A cold wind whips through Annapolis on a Monday night, but the crowd is untouched. Several hundred people gather next to the Governor’s Mansion for a demonstration. Every ten feet or so someone holds up a sign with a district number. Police orbit the crowd waiting for trouble, but mostly giving directions.
It looks like any rally you’d see during legislative session in Maryland, until you notice the two young men in business attire clutching each other close to get warm. And the signs that read, “I Love My Two Gay Dads.”
It’s the movement for same sex marriage and tonight they are going to see their representatives in Annapolis. What only a few years ago seemed a wild dream has become a movement. And it’s a movement that appears to be getting stronger by the day.
In Maryland alone this year, the idea has generated discussion and legislation at an unreal level. Some of the proposed bills introduced this year by the General Assembly have included:
HB 351 – Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act HB 631 – Family Law – Change Term “Marriage” to “Civil Marriage” HB 848 – Family Law – Domestic Partnerships HB 1112 – Family Law – Civil Unions – Establishment, Rights, and Responsibilities HB 1174 – Domestic Partnerships – Establishment and Rules of Interpretation HB 1345 – Maryland’s Marriage Protection Act SB 168 – Family Law – Covenant Marriage
The talk is of civil unions as opposed to marriages, marriage as opposed to civil unions, the meaning of the Constitution and the meaning of the words of the Bible. Public officials have sworn to support it and public officials have sworn to oppose it. These discussions are being echoed back and forth across the country, but in Maryland, with its current one-party dominance, the talk has suddenly gained new weight. It could happen here, and it could happen here tomorrow.
I never thought much about gay marriage. I’ve thought about gays, sure. I’ve known people who knew they were gay the day they were born and I’ve known people who had to get married and have a few kids before they figured out they were gay. I’ve known flaming guys and in-the-closet-their-whole-life lesbians.
Being gay seems like a tough life to me and not one that anyone would choose for themselves. It seems gay people are just that way – by God or biology or early childhood or whatever – they just are. As decent, or not, as everybody else. So, I generally supported leaving them alone, tsking at attacks on them and shaking my head at their attackers. But I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.
So my wife was the maid of honor at this wedding. A straight wedding. This was the kind of couple that fell in love in college, started a life together, went through good times and bad, and came out stronger. They just never actually got married. Which, of course, drove their families crazy.
So, almost a decade into their relationship, they had the ceremony. It was one of those weddings everyone feels really good about. Single folks think about how they suddenly want to get married, when they’ve never thought of it before. Married folks think about how lucky they are to be married and how in love they are. You know what I mean, you’ve been there.
Now, one of the other bridesmaids was a lesbian, which I knew, and she brought her partner, who I’d met once or twice. Not friends or anything, just friends of my friends. And they introduced each other as, “This is my wife.” I’d never heard anyone say that before.
We got to talking while the bride and groom had their first dance. Had they gone to Massachusetts to get married, I asked? No, they had done it in town. Got the church, exchanged rings, had a reception. Everything except get a license and sign a certificate.
So I hear this, and I look over at the dance floor, and I’m taking in the newlyweds and their beaming parents and family and friends, and it hits me: These two woman I’m sitting besides, by the laws of the United States, cannot be married. They cannot declare their commitment legally, they cannot live their lives legally. These American citizens legally, have less civil rights than I do.
“It is the same for us”
Brick row house, suburban Baltimore City. It’s pouring down rain. Inside it’s warm. There’s a sofa under the front window with another at a right angle to it. Through an arched doorway is a small dining room. There’s a Christmas tree in the corner, a large brown dog half asleep on the floor. Rich sits on one sofa and Jason sits on the other. Jason was previously married and his teenage daughter is curled up next to Rich under a blanket. Her twin sister and brother wander in and out of the room.
Rich and Jason are both slim and younger-looking then they are. You wouldn’t immediately think “gay” if you met them, but when it doesn’t come as a big surprise. They’ve been together for awhile now, in love for years and comfortable with each other in a way that lets you know they’ve seen some rough times.
