An Open Letter to My Gay Friend; or: Gay Marriage Is Not About Marriage

SHARE:


I've been looking over our online chat transcript from last night to see if I was overreacting when I decided to abruptly end our conversation. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that I acted rationally and, in addition, I am deeply disappointed in you.

First of all, just seconds after I brought up the issue of Proposition 8 (the California measure that aims to ban same-sex marriage), you responded with "blah blah blah." The swiftness of your response indicated that you didn't even bother to read what I had written and that the mere fact that I am against Prop 8 meant that I should be lumped together with militant liberal activists who want to shove their ideas down people's throats without respectfully listening to opposing viewpoints. I'm the most evenhanded person you know, so for you to then tell me to "calm down" suggests, again, that you actively chose to not listen to me and to pretend to know my true stance on the subject, based your experience with other people. Perhaps, as a friend, you would be willing to take a moment to listen to what I have to say here in this public forum?

Let's establish something right at the outset. About the fundamental idea of marriage itself, straight or gay, I don't give a shit. As I've said previously, I've always been weary of same-sex marriage being the cause célèbre of the gay community. But the issue of marriage equality is something I have to support because gay marriage is not about marriage.

Arguments against same-sex marriage, at their core, have never been about the institution itself. They're fundamentally about homosexuality. So if you look underneath the shiny surface, "preserving the sanctity of marriage" is not the real issue—the aim is to attack sexual orientation, to disapprove of sexual identity, and to legalize discrimination, which is far more insidious and which will set this country back decades.

I know that you're not the only gay person who is "over" this fight for same-sex marriage. Perhaps that's why the Mormons and their cohorts have been able to out-fundraise us, with families going as far as withdrawing $50,000 from their life savings to make sure Proposition 8 passes and gays are denied the right to marry.

Perhaps gay people are apathetic because we're not hammering home the point that this is an important civil rights issue and, for the hundredth time, not about marriage. Look, it honestly doesn't bother me that you don't care about marriage rights, but, as a gay man who knows what it's like to be teased, shunned, and discriminated against firsthand, it is your responsibility to care about civil rights.

There are people out there who want to change the law to designate an entire class of people as unequal to, as less than, every other class of people. If we lose this battle, I don't care that we're losing marriage; I care that you and I will, in the eyes of the law, be inferior to everyone else. And when our opponents see that our inferiority is validated by the government, it will allow them to continue on their path of dehumanizing us. That's what denying a class of people an equal right does. It dehumanizes them. And it is the dehumanization of a group that creates a culture in which people feel that it is okay to yell "fag" at me when I'm walking down the street; that it is okay for kids to be bullied and beaten at school; that it is okay for a jeering mob to incite a gay 17-year-old to commit suicide by jumping off a building. These things happen because gays are demonized. And gays are demonized when they're made out to be an inferior class of people. And they are made out to be an inferior class of people when they are not allowed the same rights as everyone else.

During our chat, you said you didn't see what the big deal is, that civil unions and domestic partnerships are fine since they would give gays and lesbians marriage rights without using the term "marriage." On this point, you are misinformed. Please be very clear that it is not a matter of semantics; we are not stupidly quibbling over terminology. If you really want to look at it from a legal standpoint, in the few states in which civil unions or similar domestic partnerships exist, same-sex couples are granted the same rights as married couples but only on the state level. There are hundreds upon hundreds of federal benefits that do not apply to those couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.

You also suggested that we should ride it out and let gay marriage happen when it happens. Funny thing is, history does not write itself. And if not now, then when?

Small acts were what drove the civil rights movement: Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in 1955; black students faced protesters when trying to attend a white school in 1957; people marched for voting rights in 1965. These small acts defied odds; these small acts helped to change the United States of America.

The rights, benefits, and acceptance that you are allowed and that you enjoy and that you take for granted as a gay man are the result of history—history created by regular people, just like you and me, who weren't activists or politicians or crusaders. They were people who came out of the closet decades before us in a time when it was social suicide to do so; they were high school students who met opposition when they tried to start gay-straight alliances to foster tolerance at their schools; and they are the millions of people, gay and straight, who will vote no on Proposition 8 on November 4, 2008. The latter act is indeed a modest act, but one that will have far-reaching ramifications. One vote may be a footnote in our lives, but that footnote will explain how we stood up for what is fair, what is just, and what is humane. The story of our lives reveal the scope of our history; the footnotes give us depth.


[Read the follow-up to this post: "Sweet. Bitter." This was written after the unfortunate passage of Proposition 8.]

