I went a wee bit ranty on Facebook today. I don’t do this very often, mostly because I am more of a Twitterer than a Facebooker and it’s hard to get ranty in 140 characters; and also because – as my husband keeps reminding me – I don’t want to turn potential readers off by being a boring lefty hippy, tree-hugging, pinko, occasionally anarchist kook all the time.
Usually, I take his advice. Some days, I just get so fired up that I wouldn’t take the Dalai Lama’s advice, or Neil Gaiman’s, let alone my darling Husband Bear’s. Today was one of those days, and the topic that was making me see red was gay marriage. And it made me angry on MULTIPLE LEVELS, all, in my opinion, worthy of going a bit ranty on.
The first level is this: If I’d been born gay, I’d be devastated if I wasn’t allowed to marry. I love my husband fiercely. The day we married was such an amazing day, both for us and for our families. It was incredibly important to me that I was able to share my adoration of him with the people I love. Everybody deserves to experience such perfect happiness.
The second level is this: Why the flub shouldn’t gay people be allowed to marry? Marriage is about love; about wanting to show the world how much you adore another person, enough to commit to them for life. It’s a beautiful thing. The more people who want to do it, in my opinion, the better. There’s too much hate in this world; too much nastiness. The only way to see your way through the blackness is to give, and receive, a little loving. If you’re a girl who loves a boy, or a girl who loves a girl, or a boy who loves a boy, or a boy who loves a girl, WHO THE FLUB CARES? It’s beautiful and it’s miraculous and it’s what makes the world go around and it should be celebrated, goshdarnit!!!
The third level is this: People are going all wibbly over “the children, the children!” like a) ALL gay couples will necessarily want to have kids and b) all kids of gay couples will be somehow damaged by being so. In a world where divorces just about outnumber happy marriages, and a lot of those divorces are ugly, really, I can’t see how a kid is going to be too damaged by seeing his or her parents LOVING EACH OTHER, whether they’re gay or straight. Plus, still on the marriage = kids thing, my husband and I don’t have kids. Does this mean our marriage should be annulled? We’re also not religious. Should we have never been allowed to marry in the first place? Anti-gay-marriage logic FAIL!
The fourth level is this: My own personal mantra, the one I live each day by, is “Do what you will, as long as it does no harm”. As long as you’re not hurting anybody else, why shouldn’t you live your life exactly as you goshdarn please? Why shouldn’t you love and marry who you choose to? Why shouldn’t you enjoy a cider at the end of a long week? Why shouldn’t you have the right to die with dignity, or to terminate a pregnancy that would have an adverse effect on your life (particularly if you are a child yourself, or if that baby was conceived as the result of sexual assault)? It’s this belief that makes me, on occasion, tend towards anarchist principles. Why does the government believe it has the right to tell us what we can and can’t do with our lives AS LONG AS WE ARE NOT HURTING OTHERS?
The last level is this: We are a secular country, are we not? And yet so much of government policy is rooted in antiquated doctrine. It’s hypocrisy and it’s backward. I am all for freedom of religion, religious tolerance to right to a personal belief system – indeed, I have some kooky beliefs of my own that are very precious to me – but not if any of those freedoms impinge on another person’s liberty.
There endeth the sermon.
I may not have kids, but my best friend has just had a child. As “Auntie Katie”, what I want most for “Wee George” is for him to grow up free. If he turns out to be gay, I want him to be able to marry whoever he darn well pleases. I want to be able to go to his wedding as his crazy auntie, and embarrass him with stories of how, the first time I ever held him, he did an earth-quaking poo, the like of which I had never imagined before that moment.
I want him to be free. I want him to be happy.
I want the suicide rates amongst young gay people to drop.
I want this country I love to be truly unbound by outdated, damaging strictures.
If it means we all have to get a bit ranty to make this happen, so be it.