A Proposition

To solve the great debate over marriage rights for gay people, I have a proposition.

There has been much discussion about marriage being a religious sacrament. For those raised in the Catholic faith, like my partner, that rings true. However, not everyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual, views marriage this way.

My proposition is that to allow marriage to continue to be viewed as a religious sacrament; however, that requires that any couple united by a church officiant is considered married by law. Note that MANY faiths are beginning to recognize, acknowledge, and provide the sacrament of marriage to gay couples. Therefore, these gay couples would be legally recognized as married.

For those who don't want to be united by the church, these couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, would have basically what we would call a civil marriage or civil union (to appease all palates). However, whether it is called a civil union or marriage is purely a technicality and a reference to the environment in which the union was performed, because both would carry the same benefits.

Is this a reasonable solution? What are your thoughts?

Bitching about Progress

In New Hampshire, Washington, Oregon, and many other states, positive strides have been made in either passing nondiscrimination policies and/or civil union/domestic partnership legislation.

Some people crap on the idea of CUs or DPs because it's only half a loaf. I agree. We are not nearly done with this fight. Marriage is the ultimate goal for many of us (though I will agree not all of us). In fact, some GLBT folks would be more than happy to only have CUs or DPs because they don't want to be "like the hets." We know we are different and have accepted our difference. On the other hand, some of us want the benefits of commitment and fidelity. I've been with my partner for 11 1/2 years, we own a home together, share our finances, I've changed my name, and now we're having a child together. The commitment should count for something on the legal and civil field.

In Tennessee, it doesn't. Plain and simple.

Some GLBT folks think that we should tell society to shove their half loaf up their ass. Some of us are grateful for those crumbs...temporarily.

I will venture to say that when you have nothing, literally an environment where you may be acknowledged as existing but where you can also be legally denied recognition, something is better than nothing. I'd take that something over nothing right now. I think it's the fact that I have a child on the way that drives my attitude. It's bullshit to even have to worry about the possibility of being denied access to the delivery room when my partner goes into labor. A man never has to consider this when his wife goes into labor. Why should I?


The Little Things that Bigotry Affects

I had a hard time getting started on this post. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around how the TN anti-gay marriage amendment weaseled itself into the most mundane aspects of our life.

Back when I first posted on the effects of an amendment within the state, I focused on the obvious problems such as being denied access to or the right to make medical decisions for a partner. Little did I consider at the time, that we wouldn’t even be able to participate in a “vow renewal ceremony” at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival.

There are two issues that bother me immensely with this, aside from the obvious discrimination. One is it’s a vow RENEWAL ceremony for those who are already married. In other words, it’s not legally binding ANYWAY. There will be no marriage certificates signed or issued at this ceremony. Second, the TRF site merely states that the ceremony is for “legally married couples” (at least as of this writing unless they change their website). However, TRF doesn’t clarify that it is a heterosexual only event. Gay couples can be legally married just not in all states.

Here is what TRF site says:

May 12 - 13:Romance WeekendIn the spirit of Romeo & Juliet, love is in
the air, along with many a love ballad. Saturday will feature a vow renewal
ceremony in which legally married couples may register to participate
. On Saturday, Mix 92.9 FM will be broadcasting live from 10:00am - Noon. Our Romance Weekend is sponsored by Nashville Scene.

I emailed TRF to inquire about registering for the ceremony. Below is my email:

Regarding "Romance Weekend," how can a couple register for this? My
partner and I were married in Canada and would love to renew our vows.

TRF’s response:

Our vow renewal ceremony is a group ceremony performed by one of our vendors,
who is an ordained minister. Participants in the ceremony must be legally
married under the state laws of Tennessee.
We encourage participants to come in costume. If you are interested, when you arrive on May 12, check in and register at the information/souvenir booth as you walk in.

TnRen Staff
Tennessee Renaissance Festival
2124 New Castle Rd.
Arringtion-Triune, TN

For all the yahooing by the fundamentalists that the amendment wouldn’t hurt us, wouldn’t change anything, but would only reinforce one way over another, this proves that these amendments are insidious.

As an educator and one who has studied history, the Renaissance Festival was always one that I enjoyed attending. Now that my partner and I are having a child, it was something educational I hoped to share with our child. How many other programs and events will we be shut out of because of this amendment?

My first instinct is to protest. It would be wonderful to show up with a crew of other GLBT couples and their kids and have our own ceremony. The other part of me doesn’t want to support this with one of my hard earned red pennies.

What can we do when even the most inane events turn political and personal? What will we do to stop this insanity?