Thursday, October 23, 2003

 
There were hearings all day today in the State House on the upcoming vote in the Massachusetts Legislature about the establishment of gay marriage in the Commonwealth. One cannot rely on the legendary liberality of Massachusetts on this one. The Catholic Church is, of course, mounting a major offensive (a word I use here in respect to both of its meanings) based on "protecting" marriage. They are speaking, I can only assume, in the desperate hope that they still retain some vestige of moral authority here in the epicenter of the priestly abuse cover-up scandal. To a great extent, the vote in the legislature may be an indicator of how much of its once massive political power the Church still wields.

How exactly gay marriage is supposed to harm heterosexual marriage I have no idea. Over 50% of first marriages in the US end in divorce, so I think the hets have pretty much torpedoed that institution all by themselves. And I predict that legalizing gay marriage would NOT result in a rush of gay men trying to seduce straight men into holy wedlock--there is enough anecdotal evidence and more than enough personal experience among my friends and me that large numbers of allegedly straight guys are knocking on our doors all by themselves. And we're certainly not going to be going after the women,
now are we?

A partnered lesbian state rep with a daughter spoke eloquently in defense of granting us our simple civil rights. We'll see what happens. No matter how passionately I feel on this issue, I understand fully that it is far from a done deal.

And that's ironic because my partner and I have discussed and tabled the idea of a committment ceremony or a Vermont gay wedding. Two of my dearest friends, lovely guys who have been together for years, took off and got one of the latter. There was a delightful reception back here for them and I felt incredibly good about what they have done. I think my guy and I just feel it is irrelevant to what we are and to where we are in our lives and love. I also have a strong feeling that gay marriage, both the ceremony and the day to day reality of the relationship, should not be some sort of imitation of what goes on among heterosexuals. I would have any ceremony grow directly out of gay culture, a concept that is just mind boggling in its possibilities. And fidelity would be a voluntary thing, a particular gift that some partners would give each other if it is right for them and that should not be imposed on others for whom it is not. I know many gay partnerships that have lasted for decades that have included other men in all kinds of configurations, and that , too is very much part of gay life.

The big point to be made, in the final analysis, whether gays and lesbians elect to take advantage of same sex marriage or not, is the necessity of granting the full civil rights of American citizenship to all--ALL--not just to those who mate in mixed genders.


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