Thoughts about moustache rallies

Bear with me, kids. This is going to be a serious post. No pretty pictures. Lots of (bad) writing. Serious post that is just me thinking stuff through and blah blah blah. I'm not going to proof-read or re-draft this post, just going to write my thoughts, so it might be incoherent and splintered, but that's kind of the point. And boring. You've been warned.

Two things that are related are what inspired this. Firstly, I got in a (friendly) argument today with a friend about gay marriage. I have been in similar arguments other people i know and am close to and it continues to boggle my mind. Basically, we got on to the subject of the recent review of the Prop 8 laws in California. Proposition 8 was an amendment to the constitution that passed this year, bringing a ban on gay marriage into effect. Previously gay couples could get married there (and those that had been married before Prop 8 passed are still recognised as married post Prop 8, I believe). There was an appeal to have it withdrawn, but that failed, which I found disappointing.

So in response there has been a lot of discussion about civil unions. Some groups are calling to allow civil unions, giving gay couples identical rights to married couples. They just wouldn't be married. That's a special word for straight people. This is what my friend was arguing for. And this is what blows my mind.

I can accept people who are anti-gay also being anti-gay marriage. That makes sense. It's logical, even if I don't agree. But my friend isn't anti-gay. It would probably be fair to say he has no opinion on gay people at all. It's an accepted part of the cultural landscape. But that all changes when it comes to the issue of marriage. Then it becomes an issue.

What the fuck? What's the big deal? Why do people feel like marriage is such a sacred, untouchable thing? I don't mean in a religious sense. Religion is something else. I mean in a social, civil sense. We have redefined what marriage is over and over again. At one point it was a business deal. The father sold the daughter into marriage, and she became the property of the husband. Eventually that changed and it took on more romantic connotations. Some people argue that marriage is about having kids, but nobody is trying to stop sterile straight people from getting married. So marriage certainly isn't about children. Not anymore.

So what is the logical reason for denying gay people to marry? Worse than that, why allow them to have civil union that are identical to marriage in every respect except title? That's seems even more insulting. It's so condescending, like saying "Okay, we know you're in love, so sure, have a civil union. But you can't get married. Because the love and commitment you have is not on the same level as the love and commitment we have. Ours is special. Ours is better."

I don't know why this issues makes me so angry. Maybe because it is one of the few times i encounter bigotry, often from people I wouldn't expect it from (and for the record, if you are against same sex marriage, yeah, you're a bigot. Sorry.) I've never really had any real exposure to racism, nothing that stuck with me. Perhaps that's because I'm a white male and I'm ignorant of that a bit, I don't know (worth considering though. But not now.). I'm not gay, and haven't got any gay friends who are striving to get married. It just perplexes me.

Anyway, the second thing that got me thinking about this was an article I read recently (link to come...) questioning aloud what beliefs we hold that our children will find ridiculous. Sexism and racism were once held to be self-evident natural laws, but are generally considered ideas of the past. Generally. I think that the issue of same sex civil rights may be the next one to fall. What's after that though? Will our grandkids find the idea of monogamy old-fashioned?

Right, I think that's it. I promise my next post will be about some artist with lots of pretty images.
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