Tag Archives: same sex marriage

(Gay) Mawige Is Wat Bwings Us Togever Today

As you already know, June 26th saw the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges- an agonizingly boring name for what was one of the most momentous decisions in American legal history.

Effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the ruling was met by many Americans with resounding applause and celebration that often seemed to border on being downright aggressive.

But we’re not here to talk about that. Nor are we here to talk about the outcries and horror and disgust from the ever-dwindling minority of marriage equality opponents. At least- not the nutjobs.

The pastor who promised to set himself on fire if the ruling was made (though he swiftly retracted that oath), the folks claiming that gays cause hurricanes, the ones who hold up picket signs reading “God hates Fags!”-

-these are not the people I want to talk about.

I’m referring to the non-crazy (but by no means less angry) rank and file of the opposition here. Your conservative uncle. Your Wesleyan Aunt. Folks who’d never shriek obscenities, or claim the impending wrath of God, but who’d still shake their heads sadly and call this ruling a “tragedy” or “evidence of our culture’s moral free-fall”.

These folks:

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Why Ben Carson Shouldn’t Be President

The past two decades has not been kind to American Christians.

In spite of the Bush presidency, largely supported by Evangelicals, the former administration’s efforts were focused on the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than at home. In 2000 only a single state recognized same-sex marriage. Today only 12 states do not, and gay rights have rapidly moved from a fringe issue to a widely accepted stance. Support for Roe V. Wade has seen a slow but steady increase, and belief in evolution has seen similar growth- even among conservatives.

With these defeats, it would be understandable if conservative Christians claim that their once mighty “Shining city upon a hill” has fallen into disarray, with the forces of secularism closing in for the final siege.

Enter Dr. Ben Carson, 2016 presidential hopeful, and, to hear many talk, one pale horse shy of the second coming.

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One Christian’s Views on Same-Sex Marriage

To begin with, yes, I am a Christian. I read the Bible and I go to church, and brushing aside such things that can be construed as “appearances only” I also believe that Jesus was God’s only begotten son sent to Earth for the salvation of mankind, and in the inerrancy of Scripture.

I am a Christian and I am okay with same-sex marriage.

Yesterday I had a debate on Facebook that lasted for literally hours on this subject. I was simply going through my newsfeed when an article popped up titled “Inter-Racial Marriage and Same Sex Marriage.” I didn’t even have to open it up to read it to know I disagreed, because the friend who posted it decided to also quote the last paragraph:

“The real question here, it seems to me, is whether marriage has an essence or is merely a social construct akin to driving on the right- versus left-hand side of the road. Those who espouse same-sex marriage want to deconstruct marriage so that what counts as marriage is just a matter of convention. Once we start down that route, anything goes: a man and two women, a man and a child, two men and a goat, etc. I see no reason at all to start down that road.”

Which prompted my response, on the left, and the decision  to embark on a discussion that would last from roughly 1 to 6 p.m. and leave me emotionally, more than mentally, exhausted. I soldiered on, however, because within that paragraph is a very common argument in the Christian community that I simply cannot agree with. It’s a go-to response for many regarding same-sex marriage, and one that follows a particular line of logic. Continue reading

Pride Weekend: Now and The Future

The CN Tower, putting on a special light show for Pride Week.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that this upcoming weekend is a long one due to Canada Day [July 1]. Imagine my continued surprise when I found out that not only is this weekend Pride Weekend, but that it actually coincides with the national holiday more often than not.

I’ve been in Toronto for the past six or so summers, and it really has taken it this long for the latter to dawn on me; that’s in spite of the fact that this city hosts one of the largest gay pride festivals on the planet. We have an entire week dedicated to celebrating LGBT people, an event that has one of the most user-friendly websites I have ever laid eyes on. Continue reading

Republicans, Marriage Equality, and Inevitable Social Change

Freedom to Marry has set up the Win More States Fund with the goal of influencing legislation in Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Washington. Interestingly, the fund’s largest donors so far have been a group of major donors to the Republican party.

Freedom to Marry is one of the many organizations in the US that support and fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage

And this isn’t just excitement over a few novel Republicans donating insubstantial amounts; the group collectively donated $1.5 million, which is half of the fund’s stated goal. Ken Mehlman, the former chair of the RNC (Republican National Committee) (I’ve heard that they’re a big deal). The group of donors, including Mehlman, has founded a Super PAC (American Unity), which defines itself as a PAC that “supports GOP political leaders committed to advancing the rights of gay and lesbian Americans”. The PAC’s first donation was $1 million from Paul Singer, hedge fund CEO and major donor to the GOP.

This shows quite the shift, especially compared to popular (if slightly under-informed) consensus about party alignment on the gay marriage debate.
Freedom to Marry quotes Mehlman talking about his decision to donate:

“Supporting the right of adults to marry the person that they love is consistent with Republican and conservative principles. A party that ignores reality and demographic change is a party that loses a lot of elections and becomes less relevant.”

Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund targets Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Washington State

There were a lot of predictions that opposing gay marriage would just cease to be a respected opinion in the US, and it seems that that’s what’s happening now. Mehlmen’s statement is practical – he does say that the position “is consistent with Republican and conservative principles,” but this issue would not be being addressed if not for the huge social movement over the past few decades. That IS sort of how democracy is supposed to work – but I think that we will always hear more people saying things like “Those people have to change in order to survive politically” than things like “They can take the job and shove it … I’m trying to do the right thing.”

But that’s how things work, I guess. People have a tendency to distrust things that are different and strange, and so social change with respect to accepting and adapting to differences usually has more to do with social pressure (and shame) than with lots of miraculously-timed personal insights. The fact that our opinions and actions are inseparably intertwined with the popular sentiment is not news. And while political moves responding to trendy or controversial social issues might be occasionally disingenuous, there’s no arguing that they can instigate actual change.

Same Sex Marriage in the Current Context

source: www.theamericanmagazine.com

The Stonewall Inn, 1969

The passing of the monumental bill by the NY Senate last Friday (in addition to the UN commitment to protect LGBT rights) demonstrated clearly the increasing social acceptability of same sex marriage. While the movement started and is continuing with the passionate support of marginalized people, the case for same sex marriage is gaining momentum because it is becoming “cooler” to support it – being pro-gay-marriage is slowly becoming the default, and voting against it is more commonly seen as bigoted and discriminatory.

Even just a few years ago, only the more socially liberal Democrats would support same sex marriage (like in 2009, when every Republican and 8 Democratic senators voted the bill down in the New York Senate) – but this last Friday all of the Democrats in the Senate and 4 Republicans voted for gay marriage.  So…what changed? 2011’s bill included that amendment that protects the right of religious institutions who refuse to marry same-sex couples, but that wasn’t the only reason – it’s the slow change of what’s socially expected.

In that strange way that things viewed as “radical notions” can eventually trickle down and become accepted common sense, supporting same sex marriage is becoming the the norm.  Not long ago, anyone who campaigned for same sex marriage in the US had to explain their case persuasively and passionately to be taken seriously, but now the pressure is shifting to the other side – those who oppose gay marriage are the ones who are required to defend themselves. Being pro-gay-marriage is almost universally assumed for Democrats, and some Republicans are “coming out” as supportive of the cause too, like NY Senator Roy McDonald, who said “f*** it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.” Apologetic hand gestures and the requisite “But hear me out…” are being reassigned to the “traditional marriage” crowd – especially among academics, the upper middle class, and young adults, it would seem.

Interestingly, as views on gay marriage are shifting, the view of marriage in general is changing too. The “married scene” (or whatever you would call it) is one filled with unmarried couples who refer to their pets as children, couples who live together for decades before getting married, couples who don’t get married at all, divorce cakes, and an annoyingly-often-quoted-and-never-cited 50% divorce rate.The Western idea of marriage is conflicted: we still say “Til death do us part”, we still tend to teach (or at least show) the ideals of marry-young-and-live-Happily-Ever-After, but we’re getting married at an older age2 and marriages don’t tend to last “til death”.  I’m not here to argue the healthiness or unhealthiness of divorce or cohabitation, – the point is that, whether good or bad, the idea of marriage is changing in the West, and we don’t seem to be sure into what.  Same sex couples are fighting and protesting their way into a strange and fickle club; one that (technically and idealistically) promises lifetime commitment and doesn’t really deliver.  It’ll be interesting to see what the statistics will look like for newly married same sex couples in the future.

source: www.nytime.com/slideshow/2011/06/25

Outside the Stonewall Inn, June 23, 2011

Support for LGBT marriage rights seems to be going the way of racial equality and women’s rights – our kids are probably going to be baffled at the idea of the Defense of Marriage Act, like we were at some women’s rights and racial discrimination issues that we take for granted. One difference, though, is that same sex couples, unlike women and racial minorities, will definitely always be a minority, unless demographics change hugely (or there are way more of us in the closet than we thought). This is another thing that’s going to make the future interesting for same-sex politics – the discrimination might just cycle around again after all of the people who witnessed the fight for marriage equality are gone, unless the idea of LGBT rights settles itself into a comfortable position as the social norm. That seems to be the case so far.3

1 the best source I could find, figure 13; the second best source I could find
2 source
3But maybe this will be a short-lived trend, considering the growing muslim population in the EU and the US; juxtapose that with the fact that the 7-9ish countries in which homosexual activity is punishable by death (Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Mauritania, Yemen, Somalia [Somaliland], Afghanistan [capital punishment until 2009, which is still often unoficially enforced], Pakistan [sometimes, where Shar’ia law applies]) are all Muslim-majority states. If demographic trends continue and Muslim-majority states continue to tend to enforce Shar’ia law, it doesn’t seem that same sex marriage will be able to remain a social norm, at least in Europe, for more than a few decades.