I’ve been meaning to write this one for awhile. I dragged myself out to vote November Eighth. I do this every time an election rolls around, not because I think my vote will be counted properly (another rant in the making) and not because I think it will change anything (most of the issues go the other direction by hefty majorities. I blame it on education) I do it because it gives me a license to bitch when the will of the majority goes awry. As it has in the past. As it will this time around too.
With the passage of Prop. 2 here in Texas, the majority has officially endorsed the end of “equality before the law”. What do I mean by that? Quite simply, they have stated that certain individuals have more rights than others, according to law. That if you cohabitate with A member of the opposite sex, you can declare what you have a marriage, and claim the privilege that come along with it. Things like tax exemptions, health insurance coverage for family members, etc. Things not available to people who happen to cohabitate with any number of other people (no matter what sex they are) for whatever reason. Prop. 2 writes into the Texas Constitution that a household formed of one man and one woman has rights that others in the state don’t have, setting up preferential treatment for a specific portion of the population. Some of us (and since I’m one of the special people who happens to cohabitate with a woman, I’m one of us. Go figure) have more rights than others, and it’s written right into the ‘law of the land’. Equal before the law? Not any more.
How dare they put their faith above everything else? “Marriage is Sacred” they say. Then why can it be performed by a judge? It’s just another contractual arrangement now, no matter what it was in ancient times. If they wanted to retain the sacred rites of marriage, then they should never have allowed the government to take part in the rites at all. It should only be performed in a church.
Back at the dawn of the internet, I used to spend time arguing on various forums on CompuServe (back when I was simply known as 71613,email@example.com, before AOL bought the company and gutted it of its hardware) on the Gay and Lesbian forum I had several arguments with well intentioned people who were convinced that they needed special laws to protect them. I only ceased arguing with them when they provided proof that they were still persecuted in modern day America. I ceased to argue with them, but my views have not changed. There should not be special laws for any group in America. Not for Gays, not for Women, not for Minorities; and most definitely not for ‘Marriage’.
I was and still am outraged at this, especially in light of the straight majority in Texas having now added one more misbegotten and meaningless amendment to the Texas constitution (a document that with each passing election shouts its need for complete replacement. Just try reading it sometime) that will most likely backfire as have most of the ones before it. And I really hope it does. Just waiting for that case that opens the can of worms. “What do you mean, no marriages are legal in the state of Texas? How could that be?”
My first written article that caused me cognitive dissonance. I was so afraid of being gay myself, for so many years, that I had a really hard time even admitting that I had changed my position on the subject of homosexuality. I knew, intellectually, that there was nothing wrong with being gay. Accepting homosexuality doesn’t mean you are a homosexual yourself. It took writing this article to make me realize that I hadn’t killed that zombie belief. That I still felt I was protecting some hidden part of myself by not speaking out on the subject of the poor treatment of the LBGT community, the disenfranchisement of my brothers and sisters in the false belief that they were less than I was.
This article was my first foray out into a subject that I knew would get me push-back from good friends, and it did:
I believe legal marriage should be between a man and a woman. Apparently, so did more than 70% of Texas voters.
What you believe is irrelevant; nor is there really an animal called legal marriage. What has occurred in Texas (and in several other states) is a complete misuse of state power, and a further dilution of the effectiveness of a state constitution that is already on the ropes.
But it really makes no difference. The only reason that same sex marriages are being sought is so that the financial benefits (some might even suggest they are illegal or unconstitutional) of marriage (tax, insurance, etcetera) would be available to couples that do not fit the traditional definition of marriage. As if marriage by a judge was traditional. It’s just another form of legal contract, no matter how much the religious types out there kick and scream about it being some sort of ‘sanctified union’. Tell that to the children of divorced parents (yeah, let’s go after those divorce’s next. Why not?) I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop now. Not quite sure what form it will take but I can predict the offended outrage of the good christian folk who should have seen it coming.
The amendment is just proof positive how backwards most of Texas (and the US) really is. It also proved to be a complete waste of time because the SCOTUS declared all such attempts to restrict marriage contracts to heterosexual couples to be unconstitutional. It was about time, too.