Let’s Cut The Crap: Civil Rights Can Never Be Decided by Majority Vote

You know, I'm sick
of all of the lies, the subterfuge and outright fraud that accompanies the
issue of whether or not gays get married. I'm tired of all of the referenda,
and the democratic treatment of an issue that is a basic equal rights issue,
and has nothing to do with democracy.


But most of all, I
am sick to death of religion injecting itself into the political arena with
impunity, and still being treated like some sort of sacred cow, so to speak.


If a man and a woman
want to get married, they can get married.


If a man and a man,
or a woman and a woman want to get married, and they can find someone to
perform the ceremony, they can get married. Therefore, the issue
is not gay marriage. Got it? Gay people already get married, and there is
nothing any law can do to stop that.


The only issue —
and I mean the ONLY issue — is the unequal treatment of different types of
married couples, based on the bigotry of others.Why is it that certain segments of our society simply have to have someone to tread on — someone who is different, and based on that difference, simply can't have the same rights as everyone else?


And don't pretend
it's not bigotry, because it is. Black people who will read this, and then
claim there is a major difference between the gay civil rights movement
happening now and the black civil rights movement of 40 years ago simply don't
get it. It doesn't matter whether or not you "approve" of a couple
possibly being homosexual, anymore than it mattered before 1967, that many
people didn't "approve" of mixed-race couples marrying.

Once more, the
government doesn't marry people; they simply sanction marriages that already
occur, and grant a whole passel of rights based on that status. And the
government is telling some couples — people who choose to be married of their
own free will, including many couples who are seen as married in the eyes of
their church and/or their families 
that they may not have certain rights, because a majority of people don't
approve of them.


Honestly, the best
thing that could have happened to the issue of same sex marriage was the defeat
of Proposition 8 in California. (Yes, I know the same sort of thing was also
passed in Arizona and Florida, but few expected a positive result from either of
those states.) If it had passed, many same-sex couples in California would have
presumed the fight to be over, and it wouldn't have been. If same sex marriage
had been approved this year, then another, even more confusing, proposition
would have made it to the ballot in two years, then four, then six, then
eight… This one will have to be settled in the courts, and it will be settled in the courts, in the favor of
the long-suffering couples who have been temporarily put off by current events.


See, this is a
Constitutional issue, not an issue that can be decided at the ballot box. The
Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution couldn’t be clearer: if any
government in this country, federal or state, grants rights to one person or
group of people, it has to allow everyone else in the same circumstances the
same rights. There is no discrimination allowed based on any criteria,
including the sex of the participants. And that's what is happening. You're
allowing one couple to have all of the rights and privileges the state and
federal government give to some married couples,  and denying the same thing to other married
couples, based on the sex of one of the married couple.


When you break it
down, that just how simple it is; it's gender discrimination.


And please spare me
all of the arguments against "gay marriage," and that includes you,
President-elect Obama. In your wisdom, you did come out against amending the
California constitution, but the fact of the matter is, you still fed the bigots
with your "I don't agree with gay marriage" shtick. It doesn't matter
whether you "approve." Same sex couples get married every day, and
they don't give a rat's ass about whether or not you "approve."


But here's the
question; what is it you disapprove of, anyway? It can't be the sex, because
lots of couples get married without ever having sex. There's no law against
couples who marry for money and security, or just for convenience, so it can't
possibly be because "marriage is supposed to be an expression of
love." Let's face it, Elvis impersonators marry an awful lot of drunk
couples in Las Vegas, every year, so it's pretty difficult to make that
"but it's tradition" argument.


Here's an idea; it's
no one's goddamn business.  If two people
want to get married, whether they do or not is not and should not be up for the
approval by the rest of the public. The public never voted to anull Britney
Spears' drunken two-day marriage to her high school chum, and they didn't get
to weigh in on Anna Nicole Smith's gold digger marriage to octogenarian Howard
Marshall; why should the people of California have anything to say at all about
Melissa Etheridge's or Ellen DeGeneres' marriages? How would you like it if,
when you decide to marry your sweetheart in a church, whether or not the whole
thing happened at all was subject to a majority vote?


I used to be one of
those who suggested that "civil unions" were sufficient; that the
reason the public was against gay marriage was because of the word
"marriage." But then I thought hard about it, and I decided, who the
hell cares what you call it? If a couple decides they're married, they're
married, and no one — and I mean no one — should have anything to say about
it one way or another.  Whether they call
themselves "married" or "civilly united," or even
"turdblossom" is their business, and the rest of us have no say in
the matter. Who has the right to define what their relationship is, except
those participating in the relationship.


And the state should
have nothing to say about it, either. If two unrelated adults consent to marry
and create a family, the state can choose not to confer rights on any couples,
or all couples; it doesn't get to pick and choose which couples get the rights
and benefits and which ones don't.


It's time we shut up
the religious bigots, too. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of these
assholes, and I'm sick of coddling them. A majority of the people in this
country claim to be Christian, and there is absolutely nothing in the words of
Christ that even slightly condone, let alone mandate, bigotry. I'll have a lot
more on this in several posts over the next few weeks, but come on, folks;
you've at least gone to Sunday school and heard the story of the Good
Samaritan. What the hell do you think that story was about? It was a story
instructing against bigotry.


No matter how you
feel about homosexuality, there is nothing in Christian teaching that instructs
you to deny the civil rights of people who do things of which you don't
approve. And you're inconsistent, anyway. I don't see churches protesting and
tossing millions of dollars into propositions to prevent drunks from marrying.
You're not marching in the streets demanding that people who gamble should not
be allowed to marry. No, it's only same-sex couples, and you base your
objection on your dirty minded objection to what you imagine their sexual
practices might be.


Here's the bottom
line to all of this; gay couples get married, they have families, and their
numbers are growing and will continue to grow. The only question is, how long
will it be before they have the same rights as all other married couples, and
the answer is, as soon as the courts get around to it.


Never forget that
the Constitution was created to protect the minority from the tyranny of a
voting majority; our rights are never to be subject to the whims of a majority
vote. If two men or two women want to get married, the reality is…


It's none of our
goddamn business.

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