Ostensibly, they are engaged.
A few weeks before Christmas we sat around and talked about marriage. What is the reality of gay marriage to a committed gay couple in a state where it is illegal?
“I think it affects my life because you know, simple things,” says Jason.
“Some of it’s health insurance, taxes, and then I think just I see people married going through things and it’s like we get to experience all that, but we don’t have the validity, you know? We’ve been together for awhile and we have a lot of things we’ve done together, but the reality is that if something were to happen to him tomorrow, his parents could come here tomorrow and change the locks and be like, ‘Sorry,'” Jason said.
“Because that’s what I’ve asked them to do,” says Rich, to Jason’s laughter.
Jason continues, “He was my first real relationship with a man after my marriage broke up, and I said I just want to warn you, I don’t know if I can see myself in the house like ‘Honey, I’m home!’ and I don’t know, I’ve never been in a relationship with a guy and I don’t know what this is going to be like and after a few years it was like, hey, this is no different then the relationships I was in before with a woman. We have our ups and downs and fights and argue and great times together. We got to the point where we know each other better then anyone else. And you go through all that and have people come around and say, ‘Oh, it’s not a real relationship, it’s not legitimate, you don’t really deserve benefits’.”
Is it difficult to raise children not being married?
“I don’t think it really comes up” says Rich.
At this point Jason’s teenage daughter (whose name has been withheld at the request of her parents), chimes in: “Most of my closest friends know he’s gay and it doesn’t bother them, one of them said ‘That’s so cool – I want a Dad who’s gay.’ It doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t bother them either.”
Do they talk about Rich?
“I talk about him like my Dad’s partner. I mean, it’s my father, I can’t really do anything about it and don’t want to do anything about it, cause I love both of them – as people and as parents,” she said.
“We live like we’re married anyway,” says Rich.”We’re not as interested in the sacrament of marriage and I think that’s a real sticking point for the religious. If it weren’t marriage, if it were civil union, as long as there was something there to acknowledge that we’ re together and if something should happen …”
Rich and Jason are concerned about their future, about retirement. They both know people who have had to go back into the closet at a certain age because there is nowhere else for them to go; nursing homes are set up for men here and woman there. Where would they go?
As the conversation continues, it feels like we are talking about things that haven’t been said out loud before. I ask if they see themselves spending the rest of their lives together, and they say ‘yes’ in a way that seems to take even themselves by surprise.
If a state did legalize marriage, would they move there, I ask, and they say ‘yes’ without hesitation, or even a glance at each other.
When asked if they believe legal gay marriage will happen, Jason says, “When I was in ninth grade I could never come out and say I was gay, and now it blows my mind how open things are, and I sort of look at it like maybe I won’t get to reap the benefits of marriage, but we’re laying the foundation.”
Rich disagrees. “I think we’re close enough, with the whole civil union thing.”
I ask them what is the one thing about gay marriage they want me to write about.
“I really don’t think they push that we have the same pitfalls and the same tribulations as anybody else,” says Jason. “It’s no different, things like ‘Queer as Folk’ make it look like we’re doing drugs, like we’re having anonymous sex, and it’s a shame, that is out there, but no more prevalent then in the straight club, it’s there too. When we settle down we face the same challenges, learning to accept each other, everything that brought us together. People have this idea like it’s different for us. We go through the same things. If there’s one thing I want people to know, it’s that it is the same for us.”
Looking for a sign
Several weeks later, Rich and Jason stand together under the setting sun in Annapolis, buried in their parkas, hats and gloves. We don’t say much as I photograph them. The crowd is cheering and waving signs. As the rally finishes with applause, the couple start looking for their district sign. They’ve never done this before, but they have appointments with their representatives. They walk towards a red brick building, two openly gay men, under the eyes of cameras and police, ready to testify.
vietnam vet says
‘our fore fathers came here to free them self’s from religious persecution tax’s etc. being based on the belief’s of the bible. of which our religious leaders are becomeing very quite’ on the subject
the military’s view point. being’ don’t ask don’t tell. I personally think it’s sick. but since our church leader’s remain silent on the subject. the state will continue as it all way’s does.
which simply’ support’s my fatalistic view’ the world is going straight to hell! the church expect’s’ your support,. ( titheing) but yet remain silent on the moral decay that’ s raiseing it’s ugly head.
