It's also really nice to feel my heart leap with joy. I haven't felt very joyful lately. I don't like what my anger does to me, and I've felt a lot of anger in recent days and weeks. You've probably noticed an angry edge in my posts about abortion. Know that I'm working on a post about what this "us-them" polarization does to us and about what I see as my personal failures in writing about the abortion wars. It's exhausting even to write, but it will be up soon, I hope.
Second, Jon Hoadley of South Dakotans Against Discrimination posted this in the comments of my post on the Argus Leader and Amendment C:
"In addition to not doing their homework, they repeatedly denied requests for representatives from South Dakotans Against Discrimination to meet with the editoral board.
Feel free to write letters to the editors about all of this!"
Indeed. Click here to write one now!
And third - I want to give voice to an idea that has gotten erased in all of the furor to save "traditional" marriage. Yes, same-sex couples deserve the same legal rights that different-sex couples (who may or may not be heterosexual, by the way) get through marriage. But, why should we attach these rights to marriage at all? Why not simply ensure that everyone, regardless of marital status or blood relationship, have health insurance? The ability to visit a loved one in the hospital? And so on?
I think we need to get the government out of the business of determining that families are the unit by which we should measure rights, and that some families are more deserving than others. This is not just a battle for another day: we know that if Amendment C is passed, the next step will be to chip away at health insurance, custody, and any other legal rights or benefits that unmarried couples of any gender currently have. So we have to fight Amendment C, but beyond that, we have to put the pressure on our elected officials to introduce and pass legislation that does not punish anyone for not being married.
This may be the "threat to marriage" that we keep hearing about. The fear is that without these legal benefits, people won't get married. And it's true: some might not. I can think of two marriages I know that are only marriages because one partner needed health insurance (in one case) and because another partner wanted to stay in the U.S. and not be separated from her then-boyfriend (in the other case). But what's also true is that people who get married out of a strong feeling of commitment and love and not, for example, out of the need for health insurance, are more likely to have a happy, lasting, committed marriage.
I also know of several different-sex marriages in which one or both members of the couple are gay or lesbian, have love relationships with other people, are very good friends with their spouses, and live in a marriage for financial reasons. "Gay marriage" happens all the time, folks!
Anyway, for more on severing legal rights and privileges from the marriage contract, click here.