Guest Blogger: Robyn Harper of Gay Girl Revolution

wrote a blog not so long ago about marriage, outlining my thoughts on what I believe are the potential effects of referring to marriage by any other name. Carrie Underwood’s recent show of support for equality illustrates that the agenda is very much “gay marriage.”
Underwood joins a growing list of public figures in that regard. It was heart-warming to read of her using her voice for good in more ways than one. I speak as a biased fan, having followed since her early days on American Idol. Nonetheless, her support is extremely valid and welcomed, and it is hoped that her fine example has the effect of encouraging others to join her in speaking out in favor of equal treatment, and speaking out for what they believe to be right.
Underwood said, “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry.” The beauty of the songstress’ words lies in the simplicity of the sentiment. She effectively reduced the concept of marriage down to its basic form, its basic element, when she said, “I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”
Her language speaks of fairness, togetherness, and equality. Her words were not only refreshing but serve to simplify the matter. Marriage is about love, not gender or sexual orientation. Yet the headline read, “Carrie Underwood: US country queen speaks out for gay marriage.” The term “gay marriage” most definitely has momentum.
It is my belief that when we talk about “gay marriage” and “gay rights” as if they were separate from marriage and human rights, we are suggesting, if not creating, separateness. Our heterosexual peers, whom we are striving to join on an equal footing in the eyes of the law, by definition cannot partake in gay marriage nor benefit from gay rights — because these people are not gay. There is a separateness. That separateness, that difference in perception, is precisely what we want to overcome. We are all human beings. We are all deserving of the same and equal human rights.
Our efforts for equality are founded on and have always been based on the notion of equal treatment. How can we campaign to be treated the same when we ourselves call it something different? We’re not calling it marriage but “gay marriage,” yet we’re campaigning for full and equal marriage rights. The terminology currently in use excludes our heterosexual counterparts. We are campaigning for inclusion; why, then, do our campaigns suggest exclusion?
The phrases “gay marriage” and “gay rights” don’t apply across the board. These phrases apply to gay people. Marriage and human rights are applicable to us all as human beings, but not yet available to us all by way of law, and that’s what underlies our pursuit for justice: to be treated equally and without differentiation. We want equal treatment regardless of our sexual orientation. How, then, can marriages and rights be “gay”?
I’m asking whether it’s fruitful to separate ourselves by virtue of our sexual orientation. We’re fond of the slogan “love is love.” Therefore, whether a marriage is made up of two women, two men, or a man and a woman shouldn’t matter, nor should it be cause for differentiation, because marriage is marriage. Again, marriage is about love, not gender or sexual orientation.
Where did the construct “gay marriage” come from? Who created it? Who coined the phrase? Was it the media, marriage-equality supporters, or the opposition? I must bow to superior knowledge in this regard. I don’t know where the phrase came from, but what I do know is that marriage and gay marriage cannot be the same thing; the latter applies to gay people only, but the former can include us all equally.
To suggest that I’m averse to the use of the term “gay” is to misunderstand me. I simply fail to see how my sexual orientation should be attached to any human right I choose to exercise, be it connected to my education, my property, my voting rights, my work, or, indeed, my marriage. My sexual orientation, my belonging to the LGBT community, will always be a very proud part of my own personal history. Many communities make up our society, and we all belong to wider society equally. It is our diversity and our individuality that facilitate making our contribution to the richness of the human race a very valuable one.
On a personal note, I remain hopeful. When the day eventually arrives, if one of us opts for tradition and goes down on one knee, I don’t see a scenario of either one of us asking of the other, “Will you ‘gay’ marry me?” No, whether it’s her or I, the question will be, “Will you marry me?” When our momentous day follows, we won’t be exercising a gay right. We’ll be exercising a human right, a personal freedom, both of us, as human beings, underpinned by the basic element of marriage as I see it, and that is love.

Buybull Cherry Picking II

Back to the subject of Cherry picking from the buybull.

It struck me that the cherry picking is generally done in support of oppressing or discriminating against whatever group that the cherry pickers don’t like and feel that they are capable of getting away with not liking publicly.

