S.O. Sunday – Nobody Should Have to be Alone

Hi Everybody:

I wanted to wait until I’d had a chance to review the California Supreme Court’s ruling re Gay Marriage before posting. If you’re interested, you too can find the ruling here . It’s 172 pages long, though, so it’s a bit of a slog.

But you don’t even have to read every word to know that the California Supreme Court has, in their “activist justice” way, declared the prior law unconstitutional based on a few underlying premises: (1) Being gay or lesbian is not a choice; which means, then, that (2) discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal on its face (like discrimination based on race or gender would be – again, these are facts that can’t be chosen – for the most part (don’t start me on the road to transgender arguments – I know transgendered individuals have their point!)). So if 1 and 2 are the case, then the fundamental right to form a family cannot be denied to two otherwise competent adult individuals, just based on their sexual orientation.

This leaves out the old slippery slope arguments like, “But . . . if gays can marry, what’s going to stop someone from wanting to marry his goat (sister, canasta club)?” Civilly, marriage is a contract. A contract is void or voidable if entered into by someone who is considered legally incompetent to enter into that contract (e.g., a child, a person who due to severe mental defect may not understand the contract [although, for example, mild retardation is no barrier to marriage], a non-human, and we aren’t up to groups of people marrying, either!) The issue of close blood relatives marrying is still one where the state has an interest, especially if children may be born. The incest taboo is there for a reason, kids.

It’s not enough to say that domestic partnership is, essentially, the same as marriage. That’s the old “separate but equal” argument which has not held up with the US Supreme Court (remember Brown v Board of Education?). Even if you think this is more about symbolism than reality, especially here in California where domestic partnerships have been legal for some time now, “marriage” is a word with meaning. As I told the ‘Publican today, “I don’t think what WE have is a ‘domestic partnership’ – it’s a marriage. Frankly, had the court decided to eliminate the word marriage and civilly decide that all marriages were, in fact, domestic partnershps, I wouldn’t be very happy.” (By the way, that is something the court thought about.)

So, all in all, a good day for humanity, in my book. If you’re gay, you get to make the same damn mistakes as the rest of us less than perfect straight folks – you get to spend too much money on a wedding, you get to decide on a pre-nup, you get real in-laws who will love you or hate you based on who you are (not just because you’re gay), you get to wish you’d never gotten married in the first place, and to sit in the therapist’s waiting room when there are problems, and you get to get divorced and fight about the kids and property and knick knacks built up over a lifetime.

But you ALSO get to realize that society dignifies and honors your relationship, and you never have to be removed from a hospital room or be shunned from your beloved’s insurance, and you certainly get to say, “I’m married!” with all the joy, pain, and annoyance that these words imply. Now you get to have a cultural experience equal to straight society’s – no better, no worse, just the same. You get to decide whether or not you even want to get married, because we all know when we’re not allowed to do something, we want it all the more, and now each gay person will have to face the same fears, doubts and questions that straight men and women have faced around whether to marry or not – that person at this time, or even at all?

I’m reminded about something my Jungian analyst once said, “Marriage involves different archetypes” when talking about relationship. I was single but dated and had boyfriends for several decades between my marriages and I couldn’t agree more. I had to work through all my ideas about what it would be like to be married again – before I could actually decide if it was something I even wanted. I had a lot of negative stuff on being a “wife”. I’m glad I did that work because now I can really enjoy being married. And I think this is what gay men and women will learn, too. Marriage is, in essence, different. I don’t know why it is, I just know that it is.

Now I know some of you reading this will definitely not agree with me on it – and that’s fine. And I’m sure a few of you have already signed a petition to put this back on the ballot to change the California Constitution – and that’s fine, too! But I think even a lot of folks who are definitely against gay marriage won’t go farther than this because it’s one thing to have a law on the books, and it’s another thing to change the constitution. I think that is reserved for the big guns, frankly, and you know what? Society and culture have changed enough that (a) most people in the US know at least one person who’s gay or lesbian and doesn’t have horns; and (b) more and more people are taking the position of “live and let live” and meaning it. Even the ‘Publican who definitely is no fan of gay marriage feels this way (and so does Ahnold . . .)

