Disclaimer: This is an editorial piece and only represents the opinions of myself, Sonjachardé Mixon, Resource Development Director and co-founder of Generaciόn Latina, Inc. Generaciόn Latina, Inc. is pro-human rights and pro-equality for all people. However this blog post does not necessarily represent Generaciόn Latina, Inc. as an organization.
President Barack Obama (my imaginary BFF) recently supported Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) marriage. I, for one, was ECSTATIC about this. I do not identify as LGBT but I have always been an ally for HUMAN rights, and since people who identify as gay or lesbian are HUMAN, I see no reason why two individuals who happen to be LBGT shouldn’t enjoy all the same rights of those who desire to be with persons of the opposite sex.
If you know me, then you know I’m a VERY vocal woman. I say what I think without a filter, and I have a hard time taking a neutral position about issues that I’m passionate about. Actually, when I’m passionate about an issue, I’ll listen to other views, but I’m never easily persuaded. HUMAN rights are one of those things. I often find that I have to just shut up and not talk about it because I get too riled up and people stop listening… But, I digress.
When I learned that President Obama supported LGBT marriage, I was so excited that I wanted to talk about it with everyone! Especially my friends whom, from what I believed to be true, were also as passionate about human rights as I am. But I soon found that I was very wrong. When I began to discuss Gay marriage with friends, I found that several of them were conflicted about the morality of LBGT marriage. Perplexed and scratching my head, I asked, “Why?” I always got the same answer: RELIGION. Everyone wanted to throw Biblical quotes at me because all of a sudden, these people who loved pre-marital sex, smoked marijuana, got stupid drunk, lied, used profanity, had abortions, cheated on their spouses, beat their children, wore mixed blend clothing, didn’t tithe, and didn’t go to church every single Sunday, all of a sudden THEY were above the Bible and only those in the LBGT community were sinners.
Now my aim here is not to bring up a religious discussion. I don’t want to discuss whether or not Gay marriage is okay according to God or the Bible, and any comments posted that discuss religion and its’ ‘importance’ in HUMAN rights and equality will promptly be removed and will not be responded to. I personally don’t think religion has a place in this issue. At one point White people used the Bible to support the enslavement of Black people… this can open up a whole can or worms so if this is your issue, I respect you and your issue but please feel free to discuss it with someone else because this website isn’t the forum to do so.
Besides those people who use “religion” as a shield to argue why LBGT couples should be denied the right to legally marry, I’ve never seen a reason why one would even CARE who someone commits themselves to. Its’ not their business! Plus, do you see anyone parading around in “straight marriages” telling them what to do, how to do it, and why?
I think part of the problem is that many “straight” people are ignorant to the rights that are denied when a LBGT couple is denied the right to legally marry. Here are some of the facts:
1. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry doesn’t allow them to fully commit themselves to the person they love
2. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry takes away the rights of one partner to make medical decisions on behalf of the other, even if they’ve been devoted to each other for 50 years
3. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry takes away the rights of one partner to be at their partner’s bedside should they die, even if they’ve been devoted to each other for 50 years (since technically, they are not family à we all know hospital policies!)
4. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry means that if an LBGT couple had a child together, and the birth parent dies, the other partner has no legal rights to the child. Because even though they may have spent 15 years loving, nurturing, teaching and providing for that child, they are BY LAW nothing to that child. Therefore the child would become a ward of the state even though they have another living, capable, loving parent!
5. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry means LBGT couples can’t receive financial or tax benefits on behalf of each other
6. Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry means that most employers won’t let LGBT couples claim their partner in their benefits package…and if they do they must go through a demeaning process to “prove” that their partner is actually their partner
Denying a LBGT couple the legal right to marry is degrading and inhumane. Sure, LGBT couples are good enough to pay taxes every year and pay into your Social Security with their big fat LGBT pay checks and help a politician get into office with their LGBT votes, but when it comes to the obtainment of a simple right as an American citizen, they are denied. As a country that has ALWAYS struggled with HUMAN and CIVIL rights, how can we fathom denying citizens of our country the liberty to pursue their happiness? Is this not an American right? Or is it an American right reserved for those who fit a mold that is inside the box? What if someone told you that you couldn’t get married because you were Black or a woman? Would that be stripping you of your American rights?
Food for thought on “STRAIGHT” and “LEGAL” marriages
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries: marriage lasted 72 DAYS
Britney Spears and Jason Alexander: marriage lasted 55 HOURS
Cher and Greg Allman: marriage lasted 9 DAYS
Rudolph Valentino and Jean Acker: marriage lasted 6 HOURS
Carmen Electra and Denis Rodman: marriage lasted 5 MONTHS
And this is who we’re so willingly giving the right to marry to?