Saturday, June 25, 2011

Land of the Free


New York, my home state, signed into law a marriage equality bill yesterday. It is not the first state to do so, following five other states plus the District of Columbia, but it is by far the largest and most populous state to uphold the principle of equality for all, and more than doubles the number of same-sex couples living together in this country. The impact will be enormous when some of those couples choose to marry, and social commentators more knowledgeable than I are confident that most states will follow suit within a decade. This is a proud day for America as we finally begin to live the principle that we are all created equal. It's about time!

We do not have the moral or ethical right to dictate whom others choose to love. I have never understood why so many people feel strongly about an issue which is not their business, and I believe it cowardly at best to cite the Bible as justification of their prejudices. There are numerous passages in that book which preach fairness and tolerance toward ones fellow humans, but bigots conveniently ignore those in their lust for power and control. I think it matters not whether one loves a man, woman or Boston fern, and feel deeply sorry for those who cannot love anyone at all.

The battle for gay rights began in 1969 when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, and its patrons resisted. The incident is considered the start of the gay and lesbian movement, so it's most fitting that this issue has finally come full circle. I am proud of those who have fought for so long for their basic human rights, and I am proud of those legislators who helped to make them a reality for all. In the face of so many foreign wars, a tanked economy, and general, widespread despair among Americans, we finally have something to celebrate.

22 comments:

Taradharma said...

exactly, my dear. now California courts have to get off their lethargic asses and overturn Prop 8!

Whitney Lee said...

I agree that it's a great thing to celebrate and didn't know about the start of things. I love the symmetry of that.

e said...

You are absolutely right! Thanks for this post.

Bruce said...

There are so few unambiguously wonderful things to celebrate these days; thanks for a wonderful, humane and thoughtful analysis of this one!

Cloudia said...

Wonderful! We just signed Civil Unions...



Aloha from Waikiki :)

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TechnoBabe said...

Exactly, not their business just as abortion is not anyone else's business or what I choose to make for breakfast.

Your middle paragraph is awesome.

Jo said...

There was quite a debate regarding this on Facebook yesterday, and a fellow logged on and said "They should burn in hell...!" In his Facebook avatar, he was a white fellow pictured with a woman of a different race. Someone reminded him that not very long ago, inter-racial marriages were illegal too, and people have come a long way since then ~~ fortunately.

You can't teach stupid.

I think many other states in the U.S. will follow the six that have already legalized same-sex marriages, and it will no longer be an issue.

witnessing am i said...

Fear is an amazing thing and is no doubt at so much of our prejudices, dislikes and distrusts. And the absence of knowledge at the heart of that fear.

With all our differences (each one of us possessing a unique set of things that are quite unique), you would think we would hold on to more tolerance.

Love is an amazing and arbitrary thing -- be it with a woman, a man or as you put it, a Boston fern -- we are lucky folks to feel it work both ways in our hearts.

Thanks for your wisdom, your passion, your logic.

English Rider said...

It is sad that Live & Let Live is so scary a concept for so many.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Tara,

California constantly shocks me with its redneck attitudes because it's easy to forget that most of our citizens don't live in San Francisco or LA. For about 15 minutes, same sex marriage was legal in SF, but they repealed it, too.

Whitney,

I love the symmetry of it, too. Sometimes things work out perfectly, although in this case not nearly fast enough.

e,

Thank you, too!

Bruce,

It just seems like common sense to me, but I suppose that is a concept which varies wildly from person to person.

Cloudia,

I know. Hawaii is probably the most humane and tolerant state of all in so many ways. What's not to love about it?

Babe,

Speaking of breakfast, a woman in Sacramento murdered her baby in a microwave recently. It didn't get nearly as much publicity as same sex marriage. We are a profoundly messed up society - and species.

Jo,

No, Stupid cannot learn. Ugh. I am dismayed by such mean-spirited viewpoints and wonder how they can be justified by anyone.

David,

Yes, fear, masquerading as other things, is at the root of so many warlike acts. I fail to understand how one person's freedom impacts another's, why anyone would feel threatened by same sex marriage. If anything, it probably helps the population explosion significantly.

ER,

Agreed, completely. When people use "God" as an excuse to hate, I always point out that if one believes in God, it naturally follows that She made gay people, too, so She must love them as much as straight folks.

nick said...

Great that New York State has finally passed a marriage equality law. As you say, why do people get so worked up about things that are none of their business anyway (and don't affect them personally in any way)? They're just a lot of sanctimonious busybodies.

Maria said...

About fucking time, yes?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Nick,

Yes, indeedy. Control freaks and bigots are high on my list of lowlifes.

Maria,

Fuckin' A.

Muhammad Israr said...

no comments :)

seventh sister said...

Some day, hopefully in our lifetimes, we will look back and think how backward society was to ever disallow people from marrying whoever they want. Kind of like we do now with all races eating in the same restaurants, swimming in the same pools and using the same public facilities.

Maria said...

Can I just say that I just read your comment on my blog where you said that you hated the word "plop" and I thought to myself..."God, she is one of my own, that one..."

The word "plop" is like the word "fizz" or the word "sensuous." They just sound all wrong, yes?

And my word verification is "unsniffd" I wonder how many people can say that they have been unsniffed???

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Muhammad,

Thank you for reading it, anyway.

Seventh,

Yes, progress is made slowly, and there are so many societal ills to be corrected. All are important and changing each one brings us a little closer to a truly humane society of which we can be proud.

Maria,

So much of what you write resonates with me as you can probably discern from my often-lengthy comments.

As for being unsniffd, (which sounds kind of Shakespearean,) I should like to have a word with Socks, who is clearly falling down on the job.

secret agent woman said...

Even if you do take a Biblical approach, the Leviticus passage the anti-gay rights yahoos always cite is completely out of context. "Abomination" simply refers to the breaking of ritual law, along with things like cross-breeding farm animals and mixing fabrics. And at any rate, the Bible should have nothing to do with legislation.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

agent,

I think people like the Westboro Baptist Church are abominations.

mischief said...

That's exciting news. I hope the rest follow suit.

Cadan Henry said...

I can hear you feel strongly about this. And I don't wish to contradict your joy. Love is a many splendid thing. I wish all of us had it. However, loving and marriage are very diffent things. It will never stop seeming strange to me the idea of two same sex people getting married. It seems there would be a different type of legal union in this case. Anyway, marriage has always seemed to me a case of lock and key, biblical in origin with high invisible walls. Wouldn't mere breeders be better off keeping this for themselves? Then comes divorce, division of property, oh, horrible visions. so let them embrace its archaic travails. I would think with the victory in NY should come an alternative arrangement; one that promotes mostly the relationship and less who gets what when it ends, the kids, the money, etc. ...sorry, no bitterness here... just unicorns and puppy dogs...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lisa,

I think they will, now that New York has taken that road.

Cadan,

Call it "marriage," call it whatever. I think it's more about equality than gender. I don't feel threatened as a straight woman married to a man. The impact of this on me is that I now live in a society which is trying to dismantle prejudices, and that makes me happy.

I also commend you for dissenting from my view in a respectful manner. I understand the points you make and realize that this change will beget many other societal changes, but I prefer to think of them as evolution.