9/23/08

Same-Sex Marriage- a Minority's Rights

The ol’ Three Card Monte. First it’s about how same-sex marriage harms children. Then it’s about a statistically insignificant proportion of gays and lesbians marry in any country where it’s legal. And, if that doesn’t work, then trot out the notion that it gays don’t really form a family. Shift the rationale, don’t talk about the reasons. Got to love those without an argument.



The reality is that, given how gays, lesbians and transpeople are a statistically insignificant proportion of the population of any country’s population, as a whole of the marriage numbers, the number of same-sex marriages will be, likewise, insignificant. That is, since gays, lesbians and transpeople are less than ten percent of any given population, then it likewise follows that they would account for less than ten percent of any given set of marriages in any given year in any given country. Um...ok?

What that means is we are a small population, a minority, and thus will not marry in the same numbers as the larger population, that is the majority. THUS, if you take this logic to its conclusion, every minority in this country should be denied their marriage rights since all minorities will account for a statistically insignificant number of the marriages performed in this country. Furthermore, because there are a statistically insignificant number of inter-racial marriages performed in this country, there should not be any inter-racial marriages performed either. Wow, according to this logic, we should all go back to 1859.

However, this is not 1859, and the majority of minorities are granted he same rights as the majority. It does not matter that same-sex couples are a minority, or even that you agree that what we engage in qualifies as a marriage, though I believe you will find a lot of anthropologists and historians who would disagree with the detractors, what does matter is that this nation is suppose to protect the rights of the minority. So long as this country claims to believe in equality, then it should grant equality to all and let us decide if marriage is right for us.


By denying same-sex couples their marriage rights, the Religious Conservatives seek to deny us our religious and personal freedoms. Marriage is about economic stability and the potential to raise a family in a safe environment. In many cultures, marriage rites, as a religious entity, did not exist. Instead, a marriage was a civil affair governed by the laws and customs of the tribe. Only in a handful of cultures, usually theocracies, was religion a factor. For some cultures, the marriage laws were even entirely gender neutral. Among the pre-Christian Celts, the laws referred to "head of household" and "spouse", and did not really differentiate when it came to gender except to explain what the duties of a man or a woman were if they were the "spouse" and not the "head of household". In many cultures, same-sex families took in orphans rather than letting them fend for themselves.

In the end, their rationale is an attempt to hide that their argument is based upon a religious view point and not a rational one. And, certainly, don’t talk about how this is an attempt to deny a minority group their First Amendment Constitutional right to Freedom of and from Religion.

(Pictured is a St. Brigid's Cross from Ireland. According to one of the various versions of the Life of St. Brigid, she was romantically linked with another woman named Darlughdacha. The Cross itself may date to pre-Christian times and may have been associated with the goddess Brigid)

9 comments:

Vote NO on Prop 8. said...

Vote NO on Prop 8.
Tell a friend. Speak out online. Donate.

Equality for All
http://tinyurl.com/6ddtf5
Equality California
http://tinyurl.com/5dydop

Misti Wilde said...

My partner and I have maintained a long, loving, monogomous relationship for over a decade.
Together, we have raised my two daughters from a previous marriage; Bought a home; And achieved financial stability.
Reguardless of all that, because of the fact we aren't legally allowed to be married, if I were to die tomorrow, my parents would have the right to my remains and very likely give me a Catholic funeral and bury me in the same cemetary they themselves are going to be burried in, though I'd rather forego a funeral and be cremated, and despite the fact I'm not even close to my parents.
My wife, who knows what I want done with my remains, and who I am very close to, would have no say so in the matter.
Also, if I were to die in the near future; My children would be placed into the custody of their biological father whom they hardly see, and taken from my partner who has been a "hands on parent" to them every day for the past decade. My ex husband and his wife would most likely never allow my partner to see the children, that she herslef has raised, and they themselves hardly know.
Financially, my partner would be protected and cared for after my death because we have made those arrangements legally.
While alive though, I'm not eligible to be covered by my partner's health insurance, nor her under mine like married heterosexual couples are. If I'm out of a job, I'm out of health insurance and vice versa. This affects our life greatly because we've both wanted to change careers at some point during our relationship but didn't have that opportunity for fear of being without health insurance.
How is this fair when our relationship has outlasted so many heterosexual marriages? We're both responsible tax payers; Good citizens (I've never even had a speeding ticket in my life); Registered voters; Dependable employees; And are raising happy healthy children. Yet, we don't have the right to legalize our union or be given any respect as a couple, despite us both being attributes, rather than hindrances to our society that considers our commitment to each other nothing more than either a sin,a perversion, an illness, or a joke.

Paula Brooks said...

Misti...OMG what a great comment... All I can add is AMEN

Anonymous said...

Same-sex marriage is an oxymoron. Marriage by definition represents one man and one woman. It's that simple. Gays want to marry so their behaviors will be accepted...which they won't.

Paula Brooks said...

does anyone else think that in 20 years, "gay marriage destroys the family" or "Same-sex marriage is an oxymoron". will sound the way "there goes the neighborhood" does today?

Paula Brooks said...

and anon... The Klan used to hang out together so their behavior would be accepted too...

nhjeff said...

You need to see a lawyer right away and file a will, a living will, and a durable power of attorney. Your partner's right to make medical, financial, and funereal decisions can be established and protected in most states.

Your children are a different matter. Talk to your lawyer to see if there is anything you can do to protect them. Unless their father is willing to cooperate, you are probably out-of-luck on that.

You may take whatever solace there is in the fact that heterosexual parents are in the same bind: An absentee father has every right to reclaim his children if their mother dies and their step-father has not adopted them. Of course, the children can be adopted only if the father relinquishes his parental rights.

See your lawyer right away. I hope you never need those documents, but life is uncertain. And you'll sleep better knowing that you and your wife have done everything legally possible to protect your family.

Julie said...

Somebody should point Irish politicians and members of the Catholic Church to the example of St. Brigid...there is an annual St.Brigid's Day in Ireland yet the country is so far behind the rest of Europe in terms of rights for same-sex couples it's beyond belief. You would have better look marrying a goat than marrying a same-sex partner. As for the comment above regarding marriage being between a man and a woman...I thought marriage was a commitment between to people who loved each other? People who state that the same-sex marriage argument is null and void because marriage must, by alleged definition, be between a man and a woman are simply people who don't have the courage to say they are homophobic in blunt terms.

Sei said...

Anonymous Post #4-

You did not seem to actually read this in its entirety. What you are basing your ideas upon are a Judeo-Christian world view. Unfortunately for you, not all cultures agree. In fact, not all Christians agree with you. Many Celtic Christians, of which there is a resurgence, do not hold with the "one man-one woman" view of marriage. Pre-Christian Native Americans practiced what we would call same-sex marriage, but what they just simply saw as marriage.

Julie-

The face of Ireland is changing fast. Do not be surprised if civil unions or same-sex marriage in Ireland will happen fairly soon. The first step, and it's been a long one in coming, is to get the Catholic Church's influence out of the Parliament. And, to give you the one place I've seen that version of the Life of St. Brigid cited is Peter Berrisford Ellis' book Celtic Women.

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