Saturday, November 15, 2008


When a couple is married in the State of Arizona they are automatically granted some 300 rights. After they say "I do" they are provided 1,100 rights in the Unites States. Marriage is a big deal because the government says it is a big deal. There are people who say it is a big deal because God says it is, but I am not one of those people. At no point of time in my wedding ceremony was there mention of God. One person naively pointed out to me that we were not married because of that oversight. I still have my 1,400 rights...

I do not agree with putting God in my marriage for a variety of reasons. Mainly, because I believe there should be a separation of church and state. When I (proudly) say the pledge of allegiance I do not say "under God." When politicians request that "God bless America," I cringe. When President Bush says that he makes his choices according to what God tells him to do, the sounds of extreme Muslims praising Allah ring in my ear. I wish we could just separate our beliefs from our business, but we can't. That is evident when it comes to the issue of the right for homosexuals to marry.

When I discuss this issue with people who are against gay marriage I hear that it is against their morals or it isn't what God would want. So, let's do the whole separation of church and state thing. When you strip the religious argument away, what I hear is you want to take away a basic right that our state and federal government provide. What remains is a civil rights issue.

I have heard this is a dead issue since the people have voted, but I won't let this die. In my son's life time he will look back and say, "Were you guys all crazy?" I will say, "Yes, but some of us chose to do the right thing." It's the same way I feel when I look back at the picture from the 60's civil rights demonstrations and see the hate and anger in the eyes of the opposition. I wonder where those people are today and what it took for them to change their minds (if they did).


clevergirl said...

Have you ever read the history of the pledge of allegiance? It is interesting - "under god" hasn't been in there for that long and there was a lot of controversy over it when it was put in.

I, too, skip that part when I say the pledge.

NotSoCleverBoy said...

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." That's GK Chesterton.

"When I discuss this issue with people who are against gay marriage I hear that it is against their morals or it isn't what God would want. So, let's do the whole separation of church and state thing. When you strip the religious argument away, what I hear is you want to take away a basic right that our state and federal government provide. What remains is a civil rights issue."

So you are basically asking religious people to take away their main argument and then see if they can disagree. It is like asking you to stop whining about Civil Rights and see it there way.

So what the hell, let's do it anyway. Lets take away the religious argument that looks at homosexuality as a sin and then let's do what they would want you to do, lets take away the civil rights issue.

Now we just have marriage, if its even called that after we have stripped it of everything.

Without those 1,000 plus benefits, how many people would be picketing now?

It seems obvious that the real fight is for the benefits/rights that heterosexual couples get when they marry.

After all, if this entire 'civil rights' fight was for acceptance. They should just quit now. Making it legal doesn't make it respectable in the eyes of those who consider it disgusting. Acceptance and respect can be achieved on an individual scale, not a nation wide one.

So this has to be for the benefits.

What I am going to say next will never ever happen and because of that I have to assume two things: First, it is completely fucking ridiculous. Second, it could work.

Take away all the rights and benefits given to married couples.

Go through all those benefits and see how many are pretty pointless. How many can be solved through other paperwork. Make marriage personal again, way back when no state or religious official was need ed to make it a marriage.

New problems would emerge. Custody battles, what happens when two people who were 'married' separate? Who protects them?

One thing is for certain though, this is not the governments problem. It is the peoples. We are making it their problem and they are holding up the tradition of making it worse.

It is a civil rights issue and it is a religious issue but it should be neither.

You said "Marriage is a big deal because the government says it is a big deal"

Well, lets have them stop making it such a big deal.

Another view:

"Marriage is not a right but a set of legal obligations imposed because the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation.

Gays were on their strongest ground when they said that what they did was nobody else's business. Now they are asserting a right to other people's approval, which is wholly different.

None of us has a right to other people's approval."- Thomas Sowell

Keiko & Jeff said...

N- It is interesting to consider both sides and then adding the dynamid: the whole system sucks, so fuck it. I think it more productive to address the issue at hand with what we have. While I whine about civil rights, you whine about how the whole system works. I am not sure what side you stand on, other than reformatting the entire system. Certainly provacative, yet a safe argument without a commitment.

Shelly said...

Hey Keiko-
Can I be your resident right-leaning gal? First off, I hate the whole, "definition" approach most times in debates, but here goes:

Marriage is defined in Webster's Dictionary as: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. The next definition goes on to describe being married to someone of the same-sex as a "same-sex marraige". To me, this reiterates the fact that marriage is inherently defined as a man and a woman. If the term of "same-sex marriage" even exists, then that means it doesn not fit the term--or it would just be called marriage for anyone and everyone who ever joined in marriage. If it has to be qualified as a "marriage" by adding that term, then it doesn't fit the true definition.

