27 March 2013

Marriage Equality

If you've been on Facebook in the last 36 hours, you may have noticed this (or similar versions of it) ALL OVER your Newsfeed:

Bright, is it not? So so bright....

Anyway, my profile is also sporting this little beauty in support of Marriage Equality and my friends whose rights are discriminated against.

Heeeeeeere's the thing: I don't like using FB or my blog for political or religious agendas mainly because I like to keep that shit private, but I've been passionately against the anti-gay attitude since high school and wanted to put in my two cents because it's my blog and I can.

Obviously, if you do not share my beliefs you'll probably be offended or pissed or argumentative or may never read my blog again, but that's your decision.


Honestly, I cannot fathom why Same-Sex Marriage is even an issue. With Global Warming, our natural resources running low, the war in the Middle East, North Korea testing nukes, the struggling economy, and many other major crises around the world, arguing Marriage Equality is probably the biggest waste of time and brain power.


Because the argument is religious and our country was founded with the express intent that no one religion dictates law. I'm sure the Founding Fathers didn't take into account Atheism, Wiccan, Agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Scientology etc etc, but it seemed they had the foresight to prepare for more immigrants with varying religions becoming citizens. So while protestors are spouting Leviticus and Sodom and Gomorrah, the bottom line is homosexuals should be afforded the right to marry in the eyes of the STATE.

And yes, their rights are being discriminated against because there are privileges granted to married couples-- like, oh, I don't know.... ALL OF THESE:

  • Right to benefits while married:
    • employment assistance and transitional services for spouses of members being separated from military service; continued commissary privileges
    • per diem payment to spouse for federal civil service employees when relocating
    • Indian Health Service care for spouses of Native Americans (in some circumstances)
    • sponsor husband/wife for immigration benefits
  • Larger benefits under some programs if married, including:
  • Joint and family-related rights:
    • joint filing of bankruptcy permitted
    • joint parenting rights, such as access to children's school records
    • family visitation rights for the spouse and non-biological children, such as to visit a spouse in a hospital or prison
    • next-of-kin status for emergency medical decisions or filing wrongful death claims
    • custodial rights to children, shared property, child support, and alimony after divorce
    • domestic violence intervention
    • access to "family only" services, such as reduced rate memberships to clubs & organizations or residency in certain neighborhoods
  • Preferential hiring for spouses of veterans in government jobs
  • Tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from "due-on-sale" clauses.
  • Special consideration to spouses of citizens and resident aliens
  • Threats against spouses of various federal employees is a federal crime
  • Right to continue living on land purchased from spouse by National Park Service when easement granted to spouse
  • Court notice of probate proceedings
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Existing homestead lease continuation of rights
  • Regulation of condominium sales to owner-occupants exemption
  • Funeral and bereavement leave
  • Joint adoption and foster care
  • Joint tax filing
  • Insurance licenses, coverage, eligibility, and benefits organization of mutual benefits society
  • Legal status with stepchildren
  • Making spousal medical decisions
  • Spousal non-resident tuition deferential waiver
  • Permission to make funeral arrangements for a deceased spouse, including burial or cremation
  • Right of survivorship of custodial trust
  • Right to change surname upon marriage
  • Right to enter into prenuptial agreement
  • Right to inheritance of property
  • Spousal privilege in court cases (the marital confidences privilege and the spousal testimonial privilege)
  • For those divorced or widowed, the right to many of ex- or late spouse's benefits, including:
    • Social Security pension
    • veteran's pensions, indemnity compensation for service-connected deaths, medical care, and nursing home care, right to burial in veterans' cemeteries, educational assistance, and housing
    • survivor benefits for federal employees
    • survivor benefits for spouses of longshoremen, harbor workers, railroad workers
    • additional benefits to spouses of coal miners who die of black lung disease
    • $100,000 to spouse of any public safety officer killed in the line of duty
    • continuation of employer-sponsored health benefits
    • renewal and termination rights to spouse's copyrights on death of spouse
    • continued water rights of spouse in some circumstances
    • payment of wages and workers compensation benefits after worker death
    • making, revoking, and objecting to post-mortem anatomical gifts

And no, Civil Unions are not given all of these rights.

