this is why we have separation of church and state. Again, pro-choice is not anti-life.

SAN FRANCISCO: On the local level, Measure K was defeated, which would have decriminalized prostitution in a designated “red-light”-type district in San Francisco.

Others: Ohio defeated casinos, but Arkansas approved a state lottery. Missouri elected to make English the official language of government proceedings, but Oregon defeated a movement to limit English-as-Second-Language education to only two years. Another California measure trying to raise money for a high-speed rail between LA and San Francisco is still too close to call.

2 Comments

Filed under Politics

Social Propositions

As Tom covers the incoming presidential returns, I’ll be keeping you posted on some of the social-issue propositions up for ballot, such as the California Proposition 8, limiting “marriage” to heterosexual couples. Two other states have such propositions on the ballot, and Arkansas is aiming to prevent “unmarried” couples from adopting or being foster parents, a clear swipe at gays and lesbians who want to parent children. South Carolina and Colorado are both dealing with abortion, with SC trying to ban all abortions except in severe cases, and Colorado trying to define “personhood” as the moment of fertilization. Affirmative action, assisted suicide, gambling, and prostitution also rear up as common proposition themes. Stay tuned, I’ll update in about two hours as more proposition votes start coming in.

Truly,

Ryan

2 Comments

Filed under Politics

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

I have seen the light. –Ryan

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were
allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

17 Comments

Filed under Gay Rights

Ahhh summer…

Went to “The Cove” to swim today with the fam.  It’s a beach on the Nanticoke River, which empties a few miles away into the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a great place for kids since the waves are tiny.  Definitely a good place to take children to learn to swim before allowing them to brave the waves of the Atlantic in Ocean City, Maryland (known as OC to us locals )or Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (both about 35 miles east of The Cove).

Of course OC is a party sport, especially for college kids, and is chock full of high rises and condos.  I prefer Rehoboth Beach because it has more of a community feel.  The town is still a livable town.  Whereas OC is much more commercialized.  Also I should note that Rehoboth Beach is the east coast beach destination for gays and lesbians.   While it doesn’t matter to me if the beach is shared with homosexuals, I want to paint an accurate portrait of the place for readers.

Cheers,

Tom

2 Comments

Filed under Gay Rights, Life, travel

Savagely Stolen Video: Yea, This About Sums It Up

1 Comment

Filed under Civil Rights, Corporations, Free Speech, Gay Rights, Politics, Presidential Race 2008, Republicans, Savagely Stolen News, Science, Sex Ed, Supreme Court

Sorry Unmarried Couples, No Hospital Visitation For You!

Maryland State Senator, who is currently running for the House of Representatives, Andy Harris voted against a bill that would have allowed domestic partners the same rights married couples enjoy.  BTW straight couples are getting married less and living together more- whether you know it or like it- you are at the heart of the domestic partner law.  You, as a straight couple, do not currently have the same rights as a married couple- even if you have been together longer.  A couple of 18 year olds who get married have more rights in most states than 90 year olds that have been in a relationship since their teens!  All because religious zealots do not want to give ground on their idea that marriage is a “christian” concept- in spite of the fact that every culture pro or anti-christ has a form of marriage and has since long before the christian god got a hankering to impregnate a 14 year old Mary.

Here is a summary of the law (as taken from Votesmart.org):

Grants the following rights to domestic partners (sec. 1):

    – Control over final arrangements for their partner’s body, including the right to give consent for a postmortem examination of their partner’s body and the right to decide how the body will be disposed if not specified by the deceased partner
    – The right to make decisions about their partner’s health care if their partner is incapable of doing so unless they have appointed a health care agent or guardian
    – The right to visit their partner in hospital unless the hospital does not allow visitors, it would threaten the patient’s health, or the patient has requested that the partner not visit
    – The right to accompany their partner in an emergency vehicle

– Requires proof of a domestic partnership such as an affidavit or supporting documents for an individual to exercise these rights except for accompanying a partner in an emergency vehicle or hospital visitation, for which only a good faith statement is required (sec. 1).

– Provides that nothing in the bill may be construed to define marriage as anything other than an arrangement between a man and a woman in the state of Maryland (sec. 3).

Voting against this is simply wrong.

Cheers,

Tom

1 Comment

Filed under Gay Rights, Politics, Religion