Art Attack – Marriage Equality
I met my partner Billy at a mutual friend’s birthday party in Key West 20 years ago. For me, it was love at first sight – a handsome, politically minded, intelligent, agnostic vegetarian.
Eight years ago, on December 27, we were legally married in my native homeland, Canada.
What we both thought would be a purely political gesture and easy immigration status for Bill if we ever decided to make the move across the border turned out to be something much deeper.
The battle for marriage equality in this country has been long and arduous and will likely be decided soon by the Supreme Court. There are now nine states that have legalized marriage for same-sex couples, but thanks to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which Clinton stupidly signed into law, even in those states married gay couples are denied the 1,100 benefits and rights federally granted to opposite-sex married couples.
The argument that same-sex marriage will destroy the very institution is absurd and recent polls suggest that a majority of Americans agree.
Can we really take these so called defenders of the “sanctity of marriage” seriously? These are mostly white, homophobic, misogynistic, heterosexual men in power – a celibate pope, the politician on his third trophy wife, or the “man of God” caught yet again with his pants down.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of nine who will determine the fate of thousands of same-sex couples wishing legal marriage rights, has already publicly weighed in with his recent vitriol equating homosexuality to bestiality and murder.
I guess we know which way he’ll be voting.
President Obama has “evolved” on this issue and announced last May his support for same-sex marriage. In November, in a rare act of unison, our own city council passed a resolution endorsing marriage equality for all. The resolution has no legal binding due to our state’s constitutional amendment passed in 2004 banning same-sex unions, but the symbolic significance rang out loud and clear.
And I am equally proud of my association with the Eureka Springs Independent, the only newspaper in Arkansas to endorse marriage equality.
Writing this, it’s hard not to get pissed off with the idea that nine strangers will decide whether we, as a long term, committed, taxpaying, law abiding couple can file a joint tax return, be assured hospital visitation rights, or be worry-free that our life built together does not end up in the hands of some court.
Really, shouldn’t we be given the equal opportunity to botch a marriage just like everyone else?