January 20, 2010

"Straight Talk On "Gay" Marriage"

From the Liberty for All blog, hat-tip to Twitter account EqualityforLGBT;

Back in the 70s, Harvey Milk knew that most people in California really didn’t hate gays all THAT much. But he also knew that most would not get involved in fighting the anti-homosexuality laws and the Briggs Initiative (Prop 6) against gay or gay supporting teachers in public schools because as long as “gay issues” only affect THEM over THERE, they don’t affect US over HERE. To this end, Mr. Milk encouraged his supporters to “come out” to their friends and families, and it worked. Over thirty years ago, against what seemed like impossible odds, he and his supporters defeated Prop 6 by making “them” into “us.”

What happened in 2008 was exactly the opposite. Instead of needing to make “them” into “us,” since gays are pretty openly accepted in most communities, our problem is that we needed to make “us” into “them.” We didn’t need to look at what they have in common with us to humanize them in our minds as much as what we have in common with them, and what we have in common with them in this case in particular is a desire NOT to have the government define for us whom we can or cannot marry. That’s how we should have sold it, and that’s how we need to sell it now if we would have this atrocity overturned.

My parents faced a very similar problem back in 1954 when they got married. At that time, certain state governments believed they had the right to stop people of different races from marrying. Lucky for my parents (and for my siblings and myself, as well), some states allowed interracial marriage and there was nothing like the Defense of Marriage Act to keep other states from having to recognize those marriages. In 1967, the Supreme Court passed down its Loving v. Virginia ruling that

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’” and ended anti-miscegenation laws nationwide.

Clearly the Supreme Court wasn’t primarily concerned with the romantic or religious notion of marriage because love (and faith, for that matter) won’t answer to legalities and cannot be contained by them. Not even in the mid-60s. If it were merely a matter of love, couples gay OR straight would not be inconvenienced by a lack of legal marriage at all, being happily bound in marriage by their faith or merely their love, and in truth, some believe government should be out of the business of defining marriage altogether. No, the real issue is the availability of the legal contract to all citizens who want it.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

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