Sunday, December 14, 2003

Still more gay marriage

Whether you like them or not, the Weblog Awards provide a lot of links. I thought I'd check out Swirlspice and I found a link to what follows.

John Kusch gets around in the blogosphere. I first ran into him in Dean Esmay's comments, and he has written some interesting stuff. He's gay, proud of it, and isn't shy about sharing his opinions. I don't know if his opinions are representative of the majority of gays, but he's handy, so I'll work with him. All quotes are from this.

He starts with this:
I listen to a lot of arguments against gay marriage.
And shortly thereafter there is this:
If I have the opportunity to hear a straight person out regarding their anti-gay marriage arguments, I usually make it a point to mention, "I'm really impressed by what a concerted effort straight people make to learn about us homosexuals, since they seem to know so much about us, and are so eager to share that knowledge with us. I suppose, really, that I've learned everything I know about being gay from straight people, at least if you measure it by volume."
Do you suppose he gave them a fair hearing? I suppose it would get tiresome to hear the same old stuff all the time, but that must be because he keeps bringing up the same questions.
Some straight people are actually in favor of gay marriage. Oddly, they tend to be the quietest of the bunch -- again, if you measure by volume.
Yeah, the quieter it gets the more of them there are, right?
1. If same-sex couples were allowed to marry, marriage would no longer be a sure-fire way for people to prove they aren't gay.
People say that? You must hang around with some really dumb straights. If my sex life is an issue with someone, that's their problem. I just happen to be straight.
I was called a faggot by another boy for the first time at the age of five.
You should have told him to get off your back...
The children around us on the playground only had to hear the word and the air became electrified with fear, hate, excitement and the pheromonal mish-mash that is analogous to blood in the water.
That's why some of us don't want 5 year olds exposed to stuff like this. I'm having a hard time believing that your abuser, at 5, had any clue what the word meant. Or that you did either, for that matter.
Being a faggot was the worst thing in the world; and unfortunately I didn't have the wherewithal or presence of mind to do the one thing that might have refuted the accusation: beat my accuser senseless. Having missed that opportunity, I was permanently labeled in my peer group, not only as a "faggot", but as something even worse: a girl. Goodbye baseball, hello jumprope. I don't think that homosexuals are manufactured, but sissies most certainly are.
That kids are cruel isn't exactly news. What's worse is how intelligent kids react to this. They assimilate information rapidly without being sophisticated enough to recognize BS, and can reach some really lousy conclusions based on that.

For my part, I was in kindergarten when I found a ring. Girls like rings, right?, so I gave it to one and happened to mention it to my parents. They thought it was the "cutest story" and I must have heard about it 1000 times. I concluded that I wasn't going to talk about anything related to girls with my family again. And that decision made as a 5 year old stuck around for years - when I really could have used advice I couldn't seek it from the people who could have given the best.
"...I saw the boys who were faggots and I saw how they acted and how they got treated, and I decided no way was I gonna get treated like that. So I acted like the boys who picked on the faggots instead. I guess I was kind of a jerk."
I was somewhat the same, only with the artier or brainier kids. Or the boys who cried too easily - they learned how to control it or they got abused.

Any aptitude test I ever took I pegged high, and in the summer after first grade I read everything I could get my hands on. This resulted in me collecting a mass of oddball facts without any wisdom tying it together, but it was enough for me to become an exhibit. I didn't like that either, so it seemed smarter to deemphasize this. I was still at the top of the class, but I didn't have to look or sound that way.

Incidentally, I didn't hear the word "faggot" for the first time until junior high. Even then it was just a word - I didn't know anything about it or have any idea why anybody would be one willingly.

Oh yeah, artier stuff. I learned early on that about anything musical besides drums or electric guitar wasn't cool. Graphic arts could be redeemed only through rudeness or smuttiness. Singing - not us. Dancing? Forget it, at least until jr. high or later. Absent significant offsetting "cool points", such kids were provoked regularly, especially if they combined art with intelligence.

Yes, being a kid, I overreacted and bought into all this, and the effects stuck around for years. So I picked up my first serious guitar at around 19, didn't start anything like serious dancing until after I had turned 40, cameras are on the agenda, and don't be surprised if some art or music starts showing up here. I'm slow, but I'm getting there.

Considering how I was so malleable, I'm guessing I'm lucky I was never told I was a "faggot". And assuming that my Middle American small town grade school wasn't exceptional, it makes me wonder if this has anything to do with the overrepresentation of gays in arts and entertainment.
If gay marriage is allowed, heterosexuals will have one less manner in which to distinguish themselves from "them" (or "us", depending).
This matters?

Mr. Kusch twists the language treating gays and straights as peers when in fact there are around 30+ straights for every gay. Whatever else might be said about homosexuality, the fact is that it's a tiny minority that is like no other, and the majority reserves the right to define the language. We don't need asininities like "andro- or gynosexual", or notions like "the only thing that defines heterosexuals is having heterosexual sex". It's the other way around - the default is heterosexuality, and it is homosexual sex that makes you gay or bi. IOW you're the exception, not the rule.
Homosexuals who care more about tradition and acceptance than their own emotional lives (or who just like a little ass "on the down-low", as those "in the life" term it) will have one less form of camouflage.
Good grief. Unless you make a show of it, why would anyone know if you are gay or straight or not without knowing you fairly well? Absent unusual behavior, most of us assume that people are straight, and thus don't "oppress".
2. If the civil marriage of same-sex couples is allowed, it will be demonstrated once again (for those Americans who have skipped a Civics class or two) that Church and State are, indeed, separate. No church will ever be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage, but no religion will ever be able to prevent same-sex couples from being married by a justice of the peace, either.
Some religious leaders are outspoken against homosexuality of course. But take a look at the most Godless regimes that there have ever been and see how well they treated gays.

