Friday Philosophy: marriage equality

It was supposed to be Gay Pride Week here on campus.  Everything has conspired to screw that up, not the least of which were apathy and poor organizational ability by the volunteer coordinators of the event, including yours truly.

Our main mode of communication has been webmail.  That went down for two days in the middle of the week.  

Today there were thunder showers.  It is not a good idea to stand around in an open field, let alone on a podium with a microphone, if there is going to be lighting.  So AV Services didn’t even set up the mike.  The rally was canceled.

But I did write a speech and I don’t want to waste it.  You’ll find it on the other side, embellished with whatever doo-dads I can think of, find, or create.

I’ll start with some news.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriages in that state is unconstitutional.

In Vermont, both the state’s Senate and its House of Representatives have passed marriage equality bills.  Only the promise of a veto from Republican Governor Jim Douglas stands in the way of our just due.  May his God have mercy on his soul.  But I would rather his God place a little compassion in there.

Marriage equality has passed the New Hampshire House of Representatives and is making its way through the senate.  Its fate is very uncertain.

Being substantially Swedish myself, I am proud that Sweden has become the seventh country in the world (or eighth:  apparently things happen slowly in Nepal) to allow same-sex marriage.

On the Giant Step Backward, we all know that the people of the great state of California voted 52% to 48% to remove the right of marriage from same-sex people.  On the same day, people in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida also voted to deny rights to GLBT people.  People in Hamtramck, MI voted to deny the use of public restrooms from transsexual people.  People in several other cities have attempted to do likewise.

Today is my birthday.  I seem to have reached the unholy age of 61.

A long, long time ago…in another lifetime, it seems…I got married to a woman.  She was pregnant and I had a strong sense of duty, so we took a bus from Joplin, MO to Miami, OK and got married by a justice of the peace.  We stayed married for twenty-four years.  Our daughter will turn 40 later this year.

But people change over time.  They get more desperate perhaps…or maybe more courageous.  I get accused of the latter more than makes me comfortable.  Anyway, as these things sometimes, if rarely, happen to a person, I underwent a process to change my sex in the early 90s.  And during that process, our marriage was dissolved.

Here we are…sixteen years later.  Another year older and deeper in debt.  And people who would refuse to recognize that I am a woman now still have the gall to deny my partner and I the right to marry.  Presumably since it would give the appearance of a lesbian marriage, my right to marry a woman is now extinct.

But, in the eyes of those same people, my right to marry a man should also not exist.  Given a choice of options…Should I be allowed to marry a man or a woman?…many of the people who do not believe in marriage equality would choose neither.

In the minds of those people it is, indeed, all about appearances.  Anything that tests the “logic” of those appearances should be disallowed.

Why?

In what Godforsaken wilderness of the human soul have we arrived where the equality of human beings is open for debate?

Where is this place where some people fear that others being treated equally harms their stature by robbing of them of their superiority…while the majority stands apart and chooses not to interfere because they deem this not their problem.

When the question is, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” the answer is, “Yes!” not “Let me think about that” or “Which brother?”

They claim that the institution of marriage will be diminished by allowing same-sex marriages.  Do they mean as opposed to a divorce rate of heterosexual marriages near 50%?

How does acknowledging the love two people have for each other diminish the relationship of anyone else?  Nobody has ever explained that to me.  I don’t believe anyone can.

They claim that same-sex marriage harms the children.  And that really makes the gorge rise.  The only thing that harms children of same-sex couples is the maltreatment they receive at the hands of the people who deny legal recognition of the relationships of their parents.

They claim it is a matter of morality.  They claim that somehow allowing GLBT people to marry offends the human consciousness.  I am a human.  It doesn’t offend mine.

And know this:  I will fight to the death against the notion that someone else’s morality is superior to mine.  It’s not.  Not in this country.  Never…in this country, founded by people who were seeking to escape the enforcement of someone else’s morality via a state religion.

And I will also fight for the equality of people, no matter if it be because of the color of their skin or their ethnicity or their sex or their sexual orientation or their gender identity.  Even because of their religion, I will fight for the equality of people…but not for their presumed superiority.


Arrows of Love or Hate?

Clapboard Segregation

Walls erected

to keep us apart

to give you

the illusion

that we are

undeserving

of equality

must one day

crumble

rotting on the inside

from the substandard

materials used

to erect them

the unholy thoughts

you believe

your morality

suggests

which anyone

sane

should be able

to see

only to reinforce

your supposed

superiority

Something there is

that does not

love a wall

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 3, 2009

14 comments

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    • Robyn on April 4, 2009 at 12:07 am
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    • Alma on April 4, 2009 at 12:48 am

    But, in the eyes of those same people, my right to marry a man should also not exist.  Given a choice of options…Should I be allowed to marry a man or a woman?…many of the people who do not believe in marriage equality would choose neither.

    You are right, they would pick none, but I bet it almost makes their heads explode if they are asked just who should a transgender person be allowed to marry.

    Still looking forward to that day when people will be allowed to marry who they love.  

  1. In the minds of those people it is, indeed, all about appearances.  Anything that tests the “logic” of those appearances should be disallowed.

    Why?

    If one doesn’t conform, that means that no one has to conform. If no one conforms, then everyone is free.

    Being free is scary!

    Since ‘they’ are scared, you have to be scared….iow conform too!

    Photobucket

    Otherwise, they would have to take responsibility for their own freedom!

    • Robyn on April 4, 2009 at 1:32 am
      Author

    …in Orange.

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