Marriage Matters to Me

Nova Newcomer

And I will take that a step further, fundamental rights should not be subject to a waiting period as public opinion catches up.

I have a confession to make. Up until last year, I didn't wholeheartedly support gay marriage. Not because I didn't think that gay and lesbian people should be able to marry, just that I thought it wasn't the right strategy to making it happen. I thought word play could replace the damage of discrimination by making it easier for people who opposed gay marriage to accept a "civil union" which accomplished the same thing. It turns out that's not the case.

Civil unions for gay couples only codifies discrimination. And the larger battle beyond legally recognizing the rights of same sex couples is the battle of the hearts and minds. We know that the tide is turning. America's youth overwhelmingly support tolerance and equality toward gay and lesbian people and majorities say they should be able to legally marry. But as Honorable Judge Walker wrote in his decision overturning Proposition 8, "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." And I will take that a step further, fundamental rights should not be subject to a waiting period as public opinion catches up.

Personally, I would rather have the government only grant civil unions to all couples and have marriage be left to everyone's respective religions. But that would be to deny the powerful cultural hold that marriage (whether secular or spiritual) has in our society. And it lets us all off the hook from, once and for all, confronting institutionalized discrimination of our citizens based on sexual orientation.

Knowing first-hand how marriage discrimination affects my friends and family members, it's not enough for me to support a policy workaround. Marriage equality = civil rights issue. And it's not good enough to say privately that you support gay marriage. It must be said in public. So, say it loud, say it often, say it with dignity. Marriage matters to me.

Comments

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    Nova, I was of the mind that a civil union was an adequate approach to resolving this issue. But, I do see your point. Your post caused me to rethink that position.

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    Thanks. I agree completely that the French model- a civil marriage required for the government with a subsequent religious marriage if you choose- is the ideal. I also agree that it's unlikely we'll get there.

    After more than 30 years together, my partner and I were married in a civil ceremony in California during that brief legal window. One of our nieces, who had gotten married in an immediate-family-only religious ceremony about a year earlier, emailed me after the ceremony:

    "You know that I've never been a fan of marriage but when Jer and I decided we wanted kids, it made legal sense for us to do it but it was more about the legality than anything else.

    "Your marriage completely changed my mind. Watching you and Greg, surrounded by family and friends, get to say those words together, made it clear that there's more to this than legality. There's a celebration of love and commitment that just never registered with me before. Thank you."

    And again, Nova Newcomer, thank you. Every new voice joins a chorus that gives us joy... and maybe more importantly, hope.

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    I see the gay assault on marriage as I do the gay assault on the hearts and minds of our children. For the gay movement it's not so much some desparate need to get married, it's their need to further their assault on the bright line absolutes that made this country and our society the envy of the world. The gay agenda is not about respecting the beliefs of others or the inherent inequality between two gays getting married and a man and a woman getting married. Their goal is not the elevation and honoring of such an important event ...it is the destruction and bastardization of marriage and their fixation and obsession about trying to pound another nail into organized religion

    The pro gay marriage crowd has no respect for the majority who has let their voice be heard (not just in Oregon...even California rejected it overwhelmingly) they have no respect for the impact of their selfish desperate crusade has on some of the most heartfelt beliefs of others. They asked for tolerance ...so now we tolerate their lifestyle, now what we ask from them is that they show some respect and tolerance everyone else's. It is the vocal name calling minority who seeks to tear down another important and enduring institution which has served us well for centuries. We have put it to a vote and they lost. Their shameless attempt to hijack the civil rights movement and make it their own sickens and disgusts me. The minute a black or brown or yellow or any colored person is able to change their skin color by simply not telling anyone is then day it has the chance to be considered a civil rights issue. Their tactics are despicable and deplorable. We have shown them all the respect imaginable and now it's their turn to show some back.

    This is a tired and divisive one-sided fight by gay extremists who want to force the state to recognize them for their sexual preference and chosen lifestyle. The state said no ...time to move on because we have real problems that need to be dealt with together ...all of us. Their browbeating extremism and PC garbage have gone on long enough and the majority in this and every state are tired of it.

    Marriage is for a man and a woman. If gays want to get 'married' they need to follow that formula.

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    The perfect is the enemy of the good.--Voltaire

    I hope that we don't punish gay couples by denying them equal rights simply because we are striving for the perfect solution. Sometimes, a good solution is better than no solution at all.

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