Why the Fuss?
(About Same Sex Marriage)
(written Nov. 2003)
HJ 56: Marriage Amendment
(written July 2003)
The So-Called Defense of Marriage Amendment
(written July 2001)
Originally written as a letter to my Senators and Representative on July 13, 2001
Dear Sentators and Representatives,
I have recently heard that an ultra-conservative group has begun to lobby for a constitutional amendment to permanently block all hope of marriage for same sex couples.
I urge you to please vote against any such movement.
The literature of the group claims that all the ills of our society are based on fatherless families. This is clearly absurd, since it implies that society was perfect until recently, and that no one who grew up with a father can possibly commit any kind of crime. Both of these assumptions are obviously nonsense.
Furthermore, it doesn't explain how preventing loving, committed couples who happen to share a gender from getting married will have any effect on the divorce rate of heterosexual couples. The two have nothing to do with each other.
If they were really trying to force men to stay with their wives and children, which I think would be a very bad idea, they should be lobbying to make divorces harder to obtain.
The whole thing about "fatherless children" and "the ills in society" is a blatant attempt at misdirection.
Simply put, they clearly are afraid that homosexual people will someday be considered full fledged citizens in this nation, and they cannot stand the idea.
Why they hate gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual people so is beyond my understanding. Why they think that better than 10% of the population should not be considered full fledged citizens is also a mystery to me.
At best guess, roughly 10% of the population is homosexual. Actual figures are difficult to obtain, because people tend to be in denial, or in the closet, when faced with a trait that leads to such hate from society. In addition, .7% of the population are born intersexed. That is, they have extra sex chromosomes, and can be xxy, or xyy, etc. Or they have external genitalia that are neither clearly male nor clearly female for one reason or another. Add to that an indeterminate number of transgendered people, and you will see that this question directly effects millions of citizens in this country.
Directly effects; as in, they are barred from hospital emergency rooms when a partner they have shared a life with for decades is admitted. They are cut off from benefits and wills. They are prevented from making medical decisions. And on and on.
These are people who have no control over their sexual orientation, as stated over and over by every reputable professional organization in this country, and supported by reams of studies (If you want more specifics, please contact me.) They never chose this, and they cannot change it. And yet, they are punished for it every day of their lives.
This is real human suffering, that could easily be stopped. But it is allowed, even encouraged, to continue because to stop it would offend some people. Not harm them, not cause them heart wrenching grief, not split them from their loved ones.
Simply offend them.
I'm sorry. But allowing them to continue to rip innocent humans apart for so slight a reason is unconscionable. It's inexcusable. It's just plain wrong.
They are behaving as if the number of marriage licenses available is limited. As if allowing a same gender couple to wed would keep an opposite gender couple apart. As if allowing people who want nothing more than to marry their beloved and share a life together under the full protection of the law would somehow undermine the very institution that same sex couples are seeking to join.
What they are overlooking is the true fact that there is a great deal of societal pressure not to be gay, lesbian, transgendered, or bisexual. So many, many young g/l/b/t people marry a person of the opposite sex, in a vain hope that somehow marriage will "fix" them. That they will win the approval of their friends and family, and that they will be loved.
But there are also great internal pressures to be true to the person that you are. And so, as the years go on, these people feel more and more that they are living a lie. And the lie becomes intolerable.
Eventually, thousands can take no more, and "come out" to their opposite sex spouses, admitting that they are not, and cannot be, sexually attracted to them. That they are not the person they were pretending to be. That they cannot live like this any longer.
This admission shatters the majority of those marriages, and often the lives of the people involved as well.
If they had been accepted by society, and allowed to marry a person with whom they were sexually compatible in the first place, those marriages would never have been made under false pretenses, and so would never be broken.
The ultra conservative lie that sexual orientation is chosen and can be changed, and their fierce fight to restrict marriage to only those they approve of, is causing broken homes, broken marriages, and broken hearts.
Their attitude is causing suicide among our children, as those that are g/l/b/t are now 4 times more likely to commit suicide than straight kids.
They are causing violence and an untold amount of human suffering.
They are causing the United States to be seen as having one of the worst human rights records of any "first world" country on the planet.
They are further polarizing society, and stirring up hate and resentment, at just the point in history when it has become imperative that we embrace our differences and begin to enjoy our diversity.
It's time for all of it to stop.
Please, please do your part to stop it.