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 Topic: Why does the term "gay marriage" scares even gay p

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Robert Mc  

Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 49
Interests: Politics, gay issues, human rights, classical and ethnic music and art, alcoholism and drug addiction recovery, health and fitness, spirituality... We need support to fight homophobia by a hardcore of religious and political leaders who managed to con
Physical Location: Metro San Juan, Puerto Rico

Posted: 21 Feb 2004, 8:46 pm    Post subject: Why does the term "gay marriage" scares even gay p Reply with quote

Is it time for gay leaders to prepare easy-to-understand and concise position papers on gender definitions, gay marriages and other key issues concerning human rights?

For a long time, I was one of many senior citizens who was very much against the use of the term "gay marriage." As a Roman Catholic, I was conditioned to view legal marriage as the same as the sacrament of holy matrimony. Until a few days ago, I believed that holy matrimony and marriage were one and the same with no distinctions. It offended me when gay leaders and their supporters started to demand "gay marriage." I accepted the common wisdom that any decision about marriage came under the Church and not the State.

Not only did the term "gay marriage" offend me, but it frightened me. Much of my earlier beliefs such as the meaning of marriage have been predicated on a wide variety of myths and dirty little secrets accepted and enforced on me by a super large majority. My earlier myths and dirty little secrets were like a "House of Cards." If I pull out one card to search for truth, my entire "House of Cards" -- my entire life -- would fall down and I would end up with nothing. I would have preferred not to even consider gay marriage as a human right under our legal system.

I received several well thought out and concisely expressed emailed explanations on gay marriages, civil unions and holy matrimony rituals from a loving priest here in Puerto Rico. What I found particularly informative and helpful was the explanation of how from the days the Pilgrims first arrived on Plymouth Rock up to today, marriage determined by marriage laws and not by the a particular church's or religious group's canon laws or procedures for the ritual of marriage.

Marriage is first a legal contract issued by the state and not by a religious organization. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled on the question of "gay marriages," its ruling was based strictly on the applicable laws of the land including the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Massachusetts. Canon law or any religious sacrament or ritual was properly not considered in thr court's deliberations and final decision.

If a Roman Catholic couple are married, the legal marriage civil contract is then sanctified by the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It is necessary to first meet legal contractual requirementst. Struggling to understand the distinction between marriage as a legal act and matrimony as a religious sacrament or rite made it possible for me to see the sound reasoning behind gay activists insisting on using the broader and more inclusive term "gay marriage" instead of settling for the more widely accepted, but limited term of "gay civil union." Thank God for the Internet. I search the web for all kinds of answers from pro- and anti-gay (also neutral) groups positions on the pros and cons of gay marriages. I learned a lot. I was uneducated about what marriage vs. matrimony meant.

I have a very politically conservative friend who is also a devout Roman Catholic. He was expounding how he is very much against "gay marriages." He believes that this gay marriage issue would set the gay human rights movement back several years. He wondered why it was even brought up. I told him it was brought up because it is the time to bring it up and concerns being honest instead of continuing to accept dirty little secrets and myths. He then ask me: "How can gay marriages even be a legitimate issue if the vast, overwhelming majority of the public is against gay marriages?"

I reminded him that until President Dwight Eisenhower was president, it was illegal in many states for a white person to marry a black person. Up to President Eisenhower, we had a segregated army. Before Eisenhower, anyone advocating equal rights for blacks, especial the right for interracial marriage, would be denounced. The overwhelming majority of the American public would disagree with even a suggestion of equal rights for black people. Then, it came the opportune time for blacks and their white supporters to fight for civil rights for all races. Many anti-black politicians became educated to understand and accept civil rights for their black citizens in all aspects of life including interracial marriages. The U.S. military services were integrated to include all races having egual rights.

Has the time come for the heterosexual, homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals to to take a stand on supporting marriage for all sexual orientations?
It is time to free Puerto Rico of homophobic religious and political power brokers.
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Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 12
Interests: I like people who make sense and I like to make sense of people, in a world that sometimes makes little sense.
Physical Location: Amsterdam

Posted: 4 May 2004, 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sir,

It's not about whatever you want to call it. It is about the goodies attached to the licence, ranging from the legal ones to thes social status ones.

Know the history of marriage: it is about property relationships, and about keeping it in the family.

Our relationships are just as worthy as heterosexual ones, and I can tell you that I know many gay relationships that have shown more solidarity, love and understanding then straight ones. A 'marriage' counsellor once said: when gay relationships sail rough seas they get out of it much faster than straight relationships, because there is no manual for man-man and woman-woman relationships, the usual gender role expectations don't aplly, so you need to really get talking to come to an understanding.

We, therefore, claim the goodies, the right to call our lovers family, and everything that that implies in terms of property, inheritance, powers of attorney, housing rights, etc. etc. I once had a friend who was denied the right to bury his lover, whom he nursed through his final weeks, whilst the family was absent. He had to take his 'inlaws' to court. He won, but it was the proverbial drop that spilt the bucket, a lifetime of discrimination and hatred from his own family, and did him in. He's dead too now.

The last thing on the mind of many gay men in a serious relationship is to ask for a religious sanction, because any sane gay man knows where the hatred comes from.

But the only way that we seem to be able to get access to the goodies is by copycatting straights.

However, there is also that feeling that because our lives are treated as second rate to the that of the 90 percenters, a so-called civil union will always be treated as second rate, and we aren't second rate, so we won't settle for second rate. For example, in the UK the straights have common law weddings and church weddings, and even amongst straights a common law wife is often little better than a tart, a common law child a bastard, until quite recently. Fortunately, I live in the Netherlands, and it is tradition here that church weddings have no legal status whatsoever; in fact they are illegal unless preceded by a meeting with the registrar.
Harry Trotsky
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