Same sex marriage from a same sex perspective
Posted by mandyf on September 21, 2012
Marriage as defined always comes back to one common thread which is “a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” Sometimes it refers to that union as being between a man and woman, sometimes it refers to that union being same sex, almost always it pays equal due to both. The root of discussion isn’t so much about what the dictionary says, it isn’t or about what the law even says. My intention is to provide a view into what a gay person views marriage as.
As you would expect, or I would hope would be expected, marriage to a gay person holds the same significance as it does to a heterosexual person. I would almost say it may even mean more right now as it has been denied to us so long. I have been with my partner for fourteen years now, we are raising a wonderful daughter, pay our taxes, volunteer in the community, voted, and as a bonus are both honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces. We can do almost anything we want to do in the world with the exception of one thing which is have a legally recognized wedding in the place we have always dreamed of which is our home.
We could go to Massachusetts or California and come home and have it legally recognized as a marriage but it isn’t the same. It is a dream we should be able to realize but can’t. We would love to be able to have all our family and friends be able to attend our ceremony like any number of our friends have done but travel makes it impractical. We would like to be able to choose our ceremony location but the law makes it impossible.
I understand there are many people opposed to same sex marriages for any number of reasons, sometimes it is based on religious or moral grounds, sometimes it is just a dislike for homosexuality in general. Some people think same sex marriage would somehow lessen the institution, infringe on their religious beliefs, or somehow harm them in some manner they just can’t define but are sure exists. Sometimes they think this is just a group of people whining about special rights.
What is marriage to me? It is a bonding of two people with a deep love and respect for one another that come to the conclusion life isn’t just better together but unimaginable apart. It’s about knowing that you have the same legal rights any other married couple enjoys which allow you to actually function in the real world in the same manner as anyone else without having to jump through hoops just to explain to the school that either mommy or daddy will suffice for a parent-teacher meeting. At it’s base it’s about being equal.
I know there are a lot of proponents of civil unions only for gays and that they feel that is just as good. Maybe they feel that limited recognition is all we deserve. I always ask these people if civil unions are so good, why would they opt for marriage for them self and not a civil union? Usually the answer is “because I can” or “it’s just different for me.” I would like to be able to say that to. It’s not about trying to force acceptance of homosexuality, diluting Anyones religious beliefs, or changing the world. It’s about trying to change my life for the better. Changing my family for the better.
One of the defining tenets of society is tolerance. At is core that is an unqualified love for our fellow human beings regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Follow your heart and ask yourself if ostracism and inequality is the answer to anything? Ask if it is really going to change you as a person, harm your life, or infringe on your rights, and then ask yourself why you really aren’t in favor of same sex marriage. Is it really because it poses a threat to you or because you just don’t like it. Is not allowing same sex marriage going to end or even decrease same sex relationships, or is it just going to make you as an individual feel better or somehow superior?
If it is because you just don’t like it ask yourself if it is fair to deny the right to marry to those people who would value and honor that institution? If you think it poses a threat, what can I say to change your mind? Likely nothing other than suggest you crinkle the tinfoil on your receiver and re-check the transmissions guiding your thoughts. You can’t dole out a message of tolerance by acting in an intolerant manner, it’s just that simple.
It’s not likely anyone that is against same sex marriage will read this and magically change their mind but hopefully it will provide a different perspective. A human perspective which demonstrates we are just people, people in love that want to be able to share that love in the same manner anyone else does. We don’t want special rights, we don’t separate but equal rights or religious reform. We just want to be treated fairly like any other person would be. If that is something that seems dangerous or immoral to you, you have my sympathy.