In a five-minute speech on Tuesday, President Bush declared that he intends to keep marriage defined to “one man and one woman” and that this is “the most fundamental institution of civilization.” Gay marriage is quite the hot topic these days what with the crazy antics in San Francisco and all. So here’s another article about gay marriage. Ready?
I know that I am committed to my partner (yes-a female partner, eek!) and I know that I love her and all that crap, so I don’t need a piece of paper that will make it “official.” What I would like is the ability to visit her in the hospital if she should ever become sick, and the ability to file joint income taxes with her, and the ability to adopt children with her, among other things. We already wear rings to signify our commitment, but that’s really only a superficial declaration of our relationship.
I would love to be able to marry this woman. But as of now, that’s not entirely legal. So my next bet would be to go into a civil union with her. This would accord us the same rights as married couples. Civil unions are essentially just marriages, with a different title. A rose by any other word would still smell as sweet, right? If it makes conservatives feel better to block gay people from getting married, than that’s just fine with me. As long as I can have the same rights with my partner through a civil union, that other legally committed couples have, I don’t care what they call it. Call it marriage, call it a civil union, call it a hamburger with cheese. I don’t care. Just let me have my rights as an adult who loves and is committed to another adult.
“But if gay people get married, then what’s to stop people from marrying animals or office products?” Well you see, animals and office products cannot give consent to be married, so you can rest assured that this will not be a problem. In America’s near past wasn’t it unheard of for a mixed race couple to get married? Why yes it was! And now I can’t imagine what was going on in people’s heads that they thought it was okay to ban a commitment between two consenting adults.
It’s not that marriage exists to give rights to committed couples; rather, the rights are an incentive to get married. People only have sex when they’re married and it’s only so that they can make babies, right? So why does birth control exist? Are you trying to tell me that there are people out there who have sex without the intention of getting pregnant? Preposterous! But these people who have sex are always married, right? WHAT? Now I’m confused.
Here’s the deal, if my partner and I get married, or civil union-ed, does that make a heterosexual marriage invalid? Will married couples have to give up some rights? Will they not be able to visit their spouse in the hospital, or be forced to give up legal parental rights to their children? No, no, no and no. Will I gain rights? Yes-the same rights that anyone gets once they get married. Simple as that. The fact that I’m gay doesn’t factor into it.
Some readers might think I’m weird, gross, going to hell, etc. Fine, great, you’re entitled to that opinion. I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion. I don’t think people are reading this and saying, “Yes, she’s completely right, I will now change all my beliefs.” People are always going to think I’m weird, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. I’ve stopped trying long ago. I don’t live to spite or to please others. All I ask is that I be afforded the same rights with my partner as a heterosexual couple has.
For the two of you who have continued to read this far, thank you, and let me let you in on a little secret: when I was in eighth grade and I realized I was queer, all I wanted was to be accepted by my peers, so I didn’t tell them. I hid myself from my friends because I was scared. But I’m not scared anymore, because my legal rights as an American citizen are more important to me than worrying about someone calling me names.