Stop Recognizing Marriages
Via Pam's House Blend
, I just came across a blog post
at Religious Dispatches where the author, Tom Ackerman, is trying out a new social experiment where he refuses to recognize marriages.
Instead of using the words "husband," "wife," or "spouse," Tom has decided to use words like "special friend," "longtime companion," "boyfriend," "girlfriend," etc. As an example he talks about asking a man how his longtime companion was. When the man responded by saying she was his wife, Tom told him that his beliefs don't recognize marriage. It's fair is you ask me...if their beliefs don't recognize my marriage, why can't I do the same thing?
My first reaction to the idea was to laugh. It is all a bit humorous. But then it kind of sounded like a good idea. As accepting as J's dad is of both of us, every now and then he'll chicken out when introducing me to someone and introduce me as J's "good friend." Of course, I'm not hating on J's dad, because my dad really won't even go that far, but my point is that even many accepting folks still have trouble using the word husband or spouse. Maybe if I started introducing J's Dad and Mom has "special friends" they'd see the difference.
Now I feel like I really am picking on J's dad. I'm not. I'm using him as an example that even really accepting people are sometimes afraid to take the linguistic leap. If we were straight, they wouldn't even think about it (heck, they'd probably be proud to say spouse), but since we're gay, they're stuck in some kind of word limbo.
I don't think I'm going to run around "refusing to accept" marriages on a regular basis, but it's an interesting idea, and I might just try it out from time to time. If civil unions (which aren't even legal in my state for the record) are so great because they're just as good as marriage, albeit with a different name, then maybe married people should hear the differences for themselves from time to time.
I can't wait to tell my mom and her "special friend" about this!
"They're Coming to Your Town!"
I just stumbled upon an unbelievable video from the AFA called "They're Coming to Your Town
," a short "documentary" about how gays took over a small Arkansas town and apparently destroyed the "moral fabric" of the town.
I am really hesitant to ever make any comparisons to Nazi tactics, but you really have to watch the trailer on this one. This preview is so close to Nazi propaganda it's amazing--demonizing gays as people that will destroy America's cities one by one. The narrator describes the 28-minute video as an account of how "a handful of h activists infiltrated... the Eureka Springs city government" and warns viewers, "Don't let this happen to your city."
The trailer runs like a preview to a horror movie...inciting fear into it's viewers from the very first line. The narrator goes on to sound the alarm by telling viewers that "a well-organized gay agenda will take over the cities of America one city at a time," and one of the interviewees warns that, "If it hasn't happened to your town, get ready, because it is going to happen."
This is propoganda at its worst. This is why the "culture war" is where it is today. For all of those that claim gay people are the ones perpetuating the current environment in America...how are we supposed to respond to delusional messages like this? Well meaning Christians out there watch absurd videos like this one, made from an organization that claims to be a Christian group, and they fall for it hook-line-and-sinker. After all, why would a good Christian organization like this tell them something that wasn't true?
Let's see...gays are "infiltrating" the city, changing it's very "moral fiber," and the video warns three different times not to let this happen to your city. Read: Gays are monsters, and they will destroy your very livelihood. Nice. The AFA really should be ashamed of themselves for something like this. Actually, everyone should be.
I'd like to start by encouraging all of my pro-gay readers to participate in the Nationwide protests occurring this Saturday at 12:30pm Central Time. The protest will be occurring at the city halls of major cities across the nation. Please go to www.jointheimpact.com for more information. This is important, so please participate!
Now on to the post. You know, all of the backers of these anti-gay ballot measures talk about how they're pro-family. Heck, many of the groups on the front lines of getting these initiatives passed have the word "family" in their names. Unfortunately, anti-family would be more like it.
Marriage initiatives aside on this one--let's look at the recent adoption ban that passed in Arkansas
, making it illegal for non-married couples to adopt or foster children. The anti-gay folks, as you might imagine, are claiming that kids are best raised by a mother and a father, and nothing else should be allowed. I guess it sounds ok
on it's face, but it ignores some pretty basic facts.
First, the state of Arkansas has thousands of children in state custody that are waiting for adoptions or foster parents. I have a very hard time believing that they are going to be better off in state custody than in the home of a loving gay couple or unmarried straight couple, or loving single person for that matter. To think otherwise is just silly. But with this new law, more kids will stay in state custody.
Second, though, and this is very personal to me--I have a 12 year old sister that lives with my mom and step-dad. I also have a twin brother in law school and a younger brother that does not have a job, and hasn't in quite a while. If my family lived in Arkansas, and something happened to my parents
, God forbid, my sister would not be able to live with J and me. It doesn't matter that we are very well equipped to provide for her (much better equipped than either of my brothers at this point). It doesn't matter that she is my sister. According to the new Arkansas law, the state would rip apart my family and send my sister elsewhere.
But somehow I'm supposed to believe this initiative is pro-family. Right.
Now if the rest of the world could see through this nonsense for what it really is, we'd be in good shape.
I Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself
A friend left a comment on my Facebook
about the gay marriage vote in CA (I've had a mini-discussion going on after I updated my status with my devastation about the vote).
Here's what she said: "Being Constitutional has nothing to do with the popular vote. States should not be able to make laws that restrict the pursuit of happiness."
It's a very good point. If being Constitutional means something is an inalienable freedom, right or benefit, how can we then change the Constitution to say otherwise? Semantically it makes sense, but semantics aren't what matters here.
Basically we're not just changing the Constitution to make gay marriages illegal, we're essentially changing the very meaning of the Constitution itself. Constitution is made to give people rights...inalienable rights to freedom, happiness, etc. Changing that on the whim of popular sentiment of the time erodes
that very foundation of the Constitution, and those rights themselves. Now our Constitution will be come a list of whims of the populace, not a document expressing the birth right Americans have to freedom. Conservatives (real conservatives) should see that.
Barack Obama is now the first black person to be elected to be President of the United States. No matter what side you were on in this election, you have to admit that this is an historic moment. I stayed up last night just so I could tell my neices and nephews that I saw the first black man get elected to be president. Amazing stuff.
I have to admit, though, that I was more intently watching the Proposition 8 race in California (mainly because it was running closer than the presidential election) that would ban gay marriage in the state's Constitution--reversing a ruling by the state's Supreme Court. The local CBS station in Los Angeles is calling the race
a loss for gay-rights advocates, but they noted that it's still too close to say for sure.
This makes my heart hurt. I had never felt more defeated, demeaned, and disillusioned in my life than when I watched Texas vote 75% in favor of banning gay marriage in our Constitution. I literally felt physically ill when it happened. I had hoped for more from California.
The supporters in that state are celebrating, I'm sure. But for what? We've let a snapshot of opinions in time decide the fate of real people in a state's Constitution. What was supported by 61% of the population just 8 years ago is now only supported by 51% this year, and will probably be supported by even fewer in 8 more years, but by then it will be too late. Constitutions aren't meant for popular opinion, and only time will show how sad these debates really are.
Most importantly, though, we're talking about people's lives. The supporters of Proposition 8 used scare tactics and half truths to get their point across, spinning the issue as a public policy matter. If only more people could see how little it has to do with public policy and how much it has to do with real people and real lives, maybe things would be different.
It's the most important election of your lifetime. That's what they're saying at least. Even if it isn't, you should still vote.
Even if you're like me and live in a non-battleground state. Even if you're in college and think you have better things to do. Even if you're at work and think you're too busy. Even if you're worried about standing in line.
Vote. You'll be proud of yourself later (and I'll be proud of you too)!