joyful girl

we owe each other the world. the world owes us nothing.

107876828745030282 March 8, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 12:48 pm

hello again, dear ones!
here is a letter that was sent to me by one of my coworkers. regardless of what you believe about gay marriage, i thought she brought up some really good points. i love this woman, and although we definitely have our share of differences, i wanted to share her thoughts…

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Dear Folks. This is one of those letters I’m sending to nearly everyone in my address book. At my age and stage of life, I do not find or look for many “hills to die on.” That is, I eschew conflicts whenever I can honorably do so. And this message to each of you will probably be my only “public” statement on this. George Bush, President of the United States, wants to add an amendment to the Federal constitution which was make marriage between same sex couples against the law. I have two issues with this.

1. The Federal constitution is a work of supreme insight and intelligence. It paints, in broad brush strokes, the founding principles of this government. It is rarely amended and the process to do so is rigorous. That amendment process was set up to be rigorous for a reason. If we, as a nation, lose sight of the spirit of the law and get down to picking at the letter of the law — we will have lost the essence of one of the finest codes in the world. It is intended, by its content, to be a document which will “bend” with the earnest needs of this nation. Debate is intended. Interpretation is intended. The federal constitution was not intended to be loaded up with statutes which cover such things as marriage (or birthdays or religious holidays, for that matter).

Within the parameters of its broad brush strokes, it has been amended in the past. Thus, “The government shall make no laws regarding the freedom of religion, of speech, or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble.” The 1st amendment. Or the amendments giving the right of casting a vote to women; interpreted from those broad strokes to grant equal rights. Or the amendment banning discrimination on the bases of race. Or gender. Or the right to privacy for our citizens. These amendments grew out of the UMBRELLA of the large spirit of the constitution.

This is the absolute beauty of this document and of the structure of this government. It is big, broad, and flexible. Unlike state constitutions, which often contain things such as: cannot spit on the sidewalks. If you back this movement to amend the constitution, you will be doing harm to your own governing document.

2. The “subject” of the political storm. I am gay. I understand the hardships of living in a “married relationship” without the sanction of marriage, itself. I understand the position of being a 2nd class citizen. I understand the cultural & “religious”castigation. I understand the fear of loss of family, friends, jobs, and housing. Believe me, I understand these things. I also understand what it’s like to be a hardworking, taxpaying citizen who watches heterosexual marriages. In my profession, I’ve seen them “up close and personal.” Not to put too fine a point on it: would you tell me that any half-witted, bigoted, child abusing, drug taking, adulterous human has a “right” to a sanctioned marriage and that these unions are ipso facto “holy” while I am not permitted to marry the person I love? How about the straight folks who are married 3,4,5 or 6 times? What in the name of God is “holy” about that? Why is it okay for me, as a citizen, to “support” these unions while accepting that my own is not worthy? That somehow my marrying would “bring down” the standards of my culture?

We used to have laws preventing inter-racial marriages. Or how about laws that say Catholics cannot marry Protestants? Or Jews can’t marry gentiles?

Commitment is sacred. Marriage is the public announcement of a sacred vow. I view marriage as sacred. Not to be entered into lightly, nor dissolved for any but an egregious breaking of the covenant. I am able to do that, folks. Being gay does not stop me from doing that. Gay or straight — the problem is NOT the gender of the spouses but the somehow accepted belief that if I’m not “happy,” I’m outta here! So that I can go search for the next “holy union” of marital bliss.

The timing of this “battle,” the shifting of the national focus to this issue, the posturing behind it is a cheap political trick. Now every news interviewer will try to pin every guest to the mat with “yes” or “no” answers. And the politicians will squirm. “State’s rights?” Baloney. That was the garment that covered a multitude of racial sins for over 100 years. Did the Catholics, Jews, Irish, Italians, African-Americans get their civil rights by vote of the people. NO! Do I want to leave MY civil rights up to the vote of the masses of people? NO!

As someone most of you call “friend,” and as someone most of you have known for many years, as a gay woman — I am asking you to think about this. As an American citizen and a student of history — I am asking you to soundly defeat this call for an amendment of our federal constitution.

Sincerely,

Joyce

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