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 32
Loading...
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISEMENT

Name

24,26,301,2,3Oh3,1,50 Characters in 50 Weeks,1,555,59,Aaron Johnson,1,ABBA,3,Academy Awards,3,Adam Gwon,1,Against Me,1,Alan E. Muraoka,1,Alberto González Vázquez,1,Alec Baldwin,1,Alex Beh,1,Alex Pettyfer,1,Algenis Perez Soto,1,Ali Ewoldt,1,Ali Larter,1,Amazing Videos,43,America Ferrera,3,America's Got Talent,4,American Idol,3,Amy Poehler,6,Ana Gasteyer,1,Anderson Cooper,2,Andrea James,1,Andy Samberg,4,Angelina Jolie,1,Anika Noni Rose,1,Animal Planet,1,Animal Video,16,Animal Videos,160,Animals,221,Animation,25,Anjelah Johnson,4,Anna Boden,1,Anne Rice,1,Annie Baker,1,Anteaters,1,Anthony Mora,2,Anton Chekhov,4,Armadillos,1,Aron Ralston,1,Art,5,Arthur Laurents,1,Artists at Play,1,Asher Roth,2,Ashton Kutcher,1,Asian,91,Asian America,146,Asian American Stuff,8,Asians,34,Athens Boys Choir,1,Athol Fugard,1,Audio Clips,10,Audra Mae,1,August Wilson,1,Axe,1,Bacon,1,Ballet,2,Banksy,1,Barack Obama,55,Barbie,3,Barry Manilow,2,Bats,1,Bears,5,Ben Folds,1,Ben Lee,16,Ben Stiller,1,Benjamin Millepied,1,Best,27,Betty White,2,Beverages,1,Beyonce,1,Bill Maher,6,Bill Pullman,1,Birds,3,Bjork,1,Blogathon 2006,52,Blue's Clues,4,Bob Dylan,4,Bong Joon-ho,1,Books,61,Boy Bands,18,Boyzone,4,Brandon Patton,82,Brendan Fraser,3,Brent Rose,4,Brett Claywell,2,Brighde Mullins,1,Bright Eyes,9,Britain's Got Talent,5,Britney Spears,9,Broadway,11,Bruno,1,Burt Reynolds,1,California,1,Cam Gigandet,1,Carlos Mencia,3,Carrie Ann Inaba,1,Carrie Fisher,2,Casey Affleck,3,Cat,3,Catroulette,1,Cats,140,Center Theatre Group,1,Centipede Press,1,Chalk Repertory Theatre,7,Channing Tatum,4,Chantix,2,Chatroulette,2,Cher,1,Cherry Chevapravatdumrong,2,Chickens,2,Chimps,1,China,2,Chinese,10,Chiwetel Ejiofor,1,Chloe Moretz,1,Chocolate,1,Chris Mintz-Plasse,1,Christian Bale,1,Circle X Theatre Co.,1,Clancy's Crab Broiler,1,Coffee Bar,1,Coke,1,Coleman Hough,1,Colin Farrell,3,Colin Firth,1,Comedians,11,Comedies,1,Comedy Central,3,Comments,5,Commercial,12,Commercials,55,Conan O'Brien,3,Concerts,27,Conor Oberst,9,Contests,59,Cool Stuff,4,Corey Feldman,1,Corinne Bailey Rae,1,Craig Ferguson,4,Cry,10,Cuisine,1,Current Events and Politics,266,Cyndi Lauper,1,Czech Republic,1,Dagoba,1,Dalton Ross,1,Damian Aspinall,1,Dance,3,Daniel Henney,1,Daniel Radcliffe,8,Danny Boyle,6,Darren Aronofsky,1,Dave Franco,1,David Bowie,3,David Burnham,1,David Byrne,1,David Cope,1,David Fridlund,1,David Henry Hwang,1,David Letterman,10,David Lynch,2,David Maurice Gil,1,David Saint,1,David Thorne,2,David Wilson,1,Deal or No Deal,5,Debbie Reynolds,1,Deborah S. Craig,1,Deer,1,Demian Mason,1,Demonic Jukebox,11,Denise Richards,1,Denmark,1,Denzel Washington,1,Depression,1,Diablo Cody,21,Diet Coke,1,Disney,7,Disneyland,1,Dixieland,1,Documentaries,22,Dog,2,Dogs,16,Dolphins,1,Dominic Cooper,2,Don Hertzfeldt,1,Donovan and the Vast Ancient Conspiracy,2,Donovan Keith,7,Donovan Patton,4,Dr. John,1,Dracula,1,Drake and Josh,6,Drake