It Is What It Is says
It is what it is………..
One thing they can’t do is produce a child comprised of their DNA. This should speak for itself. Sure they can solicit a suragate mother or implantation using a donor—but the child will never have both partners DNA.
Only a man and woman can make a child who is comprised of both.
True but does that mean just because you can have one night of unprotected sex you should be a parent anymore than two loving people, whether it is man and man, women and women or man and women? I think not. New generation brings new views. My children will never know that anything was ever taboo about the subject…
vietnam vet says
a new generation of moral decay’ same sex marriage’s. and it’s aid’s produceing problem’s. of which the tax payer will be expected to foot the bill. I’am sure adopting children, will be next.
well, I am the one in the article and I didn’t realize that when the constitution said ” Liberty and Justice for ALL”. that what they really meant was liberty and justice for only the chosen few…..I think that was more like Hitler….I think he spoke of ” moral decay ” as well….and just so you know we can adopt children already. I guess we are on our way.
Hey VV, respectfully,
It’s a common complaint, for thousands of years. When hasnt the world been going to hell? When woman got the right to vote? When blacks were freed from slavery? When people started printing bibles for themselves? When kings were declared less then gods?
Perhaps the church(and I mean the religious community as a whole) is largely silent on the issue because they see the futility of fighting against people who care about each other. It’s kind of counterproductive to their whole purpose.
If you buy that the bible says that homosexuality is a sin against god, then it is moral decay. But if you can put that aside for a second, it might look like a strengthening of the family, and society as a whole.
The way I see it, if you are looking for the word of god, it is apparent in the lives of people like Rich and Jason. Love and family, struggle and personal commitment.
Isn’t that the bible summed up?
And truly, with the utmost respect for your service, isn’t this the America that you and so many others fought for, and continue to fight for? An America free of the prejudices of our past, where a man can stand and declare his beliefs, without fear of retribution. That is something the world has never seen before, and its what will keep us strong.
couldn’t have said it better myself josh
Dave Yensan says
This article and comments are fascinating. I guess the real problem is that government and church have gotten all twisted up in each other again. This issue is a whole lot like the right to life/right to die or woman’s right to choose/woman’s loss of right to choose. It all depends on where you stand on stuff. The right to marry under the government flag gets twisted up in the Bible teaching thought that it is “immoral or unnatural.” On the one hand I read my Bible and see the teachings and statements and since I think that the Bible is the word of God. On the other, a very good friend of mine lost his gay partner to cancer. The ownership of the house, and its furnishings ended up having to be heavily taxed because he was not the spouse. The surviving partner had no rights whatsoever, even though they had been together in a very open and committed relationship. If I or my wife die, the other has ownership with no taxes, whatsoever. This is the definition of conflicted. Just exactly what do I think is right or correct? To be honest I cannot answer it. I have personally rationalized the thought process to decide that the partnership and right to survivorship is a truly government thing and my Church thoughts should stay the hell out of it. If we don’t have to look at the issue up close an personal it’s really easy yo color the issue as black or white. Once you know a male.male or female/female couple personally yo discover all the shades of gray and find out there is absolutely no black and white.
Almost every issue in life has at least two sides. Why can’t Church marriage be one thing and government marriage be another? What about an atheist couple?
Are they really in a committed relationship if they don’t have a God based wedding?
Man I’m glad I don’t sit in Annapolis and have to pass judgment on stuff like this. Jason, hang in there. Somewhere along the line the lines of this argument will have to be established. I only hope for all of our sakes that the final word comes out of someone who has the wisdom of Solomon.
vietnam vet says
the word family’ as in gay” has’nt been written as of yet. ” family” meaning matrifocal consanguinel conjugal.
I assume all of the perverted sex act’s known to man will soon be ok.
