I received the following comment on my last post about gay marriage.
I just have issues with the re-definition of marriage. You can say it "quacks" like a duck but really, it doesn't. Where do you draw the line? Should elementary and secondary school gym classes all shower together? Who has the right to tell a boy that he isn't a girl and so he isn't allowed to shower with the other girls? Marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't see why "gays" feel the need to redefine it? Make something else special and create a process for that. Call it "Euphoria" or what ever you want, but if you redefine marriage, then we should be able to call man-woman interactions gay (because according to you, we should be able to call anything whatever we want). Just a thought...
I’d like to address this very thoroughly…so here goes…
“I just have issues with the re-definition of marriage.”
Which one? The so called definition of marriage has changed countless times throughout history, as I pointed out already in my previous post. In fact, gay marriage is nothing new and has been practiced before modern times. So which cultural idea of marriage should we go back to? How about one in which women are property with no rights? How about one where parents arrange the marriage for their children. How about one in which divorce is illegal? Oh…wait. You mean you have issues with defining marriage as anything other than YOUR definition? I see.
Well, here’s how I define marriage:
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged by a variety of ways, depending on the culture or demographic. (via Wikipedia)
Huh. That definition says nothing about the sex of the parties entering into the marriage agreement. How ‘bout that? If you ask me, I’d say it’s a step forward for a culture to re-define it’s notions about marriage to benefit its citizens, to be more accepting and inclusive, and to provide further protection for peoples who have been, up to that point, without those protections. I think it’s just dandy that people finally came to their senses and realized “hey, maybe women are people after all” and changed marriage laws accordingly. I think it would be just dandy if we did the same for gays too.
But props to you for being honest. I agree, you do have issues. And since I’m not you nor your psychiatrist I can only guess at what those issues may be. However, you have the power to ask yourself and find out. Why do you have issues? Why does it bother you so damn much that gays who enter into a social union or legal contract that creates kinship call it the same thing you call your social union or legal contract that creates kinship? Are you sure you aren’t biased? Are you sure your issues aren’t with gays rather then semantics? Because I’m having a hard time seeing why, if you don’t have issues with gays you have issues with the semantics.
“You can say it "quacks" like a duck but really, it doesn't.”
Oh really? Two people fall in love, get engaged, get married, maybe expand their family with children, live together, celebrate anniversaries, take care of each other in sickness and health, for richer or poorer as long as they both shall live. Quack! Quack!
Oh…wait…they don’t have sex like you do! Uh-oh! Well, never mind then. Clearly sex is what defines a marriage. While we’re on the subject, what do you think about attacking other people’s marriages based on their sex lives? We could put cameras in peoples bedrooms and anybody we catch doing things considered improper in, oh, say…LDS culture, would have their marriage invalidated on the spot. So no oral sex, no viewing pornography, no mutual masturbation, and definitely no open marriages (regardless of whether it’s working for that couple).
That’s ridiculous you say? Why yes, yes it is. It is ridiculous for one group of people to throw their time and money extensively into a cause that takes away the civil right of civil marriage from couples who do not live up to their own notion of religious marriage. It is ridiculous to ignore all the similarities between one marriage between two loving, committed people and zero in on the sexual differences.
“Where do you draw the line? Should elementary and secondary school gym classes all shower together? Who has the right to tell a boy that he isn't a girl and so he isn't allowed to shower with the other girls?”
Yikes! That’s one big, ugly red herring you’ve got there! Let’s feed it to the logic shark shall we?
First off, we’re talking about gay adults entering into legal and social agreements, not children in gym class. Second, even if we were talking about children in gym class I think you might benefit from reading up on the differences between homosexuality and transexuality because you seem to be mixing them up. Gay boys do not think they are girls. Third this almighty “line” you mention? It gets drawn one law and one policy at a time. The gay marriage laws/policies are about gay marriage. They wont magically jump into schools and force changes there. You’re fear mongering. Fourth, are there really schools that still have group showers for gym kids? Seriously? My school didn’t even have showers for us period. And fifth and finally, putting aside reason for a moment, lets pretend calling gay marriage “marriage” somehow creates the unlikely scenario you’ve tossed into your comment. Here’s an easy solution: make private showers. It’d be better for everybody and would certainly cut down on a lot of anxiety, body shame, and hazing (that happens regardless of sexual orientation).
“Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Except, you know, when it’s not. But I’ve already addressed that once in this post and once in my last post. But the point I’ve been trying to make, and maybe you missed it, is that civil marriage is what society says it is. So how about we start being more inclusive and less homophobic and worry about our own damn marriages instead of everybody else's?
“I don't see why "gays" feel the need to redefine it?”
That’s because it seems that you haven’t truly put yourself in their shoes in an effort to treat them as you would like to be treated. Try it sometime, empathy is fantastic. I promise, trying to understand gays won’t make you gay. And you know what? I’ll help you out…read on:
Your purposed solution to the gay marriage issue is “make something else special and create a process for that. Call it "Euphoria" or what ever you want.” Really? Call it whatever they want? How about “marriage?” Oh wait..
You said you don’t see why gays feel the need to use the word “marriage.” Stop. Think. Think hard. You said you don’t see why gays feel the need to use the word “marriage”…within an argument all about how you don’t want them to use the word. You’re basically saying “hey! I care about this word and don’t like how you’re using it! You should just stop caring about this word so I can be in charge of what it means and how it is used! That’d be great! Thanks!” Clearly words mean a lot to you (they mean MILLIONS of dollars to certain groups of people…*cough cough Mormons cough cough*). Now, tell me again that you don’t understand why they matter to someone else?
Let’s make up a dorky name for YOUR marriage…”Euphoria” is already taken so how about “Blissisitude” or “Blissyness.” I like “Blissyness,” let’s go with that. How would you feel if I called your marriage a “Blissyness” and your spouse your partner? Everybody else gets to call their marriage a marriage, but not you. Now, be honest, that wouldn’t bother you? Put yourself in their shoes.*
Ask a Latter-day Saint how they feel when others say “you’re not Christian!” They’ll often say “Yes we are! We believe in Jesus Christ! We believe he’s our savior! His name is in the title of our church!” The naysayers argue back “well…you don’t believe in the Nicene creed!” Or…in other words Mormons don’t fit the mainstream’s definition of “Christian.” I don’t think you really need me to point out the parallels there.
Now, tell me why you don’t see why words matter? They sure as hell seem to matter to you.
“but if you redefine marriage, then we should be able to call man-woman interactions gay (because according to you, we should be able to call anything whatever we want). Just a thought...”
Just an illogical thought. I’m going to outline a basic logical premise for you.
If all dogs are mammals. Are all mammals dogs? No. Just because A = B does not mean B = A. If all dogs are mammals. And all dogs have paws. Do all mammals have paws? No (for example, whales or humans do not). Just because A = B and A = C does not mean B =C. Is that clear?
- A “marriage”
- B word
- C definition that changes based on culture
A = B. A = C. That does not mean B = C.
So no, not according to me do I think we can call heterosexual relationships “gay” and be accurate. But thanks for putting those words in my mouth. They were yummy. And by yummy I mean “bitter and illogical.” Same difference.
I’ve been pretty rough on you, or rough on your comment at least. Anonymous comments get treated a certain way ‘round here. If you don’t respect your opinion enough to put your name on it, then why should I respect your opinion? I point this out because I want my readers to know that should they want to leave comments I’ll try to play nicely, assuming they’re brave enough to own their words. I say that as a person who, when I was still a believer, DID put my name on my comments when I (and I’m not proud of this) when I defended Prop H8. I did it, but it terrified me. So I understand why you might not be willing to do the same. I would just like to say that if you’re not willing to link your name with your beliefs on the matter then please ask yourself why that is. Is it because you’re chicken? Or is it maybe because they don’t quite ring true with what’s in your heart?
Think about it.
*From now on I’ll be referring to all marriages as relationships/domestic partnerships/etc. and all husbands/wives/spouses as boyfriends/girlfriends/partners. If gays shouldn’t care what those things are called then certainly straight people shouldn’t either. Right? I wonder how long it will take before someone is offended…