Saturday, February 19, 2011

My tax dollars don't pay you to hate and discriminate.

It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and, as usual, my brain assumes that’s the perfect time for writing. It’s one of those nights when “more tired than Katherine Heigl in a romantic comedy” just doesn’t seem to cover it.
 I find myself awake pondering the plight of the world – its incessant need to hate, its undying ability to spread that hate.  I wonder how we got here. I wonder how we ever get to a point where hatred is acceptable. Especially when it’s sheathed in the name of God.

The Indiana House of Representatives voted to pass an amendment banning same sex marriage.  This decision has had me quite perplexed for a few days, and I’m only just now finding myself calm enough to adequately respond.  Representative Eric Turner has been quoted as saying, “The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage. Marriage is and should be between one man and one woman."

Who gets to decide what marriage is or isn’t? Is that a power that “we the people” have given to our government? To define what makes a marriage and what constitutes family? If so, can someone please point out where the U.S. constitution allocates that right, because I damn sure haven’t seen it.

The people that voted for this amendment say that they are NOT writing DISCRIMINATION into the constitution. IF you are saying that marriage is EXCLUSIVE to one man and one woman, does that not exclude any other sort of relationship? Is that not, therefore, discrimination? Apparently our elected officials have a different grasp of what constitutes discriminatory activity. It was once acceptable to outlaw interracial marriages as well. But, maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges and I just don’t realize it. Maybe the prevention of marriage between two people who clearly loved each other in the early to mid 20th century is totally different from the prevention of marriage between two people who clearly love each other in the 21st century.

If I told you that marriage should only be between people from the same social class would you accept that? No, you wouldn’t. Why? Because it’s arbitrary and, as we all know, you can’t help who you love. 
Marriage is what you make it. Marriage, for some, is the ultimate testament of love. Marriage, for others, is a death sentence. But at least they get to make that choice.

Who does “same-sex” marriage harm? Is it murdering your child? Is it stealing your most prized possessions? Is it selling drugs at the local high school? If my gay friends get married, will a deadly earthquake occur halfway across the world and somehow wipeout 6 million people? Will it somehow prevent you from living your day to day life? 

How about a little perspective people. Marriage is not a gift to be doled out like candy on Halloween. It is a right, as inherent as the right to vote.

So, dear Rep. Turner – if you want to maintain the cornerstone of the family, you should probably start by realizing that families, like marriage, are what you make them. Family is what I choose it to be, not what my government tells me it is. Family is born from love and love does not only exist between one man and one woman. The Indiana state constitution is no place for your prejudices. Please keep them to yourself. 

11 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Kristen. When will people realize that it is 2011 and not 1911? "One man and one woman" is ridiculous dogma that doesn't even make logical sense! At work, it's totally not alright to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and now the government is trying to become "morality police" by discriminating against gays and lesbians in a private affair that the government has no place in at all! I wish the Indiana house of representatives would realize that who loves whom is not their business and promptly take their stupid homophobic asses outside and cry.

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  2. That's -exactly- what you're paying them for.

    The trouble here is twofold, Kristen. I'm going to play devil's advocate, but only because it makes sense. Marriage as used in our government is a Christian derivative title, and as long as they're going to stir their cocks in these things, they're obligated to serve the majority of Christians. They're not doing anything wrong in that regard: Allowing same-sex marriages would engender a violation of the faith — whether you feel that way or not. So yes, you do pay them to hate and discriminate as long our government is embroiled in the nations' pervading religion.

    What they -should- do is rescind any authority over religious affairs such as these, as it should have been in the first place, and adopt a purely legal method of binding two people.

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  3. But haven't they done exactly that with the first amendment of our bill of rights - rescinding authority over religious affairs? I agree that our politicians are upholding Christian belief systems, albeit through a thinly veiled facade, but our constitution has a clause aimed at the separation of church and state for a reason. Whether or not people agree with same-sex marriage based on religion isn't the issue. The blatant disregard for what our country has come to stand for is. The US is supposed to be a place where people are free to be who they are. It's supposed to be a place where every one has the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In that regard, my tax dollars aren't meant to pay for hate and discrimination. My tax dollars are meant to pay for people that are upholding the supreme law of the land (and of the state)and adhering to the aforementioned principles.

    They aren't obligated to serve Christians. They aren't obligated to protect marriage. They are obligated to serve the people and protect the people. Not the married Christian people, but all people. Period. They need to be held accountable to that obligation.

    And, to be clear, the conservatives (democrats and republicans alike) have done exactly what they need to do to ensure that nobody can attack their marriage amendment on the basis that it blatantly disregards the first amendment of the US Constitution. They're attempting to define what marriage is for marriage's sake - not for the sake of religion.

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  4. But they are obligated. Laws or not, they're supported by and serve a majority of Christians. Whether you or I like it or not. Amendments, like any form of legislature, are only applicable if enforced. And you won't have something enforced in a "free" country if its citizens don't agree.

    They should evacuate the marriage business period, and they should have never been a part of it in the first place.

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  5. This isn't about what I like or do not like. It's about what is right under the legal doctrine of the U.S. constitution. I understand that the majority of people here are Christian. But I also understand that there are quite a few people that aren't. I understand that legislature is only applicable if enforced. And, as such, I also understand that our constitution is only a binding document if the people continue to ensure that their elected officials adhere to it. That is what I'm talking about. Ensuring that the people promote a government that doesn't only protect the interest of individual factions, but that it protects the interests of ALL PEOPLE.

