Weddings and Marriages and Civil Unions (Oh My!)

So I’m watching Studio 60 last night and they raise (yet again) the question of same sex marriage, so I roll my eyes, sigh, think about changing the channel, but ultimately stick around (not a whole lot on on Monday nights, right?).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have no opinion on the topic or that I think the topic boring or unimportant or trivial, but I am just sick to death of the tired old arguments on both sides of the issue.   We know both sides of this debate and have heard them until we (okay, maybe only I) am sick to death of the whole thing. 

And then Studio 60 did something different, somehow managed to get me to think about same sex marriage again.  Sure, they trotted out the “how’s it going to hurt traditional marriage?” and the “where is it allowed in the Bible?” questions (the answer to both is “it’s not.”), but they also brought up the question of a parochial society unwilling or unable to keep up with the swift changes of our age.  This I found interesting.  And refreshing.  Maybe not accurate, but at least it was a new spin on the well-worn arguments in this debate. 

The way the argument was posited was during an exchange between the two principal male and female actors:  the female against same sex marriage, the male for it.  She says the same stuff about same sex marriage we always hear from the right:  it’s a religious, moral, and social question, and he responds by saying based on that argument, then, slavery shouldn’t have been abolished (I’ve not read the entire Bible, but I guess slavery is A-ok in there).  Hmmm.  So then she says (and here is the part that got my attention), but it takes time to accept change, and that Black people had been living openly as Black people for centuries; whereas, homosexual people had been living openly for only thirty or so years.  Hmmm. 

All in all not a very generous view of middle America (where the numbers are, and where “protecting marriage” is a real issue).  But there just might be something to this argument, right?  I mean, look what happened to Ellen DeGenerous.  She comes out on her sitcom, kisses a woman on the show, and she’s out of a job before the end of taping that day.  Next thing you know, everyone is kissing same sex people in prime time; Rosanne does it, happened all the time on Will & Grace, and well, on just about any sitcom you can name.  Once it happened, it was somehow more okay.  It’s like bad language and violence; it really wasn’t that long ago that prime time shows couldn’t air words such as “shit” and “whore,” but now, well, you hear those, plus “bitch” and on cable, even worse.  It’s taking a mile when you’ve been given an inch; it’s pushing the boundaries . . . just a little, until they’ve been pushed back so far, they cease to exist.  Women weren’t allowed to vote in this country until 1920, and now, less than a century later, at least one woman is thinking about running for President.

I have no doubt that same sex marriage will eventually be recognized by law in this country, and I think that’s a good thing (I’m not so sure that increased violence and foul language on prime time is a good thing).  I guess it’ll start as “civil unions” which is just a bigoted and homophobic way of saying that homosexual people aren’t as important as the rest of us, that their love and commitment is somehow less than ours.  But then, someone somewhere will realize that millions of heterosexual couples get legally married by Justices of the Peace or Notary Publics (the latter only in some states, i.e. Florda) without any religious involvement at all:  across the land, opposite sex marriages are happening in court houses, on lawns, in living rooms, in forests, while snorkeling or sky diving for goodness’ sake, and all without the benefit of the (or any) church.  Some of these people, GASP, are atheists or heathens or . . . worse!  There is no “sanctity of marriage” involved here, right? 

But these heterosexual couples are permited to marry and to be recognized as married by the laws of this land; so maybe it’s not a religious issue at all since marriage itself is not always about making an oath before God or even by people who believe in God, right?  Wouldn’t that suck the religiosity out of it?  To some people getting a marriage license is just as religous and spiritually meaningful as getting a fishing licence or registering their car with the RMV.  But no one is telling them they better change their ways or they can’t get married (someone is probably telling them that they’ll burn in hell, but then, at least they can visit each other in the hospital on their way down.).

And when someone somewhere realizes all this, they’ll get the word out that a traditional church wedding and getting married are totally different things (very like a wedding and marriage are totally different things).  And then people will be rushing to ensure that same sex people cannot be married in a church and/or before their God but only in nonreligious, nonsectarian ceremonies recognized by the State.  And maybe that will be okay.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

 

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16 thoughts on “Weddings and Marriages and Civil Unions (Oh My!)

  1. Interesting post Fuzzy. The people who want to keep it banned are probably not atheists or heathens. Would be an interesting to see if you could find one who wanted same sex marriage banned. That would be kind of like calling the pot black. I think if you want to be hooked up to someone financially and legally then you should. I can’t wait to see your other buds opinions on this.

  2. Yeah, I doubt that atheists care much about same sex marriage, but it’s funny that the religious right doesn’t care about atheists marrying, etc. as their argument seems based on the Judeo-Christian bible.

    And yeah, I’m sure I’ll be lambasted for this one by some of my 360 friends, but differences of opinion help make this such an interesting and exciting group.

  3. Put me on the side of those who want to make a life together no matter what sex or religion they are. All people have the right to love who they love. You cannot do anything…and I mean anything to stop feelings of love and you don’t choose and pick who you love. No government has the right to tell you what to do with your feelings and emotions and your love.

  4. Hi Fuzzy (I sent you an email, did you get it?) – I agree that change sometimes needs a measured pace, not only because it’s nicer to those who are resistant to change, but also to ensure success, however there still needs to be pressure to change. Take women for example: we’ve always been around, so men certainly should have been used to us, but it wasn’t until the women’s movement started insisting we should have equal rights that we got them. The industrial revolution and other social upheavals were important too, but if no one made a big stink about how women should be equal to men then I doubt anything would have changed.

