Monday, June 27, 2011

happily ever after...

(Melvin Sokolsky)

A thing occurred to me yesterday.  Consider how many same-sex relationships this new law in New York will destroy. There must be couples out there that have always maintained that they would get married if they only could and that they're not going to go to Connecticut to do so, that they should be able to do so in their own state.  Then the law changes... followed by the uncomfortable conversation of, Well, we don't have to run out and do it right away...  I'm not sure if I ever really want to get married.... Yes, it's nice for those who want that and fought for it, but I don't  need my life to imitate a straight couple.

Oh, the agonizing painful silences that follow, the arguments. The disappointments. The bitter tears.

I don't wish pain on anybody. But the unintended outcome of this law will be some re-negotiating among certain couples. It will force a new understanding upon them whether they wanted it or not. There is so much pain and uncertainty to endure in life as it is. The question of marriage is now forced upon many who might not have wished for it, and perhaps at some late date into the relationship. Imagine those who have lived as a married couple for years but without the legal obligations.  At some point that advantage must have occurred to one of them, if not both, for better or for worse.

Breaking up will become a much more complicated affair now. There will be much more to consider.

I am very pro civil liberties and a believer in the legal need for equality.  I believe that it is a noble endeavor for any society. Marriage is a legal arrangement that should not be denied to these people based on their sexual orientation.  I found that almost all of the arguments against same-sex marriage were faith based. An argument which should immediately be taken out of consideration except as their religious doctrines and causes can be advanced through democracy and the voting process. But it has no place in the creation or interpretation of law, either state or federal.  See: Amendment 1 to The Constitution.

The secular arguments against it avoided the concept of equal rights altogether and tended to focus on the history and definition of marriage as an argument against its change.  Or, that it is merely a tax break for those who are likely to produce children, a sort of governmental form of population growth promotion. One writer even went so far as to argue that the justification for denying individuals in same-sex relationships the benefits of marriage is the same as denying polygamists the right to exercise their enthusiastic brand of population promotion.  But very few of the secular writers I read touched upon equality as a reason for granting them the legals rights they deserve. They simply asserted that they were not being denied equality in any meaningful way.  Which is absurd when one considers things like insurance, inheritance and security of shared property.

So, it will make for some interesting stories, I'm sure. I work in a place where there are many people involved in same-sex relationships, or hope to be.  I hear a fair amount about the difficulties of these situations and the unique struggles to be had there.  As always I am interested in the stories there are to be told, though not as much in the ones that end in happily ever after...

"Marriage: a friendship that is recognized by the police." - Robert Louis Stevenson

(Melvin Sokolsky)