Mad Scrabble- Sunday's Post (late as usual)
The Scrabble board says...
I VOTED YESTERDAY. THEY WON. HOMOPHOBES DEFEATED COMPASSION.
In Louisiana, marriage is and has been defined in the statutes as a union between a man and a woman. Apparently, this was not comfort enough for the homophobes of the religious right. They had to wrap the definition in bullet-proof, teflon-coated, mile-thick lead shielding.
The state constitutional amendment prohibits judges and other officials from recognizing same sex marriages and civil unions sanctioned in other states. And because of the broad wording of the amendment, it may go beyond that, potentially disrupting private contracts. It could nullify the one truly progressive thing the City of New Orleans has done in recent years: the Domestic Partner Registry. The registry allows same sex couples to designate a partner to receive health insurance and retirement benefits from the city or from other employers who wish to offer the same benefits to all their employees, regardless of sexuak orientation.
The passing of this amendment made me so sad. And then I made the mistake of opening my mouth when my Bible thumping, born-again sister-in-law self-righteously proclaimed her support for it. A nasty and frustrating debate ensued.
"The bible says that marriage is a union between a man and a woman", she said.
"But this is not a religious matter! It's a state constitutional amendment!" I insisted.
When did we lose seperation of church and state?
My sister-in-law then went on to share her opinon that homosexuality was an unnecessary condition precipitated by some sort of childhood abuse, implying that it could be reversed, perhaps by repentance, though she did not elaborate. It is amoral. (And thus, it must be punished!)
The way I see it, if your religious institution doesn't believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry, then it should not perform same sex marriages, as it defines marriage. But when were talking about marriage in civil terms, it's nothing more than an agreement. You can't legislate love, anyway. Disallowing a civil union does not stop anyone from taking spiritual vows. (Nor does a civil marriage ensure the moral conduct of either party in a heterosexual union.) Allowing same sex civil unions (and marriage is just a word. it means whatever we decide it means, outside the legal stipulations) is a simple matter of protecting citizens from non-secular based biases.
And at the most basic level, if two people love each other and want to create a formalized union, what sweat is it off anyone else's back? What's in it for us if we stop it? Shouldn't we be more "pro-love" anyway? Besides, there are other ways to get around the system. And I guess that's ok, as long as we don't let people do it in a straightforward and honest fashion. (I have a gay male friend who is married to a gay female from another country; they both got what they needed, from a legal perspective.) Isn't all this rediculous?
Really, the thing that bugs me the most is to hear people call themselves Christian and act so unlovingly. Isn't that what Jesus was all about? Love? Did he pass moral judgment on anyone? Ask Mary Magdaline. I kept thinking about all the people with the WWJD (what would Jesus do?) paraphernalia and how I'd like to ask them the question.
Imagine running into Jesus on the way to the polls. "Hey Jesus, you voting for that amendment?" Now, imagine hearing Jesus respond as a homophobe. I'd write the hypothetical response here, but I'm afrain the RR Gustapo would find me and kill me, and I still have two kids to raise.
Where, where, where is the LOVE?
Come on, people!
Post Script- By the time it was over, my boyfriend was irked with me for my aggressive behavior in the debate.