20081117

This is going to hurt, but...

This prop 8 thing kind of bugs me. Is marrying someone so important? Maybe the definition of a relationship is different in the USA to Australia. I can't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person. Love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of. Love is not about what the law says. Love is between two people. Married or not.

I've been in love. Deeply. I truly believe that your relationship's value is what you give it, not what other people give it. What is prop 8 asking for? Recognition? From who? The State? People who you don't know? People who might pat you on the back and say "good on you". Will it change someone's prejudice? Is your love about what matters to other people?

I'd like to think that your love is the bond between two people. NOT the right to marry, or legally what you'll get if you have the same rights as married people - when things fail.

But if you've loved, and things don't fail, what have you lost? Nothing.

You've loved with honesty. Loved for love's sake, not for a signature's sake.

16 comments:

Tom said...

I agree with you about love and I'm a bit ambivalent about marriage myself. Maybe that would change though if I found myself within spitting distance of a relationship. :)

But I think the Prop 8 thing is more of a kick in the teeth as it's actually taking something away that already existed in California. It's saying "Yes, we've considered it thank you and we think the gays are second class citizens so no, they can't marry and just to be sure that you little buggers remain in your place we'll change the constitution", which is worse than just not allowing marriage in the first place.

For me that makes it more than just a gay marriage argument, but an equality argument. Replace gay with black and there would quite rightly be uproar all round.

Tom said...

PS - your current header is inspired - love it! :)

scottiejt said...

I would never get married, but it's about having the same rights as everybody else as far as i'm concerned. you may not want to ever get married, as I never want to get married, but those in the gay community who want to cannot. Why shouldn't everybody have the same rights? Thats my issue.

Darth Gateau said...

In the UK, civil partnerships are legal. My partner and I didn't do it tho as I don't see why I should conform to a tradition that has excluded me for so long. I don't conform to lots of people's ideals or ideas about what is acceptable, so they can poke it when they suggest I can be like them - if I want to, but just not quite the same. A church ceremony? Oh no, that would be going just too far, you can't have that. What would God think?!. Not that I want that either. I don't want to be like 'other people', I want to be like me. We're together because we love each other. The end.

Mike said...

Marriage is a way of a community celebrating and respecting the commitment of two adults. The legal benefits that that has entailed more recently are one way of supporting that.

The love is a personal thing. Marriage is a gold star from the people around you.

Because of the way Prop 8 is framed, it's actually asking for the rights of thousands of people to be taken away from them. To say "you are not people", to say "we cannot be happy unless you are not", to hurt the children of those unions, to hurt the parents of those united.

equivocalvagabond said...

You know what? I've thought about this. A lot.

When HRC first began flooding my inbox with requests to sign the Million for Marriage petition, I balked. A child of a very bitter divorce, I wondered why on earth I would want to buy into such an idea.

However, the more I thought about it--and before I met Mark, my parter whom I want very much to marry--I realized it wasn't about conforming to societal norms. It wasn't about accepting ah historic notion of what makes a human dyad. It was about the right to do so.

The argument that takes the tack, "why should we even want it"? is flawed, in that it bolsters the underlying assumption by some that we don't deserve it. That is isn't right.

I may not like the way people drive, or I might despise the way many developed countries are reliant on fossil fuels. Therefore, I may choose not to get a drivers license or, if I have one, use it to operate an automobile. However, my civil right to do so remains the same, regardless of my political or personal views.

Or, to draw perhaps a more relevant illustration, I might not choose to wear a dress to my local gay watering hole, but at least I have the right to do so. Nearly 40 years ago, in a certain NYC gay bar, men were arrested for this. The riot that ensued paved the way for the gay civil rights movement, of which this Right-to-Marry is a part.

In California, thousands of long-disenfranchised people were (finally) told they have the right to marry their partners. On November 4, for a number of frustrating reasons, that right was stripped of us. Victims of a slim and largely misled majority, we are now, once again, told that we are not deserving. We are not equal. And that is wrong. Just plain wrong.

Kezza said...

