Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What if we held marriage hostage?

Last night Maximus was telling me about a catty, witty gay commentator who had a great idea. He pointed out that should Prop 8 pass in California, there are enough queer Californians to get an initiative on the ballot for next year. Prohibiting marriage between a man and a woman. Of course it would never pass, but it would point out the absolute lunacy of the current measure. But it got me to thinking...we could go even further. We could go on strike.

If voters in California want to lock us out of the Chapel of Love, let's do the same in return. What would happen if the GLBTQ folks went on strike? It's hard for straight people to get married without florists, cake decorators, and church organists. Half the choir might not show up. Don't even think about hiring a wedding planner. Designers would refuse to create or alter bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Booking a stylist to get your up-do would be pretty tough too.

We make great photographers, so you better buy a bunch of disposable cameras and pray for the best. Without chefs, caterers, or waiters, you'll be dining on cocktail weenies and Oreos...buffet style. I hope that when you go to get your license, the clerk didn't have to settle for a separate-and-inequal "civil union." You'll probably going to need blood tests too, but good luck finding a male nurse or HIV clinic worker to draw samples. And just think...we have a lot of straight allies who might also go on strike with us!

I realize this buys into a host of stereotypes and is a little silly sounding, but I think you get my point. This isn't something that affects nameless, faceless statistics on a sheet of paper. It affects your neighbors, your cousins, your children, your bankers, your landlords, and your coworkers. This is about human beings and their right to love and be free in America today.

To love, comfort, honor, and cherish. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. In good times and in sorrow. For as long as we both shall live. Those are the words, after all. It's such a simple little vow. And we're not entering into it unadvisedly or lightly. How does anyone have the right to prevent me from making that promise to my partner? To say that my partner and I are somehow less capable or deserving of these things, or that our relationship is different and "less" in some fundamental way?

It's not about forcing any religion or church to honor or perform weddings for same-sex couples. It's not about mocking the institution of marriage or destroying the fabric of American families. It's not getting something extra, different, or "special." It's about dignity and respect, and whether or not the government has the right to tell me who I can love. Who I chose as my partner. Who I want to come home to after a long day. To hug, cook dinner, do laundry, take care of the puppies, and clean the kitchen. It's about spending our lives together in boring, codependent, quiet normalcy.

It's about having the same rights as those around us, and wanting the same thing as everyone else: simply to love and be loved. Vote no on Prop 8, and if you don't live in California, ask your friends and family who live and vote there to do so.

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