the World, I Want to Get Off
Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Hero Pit Bulls
Opening Night, "The Big Voice" (part 1)
College Conservatives on Iraq
Book Trailer for "Schuyler's Monster"
Family Stories Vlog
New on My
12 August 2007
I listened closely to the forum with the Democratic candidates (minus Biden and Dodd) and members of the gay community the other night. I am appalled that none of the Republican candidates would participate in a similar forum, or even answer written questions on matters of concern to the gay community. Whoever is elected next year will be the president of all Americans and to blow off a huge section of the voting public is, in my opinion, unconscionable.
I liked the format, where each candidate got 15 minutes to answer questions from a panel (some of the questions had been submitted by e-mail). While it didn't become a "debate," it gave candidates like Kucinich and Gravel, who rarely get much camera time in a "debate" forum, a chance to let their views be heard. It also gave the other more mainstream candidates a chance to fully express their opinions without a little warning light telling them to sum up.
Bill Richardson shot himself in the foot by reiterating his belief that homosexuality is a choice. Sitting in a room filled with gay people, all of whom know that this is the way they were born and he's trying to convince people that it's a lifestyle choice. Thank you for playing. Don't call us, we'll call you. Not.
Naturally, a good deal of the discussion centered around the issue of same sex marriage. All of the candidates came out strongly in favor of civil unions with all of the rights and privileges now conferred by marriage, but only Kucinich and Gravel were in favor of actual "marriage."
I don't get what's the big deal. If two people are in a committed relationship, want to make a lifelong commitment to live together till death do them part, want to raise a family together, and if people think that giving them all the rights and privileges that go along with marriage is only fair, then what does it matter whether it's called "civil union," or "marriage," or any other term you might choose to describe this relationship.
People keep saying "Marriage is between a man and a woman." Why? Well, they say procreation. OK. So, if that's the logic, old people should not be permitted to marry because procreation is not possible; people who decide not to have children for whatever reason should not be permitted to marry; people with handicaps which make it impossible to procreate should not marry; impotent people should not be permitted to marry. They can all have civil unions, but marriage should be limited to the young and the fertile who agree not to practice birth control until they have had at least one child.
Others say "Marriage is a religious institution." The solemnity of the moment at the left certainly demonstrates that.
So does that mean that if a man and a woman go to the county courthouse and stand before a judge that they should not be able to call their union "marriage"? God has nothing to do with that ceremony, yet they are "married" simply because they are a mixed-gender couple who had a non-religious person say some words in front of them.
Some people are against the idea of gay marriage because they feel that gay people are promiscuous. (Perhaps these are the representatives who are in their second or third marriage and are having a little something on the side...and we all know there are lots of those in Congress!)
Seems to me that the legalizing gay marriage is more likely to create stability among gay couples. If you have to go through a lengthy court hassle to extricate yourself from a relationship, you're likely to try harder to work things out than if you can simply pack up and walk out.
It bothers me no end that the people who are making the decisions about what homosexuality is and what it is not, what gay relationships are and are not, what should be permitted between people and what should not are the people who have no idea whatsoever what it's like to be gay. How can Richardson be so certain that being gay is a choice when he is a heterosexual? Did he choose to be heterosexual?
How can the other candidates, especially Obama, who is from a "separate but equal" culture himself, say that "this" thing is reserved for straight people, but "that" thing will be a nice compromise for gay people?
While all these straight people are trying to decide life rules for gay people, there are families being torn apart by the current rules which keep two people in love from being together, whether it is an illness where the healthy partner is forbidden to see the sick partner, or an immigration situation where the non-citizen is not permitted to stay in this country, despite his/her commitment to a legal citizen, or any one of a number of rules which have the effect of keeping two people in love from being together.
"Marriage" is just a word to describe the level of commitment two people make to each other. Why forbid gay couples who vow to love each other for better or for worse, in richer and in poorer, in sickness and in health till death do they part to call that vow "marriage"?
As my friend Ron says in his blog today,
Why are we so hung up on a "word," when these candidates at least give lip service to agreement with the concept, so long as it's called something else? It makes no sense to me whatsoever.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(I'm sure it's just a civil union...)
This is entry #2693