>> Friday, August 6, 2010
Proposition 8 in California was overturned as unconstitutional. It's not news, but it's started an interesting discussion over on Janet Reid's excellent blog. I call it interesting, not because I feel this issue has any fuzz on it - someone else deciding who marries who? - but because I'm frequently amazed at the reasoning people come up with for whatever notions they have. Even if they make no damn sense.
Take this quote:
For many years and for many people *marriage* has always been a sacred covenant between two people and their deity. Not just the Christian god either. Gay *marriage* is an deep and personal affront to that covenant.
I don't know if anyone else noted the inherent contradiction between the first two sentences and the third, but I did. Well, heck, for centuries, marriage was a way to possess women, their wombs and sometimes fortunes. I'm sure there are people who would like to go back to that "sacred" way, too. Nor is homosexual marriage unprecedented. Sometimes history is left behind for a very good reason.
Thing is, someone is entitled to think of marriage however they want. You see it as a sacred right between a man and a woman, by all means marry someone of the opposite gender. The question isn't about changing your personal belief. It's about the concept that you can inflict your belief on someone who feels differently, can keep them from doing something so personal, so life-altering, with a person of their choosing just because you don't think they should be able to. It's the concept that some people think they have the right to take this basic right - the right to choose your own spouse - from others because they're not "normal" and the marriage they want isn't "normal."
Even assuming the majority represents "normal," I have to ask - so what? This country was founded on folks who refused to be normal, who bucked the powers that be that told them who they were, what they should believe, what they could expect from themselves. And that reverence for those that weren't "normal," who were different or odd, for those that thought outside the box or refused to be pigeonholed into one way of thinking is a key element in much of what Americans have accomplished, one reason why ingenuity and originality has been such a part of our history.
Not that we haven't had backward moments or that we didn't restrict many portions of the populace from the same respect and reverence (different races and women, for example). But it's our individual freedoms, our individuality that have, in my opinion, done the most for this country.
These "normal" folks obsessed with those that aren't "normal" (and I personally think there are any number of what I consider normal people who are perfectly comfortable with individuality) are the ones that stand against every advance, every change for the better, every improvement we've ever had, mostly because they want everyone else to become what they see as "normal." I've never been sure why there is this compulsion to make everyone the same, though I don't discount the possibility that insecurity, the need to feel accepted, is part of it. People (many of them normal) I know that are comfortable with who they are don't feel the urge to force others to be as they are. No pro-choice people I know have ever advocated forcing abortions on the unwilling. No homosexual couples I have known have ever worked heterosexuals having relationships.
"Non-normal" people just want to live their lives to suit their own purposes, decide their own futures, be left to live their non-normal lives in peace with the same rights and responsibilities as all the "normal" people. A few decades back, may I remind you, the "non-normal" people were blacks and women.
A few centuries ago, they were the original settlers here.