Support for the passage of Proposition 8 was in large part funded by the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches, who want their list of sins to become everyone's list of sins. They want their morality to become public policy. I believe in tolerance for all religions, but they apparently don't believe in tolerance for me. Is this the best use of their money? Aren't there, like, people going hungry or needing succor?
I want the California Legislature to sponsor a proposition to rewrite the California Constitution and replace the word marriage with Civil Unions. In a preamble, it can say that the state is giving the word marriage to the various churches and religions and they can use it as they wish. It is not the role of the state to choose sides in religious disputes, which is exactly what the struggle for the word marriage is. My church says marriage is obligatory between committed couples, even same sex ones. The Mormon cult believes only a man and an indeterminate number of women can be "Married." The state needs to get itself out of the enforcement of religious disputes.
It is my understanding that some churches have already stopped performing the civil ceremonies commonly referred to as marriages. For the purpose of the state contract, couples are sent to the civil authorities to sign the appropriate state-mandated contracts, and return to the church for a religious celebration of their union. This is an humble and righteous response to civil law that discriminates against same-sex couples. The church should not partner with the state in a system that denies benefits to a class of citizens who are members of the human family.
And since churches can make their own rules about marriage, Mormon cultists could take as many wives as they desire, but would be limited to only one civil partner. I believe that is exactly what many of them do now.
Like who would have believed that possible, eh? The numbers don't lie, however. Eighty-one percent of Alabamans felt it necessary to forbid by Constitutional amendment the right of same-sex couples to have any sort of recognized civil partnerships. I think Forrest Gump summed it up well when he said, "Stupid is as stupid does." Texans only passed their Constitutional Amendment by 75% of the vote. Alabama wins. It has a higher percentage of stupid than does Texas.
Making the rash assumption for purposes of discussion that Islam is a
religion and not a car-burning cult, even a real religion can't go
bossing around other people like this.
Catholics aren't short on rules, but they couldn't care less if
non-Catholics use birth control. Conservative Jews have no interest in
forbidding other people from mixing meat and dairy. Protestants don't
make a peep about other people eating food off one another's plates.
(Just stay away from our plates -- that's disgusting.)
But Muslims think they can issue decrees about what images can
appear in newspaper cartoons. Who do they think they are, liberals?
David Furnish and Elton John became civil partners in England today. I'm very happy for them. The Chronicle refers to Furnish as "a Canadian Filmmaker" which leaves me with an obvious question. If Furnish is Canadian, why did he and John wait until now to get "civil partnered" rather than go to Canada and get "married"? Inquiring minds want to know.
The real force behind same-sex marriage is the needs of the children. Yesterday, the California Supreme Court said as much. Same-sex couples who decide to have children have the same rights and responsibilities as hetero couples. The thing is, children have certain rights. When two adults decide to have children, they are expected to honor their commitment to those kids. I wrote about this back in May. This is not a Gay or Straight issue. It's a Children's issue. By the way, the California Supreme Court has five Republicans and one Democrat. There was a nutcase, but she recently was traded for a future draft pick by Schwartzenegger.
I get a lot of inquiries from people wanting to know which hand Gay and Lesbian couples wear their wedding rings. First, let me say there is no rule. In Europe, the ring is often worn on the right hand, while in the United States, the left hand is preferred. This is based on custom and not law. The rings do not represent the state's sanction of the wedding. They are cultural icons, nothing more.
Another thing, we call them "wedding" rings, not "marriage" rings. In the U.S., same sex couples are allowed to marry in only one state, Massachussetts, and probably not for much longer there. We are allowed, however, to have weddings, only we call them "commitment" or "blessing" services. Gays and Lesbians have been exchanging rings for a very long time, despite their inability to have their relationships codified by law and marriage.
Last week at Holy Innocents Church in San Francisco, New Hampshire's own, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, called for the church to stop acting as a agent for the state's discriminatory marriage policies. "If you want to get married, you go to a justice of the peace who registers your marriage for the benefit of the state. You come to church to celebrate your commitment to each other and to your community. The Church should not be an agent to the state's discrimination." As it is now, some churches perform same-sex marriages and others don't. It is not the proper role of the church to decide who can and who can't be married. Marriage is a contract between two individuals which requires three witnesses (generally). It is not about children. It is not about sacredness. It is not about fidelity. It is not forever. It's not even about sex. It's a contract that runs from general to specific requirements and restrictions voluntarily entered into by two individuals.
Unfortunately, Americans have allowed their religious intolerance to disinfranchise thousands of Gays and Lesbians in committed relationships. I have no doubt as to the direction of our culture on this issue. Same-sex marriage is becoming a reality in the Western world. Even Canada is poised to extend same-sex marriage to all of its provinces. Just as the United States eventually outlawed slavery and gave women and minorities the right to vote, eventually same sex couples will have the right to solidify their relationships in contract law recognized by the state.
