5.29.2009

it isn't about marriage. seriously.

thinking about the marriage equality issue again...

frankly, it's time to reframe the argument.

every article i see on the topic seems to be progressively devolving into nitpicky, almost juvenile squabbling. when that happens, you have to wonder: what are people really angry about?

if you can agree that marriage is, essentially, a familial contract, it's obvious that these contracts provide very specific bureaucratic privileges which can also tie into a certain amount of class privilege*.

contracts aren't about gender or religion, they're simply contracts, right? so any two consenting adults should have the right to enter into said contract.

to be fair, everyone--heterosexual or otherwise--involved in these contracts should be calling them civil unions. 'cause that's what they are.

let's not forget that the church doesn't marry you. the preacherman's (or woman) power is invested by the state, even if you don't have the marriage ceremony at the courthouse.

i have not heard one person argue that churches/spiritual orgs should change their practices, and if i did, i would call him/her an idiot. from a religious standpoint, marriage can most certainly be defined as a covenant between a man and a woman. i may not agree with you, but we can coexist. that's cool.

can you see how, when you start sifting through the messy details, marriage begins to emerge as something else entirely?

in my humble opinion, it is beginning to seem that the institution of marriage defined as a heterosexual relationship between one man and one woman may be one of the last tangible vestiges of the "america is and always has been a christian nation" myth.

when many of these state constitutions and statutes were being written, the myth was accepted as fact by the rich, white, (presumably) heterosexual males who wrote them.

furthermore, there are many people in the mainstream culture (which is already feeling threatened) who cannot abide the debunking of this myth.

maybe, on a very visceral level, folks are mad because the collective consciousness that does not subscribe to the western european, patriarchal context will not go away. understandably, those who are fully invested in that context--by birth or acculturation--are fighting to hold it up in all its oppressive, abusive, insanity-creating glory.

listen. many sane people have been trying to break this to you for years, but apparently it still has not sunken in. let me reiterate:

while the first europeans to step on what is now called american soil may have been fundamentalist protestants and catholics, many of the colored people who were subdued, captured and otherwise oppressed by those "founders" lied to you. they feigned adoption of your god in order to ensure their survival.

the indigenous people of this land were not christian.

the west africans who came over on the slave ships were not christian. it took generations--in the colonies as well as in the caribbean--to even nominally stamp out the memory of those traditions, and they were still never fully eradicated.

and so on.

to you, the great melting pot is a proud accomplishment. to many of us "others", it is a euphemism for cultural erasure.

as wade davis said, "other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. they are unique manifestations of the human spirit." i would venture that that statement applies to human sexuality as well.

again i ask: what are we really arguing about?



*marriage, for many upper and middle class folks (or those aspiring to the middle/upper class) equals legitimacy. our society further acknowledges the legitimacy of this contract with all the benefits mentioned above. simply put, married people are special. if you make them less special in any way--since us little folks in a big, capitalist world so rarely come to understand our true worth beyond these kinds of benefits--it's a threat. see how that works? part of how they distract us & turn us against one another...

2 comments:

vyzion360 said...

I really enjoyed this. Very well written! I love your writing style! You made some really good points, too :D

Thanks for visiting the site and bringing your blog to my attention, I'll be sure to visit often!

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

thanks. sometimes i just have to stop and say, "wait. what's really going on here?" i think that we're at the edge of some SERIOUS social deconstruction. this is just one of the gateways.

feeling's mutual...i really love the stuff you bring to light in your space. thanks for stopping by!