Dan made me do it.
Well, he didn’t make me as such, but he did put forth a pretty compelling argument that found its way into my inbox. He can be pretty persuasive.
To be honest, if a little sheepish, I hadn’t planned on writing here about marriage and California Proposition 8.
In spite of how much thought and attention I dedicate to political matters—and this happened to dawn on me unexpectedly just last night—I haven’t really written much about politics here. Just a few bits and pieces along the way. And all I can say for myself is that going forward, I will at least give thought to the mismatch between what I think about and what I write about. I’ll explore altering my writing, or my attention, accordingly.
But I have no excuse, nor any reason to resist the request. Prop 8 is political and it’s personal. In light of the express request to speak up—and also in light of events of this past weekend—I’m here to toss my two cents in.
Proposition 8 would seek to add discriminatory language into law, aiming to undo the May 2008 California Supreme Court decision overturning the ban on same-sex marriage as inherently unconstitutional. Proponents, funded largely by stinking-rich, out-of-state organized religious organizations, are blanketing the airwaves with fear and falsehoods.
The folks that have fought tooth and nail every single earned gain in civil rights protection for LGBT individuals and couples now, remarkably, astonishingly, hold up the domestic partnership option as a shining beacon of fairness and equal treatment, a worthy and fair and equivalent alternative to marriage. As something that we should deem good enough.
To them, I say: spare me the disingenuousness—you resisted that one as well, you tried to block those gains from being made, and you’d undo all trace of that legal construct and any others that cover us gay folk in a flash if you thought that you could get away with it.
It’s all about fear. And in a nifty though totally transparent bit of projection, MARRIAGE, they decry, must now be SAVED. SAVED!! Saved, from homo hordes who’d strongarm or shutter churches, and who would recruit and indoctrinate school kids, and yadda yadda.
Oooga booga booga.
The reality is that the institution of marriage has been tarnished exclusively from within its ranks, and they know it. See: divorce rates, infidelity, quickie Vegas weddings (by people who barely know each other, but, well lookie there, they’ve got the correct opposing junk, so that’s all they need to go to the altar, etc., etc.)
I actually think they’re fearful that—seeing the divorce rate for what it is: high, and knowing that to be ENTIRELY the fault of married (and formerly married) straight people—it just might be the case that, yet again, the gay folk move into new territory and actually manage to gussy things up a bit once they get moved in and settled.
I do not expect to sway anyone here. I’m merely expressing my sorrow at the prospect of everyone being forced to adhere to the religious dogma of some, and also my hope that what will undoubtedly be a very close vote will weigh on the side of fairness and justice and inclusion.
Against same-sex marriage? That’s cool. So don’t have one then. Problem solved.
This past Saturday, in the company of a couple dozen friends and some really, really big trees, my partner and I were wed. It was at the culmination of a five-hour annual extreme croquet camping ritual. We exchanged vows and rings in a circle of trees, we wore yellow calla lily boutonnieres pinned to our sweatshirts, and wreaths a friend wove on our heads, and it was solemn and sentimental and just silly enough to work for the two of us and for those who know and love us and who were able to attend.
I am hopeful that others—couples who haven’t even met each other yet—will continue to have the legal protection, full rights, benefits, responsibilities of marriage that we are able to enjoy.
The world didn’t end when Vermont became the first state to enact civil unions.
Ditto when Massachusetts became the first state to permit full-legal-protection same-sex marriage.
California has not tumbled into the sea.
What has happened is that legal protection and recognition have been granted to couples and to families—yes, families—that don’t necessarily look exactly like everyone else’s; and that more and more people are seeing it as something to celebrate and support; or—perhaps to some most frightening of all—they have come to see it correctly as a total non-issue, as something to not even think or fret about at all.