Monday, June 1, 2009

So, after spending well over 12 hours in the car, I've had excessively large amounts of time to let my mind wander and therefore, you can blame Texas and it's 880 mile span for this post.

And I want to preface it with an explanation. I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I'm not even trying to stir a pot. I've been mulling this around in my head for a week now trying to understand it, trying to grapple with the entire topic, and I want to write it out, I want to converse with you about it. I'd love your participation in comments (not in a comment whore way, in a, I want your perspective way) and I'll do my best to respond tomorrow as my internet access allows.

Last week in California, the Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, which, with a 52% majority, revoked the right of homosexual couples to be married in the state of California. Gay marriage is an extremely hot topic these days and it's one that incites visceral responses on both ends of the spectrum. I, as I'm sure most of you are aware, am all for it. But I do understand that there are many who are against it. What I don't understand is why.

I don't necessarily want to go down the religious road on this, not because religion isn't an important matter, but because religion and government are not meant to be intertwined and if our whole basis for rejecting gay marriage is religion, then we need to seriously reassess what we're doing. Furthermore, I don't think that any church ever needs to recognize gay marriage. As a private entity, they have the right to carry on as if it doesn't exist. Marriage, in a strictly religious sense, can stay between a man and a woman. But this is still a matter of the state and that's what I'm trying to focus on.

I've heard the argument that it's tradition, that marriage has always been between and man and a woman. And of course, that's true. That in the history of the world, partnerships and marriage have been between a man and a woman, but is that really a reason to stop change? Until the 20th century, voting was traditionally something only white men could do, and yet, people pushed and now all citizens over 18 can vote. Was that progress wrong? It was defying tradition. It was letting different people have access to a right previously held by a specific group. Why is that different than marriage?

I've heard the argument that it's a slippery slope. That if we allow gay marriage, soon we will have to allow people to marry farm animals, etc. And I think that's just a little ridiculous. I have to go back to the voting argument. We let woman and non-whites vote, but did we extend the right to children? To animals? So why should we be worried about somehow accidentally having to extend marriage to people and farm animals? And more importantly, just how many people really want to marry farm animals? I just don't foresee that being a real problem.

I've also heard the argument that gay marriage will somehow increase pedophilia and this drives me bonkers. In a homosexual relationship, no one is being harmed by the union. No one (in the most normal sense of a relationship) is being taken advantage of, and therefore, the state has no reason to intervene. This is simply not the case with a child and I don't think that anyone would argue otherwise. We have laws protecting people who need it, but in a homosexual relationship, who needs protecting? Why do we believe that homosexuals are more pedophilic than heterosexuals? Why would marriage cause pedophilia to increase? Where is the relationship between those two?

I've heard the argument that gay couples should be allowed civil unions, while straight couples can continue with marriages. I understand that this placates a lot of people, but to me, it just harkens back to the days of Plessy v. Ferguson wherein African Americans were told that as long as they had their own facilities, it was okay for them to be forcibly separated from whites. How can a separate distinction be equal? How can we give second class rights to full citizens and pass them off as fair?

I know there has been outrage about gay teachers and their potential for spreading their ideals to children and this too baffles me. Shouldn't we be worried about all people who have personal agendas other than teaching curriculum? There's no reason why a homosexual cannot teach a child as effectively as a heterosexual. It's not sexual orientation that's the problem, it's the individual and their commitment to their job. No teacher, straight or gay, should be talking to children about matters of sexuality at school (save for gym/health class) and I doubt that there's any more of this with gay teachers than with straight ones.

Finally, and most frustratingly, I've heard that gay marriage will undermine straight marriage and families. And this is the one I just don't get the most. I don't understand how a gay couple getting married makes my marriage to Slappy any less special or important. I don't know why children can't thrive in a family with two fathers or two mothers. If so many children thrive in single parent families, shouldn't double parent families be even better? We have couples in stable relationships who want to have children, so why not? Because they might teach their children that being different is okay? Because they might teach them to believe that homosexuality is not wrong? Because these children might be more tolerant of people who are different? Which of these qualities is the despicable one?

