You’ve seen this image, right? It is a logo designed by the Human Rights Campaign, and signifies my support of marriage, and marital rights, equality for all adult couples.
I just need to be clear on where I stand. I’m not looking to offend any one out there, and I do not automatically equate opposition to same sex marriage with hate. But I’ve realized as I get older that it doesn’t generally pay to keep mum on a subject one feels passionately about, especially when it affects the lives of so many dear friends and relatives.
One thing at the outset: It’s way more complicated than this. Couples are not just gay or straight. Some people don’t want to commit for life, but should maybe have some benefits and recognition anyway. Some people want more than one spouse… Can’t see that one getting taken on in the mainstream any time soon, but it is another facet of the larger argument (unlike marrying one’s dog). The point is, the concept of marriage and its rights goes beyond two people, of the same or opposite sex, tying the knot and saying it’ll be for life.
But at the moment, that’s what’s at hand. For my part, as a person in a relatively traditional heterosexual marriage, I can speak from experience. Of course, that experience is limited to that of a woman in an opposite sex marriage. So bear with me.
My husband and I got married because we wanted to be as together as two people can possibly be for the rest of our lives. That label and action of “married” was just the next step people in our position and geographic region generally took when they felt that way. I did not think about the social, political, biological and other “al” ramifications our legal, church wedding would have. I was 24. I was in college. I was buying a house. I was waiting on elderly Dutch people at work. I was loving life. I was, admittedly, too self absorbed to consider the larger concepts of marriage.
But I love being married to my husband, and truly feel that our commitment to each other (and the support our commitment receives) has contributed to the strength of our extended families, friendships and various human circles.
I hope that everyone as fairy tale happy as us can have everything we have, if they want it. When people experience stability in and recognition of their personal lives, they are better equipped to contribute to their communities. Everyone should have this chance.
Sadly, many don’t. Because of their genitalia. Whaaaaaat?!?
Bringing it back to the issue at hand. Basically, it’s about allowing same sex couples to have the same rights of marriage that my husband and I do. For now, I’m focusing on that. And yes, I think that if two people want to be as together as two people can possibly be for the rest of their lives, let them.
You’ve heard most of the arguments for marriage equality, right?
If Kim Kardashiashiashamy or whoever didn’t ruin your marriage with her 72 hour one, then Mark and Amar’s or Julie and Zoe’s won’t either. Remember how cute it was when Ross and Rachel got legally drunk married? And then got an annulment, sort of? Yeah. Sanctity. Sure. My marriage is mine, and I take care of it, even if other couples (gay or straight) trash theirs.
Heard about families with same sex parents appearing unstable? Worried about their kids? Understandable. But perhaps they seem less settled because they don’t have the assurance of societal-backed marriage on which to rely? Imagine if your relationship was not viewed as valid by folks you saw face to face everyday. Would you feel as secure in your family life? There are studies going both ways about how it affects the kids. But really, did anyone consider what was best for kids when allowing spur of the moment marriage in Vegas? Also, this.
Families can do just fine without adults of both sexes in the house. Take my story: My dad died when I was 15 and my sister was 10. So we were in a household with no male role model. We were fortunate enough to have other men help to fill that void. Maybe it would have been different if we were boys. I don’t know. Point is, the argument that a household needs parents of both sexes for the kids to be healthy is unfounded and unrealistic. I have respect for basic biology and all, but kind of feel like fertility treatments and step families sort of blow that argument out of the water.
Religious reasons? In the United States, we have no official religion. No really, it’s true. Basing the law of the land in religious belief is unconstitutional. You may certainly feel and believe whatever you want, and live it out in your own life, but you cannot expect those beliefs to be imposed nationwide.
I’m just astounded that anyone who knows about the civil rights movements of the past century could think that same sex marriage will not win out. There used to be a lot of “good” arguments against interracial marriage and letting women vote. Sane, well meaning people opposed the expansion of rights, and honestly thought the country would be better for it. It’s fascinating, and educational.
More thoughts on this were in my head. But I have to accept that certain details and points will get left out, because this issue is so much bigger than me and my perspective. Again, I simply feel the need to be clear. Fair warning if we hang out in real life.
The married status, and all its rights and connotations, that heterosexual couples like me and hubby have always been allowed should be available to homosexual couples, because they are people and this is the United States. It’s about love – let the people love and live.