I noticed that Bishop Robinson was not wearing a wedding ring, although he referred to his partner of 18 years at least 4 times in the course of the evening. At an appropriate time, I asked him about it. He first answered that he and his partner Mark did not consider themselves married. They considerd themselves in a sacred and bonded relationship, just not married. He went on to say that this decision was made at a time when it was better for them not to attract unwanted attention which might negatively effect an issue the Church was promoting at that time. Have you ever wanted to call "bullshit" on a bishop? I almost did. That was a pretty lame answer. Bishop Robinson, read the first couple of paragraphs of this post, then you and Mark go and buy rings. It is a token of your love and commitment, not a sign that your relationship is recognized by the state.
Give your partner a ring, and accept his in return.
I got a sweet little brush off today from CHC#1. I'm not surprised. We both were curious enough about the other to get together a couple of times. He's still very cute, so maybe we'll run into each other in a romance-inducing situation or place down the road. I keep fantacizing about a full moon on a tropical beach. I've just about given up on going there with someone, and I'm just about ready to go there and do it with myself. Maybe I'll meet someone on the beach. I did when I was 30, and 36, and 42, and 53, and, aw hell, I'm just an easy lay on a tropical beach. Especially if the moon is full. To put myself in the mood of running up and down beaches in a speedo, my social husband, Bob the Architect, and I are upgrading our relationship to Workout Buddies. That's a very serious relationship in the Gay Metrosexual's life. It calls for serious commitment.
I call Bob the Architect my social husband because we have a relationship that doesn't involve romance, sex or living together. Together, we have season tickets at the S.F. Symphony and to the Berkeley Rep, and he's the first person I call when something interesting comes up. He is in a committed-to-thinking-about-being-committed relationship. He and Juan (who lives in L.A.) have even exchanged rings, although I have no idea what that was about. Bob says that in L.A. you get hit on more often if you wear a wedding band because it means you'll safely leave when the tryst is over. Juan gave Bob a ring first, so it wasn't to enhance his (Juan's) sociability. Bob then gave Juan a ring. Tiffany's. I asked if that's all it took to get a ring from him, y'know, to give him one first? I was disappointed to think I hadn't tried it at least once.
Bob the Archhitect lives in a very lovely apartment on Russian Hill, one of San Francisco's tonier neighborhoods. He deserves a nice place. As I have implied by calling him Bob the Architect, he is an architect. They need a little icing with the cake. They work very hard and seldom can afford apartments worthy of their intellect and persuasion. His previous S.F. apartment was in Noe Valley and it consisted of two rooms each about the size of my walk-in closet, and one of them was also the kitchen. He literally slept with his head in the oven. Of course, him being an artistic (wink, wink) architect, it was done up real nice. This place over on Russian Hill is a nice step up. It probably goes without saying that he is very good looking, as well as charming and funny. Going out with Bob is the equivalent of wearing expensive diamonds. You're going to be noticed and admired.
I'm ready to interview the next Canadian Husband Candidate. Should I run the ad again? I'm in no hurry, despite the fact that my younger Gay "sister" who looks much older than I (too much sun and vodka over too many years), told a mutual friend that she and her domesticated partner (read: husband), who happens to be (1) Canadian, (2) hairy-chested, (3) multi-lingual, (4) professional, (5) oeniphile -- or, in other words, almost everything I was looking for in a man, are going to Vancouver this Spring to get married. What a fucking bitch. Those two have the most DYSfunctional relationship as I have seen between adults not otherwise related. As you can tell, we're very close friends. He's also a better cook than I, and he knows it, so he's bringing an hors d'hoeuvre to my Mardi Gras Brunch (notice I capitalized the B in brunch to indicate that it is taking on a life of its on now) which will make my cooking look dull and ordinary in comparison. In his mind, maybe. One satisfactory thing about his cooking. That hunk of a man he married put on about 50 pounds and doesn't look nearly as hunky as he did before.
"I think it's a tremendously historic day that will
help not just families in Canada, but people across the border who are
wrestling with this question, of how the denial of marriage harms gay
people and their loved ones," said Evan Wolfson, executive director of
Freedom to Marry, a gay-rights coalition based in New York.
"Canada is setting a standard for
inclusion and fairness, and offering the real proof that ending
discrimination helps families and hurts no one."
Wolfson said of Canadians: "We now have the benefit of your wind in our sails, and we are charting the same course." (SFGate)
That was so well said that all I can add is, thanks, Canada. Thanks for making me feel just a little more normal and human today. We do have the benefit of your wind in our sails.