Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There is no difference…

This week I've felt like I am living in a time when history is being made. Some really important conversations are being had that someday soon are going to change the way we live. It's exciting, but at the same time it's scary because it's not easy to change people's minds and some people just can't compromise.

The other night I saw a clip about the Miss USA pageant. First and foremost I should clarify that I am not a lesbian and furthermore, I am not a big fan of marriage. That said, I saw the response that Miss California, Carrie Prejean, gave judge Perez Hilton when he asked her if she felt that states should follow Vermont and Iowa and legalize gay marriage. Politics aside, I thought that was at the very least inadequate. Her beliefs, whatever they may be, are fine but there were a number of problems with that answer and for that alone I don't know that I would trust her answering random questions day in and day out- that speaks badly of our education system. As far as the content of her answer, more than shocked or even disbelieved, I was saddened.

Like I said before, I am not a big fan of marriage for myself. I have certain commitment issues which I feel that should the day come, would probably keep me from wanting to sign the paper. But this is a choice. I am an educated woman with a lawyer for a parent so I know that legally, a marriage certificate offers protections and benefits that you can't otherwise enjoy. Protections I may one day need and will maybe one day force me to change my mind.

I believe in the cause of gay marriage. But when I think about gay marriage, I think about those protections and benefits that the gay community is fighting for and ask myself why? Why is this necessary? Under the law, why can't we all be the same? I see this as a fight for rights that we shouldn't be having because we should all enjoy the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities. And I agree with those who say that this is a case of civil rights. The Declaration of Independence says that we have the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and the phrase "pursuit of happiness" even appeared in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, which focused on an anti-miscegenation statute. Chief Justice Warren wrote then: "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

Aside from that, neither the government nor your neighbor should have the right to tell you that you are less of a person because of who you choose to bring into your bed.

As far as what the bible says, which is apparently the quote du jour, this isn't about religion. Back in the day, those who came in the Mayflower and built our nation as we know it, were escaping religious persecution. Thomas Jefferson gave us the gift of "Separation of Church and State" and yet, 200+ years later we are using religion as an excuse to become a modern age society living under "Separate but Equal".

Our religious beliefs cannot keep us from accepting, or even tolerating, what is legally right.

I hope, and hope is a strong word, that if nothing else people will stop discriminating their fellow human beings. Love is a beautiful thing, no matter how it comes. People should be free to follow their hearts and be with whoever they choose and then should they choose to marry, they should be able to walk to their courthouse and sign the dotted line.

History has thought us that gay couples have existed forever and ever and so if they are going to be together anyway, why not give them the rights and responsibilities that every other couple gets to enjoy/endure? Ultimately it is about legal rights though this has brought out so much more…

I've always said that I would like to find my soul mate and that should my soul mate come in the shape of a man, a woman or a goldfish I'd be okay no matter what. But I would hope that should my soul mate turn out to be a woman or a goldfish and they somehow manage to change my mind about marriage, that we could be together and have that legal document which will protect our happily ever after.

1 comment:

Gabemaster said...

I would be happy if you let me be your goldfish ;)