Bil Browning

As if we're watching totally different movies

Filed By Bil Browning | January 09, 2007 4:26 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: amendment, entertainment news, fundamentalists, marriage, Mary Poppins, movies, Stephen King

Some things just aren't what they seem.

We've all heard a lot over the past few years about "gay marriage." Allowing gays and lesbians to solemnize their relationships will be "the end of civilization." Things should remain "traditional." Marriage is under "attack." If we allow same-sex marriage, soon people will want to marry their pets. God will strike us all dead.

Is anyone else tired of the bs? The blatant lies and distortions? That Mary Poppins trailer reminds me of how the far right-wing have approached the debate over same-sex civil marriage. They've inflated the dangers, hi-lighted people's fears and deliberately left out some pieces of the story.

Since Massachusetts allowed for gay marriage (and other states now allow for the "separate-but-equal" standard of civil unions), the East Coast has not slid off into the sea. Civilization has not ended (unless you count the election of George Bush Jr. - but that's a different post!). Nothing remains unchanging and if marriage is under such an "attack," why hasn't anyone been charged with battery or, better yet, domestic violence? While I love my dogs dearly, allowing Tom and Ralph to get married in Wyoming won't make me want to rush to the alter with a rat terrier. And if Pat Robertson hasn't been struck dead for all the hateful nonsense he's spouted off in God's name, than tax breaks for Tom and Ralph's household probably isn't going to upset the deity much.

Instead, you get the opposite story from the fundamentalists in favor of amending the state and federal constitutions to prohibit civil marriage for gays and lesbians. They like to paint a rosy picture of the utopia America will be once those pesky queers are finally put in their place. They conveniently leave out that domestic violence laws get rescinded for unmarried couples (even heterosexuals!), domestic partner benefits are erased, and partners can be kept from seeing their dying mates in the hospital. Put in a snappy, upbeat soundtrack and everything will be alright.

It's almost as if we're watching totally different movies or something.

(Cross-posted to American Values Alliance.)

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It's not just opponents who leave something out. I'm thoroughly for same-sex marriage, though my money, time and interest go toward helping the poor. Still I have some rooting interest in how this issue is argued, and what I hear perplexes me. I hear the arguments for gay rights simply as any people deserve civil rights. I hear attacks on those who say differently, especially from religion.

Why don't I hear how sexual orientation is more about love than sex, how it matters if the law says the partner of someone who is ill is indeed treated as that person's partner? That's why I favor same-sex marriage, not because of something abstract about civil rights.

Those who believe homosexuality is an abomination to God are going to demonize same-sex marriage, no matter what. Has it helped to attack religion for that or just made it look as though gay rights are anti-religion? I'm sure it helps for those who are gay and religious to explain how that can be, but where are other stories about how people can be responsibly gay, without going nuts saying that what James Dobson says is the gay agenda is bs, or worse. There aren't many votes for same-sex marriage among those who care about James Dobson. Is it good for fundraising to talk about those like him? As long as the issue is who's crazier, fundamentalists or the homosexuals who hate them (using Mary Poppins in such a shameful way; you're lucky you already have my vote), how is anything going to change?