Sunday, April 19, 2009

life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

i know this is a weird time to get all uppity about this, but dang it -- i just twittered about it and now i feel the need to elaborate.

miss california
is a douchebag. i know some of you thought before now that douchebag was a term to be reserved for the male gender but believe it or not, the term's etymology has its beginnings as a means to demean women and although i'm not really for demeaning women, i am for calling out douchebags who are douchebags and miss california, sorry -- you're a douchebag.

i know that my views on gay marriage are very different from most evangelical Christians. i know that my passion for what i believe to be a GROSS injustice is even different from many non-religious folk as well. and though what i believe about homosexuality and heteronormativity and heterosexism is probably much juicier and far too involved for ANY blog entry, much less this blog entry that i'm writing in lieu of doing the massive amounts of reading i should be doing for school -- i feel like the issue of gay marriage is one that i can more or less knock out pretty simply because believe it or not, it's a pretty simple issue for me.

my convictions about gay marriage changed on the first day of my intro to politcal science class. our first assignment was to read the declaration of independance and respond with a short one-page paper on your reaction to it. there was no prompting as to what that response would entail. i read over the opening paragraph, a paragraph i have practically commited to memory and not even on purpose, simply by way of its ubiquity in our educational system. they were words meant to indict an unjust colonizer but when i read them, the indictment was just as stinging although this time, the accused was America.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

there is no asterix next to the "all men" part that allows anyone to deny ANY man or woman those rights on the contingency of their moral convictions nor are there any caveats that say that the pursuit of Happiness is only allowed when that pursuit doesn't make me uncomfortable.

and before anyone busts out the classic "slippery slope" argument ["if we allow gay marriage, what's next? marriage to animals?"] let's watch ourselves and remember that gay people are PEOPLE -- they are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends... they are not animals, they are not brutes, and REGARDLESS of the hegemonic representations to the contrary (and the 3 20-something gay people you kinda know), they are not simply hypersexualized mongrels (not anymore than their heterosexual counterparts, anyhow). and if you want to continue down the hugely problematic "slippery slope" path anyway and try to be "devil's advocate" (an apt idiom, actually) and try to argue, "what if someone's 'pursuit of happiness' includes child molestation? are we supposed to make that legal?" i say to you how DARE you compare the abuse of a child to a monogomous committed relationship between consenting adults. and if you want to continue down the "slippery slope" path anyway, let me just remind you that this kind logic was applied by those who advocated for the upholding of slavery, antimicengenation, and Jim Crow laws except in place of the word "homosexual" in your argument was the word "blacks" or whichever race happened to be the subject of denigration at the time. so if you'd like to align yourself with peeps like them, be my guest.

the point is, regardless of your moral convictions about homosexuality, ALL men (and women!) are created equal and have UNALIENABLE (i.e., undenyable, untake-away-able, unjack-able) rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. even if those with religious leanings that say that homosexuality is an abomination, it still does not give you the right to deny someone equal rights! period! it boggles my mind that convicted murders can get married behind bars (ted bundy much?) and yet millions of American citizens in committed monogamous relationships can't get married simply because they're not heterosexual. and i know the big catch phrase is something about "protecting marriage" and blah blah blah but how does keeping some people from getting married protect your marriage exactly? seriously. i'd love to know. and how anyone could be so deluded as to believe that denying anyone their rights protects your own is BEYOND ME!

i hope my passion and abuse of the caps lock (oh, and that one time i called miss california a douchebag) doesn't keep anyone who might have different convictions from hearing my heart on this matter. you can feel however you feel personally convicted to feel about homosexuality (although i might argue that if you yourself aren't homosexual, you're not necessarily in the best position to have personal convictions about it BUT I DIGRESS) -- my point is that this injustice has to stop because it is dehumanizing, demoralizing, and denigrating us ALL in the process. Dr. King said it most succinctly -- injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


jasolam said...

You self-identify as evangelical Christian? Good for you. Think that term needs to be reclaimed back to its original roots away from the present day "fundamentalists with better manners."

Katie said...

Amen. Holla. Et cetera.

I've been meaning to pen my thoughts on the subject lately, but "then you went ahead and did it" for me (to quote Jemaine), so now I can just link to your blog from mine!

My thoughts on the matter were challenged only two years ago when my friend/pastor's wife said the simple phrase: "I don't see how two people who happen to be homosexual getting married has anything to do with the sanctity of MY marriage." With that, I started to realize all of the things you wrote about: how should anyone else have a say on someone's marriage? If we're going to start patrolling those waters, why are we not outlawing the second marriages of divorced or adulterous folks (because those things are CLEARLY sins in the Bible just as homosexuality is read to be as well)? blah, blah, blah...

The thing I thought was so interesting when I watched Miss CA's interview clip last night was that she started off saying "I think it's so great that people in our country are seen as equals now" but then plunges into new territory of "but...they're still heathens and shouldn't be allowed to" WTF? It's one or the other. People are (or perhaps, I should say "SHOULD BE") either in the equality camp 100% or they're into shoving whatever moral agenda they have onto others who don't share the same belief system (of course this applies to SO many other areas, but this comment is LONG so I'll stop).

Bravo, my dear. Excited for your show on Saturday.