(Also posted in my Gazette blog)
I’ve always thought the battle to legalize same-sex marriage around the world, and thus give equality to gay people, was a noble cause. A no-brainer, actually. Why should a same-sex couple have fewer rights than a heterosexual couple? Love transcends gender, right? It’s about the ‘spiritual’ connection, if you believe in that sort of thing.
I have been aware that there are some gay people who are opposed to same-sex marriage, but then I didn’t give them a lot of thought . . . until today, when I read an article on the BBC site called The gay people against gay marriage.
Sigh . . . Apparently, some see same-sex marriage as a victory for “a patriarchal institution that bears no relevance to them,” the BBC report says.
And, the report says, “Some lesbians are opposed to marriage on feminist grounds, says Claudia Card, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, because they see it as an institution that serves the interests of men more than women. It is also, in her view “heteronormative”, embodying the view that heterosexuality is the preferred and normal sexuality.”
Oy . . . my head is beginning to swim here.
I’m not sure how marriage serves the interests of men more than women, in Canada, at least: ask any divorced guy in Canada for his opinion, and I suspect they won’t agree. But even in more patriarchal countries, wouldn’t married same-sex couples be on more equal footing?
One man in the article uses the “we’re not going to procreate, so why should we be allowed to get married” argument, as if that’s the only thing marriage is about these days. Maybe it was back in days of olde, but many hetero couples choose to not have kids in the modern world. Does that mean their marriages should be null and void? While saying he doesn’t want to do the traditional walk down the aisle and would prefer a civil partnership, this particular gentleman is arguing his case from a very traditional point of view.
Oy . . . my head is swimming again . . .
I suppose what troubles me most about this is that while so many of us (who are not necessarily gay) stand up for same-sex marriage, some gay people are undermining the quest for equality. Lots and lots of same-sex couples want the right to wed. It is a noble cause, and political leaders in Canada, France, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and other countries recognized that and did the right thing by legalizing same-sex marriage — and the sky didn’t fall and it didn’t hurt the institution of marriage at all.
To those — both gay and hetero people — who are opposed to same-sex marriage, I say do your own thing. Nobody is forcing you to be in a same-sex relationship and to marry. But there are same-sex couples who do want to wed. Why are you trying to oppress them? Why do you want to hurt them? What difference does it make to you?
We are not brought into existence by chance nor thrown up into earth-life like wreckage cast along the shore, but are here for infinitely noble purposes.— Katherine Tingley