02 July 2005

Viva Espana (CS)

Spain sticks it to the Vatican and legalizes gay marriages. It's been a pretty hot-button issue in this country, especially over the past couple years. And sure, there are other issues of equality that gay people (and those that would defend their rights) need to fight for, but I think to most gay people, even those whom don't care for getting married, it is an issue of such symbolic importance to push it to a point of actual effect.
I debate ideas in my head and most issues that i debate in my head i imagine that i'm arguing with my grandmother. Even on some issues where she seems to waver at least a little bit, she still manages to pretty much bite whole heartedly into the general Conservative party line. So here I offer you Me vs. Grandma on Gay Marriage:

Grandma begins by saying, It's just plain unnatural.
To which i ask, Says who? The jury's still out on whether homosexuality happens in the animal world, and there is evidence to suggest that it does. Of course, that is neither here nor there because we are NOT animals. Sure we are like animals and everything is a part of nature, but a dog is not a bear is not a fish is certainly not a human. There are lots of things we don't see in the natural world that humans do. Ever seen a fish build a skyscraper or a cow write poetry? Do you think lions would care for movies or that you might find any animal whatsoever arranging for a ceremonial marriage the way that we do?
And are you telling me, with all the people out there that are indeed homosexual, that honestly love each other or care about one another, that all these people are simply "unnatural" ??

Grandma retorts by saying, Yes, but it is clearly immoral.
At which point i must say, By who's standard aside from religious texts? Are we really going to work by a quote from Leviticus which also tells us we can't eat shellfish or touch pigs and is incredibly fearful of what the body may or may not secrete? For that matter, are our moral standards really coming from a book, of debatable truth, that also asks us to stone people, beat our children with sticks, and justifies selling our daughters into slavery? And this is all to say nothing of the new Testament attitude of "loving thy neighbor" and the manifold contridictions and gaps in logic that "the good book" contains.
Perhaps you can get a sense of your personal morality from your religion, but to enforce that morality by law is, in practice, borderline theocracy. If catholic gay people want to marry each other, then fine, it has become a problem between them and their denomination. But since when are we taking marching orders from the church and the vatican in our rule of law? It's a bit too 17th Century for me to be regulated under the guidance of an institution so consistantly behind the curve as to support the continuation of slavery and take 359 years to get around to apologizing to Galileo.

Grandma asks, But in the end, shouldn't it be a States' Rights issue? Let them decide.
To which I reply, Tell me, just HOW is this different from mixed racial marriages? How is segregation of gay people any different from segregation of black people? Why do equal rights for minorities get champoined under the banner of Civil Rights except when it applies to homosexuals? The Texas gov't says to the gay people in its state, "If you don't like how it is, then leave." Do you think that would fly if the minority group being asked to leave was asian? Or hispanic?

At which point Grandma sighs, But it feels wrong, it just can't be right, it makes me feel uncomfortable, how can they BE like that???
Well obviouisly, i say, mustering patience, we cant just start persecuting things that make you feel uncomfortable. You (and many other people) would feel uncomfortable listening to most of the music i listen to or playing a video game that i like or any number of things. What makes you "uncomfortable" (whether it be due to generational paradigm or who knows what) is still not a standard to legislate by. At this point i realize just what it is that's probably making her uncomfortable and i think it's thus important to mention that it isn't just about sex. Gay people seem to be no more or less sex crazed than straight people, much to the contrary of what seems to be general conservatie opinion. Is it so impossible for two people of the same sex to come together on a level that is not platonic yet not merely sexual? Are you telling me that marriage has only to do with sex? Overall, it seems that it is the "deeply religious" that are so fixated on carnal pleasures.

In the end, laws of liberty mostly apply to the rule of letting people be free to do as they wish, as long as they are not hurting others and Truly, who is being hurt by letting gay people marry? To some it seems like such a trifling thing (and to some quite a big one), but if we cannot see fit to let this group of people be part of such a trifling thing, then how are they ever to obtain the more important aspects of rights and justice?