Friday, October 25, 2013

What I’m talking about

Brad & Luke: 5.11.13 from Collin Del Cuore on Vimeo.

I don’t get how any human being can wilfully deny the love of other people. I don’t understand why some promote hatred instead of love. I can’t accept that some people’s narrow religious beliefs get to trump others’ secular rights. But I do know that the ignorant, the bigoted and the narrow-minded will fail.

The video above shows the Illinois civil union of Brad and Luke. Like all such videos, some of which I’ve posted on this blog, it’s moving. In fact, I’d go so far to say that anyone who watches this who can’t see the love between Brad and Luke has no brain. If they cannot feel that the love is deep, they have no heart. And anyone who, knowing and feeling that love, still thinks that people like Brad and Luke should be forbidden to marry clearly has no soul.

The struggle for marriage equality is about legal rights—of course it is—but at its core it’s about something far more important: Love. A same-gender couple who love each other and want to assume the responsibilities and commitments of marriage ought to be able to do so, and there simply is NO rational, secular reason why they should not be able to do so. The civil union in this video concludes with the celebrant saying that hopefully they will be able to legally marry in Illinois, which receives loud cheers—as it should have.

Marriage equality will come to Illinois, that’s a certainty. But in Illinois’ neighbour to the north, Wisconsin, things are far worse. In the Karl Rove-approved tactic to drive up Republican votes, a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality was placed before voters in 2006, and was approved. Wisconsin still has an extremely limited “domestic partner” registry that gives a few small benefits to same-gender couples. Naturally, rightwing bigots and religious extremists are trying to have the registry struck down, because it’s “substantially similar to marriage”.

To defend the few crumbs that Wisconsin same-gender couples have, attorneys argued that the purpose of the registry is only to provide limited benefits to same-gender couples, and "You can do that in a manner that falls far short of marriage, as is done here, and not create a legal status substantially similar to marriage." Imagine arguing that the fact that an extremely limited legal recognition “falls far short of marriage” is a reason it’s okay! But, then, that’s the best they can hope for in Wisconsin—for now.

The fact is, the tide has turned, and marriage equality will be extended to all 50 US states within a surprisingly short period of time. The bigots will never surrender, even when they have lost every legal appeal and underhanded political tactic available to them. Their hatred will never allow them to accept defeat.

But there are plenty of opponents of marriage equality who are not actual bigots, even if they ally themselves with bigots and extremists. We’re beginning to see these people leaving the battlefield, and anyone who’s not a bigot should do so, too. The marriage equality fight is basically over—it’s no longer a question of IF love and justice will triumph, it’s a question of how soon. Pragmatic conservatives won’t want to be associated with losers, even if they were previously okay being associated with bigots and religious extremists.

Ultimately, the question isn’t just about being on the right side of history, though that’s still certainly true. The question really is, who wants to be seen as standing in the way of love? Who wants to be seen as filled with bigotry and hatred? Increasingly, those are the only people left still fighting against marriage equality. Those who are not bigots and religious extremists must make their choice: Are they for love or hate? It’s really that simple.

Choose love: It’s always the winner in the end.

Tip o’ the Hat to Kyle in Hawaii who posted the video link on Facebook, and to Joe.My.God. for the story on Wisconsin.

1 comment:

John said...

Wow! -- Just, wow! That was incredibly beautiful.