Friday, November 7, 2008

It's cold up here on this soapbox

This Prop 8 shit is ridiculous.

As someone who just got married and completely took for granted the fact that not only did I face NO barriers whatsoever, but I was constantly encouraged to do so my whole life, far be it for me to be someone who's outraged. Even though I am.

(Which means you're gonna hear about it.)

It reminds me of when people would ask me, "So, how's married life?" or "How's it feel now that you're married?" and I would answer, "Married life is the same as unmarried life," or, "Feels exactly the same!"

And now I feel shitty about saying that. It's not the same and that's the point.

Marriage didn't make me love Dave more. It didn't trigger some previously buried, new-found loyalty. The dynamic of our relationship hasn't reached earth-shattering new levels of nirvana because we signed a piece of paper.

We're still us. We're just the married us. But it makes a huge difference.

I guess our marriage is a symbol -- to society -- to say, look assholes, we're serious. We committed. We made it official and now all of you can no longer dismiss our relationship as a lesser form of your own because we hadn't yet married and you had. (And yet we have the audacity to deny this right to others?)

Loving each other, living together, paying bills together, moving to a new city together, making important decisions together -- it wasn't enough to show that we were committed just as much as a married couple. It wasn't enough to allow me to make decisions on Dave's behalf should something unthinkable happen. It's just simply not enough.

For us, of course, it was always enough. Legally, it never will be. I get that.

But the fact that this country would even consider denying the legal right to marry to two people who love each other and have been sharing their lives together is disgusting.

Get over yourselves, people. Allowing gays to marry (I hate using the word "allowing" here; does anyone else think that's fucked up?) doesn't make your marriage anything "less." It doesn't taint the institution. It doesn't undermine your love. It shouldn't offend you because someone else's marriage is none of your business in the first place. It DOES mean that you'll have to get off your high horse and stop being a bigot. Uh oh, scary.

If you can't do that, maybe we should do what Melissa Etheridge suggested: If gay people can't have the full rights of American citizens, maybe they shouldn't have to pay state taxes either.

Snap your own photo of your wedding bands on your middle finger and add it to the Let Freedom Ring page to show everyone what you think of Prop 8.

Okay, I'm getting off this soapbox now, I promise.

And holy crap, was this a heavy post for a Friday. Bet you didn't know I had it in me.

Anyway, I'm gonna go drink my face off...


Anonymous said...

Amen! Thanks for the post! If they want to talk about things that ruin the "sanctity of marriage" then maybe they should look at the high rate of divorce and affairs...I think that's more of a detriment to marriage than allowing two people who love each other to marry...

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Amen, sister. Well said. As Ari said above, if the institution of marriage is capable of being "ruined" it's already happened and it had nothing to do with same-sex couples.

bodelou said...

i couldn't agree more.

i hate that California was independent enough to elect a black man president which has so many civil rights issues attached, yet is so hypocritical that it can't allow two homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexuals. we have so far to go.

when are people going to realize that "issues" like this and a woman's right to choose aren't actually political issues at all?

Marie said...

AMEN!! AMEN!!! Well said!!!

surviving myself said...

Very well put.

Anonymous said...

This may be a "heavy" post for Friday, but I was so well put. It's ridiculous what same-sex couples keep having to put up with. Amen elle michelle!

Happy drinking :) I have a bottle of red waiting for me at David's house tonight.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, and let's face it: I'm pretty awesome.

The Prop 8 controversy is both an outrage and a travesty. It's been pretty interesting being in LA for the protests. About 4,000 people walked by my apartment Wednesday night and I actually cried.

I can't get over the fact that Californians voted in favor of Prop 2, which deals with fair treatment of farm animals, and will most certainly increase the cost of eggs, milk, etc...but we can't get it together to allow equal rights for our homosexual citizens? It's fucking pathetic. And it's not close to being over.

Thank you for this post.

TKTC said...

Damn Straight,Ladybird. I thought Melissa Etheridge's comments were spot on.

chevelin said...

Thanks, babe. I hate that my joy over Barack is being clouded by my growing anger over this...

elle michelle said...

Ari: Yeah, someone else made the point that if you can order a marriage license at a drive-thu in Vegas, maybe we're being realllly hypocritical with the "marriage is sacred" argument.

Overcoat: Well said, yourself!!

Bodelou: Very good question. And when are people going to realize that those two issues are none of their business?

Marie & Surviving Myself: Thanks! Sometimes I wonder if my ranting is coherent, but I'm glad this one was.

