succumbing to peer pressure

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Although I think this article goes a bit too far (it claims "...that a good marriage is the best public-health measure known to man") it does provide a nice reminder of why gay marriage hit the mainstream, decades after gay couples were performing commitment ceremonies and talking about marriage - the AIDS crisis.

But there was also an epidemic of care giving. Lovers, friends and AIDS "buddies" were spooning food, emptying bedpans, holding wracked bodies through the night. They were assuming the burdens of marriage at its hardest. They were also showing that no relative, government program or charity is as dependable or consoling as a dedicated partner.

Yet gay partners were strangers to each other in the law's eyes. They were ineligible for spousal health insurance that they desperately needed; they were often barred from hospital rooms, locked out of homes they had shared for years, even shut out of the country if they were foreign citizens. Their love went unmentioned at funerals; their bequests were challenged and ignored. Heterosexual couples solved all those problems with a $30 marriage license. Gay couples couldn't solve them at any price.

There are whole segments of the population pushing for yet another vote to add an amendement banning gay marriage to our Constitution, a group of Georgian's organizing a special session to re-word our gay marriage amendment (because GA doesn't have a myriad of other problems that might warrant a special legislative session). I find it nearly impossible to believe that if these people actually stopped and thought about it, if you could have a conversation with these people about the agony of not being allowed to visit your partner in the hospital, of having your partner's dying wishes ignored because those wishes were voiced through you, that these people could honestly say those are the outcomes they support. How do we get this debate out of hyperbole and back onto the details we should all be able to agree on? Just call me pollyanna.


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