    However, you are still missing my point. You can't bring religion into the discussion if it didn't start there. The state of Indiana is attempting to amend their constitution to reflect the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. They are not attempting to amend the constitution to reflect that marriage is between a man and a woman as per Christian doctrine. Therefore, the argument that Christianity runs this country, and that the government is therefore held accountable to it and not the people, is moot. It has no bearing here because the representatives of the state of Indiana have seen to it that no one can legally make the claim that their amendment violates separation of church and state.

    I'm not talking about reading between the lines. I'm discussing what can legally be done about this particular situation. We all know that our laws are based in Christian principles. That is not news. We all know that many people are against same-sex marriages because of what they claim the bible teaches them. But, what I'm after, what I'm urging you to understand, is that we have a constitution for a reason. That constitution is written in such a way as to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. IDEALLY, we as a people cannot sit back and allow them to arbitrarily decide who gets access to what rights simply because it is amenable to our religious background. (And by arbitrary - I mean on the basis of sex, skin color, and sexual orientation.) We, as Americans, need to wake the hell up and understand that this country is made up of people that have unique thoughts, desires, religions and love interests. And we need to make damn sure that our federal and state governments aren't passing laws and enacting amendments that deliberately discriminate against people that don't fit in to what they believe a "family" or a "marriage" should be.

    I know what the real world is like. I know that what I want to happen, what my lofty ideals state should happen, and I know what is actually happening. Just because people do it, doesn't mean they should. Just because our government is made up of Christians doesn't mean that the entire country has to be held to the Christian ideal given that there are people here that are Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, etc.

    And, as a last point, aren't you just making my case for me? I agree, the government should never have taken a stance on this issue. But they are, and I'm going to bitch about it until they stop. I'm going to bitch about the powers that are granted to our state and federal governments by the supreme law of the friggin land until I'm blue in the face. And I'm going to hang on to my beautiful ideals every single step of the way.

    If we continue to allow our politicians to take one abilities that were not granted them by the constitution, then that document - the document that's been in placed since the 1780's - loses all of its power. It loses its meaning. Our government ceases to be the entity that we believe it to be. And we as the people lose the power to have a say in how we are governed. This particular amendment is about so much more than Christian ideals, my ideals or marriage. It is about the government forgetting its responsibility and encroaching on our daily lives.

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  6. I'm not arguing against you, Kristen. I said I was playing devil's advocate. I'm arguing -realistically-, not categorically. I'm claiming the constitution shouldn't be upheld.

    What I -am- telling you is that, whether or not you want it to be that way, our interpretation of the constitution — like many other countries with legal statutes — favors the chief faith of the United States and its representatives in office. And it's not going to suddenly change unless we're ran by robots. This is why religion belongs in a topic about marriage. Objectivity is not shed when incumbents have their own views and serve people with whose views dominate any area of belief. That's how our gov't works, and to be quite honest, that's how it should work, as much as I dislike it.

    In the eyes of the people who are against gay marriage, you're encroaching on -their- daily lives by invalidating and blemishing something they hold dear. The same thing you're trying to support would be imposing on someone's religion because our gov't is sticking its nose where it shouldn't be.

    Easy solution: leave marriage to religious institutions. If a girl wants to "marry" a girl, they can become legal partners via gov't standards.

    Anyhow, the constitution as it was described by our founding fathers has been chewed up long, long ago. *shrug* We're plenty late for the "uphold the constitution" rally.

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  7. Again, you're missing my point. I'm not stating that this isn't a religious issue as a whole. I'm arguing that this isn't a religious as it is outlined by the legal documents filed by the government of the state of Indiana. I'm arguing that this is not and can not be a religious discussion in the context of what is currently occurring in Indiana based on the way that they've written the amendment.

    I understand the reality of the situation. I'm arguing ideals. What we ideally want our country to be. If we don't work towards the idea of a "more perfect union" then we aren't doing anything at all.

    A person's desire to marry whoever the hell they want to marry is not encroaching on anyone's life in any form. By my very statement - marriage is what you make it. If you let the fact that some person that you've never met is marrying a person of the same sex "undermine" your marriage that sounds like a personal problem to me. If that's the case, then divorce is undermining marriage, too.

    What's more, it's not imposing on someone's religion. Religion is personal. A person's walk with God, Allah or whoever is personal. It has nothing to do with the population as a whole.

    If a heterosexual couple has the right to legally get married then a homosexual couple should as well. They shouldn't have to resort to "civil unions" or anything less than what heterosexual couples get simply because our government or our people don't want to deal with anything that doesn't fit into their cookie cutter view of what a family or what a society should be. Same-sex couples should just accept whatever they can legally get and move on? Please.

    You may be too late for the "uphold the constitution" rally, but that surely does not apply to me. I'm not just going to sit idly by and say "well that's how the government works, and there's nothing I can do about it." What if the people that fought, bled and died for civil rights had thought the same thing - "that's just the way it is." Of course the constitution has been chewed up and that's partially my point. Are we all just going to stand by and continue to let it happen? Or are we going to salvage what we can?

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  8. it's very simple actually, there is no such thing as arguing "realistically" because "realistically" is something that is never set in stone. Realistically, "marriage" was never a reality, but it became and evolved into one precisely because people worked to make it a reality. If we can make something that was never realistic, a reality, then we can undo it and create a situation more inclusive of other realities. One doesn't play "devil's advocate" using the "realistically speaking" card, one does it by questioning whose fucking reality are we speaking of, from and within?

    Realistically speaking, the "constitution" is a piece of paper, but I can totally understand if this is your reality, just dont impose this reality onto others by telling them the lives they lead is unrealistic.

    RMTY

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  9. Well, then. R. Matey clearly does a much better job of arguing the point. Succint and thorough. This was a tasty bit of conversation, wasn't it.

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