I can't particularly add anythying here that hasn't already been said. Personally I don't see myself in a situation where I would want to get married in the near future, however I'd like to have the option, not because I think it validates my relationship in anyway but because if I were to build a home and a family with a partner I'd like to know that that would have the same entitlements as the spouses of my siblings.

Prop 8 is most disturbing because it strips away rights which were previously granted, it says to the world that homosexuals should be denied access to the same rights as their heterosexual neighbors. Imagine being told that as a homosexual you would be denied hospital treatment, the right to vote, access to welfare, any of the things you can currently do.

I know they are extreme examples but at the end of the day this is what its like, being stripped of the most basic rights to carry out a dignified life in the community.

Muzbot said...

All this is very true and it is what Prop 8 is about, however, I was just upset that I had heard a guy ranting on about how being able to marry would validate him and his partner. I believe that the love you have for someone validates a relationship. Not that bit of paper. Straight or gay it makes no difference.
Don't get me wrong here, to me civil rights are a huge issue, globally. Material gains or arguing about what material property they now lose out on bugs me.

I'm not great with words, hence why I like pictures, I guess my post is about love.

Anonymous said...

Liked your take on things Muzbot, it was about love. And from what I read, whoever you fall in love with is a lucky man.

Crystal said...

I get what you're talking about. It would piss me off too if I overheard a misguided conversation. The right to marriage does not equal the right to love. One thing I've realised about you is that you do have a heart, and it is a kind one. It's a good thing you've had the chance to share it with someone.

Kezza said...

I get the whole love thing, I really do, however I struggle to find it fair that one group can marry and another can't. Don't get me wrong... I know that love is what you make it and that getting married isn't the ultimate expression of love, however to have the option... That'd be nice. Hell I'm not even campaigning for myself as I'll most likely die a lonely old spinster with a dozen cats, but I figure someone should have the chance to get married if they feel so inclined.

wcs said...

In the US, ironically, the state recognizes religious marriage. Not so in France, where church weddings are not recognized by the state (people often have two ceremonies, one in the church, and the legal one).

What the state recognizes with marriage is the legal bonding of two people in all aspects: financial, parental, and health.

Without this legal recognition, partners, no matter how much they love each other, no matter how long they've been together, are denied the rights of parentage, inheritance, and, perhaps most importantly, the rights and responsibility to make critical health care decisions for each other. In fact, non-married partners are often denied access to each other's hospital rooms by hostile families, and are rendered powerless in making care decisions.

That is not equality, and no amount of love will change that.

I'm just sayin'.

Mike said...

In the US (like Australia), religious ministers are licensed by the state to conduct weddings, although a state marriage license is still required.

In France it seems that they don't extend that license.

In the end, each of these jurisdictions still require state-sanctioned/licensed unions whether or not the officiant has an invisible friend or not.

Adaptive Radiation said...

I guess it's about having the choice. A few years ago, I was having a conversation about marriage with a friend of mine. She never seemed the marrying type and, infact, said that she never wants to be married. I jokingly told her that this was a pity and if she ever got married, I'd put on a frock for her wedding. A year later, I had to go buy a dress to wear to her wedding.

Tom Cat from Bondi Beach said...

I was going to say something amusing like 'gay people shoud be able to be as unhappliy married as str8 people' but it is a serious issue.

I just do not see how taking away peoples' rights [to gay marriage] makes str8 marriage a stronger institution. That is a lose / lose situation to me.

whilst I get Muz's and Darth's comments I reckon if folk dont want a gay marriage they dont have to get one but if there are folks who do let them.

mykel said...

i agree with you muzbot that if you and another are in love and want to be together you don't need external validation for that love to be "real".

on the other hand my experiences of being denied acces to information about how my (at the time)partner was after major surgery on the basis of my not being a blood relative and our partnership not being recognised hurt like hell.

i do not believe in the institution of marriage - church state or otherwise sanctioned.

but what i also believe is that it is not up to institutions of power to continually debase and degrade human beings just because their love is not the "acceptable" man/woman model.

call me an idealist but i long for the day when the expression of love and the enjoyment of being together in love is all that matters, and that union is free of biggoted interference from anyone.