To our family and friends,
Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
13 August 2004
How would you feel if someone walked into your house and turned everything upside down, took away your most prized possession and didnt even apologize.
That must be how the over 4,000 couples who were legally married in San Francisco last year must feel today. The Supreme Court of California has declared that Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority in allowing the marriages to go forth.
And then they invalidated all of the over 4000 marriages which were performed.
Over 4,000 couples who have spent the past year as legally married citizens. After a lifetime of feeling different from their married neighbors, the relationships between people of the same gender who love each other and who have committed their lives to each other were validated. Society (or a portion of society) said "we understand. Your relationship has value. You are worthy of the same respect that we have."
The Supreme Court of California just yanked that away and spit in the face of over 4,000 couples who want nothing more than to live their lives in peace and to enjoy those rights to which, as tax-paying citizens, they feel entitled.
I've listened to a lot of rhetoric, pro and con, on the whole subject of gay relationships. I hear words like "abomination" and "unnatural" and other such inflammatory phrases tossed around. Nobody will stay quiet long enough to listen to the feelings of the gay couples. Everyone has his/her own idea, based on something written in a book thousands of years ago.
My feeling is that unless you have actually felt those feelings, you have no business passing judgement on those who have.
We accept what we find normal for us as normal for everyone.
I am reminded of when I was a child, 10 years old. I had undiagnosed ambliopia. My left eye did all the work, my right eye was (and still is) essentially useless for vision, though I'm not blind.
But as a child, I just assumed that everyone had one good eye and one bad eye, because I had one good eye and one bad eye and there was nothing unusual about me. It's just the way I was born and since I accepted that as normal, everybody must be just like me.
For those who find same gender attractions, love between two people of the same gender, unnatural, just take a minute to stop and think. For you, the attraction between a man and a woman is the norm. You have never felt attraction for someone of the same gender, so you assume that anybody who does is unnatural.
Now, suppose that the tables were turned. Set aside things like procreation and vague Biblical admonishments. Just assume that the norm is for people of the same gender to be together, so that the majority of the population consists of same gender couples. But you can't feel that attraction. You look at someone of the opposite gender and your heart goes pitty pat. You fall in love with someone of the opposite gender and you want to make a lifelong commitment to this person, but society tells you that you are unnatural. That you must stifle your feelings and learn to be attracted to someone of the same gender.
Could you do it?
Of course not. Because that's not the way you're wired. You are wired to be attracted to someone of the opposite gender. That is your norm.
For those people, like the women in San Francisco who have lived in a committed relationship for 50 years, like my friends Ellen and Shelly who have now been together over 30 years, the norm is an attraction to someone of the same gender. Their love doesn't affect your life. It doesn't impact on society. They are good citizens. They work hard for the community. Many raise families. They pay taxes. They deserve nothing less than equality.
They don't deserve the scorn of the community. They don't deserve some court coming in to tell them that the marriages they had longed for, worked for, prayed for for so long no longer exist.
Goddamn it, it's not right!!!!!