I thought I would post an excerpt from an ongoing conversation on the Arkansas Times website between myself and another Arkansan. It tells a bit about where the battle stands and why I fight the fight when it doesn't affect me personally.
Posted by: Don Keyhotay November 5, 2008 02:54 PM
But if it were your rights at stake, would you want "essentially the same"? Or would you want the same? + I have the feeling that Don Keyhotay grew up in AR at later date than I did.-Posted by: MuddlingThrough
"Separate but equal" is not equal, it's discrimination.-Posted by: G******** Don't mistake my position. I'm against gay marriage but I am trying to accommodate a middle ground - I am for equal rights - and the law says a marriage can consist of one adult MAN and one adult WOMAN, regardless of race, creed or color.
THEREFORE MARRIAGES ARE AVAILABLE EQUALLY TO ALL PEOPLE.
If you want the same rights without being married, call it a civil union and I think you will get it. The only difference is the inability to adopt or foster parent - because you, as a couple, are NOT the same as a married man and woman. Is there any other difference that I am missing?
Claiming a civil union is the equivalent of the broken down schools and separate junky drinking fountains that blacks were left with in the separate but equal 50's (which I do in fact remember, Junior) is an insult to the kids that grew up and survived that joke of "equality" that they were forced to endure.
You make your own decision - its your choice whether you want the additional rights that are achievable right now with a civil union - and keep working for the that last "right" you think you are entitled to - or decide that you will forfeit access to all of those rights because of the one that you can't get.
Four years ago I was where you are at, looking for the middle ground. I believed as you do now that civil unions would be "just as good" and that marriage should be between a man and a woman. That's why I voted against that asshat amendment last cycle. But what got me to thinking, I mean REALLY thinking, was meeting gay and lesbian couples, hearing their stories, and realizing that they really weren't any different from me. And here I was saying, "Even though you two love each other, you can't have a marriage, but here is something 'essentially the same'". While trying to find that middle road, I was still marginalizing and separating my LGBT brothers and sisters from myself, still discriminating.
An Episcopal priest friend of mine put it best when he said that part of the problem we have with LGBT' s (that's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Tran gendered) is the "ick" factor. We see homosexuality as something that is different, an aberration from the norm, and because of this, we separate them from "us". Homosexuality is not something gross or a disease. It is simply a difference, like skin tone or being left handed vs. right handed. It is part of the mosaic that we call humanity.
As I have grown in my faith walk, I have come to believe that there is no difference between gay couples and straight couples. The love they share is the same love that I and my wife share. Why shouldn't we celebrate theirs the same way we celebrated ours? If two adults are in a loving, caring monogamous relationship, why is that different for straights and gays?
In the end, ask yourself, what is so special about a marriage? If it and a civil union are "essentially the same" or "as good as", why aren't they interchangeable? Marriage at one time was just an exchange of property, the father paying someone a dowry to take a daughter off his hands. Women were expected to be faithful, but not necessarily the man. It has only been in our recent history that marriage has been for love (at least since the troubadours) as a commitment on both sides. Who's to say we can't change it again?
Posted by: Arkansas Hillbilly November 5, 2008 03:48 PM
Maybe someday they'll get it...