Monday, December 14, 2009

What it Says About You

Today I witnessed a discussion about whether differing viewpoints on LGBTQ rights should be a dealbreaker in a heterosexual relationship. Points such as "it only affects us by extrapolation/if our kids turn out to be gay" and "it's an intellectual disagreement" came up.

So, I write to offer my unsolicited advice.

If I have to explain to someone why people whose sexualities fall outside of the one man-one woman norm should also be granted the same legal rights to marriage and adoption, then that someone to me isn't someone worth spending time with. LGBTQ (and everything in between) rights is not a subject for intellectual discourse because anyone arguing against the provision of such rights are arguing against the humanity of the people involved. It is also a stunning display of privilege that is frankly acutely unattractive (since when were your rights brought up over drinks as a point of intellectual debate?).

Monogamous hetereosexual people may feel that they are not affected by whether those who fall into other categories are seen as full people under the law. But that's not true. Their humanity is affected by the opinion they hold on whether a person's humanity can be decided by referendum. I'll make it simple for you - it can't. My humanity is not up for discussion, neither is anyone else's and if you feel differently then I question how much you have considered the world around you and how much you have decided that you, by virtue of an accidental alliance, should be entitled to so much more than anyone else.

A few weeks ago Senator Diane Savino spoke eloquently of how us heterosexual folk have squandered our right to marry by constantly making a mockery of the institution of marriage itself. She followed it up with a breathtaking description of the very human people who are denied this by an arbitrary and cruel standard enforced by prejudice and by nothing else. If you can, please take the time to watch it now (full transcript here):

A quote from the video:
You know I’ve also been lobbied, quite interestingly, on this bill by people on both sides. I’ll tell you one funny story. I was on 6th avenue in Manhattan, I was in my car, I was driving, make a left turn onto 52nd street, I was stopped at a light, I had my window open. And a young man on a pedicab stopped and stuck his head in the window of my car, which I thought was kind of strange. But he recognized the senate license plate on my car and this was right during the week that the assembly was taking up the vote earlier this year.

And he said to me, "Excuse me, is there going to be a gay marriage vote in Albany this week?"

And I said, "Yes, the assembly’s going to take it up, but the senate probably won’t take it up any time soon, I’m not sure when."

And he said, "Are you going to vote for it?" and I said, "Yes I am", and he said, "Why?"

And I said, "Because I believe that people should be able to share their life with whomever they want and the role of government is to administer that contract that they agree to enter into."

And he stopped and said, "But they’re changing the definition of marriage."

And I said, "Don’t get so excited about this marriage stuff." I said, "Think about this, we just met, you and I right here at the stoplight. You stuck your head in the window of my car. Do you know tomorrow we could go to City Hall, we could apply for a marriage license, and we could get married, and nobody there will ask us about the quality of our relationship or whether we’ve been committed to each other or any of those things. They will issue that marriage license and we can get married."

And he said, "Yes, that’s true."

I said, "Do you think we’re ready for that kind of commitment?"

And he stopped and he said, "I see your point."
Human rights shouuld not be up to a vote, neither should they be subject to discussion. I would not piss to put out a fire on someone who disagrees - they have demonstrated to me how they feel about the humanity of others, leaving me free to disregard theirs.


  1. I think some people only hold bigoted views because they haven't had the time to research, or had opportunities to interact with others, or even had the space to contemplate such issues. And as such, a lot of their views are based on gut feeling, views from their church, old stereotypes and cliches, etc.

    But then again, some people have weighed all the differing opinions and still have come to the decision that certain groups of people should STILL be denied their rights based on some 'intellectual' reasoning. Now THOSE people, I can't stand..

    - Angry Alpaca

  2. And also, I hearts Diane Savino very very very much. I think the best part of that speech was when she talked about how heterosexuals have bastardised the institution of marriage through circus events such as The Bachelor, but other couples who want to commit themselves to each other can't even get married.

    - angry alpaca


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