As I said before, I'm truly not trying to be antagonistic here. I'm not. I just don't get it. I haven't heard one argument yet that outweighs the wrong of withholding a right from a group of people because of a demographic. If this were about race or gender there would be outrage, but because it is about sexual orientation, so many people are willing to walk away, unconcerned. I can't be one of those people.

I've said my shpiel, and now it's your turn. While you may never convince me of your argument, I'd sure love to hear it anyways. I think that being educated in other view points is extremely important if we're ever going to work together and find common ground. So please, tell me what you believe about gay marriage. As long as you keep it classy, I won't moderate comments. I'm really excited to hear what you have to say, so click below and let me know.


joanne said...

with you 100%.

Carleen said...

I think that you've hit the nail on the head with the recognition that religion has been infused into the equation. The problem with this argument, however, is that marriage is no longer a religious institution; it has become a practice that the government monitors.

In order to get married, couples must obtain a state sanctioned license; a dissolution of marriage is granted by a court, another government instutition. Gone are the days when the only necessary evidence of a marriage was an entry in a church's records.

Because marriage is governed by the states, the argument that people will suddenly engage in incestuous marriages or marry animals is rendered faulty because the state will retain control over the licenses it issues and who can get them.

To further demonstrate that marriage is an institution "owned and operated" by the government, consider the privileges accorded to married folks: tax breaks, inheritance rights, rights governing the custody and care of children, and life/death decision making rights. Your Plessy v. Ferguson analogy works especially well here.

John Stuart Mill, in his essay On Liberty expressed his fear of democracy. Any system of government, he argues, that falls under the control of popular opinion (Tyranny of the Majority), is dangerous because popular opinion is not always right no matter how popular it is.

Breane said...

I fully agree with every word you have written on the subject 100%

Daisy, Just Daisy said...

I agree but I disagree. I think the word "marriage" gets thrown around too much. If you are "married" at a court house it isn't called a marriage. YOU might call it that, but it isn't. Getting "Married" at the court house is a civil union performed by a justice of the peace. Marriage IS a church based institution that the government recognizes but can't perform or revoke. Perhaps if we did a better job at scrubbing the word "marriage" out of divorce proceedings & prenuptial agreements people could differentiate more. I would never expect the government to "marry" me...which is why at the end of the day I'll gave a state license AND a religious certificate. But anyway. I digress. Onto the CA Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of California didn't take away anyone's right to do anything. The SCC (to save space...) issued a ruling that said that the vote that was held over proposition 8 was not un-constitutional. In fact, I think this was the correct ruling even if I vehemently disagree with the end result. The people of CA should be able to hold a vote to change laws in their state. I also think that the ruling was particularly ingenious. If they had come down with a ruling that the people of California could NOT vote to change the laws of their state, that would have quickly gone to the Supreme Court of the United States (hereinafter, SCOTUS). The current SCOTUS, being more right leaning then left, could have VERY easily overturned that and put their indelible mark on the controversy of gay marriage, in an un-refutable form that would have effected everyone and probably in a way that would undermine the gay marriage movement.

Instead SCC came down with a ruling that said the people of California have the right to vote & change their laws. Where does that leave California? With an opportunity to DO IT AGAIN. TO DO IT FAIRLY. TO DO IT WITH STRICT SCRUTINY ON THE MONEY AND THE CAMPAIGNING. To let the voices be heard.

To me, allowing for a fair vote (albeit again) is a much, much better idea then turning it over to the current SCOTUS court.

Daisy, Just Daisy said...

I think I should probably add to my analysis that as the case/situation currently stands, it isn't really an appeal-able issue to SCOTUS. SCOTUS doesn't get involved in state disputes over state law. Before, if the SCC had gone the other way, it would have affected the right to vote, a federal issue, and thus, my argument for SCOTUS's immediate involvement/bitch slap.

stacey said...

