Culture / News & Politics

And With the Girls be Handy

As the snow comes down, and I’ve planned another warm, cozy Valentine’s Day evening with my love I can’t help but think about relationships, and recognition and marriage.

And I think of numbers. The number 1, for example. There is one state in the entire country in which I reside which fully recognizes gay marriages.  And then on to the number 3.  3 states (mine included) recognize gay domestic partnerships (O.K., well, D.C. does too, but as it is neither a state nor a well represented entity of this country I will exclude them from this exercise,  but wanted to include their DP achievement.) Though, this wording can be confusing – lest you think it’s anything like marriage, my “wife” and I often joke that all our DP means is “I can visit you in the hospital AND I get your crap when you die.”  Unfortunately for us that is really about all our DP covers.  Continuing along with the number 3.  There are 3 states (well, 3 by the middle of next week) in which civil unions are performed and recognized by the state government. All of these steps towards legitimizing “our” relationships are wonderful, but when I add all of these numbers up I still get zero. Zero.

Zero is the number of any of these unions that are recognized by our federal government.

This saddens me in many ways. My first major problem with this is the whole idea of the “institution of marriage.” I know I may sound like the odd man out here, but seriously, why do we put SO much value on ceremonies that lock two people together forever? Well, at least until they die, or decide to be unlocked, which is more likely the case here in the United States (and which some have shown us can happen within 24 hours of getting hitched in the first place, but I digress). 

There are some MAJOR things that are fundamental to “being married” that I just don’t get.  I don’t understand why being “married” to someone determines how the money we’ve been contributing forever (social security, etc) gets distributed at the end of our lives.  Shouldn’t we, as free thinkers, be able to decide where our money goes?  And I’m going to cut this argument short for sake of “time,” but know that this one thought is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the discussion of “marriage” in general.

Back to the debate on gay marriage/unions.  It really bothers me when the basic foundations and principles on which the United States has its origins based upon get forgotten and thrown by the wayside when it comes to this issue.  200 or so years ago our forefathers created an entire governmental system based on the belief that there should be separation of church and state.  To me this means that no matter what you spiritually believe to be true, whether in your home, your church/temple, or your bed, you must leave these beliefs at the door when it comes to politics. I don’t care if your G-d, or Allah, or whatever deity or spirit you believe in says that homo love is a sin – I think you need to check those feelings when it comes to determining the rights of others. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Now, I’m sure they never in their wildest dreams thought that some twenty decades later homos might try to get married, but…then again…maybe they did think that there would be debates in the future involving issues that might put ones spiritual/religious beliefs at odds with the way they think the government should be run.  Maybe the whole separation of church and state debate was started because those men were smart enough to realize that issues like this would come up in the future.  Maybe, just maybe, they had the wherewithal to consider that for ages and ages people would debate over the minority’s right to the fundamental “right” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

And that’s what it’s really all about, right? Right now, for me, nothing would make my life a fuller, freer, happier life than to have the love I share with my “wife” legally recognized by the country and institutions to which I contribute (in many ways) so much.

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  1. Amen, sister (pun intended about the Amen part).

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