I’m not one for usually elevating comments from the comments section to the site’s front page — but sometimes a post is so on the money that it warrants being shared with all… I’ve gotten more email on the “Andrew Sullivan fails to realize the seriousness of HIV” matter than any other post aside from the original Schrock story.
In the wake of the Sully piece, a DC Blogger, Woodstock (that’s her really cool graphic on the right) sent the following comments along. They are an important read, they sum up my thoughts on the matter exactly:
A lot of the problem with how mainstream America sees glbt people has to do with the hypocrisy of closeted, conservative homosexuals, this is true. But some of our image problem is our own fault.
The marriage equality debate suffers from the same problem that the feminist movement has: the people running the politics on the national level missed the bloody point.
I don’t care if Mr. & Mrs. RedState Evangelical Christian Conservative accept me and how I live my life. It doesn’t matter if they think my eternal soul is going to burn in hell because I’m a pervert who has “chosen” a “lifestyle” that is contrary to God’s wishes. What matters is that, because I am queer, I am discriminated against under the law.
If my spouse of 10 years goes into the hospital I have no legal rights to make medical decisions for her. Even if we file living wills and medical powers of attorney, it is possible for her family to come in, sue, and take away whatever rights *she willingly assigned to me* because I have no rights under the law. Britney Spears’ husband of two days — yes that’s right, two days — had more legal rights to make decisions for her than I do for my spouse after a decade.
And let’s not get into the loss of retirement, death, and tax benefits.
The problem is that our national “leaders” have decided that acceptance is what we should be seeking and I say that’s bullshit. We lost the marriage fight when we insisted that it be called marriage instead of insisting on moving to the European model of church recognized marriage and civil union registration for all couples regardless of sexual orientation.
If the religious right wants to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, fine. Let ‘em have it, but they can’t have their cake and eat it too.
Restrict marriage to one man and one woman, and then remove all civil benefits that accrue as a result of marriage: no married filing jointly, no automatic assignment of social security death benefits to spouses, no automatic assignment of medical powers of attorney.
Equality under the law is the only acceptable option but insisting on assimilation is just a long road to frustration. Ask any woman who, 30 years after Roe v. Wade, has a right to an abortion but damn if she can afford it because 30 years later she’s still only making 75 cents for every 1 dollar that a comparably qualified man makes in the same job. Being able to be legally married, or being able to serve in the military for that matter, is absolutely useless if we can still be fired and denied housing for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.
If we don’t focus, we will lose the war.