I love my gay friends, and I am for gay marriage. It’s so obviously the right thing. And haven’t we all seen this coming for years now? I am of a generation that asks and tells (children of the eighties)… and the younger generations are even more open. Gayness is now proudly celebrated in parades around the globe, as well as in the mainstream media. Not allowing homosexual humans the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts is ridiculous and obviously a lame attempt by Bible thumpers to perpetuate legal bigotry.
However, I think it would be best for our society–gays and straights alike–to move beyond marriage. (And beyond religion, too, but I’ll save that one for later…) My internal reasoning is related to my position on the old (?) abortion debate. I am pro-choice, although personally I would not have an abortion.
I am pro-gay-marriage, although personally I would not get married.
Except that I will need to, in order for my partner, a Colombian, to be able to visit the United States of America with me. Because our country’s immigration policy automatically assumes everyone is just dying to live in the USA, he’s unlikely to qualify for a tourist visa since we have no documented proof that we will return to Guatemala. (Pretty please with sugar on top, Uncle Sam, we just want to visit and let our baby daughter meet her great grandmothers, we don’t want to move there, I swear!) If he is my legal spouse, he will automatically qualify for permanent residency, aka a green card. So maybe we will get married eventually, although it will change nothing except his traveling ability.
Other than for border crossing purposes, isn’t marriage passe? Commitment, yes, I love and recommend it. But legal and/or holy matrimony? What’s the point? Some people still do it mainly to satisfy their elders’ wishes. And there’s the whole hospital visitation rights/health care benefits aspect, but those policies, too, are in need of a serious overhaul. Tax benefits? Are there any?
I must admit, last year at this time I certainly neither foresaw being in a serious, committed relationship, nor having a child. Life happens, and you go with the flow. As cliche as it may seem, I think the loving relationship could occur because I’d finally, truly quit seeking completion from some mystical outer source. I feel so lucky and joyful that I have found a wonderful partner; I really didn’t think it would happen, after more than a decade of dysfunctional dating. In fact, for a large chunk of my mid-twenties, my most meaningful male relationships were with gay guys.
I am happy for my friends and acquaintances, gay and straight, who have also settled down with fantastic people with whom they seem so content and compatible. And here’s how mindfulness has helped me become a more moderate, more balanced, more calm and more blissful person: via mindfulness meditation I see that I am a super opinionated person who tends to extremes. I see the beliefs to which I clutch. And, little by little, I loosen my grip, ultimately letting go completely of my most righteous beliefs. I see that both the left and the right wing are basically the same: polarized, always fighting and unwilling to compromise. I see the value and wonder of moderation, the middle way. I am living my life as I wish, which is happily unmarried and abroad. And you are living yours, hopefully as you wish. What a divine miracle!
So. If you want to get married, I respect that. I’ll even come to the wedding!