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Gay Marriage And Marijuana

May 7, 2012

People think that I’m a liberal, but this is one issue that may show otherwise. My state had a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage a few years ago and North Carolina will vote on their amendment tomorrow. I’ve hesitated to weigh in on the issue in my blog because I didn’t want to offend any gay readers that I might have. I still don’t, but maybe it’s time to put my two cents out there.

I voted for the ban, but I should explain why. While I find sex between two women kind of a turn-on, sex between two men totally disgusts me. I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their homes but I don’t want it flaunted in my presence. It’s only been a few years since gay people were denigrated as queers and fags and were beaten and robbed for the fun of it or dragged to their death by bigoted assholes. Then, all of a sudden as if a switch were flipped, all the gays came out of the closet and states began allowing them to marry. Now, six states plus the District of Columbia have legalized it.

My problem with it is two-fold. First of all, it’s a matter of semantics. Marriage has always been about a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, a bride and a groom. If a same-sex couple marries, which one is the husband? Which one is the bride? Who decides? It makes things uncomfortable for us heterosexuals who don’t know what words to use.

Secondly, I can’t believe that this issue has come to the forefront and gained acceptance so quickly while smoking marijuana is still illegal and largely unacceptable. Where is the equity here? Is it fair to legitimize one group’s behavior and not others’? I don’t want to sound like a Bible-thumper, but the Bible does explicitly poo-poo homosexuality but doesn’t say anything against catching a buzz.

I think that, instead of going immediately from the closet to the altar, there should be an in-between step that would be satisfactory to most Americans. Gay people should be allowed to engage in a “same-sex civil union” that affords them all the rights and privileges of marriage without calling it that. Leave “marriage” for a man and a woman, and come up with descriptives for the participants in this new form of legalized coupling. We already have terms like “partner” and “significant other”, but maybe some new words could be coined that would work even better. I don’t have a problem with civil unions for gay people who want to partner for life, but I do have a problem with calling it “marriage”. So let’s do that and get on with the business of ending the failed war on drugs.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck permalink
    May 9, 2012 6:41 PM

    OK . . . so you’re uncomfortable with some of the issues surrounding gay marriage. That’s YOUR problem. Why even concern yourself with it? Gay rights have nothing to do with you, and you can’t possibly be harmed by giving gay folks the right to marry. And if you don’t want to sound like a Bible-thumper, don’t bring up what the Bible has or doesn’t have to say about anything. While I’m straight, I’m not narrow. And I’m so sorry that the few gay people I know and care for are so discriminated against. Remember that it wasn’t too long ago that inter-racial marriage was disgusting, and now it’s commonplace. Hopefully, gay marriage will be as accepted in the not too distant future. And what does legalizing weed have to do with gay rights?

    • May 11, 2012 12:48 PM

      I guess you’re more liberal than I am. You bring up so many points that I don’t know where to begin. Societal change normally happens very slowly. It took a lot of years for interracial marriage to become acceptable and still has a ways to go. I’m sure that gay marriage will become equally acceptable once society has had time to get used to it.

      All I’m saying is that gays have gone from the closet to the altar at warp speed without taking the baby steps first. Making same-sex civil unions legally equivalent to opposite-sex “marriage” would be a big baby step that has been skipped. The reason I brought up the Bible is that “marriage” has always been a tradition consecrated within the framework of the church. The Bible is the “constitution” upon which the church operates. Since the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, what does it mean when the church allows homosexuals to marry in church ceremonies? When a man and woman tie the knot before a justice of the peace, they have all the legal rights and privileges of marriage but they do so in a civil ceremony – not before the altar of God with the blessing of the church. Non-religious couples prefer it that way. Why can’t same-sex couples be satisfied with that, at least for now?

      The reason I dragged marijuana into this discourse is that rights are rights. People have been trying to exercise their right to use marijuana since the 1930’s and haven’t won that right yet – even after thousands of baby steps. Gays didn’t have any more right to exercise their “gayness” until very recently and, all of a sudden their behavior has gained wide acceptance. Where is equal justice here? I believe in “live and let live”. People should have the right to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes as long as it doesn’t endanger other people. Republicans and other narrow-minded people talk this talk but refuse to walk the walk. I even have to fault President Obama on this point. He came into office saying that he wouldn’t interfere with state laws that allow medical marijuana but turned around and allowed his Justice Department to raid mm dispensaries and shut them down. Then he came out the other day in favor of same-sex marriage. Why is one behavior acceptable and the other not?

  2. May 17, 2012 1:46 PM

    Good question.

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