Prop 8’ers, We Still Gotta Talk
Interesting letter in yesterday’s Tribune by Alexis Murrel of Los Osos (Yes! Another Bearish Folk):
“Henry Giacomantonio says in his Nov 29[Tribune] letter that ‘marriage is and always has been a religious institution.’ While this statement is certainly debatable, let’s just assume for the time being that he’s right. In that case ‘married’ couples should receive no legal recognition. If it’s solely a religious institution, then it shouldn’t involve legal privileges regarding finances, parenting, immigration or inheritance. And there certainly shouldn’t be any tax breaks.
“If it’s a religious institution, the Constitution mandates that it cannot have anything to do with the government.
“You can keep your word ‘marriage’ – if you give back all of the civil benefits you’ve been taking advantage of for centuries. You can’t have your wedding cake and eat it too.”
Heh-heh. Nice ending. That Alexis is right can be seen in the words the preacher speaks at the end of the wedding ceremony (at least the minister did at my wedding): “By the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you . . . .” and etc. Seems clear that what we’re looking at here is a STATE, CIVIL ceremony. And no church or synagogue can “marry” anybody legally without that state piece of paper – the “marriage” license. And as such, the state (civil, secular) needs to ‘splain how denying certain groups of citizens the same rights as others is warranted.
Also still in the mix, an AP piece by Jesse Washington called, “Is Gay the New Black.” “Gay is the new black, say the protest signs and magazine covers, casting the gay marriage battle as the last frontier of equal rights for all.
“Gay marriage is not a civil right, opponents counter, insisting that minority status comes from who you are rather than what you do.”
Ah, now that’s a discussion worth having. What you are versus what you do. When you put aside Biblical teaching, I suspect what’s at the heart of the fear and dislike many straight people really feel towards gay people involves what gay people do with their naughty parts. Gone missing, of course, is that straight people do exactly the same things with their naughty parts too. So, what’s the difference? I mean, C’mon, there’s only so much one can possibly do with the set of naughty parts each sex is given, no matter how creative you are or how combine the possibilities, even if you toss in gourmet vegetables, a loofa AND Bill O’Reilly!
So declaring someone is a second class citizen based on what he or she does with his or her naughty parts doesn’t make much sense since straight people are busy doing the same things with their naughty parts. (And whatever do we do about bisexuals? They can get married even though they're "doing" same sex naughty stuff, just like gay people? That's somehow OK? If so, then there goes the "doing/being" notion.)
So, what are we basing this second class citizenship on? Can’t be “the children” since gay people have both natural children and adopted children, just like straight people. It can’t be “religious” because the “marriage” laws are secular and civil. Heck, even the “license” comes from the state. Without it, a church is powerless to “marry” anyone and have it mean anything. (Churches can’t “divorce” anyone either. That’s also a civil matter.) And it can’t be what straight people do with their naughty parts because there’s nothing in the law that says, you can get married ONLY if you engage in “proper” male/female procreative sex in the missionary position during fertile times of the month; all other sexual practices will result in the Divorce Police breaking into your bedroom and dragging you to Divorce Court.
So if straights and gays are all DOING the same sorts of things or variants thereof, then are we basing this second class citizenship on . . . BEING? And since “being” isn’t a “choice,” then that does open up a can of worms, now doesn’t it? Are we now to have second class citizenship for a certain group of people because of WHAT they are, not what they do? And if Prop 8 has set up a new class, then doesn’t the State have a responsibility to ‘splain the compelling interest to the state in maintaining this second class status?
Otherwise, we have taken a huge step backward, since the whole thrust of our Constitution – in its groping search for a more perfect union – has been to guarantee equal treatment under law of all citizens.
Note To Young Students Away From Home For The First Time and Partying Hearty
Alcohol ingested in large quantities over a short period of time can poison you and you can die. It’s clear that this fact is an amazingly well kept secret since every year we get news reports of alcohol poisoning deaths on campus, just as regular as clockwork. Apparently, many young students appear to be impervious to this well-known fact. I’m beginning to suspect it’s some sort of Darwinian mechanism at work. Getting out of childhood and young adulthood alive and in one piece is looking more and more like a lethal Tontine – smarts and luck ensure a certain percent of the most hardy and clever make it through. Mother Nature is never pretty. Neither is a parent’s grief over the death of a child. That is beyond measure.