I say if the church doesn't want gays to marry, they should stop allowing divorces. Isn't that a big no-no as well to them? Yet it happens ALL the time with church based marriages. How many gay marriages, or civil unions if you wish to call them that end in divorce? Not as many as hetrosexual that is for sure. I constantly amazed by the amount of hate and closemindeness of "The Church" or religion, what ever you want to call it. Gays are PEOPLE. People in LOVE who want to share their lives with the ones they are meant to be with. You don't get to choose the one you love, it just happens, others shouldn't have a say in it.

Jess said...

Nothing to add because I agree, but another reason I've heard for not allowing gay marriage is because (and please don't explode from this one) it's "icky" and she would be "disgusted". I belong to a messageboard that has a political and religious debate section, and this was someone's argument. Seriously. I still have a mark on my forehead from where I banged my head on the keyboard.

The person that described it as "icky" also went on to say how she felt like vomiting everytime she saw a gay couple exchange a gesture of affection (hug, kiss, hand holding) and was under the assumption that if gays were allowed to marry, there would be debauchery and gay sex all over.

*insert eyeroll here*

~~Silk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~~Silk said...

(I canceled the first try because it had a typo.)

You left out one reason, the one that nobody mentions because they know it's stupid, but it may be the biggest, deepest-seated reason. Many heteros (especially male ones) are convinced that homosexuality is contagious.

Carolyn said...

Beautifully and thoughtfully said.

Ness said...

My grandson is autistic. I don't worry that my children will catch autism from him. He was born that way. Deal with it. I have cancer and so far my husband doesn't seem worried that he'll catch it from me. I didn't catch cancer...my body created it in its infinite wisdom.

I believe that homosexuals are born being homosexual and they come into realization at varying ages. I'm also leaving God out of this because He and I differ on a few things but based on my belief that people don't decide to be homosexual, they should be allowed to live their lives to the fullest be it have children, marry, have spousal rights to insurance coverage, etc.

Life is short. The naysayers and lawmakers who are living their happy lives need to live and let live.

Another Katie said...

Daisy, if you get married at a courthouse it IS called a marriage. I wasn't married in the church, and didn't want to be, but I have a certificate of MARRIAGE and everyone I know (including the state) considers us to be married, not civil unionized.

Another Katie said...

From reading on twitter, I gather that what Daisy meant is that the gov't shouldn't be involved in marriages, only civil unions. Still, I don't think the word "marriage" is going to be left out.

I wonder if a compromise could be struck so that the gov't only issued certificates/ceremonies of "civil marriage" (available to all) and then people could have whatever religious ceremony they wished, left up to their churches. This is what is done in some other countries. I think we'd still have some religiously-married gay couples, as some churches are progressive enough to recognize equal rights for all, but the churches could duke that out without the involvement of the gov't.

Overflowing Brain said...

Another Katie-

I like the civil marriage idea. I think that's what Daisy is getting at as well. I just think that if 52% of Californians can't get behind allowing gay marriage that there'll be an even smaller number that can get behind changing the title of marriage to include homosexuals. Sad, but I suspect true.

Something to think about anyways.

Flea said...

Wow. You really did use the 880 miles to think.

I'm currently on the fence regarding the argument. I can tell you that I don't believe that any church which uses the Bible in their services should practice gay marriage. That would be pure hypocrisy on their part. I don't care for hypocrisy, regardless of who is practicing it (and I am sure I am in ways I don't realize).

Sue G said...

You know, 45 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer it was considered to be something that had to be hidden. People called it The Big C rather than say the word, and if you had it, you kept it to yourself. Your boss couldn't know because it could cost you your job. Your friends couldn't know because their discomfort would cause them to pull away. It was a hidden shame, a disgrace. Can you imagine?

Well, times have certainly changed since then, at least in terms of cancer. But I think the same thing that motivated cancer patients to keep quiet is the same thing that motivates people today to keep gays from getting married: Fear of the unknown, fear of the misunderstood, and fear of how "it" will affect oneself.

