Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Meaning of Gay Marriage

An estimated 300 people turned out at the rally in Charlottesville to protest the Marriage Affirmation Act passed by the General Assembly, which goes into effect tomorrow, July 1 [2004].- Gay Rights Rally at Old Lane High, June 30, 2004, Charlottesville Independent Media.

Charlottesville, Va. – Gay marriage means gay families. Banning gay marriage means your gay son or daughter won’t be able to have their own family when they grow up and move away from home. Is that what you really want? Is it a family value to allow only heterosexuals marriage protection from their biological next of kin?

Imagine this scenario: Your spouse gets sick or dies. Your in-laws show up and act as legal next of kin. They say to the judge: “We understand this person has a marriage license with the deceased. But we are next of kin.” And the judge nullifies the marriage contract and the family is not the spouse.

That’s silly. Of course the marriage is a new, separate family with or without children. Each spouse is the sole heir and next of kin. Not really because marrying your next of kin is incest. Marriage is the creation of a family for legal purposes. You pay a fee for the protection from your family and for many other exclusive rights and privileges.

For gay people, that’s a real scenario. Ask the 1983 World Champion Body Builder, Mr. Universe Bob Paris, who came out on the Oprah Winfrey show 1989 and argued this point. No matter the powers of attorney, wills and legal contracts, the biological family can argue the contracts constitute a gay marriage, an attempt to protect a gay from his family, and therefore the judge should nullify the contracts. Paris argued, since he’s unmarried, he was at risk that his hateful family would try to take all he’s worked for at the first opportunity.

The ban on two-person families, except for one man and one woman, perpetuates a double standard, a two-class society based on hate of a particular sexual orientation. Since no one chooses his or her sexual orientation, heterosexuals fear gay marriage will turn everybody gay. For some reason gays don’t fear that heterosexual marriage will turn everybody straight.

Arguments to ban gay marriage

(1) Gays can’t have children. But children are not required for marriage. The requirement is for gays only, classic discrimination.

(2) If we allow gay marriage, we must allow polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, (insert bad thing). This tells us some people equate gay with those bad things. You could equally say allowing heterosexual marriage will cause those bad things. It’s a fact we allow marriage and polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality exist.

(3) Gay sex is disgusting. This one is pure emotion and trumps reason. The opinion is the most honest and doesn’t try to sound reasonable.

(4) Allowing gay marriage will cause everyone to turn gay and that would be the end of human society, thus elevating marriage to the ultimate moral imperative, thus permitting any means necessary to prevent gay marriage. This argument sounds logical and dramatic. The rhetoric creates a climate where crime against gays is encouraged. For example we don’t allow the N-word in order to discourage mistreatment of blacks.

(5) Gays are promiscuous and can’t form lasting relationships anyway. That’s like saying blacks were less intelligent than whites before the Civil War. But really laws prohibited blacks from learning how to read and write. We won’t know if gays can form relationships until all the obstacles are taken down and we can compare gays with heterosexuals on an even playing field.

(6) Being gay is a lifestyle choice. If you’re straight, ask yourself when and why you chose to be attracted to the opposite sex. You have no answer because sexual orientation is not in your mind. It’s in your body. You’re born this way. Like left-handed and right-handed, one side feels more natural although you can force yourself to use the weaker hand. And some people are ambidextrous.

(7) Being gay is a sin. Nowhere does that appear in the Bible. Gay sex is a sin maybe. Then God will deal with it. We should more clearly delineate the duties of government. We can’t allow hate crimes against unmarried family members based on religious freedom. Do we already have Sharia Law by another name?

(8) Gay marriage is unnecessary because gays can enter into other contracts to protect you from your family. Not in Virginia according to the Constitutional amendment passed Nov. 7, 2006 by 57% of the voters. Marriage is defined as one man and one woman. Any legal status, thing or combination of things, that “approximates” marriage (protects you from your family) is prohibited. When equal rights were approved by the voters for blacks, what was the percentage?

Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage. - Marshall-Newman Amendment.

Everyday advice

The anti-gay bias isn’t passive. People actively seek you out for identification and unequal treatment. It’s most evident in a series of questions when you make new friends and coworkers. (A) Are you married? (B) Do you have any kids? (C) Have you ever been married? (D) Do you hope to get married some day? If the answers are no, what’s wrong with you? I recommend you lie and make up a girlfriend or boyfriend, as the case may be.

You don’t actually have to be gay to be gay-bashed or discriminated against. The perpetrator need only think you’re gay. What could happen if you’re forced out of the closet? You could lose everything  your job, house, family, friends, and dignity for starters. Sometimes gay joking around can give the onlooker the impression someone is gay. Later the onlooker attacks the suspected gay or his property. In the past attackers have gotten off with the defense the victim was gay and deserved it.

Should you come out to friends and family? It depends. The first thing they’ll say is “Why are you telling me?” But the longer they think you’re straight when you’re not, the more betrayed they will feel when they find out. And the more they will hate you. Besides it’s dishonest to give someone a false impression. It’s none of their business anyway and you must learn not to share with certain people.

My favorite bumper sticker now adorns office doors at the University of Virginia. It’s a giant V emblazoned with rainbow colors and the words “Safe Place.” It’s a reminder of the root issue and how the anti-gay marriage movement strips away family protections for gay people.

Related links with insight

Bob Paris Official Website. Paris won the body building championship 1983 when he was 23, only 4 years after being a homeless teen.

Bob Paris on Wikipedia.

How Many Current Professional Athletes Are Gay? June 4, 2006.

Homosexuality and Sports: A Look at History and the Long Road Ahead, Nov. 21, 2007.

Va. marriage amendment foes gathering momentum, July 7, 2006.
Reprints "A politician on the politics of gay" by Blair Hawkins, May 14, 2003, The Observer. “Like other underprivileged, they are invisible. As a minority, gays are like no other. They are the only people who routinely need protection from their own families. The best way to protect them is to extend the right to form a new family to all people.”

Goode Republicans elect chairman, marriage amendment resolution, Apr. 29, 2008.


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