Warning! Warning! Two political posts in a row!
I found Totsymae’s blog a couple of months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed her posts, artwork and perspective. She’s currently living in Saudi Arabia and I’ve loved reading about the inner workings of a society we very rarely get to peek behind the curtain on. There have been some wonderful cultural stories and her insights on how we may be different in some ways, but there’s a lot that we have in common is refreshing and encouraging.
That being said, she recently wrote a post entitled, “So, You’re Gay and Wanna Get Married,” and even though I have been somewhat of a lurker and never commented on her blog up until this point, I felt moved to reply to it. Please, go ahead and take a moment to read her post. She writes it with humor and a sense of tolerance and inclusiveness and I certainly don’t think she’s a bad person or anything like that. However, I do feel her sentiments are misguided.
I went ahead and wrote out and submitted my comment to her, however, it was VERY long and I wouldn’t blame her if she chose not to approve it. It was so long, in fact, that I figured I’d make a companion post here that shared what I wrote to her. Here it goes:
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and regret not having taken the time to comment previously, as I’m afraid your first impression may not be favorable of me. I understand what you’re trying to communicate with this post, however, I can’t help but strongly disagree and felt the need to explain a few things from my perspective.
So, correct me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying is that gay people shouldn’t be prioritizing their basic human rights and should be letting the economy, jobs, children, elderly and everybody else go ahead and get in line in front of them.
And after that, what will come along? Environment? Renewable energy policies?
The thing about freedom and human rights is that it isn’t a zero sum game. There are plenty of resources, time and energy for everybody. I think a major reason why this isn’t a priority for you (and others) is because you don’t have to worry about not being allowed to see your partner in the hospital, having your children taken away from you in custody battles, being denied social security benefits or health insurance through federal and state jobs or any of the other myriad ways our discriminating laws affect gays on a daily basis.
That’s not even acknowledging the general social interactions, recognition and sense of belonging and being accepted that comes with having laws that fairly represent everyone.
However, let’s say this WAS a zero sum game. There has been more time and energy spent from the religious right and conservative Republican base than any other party with a dog in this fight.
There are 28 states that have passed legislation banning same sex marriage in the past decade. That’s not including the states that passed laws prior to 2002. This is an all out war on equality and human rights towards gays. If you wonder why there have been SO many more clashes recently in the courthouse and between policymakers it’s because homosexuals are, literally, trying to defend against these types of attacks on their ability to love, fully integrate and benefit from the (supposedly) free society they’re living in.
You’ve suggested that the gays that are all up in a hurry should just go ahead and fly to a state that allows gay marriage and let it be done that way. However, there are states that have passed legislation that nullify and completely void those marriages if they were to happen to cross the wrong state line. North Carolina comes to mind with the most recent law to do this through Amendment 1.
As far as the religious arguments on this issue go, I have no problem admitting that I am agnostic and not religious whatsoever. Luckily for me, I live in a country that is supposed to not only allow freedom of religion, but also freedom FROM religion if we so choose. The fact that we are supposed to be living in a society that separates our church from our state should mean that this argument really shouldn’t even be applied in this case.
Our country has a long history of civil rights and working towards learning and righting our wrongs. How would it have felt if someone had come up to Martin Luther King, Jr and said, “That’s nice you having a dream and all, but you need to put that on hold. We have a war we’re fighting and missiles in Cuba and just don’t have time for making you an equal.” Do you think Rosa Parks should have said, “Oh, pardon me for sitting in your front seat, I understand that you’re stressed and having a bad day. My civil liberties can wait until it’s more convenient for you. Let me go ahead and move to the back of the bus.”
Surely you can you see how ludicrous that sounds?
So, what do my readers think? Hopefully my response wasn’t too much and we can have a good discussion in regards to this topic!