Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Often in our efforts to participate in the struggle for gay rights I have struggled with my own belief that succumbing to anger is to sink to a level of inhumanity that robs us of a precious connection with GOD, with our connection to the source of all life. It bars us from seeing others around us in our life, even those who don't agree with us and even stand against us, as basically human. Sound familiar? It should because that's what the anti-gay groups are doing to us every day...stripping away our essential humanity to make it easier for them to see us as an evil "them". That's how we become that shadowy cabal they all have in their minds.

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.

9 comments:

  1. After your post yesterday I was thinking about the reason so many people in America seem to make nonsensical arguments in order to demonise gay people. Appealing to prejudice and distaste for difference.

    I honestly think it is a mixture of hysteria feeding itself and petty manipulation of peoples baser instincts. I think it is easier for these people to unite when they unite against something. To make themselves an enemy to fight against gives them a purpose.

    I know it is a cliché but you have to wonder why these people didn't learn any lessons from the second world war. Pinning your political ambitions on the persecution of a minority gets results I suppose.

    I have seen anti-gay Jewish groups protesting about the inclusion of gay stories in the holocaust museum (apparently the gay people deserved to be in the camps for their crimes). Plus when the camps were liberated by the allies the gay people were left incarcerated when everyone else was freed. Some didn't get out of prison until the 60s. Anyway that is another story and I am rambling.

    Suffice it to say people never learn.

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  2. I am shocked an appalled to learn that...

    i am litterally sitting here with my mouth hanging open..but it goes to prove a point that there is a hierarchy to discrimination and we are near the bottome of the list. Not the rock bottom..mind you...but close.

    Thats why its still o.k. to do the things they are doing today...because clearly we are not human beings deserving of common courtesy and respect in their eyes.

    How those men survived till the 60's I will never know...it breaks my heart.

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  3. @Orangegoblin82

    By the way Orange. In a previous post you asked if there was a way to donate to our site and...in fact...THERE IS!...yaaaaaaaay!!!

    On the front page of this blog is a Donate button in the upper left. If you...or anyone...choses to donate, 100% of that money goes to site operation....which costs us about $300+ per year.

    Putting the ads on our sites was an attempt to offset that. It just galls me when we get the "yes On 1" ads on our pages....grrrr

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  4. And by the way...everytime a "yes on 1" ad gets clicked, they have to pay for it. so when people who are pro gay marriage click on their ads we help weaken their ability to send their message.

    Just don't do it here because its against the rules for me to tell you to click on our ads...but if you see them ELSEWHERE....please do.

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  5. Bryan I can't believe you didn't know about what happened to gay men after the holocaust!

    I could type here all day about it but you can read about it all over the net, I think even wikipedia has a section on it. It is sickening.

    The worst thing is the British and American governments did it. It was their government of Germany that kept them in prison initially. The anti gay laws the nazis wrote were only taken off the books in 1994!

    The worst thing is that along with disabled people gay people were often used for medical experimentation. As well as horrific experiments to work out how long people could survive various tortures, they pioneered the use the medical lobotomies to turn people straight.

    This research was used in the USA and europe. The last recorded lobotomy to turn someone straight was in 1982 I think.

    This wasn't something that just the Nazi government did, our governments carried it on, and it is mostly forgotten about.

    When I was a student at University and involved in the national union of students we fought a bitter campaign about the holocaust museum that was being opened here. There was a lot of feeling in the Jewish community that including information on homosexuals sullied the memory of Jewish people who died in the same camps. We didn't let it go, and with some support from liberal jewish people in the end we lit one pink candle to go with all the black candles at the opening of the museum.

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  6. The other terrible thing is because even when the gay people got out, because they would be put back in for repeat offences, they kept their stories to themselves. Only the few that had children left the tales for others to tell. So much history was lost.

    When we were running our campaign for the museum a few years back there were only about 10 gay holocaust survivors left in the world. They never received any reparations from any government, unlike the survivors from other groups.

    It makes me so mad that I go a bit mental.

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  7. wow, I knew some things, but i never knew that it was like that.

    Thanks Goblin ( why do i feel you nick is comicbook related?)for the info.
    In regards of the post, i felt a little bit of hope while reading it

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  8. Yea I only just recently read about the Holocaust & the gays that were killed but never more than a footnote in history.... I do remember been taught VERY briefly about the 'killings of the homosexuals in the holocaust' but again was a footnote & was the Jewish holocaust that was taught...but while do my research I read a great deal more & was horrified...mind u Im a softy & I always root for the underdog so to speak as I hate injustice I physically feel pain when I read about injustice... ok rant finished

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  9. I have just installed iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

    ReplyDelete