I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage equality these days … go figure … what with Carlos and I planning to tie the knot — and not around our necks — sooner rather than later, and with each week seeing yet another state diving into the equality pool … Hello Virginia … and with the idea of attending a meeting tomorrow night Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, a lesbian couple who’ve filed a federal lawsuit challenging the South Carolina Defense of Marriage Law, and their attorneys to see how we, as a community, can get South Carolina moving forward.
It’s almost all I can think about, and, while I don’t agree with the arguments against marriage equality, I do listen to people who have a rational point of view about it; and I consider someone’s faith a rational POV. But, and this is a huge butt, a Kardastrophe-sized butt, if you will, my argument is plain and simple: you cannot use your religious faith to enact laws when we have, or at least should have, a very clear separation between religion and government. I can understand your faith saying marriage is one man and one woman and you can believe that all you want, but don’t push that belief on me, m’kay?
And then I read the argument in Arizona for fighting against same-sex marriage and, well, it’s just ludicrous. The state's lawyers argue Arizona was never seeking to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, but that the state has always defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman and so that’s the way it should stay.
Well, if that’s the case, Arizona, why change laws allowing women the right to vote? Why change laws allowing interracial couples the right to marry? I mean, if you don’t change the laws because the laws have always been a certain way, then why change any law ever?
Caleb Dalton, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom — because freedom would be lost if The Gays can get married — says:
"If you look through the common law and the history of Arizona back to territorial days, marriage was a contract between a man and a woman. That's been the understood definition of marriage. The recent laws that the plaintiffs have challenged didn't change anything. They merely reaffirmed that definition."
Hmmm, so the law was always a man and a woman — remember though, a white man and white woman, or black man and black woman, but never ever mixed — then why the need to reaffirm the law? I mean, if the speed limit is 55 on the highway, do you pass a law to reaffirm that the speed limit is 55?
Those Alliance attorneys have set out their arguments like this:
• Arizona regulates marriage for the primary purpose of protecting relationships that would produce children and let those children grow up with a biological mother and father.
I say, if marriage is for the sole purpose of creating children then why are infertile couples allowed to marry? And why are couples who choose not to have children allowed to marry? And why doesn’t Arizona remove children from single-parent homes if the idea is to have children raised by a mom and dad?
• They argue that redefining marriage would cast doubt on the value of a mother and a father raising children, which undermines the state's interest in promoting stable homes.
If the state had such an interest in promoting stable homes then every single child in an abusive home would be removed at once and placed into a safe home. It doesn’t take a mother and a father to raise children, it takes a person, gay or straight, male or female, or a couple , gay or straight, who want to raise a child to ensure that child is raised and nurtured and loved.
• Changing marriage laws would weaken the institution rather than strengthen it.
There is no argument for this and just because you say it doesn’t make it true. My marriage — when it happens — will have no relationship to, or influence on, any other marriage.
So, let me make this queer for you Arizona; marriage has changed from the moment it began. It used to be the woman was property of man, so, um, is that how Arizona wants to play it? Or does Arizona want to play it that a man can have as many wives as he wants because marriage used to be like that, too? Maybe we should have arranged marriages, between families, to strengthen power and financial clout? Maybe we should go back to not allowing people to marry outside their faith? Their race?
See, it’s changed, a lot, since it began, because times have changed and opinions have changed, and people realize that love is love and what the hell difference does it make if Bob marries Carlos?
It doesn’t change marriage, it only makes marriage more meaningful to more people. It doesn’t hurt anyone else’s marriage because if it did, we’d have heard about that by now. It doesn’t cause locusts to swarm or hurricanes to smite cities or earthquakes to rumble.
It’s a simple case of ‘I do’ and just because you argue that your law has been one man and one woman since the olden days doesn’t mean the law shouldn’t change.