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Friday, October 24, 2008


No on 8

A couple of days ago, one of my favourite bloggers, Greta Christina, suggested an idea that I'm finally getting round to: an appeal for anyone in America to support the 'No on 8' campaign, which aims to keep it a law on Californian books that same-sex couples can marry.

Greta has already written several eloquent arguments on why civil partnerships aren't enough, emotionally, societally and legally, so I'll point you towards them rather than rehashing them.

What I'd like to say is this: as a straight woman, it pisses me off that gay couples can't marry. I've complained about this before, and here's the gist of my reasons:

1. If the right to marry is dependent on sexual orientation, or anything other than the basic fact of being an adult citizen, then that's the government dictating lifestyle, which does not befit a humane and free society.

2. As long as gay people don't have equal rights in marriage, an ancient human institution is being turned into a lets-exclude-the-queers club, which is a corruption of the very idea of human relationships.

And it pisses me off. I'm getting married next year, and my country only has the separate-but-equal civil partnerships compromise. Therefore, in the middle of the ceremony - a civil ceremony itself, mark you, our marriage is going to be secular - the registrar is going to announce that marriage is legally a union between 'one man and one woman'. I asked if they had to have this, and they said yes they did, it was a legal requirement. Even if my husband and I consider it a morally wrong definition, it has to be included. If we want our marriage to be legal, in fact, we have to endure a moment during the ceremony where the law sticks two fingers up at every gay person in the country, including one of our bridesmaids.

I'm not such a martyr that I'll go on marriage strike for this - I don't see it as an effective protest method, for one thing, because refusing to marry inconveniences no one but ourselves and if we want to convince people who oppose gay marriage, being respectably married ourselves may make gay marriage supporters seem less threatening to the panickers. But I don't like that my gay friends don't have the same rights that I have, not one little bit.

I tried to donate to No on 8, but as I'm not an American citizen, they sent the money back, on the grounds that non-nationals can't donate to political causes. To my mind that's messed up, as this is a human rights issue rather than a political one. Gay marriage in California won't affect me directly, of course, but then neither would gay marriage in Britain, and I still want it, because, y'know, the rights of people who aren't me are still important. Any major nation legalising gay marriage anywhere within itself is a sign of progress: the more such legalisation spreads, the closer we get to gay rights being universal.

So, if anyone reading this actually is American and has a vote, a blog or a fiver they'd like to put to a good cause, please, help out No on 8.

I am an American, but not a Californian, so I can't vote on the issue, but I did make a donation to the cause last night.

My sister and brother-in-law attended the wedding of a friend of theirs who was finally allowed to marry the man he'd been with for years, and it was, by all accounts, a beautiful ceremony. I think it's horrible that California voters are being urged to take that away.
Congratulations to your friend! Here's wishing him and his husband many happy years together.
Donated twice, in fact. The second time round was a belated wedding gift to two dear friends who were finally allowed to marry this summer. "What God has joined together, let no bigoted bastards put asunder."

Also voted -- TODAY! -- against the EVIL proposed Constitutional amendment in my home state preventing "unmarried cohabitating couples" from adopting or even fostering children. Since my state has already adopted the horrible "one man and one woman" definition of marriage into the State Constitution, this not only is a slap in the face of same-sex couples, but to all those persons living together -- lovers, polys, family members, and friends -- who wish to open their hearts and homes to children in need of both.

And, of course, unimaginably cruel to said children. (The two women I mentioned above have a lovely son, the same age as my own, who has called them both "Mama" for years. What kind of heartless, soul-less monster would tear that kind from his parents on the grounds that they are less fit than I, due to an accident of biology?)

(Today's word is "inght", a sort of impassioned gasp uttered through clenched teeth, as one attains enlightenment through exalted fury)
Unmarried couples can't adopt? And that being a Constitutional issue? You've got to be kidding. Let's hope all the voters are of your mind.

(My word is 'cencur'. Clearly the internet is trying to agree with you as well, in its ill-spelled way.)
An amendment to prevent unmarried couples from adopting is obviously already harmful to both those couples who would like to adopt but can't/won't get married, and to the children in state care who will now go unadopted, but to have such a law tear already-adopted children from their unmarried parents is cruel and spiteful to a degree I didn't think possible even of the Christian RWAs. Would it really have that effect? Just when I think they can't sink any lower...

Unfortunately I also can't donate to No on 8, but my mother can. I'll start getting on her case.

My internet expresses it's opinion of the above-mentioned RWAs: unsescre
to have such a law tear already-adopted children from their unmarried parents is cruel and spiteful to a degree I didn't think possible even of the Christian RWAs. Would it really have that effect?

We don't really know. (Like we don't really know what will happen to those same-sex married couples in California if Prop Hate passes). It will be up to those "legislating judges".

Dissolve adoptions, probably not. Remove children from foster care, almost certainly.

(today's word: "thilych", which refers to a slimy greyish-green house kobold who feeds upon the unidentifiable leftovers in the refrigerator)
I've also been contacting everyone I know in CA, including some right-wing relatives. All my friends are solid on "No on 8," but I'm pleased to report that I talked one right-leaning relative (and wife, possibly) out of their "yes on 8" position by pointing out that the very people who would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples tend to have equal theological grounds for eliminating divorce, so they'd be quite happy if, someday, they could declare relative and wife no longer married (they having been divorced before their marriage to each other).
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