What’s at Stake?

First, watch this:

“Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

(h/t Shorty)

Next, let’s discuss.

I teared up as I watched this, just as I teared up when watching a slideshow of wedding photos when same-sex marriage was first legalized in Massachusetts almost five years ago. When I was done wiping my eyes, I had to wonder–who are the people watching this video who don’t have that reaction?

What is truly at stake for those who oppose same-sex marriage? Or the right to change legal documentation? Or non-discrimination laws?

I must be missing something big here, because I simply cannot understand how someone who believes in the supposed “sanctity of marriage” would support tearing apart families. I don’t see how my right–currently protected in the state where I live, thank dog–to marry the woman I love could ever hurt anyone. What I do see is that when we decide to get married, a bunch of people are going to buy plane tickets to come see us. We’re going to buy a crapload of food, and pay for a nice place to sit around and drink good wine, and buy nice new clothes. In other words, we would be stimulating our ailing economy.

I’m sure more people have made this argument more eloquently than I have. But economics shouldn’t even be the argument, although I’m happy to make it if that’s what it takes to convince some people. The real argument is that we are people of worth and value, and the pursuit of happiness was written into the Constitution as our basic right, too. And by “argument,” I actually mean “truth.”

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4 Responses to What’s at Stake?

  1. I don’t think anyone wants to destroy your choice to be together with those that you love. Whether you attach the title of “marriage” to that relationship or not, you can still be together and enjoy your lives together.
    It should be pointed out that from the legal sense, your relationship won’t really be “marriage” because that word already has a definition both under the law and throughout history as the union of a man and a woman together to create a family. Quite a few laws have already been passed concerning marriage based on that definition. To change the definition of marriage really calls into question the validity of those laws.
    Everyone wants to be with their loved ones and to live a life of happiness. Happiness does not hinge on the name of the relationship or even upon the social acceptance of the relationship. Rather than trying to force your views on others, I think it would be better to be tolerant of the beliefs of others and recognize that marriage already has a definition and to find a new word to express the love that you have found.

  2. pandanose says:

    Ha! I’m the one who needs to be tolerant, eh?

    First, your “throughout history” example doesn’t ring true. The definition of marriage has changed multiple times in societies around the world. Remember all those biblical figures with multiple wives?

    Attaching the title of marriage matters when virtually all federal and state laws still have language like “spouse” and “marriage” in them. Sure, we could still be together, but could I visit her in the hospital? Could we share health insurance?

    I’d also like to point out that you came to My blog. You had the choice to read my post and comment. By writing my opinions, I’m not forcing them on anyone. You, however, seem bent on forcing me to submit to current laws–laws whose validity Should be called into question.

    I don’t have a lot of patience for your arguments. It’s nice that you’re a polite bigot, but you’re still a bigot.

  3. MG says:

    Marriage is a versatile word. It can mean the coupling together of people, railroad cars, or anything, really. I think there’s plenty of room in its definition for the loving bond between man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman. The world has enough hate in it; let’s have some more love.

  4. Carlton says:

    @Troy Rockwood – I agree with pandanose. I kind of feel like we’ve reached a point in modern American society when an appeal to ‘history’ to justify current injustice is just obsolete. After all, isn’t it the lesson of progress that there was so much awful nonsense that we did in the past and had to overcome? Weren’t there ‘historically’ quite a few laws that discriminated against racial minorities? In fact, a logic similar to yours was used to justify prohibitions on interracial marriage until the Supreme Court recognized that those laws were primarily intended to stigmatize racial minorities.

    And really, the idea that a couple should be ‘happy’ being told that they can spend the rest of their lives together but can never get married makes no sense. It’s ‘separate, but equal’ only somehow applied to the concept of love in some absolutely messed up way. The fact that a committed same-sex couple gets married somewhere in the US in no way weakens or threatens the heterosexual relationships of straight people like you and me. But forever denying them that right would definitely affect same-sex couples for the rest of their lives.

    Also, you think gay people need to be more “tolerant” of your beliefs? Are you serious? Cry me a river.

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