Skip to main content

This Sunday, I'd like to do something ever so slightly less political than my usual. So let's talk about love for a minute.

And by love I don't mean the cutesy, button-nosed hypocoristic sort of public affection that so many choose to display who are often ignorant of its effects on random passers-by. No, I'm talking about genuine passion here. A depth of feeling that would make someone behave completely selflessly and irrationally, even if just to provide one small favor for the object of one's affection. There is nothing in the human experience that can possibly match the feeling of a newly kindled romance; the way your heart skips a beat when you see that special someone walk into the room you're in, or the way your whole essence just seems to get bathed in an invisible light just by the slightest touch. And you know you'd do anything just to stay in that moment forever.

There is, of course, a political reason I'm bringing this up (I guess I just can't help myself). The struggle for marriage equality and the fight for full and equal rights for the LGBT community has become one of my main political passions--and that fact inevitably leads to the assumption that I have a tangible stake in the outcome. And in at least one circumstance, the process of correcting certain mistaken assumptions has led to the question of why I would fight so hard to guarantee a right that I would never seek to take advantage of. The usual answers--a dedication to social justice, or the eagerness to participate in the next front of the civil rights movement--are all accurate, but are insufficient to fully explain the depths of this commitment. But love, on the other hand? That's a powerful thing indeed. And what makes it special is that it's entirely outside of our control.

Life might be simpler if our attractions were based on a structured mechanical checklist of qualities we desired in a partner--but it would certainly be far less eventful. The best part about love is that you don't get to choose it; rather, it chooses you. Among all the climbs and falls on the emotional roller coaster inspired by affection--the exhilarating peak arising from a new connection, right down to the long-tortured nadir of the unrequited--there is one that is perhaps most tragic of all: the socially forbidden.

Few things could possibly feel worse than when an authority figure in your life--whether a parent, a pastor, or a politician--tells you that the love you feel, that raging emotion that you couldn't control even if you wanted to, is shameful, or sinful, or in any other way not right or not fitting. Under those all too frequent circumstances, the pain is twofold: first, the pressure can often be enough to trigger the abandonment of a feeling that ought by rights to be rare and special; but even more importantly, it is designed to denigrate the values and the character of an individual for not conforming--involuntarily--to the set expectations of what those authority figures decided was right, just and moral.

While I don't wish to belabor my past, I know that pain all too well. The pain of desperately wanting to be with someone, and knowing that that someone desperately wants to be with you; and knowing that the highest authority figure in your life will do absolutely everything to destroy that happiness that you feel, even if it leaves you a distraught wreck in the process--just to make sure you conform on the outside, even if there's no way you can on the inside. Needless to say, it's not a nice feeling.

So what does this have to do with marriage? Plenty. It's very easy for all the haters out there (many of whom will eagerly tell you that God is Love, for what it's worth) to claim that they have no problem with gay relationships, just as long as the idea of marriage isn't included in the deal. But that's not enough. Marriage is more than a legal contract between two people. It's a government's way of saying that the desire that two people have to bind themselves to each other for life (supposedly!) is socially and morally acceptable.

And among all the pains I've felt, there's one I never have: that of loving someone, and knowing that no matter how much I loved her and she loved me, we would never be able to get married. I can't even imagine what that would be like. And that is why I fight--eagerly, desperately, and passionately--for a cause that, yes, ultimately provides me very little in the way of direct benefit.

I fight because I know love. Passion. Pain. And empathy. I fight because I know all too well what it's like to have someone be the first thing you think about when you wake up, to be the last thing you think about when you drift off to sleep, and to never be far from the top of your mind at any other time of day. And the last thing I would ever want is to know that my own government was telling me that I had no right to feel that.

Love is the best feeling in the world. Who needs a better reason?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  We hold these truths to be self-evident (28+ / 0-)

    That all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty..

    ..and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Seems a good thing to fight for.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:05:17 AM PDT

  •  hear hear! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norm, Steveningen, Brubs, commonmass, googie

    n/t

    Unemployment Insurance doesn't keep people from working. A lack of jobs keeps people from working. --Sen. Al Franken

    by Adam Blomeke on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:05:34 AM PDT

  •  Great Diary! (16+ / 0-)

    It says so much and applies to so many.

    One of my best friends died of AIDS 15 years ago. I know he would have loved the chance to marry his partner. He was such a romantic. I am also so blessed to have this partner in my life still, even through time and distance.

    I am proud to support marriage equality on behalf of my deceased friend and am also proud to live in a state that recognizes it.

  •  marriage equality NOW (17+ / 0-)

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:08:57 AM PDT

  •  This is what scares them: (15+ / 0-)

    It's a government's way of saying that the desire that two people have to bind themselves to each other for life (supposedly!) is socially and morally acceptable.

    Government acceptance will overdide biblical belief and make it much harder for them to indoctrinate their kids against the gays.

    Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

    by JTinDC on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:10:36 AM PDT

  •  My love and I of 14 years (19+ / 0-)

    thank you for such a beautifully written diary.  I look forward to the day when we can officially be joined in the eyes of the country in which I have served and love.

    While you cannot change your past, you can ruin your present by being anxious about the future.

    by Brubs on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:13:16 AM PDT

  •  I thought I liked you (15+ / 0-)

    now I know I like you :)

    "Part of activism is simply being known as a human being" --Kyril

    by juliewolf on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:14:20 AM PDT

  •  Erm... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powered Grace, commonmass, OtterQueen

    A depth of feeling that would make someone behave completely selflessly and irrationally, even if just to provide one small favor for the object of one's affection.

    This sounds like cult membership.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:16:25 AM PDT

  •  And bless ya for doing it. (16+ / 0-)

    Bishop Gene Robinson reminded us during a talk last October---at the time of the gay marriage repeal campaign here in Maine---that the only way we achieve equality is through the persuasive power of an overwhelming majority of straight people who support us.  We're pretty much at your mercy, despite all our activism.

    -

    I am now a Twiterror. @BillinPortland

    by Bill in Portland Maine on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:17:59 AM PDT

  •  Beautifully written! n/t (4+ / 0-)

    No one ever died from laughing too often

    by googie on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:18:23 AM PDT

  •  Thank you so much for this (10+ / 0-)

    and it's always nice to know that we LGBT folk have such passionate allies in our struggle for equality. It means a lot to many of us.

