This morning the 9th Circuit Court overturned Prop 8, the proposition that outlawed gay marriage in California. There was one dissenting opinion from Judge Randy Smith. He argued that traditional marriage can be harmed by changing the definition to include same-sex couples. I’d like to argue the opposite: opposing gay marriage harms the sanctity of traditional marriage.
When I was dating women, marriage was never a possibility. To take the relationship to the next level was to move in together, and in typical lesbian fashion that happened pretty quickly. We didn’t give any thought to whether we wanted to be together for all of eternity because we’d known since the time we came out of the closet that that wasn’t an option. If being queer meant being swallowed in a lake of fire, so be it. We’d accepted it.
Now I’m in an entirely hetero-normative relationship. One man, one woman. And guess what? I still don’t think about marriage. I know that it’s an option, but I don’t fantasize about wedding gowns and bridal showers like some of my straight friends do. To them, marriage has always been the measure of love, because that’s what people do when they love each other. To prove they love each other. But it is hard to believe in the sanctity of marriage when you’ve been in love, and done just fine without it.
But that’s a young person’s game. What every queer wants, even a Godless heathen like myself, is equal rights. The right to leave our pension to our partner, the right to visit them in the hospital, the right to add them to our health insurance, the right to file jointly on our taxes, all of the rights that straight couples get when they sign that piece of paper. Most Americans, even those who support the sanctity-of-marriage argument, recognize this as an injustice that should be rectified. Arguing against giving queer couples the same rights as married couples is a losing argument. Too many people saw If These Walls Could Talk II I suppose, or they have a gay friend, or they get their hair cut by a friendly-but-opinionated gay stylist. Over and over statistics show that the younger generation has no problem with gay people, thinks they aren’t going to stop being gay just because you guilt them, and believes they deserve equal rights.
Enter civil unions. Civil unions seem like the perfect compromise to keep our grubby, queer, little hands off your precious wedding rings. But it seems obvious to me that civil unions are only going to further destroy the sanctity of marriage. Let me tell you why. Continue reading