It seems like a good time for me to write about equal marriage rights for gay people, especially when we're choosing new leaders for our country and both candidates won't step up and acknowledge that who you have sex with shouldn't matter at all for any reason. Too many states have propositions on the table to ban gay marriage and nullify those marriages that have been formed while the practice is legal. These propositions deny every day Americans who are just like you and me from having EQUAL rights under the law.
How would this legislation look if it were to ban people of different races from marrying? What if it were to ban people from different religions from marrying? Why is sexuality any different?
This crap isn't about "protecting" marriage as an institution, it's about religion. Mostly the religious right and their steadfast handgrip on a few cherry picked lines from their translation of the Bible that says man shall not lie with man as with woman."
My first question is, if that were so important to your God, why wasn't it included in his big top ten list? If being homosexual is so horrible and horrifying that you'll use it to deny people the right to visit the people they love in the hospital or to inherit a home or property they've enjoyed for years, why isn't it ranked up there with going to church on Sunday, listing to mom and dad and not killing people?
Secondly, if the support of these propositions is based on the idea of faith, I love pointing out that who freedom of religion thing and that whole separation of church and state. Despite "in God we trust" on our money, we are not officially a Christian nation. We cannot allow the misguided belief of any religious group to legislate the rights of all our citizens.
Someone on Myspace posted a blog that asked, "If gays can't get married because "God made Adam and Eve", then why doesn't the government revoke citizenship status for anyone not Christian?"
The whole idea of using the Bible to deny rights to gays just absolutely infuriates me. This is the same book that was oral tradition for years before being written down. This is the book that was translated to English from a language that people don't speak anymore. This is a book that says ridiculous things like women should be shunned during their menstrual cycle. It advocates selling your daughters into slavery. It says that eating shellfish is an abomination, that men shouldn't shave their beards and that you can't plant two different crops in the same field.
It's the kind of slippery slope I could imagine going down if the wrong party gets in office, if these propositions pass. It's like stepping back in history to the time when people burned witches at the stake because the Bible said to do so. I'm sorry, but to me 'tolerance' is not a dirty word.
I blogged about what women went through to get suffrage, going through absolute torture and imprisonment. I've seen the films and read the books about the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. THIS IS THE SAME, PEOPLE!!! Not allowing people who love each other to make that full commitment and use that specific word (marriage) is just not fair and not right.
When at a Senate hearing Howard Weizmann can reference the plot of "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" as evidence of how a federal program would be scammed, something is seriously wrong. When members of the military are forced to hide who they are because of a stupid policy, that's wrong. (And I'd like to point out here that that specific stupid policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was developed by a professor at Northwestern University, whose class I took.) We let people of all colors and backgrounds into our military. We take people who were born in the United States proper and in her commonwealths and various affiliated islands. Why should who you have sex with make any difference at all?
The government, based on Don't Ask Don't Tell, fired Arabic and Farsi translators in the middle of a war with groups that primarily speak those languages. Even though we are desperately in need of competent translators to help us figure out terrorists threats, who you have sex with is more important to the government than national security. This report goes back to 1998 so is it so outrageous to think that maybe if we had a competent translator working on the pre-9/11 chatter that tragedy could have been avoided? Is what goes on in someone's bedroom so important that we'd put the nation at risk because of it?
Marriage is not just a union between you, your spouse and God. The government grants a whole slew of rights to go along with it and it is simply wrong to deny these rights to a group of people for any reason. And civil unions are NOT enough. Separate but equal did not work for racial issues and it will not work for issues based on sexuality. I'm sure the water at the "colored's only" fountain was just fine but I'm sure that it was a bitter drink for everyone who had to swallow it knowing that they weren't "good enough" to drink from the same fountains as their fellow white citizens. Intolerance and bigotry is intolerance and bigotry no matter how you label it. A consolation prize is not good enough. This is about erasing intolerance from our law books. There is no legal reason why gay people should not have the same exact rights as everyone else. None.
Intolerance should be legislated against. Just like voting rights have been granted to all citizens instead of just white landed males. Just like people who are killed based on their skin color are charged with a hate crime.
So PLEASE, if there is a gay marriage initiative on the ballot in your state, please vote for EQUAL rights and vote to give gays the SAME rights as everyone else! Vote NO on Prop 8 in California! Vote NO on Prop 102 in Arizona! Anywhere you are, vote to give gays and lesbians the same rights as everyone else!