    Ah, romance. I know it well!

    I am a member of the NAACP. Are you?

    by commonmass on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:19:06 AM PDT

  •  Oh Dante-beautiful diary. (8+ / 0-)

    I would say that you/all of us, whether gay or bi or straight, ultimately DO directly benefit from government sanctioned gay marriage-in the manner that love should never be held hostage to fear, ignorance or hate.  We all benefit when love prevails.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:20:43 AM PDT

  •  Here's a direct benefit, Dante Atkins (8+ / 0-)

    My husband and I think you rock!

    Ev'rybody wang chung tonight.

    by Steven Payne on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:20:54 AM PDT

  •  Companionate Marriage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    It's by far the major marriage model these days. It stresses mutual career support, with childrearing or childless options.

    "Companion" captures a quality of it, as distinct from friend or lover.

    People in general list their major dissatisfactions as career and relationship.  

    Basically, in a companionate marriage, you very largely give up on the right to bitch about your dissatisfactions with your relationship, in exchange for that career support.

    People who like an Operatic Marriage, with its continuous strum und drang, don't buy the idea that you should have to mute and suppress the bitching.

  •  Marriage is so much more (10+ / 0-)

    than a sexual act.  You spend the vast majority of your time in the simple act of living.  Get up and go to work, going to the store, reading, daily chores, music, TV etc...  All of those are shared activities that need to be managed, negotiated and performed to have a relationship that is mutually respectful and fulfilling.   Sex is a part of that but in reality, one of the smaller parts.  If you don't have the rest of life in balance, the sexual part becomes moot.  Marriage is a commitment between two people to live for the mutual good of both.  Sex is only one component of that and at times the least important.

    "My brothers keeper"

    by Reetz on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:24:18 AM PDT

  •  Well said (4+ / 0-)

    I fight because I know love. Passion. Pain. And empathy. I fight because I know all too well what it's like to have someone be the first thing you think about when you wake up, to be the last thing you think about when you drift off to sleep, and to never be far from the top of your mind at any other time of day. And the last thing I would ever want is to know that my own government was telling me that I had no right to feel that.

    It amazes me still that people want the government to enforce unenforceable acts/actions in the name of their preferred ideologies and in opposition to their professed beliefs in democracy and tolerance.

    I agree that "the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love" but much as it might sound as a PC country/western song, "Love is (only) a Social Construct".

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:25:44 AM PDT

    •  Indeed. Still, too many people vote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, OtterQueen

      with their gut instead of their heads and without thinking things through logically. And the message that we can't seem to get across to them is that the civil institution of marriage that they're denying us by DOMA and these state initiatives that keep passing right and left, have absolutely NOTHING to do with religious marriage. People can't seem to separate the difference in their heads.

      Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

      by JWSwift on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:54:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's funny. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Audri, annieli, googie

        My gut tells me that people should be able to marry anyone they want to.  So does my head, even when I try to understand the arguments against marriage equality.

        Maybe some of these voters need to get their guts checked!  Perhaps it's a bacterial imbalance.

        "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

        by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:03:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps true for many people who (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OtterQueen, googie

          have been brought-up around and are comfortable with LGBT folks. I certainly hope you guys quickly become the rule, not the exception.

          But I'm referring more to the people who can't get past the "ick" factor when they think about two guys together or two women together, or have some religious objection to gay marriage. I doubt that I'll ever be able to change their minds about something like that, but if they were fair-minded people who would stop and think for a minute and realize that even though they, personally, might not be comfortable with my relationship, and even if they wouldn't want me to be able to get married in their church, to vote against me being able to get married at all is an unnecessary trampling of my civil rights, since allowing me the right to a civil marriage and granting me those same rights and benefits of marriage that they take for granted does NOT negatively affect their marriage in any way.

          Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

          by JWSwift on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:19:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, when it comes to the "ick" factor (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            googie

            there are plenty of man/woman marriages for which that kicks in pretty heavily.  (Rush Limbaugh, for example.)

            I wasn't brought up in an LGBT-friendly atmosphere, and I can't honestly say that I never thought "Ick!" at the idea of homosexual relationships.  But I always thought that was MY problem, not THEIRS.  I figured I just didn't understand it, not that it was wrong.

            "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

            by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:41:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have a certain "ick" factor (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JWSwift

            when I think about anybody else having sex, no matter what sex they are or who they are with. Ick! I don't wanna know! But I absolutely love to know people are in love, no matter what sex they are or who they are with!

            How much better off the world might be, and how much better other nations might see us, if we held out a hand instead of a fist.

            by Audri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:28:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "Proposition ∞" (0+ / 0-)

        "Proposition ∞" ("Proposition Infinity") is the fourth episode of the sixth season of the animated sitcom, Futurama and originally aired July 8, 2010 on Comedy Central. In the episode, Amy Wong and Bender fall in love and begin a culturally taboo "robosexual" relationship. After facing anti-robosexual sentiments from society, they elect to get married and advocate to legalize robosexual marriage through "Proposition Infinity."

        "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

        by annieli on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:04:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  love ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, commonmass

    love is the answer and you know it for sure,
    love is a flower and you got to let it grow :)

    No Way, No How, No McCain

    by nerdngeek on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:26:17 AM PDT

  •  We all benefit from marriage equality... (8+ / 0-)

    ...because it underscores that our individual romantic choices are nobody else's damned business!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:28:04 AM PDT

  •  All you need is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, commonmass

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:28:33 AM PDT

  •  Men and women really are different (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, commonmass

    Whether theyre straight, gay or somewhere in between.
    Thanks for sharing your feelings. A nice diary.

  •  Plus, marriage discrimination can kill (14+ / 0-)

    Great piece, Dante.  Wanted to add a comment regarding another aspect of this.

    What many people do not recognize is that governmentally-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians has significant, detrimental psychological effects on those who are the objects of the discrimination.  In gay men, there is a positive correlation between intolerance of gay marriage and an increase in HIV infections.  According to Emory University economists Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon:

    In regressions with state fixed effects, year effects, state-specific time trends, and a number of other controls, we find that the [General Social Survey] measure of tolerance is negatively and significantly associated with the estimated HIV rate, and the marriage ban variable is positively though not always significantly associated with the HIV rate.