Bell,9,Dreamworks,1,Duck,1,Ducks,1,Dunja Gry Jensen,1,Dutch Watch,10,East Germany,1,East West Players,31,Edinburgh Fringe Festival,2,Education,3,Edward Gunawan,3,El Cor de la Ciutat,5,Election 2008,94,Elephants,4,Elinor Burkett,1,Ellen DeGeneres,3,Elmo,1,Eminem,1,England,1,Entertainment Weekly,4,Eric Balfour,1,Everything Glendale,4,Ewoks,5,Facebook,19,Fancy Hollywood Parties,11,Fantasy,3,FAQs,3,Fashion,9,Fatboy Slim,1,Featured,2,Feodor Chin,1,Ferdinand Marcos,1,Filipino,9,Film,1,Finland,1,Fireside Chats,6,Food,61,Football,1,Foreign Films,18,Foreskin,3,Forest Whitaker,3,Fox,2,Fox Searchlight,3,France,4,Frankenstein,1,Frequently Assed Questions,1,Funny Animals,148,Funny Ha Ha,578,Funny Kids,4,Funny Stuff,30,Funny Videos,542,Gabriel Fleming,22,Games,2,Garth Stein,4,Gay,3,Gay Marriage,56,Gay Penguins,4,Gay Stuff,23,George Bush,5,George Lucas,2,George Takei,1,Goats,2,Godfrey,1,Goldenspell,1,Good Vibes,3,Gorillas,1,GQ,2,Grandview Topless Coffee Shop,1,Green Day,2,Gregory Itzin,1,Griffin Dunne,1,Guest,1,Guest Bloggers,6,Guilford Adam,1,Gus Van Sant,1,Hal Hartley,1,Halloween Guy Endore,1,Hamsters,4,Hanson,3,Harney Milk,1,Harrison Ford,1,Harry Potter,4,Hawaiian,1,Hayden Christensen,6,Health,7,Helen Mirren,1,Henrik Ruben Genz,1,HGTV,1,High School Musical,50,High School Musical 2,6,High School Musical 3,7,Hillary Clinton,10,Hippo,1,Hollywood Blacklist,1,Hollywood Forever Cemetery,3,Horror Movies,30,Horror Stuff,1,Hot Girls,7,Hot Guy Stuff,2,Hot Guys,112,Hot Video Stuff,2,Hot Videos,48,HSM2 Comments,6,Ikea,1,Imelda Marcos,1,Impact Theatre,40,Indian,4,Indiana Jones,1,Indonesian,1,Infographic,3,Inochi,1,interview,1,Ira Sukrungruang,2,Ishmael Reed,1,Jack Johnson,1,Jack Savoretti,1,Jacques Audiard,1,Jake Gyllenhaal,1,Jakob Cedergren,1,James Franco,6,James Gunn,1,James McAvoy,5,James Urbaniak,1,Jan Stephenson,1,Jan Terri,1,Jane Austen,1,Jane Goldman,1,Jane Leeves,1,Janet Fitch,1,Japan,11,Japanese,15,Jason Bourne,1,Jason Statham,1,Jay Leno,7,Jazz,1,JD Salinger,4,Jennifer Aniston,1,Jens Lekman,1,Jerome Robbins,1,Jerry Ruiz,1,Jesse Harris,1,Jimmy Kimmel,5,Joan Crawford,1,Joe Biden,14,Joe Calarco,1,Joey McIntyre,8,Joey McKneely,1,John McCain,39,John Pinette,1,John Prine,1,John Wesley Harding,3,Johnny Knoxville,1,Jon Stewart,4,Jonathan Ke Quan,4,Jonathan Larson,1,Jordan Nagai,1,Joseph Minion,1,Josh Peck,4,Judge Judy,1,Jukebox Stories,82,Julie Salamon,1,Juliette Binoche,1,Jung Woo-sung,1,Kafka-Inspired Comedy Movie,2,Kangaroos,2,Kate Capshaw,1,Kate Pierson,1,Kate Winslet,1,Katie Couric,5,Keith Olbermann,1,Kiefer Sutherland,9,Kim Jee-woon,1,Kim Min-suk,1,Kirsten Dunst,1,Knäckebröddansen,1,Koalas,1,Korea,6,Korean,4,Kris Kristofferson,1,Kung Zhu,1,Kurt Wimmer,1,Kyle Harris,1,Kyle Lewis,1,Ladies Professional Golf Association,1,Lambs,1,Lance Gross,3,Lars Von Trier,2,Laundromat,16,Laura Bush,1,Lauren Yee,1,Lea Salonga,1,Lee Byung-hun,1,Lee Pace,3,Legos,1,Leonard Bernstein,1,Leonardo DiCaprio,2,Levi Johnston,27,lfred Hitchcock,1,Liam Neeson,1,Liev Schreiber,1,Lin Yu Chun,2,Lions,4,Lisa Kudrow,2,Live Monologue,1,Live