Friday, April 10, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Still Could Be Legally Binding

While I am a registered Independent, I do tend to be liberal on most social issues. I'm pro-choice, pro-birth-control and pro-sex-ed in the schools. I favor legalization of marijuana. I'm anti-attempts-to-shove-religion-down-my-throat, but the Golden Rule rocks. I'm comfortable with people of other races. I have no problem with gays, lesbians and trans-gender people. "Live and let live" is my motto.

But...and y'all knew there was going to be a "but" in here...I simply cannot understand the fanatical drive by many gays and liberals to try to legalize gay "marriage!" I can understand and am supportive of the wish of same-sex couples to legalize their unions. It is desirable, spiritually and legally, to have their relationship officially recognized. But why insist on calling the union a "marriage?" My Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary defines marriage as "a compact entered into by a man and a woman, based on mutual regard, to live together as husband and wife until separated by death." That's the definition, like it or not! I can call my shoes "gloves," but they're not going to fit on my hands. I can call a red light "green," but if I try to drive through it, I'll have problems. So why not compromise and call the union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman something else? What's wrong with the term, "civil union?" Why insist on using the word "marriage?" I believe that much of the general public's opposition would fade away, if we could compromise on that one point. If you don't like "civil union," think of something else. Invent a new word! New words are added to our lexicon all the time. Call it a "garriage" for gay men and a "larriage" for lesbian women. I'm being silly with those suggestions, of course. But I'm not kidding about the idea of creating a new term for same-sex unions.
What do you think?

9 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

I've reached a point in my life I really don't care what others do - as long as it doesn't hurt others and other life forms - people can marry whatever they choose - Other people, groups of people, telephone poles, cars, Weber grills, their hand, chocolate ice cream... I don't care.

It doesn't impact my life and what I do, I simply don't care.

Madam Z said...

Bill, I agree completely!

Distributorcap said...

i dont see the big deal about calling it marriage -- like bill said, i do not see how this impacts anyone else. there is no way on earth that a same sex marriage will harm your own relationship - unless one chooses to.

with so many more important things to fix - it baffles me as to why this is even an issue.

Lisa said...

I think the word matters because a class of people feel as if they're being told that they can't do something or have something based simply on a legal definition of something. Sorry about that poorly constructed sentence.

Now - do I care what it's called? Not really. It doesn't affect me.

Madam Z said...

DC, of course "calling it a marriage" is not a big deal for you and me and other readers of my blog. But we're not the ones passing Prop 8 in California. We're not the ones waving placards and writing our congresspeople to keep gays from marrying. Those people are the ones who will prevent same-sex couples from being able to have a legal union. I am proposing that proponents think of a name other than "marriage" in order to reduce the opposition.

Of course, for most of us there are "many more important things to fix." I just chose this subject because the "fix" seems more do-able than most. And, for some people it is very important.

Ben said...

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.

fingers said...

So, as far as I can tell from your argument, the people most likely to be offended by calling same-sex unions 'marriage' are the lexicographers who chose a definition for the word that ultimately proved too narrow...

Grant Miller said...

I'm w/ DCap

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