The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Gay Marriage: Inciting a backlash, or dragging along too slowly?  (Read 633615 times)

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Gay Marriage: Inciting a backlash, or dragging along too slowly?
« on: December 24, 2005, 02:46:08 PM »
So here's the thing:

When and if I ever find a guy to marry, I deserve to be able to. Legally.

The question is tactics.

Are we recklessly charging ahead too quickly and inviting/inciting a backlash, or are we still being too timid and dragging our feet?

Update:

On Jan 17, I expanded the thread title from "Gay Marriage" to "Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?"

All the existing debate is relevant, but I'm wondering if the presence of Brokeback Mountain or legalization in England, Canada, Spain, etc. or any other force is changing the winds.

Are things likely to get better or worse on this front? Will we keep losing state ballot initiatives? Slow them down? Will more states legalize?

What forces are driving the change, in either direction?

Update, Mar 15, '06:

I keep getting emails seeking links about gay marriage, so I'm posting this one here, for easy reference.

I created a Gay Marriage page on my blog way back in 2003, with lots of links to the major sites, here:

http://blogs.salon.com/0001137/stories/2003/08/14/gayMarriageendTheBan.html


I stopped updating it after about a year, but most of the key resources have not changed, including gay marriage pages by principle supporters like GLAAD and GLAD and detractors like the Family Research Council. Most of them continue to update, so this still gets you to most of the major parties.

LINKS -- UPDATED:

LINKS TO THE MAY 2008 CA SUPREME COURT DECISION:

Read the 121-page decision here:

 http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S147999.PDF


Read the 7-page press release from the court here:

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/presscenter/newsreleases/NR26-08.PDF


It's an excellent executive summary of the full decision, the dissents and a bit of the history. It quotes liberally from each and outlines the arguments in a manner intended for the general public.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 05:19:49 PM by Dave Cullen »

Offline Ranchgal

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2005, 11:25:56 PM »
Well I think that committment, legal partnership, and protection under the law is something that should be obvious to people, but it isn't--and my state just voted it down--I am ashamed of them--and my Mother and I are having discussions about it---it is very wierd, cause on an individual basis--she can see the justice and the acceptance-and doesn't want to punish anyone---but she has this "thing" about we as a country have just gone to far to the left--and being the staunch Repub. she is--she thinks that voting this down will restore some sort of balance we have been missing.   And as she is 85, and not going to change her vote on it---we finally leave it alone, I don't know how to approach it anymore to get her mind opened up.   And I haven't a clue as to what to do with this State(SD)---but considering we just kicked one of the most powerful Democratic senators out of office, cause he was just in the limelight too much-and replaced him with a family values down your throat Repl.--I guess we get what we deserve.  But I am sorry for all the people that are getting hurt for lack of this legislation.    And I probably shouldn't even comment on it, cause I am not gay, and am married, but the whole thing just makes me so disgusted.

Offline mary

  • Moderator Emerita
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2005, 11:55:24 PM »
ranchgal, I think we are the ones who HAVE to say something. If it is only gay folk who speak up it is easier for a lot of people to ignor/dismiss this argument.  More straight people need to speak up so it becomes a mainstream issue, not part of the so called 'gay agenda' so many people seem to like to talk about and dismiss. 
never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2005, 12:35:59 AM »
Dave, you may regret that you created this thread. For a single guy I’m strangely obsessed by the topic of gay marriage (well Constitutional law, legislative politics, and the like are more akin to my usual passions that the entertainment biz). Honestly, your weird infectious enthusiasm for BBM is the only thing that’s distracted me in from the topic in eight years. (Oh, dear g-d, I’ve been neglecting all those other blogs.)

. . . protection under the law is something that should be obvious to people, but it isn't--and my state just voted it down--I am ashamed of them--and my Mother and I are having discussions about it---it is very wierd, cause on an individual basis--she can see the justice and the acceptance-and doesn't want to punish anyone---but she has this "thing" about we as a country have just gone to far to the left . . .