    Francis and Mialon estimated that a constitutional ban on gay marriage raises the rate of new HIV infections by four cases per 100,000 people.  As psychologist and author Walt Odets has explained:

    [O]n an issue like gay marriage, which has been so much in the news -- every time a state passes a regulation against gay marriage, we're going to have more people infected with HIV. This goes back to the whole, broad wellbeing of the community. That kind of stuff is hateful and destructive. The association of HIV with black men involves some of the same kinds of issues.

    So not only is this kind of homophobia wrong, it can also be deadly.

    Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

    by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:31:39 AM PDT

    •  Bravo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, FogCityJohn, googie

      Thanks, FogCityJohn, I thought I was the only person in the world who'd read that paper.

      One thing I wish they'd done is put that into a national "total number" perspective:

      The difference between what we have an marraige equality in the United States is 7600-12800 HIV cases per year.

      Here's a blurb I wrote elsewhere:

      Francis and Mielon of Emory University find a causal link from the enactment of same-sex marriage bans to increased HIV rates of 3-5 per 100,000 in their current (now I believe peer-reviewed and published) research. This result does not include effects of intolerance on HIV rates through other mechanisms, the data suggest that a total of the general social effects of passing a marriage ban in addition to decreased levels of tolerance generally would result in larger numbers than that shown.

      Wolfram Alpha estimates 258.4 million Americans (I rounded to 260M) are currently covered by state marriage bans. For the purposes of this estimate, we have uses the US population less the populations of CT, IA, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NM, NY, RI, VT. Many of these states do not permit same-sex marriage but do not have a specific legal prohibition against it, so we exclude those states from our calculations.

      Do the math, and you'll get my result.

      •  You're not alone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Looking for Mauve

        Some of us pay attention to these things because we have to.  

        The US is far behind other nations in recognizing the role that homophobia plays as a driver of HIV infection.  Germany, for example, uses a "structural prevention" approach that strives to eliminate social and legal barriers to gay men's equality so as to lessen the psychological stress gay men endure.  With less stress comes a feeling of greater well-being and self-worth, which results in less risky behavior.

        As Walt Odets said at another point during that podcast, the government hasn't been willing to spend any money to help gay men feel good about themselves.  If it were, it might save itself a lot on health care costs over the long term.

        Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

        by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 05:05:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn

          The result of Francis and Mialon's study was no surprise to me, you look at anything from Clarks' 1940 studies to modern stuff on stereotype threat, it's kinda a "duh."  But F&M managed to quantify in a way that seems hard to ignore, and yet so many people, so many of us LGBT folk, do.

          I've told dozens of folks about that research, and it's always been a surprise to the people we were talking about. I find that deeply depressing.

          Germany sounds like i has a great approach.

          •  It's just too much (0+ / 0-)

            I really think that's the problem.  There's so much homophobia in American society that trying to root it out would be an enormous undertaking.  With overt discrimination against gay people enshrined in federal, state, and local laws, it's not surprising that gay men suffer from psychological stressors that make them less able to take care of themselves.

            We can't even seem to do something as modest as get DADT fully repealed or ENDA passed.  We've got a very, very, very long way to go.

            Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

            by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 05:58:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  As I get older (and older) I see (8+ / 0-)

    my mother, who just lost her security blanket (her name for my father) after 61 years of marriage.  My wife and I are approaching our 39th, and our siblings have been married for comparable amounts, and why should I wish to deny my gay nephew that same life?

    republicians believe government can't work, when they're in power, they're right

    by askyron on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:31:40 AM PDT

  •  Beautifully, awesomely put (9+ / 0-)

    I'm a straight and very passionate defender of the right for gay and lesbian adults to wed, for EXACTLY the same reason. I love love too.

    "Take the victory and keep on marching"

    by SeattleProgressive on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:34:12 AM PDT

  •  Perfectly said. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googie

    Kudos!

    "To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the need for thought." -H Poincare

    by Glinda on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:40:08 AM PDT

  •  I have a theory: (7+ / 0-)

    There is nothing in the human experience that can possibly match the feeling of a newly kindled romance; the way your heart skips a beat when you see that special someone walk into the room you're in, or the way your whole essence just seems to get bathed in an invisible light just by the slightest touch.

    I suspect that there may be one thing that rivals that feeling.  When I am 80 and sitting on the front porch swing with my wife watching our children play with our grand children in the yard and I look at my wife and put my arm around her and think of everything that we've been through together to get to that moment, I suspect that there will be a depth to our love and to my appreciation of her that I imagine is the pinnacle of human connection.  It's beauty is in the fact that there is no shortcut to get there.  You have to survive the struggles together as lovers, teammates and supporters or you can't have it.

    Like I said, it is just a theory for me as I have only been with my wife for 11 years.  Still, I believe it and I remind myself when days are tough and when struggles seem bleak that surviving it together makes for one more of those memories that I will reflect upon on that day on the porch swing.

    I wish such an experience for everyone.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:40:44 AM PDT

    •  You said it so much better than I did. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lockewasright

      Thanks!

      "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

      by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you said it quite well OtterQueen. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Audri, OtterQueen, googie

        After 11 years together, I am still amazed (and pretty frequently) that I keep finding myself more impressed and more in love with her all of the time.  I still spend my work days preoccupied with getting home to her again.  We still say "I love you" all of the time and just yesterday I was thinking about what a huge portion of the things in my life that are good and bring me happiness come from her.  I told her so too.  

        It's nice to see that someone else feels this way about their significant other too.

        Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

        by lockewasright on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:07:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's the partnership aspect (0+ / 0-)

      that gets to me the most, here at the nearly 20-year mark. My beloved father-in-law died earlier this year, but in his death it brought out a strength and firmness in my own spouse that I'd seldom seen -- and it's made me incredibly proud of him not to mentioned quite turned on by it. ;) As we've worked together to get his mother settled in a new housing situation (twice; the first facility just didn't work for her), he's taken on a lot of the responsibilities, enough that she calls him as often as she calls me (I do still get a few more of the calls during the week, just because he's on the road and can't talk on the phone).

      Although I've threatened at times to go for an independently wealthy orphan who's also an only child in my next life, I really can't imagine being married to anyone else -- if nothing else, I've just finally got this one more or less well trained. ;)

      Don't let the facts hit your narrative in the butt on the way out -- Rachel Maddow

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 07:04:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      After 20  years with Mr.A. I am still crazy inlove with him and he with me. Love, respect, admiration, joy. He is my favorite person in the whole world and I never get tired of looking into his eyes, hearing his jokes, talking with him.  

      I still spend my work days preoccupied with getting home to her again.  We still say "I love you" all of the time and just yesterday I was thinking about what a huge portion of the things in my life that are good and bring me happiness come from her.  I told her so too.

      Yes.

      How much better off the world might be, and how much better other nations might see us, if we held out a hand instead of a fist.

      by Audri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:34:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for writing such a beautiful diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWSwift, Boudicia Dark, googie

    Dante. Marriage, the part of it that is a public declaration of our love, is what makes it important and validating. To withhold legal rights and responsibilities from a couple who wants to make their commitment permanent and public is  discriminatory. It's the violation of a social contract between two people who have come to experience that they are a loving couple. A marriage is not a man and a woman; it's also a woman and a woman, or, a man and a man. To see it strictly one way is being, in a way, is to be blind to reality. People are no longer willing to not live their lives and not love those they love openly. That includes hetero and homosexual couples. Sooner or later, society will have to accept that there are various kinds of couples and families and that they are all based on the same thing, love. And that's what makes them equivalent. Your marriage isn't superior to mine because you are a man and a woman and we are a man and a man. We love each other and want to live our lives together, publicly, and to not have to hide it, and we also want to full rights and responsibility of ordinary citizens who get married. That's not asking for special rights. That is asking for, and expecting, ordinary rights of ordinary every day citizens.

    •  And furthermore... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor, Boudicia Dark, googie

      It is, of course, not only discriminatory just because it's applying one set of rules to certain people in relationships and another set to other people in relationships, nor due to the 1000+ rights and benefits that are automatically granted to any drunk male and female who get a Vegas wedding, but also because, as history shows us over and over again (yet we still don't seem to learn) that "separate but equal" is not really equal at all.

      Just because some people want to THINK that it makes them appear reasonable or progressive to be willing to grant us Civil Unions or something LIKE marriage, it is no more progressive than those in the 50's and early 60's seemed to think that just granting blacks the right to have their own (but separate) water fountians was somehow an acceptable compromise.

      If I can't call my committed relationship a marriage and am forced to call it something else, regardless of whether I want to get married in a church or have a civil ceremony, and even if I get granted every last one of the rights and benefits that are currently granted to straight married couples, my relationship will always seem "less than" in the eyes of society because it is something different than marriage.

      Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

      by JWSwift on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:06:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary! I'm right there with you! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audri, Predictor, JWSwift, OtterQueen, googie

    My marriage, for all its flaws, has been the most important thing in my life.  It is inconceivable to me that some of my fellow citizens are denied this basic path to happiness.  

    I just don't know what is wrong with people that they want to have so much control over what other people do.

    "Goldman Sachs forced to legally change name to 'Goldman Sachs,Those Bastards'...The Onion February 1, 2010

    by St Louis Woman on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:41:29 AM PDT

  •  Hypocoristic? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Limelite

    Wow, that was a new one on me.  Thanks!  I needed a word for that...

    hypo·co·ris·tic (hī′pō kə ris′tik, hip′ō-)
    adjective
    of or being a pet name or a diminutive or term of endearment
    Origin: < Gr hypokoristikos <hypokorizesthai, to call by endearing names < hypo- (see hypo-) + korizesthai, to pet < korē, girl < IE base *er-, to grow > cereal</p>

  •  If one cannot find somebody whose happiness is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888

    more important to them than their own, then they risk being a very lonely old person.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:42:20 AM PDT

  •  Why should being in a state of marriage, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audri, Shesk, Predictor, Boudicia Dark

    regardless of whether its between heterosexuals or homosexuals, qualify one for preferential legal status, and special treatment under the law?  Why are single people left out?

    I'm not being cute.  The basis for granting preferential status to people who are married goes back to a Bible based system that presumes that only those who follow some religious imperative are entitled to preferential treatment, because they have demonstrated that they are somehow more moral and worthy than those who do not.  And as a matter of public policy, the powers that be determined that the government should encourage this Bible based moral behavior.

    Disclosure: I'm single, and I do not get any of the preferential treatment like a special tax rate, or preferential legal status.  I think that's egregious.  I'm sure not many will find this position to be even remotely worth consideration.

    •  I'm not disagreeing with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WiddieDawg

      but I am a little curious.  What special tax rates or legal status to married people enjoy that single people don't?  I know if you're married you can file your taxes "jointly," although I'm not sure exactly what effect that has - I have yet to look it up.

      What else, if you don't mind my asking?

      "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

      by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:52:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Married tax rates are a bit lower. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor, OtterQueen

        There is also preferential treatment in inheritance laws for spouses.  You can leave your property to anyone you want, but if you die intestate, without a will, then the law has preferential treatment for recognized spouses.  There are also many private arrangements where spouses get preferential treatment.  One instance I can think of involved a professional woman golfer.  Her partner was not allowed privileges at the golf club she was a member of, since the club did not recognize her as a "spouse." There was no legal recourse for the member golfer.

        These are privileges and special treatments that are accorded to people simply because of their status as "married."  Single people don't get them.

        The whole argument that LGBT are being treated unequally is based on denial to them of the privileges and special treatments that are accorded to heterosexual married couples.  If you eliminate the privilege and special treatment, and treat all as though they are single, there is no unequal treatment.  If you are going to extend the privileges and special treatment, why is "marriage" the basis for that?  It's because of the morality issue.  By extending them to homosexual couples, you do not get rid of the morality issue.

        If you take them away from everybody and treat all as though they are single, and it is their responsibility to establish their relationship by contract, just as single people do, then there is no inequality.

        •  As a pragmatic person I think this is impossible (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WiddieDawg, Predictor, OtterQueen

          While I understand what you are saying, I have to respond to say that this will simply not happen in this nation.

          Look at the resistance to marriage equality....do you really think you will get the vast majority of people in the nation (heterosexuals) who do marry to give up these benefits of being married?

          Won't happen anytime soon I assure you.

        •  Oh, now I understand better. (0+ / 0-)

          You didn't mean just "single," you meant people in relationships who aren't married.  I thought you meant single people not in relationships.

          Personally, I believe marriage is a religious institution that shouldn't be recognized by the state.  And who you can marry should be determined by your church or religious beliefs (within certain parameters, ie: no minors, etc).  Only civil unions should be legally recognized, and they should be available to any two consenting adults.  And all legal recognition of the union should apply, whether same sex or opposite sex unions.

          One thing about not having a public option in health care, is that currently many people are only able to get health coverage by being employed or being married.  I don't work, and the main reason my husband and I got married is so I can get medical and dental benefits.  We felt we were married in our hearts, anyway.  But what "marriage" has to do with being able see a doctor when you need to is beyond me.

          "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

          by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:49:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That institution already exists. (0+ / 0-)

            It is called civil marriage.

            (The church thing also already exists. It is called the sacrament of holy matrimony, at least in my church.)

            Personally, I believe marriage is a religious institution that shouldn't be recognized by the state.  And who you can marry should be determined by your church or religious beliefs (within certain parameters, ie: no minors, etc).  Only civil unions should be legally recognized, and they should be available to any two consenting adults.  And all legal recognition of the union should apply, whether same sex or opposite sex unions.

            Civil unions is something else. A newfangled made up second class institution for diverting attention from the real thing.

            In Loving v Virginia (1967), the US Supreme Court explicitely declared that "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man".

            They made no such statement reguarding civil unions.

            Better unemployed than imprisoned: Vote Democrat 2010

            by banach tarski paradox on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 04:18:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I've been to two civil ceremonies (0+ / 0-)

            One was held at the history park where the couple met (she wore a Victorian-era wedding gown, he dressed up in a turn-of-the-century trolley motorman's uniform). The other was held on a historic streetcar parked on a siding off of the J line in San Francisco; actually, it was their second wedding, as they had a small ceremony in the Records Office when they got their license, but had a second one out here so the groom's parents could treat them to a party. Both were officiated at by non-denominational ministers, but there was nothing religious involved. And both couples are just as married (and still married) as me and my spouse who had a church wedding with hot and cold running attendants and all the other accoutrements.

            Don't let the facts hit your narrative in the butt on the way out -- Rachel Maddow

            by Cali Scribe on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 07:14:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Legal acknowledgement of relationship status (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Scribe, OtterQueen

      conveys a host of automatically granted rights - not just in taxes (though the marriage penalty may be coming back), but also in other areas. It's not so much a grant of "preferential treatment" as it is an acknowledgment that the relationship exists and that each party to it has certain rights and responsibilities in regard to the other.

      Take two simple but supremely ones:

      1. Inheritance. When a person dies intestate (without a will), the law presumes an order of heirs, with spouse at the top of the list. Without this protection, the surviving partner has no status in law, and relatives can and have kick him or her out of their home with little more than the clothes on their back. Yes, everyone should have a will, but many don't, and a properly drawn will isn't cheap, either.
      1. Visitation rights and other health issues: When someone is in the hospital, visitation rights are often limited to the immediate family, again with spouse at the head of the list. Similarly, when life-and-death decisions need to be made, the spouse's decisions usually control. (Though sometimes it takes a fight, as in the Terry Schiavo case - but if the Schiavos had not been married, his word would have carried little to no weight against that of her parents.)

      It is not within the powers of the government to help its citizens get into heaven, nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:49:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can see this also as a childless person (0+ / 0-)

      People who have children get preferential treatment over those without and this goes back to the days when we needed more people. We don't now so why do they still get those benefits?

      How much better off the world might be, and how much better other nations might see us, if we held out a hand instead of a fist.

      by Audri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:42:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  let me repeat an anecdote from my teaching (9+ / 0-)

    which is when I knew we were looking at something inevitable.

    The young lady in question was a 15 year old daughter of a very prominent African-American Minister.

    The subject of gay marriage came up.

    And she volunteered - she wanted to know what was wrong with it.  Weren't gay people entitled to the pursuit of happiness?

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

    •  inevitable ... although never soon enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      googie

      When my kid brother, then 22, born again, baptized in the spirit, republican said that gays should not be discriminated against in marriage law, or any other, I knew that it was only a matter of time.  However that was over 8 years ago, and time is moving very slowly.

  •  Hey GOP, when LOVE calls, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWSwift

    she wants you to know that denial of marriage equality is the most insidious form of dishonesty.

  •  This is so beautiful-- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audri, OtterQueen

    No, I'm talking about genuine passion here. A depth of feeling that would make someone behave completely selflessly and irrationally, even if just to provide one small favor for the object of one's affection. There is nothing in the human experience that can possibly match the feeling of a newly kindled romance; the way your heart skips a beat when you see that special someone walk into the room you're in, or the way your whole essence just seems to get bathed in an invisible light just by the slightest touch. And you know you'd do anything just to stay in that moment forever.

    :)

    •  It is beautiful, but (8+ / 0-)

      I disagree that "a newly kindled romance" is the unmatchable.  To me, the true depth of feeling comes when you have been with someone for some time; when you know them, trust them, depend on them without fear of being let down.  My heart still skips a beat when my husband comes home from work.  My heart lights up when he touches me (and we touch a lot in public - we even call each other pet names, hug, and say "I love you") and I know I'll stay in this moment forever, or at least until death do us part.

      "Life is short - drink the good wine!" - OQ

      by OtterQueen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 10:59:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Made me shed a tear, dear! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OtterQueen

        No one ever died from laughing too often

        by googie on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 02:57:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When Mr.A. and I first fell in love (0+ / 0-)

        It was like birch bark in a fire. Have you ever put birch bark into a fire? It flames up and crackles with wild abandon. We've been in love for 20 years and it is now more like a good, solid, well fueled oak fire that keeps you warm all over all day and night.
        There is no comparison between them: they are both unmatchable.

        How much better off the world might be, and how much better other nations might see us, if we held out a hand instead of a fist.

        by Audri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:52:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely said, Dante. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, OtterQueen, toilpress

    I'm right behind you.  

  •  Better to argue justice, equality vs. love. (0+ / 0-)

    Arguing that something should be allowed because someone loves it is never going to win and probably should not win.  There's a reason that love and hate are considered two sides of the same emotion. Murders committed in name of love are no different than those done in name of hate and are often driven by both emotions. Seven "deadly sins" are all love of the wrong things. Love is an emotion. Leave it at that.

    Gay rights basis should be that everyone deserves equal rights and that homosexuality is a largely genetic, biological behavior that affects roughly five percent of human population and it does no biological damage (incest) nor social damage (polygamy, adult/minor sex). Western culture has largely tolerated and integrated homosexuality from roots in Greece and Rome onward and only fairly recently, the last thousand years with the rise of the Roman Catholic Christianity and the fall of Roman Byzantine Christianity, has homosexuality been politically repressed.

    •  I disagree, this is an emotional issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      googie

      As I posted below I believe that many who are not bigoted but still think that marriage should be retained for heterosexual couples only can be made to change their minds. And you do it with more emotion than facts or arguments about justice with some people.

  •  I usually don't say "husband" (8+ / 0-)

    I say partner. I try out spouse.

    K has been diagnosed with colon cancer, and has now been through two surgeries and chemo & radiation. When we started going together to his doctor appointments my husband consciously chose to use that word because, he said, it is a power word. There is no ambiguity.

    Years ago when my husband's mother died I introduced myself as K's partner -- there was subsequent confusion about whether I was a partner in his legal practice.

    So I say "husband" more often because people who need to know what we mean to each other know immediately when we use "husband". Nurses, doctors, they need to know.

    We even got a married couple discount on a rental car last year, which we wouldn't have gotten if we'd been shy about what we are to each other. We are legally married in the state of California, thanks to the California Supreme Court's (conflicted) reading of the California constitution.

  •  Beautiful diary, thanks Dante! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, cooper888, googie

    I do not think that many who oppose marriage equality ever think of the psychological damage they inflict on LGBT people.

    There are many who are not horribly homophobic, but as you mentioned feel that marriage should still be limited to opposite sex couples only.

    These are the people who's minds can be changed. Their view is emotional in many cases, not some dogmatic religious view.

    Talking with them about this in the manner you do here I think would be very helpful in changing minds.

    Thank you for this great diary!

  •  I'm with you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888, googie

    A compelling argument, Dante, reminding us of the human aspect of it. I hope it reaches some unreachables. I am 100% with you. Wish it was a good enough argument for lots more people. Perhaps an argument that a major role of government is to protect people who aren't hurting others, regardless of who their friends are?
    I remember arguing with a rather conservative gent about health care. He was very resistant to the idea of universal health care, saying that "people will help their friends, so let's save money". The only comment I made that seemed to resonate with him is: "So, we are going to punish people for not having friends?" My philosophy of government, if I may get political, is to level the playing field.

  •  I love... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing85, Predictor, Boudicia Dark

    ...my husband unconditionally. And I love this closing statement in a piece on the MA rulings on DOMA and the Prop H8 Trial...

    The Banning of the Bans on Same-Sex Marriage

    Judge Tauro was willing to toss the federal marriage act even after applying the most lax constitutional test to it. Based upon his questions, it looks like Judge Walker is noodling these days over which constitutional standard to apply to his analysis of the legitimacy of Prop 8. If he takes the Tauro route, and I won't be shocked if he does, Prop 8 is doomed -- perhaps even before the United States Supreme Court.

    [emphasis mine]

    A 'love'ly story Dante!

  •  coming from off-center but true to how I feel it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boudicia Dark, cooper888

    This whole topic is on my mind recently. I'm a lesbian getting married (actually we are already married in profound ways but the actual ring exchange will be a few months down the line)

    And the last thing I would ever want is to know that my own government was telling me that I had no right to feel that.

    I don't care what the government tells me. I don't need that kind of validation to know what's true. We (my love, my wife) -- we know what's true.

    This comment is very very long. Still posting it.

    Here's an excerpt from a recent email exchange between me -- a lesbian who is married/getting married without need for the state's recognition -- and a friend of mine, also a lesbian, partnered as well but not married or headed there.

    She raised critical questions about how this society configures romantic relationships and marriage, and is/was trying to get her head around what my experience is. Meaning: I am someone who has relentlessly critically questioned marriage as an institution, and been profoundly alienated from the marriage rights movement. And here I am getting married. Both of these things are true.

    Anyway, here's some of what I wrote.

    ----------------------

    It's fascinating to me that you're raising some of the questions I would raise if I wasn't in the situation I'm in. Like: why name this marriage?

    And this goes so deep for me, how we're naming it. All I can do is speak my experiences at this point and see if that leads us anywhere useful. I'm very interested in this discussion.

    My lived experience with all of this is that there is deep power in these terms between [my love] and I. I feel it at the deepest levels of me when she calls me her wife and call her mine, when we talk about marrying each other and being married. We're using these words to describe something real and very powerful between us. The resonance is very very deep and very very strong for me.

    I've raised these questions myself in previous relationships. These specific questions. I raised them very very strongly and explicitly when [the woman I was in my last long-term relationship with] and I were first dating.

    This is what I know: [my love] and I are connected. We have a connection at the underneath layers. It's specific and real. It's not in the system's logics. It's in the logics that make sense to us at the deeper layers that the system tries to erase. This connection is rooted and sourced in a landscape that is organic to me and opposed to the system's landscape.

    And yet, as you're pointing out, marriage is a term found in this system and its logics. And more generally, this system offers a strongly limited and I would say warped/twisted range of what relationships are.

    I agree with that too, even (maybe especially) now.

    So If I take both of these things as true -- how I feel my connection with [my love] and the resonance of marriage in that connection as coming from a different landscape and logics that make sense to me AND what I know of the system's twisted approach to relationships, here's what emerges in my understanding:

    There is a kind of relationship between two people that exists in the underneath landscape, the landscape that makes sense to me organically. This is real.

    And at the same time, the system has taken pieces of this kind of connection, tied it to some of its own logics and twisted/distorted it, and relentlessly promotes those configurations.

    [My love] has pointed out that one of the things that this system does is mix truth and lies. If I'm understanding it right, this is one way it does that.

    So I would say I'm still opposed to the system's versions of marriage and couple relationships.

    I still feel those versions as distorted and unpleasant.

    So for example, I still feel like the movement for marriage rights is oriented toward the system's twisted version of marriage and I still don't feel drawn to supporting it. In my discussions, I have found that the people in that movement generally fail to differentiate between logistical/survival things like honoring power of attorney etc etc, and the spiritual-emotional side of the relationship. They tend to identify strongly, at the emotional-spiritual level, with the system's twisted version of relationships and want that for themselves and their partners. That's part of where I've clashed with them. The other part is their really annoying sense of entitlement, which is also linked in -- it's like they expect the system to take care of them and are very upset that it doesn't.

    As I think about it this, it seems to me that the system's move of taking something real, twisting/distorting it, then relentlessly promoting that twistedness/distortion has at least a couple of functions.

    First, it keys many people into the twisted-distorted versions of relationships -- wanting that, seeking that, doing that.

    And second, it repulses the ones who feel the wrongness of that distortion and links that repulsion to pair relationships. Meaning: instead of being specifically repulsed by the system's twisted version, the repulsion gets generalized to all pair relationships because the system's version appear as if that's all there is.

    (making its versions of things appear as if that's all there is is another common move of the system).

    This second thing is the more subtle move. It's a situation in which people who are repulsed by the system's versions might give up attending to aspects of desire in themselves related to pair relationships and possibly miss a pull toward a pair connection at a deeper level if such a pull exists for them at any point. It's a situation in which people might be tempted to settle for something less intense or deep-sourced because it appears as if that's all that's possible.

    And I'm now thinking -- hmm. If the system can get people to turn away from that stream of desire, maybe it has broader effects. Like -- pair relationships aren't the only kind of connection in the underneath logics. Maybe being open to a pair relationship at this deep level is part of being radically open to anything that might be there. So if the system can get people to shut off their attention to or respect for their desires at this level, through distrust of pair relationships, that could have a broader effect. I don't know if that's true, but it seems possible to me.

  •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scooter in brooklyn

    I have nothing else to say...except THANK YOU.

  •  Hate. It's a bust. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, googie

    Hate loses every time against love.

    TAX THE RICH! They have money! I'm a Democrat. That's why!

    by ezdidit on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:33:01 AM PDT

  •  But it does provide you benefits (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888

    Not to take issue with your lovely diary, but all society benefits when its members are in happy, satisfied, committed relationships - regardless of the specific contours thereof.

    This is the point (OK, one of the points) that needs to be hammered: It is to the greater benefit of society if people's deepest emotional desires are fulfilled in a legitimate way. In one sense, marriage is a way of binding two people together so they do not disturb and are not disturbed by extraneous emotional desires.

    Since there is no way that a gay person's emotional needs can be fulfilled by forcing him/her into a loveless heterosexual relationship (I am skipping over the far more complex issue of bisexuality here) or forcing them to remain single (though hardly celibate; if the Catholic church cannot command celibacy from those under oath to it, how much less so can society at large), stable relationships are not only necessary but socially desirable.

    It is better for society to have gays and lesbians in stable committed relationships than to have them loose, wandering, unhappy.

    Society also benefits by conferring on these relationships the status of marriage, which conveys both rights and responsibilities intended to encourage the stability and permanence of the relationship.

    It is not within the powers of the government to help its citizens get into heaven, nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:36:47 AM PDT

  •  Many thanks, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888

    well said and greatly appreciated.

    not another dime to the dnc, dscc, dccc until i have my civil rights.

    by scooter in brooklyn on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:38:50 AM PDT

  •  Love is the answer, if you can think about that, (0+ / 0-)

    you can begin to think and still put you heart into it.
       Thanks for the diary.

    Liberty Valence Saying, ''consumer protection'' is like saying, ''slavery protection.''

    by libertyvalence on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:43:38 AM PDT

  •  Marriage is a complicated proposition..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Limelite

    I've been married twice and hated it. My guys were real pains-in-the-butt, unlike I, who was of course perfect in all respects! For 9 yrs now, I've been dating my best friend ever. We met at a resort 14 yrs ago, and when he came over 9 yrs ago from England to visit..bada bing. Now we have to get married as he's illegal and needs to be able to go home. Ugggghhhh........ We'll be partners for life, but I don't want to be "married".

    My mother, who's been a lesbian for about 40 yrs now was also completely disinterested in marriage until she was told that she couldn't do it!!!   :)  She's a fiery little thing, my mother! LOL  So she and her partner of 25 yrs, popped down to City Hall in SF and tied the not a few yrs ago. She seems to have settled in to the idea.   :)

    Long and boring story, I know!! I guess the point is people get married for all sorts of reasons. Some marriages are arranged and there is no love, some are done because there is a pregnancy, some because you are bored, too young, too old, taxes, immigration, blah, blah. Sometimes because you are madly in love and know this is "the one", and you want the world to acknowledge the importance of the relationship, and what it means in our society. No matter the cause, the people, or their sexes, it should be a personal decision, not a religious or Federal one.

    You have my best wishes that you are able to marry some day, whomever you want......and please, live happily ever after!!     :)

  •  If there were a tipping (4+ / 0-)

    point I think it's been reached with marriage equality. The DOMA ruling, and soon the Prop 8 ruling as well as the current DADT trial, all these other countries legalising gay marriage, NY says they'll do it next year, DC can't put it to a vote, I mean, I'm sure there will be setbacks but there's a snowball effect going on here.

    The funny thing about that, to me, is that there's so much gay rights stuff in the news right now and so many court cases, etc., that it seems to be coming... but, where's all the outrage and the mass protests? NOM and the FRC are slightly annoyed enough to do a press release but other than that... crickets. If gay rights really is the end of the world then I thought there'd be more outrage.

    Help me, Professor Guyfucker! - dkos hatemail

    by indiemcemopants on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:50:27 AM PDT

    •  people don't really care (0+ / 0-)

      as long as it doesn't affect them or their kids.  The fear from those who are anti-gay marriage is how the public schools will integrate homosexuality into their kids' curricula, for fear that their kids will be encouraged to experiment with homosexuality.  Those people will just pull their kids out of public school and home school or send them to private school.

