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I'm Erin Judge. I'm a comedian and a writer. I live in Los Angeles. Let's hug.

November 10, 2008

Some Reasons to Support Gay Marriage

I'm writing this in response to the exciting conversation over at Jack and Jill Politics about gay marriage. Several people in the comments section of the original post have mentioned that the pro-gay marriage movement is elitist and ignores the concerns of minority voters. I don't have a ton of time for this, so please excuse my obnoxious PowerPoint style here:

A few of the material benefits:

* Full marriage equality is especially important for working-class and poor gays and lesbians because it grants them necessary spousal benefits, from health insurance to social security (once DoMA is gone).

* Immigrant and foreign citizen gays and lesbians cannot be sponsored for a green card by their American partners. This disproportionately effects poor and working-class gay people who cannot afford to immigrate on student visas or spend years in this country without working.

* State and federal tax breaks afforded to married couples would help working-class gays and lesbians.

Psychological and social benefits:

* One reason that gay people are concentrated in certain areas (New York, San Francisco) is because of homophobia in people's communities of origin. For many gays and lesbians, the difficult choice is to leave their communities to live openly or stay close to home and remain closeted. The legitimacy and dignity of full marriage equality brings us closer to a time when various communities accept sexuality diversity and gays and lesbians can live openly in their communities of origin.

* The children of gays, as I mention in my previous post, are not a hypothetical but an existing group of people. When these partnerships are not granted the same rights and dignity as straight partnerships because of homophobia, this has a negative effect on the self-esteem on the thousands of children of gay families.

* According to Dr. King, unjust laws are those that take the rights away from a certain group that are afforded to another group. An unjust law "gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority." Because heterosexual adults are allowed to enter into civil contracts called marriages, the California Supreme Court decided that it is only fair to allow any two adults to enter into a civil contract called a marriage. The active retraction of that right by California voters represents a step back towards separate and unequal.

A couple of additional comments:

* Many people believe that the pro-gay marriage movement's use of the term "civil rights" is meant to evoke the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. While I agree that the term is evocative of the brilliant struggles of that time period, it's also the correct term for the rights granted to individuals in our society for the nonpolitical conduct of their lives. Marriage rights, adoption rights, and property ownership rights are all examples of civil rights.

* The will of the electorate is not always used to decide issues of expanded civil rights, and with good reason. In cases where a majority seems intent to strip the rights of a minority, it is the responsibility of the courts to decide if laws that exclude the minority group are constitutional or not.

* In the case of California, the "No on 8" (pro-gay marriage) people were on the defensive. It is simply a different psychological position when you're trying to ask voters to grant rights than when you have some rights that voters are being given the opportunity to take away from you. It was not a passive or status-quo-maintaining choice to outlaw gay marriage. It was an active choice to remove rights, and I think that a "Why did you do that?" response is to be expected.

* Hopefully, after this tragic defeat of equality, the pro-gay marriage movement will adopt a positive, awareness-raising stance rather than one of scapegoating of various groups and lashing out. Gay voters were big Obama supporters, and he mentioned the contributions of gay Americans to his campaign within the first moments of his victory speech. That bodes well. We can reconcile our differences, but only if we continue to talk to each other respectfully. Scapegoating is wrong and unproductive. However, if a group of people (in this case, African-American voters) has taken a pretty strong stance against the rights of another group of people (gays who seek marriage equality), we have to be able to have dialogue. African-American voters effected the outcome of this proposition, and so what that means to me is that it's time for some serious outreach to the African-American voters and communities in this country. As long as the conversations are respectful, I see no reason why non-Black gays and lesbians cannot engage in them. It's unfair to Black gays and lesbians to ask them to launch and execute a behind-closed-doors PR campaign for Black voters all on their own; that simply does not make sense. We're all Americans, and we can all talk to each other.


anita said...

I couldn't have said it better, it is brilliantly and neatly explained. I still don't really get why people want to eliminate rights for others. I really don't understand, and I must admit, it makes me sad to be seen as a second class citizen, by people who claim not to be homophobic. I'm really far from California, in Uruguay, but I felt like a lost a bit too when prop 8 passed.