”pervert’ person who practice’s sexual perversion.
my years are growing short. I was raised to believe it’s wrong’.
I had to look up consanguineal. Great word!
There was no mention of any sex acts in my story, because it was not a story about sex acts. It’s a story about people and government. It’s a story about freedom.
Civil .union. is. a. civil. right. Period.
vietnam vet says
joshua I admire your honesty. sex plays a part in almost any human relation ship. perverted or other wise.
I suggest I label my self a bigot, who not likely to change. dave yensan I suspect to be a church going ” citizen” seem’s to be gropeing for the ”right” thing to say’
I bet his pastor’ would be interested in his conversation above.
a bigot I may” be. but a bible thumping ” hypocrite” I’am not
gary owen & sem-per fi.
Most older individules have stronger opinions on the “Gay” subject. Growing up I thought too homosexuality was perverted and against God. I’m in my 30s by the way. Through the years I have meet some wonderful people who have been homosexual and found they are no different than you or me. One of my dearest friends is a lesbian. She’s an amazing mother. People are people and I have come to my own conclusion that “my God” created all things including people who are homosexual. There are sexual deviants in this world some that are gay and some that are not. I don’t think gays should be considered deviants because of there sexual orientation.
vietnam vet says
you’ surprise me. you speak’ with respect to your elder’s. such a surpriseing thing this day and time.
I admit to being a bigot’ given time it will no longer become and ”issue” just as sure as the church’s of to day” are a fraid to speak beyond there own church door’s.
the very people who profess to be god fearing men. & teachers of the same are fearfull to come forth & speak against, the very thing the bible speaks against. now I say to you” ye of little faith. where do you stand now.
Well, I have to say that I am a church going person. I was raised in the church and went to private christian school. I learned as I got older that the bible is a way to help us see the true principles that a goldly life should be built on. Even though I might not like some of the comments that have been made, I have to say that I am glad I live somewhere that even you can have a voice. I only ask that I be allowed to live a full life with all of the privelages that I deserve, just like the rest of you. I do not see what I have with my partner as something perverted. I tried it the “right” way and never have I hurt so many people before in my life. All because I was trying to do the thing that the church told me to do. I am a much happier person now and the peace that I have inside of me has never been there before. I hear what you are saying and those are the words that I beat my self up with for so long. I do not feel that if the life that I am living now was so wrong, that I would be at peace the way that I am. Nor would my children get do have the Dad that they have had for the past 7 years either. We have never been this close.. Sorry, but NO ONE can ever tell me that my life is an abomination in the eyes of whatever god you or anyone else worships.
vietnam vet says
make no mistake. I admitted to being a ”bigot” not a hypocrite. if there is a god above I’am sure he will pass judgement.
in the mean time I’am sure we could find a bible quoteing civil union’s marriages etc among gay’s.
Sad- very well put.
Ironically enough, while sitting at dinner with my family, husband and 3 kids, my eldest all of 7 years old said ‘mommy, I watched 2 men get married on the tv today on a wedding show’. There was no surprise or confusion in her voice. My husband and I both went on to explain that anyone that loves each other can marry and live together. We even fielded the, ‘how do they have babies if they are both men’ question. Simply put, they both wish for a child, adopt, just as many heterosexuals have to do by the way, and love and raise their son or daughter just the same as we do. A simple ‘okay, that is cool’ was their answer. That does make me smile, I as well know many lesbians, not many men, that are happily married with beautiful, thoughtful and intelligent children that are more than happy in life. Live to love whomever you choose. And I am very happy that there are proud people such as Jason that are open enough to share their story.
Thank you Kendra, that means a lot to me! I think that by telling our stories, we help to make it more real to some people. As things get easier for gay men and women to feel free to express themselve, more people will have stories to tell. Now, more than ever, you do not have to look very far to find someone you know who is gay. I look forward to the day when more and more barries of prejudices are broken down. That will be the true freedom that the fore fathers talked about.
Rich and Jason,
Thanks for sharing you story — I admire your courage in doing so.
