“Yes” after all?

6 Nov

It was while I was reading Closetalk’s recent post that it struck me. Do I care if California wishes to define Marriage as exclusively between Heterosexuals? I do not think that I do.

“Marriage” is not really an institution but a “status” that the conservatives wished to retain. That is because marriage is a religious concept, a religious word. And I, for one, am anti-religious. No, not atheist. I feel strongly against religion.

So what is it that I hope for, if not the right for gay people to be allowed to marry? “Civil Unions” or anything else that they would wish to call it. The same set of rights, hospital visitation rights, adoption rights. The entire lot.

What I would not want is for gay couples (and even straight ones) to be branded “married” because Marriage, like Satan, is a religious concept, and I hope that the concept, along with its entire basis, will cease to exist in the time to come.

Religion was supposed to infuse faith and love. It does everything but. And I know… I’m an Indian.

18 Responses to ““Yes” after all?”

  1. Vlad November 7, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    Church lost its monopoly to the word “marriage” long ago. Nevertheless, I would be ok with leaving the word “marriage” to church, and call civil marriages (for any sex) differently (but sex-independent). Having sex-dependent words for civil marriages = discrimination.

  2. Rakesh November 7, 2008 at 12:17 am #

    I agree. We have to do away with the word “marriage” for gays or straights in the legal system. Let “marriage” be something that couples could have if their religions allowed it. Civil union certificates (not marriage certificates) should be issued by the government to any two consenting adults. Its important to separate the church from the state.

  3. Jackdaw November 7, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    Good luck with that opinion, UP. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for years and no one seems to get my point.

  4. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    Yes but… does the US have provisions for Civil Unions or anything of the sort?

  5. Rakesh November 7, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    At this time, we have domestic partnership laws in California, Vermont, New Jersey and New Hampshire and marriage laws in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Under domestic partnership laws, same sex couples get exactly the same benefits as heterosexual couples. This fight is against the “separate, not equal” policy and that existing constitutional rights can be taken away by a ballot.

  6. Rakesh November 7, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    And there are a few other states that offer domestic partnership rights, which are less than marriage rights.

  7. D November 7, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    Is marriage really a religious concept?! I’m still debating that in my head.

  8. Stray November 7, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    🙂 I concur (and there potentially lies the problem because all us losers seem to be on the same wavelength re this issue). Irrespective, I am curious how you came to this POV.

    I’m thinking if you weren’t gay (meaning “marginalized”) and brought up in an environment where marriage created some significant magic in your Life, there is the likelihood that you understand/ comprehend (not endorse) the concept of marriage as an “institution”.

    We need to catch a drink some time.

  9. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    *D
    Marriage is not a religious concept. The word “Marriage” is defined by religion.
    Wanting to live with someone you love, having kids together, hospital visitation rights, tax benefits etc. are not related to religion but CALLING it a “Marriage” it seems was done by the Bible.

    From what I decipher from Rakesh’s words, Americans want to be gay and religious at the same time. So they want to follow a religion which demeans their very existence. Which is a contradiction.
    So the very reason that there was a Prop. 8 this year and a Prop. 22 some years ago was because some people wanted to be gay and catholic. So technically, the gay people in California led to the embedding of discrimination in the Cal. constitution when they demanded that their unions (which were equivalent to marriage) be called Marriage as well. And what the people who voted Yes could be asserting is “It’s cool you’re gay and that you want to be partners, but we’ve patented the word Marriage so please just let us keep it.”
    Do correct me if I’m wrong, Rakesh.

    *Stray
    Yes, it is very possible. If I wasn’t gay, I wouldn’t be too concerned for the sake of those who were. Though I would be likely to have the same opinion as I do at the moment, with the exception that I would share it if I were explicitly asked, and not voice it so vehemently. Maybe I would feel for them (LGBT) as I do for people of the lower castes or the homeless and for the environment and wildlife(which I feel strongly for because few others seem to care), but it wouldn’t affect me as strongly as this issue does because… well, it affects me more severely than some other issues. And I think that that would be the case for nearly the entire world minus Medha Patkar and her likes, because well, it’s only natural to be that way.
    I’m starting to think that everyone should belong to some discriminated section of society, because it sensitizes you not only towards others of your own community but towards those of other communities as well. And I’m not saying that one HAS to belong to a discriminated community for the above, but it certainly goes a long way.
    So in that way, homosexuality is proving to be a boon for me, even though I would still wish it away. A minor hypocrisy, I admit.

