Sunday, November 16, 2008

NaBloPoMo 16 of 30

I have to say it even though I have said I didn't want to think about it anymore.

Just because I don't want to think about it doesn't mean I am not thinking about it. Today on the way to the Guthrie, I drove past the Minneapolis City Hall and saw hundreds of people gathered there demonstrating their support for gay rights. All across the country at the exact same time, people were doing the same in their own cities. I got misty-eyed when I saw it.

I support gay marriage.

Absolutely, unequivocally, totally and completely.

I have read pretty much everything there is out there since the passing of Prop 8 in California nearly 2 weeks ago. I understand both sides of the argument quite well. And armed with that understanding, my educated and informed opinion is that gay marriage should be legal and recognized in all 50 states.

I do not think that churches will be forced to marry gays if it is against their beliefs. Catholics are not forced to marry divorced people. Mormons are not forced to allow non-Mormons into their temples. As for the legal examples being held up as evidence gays might create problems for churches? Well, the law suits that are currently pending, or recently settled, are all about providing commercial services to individuals - not churches refusing to perform wedding ceremonies. The law suits that are current or recent are often focused on anti-discrimination laws which exist regardless of the legality of marriage. Many thousands of gay couples have gotten married in California this year during the months it was legal, and not one church was sued for refusing to perform a ceremony. Performing a wedding ceremony is not the same thing as legally recognizing a marriage.

But even if churches were to get sued, I am still supportive of gay marriage. I have thought long and hard about that. There was a time when some churches refused to marry interracial couples. There was a time when some churches refused to marry blacks, even to each other. As we learned those discriminatory acts were wrong, things changed. I believe this to be a similar situation. And while I hope it would not come to that, and truly believe it will not, if it did, I believe the rights of individuals to not be discriminated against should be the utmost deciding factor.

I am choosing not to comment on the argument that schools will have to teach about gay marriage in elementary grades because first off, the people who make the decisions about what to teach are already making those decisions. And secondly, parents in most states have the right to question the curriculum whenever it is objectionable to them - this right should be in place everywhere, I think, and it should be remembered that there are many things (like 8th grade reading lists) which parents can object to. And finally, because I have taught my children from a young age that there are many kinds of families - that what is important is that family members love one another. And I don't think it would be a bad thing to hear that message at school, too. So I guess I did comment on the education argument, after all.

I can't promise I won't bring this up again. It's something I feel very strongly about. I believe the California Supreme Court will declare Prop 8 unconstitutional. And when it does, I will be writing a celebratory post here.


Calandria said...

So it seems that you don't think Prop 8 supporters are necessarily bigots. That's good.

How about the people who are targeting the Mormon church for hate crimes? Envelopes containing a white substance have been sent to the LA temple, the SLC temple, and the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Calandria said...

Oh, and I wanted to comment about relating gay marriage to interracial marriage. I don't think that's helpful for two reasons: 1)It perpetuates the myth that this is all about bigotry. 2)Entire nations and even continents have been populated through interracial marriage. It has been accepted and practiced throughout the world for millenia. No so gay marriage.

Mama Ava said...

Another difference between gay marriages and interracial marriages does hinge on the "choice" aspect. People don't choose to be black or white; there is a sizable portion of the population, however, (many of whom I suspect are against gay marriage)who do feel that being gay is a choice; therefore, people can see the error of their ways and change. Another group that gets somewhat less attention are those who see being gay as a condition that one struggles with, similar to alcoholism. It may be a part of you but you don't give into the pressures, or urges, or whatever you want to call it. You actively work to manage that aspect of your life.

I think it's appalling that Mormons are targeted for the Prop 8issue. There is no way they are leading the charge above conservative Christians. Most Mormons I know are very adamant about their beliefs, but never "in your face" and pushy the way other religious groups are.

I am generally conflicted about this whole issue for a lot of reasons, so I usually just stay away from it. Several of the beliefs that I told to be true are absolutely contradictory so I never know what to do about that. I end up filing it under things that are not as relevant to me as other issues and go on. I do understand why some people can't do that, given their reasons for and against the issue.

Mama Ava said...

Which is why I'm glad people post on both sides of the issue. And why I think people are free to post or not post, delete or not delete, or whatever suits their fancy!

I have found, though, with my very conservative sister-in-law, that there does come a point where you have to accept that you may not understand how someone can take the position they do, but recognize that it is what it is and move on. There are a large number of topics in that area for us. Bringing them up causes hard feelings and doesn't change anything. We know those areas and generally stay away from them.

Karen ~ said...

My point with the interracial marriage comparison wasn't meant at all to imply anything about bigotry, it was more to show how the definition of marriage has changed through history. For many years marriage was really a property exchange, for many years it was (and in some places still is) a way to merge families without any expectation that the husband and wife will love (or even know) each other. Polygamy was seen as an approved form of marriage for many years starting back in the old testament of the Bible. I see it as something that has evolved through time, and I see this as a current change that the world is starting to look at. Different groups will react differently to it, and on different timetables, just as they have responded differently to all these other changes. I do believe that ultimately it will become accepted legally. I am so dismayed at the struggle that is becoming violent and ugly, and I get very frustrated and saddened when I see the hate which people on both sides of this argument throw at one another.

Calandria said...

"I get very frustrated and saddened when I see the hate which people on both sides of this argument throw at one another."

I am confused by this statement. How are Prop 8 supporters throwing hate? What's more, let's say that Prop 8 had not passed. Do you think you would have seen anything by disapointed Prop 8 supporters even approaching the bigotry that has been practiced by Prop 8 opponents? Not from Mormons, I know that.

Karen ~ said...

I am referring to the entire history of gay rights, not just prop 8, when I mentioned hate going both directions.

As to what would have happened had the prop 8 vote gone the other way in California - impossible to say; I would certainly hope there would not be violent response. If I had any say, though, I would have not wanted there to be any violence in what is happening now, either.

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