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Discrimination and Marriage Inequality

I’m still waiting for someone — anyone — to present an argument against same-sex marriage that doesn’t boil down to, “My religion doesn’t approve” or “I think it’s icky.” Using the former as an excuse for discrimination is about as unAmerican as you can get, and the latter is just asinine.

While politicians and bigots continue to argue that “those people” don’t need “special rights or protections” under the law, here’s some of what’s been going on recently…

In Texas, a judge enforced a clause in Carolyn Compton’s divorce papers which states that, “someone who has a ‘dating or intimate relationship’ with the person or is not related ‘by blood or marriage’ is not allowed after 9 p.m. when the children are present.” Since Carolyn’s partner of three years is a woman and Texas has laws against same-sex marriage, the judge has essentially made it illegal for them to live together.

In New York, Elliot Morales shot Marc Carson, a gay man, in the face at point blank range, killing him. Elliot had followed Carson and his companion, and was heard yelling anti-gay slurs and asking, “You want to die tonight?”

In Chatham, Canada, an openly gay 13-year-old boy was attacked by four older teenagers, who called him “faggot” and “queer,” told him he was going to hell, and beat him. One of the boys pulled a knife and threatened to kill him.

Rep. Mark Pocan became the first member of Congress to obtain a congressional ID card identifying his same-sex partner as his spouse. However, his husband is still legally excluded from receiving health, pension, and other benefits.

In Washington state, lawmakers have proposed a bill that would provide an exception to anti-discrimination law and allow businesses to refuse service based on sexual orientation.

David and Jason married in New York in 2012, but Jason is a UK citizen. As a result, Jason is unable to stay in the country. In order to see his husband, Jason has to get a Tourist Visa, which allows them to be together for 90 days. Jason is now being warned that he’s used too many Tourist Visas, and has been advised to stay out of the U.S. for at least six months.

In New York, two gay men were pursued by a group that shouted anti-gay slurs and then beat them. Both victims were hospitalized. One required eye surgery.

So go ahead. Explain to me why we’re still denying people equal rights and protection under the law. Explain to me why any of this is okay. Explain how you sleep at night, knowing that these things are the direct result of our refusal to recognize “those people” as equal. Or even to recognize them as people.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 20th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
All we have to do is switch "gay" or "homosexual" with "black" or "Irish" or "Catholic" and people get all apologetic.

May. 20th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
Explain how you sleep at night, knowing that these things are the direct result of our refusal to recognize “those people” as equal.

I do not sleep at night, but then I am one of "those people." *sigh*

The American person with an international partner who cannot stay for more than 90 days at a time is something that's been on my mind a lot lately.
May. 20th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
They can't Jim. There is no reason. None. It simply doesn't exist. Equal rights are deserved by all. Period. End.
May. 20th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear.
(no subject) - carmy_w - May. 20th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayvyn2k - May. 20th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 20th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
You're awesome. Just sayin'.
May. 20th, 2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
Found another one to add to the pile. This popped up in my news feed this morning and made me sad:

May. 20th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
I did some reading on that one, and I've been struggling to separate the homophobic aspect vs. the age/statutory issues involved in the sexual relationship. I believe both are very real factors, but I haven't processed it all enough in my head to be able to talk about it intelligently yet, if that makes sense?
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - May. 20th, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - akiko - May. 20th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - temporus - May. 20th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - museclio - May. 20th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pantryslut - May. 20th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 20th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
There are times that I wish physical assault was an acceptable way of dealing with bigotry, narrowmindedness, and general asshattedness. My fantasy way of dealing with these idiots generally involves smacking them about the head and shoulders, along with some other tender bodily areas....

But, I can't, so the only thing I can do is hone my words to show them their idiocy and hypocrisy, and to show my solidarity.
May. 20th, 2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
Imagine that you are allowed to tickle them until they pee.

Not as satisfying as hitting them, but much funnier...
(no subject) - carmy_w - May. 20th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 20th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
I got nothin'

And now I'm really depressed, too.
May. 20th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
But it devalues marriage, because... uh, reasons the person making this argument never seems to know, but trust them, it does!
May. 20th, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
The way DOMA is being interpreted in terms of immigration is absolutely foul: if you marry in a state where it is legal to marry someone of the same sex, it is considered intent to remain in the country, and can get your papers revoked/get you deported/all kinds of ugly stuff, while marrying a US citizen is pretty much one of the easiest ways for people marrying members of the opposite sex to get permanent residence.