    *Stray
    I’m confused. Who was the invitation for, really? We seem to be a gang of 5 here, at the moment.

  10. Stray November 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Honey, I’m straight and feel very strongly about LGBT rights, but I DO NOT think of you as any different from other human being; it is one amongst a zillion other non-issues raked up to subjugate members of society to conform to the moralities of the rich and powerful. And – sad but true – I ain’t Medha Patkar either.

    I absolutely agree that the experience of being marginalized/ victimized would likely ignite a far deeper passion for an issue than otherwise, but not necessarily. And that is a point I cannot stress enough – what I think we should each aim for is compassion and understanding for the next person without the ‘necessity’ of having to first undergo such an experience within our home.

    I was thinking toi et moi for the drink, mais feel free to invite the world just so long as you’re paying.

    P.S. – As I understand it ‘marriage’ (which is the ceremony itself) is derived from ‘matrimony’, which was viewed as a “civil contract” between 2 or more persons from the time of the Greeks. Prior to that the concept existed in most societies, but with the aim of limiting sex to within identified groups of men and women (including intra-group!), for eg:- Group ‘A’ would consist of 10 men and 5 women, whereas Group ‘Z’ would consist of 6 men and 10 women; the intent was to limit sex to the folks identified within the respective group one belonged to.

  11. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    Toi et moi? Hopefully we’ll be in the same town some day. Sure, I’ll pick up the tab, but then I get to pick the place 🙂

    Well, your commitment to issues that do not affect you directly truly makes you one of a kind.
    I don’t think that criminalisation of homosexuality is imposed by us by the rich and the powerful, but by the common man as well, who is secure in belonging to the majority.
    And yes, it is not only those who are marginalised who would feel strongly for those who are. Which is why you would fall into the category of “the likes” of Medha Patkar, that I explicitly mentioned. Yes, you may not go on hunger strikes over gay rights, but you’ve evidently got a heart.

    As for the marriage fiasco, I say that as long as we have the associated rights, I don’t think we have the associated rights, I don’t care if we have to call it Cowabunga. 52% of California thinks that Marriage is something that exists between a Man and a Woman. That’s okay. Marriage can be exist between a Man and a Woman, just like Cowabunga would be associated with 2 men or 2 women. And a homosexual relationship must exist between 2 men or 2 women, and cannot exist between a Man and a Woman, else we’ll have to come up with our own Proposition.

  12. Stray November 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    But Cowabunga does not exist. And if one tried to ‘create’ the term, she’d likely meet the same ‘opposition’ as the extension of the existing term “marriage” to same-sex relationships.

    Re your point “I don’t think that criminalisation of homosexuality is imposed by us by the rich and the powerful, but by the common man as well” – oh really?! U seriously believe that the ‘common man’ actually makes a proactive effort to educate herself about the issue-at-hand before passing judgment/ exercising their right to vote? If not, then – and I am being unduly harsh here, but its my perspective – they are as guilty as having voted to support their morals rather than prevent injustice to society.

    P.S. – I do feel strongly about something I am a “victim” of – the fact that I am not marginalized in any way. Damn it, one cannot seem to get a Life any which way!

  13. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    *Stray
    You Skank! (That’s for the PS) You wait and watch… life will come and bite you in the ass 😛

    Well, “Civil Partnerships” exist as a term, and I haven’t seen protest against their usage on a level that Prop. 8 achieved.

