Monday, May 19, 2008

Gay/Lesbian Rights - My Total Confusion !

I'm somewhat puzzled by some of the confusion regarding the recent California State Supreme Court Decision - which indicated that same gender couples have equal rights to marriage - and that denying them such rights would deny them equal protection under the law.

I've heard various criticisms such as: 1.) It violates the will of the people - as per prior referendums in California - which defined marriage as "a man and a woman", 2.) It grants "special privileges" to same gender couples, 3.) It will destroy the institution of marriage, etc.

The rights of women - to vote and to not be the chattel of men - were denied for a long, long time. Blacks were legally slaves as well as later on not entitled to attend schools with Whites, not allowed to vote in many jurisdictions and similar. Popular will, laws and legal distinctions were all central to deny such rights in the past. The "framers of The Constitution" - wrote of a world where - White, Male, Landowners - had basic rights and where "the people" did not elect senators. Until the 17th Amendment was passed in 1914 - senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Having the right to marry as a "special privilege" - mystifies me! IF - Gays and Lesbians - uniquely had the right to Both marry an individual of the opposite gender and while still married, marry a same gendered partner, While Straight individuals were denied this right, this would be a "special privilege"! I've heard no one talk of this.

The idea that it is "easy" to be Gay or Lesbian - and "hard" to be Heterosexual - and that somehow rights "for all" somehow favor non-heterosexuals seems laughable. It ranks similar to the ideas that disabled folks and other "oppressed classes" - have "special rights" that discriminates against "normal people" seems part of this strange world to me.

It is most confusing how rights to marriage - will destroy - heterosexual marriages - if granted to non-heterosexual couples. Marriage seems rather weak - as an institution - where it is "destroyed" by expanding those who may marry. Are religious people hurt by others marrying? What would happen if atheists were denied the rights to marry - because it is a "religious right" and they were determined to have "no religion" or similar. Are many people now going to be "tempted" to marry - who wouldn't otherwise marry? What's the problem?

I think that marriage is a personal relationship which has a basic right to be a level of commitment made to another person. How I can have "special rights" - because I want to be lined to a woman (as a man) or as a White Man - because I'm not "of Color" or similar - seems ridiculous to me!


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