Friday, May 22, 2015

Casting ... What ... ?

Photo description: A poster reading "Vote Yes: Love they Neighbour" over a background of a blue and pink triangle.
Does anybody ever wonder?

Really wonder.

What it's like to be a member of a minority required to sit back while neighbours get to vote on our relationships. Total strangers going into a voting box and determining what the course of your life will be. What it's like to hear the rhetoric around the subject of your relationship, to hear people blame your love for earthquakes and hurricanes and droughts. What it's like to have preachers, who claim to follow a loving God, say that that loving God punishes you for your love and for your life. What it's like to have a lifestyle when everyone else has a life.

Does anybody ever wonder?

Really wonder.

Why they have the right to vote on another's life.

In some societies they throw stones at gay people, in others they cast ballots.

Does anybody ever wonder about that?

Really wonder.

How it comes to be that love is ranked, measured and valued differently.

Why is your love for your partner more beautiful than mine for mine?

Why is your heart, which beats in time with mine, the one that the world dances to?

Why is your relationship sacred and mine profane?

Does anyone ever wonder?

Really wonder.

Why we humans have the need to sit in judgement on another's worth.

It must be a need.

It seems we never turn down the opportunity.

Today, Ireland votes on the 'issue' (it's an issue, think of that, an issue) of gay marriage. We may win. We may lose. But even if we win, I will look at all the no votes, the ones cast, not against gay marriage but at me, and at every gay person they know, and wonder who they are. I no longer fear them. But I don't understand how they could reconcile the act of going to a voting booth and voting about the hearts and lives of other with their belief in freedom and liberty and justice.


Anonymous said...

Of course.

The first question society used to ask about a new baby is "Is it a boy or a girl?"

At least you're a boy. (I know statements that start with 'at least' are infuriating, but be patient with me here.)

I'm still angry that I can't be a priest in my own church - not that I want to be, but that I've spent 65 years so far listening to MEN talk to me from the pulpit. If I hear ONE more sports metaphor...

My experience is still probably far better than yours in some areas, but empathy comes from somewhere, and I found myself born into a world where I automatically got classed into 'second class citizen' (for all their lovely words about how we were being protected - from them!). For not having an anatomical oddity.

I get your point - and it is a very good one.

I've always wondered why 'they' get to make the decisions that affect me. And you. It's not as if we've chosen to be on the 'losing side.'

And it always irks me that, if we could all get our act together and cooperate with each other, 'they' are the real minority.


Andrea S. said...

It makes me angry that some people seem to honestly, sincerely believe that they have a right to take my rights away because they have a problem with who my heart loves.

There was a case a while ago where a woman employed to promote diversity at her place of employment signed a petition calling for the right to gay marriage to be put to a vote. Naturally, LGBT people were upset by this and called it hypocrisy and called for her resignation from a position supposedly supporting diversity and equality! She reacted defensively saying that she wasn't signing the petition because she was against gay marriage, she simply believed that people should have a right to vote on the matter.

No. Normally I'm all for voting rights. But not when the "right" to put gay marriage on a ballot is really just a way of saying, "Your right to love isn't important enough to be protected from other people's right to tear you apart from the person you love simply because they consider your love offensive to them."

Colleen said...

Here's what I don't get - people who say they are Christians and then in the same breath promote hatred of others. I totally don't get that! And yes I do wonder, Dave.

I hope the vote goes in favour.

Jan Goldfield said...

Dave, you said what I mean. But better. I'm surprised that the male politicians don't call for a vote to decide if we are women or not. Until the worst insult toward a boy are "Stop crying like a girl," vanish we are not equal. As a lesbian, I hear vile insults in the name of religions. I have stopped listening to straight men at all, in fact have stopped using businesses that have that disgusting picture of a fish in their ads. If they are religious, they most likely hate me and the only place I can hit them is in the pocketbook. Perhaps the SCOTUS will rule my partner and I can marry, but even so, I suspect it will be denied in the rural South.

Princeton Posse said...

I think it was in the 3rd century when the Catholic Church bishops came together to vote on whether or not women had "souls". I am not sure we have progressed. Watching for the outcome in Ireland with interest.

Anonymous said...

I'm queer-identified. I'm also autistic. People voting on what I should get to do, people deciding what is good for me without inviting me to the table -- it makes me cry.


Ron Arnold said...

I've been posting this mantra in many places:

To govern is to control. The ONLY power 'controlment' (ya see what I did there) has is to limit opportunity. It's ONLY tool is force.

Some may argue that allowing gay folks to get married is creating opportunity. It's not - because controlment didn't allow it in the first place. Opportunity exists - period. The question is whether folks allow for a particular opportunity. (Limiting it - or preventing it altogether.) Now - for things like legislating access to public (or business) facilities for folks with disabilites, one could say that creates an opportunity for folks who wouldn't otherwise have access. True enough - but I still take umbrage with the idea of force compelling empathy, accommodation, or a moral behavior.

A free, opportunistic society would require an educated, empathetic, and self-disciplined population . . .

Sorry - digressing - kind of.

I don't want to be someone else's "they" . . . and it requires education, empathy and self-discipline on my part. In many ways controlment has taken that necessity out of the hands of people.

Just - something to think about . . . .

Maggie said...

I have often wondered why anyone imagines that it is a good idea for "the majority" to get to vote on whether some "minority" people will have rights - or not.

Somehow the consent of the governed is absent, at least if the governed are thee and me, when a different batch of the governed can decide not to consent to our equal existence.


Kristine said...

Casting stones, casting ballots... It's never occurred to me before that those use the same verb.

But yes, I have thought about it. I think about it when people debate (politically, academically) various issues that come down to the value of a disabled person's life. I want to scream at the world, "Do you understand why you're doing? Arguing about whether or not my life matters, whether or not we should keep people like me around, right in front of me? Like I can't hear you?" People don't understand what it's like to have parts of you that are completely personal, propped up for harsh public debate.

All that said, I'm glad the vote went well in Ireland. :)

Ettina said...

On the good side, this way, no one can argue that gay marriage was *forced* onto the Irish. I've heard a lot of people say that gay marriage was forced on Canadians, because it was a Charter challenge rather than a vote that made it come to pass.

In an ideal world, heterosexuals would not get to dictate whether gays can get married. But in the world we live in, letting them have their say now can stop many of them from grumping as much later on.