I get tired of hearing people talk about how gays can’t produce children and therefore shouldn’t have the right to marry. Does that mean that my cousin and her husband who can’t have children shouldn’t be married?
Honestly, I think people who talk about the bible and what marriage means in relation to the bible forget the biggest lesson of all that comes out of the Christian book: LOVE. Marriage isn’t about children or about religion. It’s about love and commitment and friendship and support and growing old together. Anyone, gay or straight, can feel this way, and that to me is enough to say everyone should have the right to marriage.
Stop being so afraid of it. A gay marriage isn’t going to hurt you or your straight marriage. Let the people enjoy the same rights as everyone else. They are no different. If we can give them this right, that’s one less thing in this world that we have to fight over.
George Brown says
Americans in our Constitution. I hope in some small way I might have caused some of you readers to become a bit more tolerant. Thank you for reading my comments.
vietnam vet says
it is what it is. perverted’ the sheriff’s department has and excellent listing of child molesters. gay’s & lesbian’s.
who pray on our children. it’s not love’ it’s perverted.
That last comment is totally out of line, and surprisingly vicious.
Just to beat everybody to the punch, because this is what appears to be boiling to the surface, there is no homosexual conversion agenda, and AIDs is not punishment from god. Oh, and soldiers are not dieing in Iraq because of gods punishment of American homosexuals. Since we are going down the Westborough Baptist road.
But I guess thats where the real line is drawn, that is the depth of the prejudice and conditioning that faces us as a society.
We’ve moved past denial, and are now moving into anger. Acceptance gets closer everyday.
Vet, that’s ignorance talking. Molesters are be straight too–hence why there are perverted grown men who pray on young girls, or grown women who pray on young boys. You really should pay more attention to the world around you.
**prey… writing too fast.
vietnam vet says
I’am paying a lot attention to the world. our constitution, does not guarantee freedom of anthing’ freedom of speech etc.
the majority’s rule. I’am sure your mother & father are proud. & your pastor hold ‘s out his hand’s in love. and the bible behind his back. it will never be accepted. except for what it is ”perverted”
Getting back to the core of our story, ok, you think it’s perverted. We could argue that for years and never agree. But do you think it should be illegal for gays to marry? I’m really curious on this one. There are plenty of things that a lot of folks consider indecent that is perfectly legal. Do you think the government has the right to step into citzens lives and make these decisions based on a particular religious fashion?
Do you really trust your government that much?
From where I’m sitting, a government banning gay marriage because of judeo-christian tradition is not much different then a government forcing woman to wear burkas because of another tradition.
We either have freedom, or we don’t.
vietnam vet on February 17th, 2008 12:02 pm said
“I’am paying a lot attention to the world. our constitution, does not guarantee freedom of anthing’ freedom of speech etc.”
RichieC responds to viet…respectfully…
Actually at this time….viet vet…it (the constitution) does garantee freedom of speech. Although the speech may be distastfull and very possibly absurd and rediculass it is garanteed. Its the price we pay for having free speech and other rights when they suite our adgenda. I suggest you buy a bag of clothes pins to cover your nose…grin and bear it. Remember this…my friend….that right also extends to you when you dissagree with an expressed opionion or policey.
I beleive that MARRIGE is to be reserved for conventional uses. If two persons want a union….establish a domestic union law to allow for such things as benifits and health carew and proxy issues. This would of course be also applicable to unmarried hetero partners of many years…or a specific time.
vietnam vet says
to the contrary’ I suggest you speak to your lawyer. the right to free speech is not guaranteed.it depend’s on how the court’s, perceive the law.
slander is free speech’ but does not apply the right’s.
what is correct’ is a pervert is a pervert. until the book’s are rewritten or the law’s are changed to protect them.
homo sexual act’s are still considered ( perverted) and punishable by law.
the goverment inforce’s our law’s. or the will of the people.
