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marriage equality

the whole "pro marriage equality" thing floating around is pretty interesting because it feels very one-sided.

on both my fb feed and g+ feed during the presidential race i had both sides of the obama/romney camps willing to speak their minds. After the gun violence thing became a huge thing, i had pro and anti gun people willing to speak their minds. when it comes to the state of our economy and how to fix it or how good or poor of a job our current government is handling it, i have people on both sides willing to speak their mind.

but for this support gay rights thing? I only see one side. There's that red equals sign littered everywhere on my streams, but there's no equivalent sign for the opposing viewpoint anywhere to be seen.

and to me that's very odd because it's not as if there isn't a large group of people opposed to the idea of marriage equality. if that were true then it wouldn't be such a hot topic in the first place. i'm sure that there are a lot of religious conservatives and other right-wingers and traditionalists in my fb friends list at least (my g+ circles tend to be much more liberal-minded as a whole or live in countries where homosexuality isn't an issue anymore) that still believe that being gay is wrong.

So what is it that about this particular issue that makes them feel afraid to speak up about it at this point in our culture? my initial thought was, "it's the equivalent of bullying. people who believe that being gay is a sin or a condition that needs to be fixed don't feel like that they can post that belief because they would become immediately blasted by most of their friends who are clearly on the side of marriage equality. They feel suppressed as an ever-increasing minority, feel like they'd be bullied for their belief."

i was trying to see it that way as a devil's-advocate idea clearly, but the more i thought about it, to call it 'fear of bullying' didn't feel the right slant. Now, i equate it to a sort of, well, let's call it "guiltless embarrassment". People don't want to admit or broadcast their belief that they don't believe in marriage equality in the same way that people don't want to admit that they watch or like porn. There's that group of people that are embarrassed to admit that they get off on porn - it's not necessarily that they think it's wrong or something to feel guilty about, but it's a controversial and taboo topic and therefore not something that would get dropped casually. But they feel more comfortable with admitting it once they're assured that who they're admitting it to will accept it and/or like porn the same way that they do. In a room full of 10,000 people, no one wants to be the first to raise the affirmative hand to the question of, "who jacked/jilled off to porn today?" even if much more than a handful could. But once that first person _does_ raise their hand, the next is willing to and the next &c until a much more truthful (but still not complete) statistic of hands is raised.

This feels like that. The people who don't believe in marriage equality don't feel guilty or ashamed about their belief, but they feel embarrassed about it and not supported, and they're not going to be the first ones to raise their virtual hands.

And while even as a LGBT advocate i don't think i would feel comfortable with it all if i felt like it was the bullying thing, i _do_ think that the guiltless embarrassment thing and the unwillingness to put forward that opinion strongly is a good thing because it shows quite a reversal from the attitude of it all however many decades ago when it was the LGBT community that felt like _they_ were the ones that didn't have support and didn't want to be the first ones to raise their hand.

but it's interesting. i mean, it's not like i don't want people to feel free to have the opposing perspective exactly, even if that perspective feels rather baffling. i'm not sure exactly what it is that i want in the situation. maybe for there to be faction of people that can feel free to believe what they believe about it and feel supported by the people in their circle, but for the rest of the nation and world to view them like most people view the KKK in this day and age - out of touch and a bunch of nut cases.

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( read spoken (6) — speak )
Mar. 27th, 2013 01:10 am (UTC)
Hi M :)
It's Kelsey. Duh.

I'm really happy you posted this. I hope I won't get flamed for speaking my mind here, but I figured since you already brought this up, I would say something.

For the record, I am not AGAINST gay marriage, but I'm not FOR it either. I just don't care either way, because it doesn't affect me. I'm not going to sit on my FB and repost all of this YAY GAY MARRIAGE stuff, when I'm a straight woman who will never feel the affects of gays getting married. I simply don't care. I will support my gay friends, but I'm not going to pretend like this is a huge issue that affects ME. Because it doesn't.

My argument against the whole "marriage equality" thing is that it's NOT about equality. It's about gays getting married. Which is fine. But then don't call it "equality".

You know I'm handicapped, and because I'm handicapped and unable to work, I receive government assistance (not happy about it and not proud of it, but I do what I have to do, lol). You also know that Danny and I have been together for nearly a decade now (okay, eight years, but who's counting), and engaged for about a year and a half of that time. We have wanted to get married for a long time, but we can't. And why? Because if we got married, I would lose all of my government assistance. I would lose my health insurance. I would lose what little money I do receive. I would lose my food stamps. And why? Because he makes "too much money" and yet, it's barely enough for HIM to live off of, let alone both of us. So, we can't get legally married until he can finally afford to support both of us, all because they would take my benefits away.

So, selfishly, I want to know where my equality is, as a disabled person. It doesn't make sense to me why you can have two able-bodied people, legally married with seven kids, collecting tons of welfare and unemployment and government assistance, and there's no limit to how much they receive. And yet, I would lose the little government assistance I get because he does have a job.

I'm rambling. My point is, I'm afraid to speak my mind about this, because I've lost friends before. Even though I'm not against gay marriage, and I just want TRUE equality, people tend to not read ALL the words and they read bits and pieces and make assumptions. It's frustrating, and makes me less likely to speak up.

That's all. lmao
Mar. 27th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)
Re: Hi M :)
your opinion is always welcome kels. too bad you can't get into your old LJ.
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
Re: Hi M :)
It is about equality...it's about two consenting adults being able to legally get married if they want to. An opposite sex couple already has that right, while a same sex couple does not, hence the fight for equal rights.

About your personal situation, I think the way our government handles government assistance is completely fucked up and I think it's wrong that you would lose your government assitance just because you get married. It's a completely different inequality from gay marriage, but no less wrong.

The fact that you don't care about gay marriage is perfectly fine. All of us are free to pick and choose our battles. This issue happens to be really important to me (even though I'm straight), but I see no need to force that sense of importance on others.
Mar. 27th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
speaking up
I am equally willing to admit that I like porn as I am to admit to any number of opinions :-) But I understand what you're saying and think it's an apt analogy for most people.
Apr. 4th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Would you like to borrow some of my friends list? I have plenty of people on both sides (most on the anti side are family & family friends), which is why I've been mostly avoiding posting about the issue, as I don't want a massive flamewar on my timeline.

Also, I remember when my sisters and I had a conversation about this issue awhile ago with my parents. There was a solid generational gap on the issue at that time. I don't feel the need to create family drama over this issue again.
Apr. 4th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)

i think i'm good, thanks. :)
( read spoken (6) — speak )


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