  5. I quess I am torn on this issue. A large part of me does not agree with same sex marriage. This is not because I am against homesexuality. But because I think it is just to soon. Also because of my upbringing and what I believe.
    Now there is the side that tells me go ahead and let them get married. I am concerned that if same sex marriage is legalized that people will be getting married to fast just to say they did. Then there will be a bunch of legal issues and a very high divorce rate. But who knows only time will tell.

  6. Mavis and Fanta, I think love is where it’s at; couldn’t agree with you both more.

    And definitely a fine point, Max (and no, I didn’t get an email from you and wondered why not . . . where’d you send it? want to mail me here so I can give you my real addy?).

    I see what you are saying, Bert, but it’s kind of hard to imagine a divorce rate higher than the fifty percent it currently is. Who knows, though? But maybe it’s worth finding out so that we can treat everyone equally. Then again, you’re certainly not alone in your upbringing or beliefs and the reservations they cause (in fact, I think that’s the majority view), so maybe taking it slow is best.

  7. OK, so here I sit on the “left” coast with the perverbial fence in my ass! Could you call me a homophobe and get away with it? Probably! I am however glad that we as a society are coming closer, if not glacialy slow, appreciating the value of people and their varied beliefs. I am for civi-unions and inching closer to supporting same-sex marriage as a regular part of american life.

    What concerns me down the road is when same-sex marriage becomes a regular part of the landscape, and they will, will they achieve more legal rights, protections and opportunities than a married man and woman. As a white, cacusaion male, I have seen it from all directions.

    Now having said all this, I obviously don’t approach this or any social issue from a religous vantage. I have to keep who I am, my culture, within my little american sub-group. Just like the seperation of church & state (where has that gone?) we all have to put on a little act about who we are (or not) during our work day.

    We all live together and happily if we don’t push our culture and beliefs on others. Our leadership has to be strong to be able to support so many views and cultures.

    It is funny…my son and I read about the Abbidads the other night and it dawned on me that no civilization is permanent. They really had it going for 300 years all over what is now Europe, Africa and Western Asia only becasue they had strong, reliable leadership. When the roof caved in a few locations, there were enough factions within that society to assist in a total and quick collapse!

  8. Interesting question here, Gregg, are you thinking of things like affirmative action and the leg up that gives to minority workers? That’s really something I’d not thought of in terms of gay marriage, and I’m not sure what kinds of rights or protections they might be afforded that we wouldn’t. I do wonder about child support, though, for those gay households with either natural or adopted children; I would guess they’d be held to the same formulas and laws for payment that traditional couples are, but how does that play out when both are “fathers” since fathers get shafted in this area unless they get full custody?

  9. Yes, I am referring to affirmative action like hiring and preferences. I work in a world dominated my women, special groups and diversity I am the minority in all manners.

    Down the road, I am concerned about a finite pot for marriage benefit packages.

    I am not sure about the last question. I have never challenged my ex’s ability to help me with the expenses for the boys. She has never been able to help much that way anyway. I don’t expect it and if she comes and gets them for a couple of days, that works better for me anyway. I make a couple of thousand above the level of government assistance. Definition of “working poor”!

    As always Fuzz…I love these exchanges!

  10. Hmmm, finite pot for marriage benefits? Like what? Tax relief or lower insurance premiums? I don’t know if these would be affected, but who knows, right? I can see why you’d wonder, though, being in the “white male” and therefore obviously privileged and favored by all as mana from heaven and all things good rain down upon you.

    I love these exchanges, too!! Yay!

  11. this caught my attention in your tags. a very interesting topic. i have to say, i’ve never seen the point you made before, either, about how the religious right don’t seem to oppose athiests getting married. that’s a new one on me. i wonder how they feel about us pagans marrying?

    but getting back to the point. my personal opinion is, how is a same-sex couple marrying any different than a man and woman getting married? i mean, besides the obvious? the argument that they might get more benefits seems like a strange one to me. what would these extra benefits be? the whole ‘finite pot’ seems like a weak argument. if there were no gay couples, only straight, would anyone be complaining about finite pot for marriage benefits? and the argument that gay couples would rush into marriage before thinking it through? ok, how many straight couples do you know that have done that? happens all the time, as you pointed out the 50% divorce rate. if that were the only argument against it, then celebrities shouldn’t be allowed to marry either. and both my marriages probably wouldn’t have happened. which probably would have been a good thing with my first marriage. *smirk*

    just my two cents. 🙂

  12. Thanks, Kerry, I hadn’t heard of anyone taking that stance, either, and still haven’t. It seems a reasonable question or point, to me! As to “you pagans” . . . lmao!! I think that the objections you list and the reasons they are unstable work very well and couldn’t agree more! Keep your two cents coming!! :)))

  13. I can’t see why same sex people can’t get married and can’t get married in a church either to be honest. Half the people that do get married in church’s over here don’t believe in god and never will go to church again after they have been married in one, so thats a bit hypercritical really even get married in Gods house in the first place surely. I can’t see why same sex marriages can’t take advantage of the wonderful back drop that these churches provide and lets face it that is probably why most people get married in a church so that the wedding photos look right!

    Whats to say that gay people weren’t around in the bible days anyway, maybe no-one wanted to own up to being gay and they didn’t have any closets back then so how could they have come out of them!

    Great blog Fuzzy. x

  14. lmao, that’s the funniest thing ever about peeps getting marrid in church for good photos! Love that, and it’s probably pretty much true, too!! Thanks for the great comments, Snuggles. xx

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