Protect "Traditional Marriage"?

Year:  1939.  Location:  Varanasi, India.

A young man had his heart set on marrying this young woman.  They were both single and had known each other for a long time (they were in school together).  But there was one hitch.  He was of Agrawal sub-caste while she was of Mahuri sub-caste.  When the other Agrawals in Varanasi heard about the intentions of this young man, they warned him.  They told him that what he was doing was against God's will and if he did do it, he would be excommunicated...

Year:  1958  Location:  Virginia, USA

Another young man had his heart set on marrying this young woman.  He was White, she was "Colored".  And in Virginia in those days, anti-miscegination laws were in effect and such a union was a no-no.  Well, they ended up getting married which landed them in hot water with the law and they had to move out of the state as a penalty.  Well, they still had family and friends in Virginia and so ultimately, they sued the state... 

Year:  2006  Location:  California, USA

Two lesbian women have been a couple (in their hearts and in the eyes of their friends) for the last 53 years.  They are growing old and frail and want to make it official.  But while Califonia's constitution seems to support the women in their quest, the laws require that a marriage recognized by the state have a man and a woman.  So they took their pleas to the California Supreme Court...

I think you have a clear idea where I am going with this.  People fall in love and want to get married and live the married life.  They are not asking for favors such as free housing or a car or even compelling people (other than their friends) to attend the wedding.  They are looking for that piece of paper that makes it all official.  They don't want to sneak around and lie that they are not a couple.  They want to climb the rooftops and yell "Yes, we are a couple".  They want the right to hold hands in public and to hold each other.

The first story has a happy ending.  The couple not only got married but also had 6 kids, the first of which was my father.  Yes, they were excommunicated but they managed to survive and thrive.

The second story also has a happy ending.  Richard and Mildred Loving were able to convince the US Supreme Court to overturn the Virginia laws (and laws in 15 other states) regarding inter-racial marriages.

The third story has a happy ending as well.  In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to get married.  Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon celebrated by getting married in San Francisco with the mayor officiating.

But the third happy ending has a dark epilogue.  There is a constitutional amendment on the ballot (Proposition 8) that would slam the door shut on same-sex couples.  But they have a seductive slogan - They are trying to protect "traditional marriage".

I wonder how my grandparents' lives would have turned out if they had succumbed to the pressure exerted by the "traditional marriage" folks.  Don't you?

Please say NO on Proposition 8.

1 comment:

Prasanth said...

Was going through your posts and came across this one. It is a shame such prejudices exist even now - just take the example of "Kapp Panchayats" and "honour killings" that are in news right now in India. I'm amazed that an educated person like the industrialist and MP Jindal speaking in support of this.