Most of the reasons you cited in your post, Katie, for why people are against gay marriage sound like reasons/rationalizations from people who still think homosexuality is a choice. Thus, coupled with fear, these people actually believe that if gay marriage is accepted then gay people will "entice" others to their lifestyle. You know, recruit more people to be gay so as to surround themselves with like-minded people. (That would be like saying that I only hang around with people who have cancer! Hey, cancer is cool. Let's see if we can get some for you, too!)

Of course idiocy reigns in that example. Being gay is hardly a choice. It is a reality. And once realized, the choice then becomes how to embrace it as a part of oneself. I have watched friends and coworkers struggle so much in the process. And to think that accepting gay marriage will in anyway contaminate our straight lives is ludicrous.

Okay, so here's my Pollyanna post today. I don't see why we can't just accept people for who they are and find the good in them. If God made 'em, then He put something of substance in them. It's OUR responsibility to find it. And if we don't, the failure is ours, not theirs.

Anonymous said...

I am finding the fact that I was born and have lived in California for my entire life, a forward thinking state for the most part an embarrassment with this ruling. I also think too much money and force came from out of state. My view on the matter? Live and let live. Perhaps if we focused on some of California's other problems we wouldn't be in such a mess right now.

Postcard Cindy

Jen said...

Good entry!

My husband and I are of the firm belief that we should separate civil marriage — the piece of paper at the courthouse – from religious marriage. It became clear to us after we were civil married last May (just celebrated our first anniversary!) and "church married" in November. We eloped in May because my husband, a cancer survivor, lost his job and needed health insurance.

(The funniest thing that came out of that was that his grandmother told everyone on his side of the family that, even though we bought a house a few months after we eloped, we didn't live together until we were church married 6 months later. We laughed and laughed about that one.)

Anyway, since religion and the government aren't supposed to mix anyway, why don't we let any two people enter into a civil contract of marriage, and then have a religious institution or whoever bless the marriage in a ceremony if the couple wants that!? It all seems so simple to me.

Dysfunction Junction: said...

So, my opinion is based solely on "emotional reasons". I firmly believe that gay couples should be afforded any and ALL rights that their fellow heterosexual citizens have.

My very dear uncle (now deceased) was gay. He and and his husband (also deceased) have contributed so much to my life and I cannot imagine denying them anything that I am entitled to.

It's not based in fact or law, it is just what I think it right.

Donna in Alabama said...

You asked for reasons why gays should not be "married". You have 19 comments and I don't see any who have given a reason why not. Where is the 52% on your blog?

I am being sarcastic. I am for partners rights, or gay marriage or civil unions or whatever you want to call it. The only reason for a piece of paper that says gays are married is for the legal aspects dealing with rights.It is impossible to deal with the government, families and hospitals without the paper.

kimybeee said...

As a baptist from WV, I have been taught all my life that relationships and marriage are between a man and woman. As an adult, I don't teach my children to be intolerant of others, but they do know how their Dad and I feel about the traditional roles of men and women. And I am not some woman that is controlled by her husband. We have a marriage based on the traditions of being help-mates that our pastor counseled us on before our wedding.

On the other hand, my question about the whole legal marriage or civil union, is why do the couples need a "piece of paper" to be a couple, or a family, or whatever they want to call their individual situations. If a state as liberal as California has a majority population that does not approve of legalizing such unions, respect the voters decision and move on to something more important to the universe.

As a heterosexual married woman, the document that comes from the courthouse is not near as important to me as the fact that I was married in a church and took the vows that mean something to me as a Christian. I just celebrated my 17th anniversary last week, so I think I can safely say that I took my vows very seriously.

Most importantly, it is not my job to tell others how to live their lives. But, if it would ever come to a ballot in my state, I will vote no based on my values and beliefs.

You asked for it, you got it(my opinion), so there it is in black and white.


p.s. I just read all the posts, and I am definetly in the MINORITY. But I can live with that, you did ask for opinions, not just opinions that were the same as yours.

Overflowing Brain said...