I personally have no problem with civil unions and states granting rights to same-sex couples. That is the decision of each state, which means the people of that state can decide what they want to do. When you and I went to apply for a marraige license, we had to meet the certain criteria that the state of AZ had set forth. If we didn't meet it, then we wouldn't have gotten a marraige license and couldn't be married.

I keep hearing the pro-gay marriage advocates say that they want to hear us opponents argue without bringing in religion or morals. But the basis of all civilized society is based on a moral compass of at least some kind. I am not even referring to the "God Bless America" stuff---the basic laws and standards of society are based on morals. If not, then the acts of stealing, killing, blackmail and a whole list of bad stuff would not be illegal. The foundation of our laws comes from knowing what is morally right and wrong to do.

Shelly said...

PS-I hope I can still fall under the "friends" category and not "adversaries" :)

witticism here said...

First of all, the title of the blog means people on here are both at the same time. I suppose that is vague, but people can take from it what they want--my intention was that everyone is both at the same time.

I appreciate your insights! I think there are two different thoughts on the each side of the argument. On the pro-gay side one thought is to provide the rights hetero marriages provide and then there is the group that wants to redefine the definition you provided. The con to this believe gays should not be allowed any rights and others believe rights (all or some) w/o redefining marriage.

Personally, I agree with notsoclever in that marriage is a term that has become convoluted with time and tradition. Most of my gay friends are satisfied with the rights and forget what you call it: marraige, civil unions, etc. However, the more each side pulls, the more extreme the wants become: pro wanting marriage and con wanting nothing.

In regards to the moral argument, I believe we all have a moral compass,I have one, but it is hardly hard-wired by religion. But when it comes to religion who is to say which one is right? I think the LDS backlash is because the church made themselves themselves the moral authority. While I in no way support the grafitti on churches, protests during services, etc., I also in no way support any church providing funding political agendas or using the pulpit for stump speeches. Again, the whole separation of church and state thing.

Thank you again for your perspective Shelly! Very cool stuff.

Shelly said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the recent LDS backlash. To me, the root of the problem is that they are protesting a church that has something like 2% of the population of California. We all know a LOT more than @% voted why are they not protesting others as vehemently?

The church does have a history of trying to stay out of the political arena. They have never endorsed a candidate. THey will become involved when an issue arises that threatens the core and foundation of our religion--the family. With coming out against the ERA in the 1970's and getting involved now, they are simply making it clear that certain things are not negotiable. Of course, others will disagree with that....but I think the church as a whole does a good job of promoting free agency of their membership, even when they have become politically involved.

There was a big to-do because Steve Young actually came out against Prop 8 with his wife. He finally issued a statement saying-"Look, it is my business and no one else's" (well, that was the jist of it)

Within the LDS circles there are those who disagree about so much politically. Of course there are always the uninformed people who will blindly follow dictates without research or self-examination....but that can occur within any religion, sect or even political party!

EmperorDarTea said...

I am stunned that anyone would oppose gay marriage. Just stunned. I find it incredibly arrogant that people who profess so loudly that only God shall judge are the very same who freely judge in his/her stead. If two men or two women want to be married it does not affect my marriage or yours one bit. That Webster defines it one way or another says more about the author of the definition than anything else.

It's just more stoopid people doing stoopid things.

NotSoCleverBoy said...

"I am not sure what side you stand on, other than reformatting the entire system. Certainly provacative, yet a safe argument without a commitment."

You always hated bench sitters, even back in AP English. And that is fine. Makes sense really. You don't get any points for not playing. Then again you don't get any points marked off either. Not very eloquent but it is 5 in the morning.

I commit to making marriage personal again. Take the state out of it. Take the whole goddamn tired ritual and keep it behind closed doors.

Which puts me in an odd corner because I commit to something that isn't even being proposed. It isn't bench sitting but its not far off. It is like two groups of people are yelling what color they think the sky is. One side says "light blue" the other says "dark blue" and I am screaming "it is green you morons!".

Should I join light blue or dark blue just for the hell of it? Just because its more fun to argue and bicker and discuss. Or should I go up to those who are talking about and ask them, " doesn't it look green to you? Even just a little bit?"

Who knows, maybe I will get enough people to see it the way I do.

Probably not.

And since I do want to stay in the game, at least for a few more years .

I 'joined' light blue. My hope is this, maybe after enough states let gays marry the religious right will, in some last minute defense, move towards stripping marriage of all its benefits.