Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Up on the Soapbox: Gay Marriage

I don't usually wax political here. Politics and religion just tend to piss people off, and that's not what I'm trying to do with this blog. However, there is the occasional issue that just makes me gnash my teeth until I need to say something.

Lately, gay marriage has been a hot topic in a lot of the circles I frequent, and I feel the need to give my two cents on it. Some of you may remember My Unpopular Opinion on Gay Marriage from 2008. I stand by everything I said in that post. I'm just adding the following...

I'm generally pretty open to differing opinions. This is one of the few issues, though, where as far as I'm concerned, the opposition can go sit on a tack. Is their opinion invalid, you might ask? No. They are more than entitled to their opinions, beliefs, etc. However, I have a serious problem with this particular set of opinions and beliefs being legislated because of how different people are impacted by this issue.

Here's how it breaks down.

If gay marriage is made legal, those who oppose it will be impacted thusly:
  • They'll have to live with the fact that gays can get married.
If gay marriage is made legal, those who are gay will be impacted thusly:
  • Upon death or divorce of spouse, surviving/divorced spouse gets custody, child support, and/or visitation of biological or adopted children.
  • Joint adoptions.
  • Option to be added to spouse's employer's health insurance plan. (*cough*which would have been a moot point if healthcare reform had gone through*cough*)
  • Visitation access during hospital stays.
  • Ability to make medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse without having to make special power-of-attorney arrangements beforehand. (in other words, next-of-kin status)
  • For active duty military dependents, access to base housing and other benefits, including being moved when the service member is transferred to another duty station, notification of death/injury of the service member, etc. Also, when a wounded service member is being treated overseas (i.e., medically evacuated from Iraq to Germany), it's not unusual for spouses to be flown to be with them.
  • Automatic inheritance of estate, pension, etc., upon death of spouse.
  • etc. etc. etc.
See what I'm getting at? Gay marriage impacts gay couples far more than it impacts those who oppose gay marriage. Marriage is a right, not a privilege, and quite frankly, I don't give a damn if it bugs you or squicks you out that two men or two women wish to be married. You do not have the right to not be offended or not be made uncomfortable, particularly not when the trade-off is another person's right to have the same rights and benefits you and I take for granted. When we live in a society that puts so much stock in marriage, on every level from social to legal, it simply isn't fair to deny marriage to someone whose choice of spouse doesn't jive with our own.

Also, I'm tired of the "sanctity of marriage" and "redefining marriage" arguments. Seriously. All it takes is a flip through a history book to see that marriage has been defined and redefined countless times over the centuries. I don't think any of us want to go back to the days when the bride was collateral in a business agreement between her father and groom, do we? Those days are much more recent than a lot of people would like to think. Marrying for love is a relatively new concept, but I don't see anyone trying to stop people from marrying for love...as long as the person they love is of the opposite sex, anyway.

And if people are so hellbent on preserving the sanctity of marriage, why is it impossible for two men in a loving, committed, decades-long relationship to get married when heterosexuals have the luxury of multiple divorces and/or marrying just for the hell of it only to annul it days or hours later? Of course not all gay marriages will be healthy or will last til death, but since when do all straight marriages turn out that way?

It's the twenty-first century, people. Marriage has been redefined countless times. Heterosexuals have already done a bang-up job on the sanctity of marriage. Gay marriage impacts the denied FAR more than it impacts the deniers.

If you don't want to marry someone of the same sex, then don't. It's really that simple.


  1. Yup. It's not about 'gay rights'-- it's about 'HUMAN rights'--it really is that simple.

  2. What Amy said.

    I am straight as a die, but I will defend and support a person's right to marry - hell to BE - whatever they want.

  3. Pity we don't rule the world.