Same-Sex Marriage Part I: A Queer History

same sex marriage

Virginia, 1835 – Can it not be said that because Negros are lower forms of being in God’s great plan, that it would be blasphemy to the Lord’s word to allow them liberty the same as Whites?  It is not by man’s fear of the unbiased allocation of power that drives the status of blacks in the South, but that nature of which God has given Blacks and Whites that hold on this Earth.  White men and women were endowed by their creator with large brains, reasoning capabilities, and with the determination it takes to learn, and comprehend.  Negro men and women were created for a more simple life; for a more simple work.  Those Blacks owe their lives to White men and women because without them, Negros would be lost.  Do not let the Negro’s destroy our livelihood.  Together we are strong and will not fail.  –An interpretation of arguments presented by many Southern Slave owners and advocates, included Elisa McCord

Germany, 1939 – Our once great nation of Germany, still in shambles from the Great War two decades ago, is having its rebuilding efforts thwarted by a growing enemy within.  The Jews are destroying any chance we have to make our country great again.  Our economy is struggling, our government is failing, and our livelihood is lost, unless we take action.  The Jews must be erased from Europe. They are pests that mock our savior and jest at our hopes for a future of prosperity.  Join together, people of Germany, and unite against this enemy.  Together we are strong and will not fail.  – An Interpretation of arguments made by German leaders that lead up to the start of World War II

United States, 2010 – A devil has been allowed to rise to prominence in our society.  A deviant and bottom-dwelling lifestyle choice with aims at undermining all of the moral teachings that had been propagated in the last fifty years is spreading.  This disease will take children and destroy the foundation which they need to become great workers and leaders in our country.  It will annihilate the traditional family as we know it.  This unhealthy and unnatural existence is plaguing the overtones of our growing problem of immorality.   The gays must be eradicated.  Remove them and their kind from our churches, communities, and public offices.  Until they decide to live the lifestyle that we live, disallow fundamental rights that we, the majority hold. Together we are strong and will not fail. –An interpretation of arguments that have been made to me while discussing the topic of same-sex marriage with people in my personal life

It would seem that these narratives are obviously facetious and worthy of the ridicule to their represented points of view.  As a society, we observe that blacks are not only three-fifths of a person and that people of all religious upbringings can and should be allowed to be productive members of our society.  However, there is still one battle being fought in our society and legal system.  That which would allow gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender couples to wed and enjoy the same rights that any other couple would.

In the 1950s, American suburban dwellers started to become more aware of homosexuality.  The decade was ripe with propaganda. There was even (mis)information floating around that homosexuality was linked with child-molestation.

The video above speaks of homosexuality as “a sickness of the mind.”  A homosexual is described as “Someone who demands intimate relations with someone of the same sex.”  The view of homosexuality being linked to child-molestation has since been accepted as false by society, but there is still a fear of homosexuality as if it was an intentional obscenity uttered by those that would seek to do harm to the establishment.

Society was not ready to accept gays at that time, and wouldn’t be for decades to come.  Ten years later, however, saw the civil rights movement for African-Americans.  It was a time in which societal standards of acceptance and disallowance of discrimination first came to fruition in America.  This was the ignition of social acceptance movements that many are still fighting for today.

The 1970s and 1980s saw a partial change in social norms.  As the household structure and gender roles of the home had begun shifting because of the rise of women in the workplace, it was also starting to become acceptable to be an openly-gay man or woman to lead more public lives.  While still dangerous and unaccepted by some, prominent figureheads in the LGBT movement showed the masses that homosexuality was not heinous like the previous generation had been led to believe.

Then, in 1981, five gay men were hospitalized with a new disease.  These men had severely-compromised immune systems and all perished.  By the end of 1981, five to six new cases were being reported every week.  In June of 1982, there had been 355 cases isolated.  The next month, the condition was given a name: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS.  AIDS ravished the homosexual community and led to a worldwide change in how sexual relations were practiced.

Many people thought that this disease could only affect homosexual people, but in 1991, NBA player Magic Johnson announced that he had HIV and went on to crusade for the spread of knowledge about the disease.  There is still no definite cure.

Now, we face a new challenge.  The millennium has come and gone and there is still a disconnection between fundamental rights of ‘straight’ couples and that of homosexual couples.  Over the next three parts of this series, I will discuss the arguments on both sides.

I aim to explore the religious and non-religious reasons why same-sex marriage should/should not be allowed; to try and understand the worthiness of any claim that people of any kind are, and can be treated as unequal in liberty or rights.

I will also discuss the common arguments for the acceptance and allowance of same-sex marriage, as well as presenting some of my own, in order to shed light on the growing movement of advocation that is sweeping modern civilization.

This is an issue of equality.  Our aim is to decide how much is too much when it comes to equal rights – or to decide that people are to be allowed the same opportunities across the board.

The next part to my series will discuss the arguments against same-sex marriage. Please continue to follow this page, share with your friends and colleagues, and discuss with each other (in a civil, understanding, and open way) in the comments.  Respect others as you discuss the topic because they likely have just as much reason to feel strongly about their side as you do to yours.

Twitter: @dustin_mcmahon

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