Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marriage Equity

We had the discussion about a week ago. The question that this article got me pondering: should we get married and take advantage of the privileges of being married while it is illegal for gay people to? I'm still not totally sure how I feel. I can see the position on both sides. Andrew reacted with more intensity than I thought. Apparently he'd been thinking about it too.
It forced us to talk about the why's we haven't discussed yet. Why do we want to get married? Why would we not get married? Okay, so, the reasons to get married included the fact that it makes so many things easier (insurance, purchasing big things like a house I would imagine), it's the next step to take in our relationship since we've decided to spend out lives together (yay!), and we want to be committed to each other. I'm leaving out the obvious crazy in love part. Reasons not to get married include the fact that our friends can't. Not everyone who loves is allowed to marry, and that is something about the state of our country that we should all be ashamed of. This presents a serious reason not to get married. We then have to ask ourselves if by getting married we are supporting an unjust system, or if it makes more sense to change it from within.
Addy Fox, who wrote the above article, has decided not to get married for the obvious ethical implications, and I think that is a really valid reason. There is always some value in protest, even if it's not something the world gets to see. Her family and friends will know that she's not getting married, they'll know why, and that's enough. I'm really grateful she acknowledges that this may feel like an empty gesture for some people, but presents her decison as her decision. it's not right for everyone, but it works for her. To be honest, for me it does feel like somewhat of an empty gesture. Here's a short play illustrating what this might look like:

ME: I think that the state of marriage equity in this country is disgusting.
GAY COMMUNITY: Okay, me too.
M: I want to do something about it.
GC: Great! Where are you going to start?
M: I'm not getting married!
GC: .......
M: You're welcome, gay community!

I'm just not sure if I would feel like I'm actually doing anything that would help somebody. To me it would seem more effective to make a donation to LAMBDA legal or something. Maybe gay people really do appreciate it when straight couples don't get married out of protest. I don't know. I don't know if this is ultimately the road we're going to go down. All I know is that it warrants serious consideration.

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