(Author’s Note: Today we are tackling a tough subject. I am for marriage equality. I also realize that towards the end it kind of devolves into a bit of a rant, but that’s how I roll. It’s a blog get over it)
Today it was brought to my attention that some gays are sick of the comparison of the gay rights/same-sex marriage issues and women’s suffrage issues because the women’s suffrage issue was decided at a national level all at once and the gay rights issue is only being fought at the state level. (Sorry for the run on sentence there) He pretty much said that since you can do one that way, you can (and should) do the other that way as well because, let’s face it, it is that easy.
However upon further reflection, it wasn’t that simple for women to get the vote. As I’m sure we all know somewhere in the back of our mind that women got the vote on a national and every state level in the early 20th century (1920 to be exact, with the passing of the 19th Amendment.) But did you know that from 1790 to 1807 women were allowed to vote in New Jersey. Yeah. True story. And that after that it wasn’t until 1869 (62 years later for those keeping score) in Wyoming, which wasn’t a state yet, that women got the vote for good. But more importantly it kept getting put up for vote until 1920 when it finally got passed that we would have no restrictions on voting for sexist reasons. It only took 130 years from the first time women got a taste of voting until they got the vote that we know and love now.
The gay marriage issue has been an item in America for a while. The first time it really hit in the courts was in 1972, only 40 years ago. And it wasn’t until 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law, defining marriage, stating “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” Which is to say that a man and a woman are given more rights and privileges together than apart that people who love each other who happen to be the same sex haven’t been allowed to have. That’s wrong.
Now, while I agree that it is unconstitutional to deny anybody the rights for any reason, I think that it is a ridiculous argument to say that your plight as a gay man has been worse than that of women’s fight for their rights. Even if you lived back in the 1800’s you would have been better off than them. And also it didn’t matter back then until we started having first world problems and having the time to sink our energy into something as frivolous as whether or not two men or two women can get married. Yes, it’s wrong that you can’t get married, but you realize that there are bigger issues. It’s a first world problem, dude. I think we should be more concerned with the problems surrounding health care and not whether or not a bunch of bigots think that two penises should touch.
Okay, I think I’m done for the day on this subject.