Thursday, February 26, 2004

The reason I have not supported gay marriage....

I don't support gay marriage for one reason, and one reason alone. I discovered that I had a prejudice bias against the homosexual lifestyle. Don't haven't run across a racist, homophobic, sexist individual's weblog, I am simply stating the reason why I don't support it. I never made a conscious effort to like or dislike homosexuals, I suppose that there was always a level of unconscious indifference regarding them. I was always quick to say, "Hell, I'm not homophobic, what someone does in the privacy of their own bedroom doesn't bother me." But for some reason the gay marriage issue has, and I had to do some soul searching in order to find out why.

I suppose that the urge to chastise homosexuals starts at an early age. I knew to call the boys who could not run fast, catch a ball, or take a punch without crying, "sissies" when I was in grade school. In later years some of the friendly taunts to my high school friends was to tell them they played ball like "girls", or their outfit looked "gay". And perhaps I still have that feeling toward people that I deem to be "different". My reasons for not showing support toward gay marriage is the same as everyone else's I just choose to be honest.... in today's modern society, homosexuality is still a "no-no". There...I said it. I can admit it, but some of the most staunch opponents to gay marriage always claim reasons based in religion. It doesn't matter that shows such as "Queer eye for the straight guy", or "Sex and the city" portray the homosexual community to be the haute couture of style, fashion, and glitz. We still have a condescending and distrustful eye toward them.

I find it funny that the "religous right" has such a problem with gay marriages. I also find it funny that so many people feel that homosexual marriage is an "attack" on the sanctity of marriage. In all actuality, I would say that cell phones, alcoholic beverages, internet connections, chat rooms, personal ads, and pay-by-the-hour motels are more of a threat to marriage than gay people. I don't see how anyone getting married or not getting married, whether they are gay or straight can do something to damage my marriage, let alone the "sanctity" of marriage on the whole. I would say that most major religions frown upon homosexuality, but in so many ways, those who used to be persecuted by their sexuality now find themselves being reached out to by the Church....somewhat.

The Anglican church is going through a bit of turmoil over the newly installed, openly gay Bishop. My church, the Catholic Church, is reaching out to its homosexual members, yet still admonishes them to live a chaste life if they cannot overcome the earthly "temptations" of their sexuality. The gay community has found itself in the newspapers over this issue, and now unwillingly finds itself a major subject of the Presidential campaign. Kerry isn't sure, and Bush is being pegged as a homophobe for saying that he is "troubled" by the marriages being performed in California. No doubt we will see this issue, as was the issue of gays in the military, being hashed and rehashed all the way through November.

Is Gay the "New Black" this election year? Usually the stumbling block for a candidates viability is how he or she does on racial issues. But it seems that perhaps attention toward a sexual classification, rather than an ethnic group may be the litmus test to see how effective the people vying for the White House will be. I do say that I am surprised that the Democrats, a group that long prides itself in being "progressive" (liberal is a naughty word, as was conservative in the late eighties), is so sharply divided over this issue. The Republicans, who have long touted State's Rights, and less government intervention, are jockeying to have a Constitutional amendment that will specifically define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Wow. Aren't those the guys that rail against Judicial Activism? Undoubtedly, many gays wonder how women's groups and minority groups aren't rallying to their side for equal protection, but it seems like the view of homosexuals is one thing that the most diametrically opposed groups can agree on. "We don't understand and don't want to understand", is the common consensus. I would say that a black militant and a KKK member would probably put their fists down and shake their heads in disgust if two men walked past them holding hands. Sad to say, but that is true. We all have our own self-serving interests and it seems that if things do not directly affect "Us", (whomever that may be), we have no cause to get involved.

Television shows and movies usually stereotype a gay man to be some limp-wristed, flamboyant, prissy, and annoying specimen. Someone who not only probably can't fight, (hetero male society's unspoken measure of a man's manliness second only to the number of women he has knocked off), but is of no utility except for helping his female friend's pick out shoes and decorate their apartments. Lesbians are portrayed as steel-jawed, manly, lumberjacks who have a penchant for misandry. What is even worse, in some of the stereotyping we do of gay people, we throw sexism in there as well. How many guys have joked about a woman being a lesbian due to bad relationships with men? There should be several hands in the air now....
The fact of the matter is, being gay is about as much a life "decision" as being black or white, or male or female. Because we live in a society that was founded by Christian men, yet demands to be free of the Church, we find that religous pressures still pervade many of the issues that we deal with. (i.e. Abortion, Cloning, Stem cell research, gay marriage, gays in the military, the legality of prostitution.) The fact remains that the reason that most heterosexuals frown on gay marriage is because we look at the attraction between two men, or two women to be nothing but the physical act. Because the idea of same sex copulation is incomprehensible to the point of being revolting to many of us, we are not willing to dignify a homosexual relationship with the possiblity that two people may love one another. Arrogance or instinct?

I was looking at CNN the other day, and saw an article where two women were getting married. They had been a couple for 51 years. I am sure that in that time they had probably purchased a home and several vehicles together, paid state, local, and federal taxes, and probably planned for a retirement together...for 51 years. Yet, me and my wife of not quite three years, enjoy tax breaks that these two women did not. Simply because we are not the same sex.

In closing, I have to say that probably acculturation is to blame for my hesitancy to support the idea of gay marriages. But, I do have to say that I am a product of my upbringing, and environment. The way I feel is not a choice, it is who I am. If I look at gay marriage under the microscope of socio-political theory I would have to say that there are many cases for gay marriage. The main case for it rests in the document that they are trying to amend to ban it. However, something holds me back, my own bias that I am finally admitting. So, I do apologize, sincerely I do.

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