Docsplainin' -- it's what I do

Docsplainin'--it's what I do.
After all, I'm a doc, aren't I?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On Fairness and Respect

Sister blogger Lesboprof is out protesting California's Proposition 8 this weekend. She explains in today's post that the nationwide protests are about a lot more than "gay marriage":
It is about calling out people's rejection of LGBT people... the idea that you can say you love us individually and vote against us as a group. We are your family members, your teachers, your students, your friends, your neighbors, your partners in faith, your elected officials, and your compatriots. We deserve fairness and respect.
She's right. That vote was an awfully painful slap in the face to LGBT people everywhere, not just in California. The message is that however much it may feel like you are accepted and respected by society, you really aren't. It's all lip service. And when your students, your friends, your neighbors, your family, and your fellow congregants can vote in secret, the truth comes out. A vote like California's serves only to demonstrate straights' hate and disgust and fear. And that is what it is. During the Civil Rights era, you used to always hear "Some of my best friends are Negroes, but..." and then would follow some right or list of rights that Blacks should be denied. Despite what people say about not being racist or homophobic or sexist or whatever, their behaviors say otherwise.

Maybe we ought to reserve the term "marriage" for the religious ceremony that takes place in churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship. Maybe we ought legally to refer to it as "partnership" (with some adjective to distinguish it from a business license) and make it accessible to everybody (adult), everywhere. The official status of what we currently call "marriage" confers not only numerous legal and financial benefits--which there's really no logical reason to deny LGBT people--but also a certain social standing and psychological meaning. When your coupleship is official, it gets much more "glue": Other couples support it, singles respect it (by which I mean it cuts down considerably on "poaching"). A state license grants a personal sense of permanence, stability, and trust in the relationship--that it really means something, that it will be there for you. All of which there's also really no logical reason to deny LGBT people.

When I was growing up, it was illegal for people of different races to pair off, never mind marry each other. It was called "miscegenation," and it was a crime. There were laws against it. (I know I just said the same thing three times, but I'm betting there's young people out there reading this who won't believe me the first time.) That looks so quaint, backwards, racist, and downright silly to us now. Why are we holding on to the same ugliness with regard to LGBT people? It does not become us as a nation. What it says about "the content of our character" is not pretty.

It's time we grew up.

1 comment:

therapydoc said...

You"re right on. Great post.