Rhymes With Fuchsia

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Clueless

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately, recently going over six weeks with nary a peep. Since it's November, I thought I'd try NaNoBloMo (or whatever it's called: I can never keep these things straight), and I thought I'd have plenty of material, since there was so much I failed to blog about, and some of it is still (reasonably) relevant. So today I was going to show you some nice Rhinebeck pictures, including my ill-gotten loot, but I find I'm not in the mood.

Last spring Maine became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage, but put actual implementation on hold until the results of a ballot question were in. I've spent quite a bit of time in Maine, and it is a fairly conservative state, especially the farther north and the more rural you get; but it's also a "you mind your business and I'll mind mine" kind of place, so I had high hopes. Yesterday voters repealed the measure.

I'm sad, and I don't understand. What possible benefit can come from depriving gay couples of a basic civil right? How is it your business that gay couples want to be able to be each other's emergency contact and insurance beneficiary, raise kids together, live together, sit at their spouse's hospital bedside? Your church doesn't recognize same-sex marriages? It doesn't have to perform or celebrate them. (In all states that have passed same-sex marriage so far churches can legally opt out.) You don't recognize same-sex marriages? You don't have to invite the happy couples to dinner, and I hope you'll forgive me if I don't invite you to dinner either.

One of my Facebook buddies brought this site to my attention this morning. The idea is simple: since most states don't recognize same-sex marriage, let's not recognize marriage at all. Now, I don't think I can pull this off, especially living in Massachusetts, but try a thought experiment: consider of some of the married couples you see all the time, your friends, your coworkers, your parents, your kids. Replace the word husband or wife with boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, partner, or longtime companion. It diminishes them somehow, doesn't it? That's how it's always been for gay people. I can't believe I never thought of it in quite those terms before. What do you mean, boyfriend? He's my husband. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry doesn't make him more so; in fact I think it makes him less so.

The only comfort I can find is that time is on our side. As time goes on, as the sky over Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire stubbornly refuses to fall, as young people get older and the children of same-sex marriages continue to flourish, the tide will turn. It can't come soon enough for me.

7 Comments:

  • Don't you just love the religious hypocrisy? Those people who do one thing while saying another? I find it to be very American in an old guard Regan/Bush/Bush sort of way.

    When Prop 8 passed here, I was talking to a friend about it and told him next time it would pass because those old hate filled people are dying every day and the young understand that none of us are equal until all of us are equal. It's a sad state of what things are like, but we can wait for that day. I know it will be worthy waiting for.

    By Blogger Cookie, at 4:48 PM  

  • It's just the dumbest thing I can think of. There is so much pressure from the conservative right on this issue. Washington has a domestic partner law that is better than nothing, and it looks like the voters are narrowly going to uphold it, if you can trust early returns. Some of the ignorant letters to the editor in the local paper have just amazed me.

    By Blogger Lorette, at 7:43 PM  

  • As an old married person, I don't get it. How is a gay couple getting married going to do anything to my marriage that my husband and I haven't done to it ourselves?

    (And pssssst, my gay friends back in high school? Had hetero parents. So obviously heterosexual marriage caused them to be gay! ::eye roll::)

    By Blogger Alwen, at 8:34 PM  

  • Yeah, I was really disappointed in the Maine vote, too. I don't understand the bigotry. I am so thankful that our legislators here in MA did not let this issue go on the ballot! It's nothing but tyranny of the majority when it gets brought to a vote.

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 6:03 AM  

  • Yeah, like, there's such an excess of love and commitment in the world that we can just pick and choose which unions to honor and which to ignore. It makes no sense to me, but then I'm not a homophobe. I remember when homosexual relations were a felony in most states, and people could be denied housing or employment if their "perversion" was discovered. We HAVE made great strides. We just haven't finished the journey yet.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:29 AM  

  • Well said (that goes for your other commenters as well).
    --Gretchen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 AM  

  • I'm pleased to say that D.C. is about to pass our own version of marriage equality. It's co-sponsored by 10 of the 13 councilmembers, so passage is guaranteed and the mayor has promised to sign it.

    Then we just have to hope Congress doesn't decide this is one of those things that D.C. residents shouldn't be allowed to decide on their own...

    By Anonymous sprite, at 1:56 PM  

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