Posted by: Genny Colby | January 9, 2012

Marriage

I love my husband.  The day we got married was one of the best days of my life.  We had a small, very private wedding, which suited both of us just fine.  Our belief was, and still is, that our marriage was about our love, our commitment to one another, and our desire to spend our lives together.  Now we could have done all that and not gotten married, and we have friends who have taken that path, but we both wanted that legal commitment to one another.  The knowledge that it would take more than just deciding we were done and splitting up the accumulated pieces of our life in order to end our commitment to one another.  And there are other nice benefits of being legally wed.  We do receive some financial benefits, we are able to enroll one another in any employer sponsored benefits, and I know if anything happens to me, there is no question of who can make decisions for me, who can sit with me in the hospital, or who can tell the doctors where to go when they say something stupid.

The point is, our marriage is ours.  It is about us, our love, our commitment to one another, and the life we want to have together.  What happens in our friends, our parents, our neighbors, or even complete strangers marriage have nothing to do with our life together.    So it makes me crazy when I hear that many are against gay marriage because it threatens the institution of marriage.  Um…how?  How do two people who want to make a commitment to one another, pledge to be there for one another, threaten the institution of marriage?  Doesn’t the fact that our divorce rate is increasing have a greater effect on the institution of marriage?  If everyone goes into a marriage believing “well, we can always get divorced…”  Or even when the government has the ideas that marriage is not necessarily permanent, does that not have a great impact on the institution of marriage?

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/09/mexico-city-considers-temporary-marriage-licenses/

Now, I am not saying there are not very legitimate reasons for a couple to get divorced, there are, but it has also become an easy out for many people.  Relationships are hard, living with another person day in and day out is hard, but if you were sure that you wanted to build a life with this person, shouldn’t the work that goes into the relationship be worth the time and the effort?  Shouldn’t you want to fight to make things work, to find ways to compromise, to build a stronger relationship, a better marriage?   That choice should be between two individuals, the rest of us should just butt out of their lives.   I know I would want you to butt out of mine.

The argument that a same-sex couple is not good role models for children is also troubling.  Children should be in a family where they are loved, cared for, supported to be anything they can dream of, with two parents who care, love, and respect one another.   A family is where children are taught to be kind, compassionate, caring members of our society.  Who says that this can only happen if the role models are a male/female pair?  And who says our families all have to look the same?  We are not the same people, we do not have the same hopes or dreams, so our children should see that who they love is not the important part, but HOW they love, how they express that love to their partner and to those around them.

There are those who will argue that marriage is a religious ceremony.  Fine, then we should keep “marriage” in the churches.  But then we will need something else that is equal to that for those who choose not to make such a commitment in the church.  If the argument is about religion, well that has no place in our political realm.  Our country was founded on a freedom of religion, and that should include the choice NOT to practice a religion, or even recognize the church.  But we should then not make the definition and the legal rights that come with unions tied to the church either.  Right now a civil union does not have to be recognized by any state it was not performed in, it does not come with all the legal rights as a marriage does, companies can elect not to recognize a civil union for benefit purposes, and the federal government does not always recognize these unions the same way they do a marriage.  So, we either need to change our terminology, or we need to separate the church from the state.

At the end of the day, it is my own business whom I go home to.  What we do in our home (barring anything like setting up a meth lab, or anything else blatantly illegal) is our personal business.  The ups and downs of our relationship are ours and ours alone.  It should not affect your relationships, nor should yours affect mine.  I would prefer my child be exposed to families where respect, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and love are the main themes, regardless of the gender of those at the head of the house.

At the end of the day, I am in support of equal rights for all.  We tried the separate but equal approach (which I think is where we may be heading on this issue of Gay Rights) and we saw that it was not equal and did not work out so well, so let’s skip that step and just go to equal rights for all.  The answer needs to be about treating each other with respect and compassion, something we should do regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed, physical or mental abilities, or anything else that society would use to separate some and elevate the importance of others.

 

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Responses

  1. Here, here! (I was going to say “Amen!” but thought better of it…)

    • And maybe it should be “Hear, hear!” ???

  2. Your writting really hit home for me – so well said!! Both my sister and sister-in-law said to me and my partner (would love to call her my wife one day :)) right before getting married that if the marriage to their husband didn’t work out they would just get a divorce. So upsetting, but in a way I think this is where marriage has come to people.
    I just hope I’m alive when being homophobic is the same as being a racist . . . we are talking civil rights, truly.


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