For myself...and only for myself, I try not to go to that angry place of righteous indignation and total fury. It doesn't always work....sometimes I get completely, thoroughly, and irrevocably pissed....though I try not to. Its hard not to get truly bone deep angry at something so personal to your life and family. But in the end I try to imagine when the fighting is done...and the dust settles...what we will be left with. What do I want to be left with...even if we fail.
So when I ran into an article in the Bangor Daily News about how gay marriage separates us from nature I again found myself on that tipping point of utter rage. That is until...I read a little further.
The article, found here is written by Barbara Baig and attempts to give a reason why granting gays due civil liberties will in fact completely dishonour the meaning of marriage as defined by our culture AND by nature. The reality is that she hits all the same B.S. talking points being used in the "YES On 1" campaign since its beginning. Not new stuff...just repackaged and left on our doorstep as the flaming bag of dogpoop that it is. After reading it, you too may find yourself with that tightness of gut that precedes the storm of words. The surprise, for me, was reading further down into the comments.
Everything put out by the "Yes On 1" group has always been followed by an avalanche of comments pointing out their obvious bigotry. What surprised me this time was the absolute lack of rancor in which they took her argument apart. Here are my favorite examples:
On 10/28/09 at 8:51 AM, ConvivialVisits wrote: Repeated separate thumbs down will cause comment to be hidden
Barbara, you are completely mistaken about so many things in this editorial.
Your statement that anthropologists have found no record of same-sex marriage is a bald faced lie. Same sex marriage has been with us in history since ancient times. Chinese civilizations practiced elaborate same-sex ceremonies for males and females, as did the Roman empire, and ancient Europe. It wasn't until Christianity took root in the Roman empire that same sex marriage was outlawed, centuries before their empire fell. These civilizations thrived with an understanding of equality in their times. (source: John Boswell, "Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe." (New York: Random House, 1995).)
While you are correct that marriage is a social and spiritual institution, which is entered into by way of a community-sanctioned ceremony, you miss the most basic reasons our society encourages marriage— stability of families. There are far too many benefits that are common between same-sex marriages and traditional marriages, the procreation angle is the ONLY one that is unique to traditional marriage.
We have always grown stronger and BETTER as a nation when we become more inclusive of our peoples. There have not been disastrous results to extending equality, anyone can see that.
Civil marriage is absolutely entirely up to our government to define, and the definition was changed not to impose on anyone, but rather to LIFT impositions that were unnecessarily forced upon loving same sex couples who found themselves unable to take part in this legally important institution.
We all have to accept limitations on what we can have and what we can do. You need to accept that you cannot marginalize and create second-class institutions for a subset of our citizens, no matter how distasteful you find their loving, caring family lives.
Vote NO on 1, don't vote to take rights away from others.
On 10/28/09 at 8:53 AM, PolishBear wrote: Repeated separate thumbs down will cause comment to be hidden
DEAR MS. BAIG:
That Gay couples seek to marry is not an attack on marriage. If anything it is an ENDORSEMENT of marriage, an acknowledgment that it far better to encourage couples toward monogamy and commitment, rather than relegating them to lives of loneliness and promiscuity.
Ask any Straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, "We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!" That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the desire or even the ability to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.
No, the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another's happiness, health, and well-being, to the exclusion of all others. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows.
THAT'S what makes marriage a good thing. Gay couples recognize that and support that. And I suspect that those who want to prohibit Gay couples from marrying do so only because they don't want to allow Gay couples the opportunity to PROVE that they are up to the task.
Instead you should ask yourself why law-abiding, taxpaying Gay Americans should be forced to subsidize all the legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples enjoy, when we are unable to take advantage of those same incentives to marry? And since when do voters get to decide that the rights that apply to them DO NOT apply to minorities?
I couldn't have said it better myself with a thousand years to come up with the words and Shakespeare to guide me. I don't know what it is about main commentors that seems to be so reasoned in their response when everyone else is throwing epithets and bursting at the seams.
Whatever happens in Maine...good for you Mainers for being able to think clearly when alot of us can not. And thank you for helping me regain a small piece of myself along the road to equality for all.