common law marriage’s. are not recognized in the state of maryland and your asking for civil union between too male’s or female’s. I’am no longer a member of any organized church. my up bringing taught me it’s wrong! of the 18 church’s in aberdeen alone. not one has the back bone to stand & say’ it’s wrong. but rest assured there eager to send you’ to hell for your sin’s. your’s as well as mine. they better start practicing what they’ ” preach” oop”s they don’t ” preach” any more. they are more likely to tell you what you want to hear. but just remember to pay your tithing. I’am beginning to wonder what is more disgusting. a spineless church is beginning to rank # 1
The argument I’ve heard (from a religious person) is that they take issue with the idea of marriage. “Marriage” = man + woman. “Civil Union” = any combination of one + one that suits you, as long as both partners are a) human and b) at the age of consent for that particular state. Those of you who want to join in civil union with a puppy – well, you’re out in the cold. ;-P In all seriousness, I can respect that, and that division seems to be quite sensible. For those who choose to be religious, get married in the eyes of your god and the state. For those who don’t believe in a god, why would they want a legal status based on something they don’t believe in? The civil union should suffice for all legal intents and purposes. Marriages for one set; civil unions for the other (and that includes heterosexuals who don’t believe in a god.) The issue then becomes what happens when a person is homosexual *and* religious, and wants to get married to a person of the same sex… and that doesn’t even touch on the gender issues. What if a homosexual man marries a heterosexual transvestite woman that dresses and acts like a man all the time? Not illegal according to the letter of the law; however I have heard of a similar situation where the clerk would not issue the marriage license.
In short, the sooner we set up a separate legal process that allows those who choose to do so join their lives together in perpetuity under the eyes of the state, the better.
To my friend Viet Vet….
Slander is not protected. Thus its not free (protected) speech. Opionion is protected…you have the right to say what you beleive…your opionion…but when the same thing is said as an accusation it may be slander IF untrue. The facts you give on the issue you were discussing may be correct but that wasnt my point….my point to you is be carefull when you say somthing to undermine YOUR right to say somthing. A statement such as the one that you made,( ” our constitution, does not guarantee freedom of anthing’ freedom of speech etc”),is a double edged sword and can come back to bite YOU ! Dont, my friend, EVER give up a right !
Just be carefull not to cut off your nose to spite your face.
Keep on punchin…..
I don’t understand why Christians believe they own the word “marriage” (is it copyrighted?), but at this rate, the best solution would be like Roz said–just have civil union for the rest and marriage for the people that the priests and pastors accept. We need to do what was originally intended in our country: separate church from state and just do away with the “marriage license” all together. Instead, we would just have a civil union license that you’d sign for state purposes (to be eligible for the tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, recognition, etc.) whether you were getting “married” by a religious officiant, or having a civil ceremony by a more accepting officiant.
vietnam vet says
richie your missing the point. slander was given as and example. I suggested you see your lawyer’ if you think freedom of speech’ is a god given right.
oh my there’s that god thing again.
kristi separation from church & state are relatetivly a recent introduction I do believe there was a supreme court ruleing that did just that.
which leaves our ( spineless church’s ) in a dither.
left too the church we were all going to hell in a hand basket. our fore fathers never intended to separate the church from the state.
one of our reason’s we supposedly came here was for religious freedom & the right to practice perversion.
I don’t understand what makes a person desire the same gender because I am a heterosexual. For me there is nothing nicer than being intimate with my partner of the opposite sex. I’m not judging, I’m tyring to understand. Homosexuals have been around since the beginning of time. So we know the desire for the same gender was always there for some. I guess I wonder why one chooses a partner of the same gender. Some say they are born that way (lack of gender hormones) I don’t believe it. I’m guessing gays just find one of the same gender more appealing and can be more comfortable around the same gender. Not sure why if this is the case. Some say they had a bad experience as a child or in a previous marriage or heterosexual relationship. Others say they had a dominate mother or father.
I think society judges harshly because they don’t have the answers to these questions. The fear of the unknown. Perhaps its the same as there is no perfect book on how to raise children–there also is no perfect book that tells society why one chooses to be gay.
