First, let me say that I find myself fascinated by the idea that state-sponsored gay marriage would somehow be a detriment to the sanctity of marriage. Overall, this is barely even a specious argument, considering the laughable lack of respect our society offers marriage. But what I find most interesting about it, is that our current version of "marriage" is already far from pure in the first place.
The truth is, anyone who cares about real sanctity of marriage as a religious or personal institution should already be offended by society connecting it so strongly to government, finance and legal benefits. There is no reason for the government to "recognize" straight marriage, let alone gay marriage, because all that does is corrupt a potentially beautiful thing. If a person wants the right to connect themselves legally to another person -- i.e. taxes, bank accounts, health insurance, visitation rights, alimony, etc., etc. -- be it with a woman or a man, that's realistically just a matter of paperwork and a human being's right to willingly enter a contract, so we should treat it as such. Therefore, there's no reason we shouldn't offer gay couples the option for civil unions. After all, it's really hard to be offended or upset about 2 men making the adult decision to contractually combine their own property. (Of course, there will always be bigots who would still find ways to complain, but you can't please all the idiots, all the time.)
But that doesn't mean it should be an issue of "straight people get married at the courthouse, gay people get civil unions." Why? Well, aside from the obvious discrimination that would be involved there, if anyone truly wants to "protect" marriage, they should repudiate the government's involvement in it altogether. Rework the entire system. We should all -- straight or gay -- receive civil unions in order to connect ourselves "legally."
This opens up the door for marriage to finally mean something real...for everyone. People wouldn't have to weigh out the legal benefits prior getting married. They wouldn't have to be concerned with the government's definition of "marriage" and how it corresponded to their own.
Marriage would then be nothing more than a personal agreement between you, your spouse and -- if you so desire -- your church and God. If your church allowed gay marriage, and that upset you, you'd be free to find a more bigoted church that would refuse to marry gay couples. If you were gay and your church wouldn't allow you to get married, again, you'd be free to find -- or even found! -- a sect that would. Opinions on the sanctity of marriage, especially from a religious point of view, would really be limited to how you felt about your own church's policies.
If someone had a problem with the way another church viewed marriage...too bad. That church's views would be protected by the first amendment, and there would be no voting to change them. On a personal level, you could certainly refuse to recognize a gay couple's marriage as legitimate, but that would just make you an asshole...not someone with the power to take their rights away.
Look, Autumn is my wife because we stood in front of our friends and family and made a deeply personal vow to each other. Not because we stood in line in a dingy government office the previous night to sign a document. I tend to think that a lot of couples feel the same way.
Unfortunately, it would be next to impossible to convince an entire society to reorganize their entire structure of belief on what is and is not marriage, even if it really comes down to a case of semantics. Yes, in my version of a perfect world, I'm against state-sponsored gay marriage because I think they deserve better. But in the world we actually live in, the next best option is clearly to allow them to enjoy the same corrupted version of matrimony that the rest of us have been given. And if the religious folk have a problem with that, then I guess they should have fought for the sanctity of marriage when it actually could have helped.
Voice Mails, Texts and Facebook Statuses
My first thought this morning was, “Goddamnit.” This was upon waking and hearing the combined sounds of plastic vibrating against wood and Quinella being roused from her sleep. My second thought came as I silenced the incoming call from my mother and prepared to check the text message she had already sent. This second thought was that something must have happened to my dad, who’s been in poor health of late.
Instead, the text just said, “Brian..let me know you and Autumn are home safe”
Assuming that something of 9/11-sized proportions had occurred -- after all, what else would inspire such early morning check-in requests -- I tabbed over to the news to see what she could possibly be referring to. I immediately learned of the shooting that happened last night during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
Finish reading this entry here...