No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'll Be Looking for You!

"We cannot accept the view that Amendment 2's prohibition on specific legal protections does no more than deprive homosexuals of special rights. To the contrary, the amendment imposes a special disability on those persons alone. Homosexuals are forbidden the safeguards that others enjoy or may seek without constraint"
        -Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court in the decision overturning Colorado's Amendment 2 referendum

So keeping with the theme of my outrage over the same sex marriage issue, I wanted to let you know about a Marriage Equality Rally that will be happening this Saturday, in front of the Metro Courthouse, downtown at 12:30. So far, local organizations supporting marriage equality and equal rights include:
-Lipstick Lounge
-Hustler on Church st
-TN Equality Project
-Americans United for Seperation of Church and State

for more info about the Rally, click here.

I am hoping to gather up some more support and some more bodies to stand in solidarity with us to tell our government that marriage is a right, and to prevent people who love each other that right is standing in the way of their pursuit of happiness.

The Arguments:

Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.
UGH! This is the most often heard argument, and the one that is getting the states' constitutions re-written to re-define marriage as one man, one woman. But as I am exploring in my research paper, Who says what marriage is and by whom it is to be defined? The married? The marriable? Webster's Dictionary? As one essay I recently read on gay marriage said, " Isn't that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money stored in his vaults? It seems to me that justice demands that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations, with no real moral argument behind them, are hardly compelling reasons. They're really more like an expression of prejudice than any kind of a real argument. The concept of not denying people their rights unless you can show a compelling reason to deny them is the very basis of the American ideal of human rights."

Gay relationships are immoral.
Again, we need to ask, " Says who?" The Bible? Well, this is precisely the reason that our founding fathers included that pesky little clause, you know the one, tacked in the First Amendment, it discusses freedom of religion. That doesn't just mean you can practice whatever religion you wish, it also means you have the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law, as was made clear by the intent of the First Amendment (and as was very explicitly stated by the founding fathers in their first treaty, the Treaty of Tripoli, in 1791) and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be a moral injunction mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument.

Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage.
I've got 5 words for you: Cher, Larry King, and Brittney Spears.
Threaten marriage? By allowing people to marry? This one is laughable. If it is the stability of the institution of heterosexual marriage that worries you, then consider that no one would ever require you or anyone else to participate in a gay marriage. You would still have freedom of choice, of choosing which kind of marriage to participate in -- something more than what you have now. And speaking of divorce -- imagine how the divorce rate could drop if gay people stopped trying heteresexual marriage because that's what's expected of them, only to end in divorce because they have to be true to themselves and their sexuality. To argue that the institution of marriage is worth preserving at the cost of requiring involuntary participants to remain in it is a better argument for reforming divorce laws than proscribing gay marriage.

And the one that got Prop. 8 passed in California:

Gay marriage would force churches to marry gay couples when they have a moral objection to doing so.

Just like in CA, this argument is usually advanced by churches that oppose gay marriage. To be blunt, it is a big fat lie. There is nothing in any marriage law, existing or proposed, anywhere in the United States, that does or would have the effect of requiring any church to marry any couple they do not wish to marry. Churches already have the right to refuse any couple they wish, and for any reason that suits them. Many often do. Some churches continue to refuse to marry interracial couples, others interreligious couples, and a few refuse couples with large age disparities and for numerous other reasons. Gay marriage would not change any church's right to refuse to sanctify any marriage entirely as they wish - it would simply offer churches the opportunity to legally marry gay couples if they wish, as some have expressed the desire to do - the freedom of religion would actually be expanded, not contracted.

Soap box removed, Fortune Cookies climbing down.
I hope to see you Saturday, in front of the Metro Courthouse.
I'll be holding a poster, look for me!

6 cookies cracked:

fiwa said...

I will be there with you in spirit. And I love the collage you made, it is beautiful.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

as people once said of abortion 'get your laws off my body'---perhaps this is similar....I always wonder why these people don't have anything more important to worry about than if 2 adults want to marry?

Karen said...

I am still confused on the last issue about the churches. I know what both arguments are. I know what the GLAD website says and I know what the churches are saying.

With my personal knowledge of the law - which is limited on constitutional issues - I see an argument on both sides.

Anndi said...

I'll be standing with you in spirit also.
People in love don't diminish marriage, people who don't take it seriously do.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Thanks for going to the rally! I'll be there with you in spirit as well.

I really hope this doesn't take much longer to make right.

Fortune Cookies said...

Fiwa - there are rallys in most every major city, so you could always look for one in yours...
thanks, I've been enjoying learning to use acrylic paints again.

gary -i think they are worried that if us gays get married, their god will come turn the world into a flaming ball of destruction or something.

karen- the 14th amendment requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all persons within their jurisdictions. this is the same constitutional law that was cited in the fight for blacks to have the right to marry whites. churches still have a right to refuse to perform those ceremonies, there's no difference here.

anndi - I agree!

RLL - wish you could be there! I'll chant extra loud, to cover both you and your girl! ;)