No Emotional Pleas Here

I don’t believe that gay marriage should be made legal in the United States of America. I believe it is already legal. I believe that every law that has been put in place to thwart this has been unconstitutional and against both the supreme law of the land and the spirit behind that law.

For as long as I’ve had some knowledge of the existence of same sex couples, sometime before the age of 10, I’ve believed they could get married. I wasn’t completely oblivious, I knew none of them were getting married. I just figured it would take a few to decide that they wanted to enough to go through the bother of being the pioneers. I thought there would be some fuss and squabble, but that the courts would support them. It was so clear in my mind, that it wasn’t even in my mind, it was in my core.

The first hint I had that things were not going to go “my way” was when I started to become aware of the domestic partnership movement. I was already married (in Seattle) when Seattle started registering domestic partnership. When Disney began offering benefits to same sex domestic partners (announced in 1995, after my husband was already working for them) I groaned in frustration. I did not see these things as victories. I felt that these “improvements” were just going to make it take longer until the “right” thing happened. I strongly believed that the money being spent on benefits for same sex partners should be spent to hurry up and make same sex marriage the reality in the outside world that it already was in my mind.

I was naive. I didn’t understand the ugly battle that was ahead. I assumed that same sex marriage wasn’t happening and widely accepted yet, because overall people just weren’t thinking about it yet. I didn’t know how strong and visceral the opposition would be. Yes, you’ve read me right. I was once young and naive and expected more from people than endless annoyance and the strong, twitchy desire to stab them. Or, really, I was just self-centered and I hadn’t bothered to ask people for their thoughts on the matter. The truth is, even among most of my liberal friends at the time, domestic partnership was more than good enough.

There was a lot I didn’t understand yet, that I hadn’t thought about yet. I hadn’t wondered why I was so accepting of things which were not the status quo. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened. By all rights, looking at my family background, and considering the people who raised my parents, and how my aunts and uncles turned out (I came from Catholics on one side and Mormons on the other) I should have been more like those other people who found the idea of same sex marriage foreign, and bizarre and abhorrent.

I was in my thirties before I thought to ask my father why, despite not having been raised by activists who talked LGBT equality, it just seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me. We had a great talk, with flashes of insight but no definitive conclusions.  Nonetheless I am grateful for the fact that my parents basically just raised me with the notion that decent people should be treated decently, and really, assholes should be treated decently too, because the way you treat others is more of a reflection on who you are than on who they are.

So, way back in 1994 when I got married. I didn’t look at it as a political act. I definitely didn’t see it as a religious act. By 2000, thanks to California Proposition 22, I was embarrassed to be married. I was ready to do away with the entire notion of marriage as a government institution, let the religious folks keep it, and make federal domestic partnerships (same and opposite sex) the law of the land.

Another 13 years have gone by, and this year I will finally find out if the Supreme Court does what I’ve always been so sure they would do. In the end I don’t really give a shit what word is attached to it. I want adults to be able to create legal families under federal law, with all the rights and responsibilities attached to that formation of a family. I want it to be the same form of legal family no matter what their race, culture, or sexual orientation is.

I expect the Supreme Court of the United States to find Proposition 8 and DOMA unconstitutional. That’s the truth. I don’t even feel anxious about it, I just expect it, even though logically I know that there is no guaranty.  I’ve carried around this belief for so long, it will be foundation shattering if they do not. Next, I’d like our lawmakers to get around to sorting out this notion of a legal family in a way that is equal. It’s not about love for me. Instead it is about government paperwork and benefits. It’s about next of kin, end of life decisions, and estates. I want things to be equally practical for all people, and separate is not equal.

I don’t really feel much animosity to the majority of the other side on the concept of marriage. I don’t think most of them are fans of the Westboro Baptist Church. I have to assume that the issue is as tied up in their core sense of reality as it is in mine, and we just haven’t found the right way to bridge the gap. I understand they may never reach the point where they are in favor of same sex marriage. I understand they may always teach their children same sex unions are not considered positive within their religion or personal moral code. I do hope they will reach a point where they truly believe, and pass on to their children, that the best way for our government to protect their rights, is to protect the rights of those they disagree with.

The Dark Time
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One Response to “No Emotional Pleas Here”

  1. Stacy McKenna says:


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