Marriage Redux

I kind of feel like posting an entry about gay marriage on the historic day, 17 May 2004, is a bit passé. And I would have completely ignored it had something interesting not happened to me while I was driving to school.

I often find myself pitted against those arguing for marriage (within the community,) not because I don't think queer folks should get the opportunity to marry their partners, but because I don't like the nature of the discourse, and because I think there's a lot more, like employment non-discrimination. Marriage isn't my issue. And that's ok; I'm entitled to make that kind of choice.

My problem with the discourse is that it often degenerates onto a religious level, and theological discourses aren't productive in my mind. The fact of the matter is that, the major western monotheisms, (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) are pretty reactionary, and while I think the efforts of the Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, more or less half of the Episcopal Church, some Jewish Reform Rabbi's and congregations, are noble and worthwhile, I still think that there isn't much to be salvaged. And before you, dear reader, start moaning about how the church has strayed, stop; because that's the way the church has always been, deal with it.

But then that's my opinion. And while I'd certainly like to remove the religious discourse from all of American socio-political discourses, that's not a battle I'd like to fight now, and I feel that any other argument misses the point.

But then this morning, I heard a live reporter on the scene at City Hall in Cambridge Massachusetts. And then the reporter said, "I hear cheering upstairs, which probably means the first legally recognized same-sex couple has been married upstairs." That struck a chord. It really happened, and even though on some level it's all passé, there's some value to it, there is something worthwhile about celebrating. So lets not spend too much time putting a damper on this, because it's still exciting.

The really special thing about the gay movement right now is that, it has a kind of energy, and spirit, that is unfortunately not present in any other movement at this moment. This raw energy is important, and it needn't stop here. People need to see that the problems go beyond this pitched battle over gay rights, and onto a broader scope, and as much as I want that to happen, I don't think it will. It's a shame, because I can see, and feel the potential right now. Sorry to be so cynical.

Here's to this victory, and many more.

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