I know a ton of couples who have been sitting tight waiting for DOMA to be repealed.
May. 20th, 2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
Indeed. My best friend's husband (BF is female) is not American. When he was coming into the country to visit her, by the third trip the guys at Customs were starting to hassle him. So she said, "We were talking about marriage anyway; let's just do it and be done with it."

A couple of weeks later they were married, and that was pretty much that. They had to fill out paperwork for his residency, but while that was routing, he was officially on a "residency pending" sort of list, and could come and go from the country with ease.

Unfair and stupid that a married same-sex couple can't do the same.

Edited at 2013-05-20 07:38 pm (UTC)
May. 20th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
I don't think anybody will rise to that challenge, Jim, because I don't think anybody really can.

It will die out within a couple more generations, I'm convinced, but we can't just sit back and wait...
May. 21st, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
I've had a couple of people try. None of them have come up with anything that strikes me as convincing or even logically consistent. Admittedly, I'm biased on this issue, but still... The closest I've seen is the person who said gay marriage is bad because all marriage is bad and we should do away with the whole darn institution.
(no subject) - sylvia_rachel - May. 21st, 2013 12:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serialbabbler - May. 21st, 2013 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serialbabbler - May. 21st, 2013 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3rdragon - May. 21st, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serialbabbler - May. 21st, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inaurolillium - May. 23rd, 2013 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3rdragon - May. 23rd, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serialbabbler - May. 21st, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 21st, 2013 10:52 am (UTC)
*beats head against desk*

At least, in a ray of hope, I cannot see the WA State bill actually going anywhere. The state has continued to expand anti-discrimination protections over the years, and there is no way that asinine law is passing. Unfortunately, we have just enough Tea Partiers to bring this sorta shit up.

I can only hope that I live to see the day that this sort of bullshittery stops.
May. 21st, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
This country needs a third political party, and that party should be the Anti-Bullshittery Party!
(no subject) - stormerider - May. 21st, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - May. 22nd, 2013 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 21st, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
Jim, do you support full legal recognition of polygamous marriages (between consenting adults, of course)?
May. 21st, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
I have nothing against polyamorous relationships, and I would have no objection to granting legal recognition to such marriages, though I imagine the legal details would require a fair amount of work to sort out.
(no subject) - ericjamesstone - May. 22nd, 2013 01:11 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 21st, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
My wife and I are something of an inadvertent sociological experiment on the latter point; there is absolutely zero reason I have ever heard why we became "icky"* instantly whenever she was perceived as female. We were exactly the same people, behaving in exactly the same ways (and the farthest our PDA has ever gone is a 2-second smooch or handholding). Heck, put as delicately as possible, we were even in possession of the contrasting equipment that supposedly guarantees lack of ickiness to bigots... except that it turns out that what people *imagine* was in her pants apparently trumps what was actually there, when it comes to these sorts of discussions.

We've been fortunate not to encounter much by way of active bigotry, mostly just careless assumptions - nobody ever thought she was my brother, yet now we're often taken for sisters - but it is definitely an object lesson in how fast privilege can be stripped away by societal perceptions alone. If we can stop being "real people" by dint of what other people are projecting onto a relationship that has not otherwise changed a whit, it's pretty obvious what underlies THAT result. And it's not rational thought (or human kindness).

(*Hypothetically icky, as we live in CT and work in MA, both of which states have legally recognized same-sex marriage for a number of years. And the sky hasn't fallen, either, nor were we "forced" into the current same-sex pairing! Though I do like to joke occasionally that it was MA cooties that turned my straight husband into a woman...)
May. 21st, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thankfully I can say that the WA state proposal is extremely unlikely to pass and the proponents of the bill even admit as much in the article. It's basically a PR stunt.
May. 22nd, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
The New York and Chatham incidents are horrific and wrong. But they don't usefully demonstrate the need for marriage equality. Shootings and beatings are illegal regardless of the marital status of the person(s) being whomped on.
May. 22nd, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
So you see no connection between treating people like second class citizens and denying them equal rights and protection under the law, and people targeting those same citizens for acts of hate and violence?
(no subject) - kateyule - May. 23rd, 2013 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sparkindarkness - May. 23rd, 2013 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand
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