Friday, November 11, 2005

Proposition 2 Aftermath

I was just reading an article in The Monitor related to the recently passed amendment known as Proposition 2. My reaction is, shut the heck up. This is complex, so I will have to take it one section at a time. I am not anti-gay, I just think the gay community is being stupid about this.

First, let's establish this. I supported Proposition 2. This amendment basically cements the definition of marriage in the state of Texas as a union between a man and a woman. I have reasons for this. I am a bad Catholic, so I won't use that as a reason. I will use history as an argument. Long ago, a man chose a woman as his wife and if her parents agreed, she was his. That was it. That was marriage. Then, the whole thing was formalized to protect children. If a man married a woman and fathered children, his property was passed to them. If there was a mistress, she did not count, nor did her children. That is all that official marriage is. It protects the rights of official offspring to inherit the wealth of the deceased. If it weren't for marriage, if you were a widow, your father-in-law could take all your husband's property and you would be either cast out or subject to his whims. This is why you go to the courthouse to get a wedding license. Getting married isn't complex. The priest, minister, judge, or official does all the work. Why would you need a license? The reason is, you need to record whom you are marrying so that any legal disputes over inheritance can be resolved. If you die intestate and are married, all your property will go to your wife or husband and children. If there is a testament, things will be divied up according to the will.

Gays and lesbians have the wrong idea about marriage. The ceremony is not the marriage. That's just a publich show. The marriage happens when the papers are filed. Those of us who follow the tradition, even unknowingly, have reason to have supported proposition 2. Marriage is basically an official way to establish lineage and, by extension, inheritance. If you are gay or lesbian, tell me where this is necessary. Your child will be a bastard unless you married in the traditional sense. If you are gay, you need a woman to carry your child. If you are lesbian, you need a sperm donor. Either way, you are involving a third party. If you are truly interested in making an event of your union with your gay or lesbian parter, have a huge event and put an ad in the paper. It may not be legally recognized, but it will be socially recognized. Nothing in the law prevents you from wearing a wedding ring to show your bond.

Let's say that your child is a bastard child. You can still leave a will that gives all your possesions to your child or children (if you are gay). If you are lesbian, as the mother your stuff goes to your children unless your will divides your possessions otherwise.

What about recognition by other entities like insurance companies, hospitals, and such? There is a legal function known as power of attorney. This won't help you with insurance unless the insurance company recognizes "domestic parters". If the state doesn't recognize gay marriage, nothing prohibits private companies from doing so. Their recognition simply won't have legal status in court. However, if your insurance company is willing to accept your significant other as a spouse or dependent, why do you need the state to recognize your union? After all, companies now offer their employees pet insurance. Why wouldn't they try to accomodate gay or lesbian employees?

The same goes for hospitals. If you are listed as power of attorney and are responsible for paying the bills, why wouldn't the hospital allow you to visit or make decisions for your partner? You can pre-shop for hospitals, you know. If I were in the hospital or insurance business, I'd have a niche as the Gay Friendly company. I don't want you to be married like I am, but I don't see why your dollars are worth less than mine. If you want to include your lover in your health insurance, that's fine. If you want your sigificant other to make health decisions for you, I'd have a lawyer on hand to help set up power of attorney. My point is, there are opportunities for those companies willing to accomodate the gay lifestyle regardless of any laws. That ought to be your focus rather than forcing the rest of us to accept a redefinition of the law and tradition.

What I'm saying is that if you are gay or lesbian, you don't need to change traditional marriage. There are ways around the obstacles you face if you really try to find them. I have made some suggestions. Even if you are unsuccessful, will that diminish the love you have for your significant other? Will this prevent you from living a full and happy liffe? I recognize that you face challenges that straight people don't. I hate to give cliche advice, so I'm hating when I say, "take lemons and make lemonade".

If you are truly intellectually honest, by allowing gay marriage or similar arrangements, you are asking 98% of the population to accept the dictates of 2%. Come on, be realistic. When the population is sympathetic to your plight, we will agree. When you try to force it upon us, two letters suffice. F.U. My crudeness is for dramatic effect.

My advice to our homosexual population, don't worry. You're just as gay as you were before Prop 2. You probably still love your partner. You haven't lost anything. Nothing has changed for you that you did not already face. If you are upset, it really is about nothing. You are still free to live your life and love as you wish. The only difference is that you can't force the the rest of Texas to change the definition of marriage. I sincerely wish you good luck and recommend that you set up legal documents to give your partner as much say over your welfare that the rest of us enjoy with our spouses. Most of all, I recommend that you don't be haters. Hating works two ways.
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