Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not Accepting the Unacceptable

At this conference I spent time with a woman from NYS PRIDE Agenda, and tried every way I could to see why not just equal rights, with different words, civil union vs marriage, wasn't OK. I was talking to the wrong one, she sat me down with facts, and said remember separate but equal, that was thrown out by the Supreme Court, it had to be equal is equal not separate, or called different things. As far as what people are used to or what comes to mind when the word marriage comes to be spoken is so relevant because it is the people that need to change, not the term. When people thought of black people, they thought "N" word..., slaves, less than, property, not until 1964 was that legally supposed to be changed (the equal rights part), although it is still not accepted all over. etc... Women, they were thought less than, they were by law subservient, owned by the man (husband) at one time property, etc.... So what people think, and their comfort zone regarding terminology is their problem. This woman has me more into this cause, with research about it first, more now than ever. Everything I threw at her she had the answer, she said when people say lifestyle, she reminds them, I did not choose this, it is my orientation, when she talks about her wife, she said at first people looked at her weird, then the second time, they are so-so, then the 3rd time they get used to it. Meanwhile I was even thrown by the term, and she noticed that, but I remembered that a few friends I have, heterosexuals, actually ask how my husband, Rafael is, all the time again, I am the one who is uncomfortable with the term, my homophobia, not theirs. When I mentioned abortion, as is brought to my attention regarding laws when we discuss this issue, and about the church, and how it somehow is all the same, don't even go there because that is a choice, whether you agree or disagree, it is a choice made by a woman, and/or a man, or both, or whoever, but it is a choice. Sexual Orientation is not a choice.
When I told her about my blog, writings, etc....... I told her that I mentioned the "ignorants", regarding some people, I said it was ME who was most ignorant in some areas, ignorant for me to expect people to buy into something I can not even sell to myself. So I want that to come across. Ignorant is not a bad or insulting word, but it does get people's attention, because they feel insulted, I know I did. Arrogant and ignorant are so often put together.
We also discussed the riots/marches depends who you talk to, and how they look at it, the protests happening in California, she said they will get probably get worse, I asked why, since this Proposition or one similar was passed before, she said because they, the religious conservatives, and in fact our government, have actually taken rights away from people this time, where before Gays were fighting for a right, now we, me, Rafael, my friends, all lost rights, as they did in 4 states this election year. Marriage is a civil term, no matter how you look at it, and to settle for less is unacceptable. Let's call all marriages Civil Unions, and then if the heterosexual couples want to go to a church and get married, feel free to go and get blessed by the so called "Godly". If it is going to be civil unions, let all couples have civil unions, that is what married people have now anyway, so let's call it what it is. Friends I have stay legally married only because of the marriage laws and their benefits, because they are still married, one "partner" still gets family plan health insurance, dental, Social Security, etc... why should they have certain rights because they are married, when 2 people in a loving same sex relationship can't have these rights at all, even when they love each other and are together. They can legally still do their taxes together, but me and Rafael can't. If I die, he gets to pay the taxes on his windfall (ha ha), my death, my friends get half of spouse's estate without tax penalties, because they are married, living in different places, being in different relationships, but yes married by law. Lord I can go on and on. I was really not caring about the word part, call it what you will but give me equal rights was all I said, I no longer feel like that, I was taught once again, how ignorant I was on the subject. So unless and until the Federal Govt. gets the law changed to make it right, it won't be right. The idea that a bunch of people in California, one of the most liberal of all states, can get this hate bill, anti human rights bill passed, and at the same time take rights away from people now, scares me, I knew the country was turning backwards in this area, but this is the proof. You know what I think I should do, move, to Ireland, that is what I say whenever frustrated or angry with our Govt. !!!!!!! But like Michael Moore said "The worse thing you can do is leave the country and not fight for your rights, I hate that sheesh. I may have to move to San Fran to join the fight, put flowers in my hair, oh right I have no rights and no hair, can't win today, but NOOOOO, my union wants me to get on the front lines in NYS and make a difference, I want to also. They also pointed out, and this was funny, that a NYS Govt. Report and some newspapers, felt the need to Headline, in these "Financial Times, Gay Rights will not be on the top of the priority list". Maybe they felt the need to headline only the Gay story, someone said, because the uproar that the layoffs and closings that are to come will go unnoticed. So use us now as a distraction, I was speechless.
One action being taken is calling all committed couples "Civil Partners", gay or straight, even those presently called married. Let's see how "they" feel when we say we don't consider your civil loving partnership anything more than that. They aren't used to it, oh well. So I will ask people how is your partner. I was told gay marriage is new and different, so why can't we just accept that and call it something other than marriage, to make "them" happy, Gay people in love is not new and different, it is just love. Marriage is not owned by the Church, if it were why would one need a license from the Govt. in order to get married by the Church. So let's call marriage something different. I am not compromising, and people comparing it to the abortion issue, is actually insulting, that my relationship with a GREAT man, be partnered or compared to abortion in legal issues. When and if the closed minded get used to my calling them Partners, God knows a lot are not civil, but ok Civil Partners, maybe they will see how it feels, and if they get comfortable "Hurray", and if not, oh well get a life, and get used to it. I can't wait to start asking people at work tomorrow how their partner is, I am going to have to work that into the conversation, and then pretend I even care.
It is so funny, I was with Rafael all weekend at the conference, it was great, but we are so different. I get riled with these issues. He just wants peace, I want justice, where is Al Sharpton when you need him? My cousin and I were saying how many people call Rafael my "friend", lots of times not even a name, or when we are sent an invitation or Christmas card it is not Mr & Mr, or Mr Neil & Rafael K. or Rafael & Neil V., it is Neil K & Rafael V, it doesn't get any more simple than that, SEPARATE, we can't even get an address in the post office saying we are a couple in a committed relationship, living together, owning property. In S.T., where we reside Rafael is only an occupant, if we were married he could be put on lease, but he can not be put on lease, he is just an occupant. My poor friend, I mean partner, I mean Occupant, Rafael. As you see I can go on and on. What is Next I will tell you, in a future blog........?????????????????


Todd HellsKitchen said...

Thanks for your eloquent perspective!

jeannerockaway said...

Are there any politians,that are willing to do battle for equal rights for all. I mean for ALL? Because I heard Obama and Clinton, both say, they do not believe in marriage between two same sex couples. I know there are a few states, two?, that acknowledge same sex marriage. We need to get it approved on a federal level, right? There's a lot of work to be done. It's well within the realm of possibility. Never let up. Americans usually "get it", and do the right thing. We Americans, for the most part, are good, compassionate people. We just have to get them to listen. Really, listen.