      I think the other thing is that although they will call it marriage, it will still be perceived to be different from heterosexual marriage.  It will be a "gay marriage," implicitly not leading to procreation between the united couple, whereas the heterosexual marriages will be perceived as the true "marriages" where everyone will be waiting for the couple to make babies, maybe even on their honeymoon night.

      I'm starting to feel America again.

      by Shesk on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 12:15:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice, Dante. (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this post.

    Much of life is knowing what to Google
    (and blogging at BPI Campus)

    by JanF on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:54:29 AM PDT

  •  Misperceptions about Love and Marriage (0+ / 0-)

    This whole notion of getting married solely because two people are "in love" is kinda nonsensical to me.  I've had the feeling the diarist speaks of many times growing up.  Eventually, I ended up marrying the woman with whom I wanted to raise a family, though we lacked this form of love that the diarist talks about (which is really more of a pathetic neediness or, in some cases, lust).  Our wedding, as do most, included our mutual promises to love one another; it did not require us to be "in love."  And we do love one another, but not with that passion that the diarist speaks of; that feeling that both of us knows to be temporary.  

    Personally, I think this misperception about marriage is why the divorce rate is so high.  People believe that love is what holds their marriage together, whereas it's really personal commitment that keeps people together.  So, when this form of love that the diarist speaks of goes away, the marriage falls apart.

    I don't see the state's interest in two people who merely love one another making a commitment to one another.  In years past, people got married to have kids, and the state's interest in promoting such unions was to make sure that the parents took on the responsibility of bringing up the kids together.  The whole system got bastardized by couples wanting to get married for the benefits (woo-hoo) with no intention of having kids.  That was the first step in detaching procreation from marriage; a bad step indeed.  

    Love, shmove.  I'm in 18 years, committed to a lifetime with my wife and committed to bringing up my kids.

    I'm starting to feel America again.

    by Shesk on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:58:26 AM PDT

    •  Bastards! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor

      The whole system got bastardized by couples wanting to get married for the benefits (woo-hoo) with no intention of having kids.  That was the first step in detaching procreation from marriage; a bad step indeed.  

      Love, shmove.

      Better unemployed than imprisoned: Vote Democrat 2010

      by banach tarski paradox on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 12:46:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You degrade marriage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      banach tarski paradox

      to nothing more than continuation of the species.  My God man, cockroaches can do that. You are a human being and it is love , along with our other emotions,  that separate us from the lower animals.  Your thinking isn't much advanced beyond what my dog can think.

      Thank goodness my family, friends and my Christian Church all recognize my marriage and the power of the love my husband and I share.  
       

      Spread peace and love everyday; use force only if necessary!

      by weddedgay on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 01:32:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        other species are better than humans at atking care of their offspring.  Man had to put together a governmental incentive to make dads ake care of their kids.

        Lots of animals have emotions; it's being able to control our emotions, overcome our instincts which makes us human.

        The love between you and your mate is perhaps a bonus to your marriage, but the power lies not in love but in your commitment to one another from which your love flows.

        I'm starting to feel America again.

        by Shesk on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 03:46:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You speak the truth of all relationships (0+ / 0-)

      whereas it's really personal commitment that keeps people together

      It doesn't matter if it's lust, companionship or procreation. If that's what it takes to keep a relationship together... that's what it is. It's called love, honey! Don't make it any harder than it already is!

      No one ever died from laughing too often

      by googie on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 02:24:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Same here, hetero, married, pro gay marriage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googie

    Because I know how it feels to fall in love and having people say is sinful.

    The Reagan Revolution Is Washing Ashore in the Gulf of Mexico

    by lawnorder on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 12:00:37 PM PDT

  •  Dear Hubby and I just celebrated our 50th Wedding (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audri, googie, Lucy2009

    Anniversary.  I wish I had kept count of the number of so-call"traditional Marriage" folks who told us they could never imagine staying married to the same person for such a long time.  For all their bluster "traditional marriage" people don't really accept that love is a life-time committment.  Who are they to throw stones at those who profess a ddep committment to another?

  •  I am a heterosexual woman, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Audri, Looking for Mauve, googie

    and am still madly in love and lust with the man that has been next to me for nearly 25 years, legally married for nearly 20 years. For my husband and me, this comes down to the very thing your diary addresses - true love. Messy, complicated, sweet, inconvenient, lusty, starry-eyed, can't imagine life without him/her true love.
    Neither of us can comprehend a government, a single person, or a faith telling us that our love is wrong, disgusting, immoral, or dangerous to children and other living things.
    This is why we fight for GLBT rights; purely and simply, it's a Human Rights issue.

    Wonderful diary, Dante. Thank you.

    "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

    by txflower on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 02:01:55 PM PDT

    •  Yes, yes, yes, txflower! (0+ / 0-)

      All of the above.
      Especially:

      Messy, complicated, sweet, inconvenient, lusty, starry-eyed, can't imagine life without him/her true love.

      How much better off the world might be, and how much better other nations might see us, if we held out a hand instead of a fist.

      by Audri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 07:08:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't laugh, but I got kind of weepy reading this (5+ / 0-)

    This gay man, who can't get married to his partner, who he LOVES so damned much, thanks you for posting this.

    This is one of the best things I've ever read at Daily Kos.

  •  I Want to Have What I Want (0+ / 0-)

    I want the same for everyone.

    That's why I'm a liberal.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 04:13:42 PM PDT

  •  What gets me is that most of the people (0+ / 0-)

    who are opposed to marriage equality are, for the most part, part of very fundamentalist religions, that hold definite rules of gender roles and identity. You know, "the man is the head of the woman" sort of deal. Those who have no problem with same-sex marriage come from more liberal backgrounds, where marriage is more of a partnership. Perhaps much of the problem with marriage equality for the first group is that if you have two men and two women marry, how do you determine who's "The Boss"? It totally messes up their image of traditional roles...and if two dudes/dudettes can make it work in a marriage, then what happens if people in an "opposite" marriage decide to bend the rules a bit, and bring up their kids to think that's okay? It's all in the difference of "top down" leadership and a partnership of equals.

    Don't let the facts hit your narrative in the butt on the way out -- Rachel Maddow

    by Cali Scribe on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 06:58:45 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site