Thursday, August 5, 2010

On The Current Challenge to HATEROSEXUAL-ONLY Marriage: and Christianity, Hypocrisy, and Western Civ

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On Christianity, Marriage, Hypocrisy, and Western Civ:

I was initially excited to hear the news of the challenge to the California law, a law of gross discrimination that was well-funded by The Mormon Church TM. I loved how the arguments were framed by Judge Walker. I applaud him. For more, see here at HuffPo.

For a synopsis, from the Huffington Post piece--one of them that they've published on this subject, see below:

  • "Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as a characteristic of the individual. Sexual orientation is fundamental to a person's identity and is a distinguishing characteristic that defines gays and lesbians as a discrete group. Proponents' assertion that sexual orientation cannot be defined is contrary to the weight of the evidence."
  • "Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation."
  • "Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions. Like opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples have happy, satisfying relationships and form deep emotional bonds and strong commitments to their partners. Standardized measures of relationship satisfaction, relationship adjustment and love do not differ depending on whether a couple is same-sex or opposite-sex."
  • "Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals."
  • "Same-sex couples receive the same tangible and intangible benefits from marriage that opposite-sex couples receive."
  • "The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships."
  • "Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages."
What differences DOES it make to HET marriages whether LESBIANS and GAYS can marry also? How does us getting married do anything to interfere with your fucked up version of marriage/divorce/remarriage?

But reading a discussion thread on this subject on Tim Wise's Facebook page has made something clear:

First, I completely agree with Jayray Ray:
Jayray Ray I've said it before and I'll say it again. I couldn't give the steam off my piss about gay marriage. While this whole debacle understandably shakes the foundations of convention, tradition, institutional religion and the conventions of heteronormity, IT STILL ONLY AFFECTS A STATISTICALLY SMALL AND PRIVILEGED MINORITY (i.e. the boringly saccharine ideal of two lawyers/doctors/designers His and His SUV's in the driveway).

Call me when real facts and issues surrounding gay, nay, human sexuality are brought to pandemic light. How can you people raise your half-assed liberal flambeauxs to such trivia when a third of teen suicides are by gay kids? Or when 45% of homeless or runaway youth on American streets identify as LGBT?

Talk about carts before horses. I've found too often that dialogue seems to cease between the queers and the breeders when the conversation turns to sexual education. And I'm not talkin' Johnny's first nocturnal emission or Susie's Aunt Flo!
If you read the discussion thread thus far, you'll understand where this is coming from:

It  means little to me that some well-meaning Christians will come to the fore to state how glad they are that this has happened. The question is this: how do you Christians organise to shut down the machinery run by the bigots who call themselves Christian, who spit in the eye of Jesus whenever they open their mouths to proclaim the Glory of [Their One True-ish] G-d? When does it become imperative that Christians stop praying to their Lord, and start practicing what he allegedly preached? Forgiveness of priests molesting children and raping nuns does NOTHING to stop child molestation and rape, in case you haven't noticed.

While I support Civil Rights protections as vitally important, I don't ever mistake them for anything approximating human liberation from oppression. There shouldn't be two water fountains, one for whites and one for Blacks, or obstacles to voting. There shouldn't be partnership laws that exclude lesbian and gay couples. Civil Rights are supposed to be a strategy for achieving social justice and equality, not the last stage in the accomplishment of such liberation and equality.

The water from the single fountain still demands that some get no water at all.

What does voting really accomplish when we only can vote, nationally, for candidates from two parties that both ignore poor people, people of color, queer people, WOMEN'S RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM ASSAULT and SUBORDINATION, and people who are destroyed by capitalism and the military industrial complex, which BOTH Democrats and Republicans FULLY SUPPORT.

Voting does allow us to elect a Black man as president--who some silly and virulently racist whites will insist is not a U.S. citizen. Some election results have symbolic meaning and social value that ought not be looked upon cynically.


When the out Lesbian-Feminist Red woman is president, in a seven party system in an actual democracy, then I'll know something has shifted fundamentally. When white, allegedly het, allegedly Christian men don't rule all our institutions, then I'll get out the fun noise-makers. Until then, the not-fun noise-makers.

Marriage, as a legal, economic, political, social institution (however inclusive of lesbian and gay couples it sometimes seems to want to be) creates gross discrimination against and further marginalisation of single people, some intersex, intergender, and transgender people (two men and two women being allowed to marry is far from "inclusive"--we'll see what the wording ends up being), and for many of us who are trauma survivors who would rather die quickly than subject ourselves to having to be sexually available to anyone "till death do us part".

What is still not statused, privileged, or institutionally celebrated is the reality that most of us live with: having caring friends; community members or neighbors who show up in sickness and in health; primary friendships who help us process the dramas and traumas of the married people we know; living with roommates who function as family-of-origin; networks of friendship scattered geographically who are our lifeblood; non-Western models of supporting one another and raising children, and many forms of NON-WHITE extended family.

To be crystal clear: I'm not advocating for Mormon--or any other--straight men to be able, under religious law, to rape their wives who are also their daughters. No, I'm not going to support that. That's me being discriminatory against a group that has practiced anti-Indigenous genocidal child-stealing and incestuous rape for centuries--BECAUSE THEIR GOD TELLS THEM TO DO SO. When you don't recognise that your god is a devil, you're seriously doomed, and so too are all those you attempt to "save". Message to the Christian evangelists, proselytisers, and missionaries: GO HOME. LOCK YOURSELVES IN until you get who the Jewish man named Jesus REALLY was and what he REALLY stood for. See this for more about him:

Marriage as it exists in dominant cultural law and imagination maintains and enforces rampant racism, heterosexism, and lethal misogyny by promoting a very Western patriarchal ideal.

Most humans need more than that, even while some of us very much need marriage to be more inclusive.

Civil Rights in the U.S. have only ever been able to extend, amend, or modify the rights and supremacy of wealthy White Het Men to pursue happiness.

Civil Rights, in and of themselves, do not decenter or destabilise the U.S.'s  kyriarchical, plutocratic, patriarchal foundation even a bit. The proof of this is to see who is the most powerful in this society, today, and this coming weekend: wealthy WHM. (And two hundred years ago? Wealthy WHM.)

Western Civ, despite it's lofty liberal proclamations to the contrary, has absolutely no plan, practice, values, or initiatives in place to make this society anything other than one that most benefits wealthy WHM.

So let's not forget that. Western Civ must be radically transformed, not amended; not just made "more inclusive"; not--especially--made to look humane when is EVERYTHING BUT. The U.S. is a country that requires and enforces rape as a terroristic form of social control and gross human suffering--including for het men's entertainment, identified and protected, Constitutionally, as free white corporate pimp-speech; it thrives on racism and genocide as an industrial strength value and practice, it must commit corporate-funded ecocide. All this must be done in order for the U.S. to exist--and continue its EXISTENCE. So liberal reform efforts, like the same sex marriage agenda, are not ones that are getting any applause from me any time soon.