Should society judge because it’s different from the ‘normal’ relationship? I think not. Should they be given the same rights as heterosexuals? Sure, why not. Should they be able to marry? Not sure about this one. Should they be able to raise children other than their biological children? No. I say no to this question because I believe a child is born in a world of struggle and does’t need any more help with the struggle. I don’t believe it’s fair to the child. There should be a mom and dad–not two mommies or two daddies. Being raised in a homosexual environment would make the child open minded and non-judgmental as they grow up and look at society. BUT……… I stand by no.
“The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine”
article XI Treaty of Tripoli passed by congress 1797
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their “legislature” should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State. ” Thomas Jefferson , 1802
i only have one thing to say to the Vet. supreme court ruling Lawrence v. Texas. do your homework!!!
vietnam vet says
my doctrine is based on religion’ born & raised. it surprise’s me the church’s are willing’ to teach gay doctrine behind closed door’s.
but unwilling to bring there ” doctrine” to the fore front
a quote from the bible, was send me your strongest. meaning priest pastor’s etc
the preacher teacher expect’s. we the people to swallow’ this crap. while they spend there time molesting kid’s.
gay’ bashing was a popular pastime in the 60’s & 70’s of which I did not agree & I see no reason why I should stand and support a religion that is to cowardly to support what they preach!
I’am not and will not become a part of. WESTBOROUGH BAPTIST RD
I can’t help but wonder why your tone of writing sounds so hostile toward the church. Why is the church to blame? Doesn’t each person hold church in their heart? Your convictions VV are not my convictions and my convictions are not your convictions.
Why must we follow a doctrine. There are so many doctrines we don’t know which is the right one to follow. So, why not follow your heart and forget about the church. Churches have become political and more like big business. God doesn’t care about politics nor does He care about big business. He only cares about what’s inside of your heart.
Are we not to love what we hate? It’s easy to love what or who we like. The Godly action and the more obedient action is to look inside of those who are different and find that God made all of us equally.
Maybe, even the church, unlike v v, has come to see the error of their ways….Some of us are hear to learn and grow, not stay stuck in the same rut day in and day out….
I see that I got to this party a little late, but this is another one of those times where the libertarian in me comes out.
There is no great gay conspiracy to convert all of our kiddies. Gays and lesbians have not infiltrated the government, churches and the educational system, bent on world domination.
The real issue is, as with most things, a financial one, just as it has been pointed out here before, medical insurance, survivor benefits and the like.
Why not civil unions? Apply a test similar to some states’ common law marriage.
In a committed relationship, for a fixed period of time (seven years sticks in my head for some reason). Why shouldn’t spousal rights be extended at that time?
I have two friends who have been together exclusively for over 20 years without the benefit of marriage. One of them recently became ill and may lose all of her benefits. Now it’s too late for them to get her on his insurance, due to her pre-existing condition. The burden for people like this will ultimately fall on all of us.
I know it’s a separate issue, but there are parallels with the common law argument.
A brief aside, since I tend to wander anyway. Maryland’s sex crime laws surprise me, this being such a progressive state and all. Check out CL 3-321, and CL 3-322 in the Annotated Code…
like Dell, i’m late to the dance. but wow. love Kristi’s comment asking if the church has a copyright on the word marriage. really! so many of you have said so many great, articulate things, and i’m happy to see that the major mud-slinger of this thread is barely literate.
Jason, good luck to you and your partner, and i have to say thank you for being a loving example of a gay relationship.
to those who oppose gay marriage/civil unions (or whatever terms you choose) so adamantly, here’s what i want to ask–what are you afraid of? i can’t figure it out. if you think same-sex relationships are “perverted” (and at Dell’s suggestion check out MD laws–you may find that your hetero sex practices are deemed the same) and you believe that the bible says gays are going to hell…cool. so marry someone of the opposite sex, teach your bigoted hatred to your children, and live your life. what does anyone’s ability to marry someone else have to do with you? why are you so angry? why do you take it as a personal affront? why judge what i’m doing in my bedroom when i don’t have any desire to judge (or think about) what you do in yours?
