Just say NO to the FMA!

(Warning: This is not a coherent essay.  There are few topic sentences in the paragraphs below.  It is a stream of consciousness related to the Federal Marriage Amendment, my life, and what you can do about discrimination and bigotry.) 

So the president is at it again.  Hampered by flagging approval ratings due to the mess he's made of his time in office, he has turned to bigotry and discrimination to mobilize the far-right "christian" base.  I put the word christian in quotes, because I don't believe christians who live a life based on Jesus's teachings would ever stoop the depths that GWB has stooped to.

So the president is trying to garner support for a federal amendment banning gay marriages. Well let me tell you what:  I'm in a same-sex relationship, and I am legally married to my wife. We moved to Massachusetts for a job, and one of the first things we did when we got here was to go to the town hall and legally join our lives together.  Why?  First and foremost, and most importantly, because we love each other and intend to spend the rest of our lives together.  But second, and also important, because the documentation we needed in order to prove our relationship for health insurance purposes was so prohibitively excessive that it was easier to go to the justice of the peace and get married.

My partner and I are getting married in front of our family and friends later this summer, in the meeting house in Maine where her parents were married 30-some-odd years ago.  Her parents' minister is performing our wedding.  Her mom's good friend is playing the flute in the ceremony.  My parents and brother's family and grandmother are going to be there.  My godparents are going to be there.  Our mutual friends and friends from our lives before we met will be there. Why? Because they support our relationship, and want to see it thrive and grow.

My parents had a party for us a couple of months ago – in Minnesota – and invited our extended family and many, many family friends.  Every single one of my aunts, uncles, and cousins (except the two teens who had to work, and the aunt with a horrible viral infection) came.  Every. Single. One.  Now, Minnesotans might be more liberal on the whole than the rest of the nation, but my extended family tends a lot more politically and socially to the right than do my folks and me.  And you know what?  They weren't intimidated or threatened one bit by our "gay marriage."  They know that supporting family who are entering into a relationship – a lifetime relationship – is the best way to keep that relationship strong.  

Traditional marriage is not "under attack" by same-sex couples who wish to marry.  Traditional marriage in under attack by such things as patriarchal economic systems which keep poor people poor and women earning less than men.

Of course, I don't want a "traditional" marriage.  In that setup, I'd not have an equal say in the marriage, I'd probably not have a career like the one I do now, I'd probably be coerced into having children whether I wanted them or not, and I'd be physically, mentally, and economically vulnerable. 

In my marriage, I like the fact that having children is a very active choice (no accidents here!).  In my marriage, I like the fact that there isn't any societal pressure on me to conform to a specific gender role. In my marriage, I like the fact that I feel no vulnerability because my wife and I bring equal assets, similar economic backgrounds, and stable family experiences to the relationship.  There are many things about my marriage that are non-traditional, and I want to keep them that way.

If you don't feel threatened by my marriage (and really, you shouldn't because it isn't a scary thing at all), then act out!  Tell your senators to Vote NO to the Federal Marriage Amendment. Consider this attempt to write bigotry and discrimination into the Constitution as a mobilization for the rest of the country to elect politicians who are tolerant, fair, and inclusive!  Don't let the bigots try to push same-sex couples back into the closets.  Don't let same-sex marriage be a deciding factor in the upcoming elections.  Don't let GWB wag the dog and try to distract us from the realities of the war he drug the country into, with the blessings of many of the same senators who have co-sponsored this discriminatory amendment.

Urge your senators to Vote NO on the FMA.  And then hold them and the president accountable for all the other atrocities that have been perpetrated in the name of freedom and liberty.

Other disclaimer: People heterosexual relationships can have non-traditional marriages!  I know lots of them and think that they are the bomb!

7 thoughts to “Just say NO to the FMA!”

  1. well written (i know you don’t think so, but it read well).

    it enrages me to see that this is what our government is debating, and what we might be missing out on in the process — education, healthcare reform, the “war” on terror,…

    it saddens me to see a country so divided, and for what? gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone. gay marriage doesn’t disrupt the family. my gay friends who are married (or committed to each other in states where they can’t be married) have some of the most solid, healthy, loving and happy relationships i’ve seen.

    and it hurts me to know that some of these people — my friends — are already dealing with the consequences of the backward, closed-minded thinking that got the FMA this far.

  2. First off, many congratulations on the marriage and have a wonderful time at your upcoming wedding.

    Second, while I hope the american public sees the FMA for what it is (a great big “hey, look over there! ” tactic) I’m worried that too many may think it’s a legitimate issue. Everyone who thinks the FMA is wrong and just plain stupid needs to raise their voices and point out that stupidity. Thanks for starting the hollering.

  3. Blessings on your union, and thank you for writing about it. While marriage is profoundly personal, for us it’s also deeply political. I think sharing your personal experience with those around you is one of the most powerful persuasion techniques there is. And how cool that your family threw you a party! I just told my parents, “We’re getting married and throwing ourselves a party afterward. You can come.”

  4. Very well put. Your post touches on so many important points and is written from the heart and intellect. You are so eloquent!

    I am so happy that the two of you were able to be married, and that you are still fighting the good fight!

  5. That paragraph that starts “In my marriage…” makes me a little jealous. I think there’s much to be learned from more couples like you as role models, you know?

    Best wishes for the wedding in Maine, it sounds really lovely!

  6. My marriage (one man one woman etc) is a hell of a lot like yours than like the “traditional” one you describe. In fact the only difference I can see is that we do have to consider the possibility of conception, and take active steps at any time we don’t want to. Therefore I just flat can’t see how you and Amy are a threat to us*. On the other hand, any traditionalist who wants me at home tending children instead of in the workforce is a huge and very personal threat.

    *Maybe one thing: if more same-sex couples get the cheaper married rates for health insurance, it may send rates up for everyone. OTOH, it may also help cut the number of uninsured people, which is a major problem in the US. In my opinion, those potential cost increases just fall under Unavoidable Costs of Doing the Right Thing.

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