Thursday, March 28, 2013
As a life long lesbian, I of course have a particular interest in the case concerning gay marriage now up before the supreme court. As an elder living alone, this decision will have no particular effect on my life, since I have no plans to marry anyone of any sex. Nonetheless, I have a vested interest in the outcome of this case, since, in my view, it has a direct bearing on whether I will continue to be classed (still) as a second class citizen or be accorded all the rights and privileges of others in my society.
As a long time teacher of critical thinking, I am particularly disturbed by some of the "logic" used against the proposal to legalize gay marriage. Here are some of the arguments I find perplexing and irrelevant:
Mr. Cooper responded that “it will refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples.” The key to marriage, he said, is procreation.
Is procreation truly the purpose of marriage? Do people realize that one of the most critical issues facing us as a species is overpopulation? Perhaps those who do not procreate deserve special credit for thus benefitting the planet.
Further, what ever happened to love as a test? Does a loving couple of the same sex not deserve the same right to sanctify their union under law as is accorded heterosexuals?
The logical conclusion of this argument is that anyone not able or willing to procreate should be legally barred from marriage, and even that those who are married but too old or ill to procreate should be by law forced to divorce.
Then there is the argument that allowing gays to marry will threaten the traditional institution. Yet, we do not now have gay marriage and the divorce rate is soaring among heterosexual couples. Obviously, some other factors than gay influence is at work.
Further, what ever happened with our regard for love as a basis for union? Some gay couples have remained together for decades. Should such devotion not be respected and honored as a basis for legal sanction?
And there is another argument saying that to legalize gay marriage would unsettle certain segments of society. Well, I suggest that every major progressive social movement unsettles some portion of society--witness the civil rights struggle of a few decades ago, the shift which allowed women to vote, the freeing of the slaves in the last century. All major moves toward greater equalization and democratic progress are met with resentment and opposition until they are established as law.
It is particularly disappointing to me to see members of the black community, especially clergy, oppose gay marriage. As Obama pointed out, until fairly recently the law banned persons of different races (specifically blacks and whites) from marrying. The law was changed and there were no disastrous results. Where is the willingness to support those seeking a similar choice for themselves?
And, finally, there is the "moral" argument. When Congress opposed gay marriage in the nineties, it frankly included "moral disapproval" of homosexuality as one of the bases for its position. What happened to the distinction between church and state, as embodied in our constitution? Why is a civil issue being considered as a "moral" issue? Are such arguments based on logic and fairness or emotional attitudes?
One last thought: it has long occurred to me that those who experience Kundalini awakening have much in common with homosexuals, not in a sexual sense, but in terms of social attitudes. Both are (or were) more or less viewed as strange, suspicious, weird. Many from either group do not feel comfortable sharing their situation with family and friends. Members of both groups realize that they are "outside the norms" and that their essential nature is different from that of the masses.
Personally, I feel privileged to be gay and also to partake of the blessings of Kundalini. But then, I was never one to "follow the crowd." I feel it is important to follow your own path, to do as Buddha said: "Be a light unto yourself."