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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Don't Want Uncle Sam to be My Best Man

As the token “Black Guy” of this blog, I have been informed that it is my responsibility to be against all things “gay”…including same-sex marriage. However, being the token gay guy of this blog I am also inclined to be pro gay rights. So I think I have found a way to split the difference. Please feel free to leave a comment telling me if you think I have failed to live up to either of these stereotypical roles that have been laid out for me. Worst case scenario: Even If I fail I will still be a gay black guy which increases the chances I will get a scholarship for graduate school, right? If only I were an impoverished, blind, Jewish, Native American, lesbian in a wheelchair with a learning disability. The scholarship money would be rolling right on in!!! But alas, nobody is perfect.
DISCLAIMER: If you are either easily offended or do not have a sense of humor you should not have read that introduction. Moving on!

Eradication of Inequality New York Style a.k.a “thincrust”
The recent passage of marriage equality in the State of New York was greeted with great fanfare by many Americans, gay and straight alike. Except for all the people in the south…they were all pretty much pissed (kidding, kidding). By Joining Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington D.C., New York became by far the most populous state in the nation to allow same sex couples the right to legally marry. Many pundits also pointed to the fact that the passage of this law through the Republican controlled New York State Senate may be signaling a sea change in American politics surrounding marriage equality. But not so fast. Although this was a huge achievement and a step in the right direction, passage of this law is far from a departure from the divisive national politics that will no doubt continue to surround this hotly contested issue. I do applaud New York Republicans for being on the right side of history and for spending a lot of political capitol on this vote. But the issue of same-sex marriage must not be viewed as a partisan issue. Because it is about the eradication of inequality, it must be viewed as an American issue. The eradication of Inequality is a journey our nation has been on since it’s founding, and it is a journey that we will be on for some time to come.
43-6-2 is a great record…if you’re a sports team
These numbers reflect the marriage laws of our 50 U.S. and the District of Columbia. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the 10th amendment just as much as the next godless big government socialists liberal. Not having a federal marriage equality law has led us to a point where we have a patchwork of confusing, disconnected, and divided state laws across the nation, just the way the founding fathers intended (see The Articles of Confederation v. The Constitution)!
I support the right of the states under the 10th Amendment to confuse the hell out of us!
Now here is where it gets confusing. Of the 45 states that do not allow same sex marriage: 2 states (NM and RI) have no need for same sex marriage laws as there are obviously no gay people there. 18 States (ID, UT, TX, OK, SD, ND, NE, KS, AR, LA, MI, OH, KY, VA, GA, AL, SC, FL) have used their state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions and grant no same-sex recognition rights to gay couples what-so-ever. 6 states (AZ, MT, MO, TN, MS, AL) have used their constitution to ban same-sex marriage but not civil unions (but these 6 still do not grant civil unions or enumerated rights to gay couples). 6 states (WY, MN, ID, PA, WV, NC) have statue bans on same-sex marriage and civil unions and grant niether. 3 states (OR, CA, NV) have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage but do allow civil unions. 3 states (IL, HI, DE) have statue bans on same-sex marriage but do allow civil unions. 1 state (ME) has bans on same-sex marriage and civil unions but does grant limited enumerated rights to gay couples. 1 state (CO) has a ban on same-sex marriage, no ban on civil unions, but does grant limited enumerated rights to gay couples. 1 state (WI) has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions but does grants limited enumerated rights. And finally, (MD) has no ban on or recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions, but it does recognize same-sex marriages that are performed in other states, and grants its own same-sex couples limited enumerated rights (this one is my favorite). California had its same-sex marriage law overturned by voters in 2008. But al of the same-sex couples that got married while it was legal are still married. Confused yet! Here’s the ridiculous map. And yes, it's from Wikipedia so it's totally legit!!!
1 in 10
I have heard it said that approximately 1 in 10 people in the US self identifies as LBGT. This is fitting since approximately 30 million people, or one in ten, now lives in a state where gay couples can marry one another. So forgive me if I do not celebrate for the people of New York as fervently as most. But as long as 90 percent of Americans live in states without marriage equality, I will not be able to celebrate with very much enthusiasm. Especially since I live in one of those “group of 18” states that bans all marriage and civil union rights to same-sex couples.
I’ll support your right to discriminate if you support mine
I am fully in favor of religious institutions having the right to discriminate against LGTB couples. I couldn’t care less honestly. That is their right. Churches and churchgoers have the right to practice or not practice the basic tenets of their religions. But I do not extend that same luxury to governments. Governments have an obligation to extend legal protections, including marriage, to all citizens and their families. It is not the place of government to judge the quality of any couple or their relationship when they're seeking a marriage. Personally, I think the “Bachelorette” shouldn’t be allowed to get married. Why is it more acceptable for wannabe actors/models, who are utterly incapable of strong lasting relationships (hence why they are on the show in the first place) to marry a complete stranger on a television reality show when committed and loving same-sex couples cannot marry?
Hands off our Marriages Uncle Sam!
At the end of the day, maybe Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has it right. Maybe the government shouldn’t recognize any marriages. Why is government have to give us a license to marry the one we love? Is it not a spiritual/religious ceremony? What about that whole separation of church and state thing? Im pretty sure I read that somewhere once.....Isn't a marriage license the very thing that is cheapening marriage to nothing more than a contract? Then again, we can't take away married couple's marriage licenses now, can we? I mean, it would be wrong to deny two tax-paying, consenting, heterosexual, American adults who are of sound mind the right to get married to one another. Government has no right to do straight people.

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