Posts Tagged ‘prop 8’

Thanks Be

26 November 2008

Dear J-

It’s a short week, which makes it an odd week. After going in early this morning, we came out with some daylight (it’s rainy out there again tonight) and marveled at the novelty of being able to see where you’re going. The world hasn’t been plunged into perpetual darkness; I just need to pick up some habit that takes me outdoors occasionally during the day.

Still the earth keeps spinning. The recent ruling in Florida reveals more hope for the future; some of the arguments for the law banning the right for gay couples to adopt sound firmly rooted in the same tortured pseudologic used to justify all sorts of abridged rights in the past. The moral absolutists in the crowd don’t realize that when there’s always a wedge to drive between people, at some point, you run out of ground to stand on; if you truly believe in the individual, there’s always some point of differentiation between you and everyone.

We fear the unknown in terms of the known; we phrase things in small words and hope that the point comes across by relating it to concrete examples. The late surge for the Yes on 8 folks came with ads decrying the teaching of same-sex marriage in schools — much of the early returns showing a comfortable lead for No on 8 came from the abstraction of the idea: how would allowing same-sex marriages affect our marriage, our lives? The answer, then and now: it wouldn’t, it won’t. Yet you drag emotion into it and kids — oh, kids — and anyone would react strongly. It speaks to the secret fear that gay is a choice and gives wings to the lie that repression is a better choice than education.

Mike

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Who You Marry

3 November 2008

Dear J-

Between the longer work schedule and the end of Daylight Savings Time, we’re headed home in the deep dark tonight.  While I appreciate getting some sun on the way in, if I had it my way, the mornings would start later, and the nights could stay away a little longer.  The rising of the dark leads to all sorts of risible arguments about Proposition 8; the latest riposte is from the supporters, refuting the point that schools are not and will not be forced to teach same-sex marriage.

Deprived of the obviously bigoted viewpoint that same-sex marriage is unnatural, all the out-of-state supporters (I’d really like to know who the Knights of Columbus are, and where) have seized on scaring people into thinking their children will be brainwashed into accepting such unions as possible and workable.  It’s ludicrous, of course; every assertion made in support of the proposition — that children are best raised in a family that, short of death or divorce, consists of one female mother and one male father, for instance — falls apart under not-even-close scrutiny.  Take the aforementioned nuclear family; there’s nothing talking about how toxic some parents can be — if the goal of parents is providing and providing good examples (love, diligence, and stability) that’s nothing that gender and sexual plumbing affect.  Or conversely, would you argue that house-husbands, because they fail to conform to the narrow definition of a traditional marriage, confuse the classical masculine role in a relationship?

In exactly the same way, the proponents of Prop 8 underestimate the perceptiveness of children and the narrow bonds of social norms.  So what if children are exposed to same-sex marriage in school?  Are you so willing to provoke years of anguish and denial in the teenagers who remain afraid to come out?  Why do you choose to accept only one defintion of marriage?  How does it affect your marriage?  How does it help you sleep at night, knowing that you perpetuate persecution, repression, and denial?  How does it make for less government when you amend the State Constitution?  What right do you have to abridge the rights of others in the pursuit of happiness?  It is such small-minded wording that keeps us vigilant, ever-wary of the abridgement of personal freedoms.

Mike