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Monday, February 13, 2012

And Valentine's day for all...

Ah, Valentine's Day! I guess nothing promotes the spirit of romantic love more than celebrating a horrible death of a priest who married inter-faith couples despite Catholic Church's disapproval. This all-encompassing acceptance brings me to the current issue getting steam in the news today: equal rights for all. New Jersey legislators are granting gay people a right that EVERYONE should have. Aren't they just modern day St. Valentines helping the oppressed? I'm actually a little bit ashamed...

Tonight I had a conversation with my Valentine about gay rights. I honestly do not understand why it is such a big deal. Gay/straight/who cares. What we should worry about is our dependance on foreign oil. Or rising taxes. Or disappearing middle class. Or global warming. Do people who oppose the gay marriage honestly think that sexual orientation will matter when the Earth finally gives up and gets rid of us in a fiery ball of death? Oh wait! Actually, they probably do, since it's far Christian right that is indignantly waiving the Bible as their argument against gay marriage. Holla Governor Christie.

Marriage is a piece of paper. But the State made it a powerful one: it gives you rights to keep your property, share insurance coverage, raise your children together, even get foreign citizenship and have the say in each other's medical decisions. So what the anti-gay legislators are saying is that you, as a gay man or a woman, are not fit to have this power. We are not granting it to you because you are different from us (white Christian portly men in suits), and we don't understand you and fear you. Hence we'll withhold one right that will give us equal footing.

Another popular argument raised against equal marriage right is "how would I explain it to my children"? To quote one comedian - it is your problem that you can't talk to your child. And children, mind you, are the most accepting and open-minded part of human population. That is, if we let them to be.  

I know that the issue is far more complex: there are civil unions, domestic partnerships, blah blah. What really does bother me about this the thinking that lies behind the ban, the mere fact this country has to carve out a special niche for some of its citizens, that we can't move past 18th century definition of marriage, that we can't just accept that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL. And should be judged on their own merit, not who they live with.

I know what will unfortunately happen with NJ's bill: Christie will veto it, his supports will cheerfully howl, clap their leathery wings and clank their hoofs, and we'll be back right where we started.

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

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