Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Light of Day

In less than a week, California voters will decide whether to repeal the law that made same-sex marriage legal in the state. This has been a topic of much discussion on the blogs I read, and it seems to incite a very strong reaction in its opponents and its proponents alike. People fight and get nasty, so I decline to comment wherever this is going on.

In the midst of this argument (which is really about hatred) anonymi, the scourge of the blogosphere, have been throwing gay people and Christians under the bus (depending on which side they happen to be arguing). It's all very disturbing.

I posted the following as a reply on my virtual friend, Beachcomber's blog, in response to what she had written. I also posted a version of it as a bulletin on MySpace for my friends around the world to read.

Beachcomber wrote:
If you are voting Yes on Proposition 8, this blog is not for you. The version of Christianity to which you subscribe is different from mine. Your church that "hates the sin, not the sinner" and promotes marriage for some but not for others, is not one I can understand. At this point, you can move along.

I wrote:
I'm glad you wrote this and also that you wrote the paragraph about types of Christianity. I've been a little troubled to see people making this into a Christian-bashing exercise. It's not about religion; it's about prejudice and homophobia.

People who don't even practice any Christian values in any other aspects of their lives are suddenly righteously, religiously offended by same-sex marriage. Their reaction is bizarre and offensive.

If Christian values really prevailed in this country, as these haters want us to believe, then a LOT of things would be different, starting with people being kinder and more compassionate to one another, not cheating one another in the marketplace and not worshiping money, and behaving more faithfully and honorably in their 'sanctified' heterosexual marriages!

The Time-Standard discussion about the issue has gotten a whopping 1,684 comments (minus all the ones they've probably moderated out as abusive). That is huge.

When I was copy-editing the Vital Statistics at the McKinleyville Press recently, I noticed that 8 out of the 35 marriage licenses in the month of September were same-sex couples. I started paying closer attention. Those couples were all in their 50s and 60s and some had come from as far away as Arizona.

I'm a writer, so along with details like that, whole stories come flooding into my mind on the tide of my imagination. People who have been living together for years come to our state to marry, to finally have their unions santioned by the state. For them it is worth the trip. These are no spring chickens and there is no impulse here. In my imagination, their relationships have been going on a long, long time, yet in an unofficial, unspoken, undeclared way.

I myself resisted marriage all my life up until 6 years ago, so it has taken me awhile to stew about this issue, to figure out what the big deal was. But I see what it is now: it is acknowledgment, it is the light of day, it is freedom from prejudice.

To this day, the most stable and ordinary couple I know -- the two people whose relationship is the most free from drama and deception -- are a couple of guys who have been together 25 years. They make dinner, mow the lawn, take naps in front of the TV, drive one another to doctor's appointments. Who are you, who am I, to say they can't tie the knot? Clearly they have already tied it in reality. It's time the law caught up.

1 comment:

beachcomber said...

I'm touched by your reference. Thanks and you rant better than I did.