Friday, March 02, 2012

Marriage Equality

Congratulations, Maryland for being the eighth state to pass the marriage equality law. It passed the Maryland Senate 25-22 and the House of Delegates 72-67. I remember when California was going through their struggle of trying to get marriage equality and then succeeded for a short spell before Prop 8 quickly shuffled that one back into the files of “to be continued”. During that time, I remember a friend of mine who shared her views with me regarding homosexuality and if it should be legalized. She stated, “Marriage is between a man and a woman and it’s absolutely wrong for two people of the same sex to marry. It’s just not natural.” While I respect most views, the whole “unnatural” theory kind of gave it a different meaning. Since my friend is black, I reminded her that restrictions of black people being able to marry were lifted after the civil war. They were free to marry anyone in the U.S. unless they were white. Interracial marriages were considered a criminal act. It wasn’t until 1967 where all people of all races were able to marry legally across the U.S. While my friend was very pleased to hear about Prop 8 banning marriage equality for California, I asked her how she would have felt if the same restrictions applied to her since it happened to her ancestors. The only response she really had was, “Gays and lesbians cannot reproduce.”

There is nothing new about gay and lesbian unions. Although many had to hide their unions from civilization back in the day, it’s a relief to know that more and more states are legalizing gay marriage and treating us “equal” - as “humans”. We love. We establish families. I wish some people who were against marriage equality would put themselves into our shoes and understand just for a brief moment what it’s like to not be able to marry the person you love with all your heart. I read a comment from someone who will remain nameless who said, “Why do all gays and lesbians have to keep constantly putting their sex lives in our faces! Why is it on the news!?” I didn’t even respond to it. I let other people chew on that thread while I watched her crumble down and finally remove her status message out of shame. The thing that gets me is - what does “sex” have to do with marriage equality alone? Every single time someone who is against the gay lifestyle talks about it in a derogatory manner, they immediately shift over into the sexual aspects of our lives. They don’t see two people having a lifelong friendship, love, family, companionship or for the most part, a life similar to theirs. All they see are bath houses, men in leather having sex in the streets and lesbians inviting a man into their bedroom. It’s all sexual. Nothing about their thoughts on the homosexual lifestyle is, “wholesome”. While there are many gays and lesbians who are promiscuous, there are many heterosexuals who are as well.

It’s a shame that we’re such a outcasted stigma still till this day. Yes, we’re progressing and making long strides, but many people’s mindsets and opinions about it goes back to the days where blacks couldn’t marry whites. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me. One example of still ‘casting us out’ and leaving us somewhat in second place of equality is when I saw the news this morning. Greg Kelly from Good Day NY try to “correct” something that didn’t need any correcting. When Julie Chang, an entertainment reporter, told Greg about the first straight-friendly gay hotel opening up in NYC, Greg immediately said, “You mean gay-friendly hotel.” Julie looked at him with enthusiasm and said, “Nooo, it’s a ‘straight-friendly’ GAY hotel, Greg!” He then fought her on this and said, “No, it’s gay-friendly. I have to say it that way.” Whether not the network decided to do it because well, we all know it’s FOX News, it was misrepresenting what this hotel is advertising. I think the hotel should get an apology for it to tell you the truth. But it’s “news” - it wasn’t Greg’s opinion - tell the news as it is and not what you hope it is. It’s just another example of how closed minded some people can be. I’m just glad that more and more states are finally recognizing the importance and value of what it means to finally be able to marry the one you love without any restrictions whatsoever.

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JakesMomma said...

I am excited to see how far things have come. Living in FL I am not holding my breath for it here anytime soon, but am happy that my partner can now legally adopt our son, although irritated we have to pay out thousands for her to be acknowledged as a parent to a child she has raised since day 1.

I do have to say that I think there are members of the community that still 'shoot ourselves in the foot' where public opinion is concerned and continue to hold us back though. I would love to one day be able to go to a pride event and actually feel proud of who is representing me and better yet be able to go and take our 5 year old son and not have to worry about what he might see. If we could display ourselves in a venue such as that as just being your typical everyday working people/families/spouses maybe that opinion would shift. We were so excited to a few years back and walk with our church and push our little guy in his stroller but once we saw what was going on, we quickly took our son and left and have not returned since. It is sad that the events that attract the most media attention are full of displays that usually just reinforce the opinions and also give the impression that the lifestyle is about sex by people dressing and acting the way they do.

Deb said...

I definitely have to agree with you about those pride parades. I rarely attend them and when I have, there are some people who are 'in your face' - which are the ones who are giving us a bad rap. It's a shame because you're absolutely right - you can't bring a kid to these events without someone screwing it up. Any PDA (public display of affection) is just uncomfortable whether you're gay or straight in my opinion. I wish you luck in FL and that your son is thrilled over being adopted by your significant other. Wish it could have been easier for you. Thanks for your input!

the walking man said...

With the Gay Marriage being on the ballot in so many states (including MI) that made it against the constitution of the state, it becomes more than a referendum but an amendment issue.

I am happy that progress in equality is happening but until we become truly human and quit trying to tell other people what is the right or wrong way to live their lives; instead of letting them as human beings just being what we are then there will always be more progress to be made.

I can just hear the producer in that dudes ear mic telling him what to say. hahahahaahaha

Xmichra said...

I'm glad that the laws are starting to change, but it's crazy in this day and age that they aren't just blanket-changed.

The last part with the hotel business... that to me sounds funny either way. A hotel implies hospitality - shouldn't matter about any kind of orientation. You shouldn't need to check your strait/gay/bi/tri card at the till. Maybe that is naive of me. *shrugs*.. but really, I think it's nuts to have to sexually orient a business.

Deb said...

Mark, I definitely believe progress is being made though! I have hope... :)

Xmichra, I see your point, but if you stand back and look at the big picture and the "big business" where it labels many of NYC's hotels as "gay-friendly", it sort of bites you in the ass, as if, "Ok, we'll be nice to you if you come in..." This hotel is an all inclusive establishment for everyone, except that it's "straight-friendly". So what's worse, gay friendly or straight friendly? And you have to admit, there aren't a whole lotta' places that accept homosexuals at their 5 star joints. I remember checking into the Historic Inn at Crowne Pointe in Provincetown, MA - another reputable 5 star hotel/B&B. Their straight clientele were appalled over the fact that there were gay people there. They were fuming and wanted their money back. Their travel agent failed to tell them (as the clients should have already known) that Provincetown was more of a gay community. Regardless, it is nice to finally have a gay establishment in my city where we can say, "Yes, we are DEFINITELY welcomed." Because many of the times, we're not. I guess you wouldn't see it from my point of view but I have experienced it far too many times. *Hands you my shoes to step into them* If the straight people didn't have so many "issues" with gay people, there wouldn't be a need to have "gay" or "straight" establishments...... eh..

Xmichra said...

You know, I haven't even seen or noticed that at all (either way)... but it could simply be because it neither concerns or affects me. That could be it. To me it really doesn't matter if there are gay people, strait people, whatever people welcome or what a slogan is... I am just cheep - so the rates better be good ;)

Geoff Granfield said...

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