I don't know if it is the right time and place, but also want to congratulate you on the stand up comedy you do and I was able to see here, I'm googling for more and have youtube blocked at work.
Keep the videos coming.

I'm adding you to my RSS feed, really enjoyed the blog too.

Saludos desde Uruguay, (and sorry for my poor English grammar)

Jake said...

I could argue the contrary to almost everyone of your points. But I dont have the time to refute all of them. However on the immigration note, those people need to get here LEGALLY no matter what the course of action is and if they cant then they can either stay in there country and not get married or the person living in the U.S. can move to there country.

the make-up artist said...

Hey Jake, Thanks for visiting my blog! People frequently come to this country legally for periods of time, like, for example, on student visas. While on their student visas, they might meet and fall in love with and in four states marry American citizens. In any case where the two individuals are opposite-sex, that is grounds for a green card. Not the case for same-sex couples. That's an injustice, because it deprives same-sex couples of the rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy to sponsor partners for permanent citizenship. This is not about illegal immigration; this is about a very normalized, long-standing, legal way people become legal residents of this country -- through marriage.

tinman8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tinman8 said...

your reasons to support gay marriage are valid and I cannot see why anybody would object given these reasons except but to want to play God and judge others.

James said...

U raise good points u made me think.

1.The full marraige equality though is...... I believe in civil unions but full marraige I do not, I also believe in polygny an polandry an since neighter are fully legal people who live that way still get married an so can gay people, Before all these laws back in the day people didnt need the approval of a system to get married all they need was a preacher an an agreement. Most single people live together like they are married anyway soooo.......

2.* The children of gays, as I mention in my previous post, are not a hypothetical but an existing group of people. When these partnerships are not granted the same rights and dignity as straight partnerships because of homophobia, this has a negative effect on the self-esteem on the thousands of children of gay families. <<< See thats one of my biggest beefs with the gay agenda. I just will never agree with confusion to kids, kids can be taught tolerance without being confused or encouraged to go to the alternative side

3.* Hopefully, after this tragic defeat of equality, the pro-gay marriage movement will adopt a positive, awareness-raising stance rather than one of scapegoating of various groups and lashing out. << I hope so maybe one day they will get my support, but 1st they have to stop calling anyone who disagrees homophobic.

4. As for black people, STOP, they should not force anything on other cultures I wont stand for it It was not a part of ancient Africa or Africa befor european contact on any high level that people claim, Polygny was a way of life, but the act of homosexuality it has also been around long before i was born so (I have tolerance contrary to belief)I am also not one of those people that consider same sex relations to automatically make a person gay, I dont consider a person gay until they commit to that lifestyle, the problem comes in when kids dont really know what they are an they act a certain way an people label them an push them away or pull them in. I also dont like these newly made up titles, hetero, homo, gay, bisexual(no such thing) lesbian, Those titles are problematic an strategic, why cant it just be male an female an if same sex wants to get together just call it same sex.

It is almost amazing to see European nations, who allow all kinds of same-sex marriage under the banner of "human rights," then take issue with a Muslim woman's head-dress (Hijab) as a source of "cultural tension" (in Italy) or incompatible with our values (Jack Straw, UK). The same Europe that criminalize what dress it's minorities can wear in France is screaming gay rights at Africa.

"Nobody is born gay. Humans are born asexual (without sexual ordinations) is not till puberty that sexual orientations develop, before that, they don't sexist. Anyone saying "I was born gay or straight" is giving anecdotal claims, which are not valid evidence that their claim is true (and based on evidence, we know is not true)
In fact, I just say it again, sexual orientations develop at puberty, sexual orientations are hardwired on the brain at puberty and not from birth". << An thats not my thought its actually a piece of truth I gleamed from a debate with a gay defender on youtube. So therefore dont paint all gay people with the same brush. watch

Peace.(by the way, I never use God in my argument against from my perspective cause thats dumb an a terrible argument)