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I spent a lot of time thinking about gay marriage today and watching relevant videos, as I often do. In one 2008 November Special Comment, Keith Olbermann makes a very good point:

What is it to you?

What does it matter to you if I get married to my girlfriend? Because let's be honest - nobody would care if I got married to my boyfriend. My marital status is not actually something which affects your life or messes with your marriage; just because I can go home to my wife in the evenings doesn't mean you can't.

Children, you say? Let me tell you something: your grandparents aren't having children anymore. If marriage's sole purpose is to produce children, your grandparents shouldn't be married. Protecting children, then. Start with getting children out of homes where they're abused by their parents, and maybe we'll talk. "The children" is not a good argument.

Tradition? "We must preserve traditional marriage"? Let's see - the one where black people and white people couldn't marry each other? The one where black people and black people couldn't marry? (Slaves were property and therefore unable to enter binding contracts. Slaves could not get married.) How about the one where women were property? All of those were, in fact, traditional marriage. So much for that.

Don't tell me you're suffering because there's an attack on "traditional marriage" and expect me to take you seriously. Let me tell you, tradition really isn't that great, especially if you're not straight, white, and male. (For those of you counting at home, that's more than 50% of people in America.) If you're complaining that the so-called "gay agenda" is trying to "redefine marriage", not only are you ignoring historical precedent and advocating a return to discrimination against people of color, you are suggesting that semantics - *semantics, definitions in some book - are more important than actual, living human beings. You are saying it is more important that you keep a specific and arbitrary description in a definition which has changed more than once *in the last 100 years*. And what's a definition, anyway? Nothing. *Nothing*. Just a cold string of words that only matters as much as we let it.

Marriage as we know it today is about love and dignity and stability. Your definition cannot come up ahead of actual people. Your definition cannot be justification for creating a second class of citizen or enabling hatred and violence or for making people miserable by taking away those three things. And make no mistake - that's exactly what is happening. A "civil union" or "domestic partnership" is not a marriage, even if the same legal rights are involved. Nobody says "Civil union me" or "Domestic partnership me". It's "Marry me". You're not saving marriage; you're telling some people they can get married and others they can't. You're saying gay people do not deserve to be equal, that you don't care that something you take for granted is withheld to those unlucky people who don't fit into your box.

So I ask you again: what is it to you?

Before anyone says "Oh, you only care because you're gay", I have some things to put out there. I've been out to myself as bisexual since late 2010/early 2011. I'd supported gay rights for five years before that. Yes, caring that some people can't get married is beneficial to me. It's also morally, ethically, and humanistically correct.

What do you gain by denying me the same rights you have? Nothing. Temporary satisfaction, if you're the kind of person who likes crushing other people's hopes and dreams.

What do I get with the right to marry? Recognition as a human being. Equality under the law. The same chance at happiness that you have always had.

Think about *that* when you show up at the polls.



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writingparadoxes28 said...
Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:16 am:
This article is excellent, and I share the same views as you with almost every point you made. I was reading 'The Other Side of the COin' and read your comment. I thought you picked apart his/her argument spectacularly! Just thought I'd say how much I enjoy your writing brightening up this website. :)
 
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