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10/19/2006

Do they think we just ENJOY being upset?

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images Picture-2-55-1-1-1In a piece in which various "pro-family" folks claim gay activists are "capitalizing" on the recent death of Gery Studds by expressing outrage over the fact that his legally wedded husband can't inherit his federal pension, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink quotes Robert Knight (late of the Concerned Women For America, now of the Media Research Center) as saying:

"The only reason why the law benefits marital spouses is because marriage is indispensable to society," ... "It does so much good that we can't do without it, so the government says, 'We're going to build these privileges and benefits into the system, because there is nothing like marriage. It's unique.'

"Here you have a relationship between two guys, and the surviving guy is saying, 'I'm entitled to the same thing a wife would get because I've given to society just what a wife would have.' No, he hasn't."

Okay..uhm...first off: Mr. Hara's marriage to Congressman Studds was legally performed in the state of Massachusetts. So let's not put their relationship in a completely different category from those "indispensable to society" heterosexual forms of matrimony. Regardless of your feelings on the "issue," the couple WAS married.

Secondly, we agree with Mr. Knight that the government grants benefits to marriage because it recognizes it as something worthy of recognition. Marriages encourage stability and provide ways for two people who have pledged a life together to protect one another. Marriage is a contract between two loving, tax-paying, career-seeking, child-raising, community-building adults. Same-sex couples fall into ALL of those categories, and deserve to have their commitments granted the same respect as their heterosexual peers!

Mr. Knight suggests Mr. Hara has not "given to society" as fully as Suzy Q. Wife has. But on what presumptuous basis does he feel it appropriate to make such a claim? A female doesn't automatically become an upstanding, altruistic body of goodness just because she's had a ring slipped on her finger! Neither do gay men or women. So while Mr. Knight's implication is surely that wives give their husbands children and gay men do not give their gay partners the same (at least via intercourse), children are not the sole way one can contribute to this world. Our population is doing A-okay! Our humanity, however, seems to be in less abundance. If a gay partner brings joy, happiness, and the other claimed benefits of marriage to both their loved one and themselves, then that is a societal contribution! Not to mention the countless children in foster care and up for adoption who need loving homes, the likes of which many gay couples provide.

The simple fact is that Mr. Hara is being denied benefits because DOMA prevents his LEGAL MARRIAGE from being recognized federally. It's enraging to think that even when within the boundaries of the law, our commitment ceremonies STILL don't come with the full benefits of marriage! We have to correct the Clinton-initiated wrong that is DOMA and at least start living in a country where a legal marriage certificate is recognized in every one of our nation's 50 states! Gay marriage on a state per state basis is NOT going away. Jersey could very likely allow the concept in just a matter of days, but even with possible legalization, the ability for out-of-state couples to take part, and a commitment from the governor that he won't roll back the rights if granted, our community will still face unavoidable issue that their paper, while legal in Hoboken, will be as powerful as toilet paper when brought back to Peoria. Imagine that concept, heterosexual friends! Do you see why we feel so shat upon?

 Fmedia Images Guests EarllLater in the CitizenLink piece, FOF's Carrie Gordon Earll continues the offense by saying:

"What this tells us is that anti-marriage gay activists will stop at nothing to dismantle, destroy and turn on the ash heap traditional marriage,"..."They will not be happy until every law that protects marriage and encourages heterosexual marriage is dismantled and destroyed.

"For us to think, for even one moment, that offering civil unions or domestic partnerships or some other kind of intermediate option is going to satisfy them is utterly foolish.
"

Words which bed only one real question: Do you think they've been telling themselves that gays are secretly out to destroy heterosexual marriage for so long that they actually believe it, or are they just so desperate to stem the tide of LGBT equality that they'll say whatever fear-mongery thing they think will work? While you ponder that, this writer's going to go give his partner a "have a good day" kiss / violently rip apart another stitch in the fabric of holy matrimony.

Studds' Death Leveraged by Gay Activists [FOF CitizenLink]

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