What’s even stranger (to me) is that my father is the exact same sort (he’s only 70, but otherwise quite similar—well, he has a gay son). Mind you, there’s never been much friction in the family about my gaydom. (There was a weird episode that came up just this past summer--a tangential Catholic thing . . . story for another day). He’s always treated my ex’s (yes, I’m a two time loser) as part of the family. He doesn’t seem to give a wit about all the usual stuff, but the topic of marriage? Oy vey. I’ve never heard such ill-considered double-speak come from the mouth of such a caring and intelligent man in my life. His drivel isn’t harsh or mean. It’s just . . .  forgive me . . . stupid.

All the more so when I contrast it with my (maternal) grandfather. He died a few years ago (as a really quite spry 98-year-old man). Born and bred as a midwestern rural man, my grandfather’s family settled there when it was still “Indian country.” A devoted Catholic too. But to him the whole gay-marriage “problem” was the stupidest thing he’d ever seen in America. Where’s the problem? (To paraphrase a man who would make Ennis look like blabbermouth.)

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2005, 12:43:30 AM »
ranchgal, I think we are the ones who HAVE to say something. If it is only gay folk who speak up it is easier for a lot of people to ignor/dismiss this argument.  More straight people need to speak up so it becomes a mainstream issue, not part of the so called 'gay agenda' so many people seem to like to talk about and dismiss. 

Mary, deep down inside I wish you weren't so very much on the money. I really want for an America that would be willing to listen to the case made by those of us with the most direct stake in the game and come to the right conclusion. That's what I find so frustrating. (Okay, that America only exists in my fantasy life . . . and it isn't just about gaydom).

It's also what I find so heartening. Here in California, the most reliable polls put an even 50-50 split on marriage-equality (and I don't mean marriage "lite" or marriage by another name . . . just good old fashioned marriage). Those numbers would never happen unless friends and family and just run 'o the mill straight folks say "enough is enough."

Hell, the nutters couldn't even gather enough signatures this fall to put a "Marriage Protection" constitutional amendment on the ballot. Maybe the tide is finally turning. Maybe BBM will help move that along in some small way too.

I really hate standing here with my hat in my hand (it's a stupid pride thing probably), but I'm awfully grateful for the millions of people like you.


Offline Wayman Wong

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 883
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2005, 01:02:00 AM »
I've just been reading ''Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay,'' and Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana did such a phenomenally faithful job of adapting it as a movie. But what they chose to expand and add is also intriguing. The scene where Alma Jr. tells Ennis that she's getting married (at age 19) doesn't exist in the short story. But in the screenplay, right after Alma Jr. and Ennis clink their glasses and toast her upcoming marriage, there's this note: ''Ennis smiles back at his luminous daughter. But his smile can't hide his regret and longing, for the one thing that he can't have. That he will never have.'' In a subtle way, McMurtry and Ossana contrast a teen girl who can marry a guy he's known for ''about a year,'' with two grown men who have known each other for 20 years, but cannot marry. With any luck, straight filmgoers will make this connection, and see the injustice of how society treats gay couples.

lynn

  • Guest
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2005, 05:01:52 AM »
I admit to some confusion on this issue as it arose in the news this last year. My instinct is that we should all have the same rights but I heard some compelling arguments suggesting the right-wing "majority" wasn't "ready" for this and so it was best to go slowly, starting first with civil unions but not marriage to avoid a conservative backlash. And even some "gay rights" groups seemed to suggest this, along with pointing out that some are satisfied with a type of "marriage lite". However, it's possible my interpretation was distorted based on someone's spin and I didn't really delve into it too much (wasn't up for a vote in our state, Pennsylvania). Sometimes what seems like a simple and obvious political decision can be more complex once you start looking at all of the angles.

