I know that I can always count on the American people to ruin my lovely evening, further encourage my growing dislike of humanity, and give me something to rant about. At least I have something to spend my time being frustrated at. (Yes, I realize that I ended that sentence with a preposition. Deal with it.)
Being an openly gay male, it is my hope that one day I will be afforded the same rights as every other American citizen; I will not be a second-class minority that is continually marginalized in American society and American politics. Even though I have serious issues about monogamy (see: The Case Against Monogamy) I do believe that everyone, EVERYONE, should have the right to the option of marriage. Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, etc etc.; black, white, red, yellow; Chinese, Egyptian, French, American, Venezuelan, Australian, Syrian; tall, short, fat, skinny; male or female; any and all of these and more I'm sure. Everyone has the right to get married in our country. I don't even care if can you speak English; I don't care if you regularly brush your teeth; I don't care if you don't have a driver's license; I don't care if you make a million dollars a year or if you live off of welfare: everyone has the right to get married to whomever they so choose.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 of the California State constitution was unconstitutional on the basis that it violated the equal protection clause of said constitution. Proposition 22 enacted a statute that "limited marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman." On June 17, 2008, it became legal for same-sex couples to get married in the state of California. Kudos to CA, and the Supreme Court for having the balls to go up against such discriminatory legislation.
So here's the conservative reaction to this, because they absolutely cannot stand the fact that fags are getting married all around them:
PROPOSITION 8: California Marriage Protection Act
ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.I would love to say that I am both shocked and outraged but quite frankly it doesn't really surprise me. In a land where a mother wouldn't love her own offspring because of their sexual orientation, I understand that this kind of narrow-minded paleolithic way of thinking is firmly embedded in our current "modern" society. Unfortunately, for me and the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER LIKE ME, this kind of thinking is denying us some of our basic freedoms, mainly: THE RIGHT TO GET MARRIED AND BE HAPPY.
Where does said right derive from? Several places. Since I already wrote a ten-page research paper on the Defense of Marriage Act and Why It's Unconstitutional, I will spare you the subsequent litany on why same-sex marriage does not violate the United States Constitution in any way, shape, or form. The only reason that same-sex marriage violates any state constitutions is because several states enacted legislation to amend the definition of marriage in their constitutions.
This is a classic case of blatant discrimination. It's amazing to me that these right-wing fundamentalists don't draw the parallels between gay rights and the African-American civil liberties struggle of the 1960's. It's the same story, different time period. Soon we will have assigned places to sit on the bus and subway.
Just how sad and behind is our country? Well, let's see: Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and the Netherlands all recognize and allow same-sex marriage. In the United Kingdom, civil partnerships have identical legal status to a marriage, and partners gain all the same benefits and associated legal rights; ranging from tax exemptions and joint property rights, to next-of-kin status and shared parenting responsibilities. Partnership ceremonies are performed by a marriage registrar in exactly the same manner as a secular civil marriage.
The thing that people who argue that marriage is a religious institution and therefore legalising same-sex marriage is a violation of church and state fail to recognize is that marriage is both a state and religious institution. Guess what you have to do to become legally accepted as a partnership in the United States? Sign a MARRIAGE LICENSE. It's not legal nor federally recognized until you do. You can have as many marriage ceremonies at your local church as you want to but that don't make it legit, Sparky.
Likewise, simply allowing same-sex couples to get married does not force any religious institution to marry those couples, in the same way that no religious institution is forced to marry any hetero couples: they can choose not to. So there's no interference with religion in any way by legally recognizing a same-sex marriage. At all.
I like Senator Obama's sentiment on the subject:
[he supports extending] "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law....And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."
By the way, the proponents of Prop. 8 cite that "All 4 candidates endorse their cause!" based on Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin's statements during the V.P. debates in September. Actually, the Obama/Biden campaign is in support of deregulating marriage as a state institution, instead, redefining "marriage" as a religious institution and "civil union" as a federal institution. Effectively, this means that you have to sign a CIVIL UNION to become legally recognized as a couple in the United States; you then get "married" in a church, synagogue, or equivalent religous facility. So, even hetero couples would have to get a civil union to be legally recognized as partners. What this would do is effectively extend all the same rights, benefits, and recognition to both hetero and homo couples. Pretty fantastic idea, huh? So although Joe Biden and Barack Obama don't support "gay marriage", they certainly don't support any form of discrimination or traditional definition of marriage.
Somehow it is beyond me that many people consider that we live in the greatest country in the world, yet would advocate the subjugation of any minority seeking refuge and equal protection under the law. It's the basis that our country was founded on: everyone is equal, and everyone has the right to pursue their own personal happiness (insomuchas it doesn't hurt anybody else). And let's face it, homophobes: two fags hooking up doesn't affect or even remotely affect you in any way, shape, or form. So why the fuck is it such a big deal to you? The fact that there are people in this world that would spend such effort on marginalizing and discriminating against other people is both sad and astounding to me.
Oh yes, for all you red, white and blue blooded Christians out there, I realize that our country was founded under God in one teensy place in the damn Preamble. This is the particular reason why we don't let buddhists, muslims, or jews into our country, and why we certainly don't let them worship here... in the same way your pedantic, antiquated, and hateful beliefs don't apply to homosexuals. Sorry, bro.
I am nearly ashamed to live in a country that would tout itself as "the greatest country in the world" when there are people living in it that do not have the same version of humanity, rights, or citizenship extended to them as others.
My point here being: if this passes I'm considering moving to Canada.
PS- if John McCain wins the presidency, I am already checking out apartments in Montreal.