On it’s face, the question that I ask as the title of this post probably sounds a little facetious.
But I live in Philly where bureaucrats go to train, so I know that someone is going to get asked that question on Dec. 10, which has been designated by activists as “A Day Without a Gay.”
Folks have been asked to, and I’m not kidding, skip work by caliing in “gay”.
(I can only imagine how pissed off the folks at Fox News are going to be when they figure out their makeup artists aren’t coming in!)
It’s also International Human Rights day, which isn’t at all ironic in my opinion because it’s the denial of a basic human right that led to this most recent interpretation of the movie “A Day Without a Mexican”…the right to get married.
You see, while I was blogging amongst the revellers at World Cafe Live in West Philly on Election Night, I was so focused on the Senate, House and Presidential races that I seemed to have missed the reinforcement with bulletproof glass of another one of America’s dubious glass ceilings. Californians passed something called Propostion 8, an amendment to the California Constitution which recinds the right for gays and lesbians to get married.
This was the response that folks, most of whom were encouraged by the Mormon church, had to the California Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year that allowed gays and lesbians ranging from Mr. Sulu from “Star Trek” to comediennes Wanda Sykes and Ellen DeGeneres (no, not to each other) to get to the church on time.
(Actually, it was probably more like the Justice of the Peace, but you get what I mean.)
Folks have, literally, been on the streets ever since. I attended a protest in Philadelphia the weekend after Election Day and have seen letters to the editor, columns and all kinds of other stuff on the subject of this ban.
Now I’ve talked about this issue before on this blog. In fact, one of the women in the picture I illustrated my post with died not too long ago. So I’m not going to repeat myself…much.
But it’s starting to become a little annoying to me that a nation that’s about to inaugurate a Constituional law professor has seen fit to constantly ignore that document. The Constitution is the basis of our government and it’s about time that we started to follow it more strenuously.
Now what do I mean by that? I mean that it’s time that we stopped putting people in prison camps like Guantanamo Bay without charges. It’s time that we stopped telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies through anti-choice amendments that are usually created by guys that no woman with any self-respect would want to fuck anyway.
And it’s time that we stopped denying folks who are gay and lesbian the right to pursue some happiness by getting married.
“We were devastated,” said Myra Taksa, president of Philadelphia’s chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays when asked for reaction to the amendment’s passage. “My husband and I have been married for over 20 years. But I took my wedding ring off when the first of these laws were passed. It felt like it was burning my finger. Marriage is a civil right, not a special one.”
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot that the No On 8 forces could have done to prevent this situation. They could have gone out into communities of color and explained to the folks within those communities why the right to marry is an important one. (These groups have been blamed for Prop. 8’s passage due to their numbers in support of Barack Obama’s presidency.)
Prop. 8’s opponents could have also gone into the churches and explained their side of the issue. This isn’t “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”, folks. If you walk into a church, you won’t spontaneously combust.
But all that aside, I still think that gays and lesbians should be able to have the right to nest legally. Why? Well, the best reason that I can come up with for why same-sex couples should be given the right to get hitched is because none of the reasons that folks have given me for why it shouldn’t be allowed make any sense to me.
One reason that I’ve been given more than once is that churches would be forced to perform gay ceremonies if a law allowing them were passed. No they wouldn’t actually. So, that reason goes out the window.
Another reason that I’ve been given is that being gay or lesbian is a choice, and thus these men and women could choose to be straight and join the rest of us. That makes no sense because for one to just wake up and make such a decision would imply that this person likes to be discriminated against, sometimes beaten, disowned, and all of other “fun” stuff that can sometimes come with being gay or lesbian.
But the reason that I’m given most often by anti-same sex marriage forces is that allowing lesbians and gays to participate in marriage would besmirch the institution itself.
To me, that shit is funny. Mostly because I know straight folks that have done more harm to marriage than gay people could possibly do. I mean, let’s remember that Michael Jackson found someone to marry him twice. And don’t even get me started on Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez.
Besides, I’m hard pressed to see what impact allowing gays and lesbians to marry would have on your actual marriage. The sight of two men picking out a china pattern isn’t going to lead to your divorce.
So, it’s my hope that as we start looking toward a change in the country, that we also start seeing a change in a few other things, most notably our national proclivity to break what I consider a golden rule—live and let live.
Especially when it comes to letting folks live as man and wife, or man and man, or wife and wife.
For more information on “A Day Without A Gay” activities in your area, go to http://daywithoutagay.org.