Sunday, May 28, 2006

Some thoughts on marriage equality

I spend a lot of time obsessing over the religious right and their obsession over my sexuality.

Religion, Christianity or otherwise, isn't going to go away. And neither are homosexuals. Homosexuals were around before organized religion. I don't demand acceptance from everyone because I know that is impossible. I am mature enough to accept the fact that many people will never sanction or accept homosexuality. Some will never tolerate it. But overall it's critical that we as a society must position ourselves somewhere between tolerance and acceptance, and do it soon.

Here's what I don't understand. I can go out in public and be surrounded by heterosexual couples. I never imagine them having sex and why should I? I see them with their children and I still don't dwell on the sexual aspects of their relationship. I might assume they are married but I don't even think about that either. The fact is, I don't care whether they are married, whether they have sex, or how they have sex. Nor am I interested in whether they go to church, what religion they are, of if they are religious at all. Aside from being none of my business, I just don't understand why anyone would dwell upon those thoughts about other people.

Well, that's not correct. I DO understand.

As long as we are ostracized with anything less than full equality, it will only fuel intolerance because it gives legal credance to the idea that perhaps we are worthy of discrimination. I'm old enough to remember "whites only" facilities. Racism was rampant. A few who advocated full civil rights were viewed negatively. And yes, some were killed for their beliefs and the color of their skin. It was easy to pass along bigotry from parents to offspring because the law of the land did nothing to contradict such outrageousness. Many of the people who held these views called themselves religious. The really twisted ones could even spew out some scripture to back up their bigotry.

Think about this. The place we are now in 2006 is really not a lot different from where we were in 1956. Instead of being obsessed with skin color, we've become obsessed with sexuality.

The reason behind the marriage protection crusade has nothing to do with sanctity of marriage or any threat to marriage. We easily see the bullcrap. These people have gotten it in their heads that if homosexuals are allowed to marry and attain 100% equality, then somehow heterosexuals will have been reduced to equal homosexuality. And then they start thinking about homosexuality. And the more they think about it, the more obsessed they become. Never mind that whatever homosexuals do in the bed (or on the kitchen table for that matter) hetersexuals have also done it.

The religious right stirred up the nest as did many politicians. It's good for business to have a threat. They will do anything they can to prevent equality to avoid feeling dirtier than they already are. This is why they don't mention divorce when harping about threats to marriage. They also don't mention how many people are in abusive relationships, and how many children have been neglected, abused or even raped by family members. This would be some excellent discourse but apparently it's not relevant enough to the protection of marriage issue. All the flaws of marriage are OK because at least it's hetersexuality with which they are comfortable and can identify.

The US is at a critical place right now. It's quite frightening to see how this nation has swerved right into the backyard of these crackpots. We cannot rely on votes to get us out of this mess. The anti-gay marriage folks are energized and voting. Huge numbers of Americans don't even bother to vote, or make any attempt to understand the issues other than how it has been presented to them by those pushing the discriminatory laws. "Protect marriage? Oh, yeah that sounds like a good thing."

So, I'm not a big believer that we can vote ourselves out of this mess in the next 50-60 years. And these laws on the books, coupled with right-wing brainwashing of children will perpetuate the bigotry until we as gay people can somehow make the laws appear meaningless and antiquated. We do that by continuing to promote positive role models in the media, being out and open about our relationships, and demonstrating that the other side really has nothing to fear by us being equal to them. It's called the "radical homosexual agenda" and there's nothing wrong with it. We also need the "activist judges." Otherwise, we will not be the freedom loving country we claim to be.

It's not going to be easy when you have intolerant groups trying to hijack the minds of our youth -- as if the parents haven't already done a damn good job of that.

In doing some internet searching of "theocracy" I ran across an interesting piece at truthdig.com which was posted on May 11. I learned about a group called BattleCry and the mindset here is just disturbingly removed from any semblance of reality.

The leaders of BattleCry claim that their religion and values are under attack, but amid spectacular light shows, Hummers, Navy SEALs and military imagery on stage, it is BattleCry that has declared war on everyone else. Its leader, Ron Luce, insists: “This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent—the ‘forceful’ ones—will lay hold of the kingdom.”

Hold it. Why are all these various groups who are attacking and suppressing our RIGHT to marriage equality claiming to be the ones under attack? If you want to learn more, check out their website. I found the teen bill of rights to be quite interesting. Yeah, let's see how long they can keep up that pledge!

And no, I don't accept the usual arguments.

* You were not born gay. You can change. Excuse me. I do believe I am the best expert on my sexuality. I am a male. I do not get any charge whatsoever from looking at a vagina, stimulating a clitoris, or fondling a woman's breasts. Actually I've only done the first of those three, but I assure you, I know what I'm talking about. I am gay and have been for as long as I remember.

* Homosexuality is wrong. It's in the Bible. Again, there's a lot of stuff in the Bible, a lot of contradictory stuff and a lot of insane stuff that only the insane would believe. But all that aside, I am not religious. I don't need the Bible to teach me how to live. I rely on education, analysis, and common sense. And from what I've seen so far, I'm far more moral than many of your religious leaders and priests. I've never molested a child.

* Homosexuality is unnatural. No, homesexuality is unnatural if you are heterosexual! Heterosexuality is unnatural if you are a homosexual. Just deal with that.

We have a long road ahead of us. This is a deep topic which is why I wanted to write about it. I could have gone on and on. Comments are encouraged.

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