if marriage has a certain definition to you, what do you care about the definition it has for me? if we all have equal rights under the law–let’s just agree to disagree.
vietnam vet says
greeting’s from the ” illiterate” I think the dagger deserve’s some credit for allowing this conversation to continue.
you’ might find it surpriseing’ after listening” to the gay point of view. ( not a bible point of view)
I can see no harm in a civil union. after experienceing a relationship that nearly took every thing I worked fore. sweetie’s name was on the deed. she got the gold mine I got the shaft.
a civil union could protect both party’s, regardless of sex. I was’nt married when we bought the house. but she was on the deed.
it might be surpriseing how easy’ differences could be solved. if one would stop and listen carefully.
The only thing that bothers me about gay partners is the AIDS factor. A lot of people have died on account of AIDS. Rock Hudson, Montgomery Cliff & Liberache to mention a few. There has been a lot more because of it. I never thought much about two men or two women living together in all of my years until the AIDS came into the picture. And it still worries me to this day. I have people that I know that are gay And I think about them And I care about them And I worry about their health. Its sad for me to say these things.
not to send too judgemental. I hear what you are saying about the AIDS thing and gay people, but if you go to the cdc website or maryland department of health and look at the statistics you may find that you should be just as worried for your strait friends as you are for you gay friends. Gays are not the only ones that are the cause for the spread of the disease…by far. V V you may be surprised to find that when you stop and listen, that we have more in common than you think. I do applaude dagger for allowing the article to even be published let alone the discussions that have followed. I can see now that the legislature truly has a hard decision to make. for the opinions of the people seem to be split down the middle. I hope they make the right decision…whatever that may be.
shedding light says
Buck, I agree that AIDS is a worldwide health concern. Unprotected sex is a risk for anyone, while admittedly heightened for gay men. I think it’s important to be informed about issues like this that frighten us and threaten to divide us through fear of the unknown.
According to statehealthfacts.org, which is the link for health statistics that comes off the NIH website: In the state of MD for 2005, 12,345 (43%) reported AIDS cases were related to intravenous drug use, 7,646 (26%) were related to male-to-male sexual contact, and heterosexual contact was credited with 5,278 (18%). Women-to-women sexual contact is not listed in the transmission chart. So I would say that AIDS is a health epidemic that affects everyone, posing a higher risk for certain demographics–not only gay men.
That said, I feel that a health concern (especially one that has been traditionally associated with unprotected or high-risk hetero- OR homosexual sex and drug use) is not relative to a discussion of civil rights–particularly the right of same-sex couples to legally share their lives and property with one person.
vietnam vet says
strangely enough, it’s not the gay community that made me so mad. it was the church’s’ that refused to stand and admit and say’ it’s wrong.
as more word’s were exchanged, I simply got madder. and then you know how that goes. to be honest. I have never known the gay community to be a problem. as for the church. I say put up or shut up. take your trash else where.
VV, and all,
Yeah, things got a little hot there. For my part, my Westborough Baptist crack was probably out of line. Ok, not probably, for sure.
I just want to say this story, and others before and others to come, are exactly why we have the Dagger. And I’m proud of us, we fought about one of the most divisive ideas in America today, from all sides, and I think we covered ground and ideas that havent been covered before.
That is a rare thing, believe me.
Stick with us, there’s more coming.
vietnam vet says
joshua I don’t think the westborough crack was out of line. I think you had ever right’ to think that.
being the ”dagger” I’am sure temper’s are going to flare but keep up the good work.
anybody know when we can expect to hear something on the civil union/family law proposed bills? i know that they were read on 2/28, but i don’t know how long the process actually takes before they go to vote and there are concrete decisions.
MAD in Missouri says
Should we be listening to vietnam vet who can’t even spell basic words? Honostly, someone with that much hate and intollerance is not someone we should even acknowledge. By responding to his hate we are only encouraging him to belittle and call the gay community perverted. He has his beliefs, and that is great, but if it really disgusts him so much, why is he putting so much effort into bashing the gays?
vietnam vet says
mad I suggest you check your spelling.