Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gay Marriage: So Close Yet So Far?

A recent Newsweek poll found a majority of Americans favor civil unions for gays and lesbians with all the legal rights that come with marriage but stop short of favoring being officially "married."

When it comes to according legal rights in specific areas to gays, the public is even more supportive. Seventy-four percent back inheritance rights for gay domestic partners (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 73 percent approve of extending health insurance and other employee benefits to them (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 67 percent favor granting them Social Security benefits (compared to 55 percent in 2004) and 86 percent support hospital visitation rights (a question that wasn't asked four years ago). In other areas, too, respondents appeared increasingly tolerant. Fifty-three percent favor gay adoption rights (8 points more than in 2004), and 66 percent believe gays should be able to serve openly in the military (6 points more than in 2004).

TPJ: Yet despite all these numbers only 39% of Americans support allowing gays the same legal right to the word marriage as heterosexuals. It is so frustrating to be all but there on the particulars of marriage equality for gays and lesbians but falling just short of gays and lesbians enjoying the emotional enjoyment and social legitimizing term "marriage." It is nothing short of "separate but equal." It is a dismissive term (civil unions) that says, "Yeah we'll tolerate 'you people' wanting to share your lives together. However, it has to be called something different than marriage because then we'd have to admit that 'you people' are equal to us 'sexually normal' folks (heterosexuals) and we don't want to do that."

It's like finally convincing a relative with whom you've had a disagreement with in the past to share a dinner together. So they invite you over and you arrive, however, while they are willing to share the food with you they refuse to eat at the same table with you. Instead you have to eat at the "kids table" just off from the "grown up's" table.

In other words, yeah we finally accept that we have to include you in our lives but you still have to be punished somehow for your "differences" with us. You still aren't worth sharing the adults table with. They have to remind you that they are in charge and will only have a relationship with you if it's on their terms, which includes accepting a humiliating "second class" status. And somehow that's being benevolent? That gays and lesbians should be happy with second class status because at least they aren't being lynched like in the past? When it comes to gay marriage in our society we are experiencing the sexual equivalent of "whites only" establishments where instead of "whites only" city pools we have "heterosexual only" marriage rights.

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3 comments:

Ringbearer said...

"O ye of so little Faith" I believe that the day will come when Lgbt's can Marry and live a decent life without all of the fuss about doing so. LGBT Marrige is not a matter of Black or White, it is a matter of wrong or right in equality and quality of life.
Visit: www.civillywedd.com when ecercising your right to civilly_wed.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Hey, James.

Hope you're well. We're really looking forward to 01/20/09.

Have you been following the Crazy Right and the Birth Certificate Sham?

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Shaw:

I have been following it and I'm glad the Supreme Court tossed it like a dirty rag.