Marriage (or wedlock) has been defined as a social union or legal contract between people creating a kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually seen as an institution in which interpersonal relationships, (intimate and sexual) are acknowledged. Such a union may also be called matrimony.
Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage Wednesday 2/8/2012, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. This action of course coming a day after a federal appeals court declared California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.
The bill passed on a 55-43 vote in the Washington House. Supporters of the bill’s passing viewing from the public viewing galleries and stood cheering as many on the Democratic side of the House floor hugged after the vote. Gov. Gregoire watched the vote in the wings with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, who is a gay politician and who has sponsored gay rights legislation for years. Murray said the vote marked “a day that will be remembered in the history of this state.”
Gov. Gregoire also issued a statement saying it was: “a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has also sponsored gay rights bills for several years, said that he and his partner have been grateful for the rights that they have under the state’s existing domestic partnership laws but such protections are “a pale and inadequate substitute for marriage.”
During the remarks on the House floor, Pedersen read from the the San Francisco-based 9thUnited States Courts of Appeals ruling, citing a section that stated “marriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.”
As a side-note, those who disagree with same sex marriage because of religious reasons should know that homosexuality as well as the institution of marriage predates most if not all practiced organized religion and therefore doesn’t necessarily fall under the purview of religion or religious belief.
Surprisingly enough, there seems to be a schism (the size of which is unsure.) even amongst some in the gay community when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage. I came across this quote earlier today on Facebook and I can say with utmost honesty that it is what prompted me to do this post. Keep in mind the post was written by a gay male and honesty wasn’t coming from a place of hatred or anger. : “When it comes to gay rights and politics i don’t care to get involved with the outcome or drama. The majority of people who vote are straight… Therefore, I just try and set a good example for them to want to vote for the rights we think we deserve. I wish people would see that marriage is for heterosexuals. If we want to feel “normal” by getting married we need to prove to the majority of voters that we can be respectful when it comes to the union of two people.”
Representative Maureen Walsh Remarks on ESSB 6239
Now while setting a “good example” is all good and fine, one should not have to set a “good example” in order to prove to anyone that they deserve something that is considered a basic human right. I shouldn’t have to prove that I deserve the right to marry any more than I should have to prove that I deserve the right to use the same bathroom that a white/caucasian person uses, or the right to vote, or be a land owner….if I have the money to own land.
The best response to the aforementioned post came not too long after I myself responded to the post. The responder had this to say: “Gay people shouldn’t have to perform for heterosexuals to attain equality, nor should bigotry be permitted as a “normal” state of affairs. Most people who oppose gay marriage in the U.S. do so out of hatred and fear. It isn’t our respectfulness that anyone should be worried about–it’s theirs.” All I could say in return was “Well said.”
As a responses to the above comment on the post I quoted, the poster had this to say: ” I’m not saying we need to conform to heterosexuals. I’m saying that the majority of voters are straight and would more likely vote gay rights if we gave them better reasons to do so. We need to set a good example and be respectful so that we can be treated equally.”
Once again the sound of needing to appease a majority in order to get something deserved by all people can be heard. While I do not agree on any level with that individual’s point of view, I do respect their opinion.
Regardless of the thoughts or opinions of those against same sex union in marriage, it is a right and as such, I feel that one day it will be universally accepted as such. Human rights applies to all humans, regardless of their ethnicity, faith, political affiliation, or sexual preference. If I want to marry a man, I’m going to marry a man.
If Homer J. Simpson (Seen in my featured image for this post.) can understand that marriage is not bound by gender, what’s your excuse?