IMO most non-gay gay marriage advocates are doing it just to spite traditional religions.
3. Same-sex marriage will send a message to straight society that same-sex couples...can be whole, complete, happy people without them.
What makes you think we care? No appreciable amount of the population wishes ill upon gays - my money says that gays outnumber them. But I for one am sick and tired of a tiny minority expecting to dictate to the rest of the world how marriage should be defined so a tiny subminority of them can simplify their legal paperwork. How can anybody be so down on straights and at the same time embrace the institution that they seem to think defines them?
You'll probably never get anyone to admit it, but there are people out there who oppose same-sex marriage because they instinctively sense that to legalize it would be to surrender the last bit of power they hold over us. Whether or not same-sex couples will misbehave isn't the issue so much as whether skeptical heterosexuals will be allowed to chaperone us.
Wait a minute - you want to get married so you can escape the control of others?

Oh, we'd like some control over you alright, but no more than we ask of straights. Strange dress and behavior and overt displays of sexuality are frowned upon with straights too, so there isn't even disparate treatment in that respect. The ones who want control here are the gays, and they want it despite being in the minority.
4. Same-sex marriage will force everyone, gay and straight, to confront and address the shortcomings, inequities, hypocricies and outright failings of marriage.
That's a total non-sequitur. And of course it's insulting to straights, suggesting that they can't fix marriage without gay input. You know, the guys who have no history of being married.

If marriage is so fouled up, then why would gays want in? It would make more sense to develop your own institution with its own body of law. Then maybe the straights would learn the error of their ways and change their marriage laws to match the new enlightened ones.
Picture we [sic] homosexuals, working through years of painful self-revelation due to straight bigotry, then rising above our oppression to help those same straight people who oppressed us through their own painful marital and sociological self-revelations, liberating our oppressors in a selfless and transformative gesture. Poignant, no?
Good grief, such moral masturbation makes me want to barf.

Why is disparate treatment of homosexuals so universal to human societies? Oh sure, some made sure they had some boys around to screw, but the boys quit catching once they became men. Don't claim credit for those unless you want to claim the Boston priests too.
Honestly, it doesn't strike me as a touching or dramatic or even interesting scenario -- not nearly as touching or dramatic or interesting as getting on Matt's health insurance so I can pursue a full-time writing career without completely giving up physical and financial security. Sorry, but I don't want to prick the boil of national catharsis or orchestrate a gargantuan After-School Special. I just want a legal framework for what we're betting could very well be a lifelong partnership. I want half.
Yep, we finally get to the real inspiration. The entire US must radically change the law of its most fundamental social institution so John Kusch won't have to buy his own health insurance.
No matter how progressive or open-minded they claim to be, most people do not want their children to be gay. Legal same-sex marriages would serve as an undeniable example to gay youth that homosexuality does not necessarily deprive a person of a happy and fulfilling life, meaningful familial bonds, or the fullness of romantic love and long-term partnership. By being happy, well-adjusted, productive and healthy human beings -- with joint checking accounts and videotapes of our commitment ceremonies -- we'll just be encouraging them.
Yeah, right - how many married people do you know? Is this what they all told you about marriage?

Why can't gay youth get their examples from unmarried gay couples? It would seem to be an even better example of love and mutual respect if neither has the other by the cojones with elaborate legal constraints.

Long ago Ann Landers famously remarked that "marriage is not a reform school". It won't make you "happy, well-adjusted, productive and healthy " - you have to be that way when you start.

OK Mr. Kusch, suppose some simple standardized legal arrangement suits you. Terrific - you can have what you're talking about through civil unions, with a separate body of law dedicated to your unique circumstances and that addresses the shortcomings you identify in existing marriage law, and under your control. Create a code and get it adopted nationwide so we can have uniform laws once and for all, and there's no reason why a church of any stripe needs to have any influence in the process at all. Then maybe the straights will adopt it too and you'll have those nasty old churches out of the marriage business.
Nobody wants their child to be gay because being gay is difficult
Nonsense. If I switched teams tomorrow there's be no reason why anybody besides my partner and a few close associates would ever need to know, so how could it be difficult? I don't care what the rest think, and I have no idea why they should care anyway.

Faced with the alternative of developing a new, superior body of law for civil unions, and the much lesser opposition to implementing this, why do some insist on having "gay marriage"? It's about legitimacy (see, we marry too!), opposition to traditional religion, greed, and the sheer narcissism it takes to demand such a radical change to a fundamental social institution just to please a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of our society.

UPDATE: The above isn't particularly well written - I threw it together in a hurry before the topic scrolled off. But it has attracted some response in another post on Mr. Kusch's blog here. I've commented there myself.

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