May 15, 2008

Well, Then.

Let us go gaily forward.

Posted by Attila Girl at May 15, 2008 10:55 AM | TrackBack

Bother! Just as I finished typing a beautifully worded rant about love and devotion knowing no gender, about gay marriage being just as valid and committed and honorable as straight marriage, about straight marriage having declined quite in the absence of any influence from gay couples, and about God not actually planning on smiting anyone if we legalize the democratically legitimate right of gay couples to marry in America, my internet connection froze.


I will say this: I've known gay couples that weathered cancer, the loss of children, and other heartbreaks, and I can only hope that some day I'll have a spouse whose devotion, honor, love, trust, respect, compassion, humor, and generosity are as great as theirs.

Posted by: Rin at May 15, 2008 06:14 PM

You will.

BTW, I generally prefer that these issues get decided by legislative means, rather than judicial fiat, but at least this is at the state level, rather than the one-size-fits-all Federal fiasco that was Roe v. Wade.

I see the problem as linguistic: now that everyone wants the word marriage, those who are deeply religious in an orthodox denomination/faith simply need a new word that suggests a female-male life partnership, since "civil union" fails, and doesn't carry all the Federal protections.

If they are obnoxious, they will simply put quotation marks around marriage when it's homosexual. But I would hope they try something else: (1) really BITCHIN' marriage; (2) New Testament/Old Testament marriage; (3) Complementary marriage; (4) gender-balanced marriage.

So that it's like, "I approve of people getting benefits who deserve benefits, but I've always thought that God/the forces of evolution favored this old-fashioned man-woman thing, and to me it's still the ideal. Or, at least that is what my faith teaches."

That would solve the language problem without resorting to scare quotes.

We would, for the record, be SO MUCH BETTER OFF if the state had not become so deeply involved in the marriage thing.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 16, 2008 12:47 AM

Or, for the traditionalist with a sense of humor,

innie-outie marriage


Posted by: Rin at May 16, 2008 09:50 AM

but if traditional couples invent a new word that means "REAL marriage," won't gay couples want that term applied to them too, both culturally and legally?

wouldn't it just be simpler to agree that any two people who agree to live together, have physical intimacy (of whatever sort or level), bring each other soup when they're sick, and not make too much fun of the other when s/he does something really boneheaded, are married?

it's all about the soup, baby!

Posted by: Rin at May 16, 2008 01:09 PM

Nope. We cannot force people whose religious scruples force them to feel that society ought not place a "stamp of approval" on homosexuality to use the same word for male-female marriage as for female-female marriage.

It isn't right. We cannot simply co-opt the language in an attempt to force our particular notions of inclusivity down people's throats.

Everyone has a fundamental right to be left alone. That applies to gay couples, but it also applies to the religiously orthodox. Society is best off when both of those groups participate, so each much do its best to avoid being too abrasive toward the other. And each must do its best to avoid being too sensitive.

It's the only way classical liberalism can work.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 16, 2008 03:32 PM

But it's a game of catch-up. If straight America allows gay couples to use the word marriage, but coins a new term (superduper marriage) for themselves, gay married couples will then want to be included in the new term. And so on and so on.

I absolutely agree, we cannot force people to like it, nor force churches to sanctify it. But in the legal, civil service sense, it should have the same name and standing as straight marriage, and churches should be free to call it a marriage if they want to.

Making up a new word just starts a new phase of the same old dance. The whole point for gay couples is that they want to be included in the agreed-upon definition, 'cus all the cool kids are doin' it.

Of course, an ever-shifting terminology is probably inevitable, but I don't think it's desirable.

Posted by: Rin at May 16, 2008 04:06 PM

I don't know if I believe there is any such thing as "straight America."

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 17, 2008 10:37 AM

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