Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Love, friendship, and civil rights

Gay rights Last evening, I had a fun dinner with a handful of gay friends celebrating one of their birthdays. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we had...well, we had ourselves a gay old time, in the Flintstones vernacular.

I actually hesitate to classify them as my "gay friends." That's kind of like talking about your "black friends," or your "Satan-worshiping friends," or your "Republican friends." (Heehee...couldn't resist throwing that one in there!) Why categorize? They're all just friends. However, they often refer to themselves as "the homos," and for the purposes of this entry, I will categorize a little bit.

I first started making gay friends when I lived in Indianapolis; Indy has a fairly large population of gays, I guess because quite a few come from the Midwest to live there. It's much more open and gay-friendly than rural towns, but not as expensive as Chicago. There were a couple of guys I worked with at the hospital, and I found them a lot of fun and very funny, and I can't begin to tell you what a relief it was to not get hit on, or not have them staring at my ass. Don't get me wrong...I generally found that flattering, but sometimes it was just a relief to be myself and realize that they had no hidden agenda. They just liked me for ME, and had no designs on how to get me in the sack. I really felt at ease with them, and I suppose they sensed that, as well as my complete acceptance of them, so they were equally at ease with me. I love my online buddies, too, and hope I get to meet them one day!

Last night, it was a few of us at dinner. One I've known for a long time, others are fairly new friends. I had a great time, and as I reflected later, thinking about all of us just talking and laughing, I wondered at how anyone could deny any of them the right to marriage. It seems that too many think of them as "other," or even as "lesser," and it appalls me to know that some even think they are an "abomination," according to what their religious text tells them to think.

Let's see if I can make this very, very clear: I don't give a flying fuck what your god thinks about my gay friends. I love them and value them for who they are, and that is people who work, play, and love just like anyone else does. They pay their taxes, they volunteer, they are no different than anyone else, and they also have the same rights as every other person in this country. That includes the right to marry the one they love.

Gay marriage Mexico, possibly one of the most Catholic countries in the world, recently passed a law allowing gay marriage. Some in the United States continue to try to make this a cultural and religious war, rather than comprehending that it is a legal matter, a constitutional matter, a human rights and civil rights matter. I've written about these subjects before. We do not base our laws on any religion, and marriage is a civic institution, not a religious one. A marriage does not have to take place in a church or be officiated by a pastor in order to be a legal marriage; it is the state who says that a marriage is legal. For those who would say that it should then be left up to the states, you're not getting it. It's a civil rights issue. Our country has a constitutional obligation to ensure that this can happen for all people in our country. Desegregation was not left up to the states. The federal government said that equal rights were the domain of every person in this country, and same-sex marriage issued in one state should be legal in the entire country.

Instead of taking the lead in this human rights issue, the United States is choosing—CHOOSING—to sit in the back of the bus, letting country after country (Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Mexico) pass same-sex marriage laws while we sit idly by. It's embarrassing. South Africa (and such)! Remember apartheid? They finally got rid of that, and they passed same-sex marriage laws before we did!

President Obama has said that he favors marriage being between a man and a woman. You all know I love and support our President, but I do not agree with him on this. He is a constitutional lawyer, and he should know better.

I look forward to the day when same-sex marriage is allowed in our entire country, and I believe it will happen in my lifetime. I wonder if the rabid anti-gay church people will spontaneously combust, or just quietly implode? I shall watch closely and with great interest.

I'll just add this. If I ever see anyone, whether a stranger, a supposed friend, or even a family member, disrespecting any of my gay friends or giving them the evil eye, or in any way, shape, or form saying or doing anything hateful or mean, I will not be responsible for my actions. I will not tolerate such intolerance, and it is not your place to judge them. I will get seriously medieval on your ass.

I believe that constitutes fair warning.


  1. Great post, Beth!!

    On a lesser note, it makes me feel better about my troubles with lableling folks for context is not something I deal with alone.

  2. I have lots of gay friends too but no satan worshipping ones( maybe it's something I should introduce into my circle just to make sure all bases are covered)

    Here inblighty although gay marriage is frowned upon by many for a variety of what I think are asinine reasons, but in the bigger picture it's accepted, and there really is very little discussion about's the norm.

    Take care


  3. when god starts granting straight people divorces then the religious arguments against gay marriage will make sense.


  4. Thanks for clearing the air about the issue. It is extremely sad that we Americans (as a society) have to make everything into an Us/them argument. I love the graph. It really does say it all. Gay marriage is only an issue to gays because it is something they are denied by others who can. It's ridiculous to believe that we can let the majority (moral or otherwise) decide what the minority (or minorities) can or cannot do. That is not what our country was founded on.
    I am glad you love the gays and have fun with them. We really have developed a serious sense of style and humor with which to beat down the constant oppression that is always present. We try to cope, rather successfully for the most part, but whether overt or not, it's always there.
    Thankfully, there are wonderful people like you who get it. Unfortunately, there are so many many others, who do not.

  5. Love it!
    It's simple common sense, and legality, and equality, something, apparently, severely lacjking in these "united" states.

  6. I'm pretty sure Obama said that because that's what he had to say to win the presidency. I have no idea what he actually believes, but I am guessing that in 2008, if a candidate came out (ha) as for gay marriage, they wouldn't have been elected. I hope that isn't the case in the next election.

  7. Hi Beth,
    Gay couples should have the same right to be married as straight couples if that's what they want. It strikes me as being a bit odd that so many people think it's important to deny them this right ... and on religious grounds of all things, especially considering that our nation was founded based on religious freedom and separation of church and state. Let's focus on solving the real problems facing our country rather than wasting our time and energy on telling gay people they can't get married.

  8. It was a fun evening, and glad we have made some new friends. The bottom line is that this is about civil rights, plain and simple.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?