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10/08/2008

What 'doesn't add up' is how we could ever lose to this!

by Jeremy Hooper

A less-than-queer-friendly Californian has written a letter to The Modesto Bee. We, a couldn't-be-more-queer-friendly site, had a few reactions. The letter is in red; our running commentary is in standard text. Enjoy:

Gay marriage doesn't add up

Just as 1+1 doesn't = 3, so 1 man+1 man doesn't = marriage. And unholy lifestyles don't equal holy matrimony. Redefining marriage in this way makes this most sacred of relationships nothing more than a contract.

Well first off: The fact that 1+1 doesn't equal 3 is not a point that speaks to anyone's marriage. It's a simple numerical truism, apropos of nothing gay-related. So while those of you who wish to stand in the way of marriage parity surely do know a thing or two (or ten billion) about inequality, this is a weak setup for a commentary on marriage equality. It may be integral in the mathematic sense, but it's fundamentally non-integral in the literary sense.

But now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the matter of contracts. This writer makes it sound as if those darn pesky gays are going to devolve marriage so that it's only a civil contract. Well guess what? For the purposes of our discussion, all we're really talking about is the civil contract! Even though this is a point that our opponents refuse to cede, it doesn't invalidate the plain and simple fact that we, the organized gay community, are talking about CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY. Proposition 8 ostensibly speaks to CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY, not any ancillary "sacred" elements that the participants may or may not choose to employ! The contract should not be poo pooed as the result of devaluation, but rather acknowledged as the primary point of discussion.

Let's move on:

I was surprised that since same-sex marriage became legal here that not much has been said about it. Even though the media is mostly in favor, we have seen very little on TV or the papers. Many people have the it-doesn't-affect-me attitude. Not much seems to have changed. I believe that is because of the current effort of millions of Californians to restore the sanctity of marriage. If Proposition 8 fails, this will be in your face every day.

Well, you are right about one thing: We, the proud gays, will be in your face every day. You know why? Because we already are. Gays are your neighbors, coworkers, bosses, doctors, store clerks, secret "on the downlow" Craiglist hookups, florists, dog walkers, policemen, etc. We are everywhere, and we are not going away. Because we are not a roach that lives behind your stove. WE. ARE. YOUR. FELLOW. HUMANS!

As for the "it-doesn't-affect-me attitude" -- Well those are some wise heteros who hold that belief. Because other than the fact that equality, by virtue of its peace-centric positivity, affects society as a whole, marriage equality does not have to bother anyone who would prefer to ignore it. Our feelings will not be hurt if instead of a set of mixing bowls, you opt to instead give us a cold shoulder.

Pressing on:

The homosexual lifestyle is already being portrayed as a great thing in the public schools and in the media. Education code 51890 requires teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarten about marriage. They may be required to teach that gay marriage is no different than traditional marriage if this proposition fails.

Well, we have news for you: The "radical" idea that gays should be folded into the spectrum of normalcy is coming your way, regardless of Prop. 8. But you are wrong that anyone is trying to portray gayness as a "great thing." That's not even what gay activists are seeking. What we are seeking is for sexual orientation and gender identity to be seen as a "non-controversial thing." We want our lives (not lifestyles) to be just as boring as our 'rosexual peers.

Pushing forth:

Also, if same-sex couples believe they will get more respect of the general population by having a wedding ceremony, they are going to be greatly disappointed. A yes vote on Proposition 8 is the only responsible thing to do if you care about children of California.

Is that a threat? You aren't going to give us more respect once we return from our honeymoons? Excuse me just a second...

[::writer begins to weep uncontrollably over the shocking revelation that one who has taken the time to pen an anti-gay letter won't be offering he and his husband respect. Writer questions life and its purpose. Writer doesn't know how he will ever get through his day now that he knows a letter-writer who refers to his life as a "lifestyle" and his unions as "unholy" will not be his respectful friend. Sob, sob -- sniff, sniff ::]

Okay sorry, I'm back. Hi, Yea, so we gays are going to be "greatly disappointed" if anti-gays don't show us respect? Well considering that our disappointment in Team Gay Ban could not grow a scintilla larger, you'll have to forgive us if you're unable to pick up any change in our level of displeasure towards those who've made us fight this unnecessary "war."

And now, in closing:

JOANNE SWANNER

Tracy

Teehee -- You, Joanne, are on top of Tracy. Didn't think that was your thing, gal!

Gay marriage doesn't add up [Modesto Bee]

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Your thoughts

This plays right into my argument --- take the right to marry away from ALL clergy. Make everyone have a "civil" ceremony to remind people that marriage is a contract. Then, if you want your union blessed by a priest, a rabbi, a shaman or druid, do it and more power to ya! Just don't mix up my rights with your beliefs.

Posted by: peg | Oct 8, 2008 8:20:20 AM

At least the comments are pretty good:
1. This ones easy: This is about CIVIL rights, not CHURCH rights. Why should one adult couple enjoy the rights and responsiblities of marriage while others cannot.
2 Weddings: "Weddings?" Just as our parents did, my husband and I married at city hall. That's not "holy" matrimony. Over 22,000 people have married since mid-June and there has not been any noticeable change for anyone else in towns throughout California. Additional revenue and sales taxes have been generated for our cash-strapped state. "Gay" marriage doesn't "add up," as you say, because, like all marriages, nobody else except the couples and their families are interested in "counting". 1+1 still equals 2. Any two people who marry don't need your nose in their business, do they?
3: Threat to children: Why are some people so threatened by something as loving and normal as marriage? It's a lie to state that people being granted equal rights has ANYTHING to do with teachers or schools. I care about children. I want them to know that love between two people is a beautiful thing. I want them to know about truth not lies and fear. If one feels secure in one's marriage then same-sex marriage is not a threat. It's time to treat tax paying citizens equally. Gays and lesbians who want to marry their partners are denied full equal rights until they have the right to marry. Second-class citizens are a thing of the past.
...and finally the LAW.
You wrote: "I was surprised that since same-sex marriage became legal here that not much has been said about it. Even though the media is mostly in favor, we have seen very little on TV or the papers. Many people have the it-doesn't-affect-me attitude. Not much seems to have changed." Exactly. Congratulations! You just convinced thousands of people to vote No on 8. (D'oh!) One more thing: marriage equality is currently the law of the land in California.

....love it! sounds like the Cali I know.

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 8, 2008 3:54:47 PM

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