    As for the question of the common man’s involvement, all I’m saying is that the common man is as prejudiced. Intolerance is not the disease of the Rich and the Mighty. Put a commoner in a position of power, educate him on the issue and whatever stand he takes would be quite identical to that taken by those you denounce at the moment.
    Which means that if we were to educate the Rich&Powerful on the issue, they may act in our favour.
    In quite the same way, a R&P person who would be disinclined to “see the light” could as much be an ordinary Comm.M. who was educated and put in a position of influence.

    It is instinctive to feel secure in a majority. I speak from personal experience and exposure. To those around me and to myself as well.

  14. Stray November 7, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    I cannot deny nor negate your POV. However, my point simply is that for the common man who cannot think for herself, the issue itself does not exist but is simply a fiction-of-fact introduced into such common man’s life by the rich and powerful. In which case, why exercise your right to be heard/ vote?! Just continue to seat yourself in the corner and finger yourself to the pearly gates for all I care.

    You and me don’t ask to be introduced to the concept of ‘Marathi Manoos’, but courtesy Raj Thackeray, we all are. Now that we are ‘engaged’ in this, I am of the view that we should proactively look at educating ourselves on the issue(s) and then take a stand (either way is fine with me, so long as it is something u have really mulled over) and not remain mere bystanders. Let us become involved, I say. Active, educated participants are better than inactive and/or uneducated participants

    P.S. – And its arse, not ass. Unless of course, u really intend to go after the family ass in the farm. hehehe

  15. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    Right. I stand corrected. Arse and not ass. And I’m simply correcting myself because I prefer British English to America, and not because you’re right or anything, so don’t go about joining the ProtectManage celebrations 😛

    I’ve been following the entire Maharashtra controversy. I’ve always loathed the Thackerays.
    I understand their sentiments on the issue of paucity of jobs for Maha~s and I think that they should push for a reasonable amount of reservations in govt. jobs, instead of the tactic they’ve adopted so far. And of course, one must also strive to make the indigenous population of the state more competent.
    I also think that Raj Thackeray is an utter and total criminal, and if it was in my capacity, he and his father would be in their graves at the moment. No prison is sufficient for those who breed hatred and mislead the masses.
    How can I become an active participant? Suggest, and I shall do my best to abide.

    As for the Common Man issue, I’m sorry but I think I’m losing track. What you asserted was that LGBT people cannot garner the requisite acceptance from society because it is the rich and the powerful people who are inflicting their moralities upon society.
    Correct?
    I, on the other hand, believe that the middle class is no more supportive, and just about equally educated as the R&P, and in a situation whereby they were elevated to a position of influence, would act in quite the same way. Now where do we stand on that?

  16. Stray November 7, 2008 at 8:41 pm #

    Re your point on minorities having to live by the moralities of the rich and powerful, don’t forget we live in a democracy, and at that, one in which the minorities actually outnumber those truly rich and powerful who seek to have their moralities imposed on the society they live in. Democracy is all about numbers at the end of the day. Why are they able to garner the numbers? – because most of the others’ voting in favour are doing so either without any clue on the impact of their vote or keeping mind certain other sops promised to them by said rich and powerful.

    Re “where do we stand on that?” – Like I said earlier, I think informed participation is fine in a democracy (and I’m all for it in lieu of absolute control in the hands of Fidel Castro).

  17. unsungpsalm November 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    To begin with, I wonder what context you speak in. Is this the Indian public that we speak of? Because if so, then aren’t we playing to the sentiments of the public when we seek caste-based votes? Or even issue-based votes, for that matter!
    It’s all about playing to the sentiments of the people. There’s never a question of imposing.

    Yes, as far as the question of Gay Rights Case in the Delhi HC are concerned, the viewpoints of only the rich and influential have been represented in the high court. And I’m grateful for that, because I don’t think the public would’ve been very supportive, irrespective of whether or not it was educated on the issue. Indians are largely intolerant… unfortunate, but true.

  18. closetalk November 12, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    and that’s the biggest misconception: marriage is a religious concept.
    correction: it is NOT. it is (and has always been) a social concept. a civil issue.
    thank the Christian right for hijacking marriage, together with so much else.

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