Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

The Gay Bay State

December 4th, 2003 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I should make a somewhat belated mention at the fine decision the Massachusetts Supreme Court made regarding the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. They struck down a law which forbid such unions, and made it clear that the state could not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.”

There was much hand-wringing and moaning about the collapse of civilization by a vocal minority. Luckily the majority of people in Massachusetts are pretty sensible and tolerant.

Though it’s amazing to me that in polls, more people approve of “civil unions” for same sex couples than they do of “marriages.” It is almost as if some squeamish heteros can’t bring themselves to deny queers a fundamental right, but want to distance themselves from it a bit. So Larry and Suzy are married, but Ted and Steve have a “union.” Seems like a semantic ghetto to me, but if the two are functionally identical in the eyes of the law, it’s a good start. I don’t understand those who want to a draw that line.

I can appreciate those of certain religious beliefs that don’t allow for certain types of marriages, but thanks to that handy separation of church and state, those people don’t get to call the shots. For instance, your faith may say that you have to marry within your own faith. That’s fine. But does that mean people who are not members of your religion aren’t “married?” Of course not. So yes, your “marriage” may not be the same as my “marriage.” We don’t need two different words. Keep your religion out of my marriage, please.

To differentiate between the two is a poorly veiled attempt of discrimination. It’s that old “queers are icky and we’ll have none of that in our wholesome existence” thing rearing its head.

You can see a bit of this type of thinking in an article about some conservative black groups getting their panties in a wad about the civil rights issue of gay marriage being compared to the civil rights issue of interracial marriages, which were also once illegal in many places.

No one is saying that racial discrimination is the same as sexual-orientation discrimination, nor that gays have suffered the same history of indignities and abuses as blacks. As if either of those things matter when making the comparison. When you compare two things, you aren’t equating them. And what is specifically being compared in this matter are interracial marriage bans to same-sex marriage bans.

In spite of this, some of the reactions from these groups shows that discrimination is okay, as long as you only discriminate against those nasty fags:

Mychal Massie, a conservative columnist and member of Project 21, a Washington D.C.-based political alliance of conservative blacks, said the comparisons aren’t valid.

“It is an outrage to align something so offensive as this with the struggle of a fallen man, a great man such as Martin Luther King,” said Massie, who writes for

“The whole thing bespeaks of something much deeper and more insidious than we just want to get married,” he said. “They want to change the entire social order.”

You see, the problem is not only are gay people disgusting, they are uppity as well.

Some people try to hide their discrimination with the line that “homosexuality is a choice,” which always seems to have the hidden subtext “gay people deserve the grief they get.” Well, heterosexuality is a choice too. If heterosexuality gets certain benefits and rights under the law, it’s fair that homosexuals get it too. Religion is a choice too, but we don’t allow people to be discriminated against because of their faith. Why anyone would want to play the rather pointless game of “my discrimination is worse than yours,” instead of acknowledging that any form of discrimination is bad makes no sense to me.

It feels like resistance to same-sex marriages falls into two, sometimes overlapping camps: people who are against homosexuality because of their faith, or people who are against homosexuality because they think it’s nasty. People are entitled to the former in regards to their own actions, but they should keep it to themselves. People in the latter group should keep it to themselves too, mainly because they make asses out of themselves when they open their mouths.

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