Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marriage Must Be Pretty Darn Fragile

From Shakesville, Melissa McEwan points us to the Washington Post and an article by Kerry Eleveld:

Less than a month after President Obama repealed "don't ask, don't tell," his Justice Department filed its latest brief defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act—the law that makes gay Americans second-class citizens by outlawing federal recognition of their legal marriages.

Until gay folks have full marriage equality--and not just Civil Unions, which perpetuates the myth that there are "better" and "lesser" versions of marriage--the notion that gays are still second-class citizens remains still alive and well.

I've never quite figured out how traditional marriage is at risk because people of the same gender wish to marry.  The bride and I were talking about this recently, and her observation was that traditional marriage must be pretty darn fragile if gays marrying totally threaten the institution.

Here's how I look at it.  You gotta set these discussions in real-world, close-to-home scenarios.  Say that our daughter, whom we love with all our hearts, comes to us and says, "Mom, Dad, I'm in love and I want to marry her."

Naturally that discussion would be longer, and we'd already know pretty much what was going on, but would we say to her (again, abbreviated for brevity), "Nope, sorry, gotta withhold our blessing because it's wrong for women to marry other women."?  Or would we say, in recognition of the fact that she was born gay, "We love you unconditionally and accept you, and if marrying your partner makes you happy, we're totally on board."

Oh, and back to Melissa McEwan--if you clicked thru to see the link, you'll see that she sarcastically titled her post "I'm So Glad We Elected a Democrat, Part One Billion and Two."  She's fed up with people (e.g., President Obama) being politically expedient rather than doing what's right.  These are people's lives at stake here, it's not just some philosophical discourse.

I, too, am fed up.  Down in the comments I read this, which pretty much sums up where I'm at on all this:

I'm just *frustrated*. I was so excited to vote for Obama in my first presidential election. I defended him to all my right-wingy relatives. I bought that shiny vision for the future, and I hate, HATE those "how's that hopey-changey stuff working for you?" stickers. There was nothing wrong with the hopey-changey. Hopey-changey is EXPECTING MORE. Obama promised us MORE and then completely f***ing failed to deliver.

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