Monologues,2,Live-Blogging,2,Local News,4,Lodestone Theatre Ensemble,1,Lorraine Hansberry Theatre,2,Louise Larsen,18,Lucas Grabeel,5,Lucinda Williams,1,Luxembourg,1,M. Night Shyamalan,3,Madonna,1,Magazines,3,Magic,2,Malaysian,2,Malls,4,Mare Winningham,2,Marianne Faithfull,1,Marilyn Hoggatt,1,Marines,1,Mark Wahlberg,8,Mark Zuckerberg,1,Martin Scorsese,1,Maru,5,Master of Professional Writing,11,Matt Bateman,1,Matt Damon,1,Matthew Vaughn,1,Maya Rudolph,1,MC Frontalot,4,MC Lars,3,McDonald's,1,McFly,1,Meat Loaf,1,Megan Fox,1,Meryl Streep,2,Mice,1,Michael Ballhaus,1,Michael Buble,1,Michael Bublé,1,Michael Cera,4,Michael DeAntonio,1,Michael Lowenthal,3,Michael Moore,4,Michael Phelps,14,Michelle Obama,5,Mike Leigh,1,Mike Shinoda,1,Mike Valentino,21,Mila Kunis,1,Military,1,Miss Coco Peru,1,Molly Shannon,1,Monkeys,8,Monologue Madness,11,Mormons,6,Most Popular Posts,2,Most Viewed Posts,10,Mother,2,Movie,6,Movie Recommendations,7,Movie Stuff,1,Movies,461,MTV,1,Music,310,Music Recommendations,4,Music Video,24,Music Videos,209,Musical Stuff,1,Musicals,35,My Morning Jacket,1,My Sister,11,Mysterious Skin,21,Nancy Anderson,1,Nancy Elliott,1,Natalie Merchant,1,Natalie Portman,1,NBC,3,Ned Sublette,1,Neil LaBute,9,Neil Patrick Harris,2,Nerdcore,6,Never Look Back (Except Now),7,New Conservatory Theater Center,10,New Kids on the Block,4,New York,2,NFL,1,Nick Gabriel,1,Nick Lowe,6,Nick Swardson,1,Nickelodeon,1,Nicole Atkins,1,Nicole Holofcener,1,Nina Simone,1,Noah Baumbach,1,Noel Alumit,4,Norah Jones,1,North Carolina,1,Odd News,111,Odd Videos,45,Odds and Ends,239,Oklahoma,1,Old Spice,2,Oliver Assayas,1,Oliver Evans,1,Oliver Fish,1,oprah,1,Oscars,3,Otters,1,Owiso Odera,1,Ozzy Osbourne,1,Palo Alto High,2,Pandas,4,Pantages Theatre,1,Paris,1,Paris Hilton,3,Park Eun-kyo,1,Patton Oswalt,3,Paul Greengrass,1,Paul Kikuchi,1,Paul Rudd,1,Peen,4,Peen Stuff,2,Pelicans,1,PEN Center USA,2,Penguins,5,Peter Darney,1,Peter Wylie,1,Philip Kan Gotanda,2,Philippines,1,Phillip Noyce,1,Pimone Triplett,2,Pixar,1,Playboy Mansion,2,Playwriting,21,Playwriting Stuff,1,Podcasts,5,Polar Bears,2,Pole Vaulting,1,Polls,4,Ponder,1,Ponderings,6,Pop Punk,1,Pork Chop,75,Pork Chop's Weight-Loss Challenge,3,Prague,1,Pranks,2,Prints Made Easy,1,Pro Bowl,1,Psy,1,Punk'd,1,Queen,1,Quentin Easter,2,Rabbits,2,Rachel Dratch,1,Randy Newman,3,Raunchy Comedy Movie,3,Reality Shows,7,Regina King,3,Religion,12,Religion Stuff,6,Rent,7,Restricted,2,Return of the Jedi,2,Revolutionary Road,1,Richard Yates,1,Rick Astley,4,Rickrolling,6,Ricky Gervais,1,Robbie Williams,3,Roberto Bolle,1,Roger Ross Williams,1,Romain Mesnil,1,Romania,3,Ronald Reagan,1,Royce Reed,1,Rude Guerrilla Theater Company,3,Ryan Fleck,1,Ryan Gosling,4,Ryun Yu,1,Sacha Baron Cohen,7,Sam Gold,1,Sam Mendes,1,Sandra Tsing Loh,2,Santigold,1,Sapphire,1,Sarah Palin,50,Sarah Silverman,1,Sasha Grey,1,Saturday Night Live,22,Science Fiction,18,Scott Evans,1,Scott Heim,32,Screenwriting,3,Sea Lion,1,Sean Faris,1,Sean Penn,2,Seattle,7,Sesame Street,6,Sharon Jones,1,Sheep,1,Shel Silverstein,1,Shelley