Sometimes the minority is good. And I completely understand and appreciate your opinion and I think your point is what most level-headed anti-gay marriage proponents suggest. It is just so very intertwined with religion that it's difficult for us to separate out the government's role from the church's role in the situation.

As to why we need a piece of paper, I honestly don't know. I do know that that piece of paper is important for taxes and end-of-life situations and so for us, at least, we find importance there. As for it's practicality in non-legal situations, well, it's a piece of paper. But since it's just a piece of paper, why not give it to everyone?

Thank you for sharing your opinion, I realize that standing firm in your beliefs when they're under scrutiny is tough and I appreciate you doing it anyways.

ssb said...

In response to the question of why people need to be married anyway, if they aren't religious -- I have two sets of friends now who are heterosexual and had absolutely no interest in getting married. One couple disliked the gender-role baggage they perceived to be inherent in marriage, as well as being uncomfortable with property laws which would dictate who owned what regardless of their personal feelings on the matter. The other couple had personal reasons which they never opted to share, but were strong enough to keep them from marrying while living together, owning a house together, and sharing each others lives for at least 12 years.

Both of these couples tried to re-create the financial/tax benefits, end-of-life/healthcare proxy, parental rights and other legal aspects of marriage through contracts and other documentation. Both of them finally realized that it was simply not possible, and both couples have now had civil ceremonies. (The first couple built a very elaborate pre-nup arrangement, finding it was easier to approach the problem by writing out what they didn't want in a contract rather than trying to do the reverse.)

They're lucky because they have the option to get married in a civil manner, even though they are non-religious, due to the fact that they are heterosexual. It is more than just a piece of paper, it's a legal state of being connected and protected in that union. I believe strongly that two consenting adults should be permitted to have that kind of protection, regardless of their religious beliefs, race, or sexual orientation.

Becs said...

I am very conservative but I believe that homosexuals should be able to have a civil marriage. I believe that churches should still be able to refuse to let homosexuals marry but I don't see an issue with the state allowing it.

kimybeee said...

This has been a very interesting discussion. I have a question for the lawyer in the group - Miss Daisy?

I work in a hospital and I frequently see that many people have a surrogate or proxy to make decisions for them. It is a standard form that our pastoral care rep can help someone fill out and then he notarizes it and it seems to become law, at least as far as we seem to be concerned. Not every person with these documents are old, or incompetent to make their own decisions. It is just a matter of crossing the t's and dotting the i's for a lot of folks. The question (finally) is, can "couples", whether married or not, have this kind of arrangement to help take care of each other? Also, are there any laws that say how many and what gender of people can buy a house, car, boat, or small island together?

I know that health insurance is a big issue, because the insurance companies themselves decide who is covered. I guess that custody of any children in a relationship is an issue as well. But aren't most of these issues the same for traditional couples and same-sex couples?

I will tell you that I am curious and have a lot of questions about a lot of issues. I could go on and on and on, because, quite frankly, I find topics such as this one very interesting.

I don't think you can ever take the religion out of this argument. People who are opposed may have that opinion because of their morals, values, and religion. People who support gay marriage may do so because their religion, or lack of in some cases, is much more relaxed. I am not saying that someone who approves of same sex marriage is immoral, or evil, or anything like that, so don't send a lynch mob after me. If it is going to a majority vote, the reasons for taking a side will not be controlled. The issue is not black and white, therefore, opinions will always be different, emotional, and sometimes very powerful.

Thanks for bringing such an interesting topic to my little bit of the internet. I also hope you are having safe travels as you go home.


jen said...


The issue is if something happens to your parter and the proxy hasn't been signed. Had you been legally married, the right to make those decisions would have been conferred to you automatically.

I'll leave it with a quote from the very conservative mother of a friend of mine: "All marriage is a stabilizing force on society."

Unknown said...

I completely agree with everything you had to say hun...

I'm hetero, married... and I always said I wouldn't get married, but it happened. (or as you want to refer to it as, a civil marriage)

I'm agnostic... but I grew up with some religious "stuffs".. as my grandmother was an Episcopal CCD teacher.
I'm also the proud daughter of a Gay mommy, and I was in their wedding in July 2004, and I adore both my mom and my step mom.

I've been hospitalized a few times, and when the questions of care came up, it went to my family, not to the man who I've spent years with, and who new what I wanted. (Of course my family would consult with him... but still). Monkey knows what my preference are for care, and what I want and need. Not to mention the fact that I decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Monkey... the piece of paper doesn't declare my love, but we decided to take a public ceremony to commit to one another. I would have been content with just a handfasting, and changing my last name to his with no "marriage license" but We went ahead and had an out door wedding with a JP. In my opinion whether your wedding is in a church, outdoors, with a priest, pastor, officiant or JP, you're deciding to commit yourself to one another, and take vows to be with one another. Vows made with a JP are just as valuable and precious as ones made in a church. To each is own.

Marriage is the social institution in which 2 people establish their decision to live side by side by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.

My mom and my step mom love each other on a deeper level that I've seen with most "straight" couples. They made the decision, just as any hetero couple would, that they wanted to be committed to one another, be together, and they wanted to exchange vows publicly to show that... just as I did.

Gay marriages do not detract from the commitment and vows that take place in a Straight marriage. Just as you don't hear Gay people complaining that "that straight wedding makes my wedding worthless".

Civil unions are a good start, but they don't give you the same rights and privileges that marriage do. Why should gay people be treated as 2nd class citizens because they're gay?

I know that this sentence from the D.o.I. is used all the time, but it's true, and should be held to the highest power and lived by.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Who are we to say, "No, you're gay, and you don't deserve to pursue your happiness as we do"? What makes straight people more entitled to their "happiness"?

In my experiences, people discriminate against that which they don't know and aren't familiar with. People refuse to leave their comfort zone. To too many people, GAY is still something that they're afraid of and refuse to open their eyes to the fact that EVERYONE is human.

My stepmom and mom are EXCELLENT parents and grandparents. At no point have they turned into pedophiles or to Beastiality or Zoophilia.

There are "bad apples" in every demographic, and for all those who sit there with that particular argument seriously need an overhauling of their thought processes.

Daisy, Just Daisy said...


This isn't necessarily a topic I'm supremely well-versed in (health care powers of attorney I AM however...go figure!) but I'll give you what I know. Your question (finally) is, can "couples", whether married or not, have this kind of arrangement to help take care of each other? Also, are there any laws that say how many and what gender of people can buy a house, car, boat, or small island together?

The short answer is yes. Not so much on gender, but when making major life purchases (islands or houses) there are tax & estate implications if it done between two people who just want to buy something together and between a married couple.

And while for different instances there might be ways to try and equalize those tax and/or estate burdens, it is typically a LOT of work. For married couples that inherent benefit (whatever it might be) is accessed by simply having a legally recognized union.

And while health care powers of attorney along with a surrogate health care decision maker forms are SUPER IMPORTANT AND I HOPE EVERYONE READING THIS HAS THOSE DOCUMENTS PREPARED & NOTAZIZED (end rant) most young couples/people don't. We feel immortal, we feel as though we have plenty of time and it doesn't happen. A married couple is automatically through stautory means given an avenue to make such decisions....it doesn't seem fair that another, equally committed couple isn't afforded that same statutory privilege. We don't "punish" straight couples who neglect to have health care documents drawn up but we do seem to publish gay couples who don't. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you, Katie. This was a great post!

I would like to add that the "piece of paper" is MUCH, MUCH more than that. Marital status is huge. Health-care decision making, benefits, insurance, TAXES, property rights, inheritance rights - the list goes on and on.

And, Flea. I sure do hope that your church doesn't allow people to eat shellfish or ham, wear fabric containing both wool and linen (shatnez), and that you stone death all brides who aren't virgins. I don't like hypocrits either.

Anonymous said...

I am happily married to a man (I'm a woman), married in the Catholic church, and have been raised in the Bay Area of California since I was 4. For the life of me, I do NOT understand why people give a crap about what other people do in their own lives (as long as it's not hurting anyone). I love being married, love the word marriage, and I know what it means to me. If my gay friends want to get married, that doesn't change the way I feel about my marriage or the word married. When the Prop 8 vote was going on, I asked people who were voting Yes, "How the fuck do gays being married affect you? Why does that change you and your ways of thinking about the word "marriage"? Why do you even care?" (And by "you" I mean anti-gay marriage people) I guess I just don't understand why people care so much about what other people do. If my gay friend married his partner, it in no way changes anything about my marriage and the word married. This is not a judgement issues...this is a rights issue. I was SICK the day this passed. Sick to my stomach. I'm ashamed at the 52% who voted Yes. I'm ashamed that we, as Californians, think of ourselves as so progressive, but poo poo the idea of gay marriage. How embarrassing.

Sorry for the ramble...it's been months since this vote but I'm still PISSED!!

Obnoxious Redhead said...

What I don't understand in the first place is why people who are not involved in the situation feel they have the right to tell the people who are involved in the situation how they can live their lives.

How does me being legally married to my gay lover affect you living down the block or across the country? It doesn't, and any arguement to the contrary is BS. Joe Q Public should have no say in the situation, period. Screw voting to allow it or not. It shouldn't be up for a vote. It should just be a given. People who are not involved and not affected shouldn't be allowed to make the decision for other people in the first place.

Miss Two said...

Saw this late. Didn't, therefore, take the time to read every entry. I am no religious scholar, but my voice and my type of reasoning are very infrequently heard, so thanks for the opportunity.

Reasoning for voting does indeed come back to social equality and religion. As much as its tried, separation of religion and state isn't perfect here in the USA.

I have to say this: as a Muslim who tries to apply what I know of my deen (faith) to my life, the whole issue of marriage in general and gay marriage in particular leads to some pickles.

The CA case is a great example. Say that I understand that I live in a society where gay marriage is acceptable. Fine and dandy, go right ahead. I don't think that any right extended to me as a person should be denied to any other person, especially when based on something permanent and generally unchangeable. So if the gov't has and is going to use the ability to marry gay people, they can do that.

On the other hand, the problem comes in when I'm called to vote on it. Because as much as I do or don't like it, I understand that Islam teaches against homosexual life-partners (marriage between men and women leads to the family which is the primary social unit. Within the society, men are the protectors and maintainers of women, and within families every child is entitled to a socially recognized family and father and mother).
If I can vote, then I must (it's the responsibility of the individual to give counsel to leaders when possible.)

And as a Muslim I am taught to 'Enjoin what is correct and discourage the bad', even if within my own thoughts'.

So if asked if the state as my representative should marry gays, I will vote no. I could vote yes, but I wouldn't. I'd vote no and count on those who COULD in good conscience vote yes to carry the day. Clearly that didn't happen in CA.

Here's the other side of that.

I find it highly ironic that in this country, one man can have children by four (or more!) different girlfriends concurrently, and can even support those women and children- be forced to do so by law, even!-, but the minute he tries to give those relationships a recognized religious and social status of 'marriage', not only is he subject to prosecution as a criminal, but legally the relationship of most of those women to that man, and any of the children to that man, is illigitimized. That is injust.

As a Muslim, I believe that polygynous marriage is right and good. Again, not something I'd do, but I do believe people should be able to practice this Yet in this country, and as an American citizen, I cannot practice my religous right to enter into a polygynous marriage.

So if asked whether or not the state, as my representative, could marry one man and three different women concurrently, I'd say yes. Problem is, I live in a society that votes no.

We have to live where and when we are, and this country is by basis Christian-ist (is that a word?), monogamist, and heterosexually oriented (ever notice how things seem to come in pairs a lot around here?).

I am a single, Black, Muslim, born-AMERICAN woman.

People who are just now infuriated by the injustices of this country: welcome to my world.