Curly Sue: It might be a red wine night for me too. ;-)

HP: I can't IMAGINE what you must be seeing right now in LA. And I think you'd like this cartoon:

TKTC: Absolutely.

Chevelin: I know. :-( I said to Surviving Myself today that it was SO exciting to see such progress at first, but then it felt like we all got bitch-slapped back to reality. Ouch.

TraciJ from CA said...

My husband and I both voted NO on Prop 8 and also think it is absolutely PATHETIC that this did not pass!!

I think all of the ads that ran on TV about children being taught about "Gay Marriage" in schools really swayed people in the wrong direction. Plus the churches donated a ton of money to the YES vote. Very sad......People are people and if they love each other, they should be able to marry!

I have a feeling we have not heard the end of Prop 8 - It has been in the news daily out here and there are nasty protests going on down in LA...I live in the Bay Area, and I think, SF's Mayor Gavin Newsom is not done!

Nice post!

Candice said...

I disagree that marriage makes a huge difference. Well, it doesn't to me, in any case. Maybe it does prove something to society, but I am 100% unconcerned with what society thinks of my relationship. It's none of their business, really. I don't judge anyone else based on whether or not they have a specific piece of paper stashed away somewhere or not. I got married because I am an immigrant, and it was required for me to remain in the country. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered. My marriage certificate is a joke to me. My commitment to my husband is not, and is completely unrelated in my mind. If someone else can't recognize my commitment unless I have the document to prove it, that's their own problem. It doesn't affect me.

Certainly, all people should have the same rights, regardless of sex, gender, what-have-you. But I personally don't think that marriage is something the government should have anything to do with, period. They shouldn't be responsible for marrying ANYONE, gay or straight. Just as I believe that they should stay the hell out of my bedroom, they should mind their own business about my relationships, as well. Sure, let's allow two people to choose to form what is essentially a legal partnership (running a life, rather than a business). You can already draw up contracts to allow joint ownership of property, etc. Marriage is just a legal shortcut for a common situation. It's essentially nothing but a very specific sort of business contract between two people.

It's interesting, actually, when you think about it... we already do separate the legal aspect of marriage from the social/religious/personal aspects. First, there is usually some sort of ceremony, and then the legal document is signed. Getting married in a church works for god, but it doesn't work for the government. You've got to do both. I think that these two things should be separated completely. Essentially, part of the problem is that the government calls what it does "marriage" at all. It isn't. The government should wash its hands of the word marriage, and allow civil unions (some sort of similar shortcut to merging finances, etc.) for whomever wants them. Marriage should be a promise of commitment between two, three, ten people, ceremonialized in whatever way they see fit -- or not. And if certain churches don't want to marry gay people, they don't have to, and they're free to declare the marriage null and void -- but those people can go get married elsewhere, and they can still choose to combine the legal parts of their lives.

Of course, none of this will ever happen (the whole thing is far too deeply entrenched in law and our society). The applicable laws and peoples' minds would need extensive restructuring. In which case, I am completely disgusted about Prop 8. What is wrong with people?

Brick Cedar said...

I am a second-class citizen.

Brick Cedar said...


Brick Cedar said...

That doesn't stop me from being A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

elle michelle said...

Tracij: I hope you're right that we haven't heard the last of this!

Candice: I'm as disgusted as you, but marriage DOES make a huge difference in the eyes of the law (which you know, based on your situation). And that's the core of the issue -- we shouldn't deny legal rights to anyone. People can have love without marriage and marriage without love, but to "earn" legal rights and legal protection, one must marry. That would be fine if we allowed EVERYONE the option.

Brick Cedar: Um, absolutely nothing could stop you from being amazing!!

Swistle said...

YES. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

yeah, kind of seems like a church issues...what happened to seperation of church and state?

and didn't Cali have a vote on whether or not teenagers could have abortions without parental consent and it passed? I mean, come on. I would think that would be a bigger issue with the church. It REALLY affects the children.

Really, this is something I would have expected from my conservative state, but certainly not California!

Andy said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours, if only because you are so on point and passionate about this...and you make several valid points. Which is more true: The Obama presidency signaling a change in the culture, or Prop 8 signaling a change in the culture?

The BAMF said...

Hands down one of my favorite posts ma'am.

Oh, and you said "drink my face off".

Honestly, you are my hero. =)

daria. said...

I agree wholeheartedly. i have much to say about marriage as the institution that it is. and the fact that we deny rights to citizens is quite outrageous! thanks for the 'let freedom ring' mention; i will definitely be adding mine there soon.

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