Tuesday, May 26, 2009

For Those Who Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Rights

This post at Democraticunderground (and the picture of the poster is above) really sums up the kind of fear that gay people in this country are in when their rights are put on trial. This was how this poster felt this morning as the California Supreme Court was ruling.

This morning as I readied myself for work I awoke my husband, we have been together for almost 15 years (not bad for someone who is 35) and we were married on Oct 16, 2008.

I sat on the bed putting my shoes on, reached over and stroked my cat "Ginger". I got up, bent over and gently kissed by sleeping husband on the forehead. In a half awake, half asleep voice he said, "I love you"...

When I see him again tonight he may no longer be my husband. He and I, and our love will once again make him my "friend" or "partner" or "roommate", all terms we have had used for us...

I ask for those that do not care one way or the other, to think about this... to think about the fact that right now, at this very moment, MY LIFE IS OUT OF MY HANDS. I am a nameless faceless person who waits for a court to tell me if I am married...

I am freaked out... sad, and hurt.

I think the golden rule -- do to others as you'd have them do onto you -- is how I approach things like this. Before you decide that you can deny someone else rights, you have to realize how doing so affects them.


Bryant said...

This is what happens when the state usurps.

The focus should be on eliminating state control over marriage.

If you play with fire, you're going to get burned.

Zaid at UGA said...

If marriage is a legal issue (and it's a legal contract) and someone has to enforce the legal contract, who else enforces the law but the government?

Private mercenaries? No thanks.

Bryant said...

Zaid: Civil unions can replace marriage, at least where the state is concerned.

A general action plan:
1. The state drops its recognition of all marriages. From a strictly legal viewpoint, marriage no longer exists.
2. Couples who previously had marriage licenses will be rolled over into civil unions. This rollover may be automatic, or the state may require couples to apply.
3. Privileges and benefits previously available to married couples will be transferred over to apply to couples in civil unions.
4. If the state chooses to do so, it can then open up access to civil unions for couples who previously would have been unable to receive a marriage license (i.e., gay couples).

This plan is suboptimal because the state maintains authority that does not legitimately belong to it. This solution is largely symbolic; however--and this is the important part--it could soften the debate over gay marriage. The religious people get their way (because the state does not recognize gay marriage) and so can the gays (because they can get the same benefits that any heterosexual couple can get). Meanwhile, society at large can continue to debate and decide the issue of gay marriage, but neither side will be able to use the violence of the state against the other side.

"Private mercenaries? No thanks." -- I believe all law should be enforced privately. However, I recognize that my position is not politically viable at this time, so it's reasonable to take smaller steps (like replacing marriage with civil unions).