Please understand that even if Same-Sex Marriage was nationally legalized, churches still get to decide whether or not they will allow it. In fact, there are already several that do. It amazes me how that anti-marriage equality movement will use Separation of Church and State for their argument when it actually protects both sides of the issue.

I want to tackle a few of the arguments against Marriage Equality because that sounds like fun.

Homosexuality is against Nature.

Ummmm.... no it's not. Monogamy among animals (and like it or not humans are animals too) is more rare than homosexual behavior. In fact, Polygamy is Nature's preferred sexual behavior to preserve balance, and there are plenty of species that participate in homosexual sex, another argument against CHOICE. Look at me using my knowledge from the Animal Behavior and Philosophy classes I took. See Mom & Dad, my college education did come in handy!

Let's try a rephrase: "Homosexuality is against MY nature." And it's also against mine as I'm a hetero female, but that doesn't make it wrong. I dislike country music but that doesn't mean I should ban it from the radio and have all country musicians executed.

Homosexuality is a choice.

That's cute. When people say this, I wonder if they've ever asked a gay person how they came about deciding on the sexual preference that is railed against in much of society, could get them beaten up or killed, would cause their family and some friends to disown them, and lose certain rights. What a choice!!! Sign me up!

Homosexuality is NOT a choice. And it is. Just like Heterosexuality is both. Okay, before I piss people off, let me explain. You can choose to have a homo/heterosexual relationship any time you want, that's the beauty of free will. So, while I am sexually attracted to men, I could choose to be with a woman.... but it goes against my nature (OMG did you see how I tied that in with the previous section?!).

In reality, true sexual orientation is not a choice. You know from a young age whether you're attracted to boys or girls. Children react on instinct, so if a 5 year old boy decides he likes boys, that is part of his natural makeup, not a conscious decision. Which brings me to the religious side of things.

"But Jamie, aren't you a Christian? Isn't homosexuality a sin according to the Bible?" you ask.

Oh man, this is such a loaded question, but if I'm going to sum up my response: Yes I am a Christian, no I don't believe Homosexuality is a sin, and God and I are cool with that. In fact, I believe the verses used to proclaim it a sin have been grossly misinterpreted and taken out of context.  And while you might think "That's cute but your opinion doesn't matter against the Word of God" I would add that my thinking is that of far more intelligent and knowledgeable Theologians who, like, have PhDs and stuff and also believe in God and Jesus.

You see, I've never understood the anti-gay sentiment. I went to church and learned the lesson of love from Jesus and that we're all God's creatures, created by Him in His image. So you can imagine my confusion when I tried to comprehend individuals who knew they were gay since preschool against individuals protesting them in the name of God and telling them to change their sinful ways. Didn't God make gay people? Why would God make someone gay against their will then leave them to deal with people who protest their nature? God and I talked it over and I've felt at peace ever since.

A great reference that really dives into the subject is the documentary For The Bible Tells Me So. If you refuse to watch the film because you think it's a spun opinion piece, then by all means go to the website and use their resources as a guide instead. Write to the professors and ministers that speak in the film and most of all, read essays and articles, pray and use God's guidance to make up your own mind.

Quick thing about everyone's favorite story of Sodom and Gomorrah: look at the context of the story. It's not a society overrun by crazy gay people trying to make everyone gay. This was a city that sought pleasure in any way possible-- debauchery, beastiality, sex with anyone, anytime, anywhere, anyway they wanted. Sex wasn't about love, it was Lust. The men were trying to rape the angels that came to warn against this behavior; it's about using sex to humiliate and violate people, as well as denying hospitality to travelers in the desert as that was also a big no no.

Same-Sex Marriage is a step away from Beastiality.

