Facebook has turned red this week as people who I know all over the good old U. S. of A. stand up and ask the Supreme Court to do the right, no, the equal thing and give the same rights to everyone in the country. The right to be legally, civilly married. To have and to hold, to fight and make up, to be shitty to each other, to be nice, to divorce, in some cases. But as always, opponents are up in arms, writing grammatically incorrect signs and holding them up all over the place opposing something that really has nothing to do with them. In that spirit of “it’s not about you,” I have “penned” a letter. An open letter to the opponents of marriage equality. Here goes:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss and certainly not Ms.,
First off, congratulations on your choice to be straight! I too am straight and I know what a hard choice that was that one day when you finally told the world that you choose to be with a member of the opposite sex. Oh wait. You didn’t choose? Right. Excellent. Now that we have that hurdle out of the way we can move on to some of your real concerns.
It will erode the sanctity of my marriage. Really? Let me tell you a little story. I am married. I was married just over ten years ago in the county court in a small town in Maryland. By a female judge. (That probably burns you a little, huh?) So when we said the “I do’s” we were presented with a fine certificate from the State of Maryland that said we were all legal-like. And with that we received all the benefits of a church-marriage through the government, because this was a legally recognized civil marriage. And it was called a marriage. And we never set foot in a church.
About seven years later we packed up and moved our worldly possessions to the great state of Utah. And when we got here our marriage certificate, from a court in the state of Maryland, was still good. Still haven’t gone into a church.
A few months ago, Maryland legalized same-sex marriage. I waited on the edge of my seat for that official certificate to go up in flames. But you know what? It didn’t. I’m still legally married to my husband, we still get along fine, and we even had a kid.
The divorce rate in this country is huge – upwards of 50%. And since same-sex marriages aren’t allowed, those are your “marriage is between a man and a woman” marriages. And they aren’t doing well. If same-sex couples are allowed to get married, they will certainly divorce. Maybe at the same rate, maybe not. However, they won’t do anything to the sanctity of marriage that hasn’t already been done and done again by the existing “traditional” marriages. One needs to look no further than Hollywood or Vegas to see the mockery of the institution first-hand. Again, those are opposite-gender unions.
It says so in the bible. Hmm. Well let’s start by remembering the Mayflower. It was full of people who were really tired of being chased around by the various churches. They came here to be able to worship as they pleased. And in the true style of the bullied, they became the bullies. About everything; land, skin color, people owning, even religion (remember, that’s why they left). But then the colonies became a country and a document was written by a group of old white men. And they agreed that there would be no state-sponsored religion.
Now I know this is largely ignored on a daily basis in most of the South, Midwest and certain Western states like the one in which I reside. Daily. But just the same, it is a law, and “marriage is only between a man and a woman” is not written in that document.
Besides. The bible says all kinds of things. Crazy shit. Like you can own slaves. No tattoos. You should not eat shrimp, lobster, shellfish etc. But I’ll bet your ass LOVES Red Lobster… To read some other good points about what it says in the bible, click here. You need to stop selecting only the parts you like.
But I digress. Same sex marriage has been legal in many countries and even in many states in the U.S. , and there hasn’t been an apocalypse, frogs, floods, (well I guess there were some floods), but for the most part we’re all still here. I guess what I’m saying is, it really doesn’t matter what your religious text says, because by law, the country is not obligated to follow it.
It’s icky. Ok, let’s just get rid of this one once and for all. Picturing you and your opposite-gender partner doing the deed is icky too. And I’ll bet you spend less than one percent of your time engaged in the, ahem, activity. So what are you doing the rest of the time? Probably chores, work, shopping, eating, sleeping, arguing, chasing your dogs, your kids, maybe just writing nasty bigoted comments at the end of internet articles supporting marriage equality. Well guess what? Same sex couples do all of those things. (Except the bigoted comments about themselves). Really – do you want to believe they are more prolific in the bedroom than you? Probably not. They, like you, spend 99% of their time doing mundane life tasks and then do icky things, just like your icky things. So once and for all, let’s not boil down a same-sex relationship to a sex act. That would be like saying that your marriage is all about that too, and I’ll bet one of you would say otherwise.
It will lead to other things like polygamy, polyamory, marrying your relatives, marrying pets etc. I’m a live and let live kind of person. If you want a bunch of wives, provided they are of age and consenting, have at it. Just don’t scam the government by claiming three of you are “single moms”. Most men think you’re nuts for wanting to deal with more than one anyway. But the thing is, in fairness (and that’s what we’re talking about here), two-person marriages are what are granted certain privileges in our country, but some two-person marriages are left out. This legislation seeks to equalize that, not allow for larger marriages.
Relatives? Well honestly there aren’t many people who want to do that. There are scientific reasons why a person should not have children with their immediate relatives, and let’s face it; gay, straight, bi, transgendered, I have never met a person who wants to marry their relative. Or at least one who will admit it to me.
Pets. Well, when Rover can speak his verbal consent I say go for it. Until then he falls into the same category as a child – not a consenting adult (human or otherwise).
Debating pro tip: avoid slippery slope arguments. They make you look desperate.
I just don’t believe in it. Ok, ok, maybe one of the most honest and valid points out there. Or honest at least. Let’s investigate your rights. You have the right to dislike gay marriage. You also have a right not to have one, attend one, or even let one into your church. Because you see, your church is protected by law because it is a private institution. As a bonus, your church doesn’t even have to pay taxes like a same-sex couple does.
Maybe this isn’t about church (although I suspect there are scant few atheists out there who support DOMA). It’s just “what you believe”. There was a time in this country where we “believed” in owning people. It was a law. And eventually that law was overturned because the majority of people thought it was kind of mean and a bad idea. Most of those people lived in the Northeast, where coincidentally (or not) marriage-equality already exists in most states.
For a long time it was illegal for women to vote. That law was overturned. With the exception of that psycho Ann Coulter I think most women, even the most conservative, enjoy their rights.
People of color were not given a vote, and when they were, they were still not allowed to use the same water fountain or bathroom as a white person. I know there are still people who “believe” this should be true, but usually they are smart enough not to say it in public. I guess they have a right to believe that, and if they live in the South, Midwest, Utah or Idaho it probably doesn’t come up much, since these places are either shockingly pale or still neatly and unofficially segregated. But not by law.
So, friend, believe in what you want. It is your lawfully protected right. The bare fact of this matter is that by allowing same-sex couples to marry, your life does not change one bit. But by allowing the law to follow what you believe there is a large group of tax-paying citizens in this country who are not allowed the same rights as you. And that’s just unjust.
One of many straight, married people who believes in their friends’ equality under the law.