My take now? Completely different. It is impossible to read your stories and those on the BBM board and not come away convinced that love marriage and commitment can mean the same to all of us and it is crazy that I should have that legal right and not you. Sharing your very personal stories made it clear to my heart as well as my head that we want exactly the same things, in a way that all of the magazine articles and talking heads on TV never did.

The fact that South Africa is now more progressive than us in legalizing same-sex marriage (as pointed out by Jon Stewart on a recent show) is embarassing and should be unacceptable. Plus, maybe it's not really my place to worry about a backlash. Maybe I need to say, screw you, WE are taking back this country. All I can promise is that when and if the issue ever comes up for a vote here I will review it thoroughly and most likely support it completely. (Part of the solution, not the problem, right?)

Offline WLAGuy

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2005, 02:14:06 AM »
Well, okay, Dave, since you asked.   ::) 

I think until it is possible for gay couples to get married, we are not going to see the gay community grow up as a whole.  As it stands now, gay men are cursed with eternal "teenage-hood" (if that's a word), and have to make mighty efforts to shed that mantle.  We are not part of a society that expects us to marry, settle down, raise children, buy houses in the suburbs and attend PTA meetings.  Because we are not, each of us has to basically feel our own way through life, and I think a great many of us basically end up stuck in a stage that for the majority of the straight community is a passing phase on the way to adulthood.  I think that's also why you are more likely to see gay men in lower-paying jobs with less authority.  There is usually no mortgage to worry about, and no children to feed and clothe and send to school, and hence no pressure to pursue the jobs that pay more.  And while my guess is that there probably are a good many gay relationships that have lasted a good number of years, there is no unifying force that brings gay men who are in long-term relationships in constant contact with single gay men, where they could serve as role models, as opposed to the straight community, where there is a lot more contact between the generations as well as single and married people simply because of the way straight society works.

Offline Carissa

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
  • Too young. too soon. too loved to be gone.
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2005, 06:52:03 PM »
This is another topic that really pushes my buttons.  I don't understand how 2 men or 2 women getting married will "ruin and tarnish the institution of marriage."  I've gotten into fights with my mother and on other message boards about the topic.  I hope that one day we will live in a world where the only prerequisite for getting married is being in love and being committed to one another.  (If you couldn't tell, I wear my "straight but not narrow" badge very proudly!)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2005, 06:53:34 PM by Carissa »
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
- Romeo and Juliet (Juliet at III, ii)

Offline CellarDweller115

  • Faithful Friend
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 212270
  • twiddle your spaghetti
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2005, 06:52:49 PM »
I think until it is possible for gay couples to get married, we are not going to see the gay community grow up as a whole.  As it stands now, gay men are cursed with eternal "teenage-hood" (if that's a word), and have to make mighty efforts to shed that mantle.  We are not part of a society that expects us to marry, settle down, raise children, buy houses in the suburbs and attend PTA meetings.  Because we are not, each of us has to basically feel our own way through life, and I think a great many of us basically end up stuck in a stage that for the majority of the straight community is a passing phase on the way to adulthood.  I think that's also why you are more likely to see gay men in lower-paying jobs with less authority.  There is usually no mortgage to worry about, and no children to feed and clothe and send to school, and hence no pressure to pursue the jobs that pay more.  And while my guess is that there probably are a good many gay relationships that have lasted a good number of years, there is no unifying force that brings gay men who are in long-term relationships in constant contact with single gay men, where they could serve as role models, as opposed to the straight community, where there is a lot more contact between the generations as well as single and married people simply because of the way straight society works.

Wow!  Very well put!

I also agree with ranchgal and mary.  The gay community is going to need help from the straight community in getting this.  Gay marriage will always be seen as a "gay" topic, until a good number of straights come on board to help.

And the gay community has to be vocal about getting that help.  I talked to all my straight friends about this topic.  I had a debate with a friend who is Republican, during the last presidential elections.  When I stated I was voting against Bush, because of his want for a gay marriage ban amendment, he said he didn't think that gay marriage was enough of a reason to vote Democrat.  

