Today is the “Day of Decision”: California’s Supreme Court will decide if they want to uphold Proposition 8, or give homosexuals the right to marry (again). It is a day that has left me with some mixed emotions, which I will try to explain here.
My partner Joey and I will celebrate our seventh anniversary in July. That is longer than a lot of traditional marriages last, but somehow we still are denied to have the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. If gay marriage was legal in Illinois we would probably get married, but maybe not. “Marriage” carries such a strict and religious connotation that doesn’t bode so well with either of us. We’re happy with our life and relationship in their present states, and really only want legal recognition of our devotion to each other for the rights it carries.
When I try to express this idea, people often say to me, “Religion doesn’t have anything to do with marriage,” which is right to an extent, but that line of thinking has its flaws. Most (not necessarily all) arguments against gay marriage come from religious conservatives or right-wing politicians hoping to keep the Christian vote locked down. Do I need to spend the rest of my life with those people hating me even more than they already do? Nope. If the word marriage is so important for them to keep, then they can keep it.
In my opinion, a federally recognized civil union would’ve been a better place for the GLBT activists to start their work. It’s easier to swallow and doesn’t have the ooky religious tones that marriage carries; all this, while simultaneously granting nearly identical rights. In all areas of life, it is important to choose your battles wisely and I really think that, despite the success of marriage equality on the east coast, it was too much and too soon. I can’t help but to hope for a positive decision today in California, but I honestly won’t be surprised if it doesn’t. I can only hope that Americans will stop being so afraid of love before I’m gone.