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08/18/2006

Full equality -- it really isn't that 'special'

by Jeremy Hooper

In response to Pres. Bush's signing of the Pension Protection Act and the subsequent cheers from the gay community, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink today quotes their own Amanda Banks as saying that their side is not upset with the passage because...

...pro-family groups have never opposed homosexuals having the same rights as everyone else; they just don't want them to have special rights.

But what this legislation is about is having the same rights. Not only does this benefit homosexual couples, it benefits lots of other unmarried people, chief among them being dependents or children."

So in order to hail this positive step for all and yet still criticize gay rights proponents, they have to once again present the illusion that same-sex marriage is a "special right." But what is special about allowing all folks the ability to marry the person they truly love? Opening the door to any two of-age people who want to pledge a loving life commitment to one another is not granting any right outside of the realm of equality! Just because society has kept gays from equal nuptial access doesn't mean that righting this wrong now would be stepping outside of any lines; the lines were too narrowly drawn to begin with!

The tired "pro-family" argument that homosexuals are free to marry any opposite-sex person that they want, which is the basis of this "marriage is a special right" argument, is just absurd beyond belief. That's kind of like saying women didn't need equal access to voting, as they were already free to cast their opinions in ways that meant nothing. Yes, in that instance they were completely barred from entering the voting booth in every way, and in this instance we gays can enter a marriage if we do so in ways untrue to our selves. In both cases, however, a sect of the population was/is shut out from a basic part of life on the basis of their innate self. The women were barred for no other reason other then the fact that they were female, a societal position informed by Biblical themes that put women in a submissive, lesser-than position.

But, of course, the reason these "pro-fam" kids so fervently support the "ex-gay" agenda is because if they present the illusion that homosexuality is a "fixable condition," then they can deny that the cores of our beings truly are geared towards same-sex love. This way they can separate the current civil rights injustices against gays from those that previously stifled/ currently stifle other sects (such as women), as they say our gayness is not an actual characteristic. They then use the argument that same-sex couples are not just another type of couple and a valid part of humanity's normal spectrum, but rather two people who are "choosing" to live a certain lifestyle. And that being their claim, any leveling of the playing field for which we ask, beg, plead, or DEMAND is presented by their players as if it is a "special" right acknowledging a behavior, not a human.

It's enraging.

Later in the CitizenLink piece, they quote Banks as saying:

...with defeat after defeat of gay marriage proposals, activists may have other motives.

"I think this is one way they can kind of have a positive headline and that's why they've done it."

Again, a sentiment quite telling of how these kids view this "culture war" battle -- as if we are just fighting for positive headlines to help our "agenda" and not positive steps to help us live our lives more equally. But this isn't a game for (most of) us! We fight for these small steps because they are RIGHT, and we celebrate the victories because they give us hope.

If these guys and gals truly want homosexuals having the same rights as everyone else, then they will stop acting as if everything we're fighting for is somehow sneaky, underhanded, and out to do something other than just stop the homophobia that is still all-to-prevalent in this world. They'll also stop acting as if marriage is just the first rabbit in our hat, a prelude to the widespread anarchy for which we'll someday push. What they will do is start listening to us and stop trying to muddy the waters! We want nothing more than to carry out our game of life on the same non-discriminatory playing field that our heterosexual peers enjoy. It's not "special" we're wanting -- it's normal we're demanding.

Gays Claim Federal Pension Protection May Advance Their Cause [FOF CitizenLink]

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