I gave him a list of the protections he gets with his wife, that I am not allowed to have, just because I am gay, and because of that, I can not vote Republican.

While I didn't convince him, I did manage to influence my other friends who overheard the debate, and they now support gay marriage.

Offline PetterG

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 924
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2005, 11:49:03 AM »
I don't understand how 2 men or 2 women getting married will "ruin and tarnish the institution of marriage."

I agree with You, I cannot understand that either - but - when a female friend of me married a boy/man, just to give him Swedish citizenship - I was very upset, because she misused the marriage (in MHO anyway).
By this I could in some way see how the conservatives Christians thinks about 'gay marriage' as a misuse of the 'holy' thing.
if you cannot fix it - you've gotta stand it
if you cannot stand it - you gotta fix it

Offline WLAGuy

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2005, 12:04:41 PM »
By this I could in some way see how the conservatives Christians thinks about 'gay marriage' as a misuse of the 'holy' thing.

Their argument doesn't work for me (and I'm guessing quite a few other people) because most of the straight community treats marriages as disposable.  I'm not just talking about the people at the bottom of the ladder, either.  Think about how the "movers and shakers" treat marriage.  Donald Trump has been married a number of times (I think it's three, but who's counting?  Apparently not Donald), and no one thinks less of him because of it.  Hollywood marriages are considered successful if they last more than a few years, and no one is surprised if they only last a few months. 

If the straight community wants to successfully argue that marriage is a "holy" thing, then they're going to have to start treating it as such.  They could start by doing away with divorce, and passing stronger laws against adultery and sex outside of marriage.  THEN they would have a strong argument that marriage is "holy."  They will never do these things, of course, because their real argument is that they don't want to see gay and lesbian couples as equal to them.  It's basically the plantation mentality -- "We treat our slaves just like part of the family, but give them equal rights?  You're kidding, right?" 

Offline PetterG

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 924
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2005, 12:27:34 PM »
I agree with You, the conservative Christians should be much more upset about the 'marriage-misuse' the heteros are doing. I think today is the wedding (ie the party) the important thing, not the marriage (long relation).

But by this example I understood how someone could be angry that someone else 'misused' the marriage (a very common argument is that "I don't 'destroy' Your hetero-marriage if I have a 'gay marriage'" - mind Your own business).

It is not only in the 'animal farm' that "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal".

Here in Sweden we today have a gay marriage (registered partnership is the official term) - and it is exactly the same as the civil registration the heteros can do. So there are ideas to rename the partnership and use the term marriage for everyone - which has upsetted the christians.
if you cannot fix it - you've gotta stand it
if you cannot stand it - you gotta fix it

Offline WLAGuy

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2005, 12:36:20 PM »
Well, God knows Sweden (and many other countries) are so far ahead of the US that you'll probably see that happen long before we do. 

Offline CellarDweller115

  • Faithful Friend
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 212270
  • twiddle your spaghetti
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2005, 07:35:35 PM »
If the straight community wants to successfully argue that marriage is a "holy" thing, then they're going to have to start treating it as such.  They could start by doing away with divorce, and passing stronger laws against adultery and sex outside of marriage.  THEN they would have a strong argument that marriage is "holy."  They will never do these things, of course, because their real argument is that they don't want to see gay and lesbian couples as equal to them.  It's basically the plantation mentality -- "We treat our slaves just like part of the family, but give them equal rights?  You're kidding, right?" 

If they were to "allow" us to get married, they would have to drop that whole "Hate the sin, love the sinner" thing too, which they just LOVE to throw around. 

lmao

I had a priest once say to me "It's ok to be homosexual, as long as you don't practice your homosexuality."  I turned to him and said......"Well thank you.  And it's ok for you to be religious, as long as you don't practice your religion."

The expression on his face was priceless.  I wish I could remember who said that quote that I borrowed.  It was either Bob Smith or Michael Thomas Ford.