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If I Had To Get Married, Gays and Lesbians Should Too!

November 12, 2008

I should really know better. Reading other people’s comments on a blog is bound to rile me. It does every time. Yet, like the compulsion to super-size my fries, I do it despite my better judgment. I did it this morning. I followed a link to a blog on the LA Times regarding this weekend’s scheduled nationwide protest against Prop 8. I shouldn’t have gone there in the first place, as the LA Times website was waving “Yes on Prop 8” banners in the week before the election, but I’m clearly a glutton. Out of the scores of comments, not one made even the slightest effort to be a cogent argument for banning same sex marriage. Perhaps that is because the side effects of bigotry are limited vocabulary and bouts of inarticulateness.

One of the arguments that bothers me the most is the notion of a “Traditional Marriage.” My husband and I have a traditional marriage in the sense that we’re sporting different genitalia. However, we differ from a lot of “traditional” married couples in that we did not get married with the goal of creating a nice nuclear family. (I prefer dogs to children.) We aren’t religious, and didn’t need a church’s blessing on our relationship. We got married so that we could enjoy the same legal rights that other married couples have. Essentially, we got married to be considered “next of kin” in case of an emergency and to file joint taxes. We would have happily signed up to be domestic partners, but that option is only available for same-sex partners or if one partner is over 62.

I found it highly irritating to be told by the state that my choice was to not be legally recognized as partners in a committed relationship or get married – and I find it just as irksome that the state should tell my sister, Terese, that she can be a domestic partner, but not legally married. My sister and I share the same mother, same siblings, same last name, same citizenship, and should have the exact same legal rights. We should all have the right to have our partnerships be recognized and licensed by the state, and let marriage be a religious rite for those who need that benediction.

Last Saturday night, my husband Dave and I took my niece Chaconne to Silver Lake and joined about 12,000 other Angelenos exercising our First Amendment right. We marched and we chanted as much for ourselves as for the gays and lesbians with us. We protested, not just because we feel strongly that we should all have the same rights, but because we feel strongly that bigotry shouldn’t be a catalyst for making amendments to our constitution specifically those that deny citizen’s their rights. With the exception of the 18th amendment, the amendments to our national constitution have always been used to grant rights and freedoms. Why we should start pedaling backwards now is confusing to me. Did we exhaust our rations of equality when we overwhelmingly voted a black man into office? Or have we simply found a new minority to punish for being different?

If you’re as confused by your fellow voters and irritated by this as I am, I urge you to get out on Saturday and exercise your First Amendment right and tell the bigots in this country that pettiness and small mindedness aren’t going to be our rule and law. Visit to find out where to go in your state.

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