I'm not even going to acknowledge this as a valid argument because it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and lacks any and all common sense.

Marriage is between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation.

Such a romantic sentiment. "Will you marry me and be my baby maker?" Okay fine, but did you take this approach toward your marriage or were you all about love, sharing life with a partner, choosing a soulmate, and spending the rest of your life with your best friend? I find this argument hypocritical because this isn't the heterosexual view of marriage either.

Sure, it's Biblical, but again, let's look at the context. That was before there were almost 7 billion people populating the Earth and many children without homes. Yes, scientifically speaking if every person on the planet decided to "lay with" their same gender, it would wipe out the human population... which is why it's a darn good thing there are both straight and gay people! Population control at its finest!

Marriage Equality ruins the Institution of Marriage.

Because straight people have done a great job keeping its sanctity. Half of all HETERO marriages end in divorce. Did you know that the legal institution of marriage didn't start with the Bible? Marriage was originally a vow made between a man, woman, and God. They'd make it and start living together. Unfortunately, some men would leave their wife and kids for another woman, and when the previous wife would protest, there was no proof he was responsible for her and the children.  So, society had to take charge and bring in legal contracts (and witnesses) to ensure the validity of these arguments. Ancient Civilizations class pays off!

Let's also consider the changes marriage has gone through over the centuries. Men could have multiple wives, women were traded to husbands for animals and crops and gold, a wife could be killed or divorced for not producing a male heir, wives couldn't ask for divorces, women needed parental consent, etc etc. So when some refers to the "Institution of Marriage" I want to know which one.

And to that I ask: Where the hell are all you anti same-sex marriage people when Atheists get married? Or Scientologists? Or Agnostics? If you're going to argue that marriage is a Christian practice between a man and a woman, then it needs to be made illegal for anyone not showing valid proof of a belief in Jesus. Show me your WWJD bracelet now!!!

Actually, legalized same-sex marriage may instill a greater appreciation for the Institution since it was previously denied, passing this on to the children of these couples, creating more respect for the act of marriage, as well as a greater willingness to work at marital relationships. Win-win!

Gay couples will make their children gay (and maybe mine too!).

Sorry, I didn't realize Homosexuality was a virus. My mistake.

"What am I going to tell my kids?"

Nothing? Why does it require explanation? If they ask, "Mommy, why does Billy have two daddies?" I guess "Because I said so!" wouldn't totally suffice. Obviously you're going to tell your kids what you feel is right. Your kids will look to your marriage as their main example, so use that as a guide, I guess.

I grew up in a Christian home but the question of sexual orientation never came up. My parents let me make up my own mind about my sexual preference and opinion of homosexuality (which I would've done anyway since I was that kind of a child), and I'm happily married. My older brother is happily married. I want everyone to share in the happiness I find in marriage. It's comforting to have one partner for the rest of my life that will share in the difficulties, challenges, and good times. There's also an amazing sense of peace knowing there is someone in this world who knows me better than anyone else.


Look, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. These are my arguments and this is why I believe in Marriage Equality. I'm sure I could've added more sources and offered stronger educated arguments, but this is a blog, for crying out loud, and my knuckle hurts!

It's the ugliness of the argument I dislike the most. Insults and anger solve nothing.

Bigot is defined as a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred or intolerance.

Not everyone opposed to Same-Sex Marriage deserves this adjective because not all disagree using hate or intolerance, though it may feel that way to those on the other side of the line. Many people believe they are standing by God's Word, remaining true to their Christian faith and preaching morality. To them, it's a noble cause.

I understand, have researched the argument, but respectfully disagree with the cause on both Christian and human grounds. Not allowing Same-Sex couples to marry does tread on rights given to citizens of the United States, and yes that goes against the 14th Amendment of the Constitution:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

To me, it seems so simple. So I will continue to practice love and tolerance, no matter how many people disagree or hate me for it. Feel free to post a respectful opinion on either side of the issue. I'm happy to talk about it.

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