First off – let’s note that the Prop 8 case was brought by a Republican plaintiff. Argued by Republican Ted Olson. And decided by a judge who was appointed to the Federal Court by a Republican president. Update: Judge Vaughn Walker was outed as gay. Then admonished by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. A full court press ensued, read more here.
Recently, I wrote about my knack for Pot Stirring (read that first, if you’re likely to knee-jerk at a pro-gay marriage piece) when it comes to the establishment GOP versus the establishment & grassroots evangelical conservative movement. The issue of gay marriage, or civil unions, or “protecting marriage” seems to be a place where some simply want to make a stand. Not just a stand – but a bare-knuckled, knock down, drag-out (pun intended) fight at the OK Corral. It’s Tombstone time.
I don’t get it. Many of the conservative arguments I’ve heard are so bigotry-laden, it defies description. As I have said before – given the Federal governments repeated failures to manage even the simplest of tasks, there seems to be no upside in asking the Feds to manage marriage as an institution. Some of the folks squawking about “limited government”- to include taxes, spending, health care, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, appropriations and virtually every oversight issue seem to be the same folks who want the Federal government to take control of one of the most personal decisions each of us makes.
Ask anyone who has a fiance or spouse that is a foreign national what the K Visa process is like. It takes FOREVER. It is inefficient, it’s painstakingly ridiculous and tough on the relationship. Trust me on this – if your love & relationship survives the K Visa process – the 50 years you have together will be blissfully uncomplicated. The payoff is immeasurable, life with the man or woman we love is such a beautiful thing. However, the government’s (mis)management of the process should give everyone clamoring for a federal amendment to the Constitution pause.
Yes, I am aware that the Republican platform calls for all kinds of things. No, I am not aware of a single presidential candidate from either party that gave a damn about what the party extremists, er, party base, thinks or inserts into the platform. Not in my lifetime anyway. It is an ugly and oft unspoken truth that the establishment gives the base the platform as a cookie, so they have a snack on which to raise money and organize. Don’t get me wrong, in general principles, establishment folks do believe in the same issues – but we tend to be a bit more pragmatic than those demanding ideological purity.
Tell ya what, I’ll submit to the ideological purity exam right after y’all stop screwing around on your wives, stop binge drinking in the hotel bar at every state or RNC party function, come out of the closet, stop whoring around, stop being racist, homophobic and general hypocrites. Oh, and when you stop the junkets to the Mariana Islands to check out the working (girls) conditions. Also, kindly please stop spending my tax dollars on creating temples in your name – you know, bridges, post offices, etc. When those tasks in all the varying degrees have been accomplished – then we can talk turkey about “protecting marriage.” And how it is you have the moral consciousness to do so, above all others, who don’t whore around. Who don’t binge drink at party functions. Who don’t act like morally depraved hypocrites.
Keep your vows, first. Then you can judge me for abiding by the Constitution. I actually believe the “All men are created equal” line. That means one group is not allowed to take away rights from another group. There is no State-sanctioned religion. So, much as I appreciate your religion does not allow for gay marriage – mine doesn’t either – all one has to do is mosey-on-down-the-road to find a church and a pastor who will sanction marriage between two men, two women, or a man and a woman.
I am comfortable enough in my own skin to know that the man I love, who loves me, will always be mine. I also know that two men or two women getting married has no effect on my union. Our union has everything to do with us, with a life we co-create that is “ours.” The more people who unite and define that for themselves, with honor and integrity, the better off our society will be.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, more than 40 states prohibited interracial marriage. President Obama’s mother and father would have been barred from marriage. Ask anyone who entered into such a relationship before 1990 if it was difficult, they’ll have stories. Ask folks who did so in the 1960s or before – and you will have your socks scared right off your feet. Prejudice and bigotry are the evil minions of ignorance.
Having a genuine religious objection to gay marriage is normal. I converted to Roman Catholicism several years ago, and it saddens me that my church has not yet reconciled with homosexual members of its congregation. It took hundreds of years to correct the serious wrong done to Mary Magdalene when she was painted a whore. Part of my daily prayers include reconciliation with the Holy Father for all who wish to be closer to Him, and to Jesus Christ. I would never pretend I speak for Christ, or that He speaks through me — I am far too ordinary. But I believe He loves all of us equally, I don’t believe He would turn away from anyone of us if we came to Him honestly.
But that is faith. The state has no religion. Other churches do sanction gay marriages, and I am thankful. One of my favorite people in the world, one of my best friends, and a man who I admire to the highest order, is Charles. He is gay, he is in love and if he and his boyfriend wanted to marry — I would be honored to attend. I want happiness for him.
I want the federal government to worry about the Constitution. For instance, it would be nice if the Congress managed the 14 separate appropriations bills they are required to produce, rather than the ridiculous omnibus bills we are forced to accept year after year after year. (That particular offense is true of both parties) It would be nice if the Executive Branch would find a way to be more efficient, perhaps beginning with a rough, realistic approach with regard to the cost-benefit analysis for America’s schoolchildren and the rather foolhardy Department of Education. I am also perfectly happy with the same scalpel carving out overspending, and the bizarre discretionary funds being spent at an always record pace at the Departments of Defense, Labor, Commerce and Energy. Interior too.
Perhaps after that set of Herculean tasks is completed satisfactorily, I might relent on my thoughts about the meddling of government in the legal contract between two people, that codifies their personal commitment to each other. I know folks who have inter-faith relationships, one a Catholic – the other a Jew, or an Anglican, or whatever combination… does the evangelical movement wish to prohibit these as well? Do they want gays to sit in a separate section of restaurants?
I have to believe that many of them do not understand that what they are arguing for is essentially, “Separate but Equal.” As a girl who grew up in the early 80s, in suburban Atlanta…in Marietta, Chamblee, Smyrna and Dunwoody – I will say this: the post-Segregation era was not just ugly but FUGLY. The twenty years following the Civil Rights Act didn’t make things perfect and Stepford-esque in a day. It was hard work. During my freshman or sophomore year, Henderson High School (which doesn’t exist anymore) was shut down because of a inter-racial fight. Two very popular athletes, both from good families, fought over something. A girl, if memory serves. One was black, the other white. We were in a nice, middle & upper middle class neighborhood. (at the time, haven’t been there in 20 years)Tensions were high, the police came. The school was on lock down. Cooler heads prevailed, everyone went home. Ignorance and fear ruled that say.
Frankly, the whole thing was stupid. My take at the time was simple: Get over yourselves already.
My take on the gay marriage issue is pretty much the same. But it comes with a catch: why do they want to take rights away from gays? who is next on their agenda? Women? Some will be angry at what I wrote there – but, you know, JD Hayworth has been talking about people marrying animals as a result of gay marriage. Talk about crazytown. They bring up polygamy too. Also absurd. 1+1=2. Nothing more.
Life has so many opportunities, so many blessings, so many adventures and challenges. Love, honesty, fidelity and faith are virtues we should teach our children. Fairness, justice too. Justice is not a dirty word, it is endemic to our nation’s founding. The injustices suffered by our antecedents led to the Revolutionary War. It led to a war cry for freedom, equality and justice for all.
Let us honor them by honoring each other.
For another take, read Jason Pye’s piece at United Liberty. Good stuff.