I took the title of my post from something a friend of mine, a very nice “church lady” type (a true Christian, in other words) said to me, “Nobody should have to be alone.” That expresses my gut feeling about gay marriage. I’m just glad the California Supreme Court, mostly composed of Republican-appointed Justices by the way, found the legal basis to make this a dignified and honored right for all.

P.S. – I wanted to leave you with something a bit lighter – a bit more humorous – about gay marriage and some of the reasons why someone might be against it – enjoy!

10 thoughts on “S.O. Sunday – Nobody Should Have to be Alone

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more.Everyone deserves to love and be loved and everyone deserves to live out their days (and nights) with someone be it male or female.In the end, does it really matter? I don’t think so.

  2. Thanks, Deb. I appreciate your kind words. I thought this, being more political than I normally am, might ignite some protest, but maybe not. I do think culture and society have pretty much made this a non-issue for most people, although there will always be some who disagree.Have a wonderful Monday!~Laura

  3. I thouroughly DISagree with you. My main beef with this is that in CA over 67% of the voters already voted to ban gay marraige. The people have spoken and they don’t want gay marriage. Tolerating is very different from validating. I don’t have to validate something I believe is wrong. Just my opinion. 🙂

  4. Thanks, Frigga. I appreciate your viewpoint and would, in general, agree with it. Except that initiative-driven legislature is frequently (not always!) the worst kind of legislature, prone to being overturned on constitutional grounds. If our California legislators would do their darn jobs, maybe we, the voters, wouldn’t have to do it for them.Okay – enough of THAT rant. All I can say is that a lot of initiatives are drawn up out of fear of something (or some group) and when it is overturned, then the justices are called “activist” in a pejorative way, when the truth is that not ever “will of the people” move is a good one.We all remember our civics classes from high school and college – one of the ideas I recall the most clearly is that we protect the minority interests along with the majority interests and sometimes we have to protect the minority FROM the majority. That’s what makes us a republic, rather than a pure democracy; we have this system of checks and balances and no branch of government is less necessary than the other. And frankly, each branch of the government in doing its job “legislates” – even the executive branch. Okay – so we’ll agree to disagree on this one. And we’ll see what happens with the petition to change the California constitution. Perhaps the people will agree with this, I don’t know.By the way – beautiful photos on your website – I love Julian – and your mustang is HOT, HOT, HOT! Be well,~Laura

  5. I am a conservative (never say Republican 🙂 and couldn’t agree more. I never understood the ‘slippery slope’ argument so many conservatives use and I never understood why 2 human beings could not choose to marry and be together. Marriage is different. Something changes once you ‘marry’ someone and I don’t know what it is either, but it’s there. And face it, with a divorce rate of almost 50% in the straight community, let see if the gays can do any better. Maybe we can learn something from them 🙂

  6. Hey, Flo –Thanks for your comments. I was probably a bit unfair when I said the ‘Publican was no “fan” of gay marriage – like you, he’s basically a conservative but when it comes to personal morality, he’s just “live and let live”. Yeah, you and he would have a mind meld, I ‘spect.Be well – your blogs are great, especially the triathalon one. Talk about I’m in awe! ~Laura

  7. What a great post! So articulate and well-written. I completely agree with you that everyone deserves love and the ability to love whomever THEY decide. I’ll never understand why so many people spend so much energy fighting love and positive forces when there are actual bad things we could try to combat. Cheers!

  8. Thanks Meleah Rebeccah and Erica – you ladies are my heroes in terms of articulate writing. Hey, I’m working on it!Keep reading – and thanks for the support and kind words!~LauraP.S. to Meleah – Also loved your post re the Borgata and seeing Chris Rock. What a hoot! We’re off to Vegas next month and AC really looks like a mini-Vegas strip these days. You must be so proud (lol).

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