Monday, June 24, 2013
Equality - for everyone
Facebook is a great waste of time for many reasons:
- too many games to play
- too many updates on dinners you just had (seriously, once every so often of a particularly good burger or elaborate dessert is fine but not every morsel you've ingested)
- cat memes
But every so often, this social medium can be used as a force of good.George Takei (may he live long and prosper) posts regularly and I often enjoy his humour through pictures and comments. Today I had to pause for a second because he asked his readers to change their Facebook picture to an equal sign in support of same-sex marriage vote happening in the USA today. Instead, today I wish to post my support here.
This post is not going to be a demand for same-sex marriage rights (especially since I don't actually live in the USA). My views are my views and although I am willing to discuss them, I am not looking to say one group this right and one group is wrong. I believe we, fundamentally, as humans are way too complex to have a one size fits all for everything that life involves. Nor am I going to say if you think differently you are a horrible person. I would not want other peoples views forced upon me and I don't wish to do that to you. If you do not want to read about my pro-same sex marriage post, please keep reading with an open mind and heart (and civil tongue) or stop now. The choice is yours.
Same-sex couples do not make sense evolutionary in terms of procreation. Throughout history, especially when birth and infancy was so precarious, in order to keep the human race going the children were had, the more likely your genes continue. Obviously same-sex couples cannot have their own children naturally, which does not help with keeping the population growing.
Yet there are plenty of examples of homosexuality almost everywhere around the world all through recorded history. One only has to go to a museum or read ancient texts/stories to understand this. The fact that it has been banned by a different religious or social groups is an indication of the fact that it was at least recognised. This is not something new and not something that can be "cured".
Love is an emotion that is relatively new to our society in terms of our understanding of it. Marriages were almost never based on what we would consider love. They were often political alliances for the wealthy and security for everyone else. One only has to do pick up a Jane Austen novel to see how precarious life could be and what marriage could mean to the entire family. Yes, there might have been some attraction in the beginning, or even after the marriage, but to say that marriage was based on love as a whole is a bit naive.
I have been part of LGBTTIQQ2SA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allies) communities in an indirect ways for many years and several of my friends and colleagues identify themselves as part of this community. Their love for each other is no different than the love that I have for my partner. We have the right to be considered married under the law and all the privileges and safety nets that affords us. Why should they not have the same thing?
This is not about religion. It should never be about religion. If the religious institutions do not wish to perform same-sex marriages why should they be forced to? There are many religious institutions I would not be able to be married in because I am not part of that community. In fact, I could not get married in the religious institution I identify with because there are no groups in my area. The civil service, which is just as legally binding with all the same privileges and safety nets, should be afforded to those whom wish it. To tell me that marriage is a sacred institution that should be preserved when divorce is so rampent drives me up the wall when people who care in love each other are not allowed to celebrate that and be protected. They are willingly entering a consenting relationship.
The spanking community knows all about consent. It's the word we cling to when facing judgement on what we consider to be a huge, often biological, part of our lives. Our own community is often divided into many different likes, dislikes, and a large range of activities. Who are we to say one group of educated, mentally abled, consenting adults who can commit to each other and explore their own passions, just like us, should not have an opportunity? Consent, as always, should always be taken into account. It was not that long ago that people of different races were not allowed to marry in the United States, and there are still places all around the world where human beings are not allowed to express their love, no matter what their sexual orientation is.
I remember when the debate started in Canada in 2004 and how surprised I was that same-sex couples could not get married. I had always assumed that they could. The law was passed, the world didn't end, and if I remember correctly, no one really talked about it afterwards. There wasn't even much of an uproar here. It was considered normal, as if it should have been the norm all along. I hope one day that we will all be able to freely and live in the consenting relationships we will want without being afraid of judgement or are being outright denied the very basic human interaction of love and companionship. Maybe not in my life time, but soon...
Who knows, it may even make the divorce rate drop, which I'm sure would make those claiming the sacred institution argument happy ;)
Stay safe everyone, and good luck to all those waiting for the decision. May the force be with you!