Berman,2,Shepard Fairey,1,Shimajiro,3,Shirtless,1,Short Films,2,Sidewalk Studio Theatre,2,Simon and Garfunkel,1,Simon Cowell,1,Singaporean,1,SIS Productions,6,Sketch Comedy,7,Skin Report,1,So Gay,211,Soap Operas,1,Soldiers,1,South Asian,3,South Coast Repertory,3,South Park,3,Sport,1,Sport Stuff,2,Sports,25,Squirrels,4,Stand-Up,1,Stanley Williams,2,Star Wars,8,Stephen Colbert,2,Stephen McCauley,1,Stephen Sondheim,1,Steve Burns,4,Steve Carell,1,Steve Martin,1,Steven Soderbergh,1,Steven Spielberg,1,Story,31,Strippers,1,Super Bowl,1,Susan Boyle,4,Suzanne Whang,2,Sweden,6,Tahar Rahim,1,Taiwanese,4,Takashi Murakami,1,Talang,1,Talk Shows,15,Tamlyn Tomita,1,Technology,32,Television,273,Television Stuff,3,Terrance Howard,1,Thai,30,Thai Stuff,4,The Americana,4,The Bilerico Project,50,The Celebrity Apprentice,1,The Coen Brothers,1,The Constellations,1,The Daily Show,4,The Drill Hall,1,The Gaslight Anthem,1,The Goonies,6,The Last Airbender,1,The Life and Times of Pork Chop,19,The Lodger,1,The Lost Coast,1,The Monkees,1,The Muppets,12,The Olympics,11,The Onion,8,The Only Way Is Essex,1,The Proclaimers,1,The Rolling Stones,2,The Simpsons,5,The Tonight Show,3,The Velvet Underground,1,Theater,241,Theater Stuff,2,Theatre Recommendation Stuff,23,Thierry Guetta,1,Things I Did,3,Things I Read,8,Think Tank,3,Thomas Bidegain,1,Tigers,2,Tina Fey,8,Tips for Actors,1,Tips for Writers,8,Tips for Writers and Other Artists,3,Tom Gabel,1,Tom Hanks,1,Tom Wilson,1,Tom Wolfe,1,Tori Amos,1,Tortoises,1,Toys,14,Travel,2,Trending,8,True Blood,1,Turkeys,1,Turtles,1,Twin Cities,8,Tyler Perry,3,UCLA,2,United Kingdom,1,Unsung Movies,17,USC,12,Valerie Bertinelli,1,Vampire Weekend,2,Vanessa Anne Hudgens,13,Vermont,2,Video,87,Video Games,10,Videos,995,Vietnamese,1,Views,5,Vincent DeSalvo,1,Vulva Original,1,Wanda Sykes,8,Weezer,4,Weighing Pork Chop,14,Wenda Fong,1,Wendie Malick,1,Wendy Wasserstein,1,Wendy's,1,West Elm,1,Wham,1,What the What,2,Whitewashing,1,Will Ferrell,3,William Shakespeare,2,Willie Nelson,1,Woody Allen,12,Wow,32,Writing,9,Writing Stuff,45,WTF,24,Zac Efron,56,Zac Efron's Ass,4,Zebra,1,Zuiikin English,3,
ltr
item
BAMBOO NATION: An Open Letter to My Gay Friend; or: Gay Marriage Is Not About Marriage
An Open Letter to My Gay Friend; or: Gay Marriage Is Not About Marriage
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-G_7uRjQR9mQ/VaXBqlCCu-I/AAAAAAAAIGY/upUAUE0lZO4/s1600/Gay_flag.svg.png
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-G_7uRjQR9mQ/VaXBqlCCu-I/AAAAAAAAIGY/upUAUE0lZO4/s72-c/Gay_flag.svg.png
BAMBOO NATION
http://www.bamboo-nation.com/2008/10/open-letter-to-you-or-gay-marriage-is.html
http://www.bamboo-nation.com/
http://www.bamboo-nation.com/
http://www.bamboo-nation.com/2008/10/open-letter-to-you-or-gay-marriage-is.html
true
29736335
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL IN THIS CATEGORY LET'S GO! Reply Cancel reply Delete Posted by Home PAGES POSTS View All
MORE CRAZY THINGS ON BAMBOO NATION
LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy