Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Granite State: Once Red, Then Blue, Now Pink?

Hold on a second, just getting on my soap box. Left foot, right foot. There we go.

Somewhere along my path in life, same-sex marriage became an important cause to me. I imagine part of the reason is because of my desire for our nation to constantly progress towards achieving a state of absolute justice and fairness, or at least as close as possible. Yeah, yeah, bleeding heart liberal. Hug a tree.

Seriously though, another reason is simply because of the loved ones in my life who aren't straight. It kills me to imagine that if two people are crazy about each other and even crazier to want to spend the rest of their lives together exclusively, why should they be denied the legal benefits of a status created and defined by our government in the Land of the Free? Forchrissakes marriage is hard enough, no wonder perks (like filing taxes jointly, for instance) exist to help ease the strain and challenges of a perpetual union.

Ironically, I probably know more gay people who are indifferent towards marriage equality than straight people who openly oppose it. Nonetheless, I simply cannot accept the idea of a government that blatantly discriminates based simply on sexual orientation. (Yeah, I'm one of those radicals that believes sexual orientation is biological, not a lifestyle that is chosen.) If my daughter ever chooses to take the plunge, I will be happily giving her hand away in the civil institution of marriage to her future spouse whether that person is a man or a woman.

I understand that religions also have their own definitions of marriage, which is separate and distinct from the status granted by a government. As much as I disagree with those religions who restrict the definition of marriage only to a man and woman, I absolutely believe that they deserve the protection of the First Amendment to give them the freedom to practice such a belief.

But last I checked, I don't vote for pope or bishop or rabbi or cleric. I vote for elected officials in a government that separates church and state.

Perhaps I'm preaching to the choir. I live in the state that was first to recognize same-sex marriage and issues tickets for possession of marijuana weighing less than one ounce. We have Dukakis, Kerry, and the Kennedy compound. Clothing in public will probably become optional next year. Yet somehow, the Bay State did not collapse after the monumental Goodrich v. Dept. of Public Health decision in 2003. Since then, the commonwealth somehow avoided absolute pandemonium and civil unrest. And the legislature declined to extend the right for people to marry animals.

Alas, the trailblazing lesbian plaintiffs in the Goodrich case eerily mirrored 50% of their straight counterparts: they divorced in 2006. Thus, we are reminded that marriages are challenging regardless of the spouses' sexual orientations.

In conclusion, with all due respect to the governor of my northern neighbors and my childhood home, practice what your state preaches. Live Free or Die. Let freedom ring in the Granite State and establish equal marriage for all. Thank you. I'll get off my soap box now.

7 comments:

TimK said...

...sniff, sniff, he said as he wiped the tears from his eyes with pride...

chamoiswillow said...

That is a brilliant summation, you should send it to some newspapers to be published. It deserves a wider audience (no offense to your blog, I read every one).

Scott said...

I think Queen is a great band.

In all seriousness, well said. I couldn't agree more. I's a generational issue. In 30 years, we will look back at this, the same way we look at the civil rights movement. People are just plain dumb. At least nobody has broken out the firehose yet.

Tom said...

Right brother, could not agree with you more.

Shan said...

Just adding this to my list of reasons I love DT.

Dennis said...

Very thoughtful feedback. Thank you.

Megan Cullen said...

You can stand on your soapbox anyday. I am proud to have been raised by a family who encourages equality to all regardless of race, religion, or sexuality. It's ironic how certain people who oppose gay marriage based on the belief it is a threat to the institution of family end up being caught in bathroom stalls with speed and prostitutes.
And I agree with chamoiswillow - this is brilliant and it should be read bymore people.
Equality for ALL.