Years back I got into an email spat with a Catholic friend of mine—who, for the record, while maintaining her Catholicism, had sex outside of marriage, used birth control, and lived with a man without benefit of marriage—about same-sex marriage.
I explained that gay couples don’t have the same protections, rights, benefits, and privileges of marriage as she and her husband take for granted, and she suggested that, if all I was concerned about were ‘rights’ like visiting my partner in a hospital, being allowed survivorship benefits, inheritance rights, and all, that perhaps, and I’ll quote, “Maybe you and Carlos should adopt one another.”
Yes. She did. But then that just proved to me both her hypocrisy—in citing her Catholic faith as to why The Gays shouldn’t marry, even though she ignored her Catholic faith while she fucked guys on both coasts—and her bigotry; she did actually say this to me, and, again, I quote, “I know a lot of gay people,. A lot of gay people are my clients [she’s in real estate]”
Doesn’t that just smack of the ‘Some of my best friends are Black’ idiocy? But she didn’t get it, and a lot of folks don’t understand why it’s important for all gay people to be allowed marriage rights.
And here’s just another story to prove my point:
Lon Watts and his partner, Jim, have been together for 34 years. About six years ago, Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and his sister filed for guardianship of her brother—despite Lon having power of attorney—and she was able to take their home and Jim’s finances through the courts.
Lon Watts, on Facebook:
“She put him in a Nursing Home and had criminal trespass orders against me to keep me away from him.
I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE HIM AGAIN!
She got his bank account from Social Security Disability and sold his house out from under me. I had 2 weeks to vacate uur [sic] home of 12 years. If we were EQUAL in the eyes of the law we would be together till the end. But as it stands in Texas, a money hungry greedy relative was able to steal our life and toss me out as trash to pad her pocketbook. I pray God has mercy on her soul for her evil deeds. I am content knowing the world is coming around to acknowledge that ALL HUMANS ARE CREATED EQUAL and SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS.”
So, for anyone who thinks that marriage equality doesn’t matter, think about being, in your eyes at least, married for 34 years to the person you love, and then having your home and bank accounts seized, and taken away from you. Is that fair? Is it equal? Is it right?
And anyone who claims that the needs and rights of same-sex couples can be protected through some legal forms is mistaken, because, since we don’t have the right to marry, we must abide by the laws of the states in which we live and each state handles LGBT issues differently. Opposite-sex couples, like my former friend--and she is a former friend because I don't abide bigots--don’t have to worry about any of this; they just get married and get over 1100 rights, automatically.
So, again, if you think marriage equality doesn’t matter, just think about Lon Watts. He’s lost his partner, his lover, of nearly four decades, and he’s lost their home that they shared for twelve years. All because it’s illegal for him to say ‘I do’ to another man.