Friday, November 07, 2008

Clarifying my position

I got a comment on my food blog about my position on Prop 8 the other day, trying to point out my hypocrisy by invoking the argument of polygamy.

Let me be perfectly clear. I have no moral issue with polygamy. I do take offense when old men try to marry off little girls to their friends. I do not approve of child endangerment and sexual abuse of minors (or anyone else for that matter). A thirteen year old, while physically mature enough to bear children, is NOT mentally ready to be a wife and mother. But I don't have any problem with consenting adults marrying each other. As long as everyone is mentally and emotionally mature enough to deal with their decision (and at 18, we are legally considered to be mentally and emotionally able to enter into legal contracts), then go for it. You're not hurting anyone else. Even if you have a bunch of kids, as long as you're a big happy family, then I'm fine with it. Multiple mommies? No problem. Duplicate dads? Just more love.

And this is essentially my problem with the Prop 8 proponents: why are you so sure that YOUR morals are the right morals for everyone else? Why are you so convinced that your way is the only way people should live? What gives you the right to arrogantly decide to strip away the rights of others just because you don't like their choices? I may think you're an idiot for believing that a cracker is the body of Jesus Christ, but do I try to outlaw communion wafers? No, I don't. Because it's none of my goddamn business what you do as long as it doesn't directly affect me.

And gay marriage does NOT DIRECTLY AFFECT YOU unless you are actually in a gay marriage.

So why? Why are you so afraid to let people who love each other get married? It doesn't have anything to do with what kids are taught in schools; California law specifically states that parents can opt-out of having their kids taught anything about health/sex education. That includes gay marriage and homosexuality.

It doesn't have anything to do with religious freedom, either. There has never been any case of a religious leader being sued for not performing a marriage ceremony. NEVER. There was a lawsuit against a justice of the peace in Massachusetts who refused to perform a marriage ceremony for a gay couple, but he was a government employee who was bound by the laws of his state. Let me state this perfectly clearly: there was NEVER a requirement for religious leaders to perform marriage ceremonies that go against their beliefs. When did you last hear of a Rabbi being sued for refusing to marry two Gentiles? When's the last time the Catholic church got sued for not recognizing a marriage between two atheists? Never? Oh, that's right. Because this argument is completely irrelevant.

And don't give me that crap about homosexuals having "equality" with the civil union laws. "Equal but separate" is not equal at all. In fact, it's a slap in the face. And if it's just a question of semantics, then why are you so rabid about keeping gay people from getting married? If it was just a word, you wouldn't care. By fighting against calling it marriage, you are proving that civil unions are NOT the same as marriage. And I'm sorry, but no, you can't own the word "marriage." Marriage is both a legal AND a religious term. Therefore religion alone does not get to dictate who gets to use that word. You are not that special. defines discrimination as "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit". I can't think of anything that describes this hateful proposition better. They are seeking to remove the rights of a group of citizens, simply because they happen to love people with the same set of genitalia. And here's the thing: discrimination will not last. White men tried to keep women and blacks from being acknowledged as equals - TRUE equals, not that "equal but separate" crap - and it worked for a little while, sure. But to quote Martin Luther King, Jr, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." If you don't believe him, look at our new President-elect: for the first time in the long and bloody history of America, we have elected a black man as our President. It took years of fighting against hatred and intolerance, but we have achieved TRUE equality for African-Americans and women. We would have had a female Vice-President next year if we didn't elect a black President (and we came awfully darn close to having a female Presidential nominee). And you can be sure that the fight against intolerance towards homosexuality is not over, either. Already we have made enormous strides; in just a few years, California went from losing gay marriage rights by 22% to losing by only 4%. And the courts are with us; discrimination is NOT tolerated, and Proposition 8 will be defeated. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And someday we'll all look back and wonder why we got so torqued up about it.

So you might want to think about what you're really standing for, when you stand against gay marriage. Because the veils of education and religious freedom are thinner than the paper you used to write this hateful bill, and not as many people will believe the propaganda the next time around. Gays are not going to just fade into the background and agree to be marginalized and live as second-class citizens. Truly, you don't actually believe that will happen, do you? You don't believe that all the gays are going to up and decide to "go straight" just because you don't approve, do you? You don't believe that homosexuality will get shut back into the closet of our nation, do you? You can keep screaming that gay marriage is wrong, but all that's going to happen is you're going to lose your voice. Because the tide of righteousness is stronger than the ideology of hate.


Anonymous said...


hgm1 said...

wow - well said Snarkmeister, well said.