Friday, December 23, 2011

"The arc of the moral universe is long..."

One of the most maddening aspects of the marriage equality "debate" is how patently ridiculous the arguments against allowing gays to enjoy equality under law really are. A majority of these arguments tend to be couched, either implicit or explicitly on religious grounds and/or a personal animus against gay people ("marriage is between a man and a woman", "it would erode our values", etc.). I'm not particularly interested in engaging these points mostly because they're nakedly bigoted.

I would like to then credit those that at least try and accept the humanity of gays and lesbians, and claim that gay marriage would 'dilute' or otherwise 'harm' the institution of "traditional" heterosexual marriage. Now, this argument is uniquely convoluted and false, which is why this open letter from Minnesota's LGBT community apologizing to the State Senate's former majority leader and recently outed adulterer all the more delicious. Specifically, this quote:
We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry.
This is one of the tiring but necessary aspects of being an advocate for the legal equality of minorities. The reluctance to grant equal legal rights is almost always based on cultural mores, but this can never be explicitly admitted. The hard work of "winning" the hearts and minds of everyday people, in short actually shifting the entire national political culture, is the accumulated contribution of snarky open letters like these.

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion, the issue about gay marriage shouldn't be a "tradition" issue, or even a legal issue and definitely not a religious issue. Homosexuals obviously aren't looking for the same thing that married couples have. They are after the name of marriage. If they wanted rights, or the acceptance married couples have they would be fighting for equal rights of domparts or civil unions. Or they would create a new union specifically for gay unions.

    If we look at the creation of marriage, or the original idea we'll realize that it wasn't a religious or traditional thing that was "normal". The institution of marriage was ideally used as a form of recognition for procreating. Expanding our society, our species, our existence is something that is necessary.. obviously. Marriage was simply a way to attribute that effort to a people.

    Marriage by definition would include the existence of procreation. This would imply male and female. Yes, times have changed. Marriage isn't prescriptive of procreation though it can still be descriptive of the act. Though it has no new requirements it still holds it's original foundation.

    I have absolutely no problem with homosexual couples having a union that has exactly the same rights as marriage. No problems with them being in love and joining each other for their walks of life. No problems with them receiving any tax cuts, job offerings, social acceptance or any non discriminatory actions that those married enjoy. My issue is changing the foundation that we have defined as marriage.

    Changing the word of marriage to accept homosexual couples carries no social negativity. Socially this is just fine, but why is it that homosexuals would like to be married? Why is it that a domestic partnership couldn't receive the same rights married couples have. Why is it that they won't create their own union, or request for their specific type of union? If this is about being accepted as "married" then would it not seem that they are just looking for a word, a superficial front for their insecurities of not being accepted?

    I in no way find homosexuality as natural. This should be an understood fact for any intelligent being. This doesn't mean that homosexuals should be removed from rights or acceptance that "straights" have. I just believe that we shouldn't be changing words. Marriage as marriage is man and woman. It's what it is. If we can change words to meet peoples wants then what value does a word hold? What value would our language hold? What value would our communication hold.

    If homosexuals are interested in the rights and acceptance of married couples, fight for that. Fighting to be accepted into something that is already defined is not okay. I understand the need, but fighting to recreate marriage isn't the way to settle this.

    Fight for your own rights, not to change what it is that others have.