Sunday, April 12, 2009


Ben commented on my last post, with this powerful rebuttal:

"Different names for different ceremonies sets a very dangerous precedent for inequality. As children we're exposed to all sorts of stories, fairy tales and promises that one day we will fall in love and get married. To then discover that you will never get married, just 'civilly partnered' or 'unioned', just because you are incapable of being attracted to a certain type of person, already makes you feel as if you're not quite part of the human race. A rose by any other name, on this occasion, smells a little token.

I think the real crux is that it really doesn't affect anyone other than the people getting married/partnered/unioned - whatever the name or euphemism. I think that's why the placard-waving masses voting for Prop 8 come across as so unpleasant. What right do such people have to dictate how other people should love each other, and what therefore constitutes a valid expression of that bond?

The most offensive suggestion of all remains that gay men and women should be happy they can "marry" at all now, and thus by extension near-servile for no longer being imprisoned, beaten and murdered. In many parts of the world, they still are

I have to admit, he has succeeded in making me change my mind. This sentence is particularly moving: "To then discover that you will never get married, just 'civilly partnered' or 'unioned', just because you are incapable of being attracted to a certain type of person, already makes you feel as if you're not quite part of the human race."

Okay guys, get married. As Ben, Lisa, Bill, and DistributorCap all said, it doesn't affect the rest of us, so what's the big deal? And as for a same-sex marriage not fitting the dictionary definition of "marriage," definitions change with time. After all, the word "gay" used to mean "filled with or inspiring mirth..."


Bill Stankus said...

Ah, words and societal acceptance. In groups, out groups. Di I personally care what you think of me, what society thinks of me? Nope and never.

Why am I married? Not because of the word "marriage" or anything else. A civil or religious pronouncement meant nothing to us. We married ... just because.

I'll tell you what does bug me and has since day one of our marriage ... terminology. I Hate saying, "My wife's a good cook." Or, "Let me introduce you to my wife..."

I absolutely hate using possessive pronouns.

She is not mine ... We are a we, there's ours and there's us.

Regarding inequality ... ah, everything is unequal. You have more money than me, I can do a lot of things better than you, etc. etc. So what!

On the other hand ... legal rules and mandates must be equal for all people. Total legal democracy is a must.

Madam Z said...

Bill, I am intrigued by your dislike of "possessive pronouns."
How would you, for instance, introduce (your) wife to someone who doesn't know you and she are married? Just, "This is Mags."? Or, "Meet Mags, the other half of our 'we'?"

Bill Stankus said...

Yep, "I'd like to meet Mary" is the usual. No to "better half" and no to anything else which implies something other and an individual, a person, a person who happens to be a woman.

"Better half" has alway struck me as false praise or, minimally as sexist.

In many ways I am very militant about stereotyping or using words that imply superiority.

Regarding the gay references - I don't even like the word "gay". It implies that it is the significant element of a person. Why is it necessary to include a person's sexuality in context of who a person is or what they do?

We don't say, "Straight Madam Z was reported to have written a letter to her state senator."

I don't like labels.

Madam Z said...

Now Bill, I did NOT say "better" half. I said "other" half. I agree with what you say about the use of the term "better half," and have never used it.

I also agree with you regarding the gay references.
"Why is it necessary to include a person's sexuality in context of who a person is or what they do?" I must point out, however, it is the homosexual community who constantly identify themselves as "gay." Think of the various "Gay Pride" events around te country. It's so "in your face!" Frankly, I'd rather not have to think about what a person does in his/her bedroom, unless it involves me!

fingers said...

Hahaha...serves me right for not reading this post first I suppose.
Look, you can't just go around changing the meaning of words.
What about all the people who have bought their dictionaries in good faith, only to see them rendered obsolete by you small-L liberals and your silly attacks of conscience ??
Changing dictionary definitons is in complete defiance of God's Laws...

Captain Smack said...

I'm glad that the Hysterically Religious Right has decided to focus so much of their attention on gay marriage. It keeps them busy, and distracts them from other, more important issues.

Imagine that the Gay Marriage issue was decided on, once and for all. The crazy religious nuts would immediately move on to the next ridiculous thing, and then the next. It would never end.

We should all be grateful for our homosexual brothers and sisters, for distracting these retarded weirdos in such an effective way.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I've always been puzzled by the hair-splitting behavior of some who propose allowing gays to have civil unions but not marriages.

The semantic distinction (hey! that would be a good name for a band) doesn't really make a difference to me; it doesn't bother me if marriage is defined as two men or two women or one man & one woman. But I appreciate where it is important to gay people, and want them to have equal rights. I don't get why some bigots would be okay with a union as long as the sacred term marriage wasn't applied.

What I find really interesting is that bigotry seems to be somewhat consistent. I discovered at one site that "States that never banned interracial marriage/miscegenation are far more likely to have progressive policies regarding same sex marriages than states who did."

I find myself tearing up at the photos of people across the country who are celebrating the passage of laws permitting gay marriage in various states. Tears of joy. I have no use for the other side. They are haters.