Our world is changing. It changes every day. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Overall, the trend is "better". Or so one would believe over the last few years.
Let’s flip back to the 1960s. Racial integration within the Americas (the United States and Canada, to be specific). Back then, racial integration was the huge topic. We’d gotten past the days of Rosa Parks, who’d single-handedly kicked off the turning point in equality. Now we were dealing with another shocking problem: love between the races. How could a white girl marry a black man? (Or a white man a Chinese woman, etc.)
It’s amazing how people react to open-mindedness. There were those who supported the movement. And there were those who vehemently objected. (Interestingly enough, the objectors were in every case far more violent than the supporters. Draw your own conclusions.) Eventually, reason prevailed.
"What reason?!" cries the Moral Right. "There ain’t no reason a white woman should marry anything but a white man."
It’s the idea of racial purity. Whites should stick with whites, blacks with black, asians with asians, and so forth. It’s the idea that you dilute the race when you intermix. Or at least that’s what I assume it to be. It’s sometimes hard to get a straight answer from the objectors — they tend to mumble a bit as they froth at the mouth.
Today, interracial marriage is accepted in the open-minded areas of the Americas (most of Canada, the Blue States, and major cities within the Red States), tolerated in others. In a few cases, you’d be best to be walking several steps apart from each other as not to lead onto the possibility that there’s a familial link of any kind. Thankfully, those are few and far between.
So imagine my surprise during the U.S. elections back in November. You’d think we’d swung back 40 years. Suddenly, States that seemed to be rolling in reason were rolling back the clock. Laws outright banning same sex marriages. Even the thought of marriage between two men caused people to be physically ill.
In Canada, we were running the other direction. British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon Territory, Newfoundland, Quebec, and even venerable Saskatchewan realized that there was no reason why homosexuals couldn’t be married, and made it legal. (Although Nova Scotia had an interesting twist to it ... provincial law required one partner to be the "wife" and the other to be the "husband", no matter what the sex was.)
Alberta, being the closest thing Canada has to a Red State, naturally objected, declaring the end of the world if same sex unions were approved. King Ralph even declared that he’d use the "Notwithstanding Clause" to opt out of the Canadian Bill of Rights so he wouldn’t be forced to accept a homosexual married couple as his neighbour.
I mean, really, how does this guy keep getting reelected?
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled about a month ago that the final decision on Gay Marriage would not sit with them. As far as they were concerned, the law was clear: it’s a Legislative matter. A political hot potato / buck-passing to dump it on Parliment Hill to resolve. Ultimately, it will require a passage of a Bill to decide whether or not my friends Amy and Sandra can get married.
Yes, I have a particular attachment to this issue. But not just because I have gay friends who want to get married. I have an attachment because I believe in equality.
Yes, this is all about equality. You can sit there and postulate all you want. It’s about equality. If you live in North America, if you believe in the democratic system, then you must by nature believe in equality. There is no practical difference between the sexes (reproductive systems notwithstanding), nor are there any between the races (reproductive sizes, real or imagined, notwithstanding). So why should there be any between sexual orientations?
The single biggest argument I’ve heard against gay marriage is that the Bible doesn’t allow for it. I have two challenges to that. First, show me the exact passage that denies gay marriage. There’s one about a man lying with another man (or rather forbidding it), but that does not extend to marriage. You can infer all you want, but if you’re reading the Bible as an instruction manual, you’ll need to pull the exact quote. As for my second point, just to be really picky, Canada and the United States separated the church and state well over a century ago to prevent interference with the operation of each. In other words, the Bible has nothing to do with it.
Not to mention the fact that marriage is a legal issue, not necessarily a religious one. Sure, there will be those who want a religious ceremony — that’s a decision for the specific religious sect, not for the lawmakers. There is secular marriage, where the law does apply. What does the law provide? A legal union of two people in entity. It allows the bonds of family to be formally created and legally binding, for better or for worse. Frankly, if two gay men want to have the same grief that comes with some of the marriages I’ve seen, I say let ’em go for it!
"Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! I don’t want two fags to marry because someone might think I married a man!"
That afraid of your own sexuality, eh? I mean, really, how paranoid do you have to be to think that anyone is a) going to think that you married someone of the same sex (unless it’s really blatantly obvious), or b) even remotely care? Let’s have a reality check for one moment. The vast majority of people are heterosexual. That means the majority of marriages are heterosexual. That means the majority of people will be thinking you would be married to someone of the opposite sex. If anything, it’ll be homosexuals getting offended because people will think they married someone of the opposite sex.
It’s equality, people. Get a dose of reality. Get your heads out of the sand and look around. What, really, would change if gays were allow to marry? Absolutely nothing. Your life wouldn’t change one iota. Not one freaking bit.
It’s the idea of sexual mixing. The fear that if homosexuality were treated the same as heterosexuality, that it might "bleed" into the rest of the pool, and suddenly make that guy standing next to you look just as attractive as that woman on the other side of the bus. This, for some reason, terrifies people. Be a little rational, will you? If the thought of sleeping with a member of the same sex revulses you now, it still will six months, six years, and six decades from now. You’re set in your ways. Your children will be unaffected, as will their children, so on and so on.
Tolerance will be important. Everyone needs to understand that, like with race, homosexuality isn’t an underclass. They are the same as everyone else. They have the same rights as you and I on an individual basis. On paper, we are all exactly the same. (Well, except for the Native Indians. They continue to get the shaft from society, but that’s another rant for another time.) If we are all the same individually, why should we not be the same together?
The vote hasn’t come yet in Canada, but it’s coming soon. To all Canadian Members of Parliment: Please be rational. Don’t think with your gut — that’s what’s caused all this trouble. Think with your head. Think with the law in mind. Remember that the issue is not about religion, it’s not about sexuality. It’s about equality. Homosexuals deserve the right to marry as much as anyone else in this country (of legal age, that is).
And this is coming from a guy who’s getting married himself. I have the right to marry. I want my friends to have that same right.