In America, the buybull was used to justify

  • second place status of women in not being allowed to vote, own land, etc.
  • third place status of black men and women – after all, the buybull supports slavery and genocide
  • holding back everything that stemmed from these changes to equal under the law – it was decades before women could drive, wear pants without criminal charges for cross dressing or later being sent home from school to change into skirts and decades before the law switched from instigating the beatings and lynchings to actually investigating and prosecuting them and that last frontier: interracial marriage.

Today, the buybull is used to justify discrimination and oppression of gays and lesbians.

From banning gay marriage or grudgingly allowing for the lesser civil union/domestic partnership, to blocking gay adoption – gays and lesbians individually and as family units are under attack by groups of people who claim to be an elite group (separate from all the other elite god-groups) who worship a loving and forgiving god (the same god as everyone else, but worshiped differently because ours is the secret real one and we’re paying lip service to the others) – yet they cherry pick the passages from the buybull that are opressive, discriminatory, violent and pure hate.

Truthfully, this isn’t much of a selective high intensity search to cherry pick, as most of the buybull is violent and hate driven – it seriously should bear a warning label and be rated X. This is something that children should be protected from – not only the sex and violence, but the bad messages of bowing blindly to authorities who are willing to torture and kill you if you don’t – and then torture you some more.

Aside 1: Funny how the buybull is basically worship authority and then the church groups use this as their platform to disobey the American laws that don’t suit them.

What I wonder though is how people who cherry pick passages to justify their hatred of other people can simultaneously maintain that theirs is a loving and forgiving religion.

It’s way beyond even Sado-Masochism Discipline Bondage Love. which at least comes with a safe word.

It is not loving to impose a set of behaviour on people and deny them full participation in society and equal citizenship.

It is not forgiving to gloat about eternal damnation for anyone not accepting their yoke.

If there is an afterlife, it would be part of the natural world and not at all dependent on our individual conduct in life – but rather on the basis of this is what happens after things die – and it wouldn’t be limited to humans, either. Life is Life.

But, let’s say for the moment that the afterlife is a humans only club – modern humans or does that include some of our ancestor humans – which apparently does include Neanderthals after all. Small world:

Aside 2 – it seems that so far, no one in Africa has any neanderthal genes – which means that Africans are actually the pure modern humans and the rest of us are a blended human and another species of sapiens.

And let’s say that the quality of the afterlife you get is dependent on how you lived.

Can the believers really believe that a person who has raped and murdered children for decades and has a death bed conversion gets to go to heaven, but an atheist lesbian who has never raped or murdered anyone, who maintains employment, pays taxes gladly, who has undertaken thousands of hours of volunteer work in several non-profit fields – but I go to a bad afterlife because I don’t get on my knees for Jesus or any man?

Where’s the love and forgiveness? Where’s the compassion and logic? Where’s the sense and fairness in that?

It seems to me that the heaven that these particular kinds of believers would have is full of repentant evil doers and people who couldn’t understand morality on their own, and so simply obeyed orders to gain reward and avoid punishment.

Aside 3: And we know what happens when people are just obeying orders.

While hell will be filled with people who lived good lives and could work out for themselves what was moral – and that morality is culturally and situationally dependent.

It makes sense, when you think about it – the line in Milton’s poem – Tis better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven.

After all, according to the buybull, Satan and the angels who rebelled were in heaven with gawd – and yet they rebelled.

Wouldn’t the angels, with their direct experience in heaven and their direct knowledge of gawd, be the best ones to know then that being anywhere else  is better than this “heaven”?

Think about it – according to their own materials – right up front – the story is angels in heaven rebel and get kicked out forever.

You don’t rebel if your leader is kind and loving without a secret agenda. You don’t get yourself kicked out a place if it’s a great place to be.

It seems to me that if a place is crappy, you do PR to make it seem exclusive – sort of like when Eric the Red was exiled from Iceland (partly called because the Vikings didn’t want a bunch of other people coming over and getting mud in the hot springs).

Eric sailed off and discovered Greenland – only it wasn’t green – it was a frozen rock – and he named it Greenland to attract people to settle there so he could be the boss.

Just saying, there’s a very clear reason to explain that angel story.