Subtitled: I’m taking my next vacation in Iowa.
First of all, I am not a lawyer. I don’t play one on TV, and I don’t purport to understand all the complexities of our legal system. I wanted to get that out of the way because I want my not-so-gentle readers to be clear that what I am about to say may have no legal standing. OK? OK.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for me to weigh in on the Supreme Court of California upholding Prop H8, which bans same-sex marriages. If you want nuanced discussions on the legal aspects of the ruling, you’ll have to find another blog. All I can offer is my own perspective.
Shall I remind you of what my own perspective is? I am bi. I am also not supportive of marriage in general because I think it’s unfair for married couples to get benefits (automatic health insurance and cheap hotel rooms) that singles don’t receive. In fact, I wonder if some of the rightwing belligerence on the point of SSM is because of the fact that they don’t want gays to get the same easy access to healthcare that they do. Yes, that’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but still.
OK. So, I am a bi who doesn’t give a shit about marriage. I don’t intend to marry anyone, so I have no personal dog in this fight. However, as I have said in other contexts, I am for equal treatment and equal rights across the board. Therefore, if straights can get married (and divorced and married and divorced), and our government grants rights with that privilege (hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, and the aforementioned healthcare rights), then queers should have the same accessibility to the institution of marriage.
Despite what the rightwingers say, “one man and one woman” is NOT the way marriage has been since the beginning of time. In fact, in their very own book of truth, many of the men in the old testaments had several wives, concubines, and raped their slaves as well. Seriously. In addition, if you were to believe that Adam and Eve were the first two people, then aren’t we all the products of incest? Plus, they must have copulated like crazy in order to populate the Earth so quickly.
In addition, the whole love-marriage thing is fairly new. In the olden days and in many cultures, marriage was a deal between a man and the woman’s family. Man pays woman’s family so much money, and he gets to wed the woman and take her away from her family. So, really, that argument (the tradition argument) is inane, too.
But, even though I could go on and on about how stupid the opposition to SSM is (gays ruin the sanctity of marriage? Really, Newt? Really, Rudy? Really, Rush?), I want to focus on the California ruling. Some prominient gay activists (yeah, I’m looking at you, Sully) say that the ruling was correct. People in CA voted for this, so it should be upheld.
To which I say, bullshit. If all it takes for a constitution to be amended is 50% of the population + one more person, then that’s mob rules–not democracy. Queer activists are saying we have to get the proposition put back on the ballot in the next election so it can be voted down. Then what? The rightwingers put it back on the ballot the next year in hopes to get it passed again? That is no way to live–from ballot to ballot.
I hate the idea comparing race and sexuality, but in this case, it’s appropriate. Can you imagine what would happen if the idea of interracial marriages was put to a vote? I can think of some states in which a ban against interracial marriages would pass with flying colors. No one in his or her right mind thinks we (the general mass) should get to vote on whether someone should be able to marry outside of that person’s ethnicity, yet, when it comes to sexuality, suddenly, it’s a popularity contest.
So. If I think people of different faiths should not be allowed to get married and I can get enough people to back me on it, should I be allowed to propose that this should be mandated? I mean, one chooses one religion (more or less), so it should be less of a right than should be one’s sexuality. So. Jews can only marry Jews. Baptists can only marry Baptists. Oh, and no converting. If you want your religion to be a protected state, then you can’t switch out of it.
By the way, can I say how pissed I am that the California Supreme Court ruled it was illegal to discriminate againsts gays by not allowing them to marry? That’s what got the rightwingers’ panties in a bunch in the first place. Now, the same SC says the Californian people have the right to amend their constitution–even if it means to discriminate against the very people whom the SC said California could not discriminate against. In addition, queers are a protected class in California, which means, supposedly, that they are supposed to be safe against, what is that word? Oh, yeah, discrimination.
The only silver lining in this whole debacle is that the 18,000 gay couples who married before the people of California voted to put hate and bigotry in their constitution will not be suddenly un-married. Which means they automatically become this weird class of their own–the exempted gays. Some people are speculating that the courts left them married to make the stupidity that is Prop H8 even more apparent. I don’t think that’s true. I do know that the rightwingers are going to go after those 18,000 couples, believe you, me.
So in short, fuck you, California. Congratulations. You are now officially less progressive on queer rights issues than fucking Iowa. I am hoping that all the queer couples in CA who now can’t get married will move to New England and spend their queer money on the East Coast, rather than in California.
I never thought I would have to add California to my states of “no way in hell will I live in this state”, but between their idiotic budget debacle and this, they are state non grata to me. Heck of a job, California. Heck of a job.