Sunday, July 09, 2006

Marriage Equality (plus Pat Barker poem)

There’s been much disappointment over the decision of the New York courts to reject the rights to same-sex marriage.

Marriage, invested as it is with all sorts of emotional and social resonance, is substantially more satisfying than cohabiting or even a civil union. Somehow no one I’m around these days says it, and back when I used to know people who said that, I used to look on them as anti-feminist fanatics, anti-intellectual dingbats, religious lemmings, or Hallmark-brainwashed crazies.

In campaigning for the right for homosexuals to marry, I think we’ve somehow been caught up in trying to make the argument as rational as possible by inserting legalistic reasoning and contentions. For instance, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) argue that “only marriage provides a legal safety net protecting couples emotional bonds and economic security.” How about they get to do it like heteros--just 'cos they want to; what if they do it in "the pursuit of happiness." At core, rejecting the right to same-sex marriage is denying a fellow human a fundamental source of emotional fulfillment and well being. Obviously, no has that right, though unfortunately many seem to have that power.

Even folks who aren’t “against” gays and lesbians feel all uptight and anxious that same-sex affection or the demand for marriage equality is somehow exhibitionistic... In other words, as some of my freshman students in South Carolina used to say, “I don’t care if he’s fucking another guy or a chicken or a tomato--I just don’t want to know about it.” For them, I have Pat Barker (1944-1989)’s funny, poignant, cheeky poem:


You know, some people got a lot of nerve.
Sometimes I don't believe the things I see and hear.

Have you met the woman who's shocked by two women kissing
and in the same breath, tells you she is pregnant?
BUT gays, shouldn't be so blatant.

Or this straight couple sits next to you in a movie and
you can't hear the dialogue because of the sound effects.
BUT gays shouldn't be so blatant.

And the woman in your office spends an entire lunch hour
talking about her new bikini drawers and how much
her husband likes them.
BUT gays shouldn't be so blatant.

Or the "hip" chick in your class rattling like a mile a minute
while you're trying to get stoned in the john, about the
camping trip she took with her musician boyfriend.
BUT gays shouldn't be so blatant.

You go in a public bathroom and all over the walls there's John loves
Mary, Janice digs Richard, Pepe loves Delores, etc., etc.
BUT gays shouldn't be so blatant.

Or your go to an amusement park and there's a tunnel of love
and pictures of straights painted on the front and grinning
couples are coming in and out.
BUT gays shouldn't be so blatant.

Fact is, blatant heterosexuals are all over the place.
Supermarkets, movies, on your job, in church, in books, on television every day
day and night, every place-even- in gay bars and they want gay
men and woman to go and hide in the closet.

So to you straight folks I say, "Sure, I'll go if you go too"
BUT I'm polite so, after you.


Athena said...


Almost all the heterosexuals don't even know the double standard rooted deeply in their heads.

Alexis Ogg said...

I think that I am convinced to agree with the things that you are saying about marriage. There are many things that are supposed to be observed before you are getting married.

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