Category Archives: Gay Marriage

They’re Not All Like Her

Despite what I said about gay marriage earlier in the week, Spiked Online reports that the protests were fewer than expected,

This was not quite the scene that opponents of gay marriage had either anticipated or hoped for. Yes, a few bedraggled protesters held banners outside the City Hall in Boston – but their numbers were few and their message was all but ignored by the gathered national and international press corps [source]

Perhaps my open letter was not really needed.

On this day…

No other posts on this day.

Open Letter To The Woman in Massachusetts

Yesterday, I was in a my hotel room watching BBC World news. I generally have it on in the background when I am alone in hotels; mainly for the company rather than the fact that I am interested in the repetitive cycles of 24-hour news programming.

I looked up from what I was reading when pictures of the first legal US gay weddings in Massachusetts came on. Obviously, this is a topic that I have a personal interest in. My congratulations go out to all who legally wed over the past few days. While I understand that not every gay couple wants to marry I strongly believe in the equality that this decision represents and the dignity it affords all people in the state.

Of course any balanced media coverage had to include those who objected. There were scenes of people praying and some placards but nothing looked like it had turned into mass rioting and I took that to be an encouraging sign. However, the was one female opponent to the legalisation of gay marriage who did frustrate me – perhaps irrationally – more than the others. Her comments to camera went along the lines of. ‘They want to destroy traditional values’.

Despite the whole ridiculousness and stupidity of that comment and the fact that it doesn’t even make sense it angered me more than anything else I heard.

Dear Madam

I saw your comments last night on the television news and how you feel that, through the legalisation of gay marriage, ‘they’ (who I take you mean to be homosexuals in Massachusetts) are trying to destroy traditional values.

I wanted to ask you about your traditional values but you were a vox pop on the international news and I will never get the chance. So I choose to write my thoughts here. Perhaps one day you will read them and think.

A tradition is usually something that has been around of a long time. It has roots and a history. Culturally, traditions are often important and significant but they have not always existed nor have they always been as they are. Traditions develop with human life on earth. They are of their time. Your implication is that traditions are good and anything that changes (or – in your eyes – erodes them) is bad. But, forgive me for my rudeness, this is pure crap.

For centuries we burned people we considered witches. That tradition is gone. Should be fighting to keep it? There was a tradition of denying women the vote, or perhaps I should say that traditionally men voted while women stayed at home. I don’t hear you shouting for that tradition. Can I say there was a tradition of slavery? Perhaps not, but certainly – at one time – reasonable, decent people of the age thought it was acceptable. Quite rightly we deny that tradition now.

Bur regardless of my flippancy here, your comments angered me for they tried to dress your bigotry up. Your tried to hide it by using an argument that says because it has always been one way that is the way it should stay. If I was from your country I may attempt to rationalise this for you by saying you were outside your ‘comfort zone’ and that’s why you react as you do. Fortunately I am not and thus, from a distance of an ocean away, I can see your intolerance for what it is.

So, let me set the record straight. Nobody is trying to destroy tractional values for there really is no such thing. Massachusetts has seen that so-called traditions that uphold prejudice, intolerance and preach inequality must, like witch burning, slavery and dancing around a may-pole, be consigned to a part of human history where peoples of the future can look back and laugh at us.

I wasn’t angered by the prejudice of the religious zealots who were featured in the news. While I believe them to be ill-informed and not speaking for any deity I perceive, I do understand the roots of their opposition. I am angered by your hiding behind reasoning that because something has always been it should always be so. Traditions are often no more than superstition justified by repetition over extended periods of time. So, please, accept the fact that your opposition is rooted in fear (I did want to say prejudice but I hope that your prejudice is caused by fear) and embrace the inclusive new traditions of your state.

One of the facets of a cavilled society is that it strives to be better for all its people. At this moment in history Massachusetts seems to be at the forefront of those striving to improve upon what we have. Perhaps, in the north eastern corner of the US, we are seeing one of the most civilised places on earth emerging. That is a cause for celebration.

You don’t realise how lucky you are to be living in such a place.

Jon

On this day…

2004: Note to Self: Iberia
2004: Been There?

Gay Weddings This Week?

According to The Observer today, the Civil Partnerships bill will be published on Wednesday. Certainly I am in favour of the bill as I think my relationship with PY deserves some recognition of the 12 years we have spent together. But it’s not marriage and, therefore, there’s no equality. Still, as they say, one small step at a time.

The same paper is also reporting that the Irish parliament is about to be facing the same debates. Shame Mr Bush doesn’t look too Europe for more than just hired guns.

On this day…

2003: Space-time continuum abused for financial gain
2003: Piccadilly Circus, March 2003
2003: Has the tide turned for free online content?

Make Me Write

Inspiring me to write today is Matt Haughey’s A Whole Lotta Nothing. Thanks for the following:

  • A link to the Abandoned Bicycles of New York photo blog which is strangely compelling and makes me think that somebody must come up with a way of using bicycles in London that is easy and safe.
  • An item about the hypocrisy of Dick Cheney and his stance of gay marriage: What kind of father goes out on a national stage and says he doesn’t believe his own daughter deserves the same rights in her life that he enjoys with his own marriage? [Source]

On this day…

2006: links for 2006-01-12
2005: Garden State
2005: links for 2005-01-12
2004: Hiddent Stuff
2003: Entitlement Cards

Thoughtless, Instant, Throwaway Marriages

I don’t want to beat my own drum but, at last, I’ve found a serious article which picks up on my thoughts about Britney’s marriage. I was interested to read that, ” For the first thousand years of Christianity, the church didn’t want anything to do with marriage, which was about property, not spirituality”.

Britney’s little leap is a reminder that a marriage doesn’t have to be sacred to be legal. The law is no holier than a $40 trip at the Tunnel of Vows Drive Through in the Little White Wedding Chapel [Source]

Interestingly, maybe the article does actually get to say that Britney’s little weekend joke does harm marriage in a way no gay man has ever done!

On this day…

2005: Polar Express

Oops, She Did It

So, Britney got married, her people denied she’s had a little too much to drink (sorry, she wasn’t ‘inebriated’) and the wedding was annulled sometime yesterday (various reports put a different number of hours on the wedding but it seems it was a two day thing). Apparently it was a joke that went too far (although comment on the Torontro Star wonders if it was a PR Stunt).

As I watched this story unravel over the last few days (the mad grab for pictures, the interview with the ex-husband) I wondered what message this was sending out about the concept of marriage and have been surprised and the lack of comment (The Times did discuss it today).

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not about to beat the drum about religion and marriage too hard but if marriage is just a joke that can be entered into (and got out of) so easily, is there really much point to the whole thing?

There are some of us in this world who would like the ability to marry (or, at the very least, have some official recognition of our relationships) but can’t. Britiney doesn’t know how lucky she is to be able to treat the whole institution so lightly.

Could I argue that it’s an amusing aside to the whole business that a heterosexual woman brings marriage into disrepute? Maybe not.

On this day…

2006: Brokeback Mountain
2006: Gotta Go Back In Time
2005: 2004 In 100 Pictures
2004: Hello Dermot and Mark Fans
2003: Jeremy Vine
2003: Poison Find
2003: A Blog?