Monday, November 20, 2006

The marriage equality fight

Well, we may not have the right to marry in this state, but apparently we can get a divorce. Last Friday's Tulsa World had an article about a judge who granted a same-sex couple a divorce without realizing that they were a same-sex couple. Kind of a funny anecdote, but it's a good illustration of really why this whole fight is absolutely insane, and how denying same-sex couples the right to marry is as arbitrary and ridiculous as denying blue-eyed people the right to play golf with brown-eyed people. Then again, the way country clubs work, as long as neither of them are Jews, it's ok, right? But I digress.

I think we're making progress in the marriage equality fight. In 2004, voters in quite a few states, including this one, stood up and said "yes, by golly, we're bigots!" in overwhelming numbers. This year, a whole bunch of other states stood up and said that, but Arizona lifted up its hand and said, "um, hey, this isn't right, guys, wait a sec," and voted not to be bigots. That's progress. It's standing still instead of moving backwards, but it's still progress.

Between now and 2008, I think the goal of the marriage equality movement should be to talk in terms of strengthening family values by making marriage inclusive, encouraging marriage as a stable family structure. If we speak the language of the right-wingers, maybe we can change their minds. I know one thing that isn't going to help: more parades with guys on leashes wearing leather, and buxom drag queens screaming and prancing around like maniacs.

We need to transform the marriage equality movement, hell the whole gay rights movement itself, from one focused on "pride," whatever that means, to one focused on "rights." Instead of having parades, let's have marches, where we wear, you know, normal clothing, and walk hand in hand carrying signs saying "all we want is equality" and "how does our love threaten your love" and such. No more crazy floats. No more leather daddies and bear bikers. Let's, for once in our fabulous existence, be discreet, and tactful, and diplomatic, and maybe, just maybe, we'll get somewhere.

Remember how MLK's supporters did it. Respectful, non-violent, civil disobedience. Remember how Gandhi did it. The same way. Why do we make a mockery of ourselves every time we venture out in public? What do we hope to accomplish?