The Meaning of Marriage: Tradition my Ass!

It's about love...

This morning I woke to a posted video link on Facebook by a friend. This particular video was of Rep. Maureen Walsh (R) from the 16th District in Walla Walla, WA speaking during a debate on Marriage & Domestic Partnerships. She speaks of her own marriage, the death of her husband, and how the sexual part is not the main thing she misses about her marriage after 6 years of being a widow. She also speaks of how she has allowed both her heart and mind to influence decisions she has made on many issues. During her speech she talks of her pride in her children and in particular her daughter who came out 2 years ago and how she worried about the fallout from that incident. Ms. Walsh goes on to say nothing has changed between them. Her daughter is her daughter and she wishes for her daughter to have what she had with her husband.

The majority of people who are against same-sex marriage are influenced by their religious beliefs. They claim the definition of marriage be viewed only through their beliefs and there is no room for change or alternative viewpoints. Some of the more extreme groups claim that to grant same-sex marriage will destroy both the American family and the American way of life. These same people have spent  their lives wearing blinders in my humble opinion.

What they describe as the American family has never truly existed outside of a fiction propagated by Hollywood and others who wanted to escape from life worries. Somewhere along the way the line between fantasy and reality blurred to the point some were unable to separate the two. Escapism is one thing, but delusions are an entirely different animal. In the United States (as well as the developed world in general) the divorce rate began slowly increasing in the 20th century until it peaked during the late 1970’s according to Robert Hughes, Jr., PhD. a Former Professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Two factors came into play for this steady increase 1) the decreased need for men and women to rely on one another for their economic survival and 2) the increased availability of birth control for both sexes leading to the ability for both to separate sexual activity from having children.

During this period being homosexual was both a crime and (until 1973) listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The reasons for the slow disintegration of the American family had nothing to do with the LGBTQ community asking for the same rights heterosexual couples take for granite. None of the present arguments these people use fit with historical or scientific statistics.

As far as the “American Way of Life” goes was not America founded on the principles of freedom and equal rights? Yes, we didn’t have it perfected and we still don’t, but over the years we’ve slowly adjusted as the world has changed around us. The same people love to throw around the word “traditional” as if it is of great import. Such things as slavery, women forced to stay at home and raise the children, the inability to marry someone of a different race, and other civil right issues world-wide were once considered “traditional” behavior yet that does not make any of them “right”.

It is these same people who over the years have looked at me and made judgements on me. I am a white, heterosexual, female who has never been married and never had any children. In 9 days I will celebrate my 44th birthday. So many people over the years both male and female have looked at me and said such things as:

“What’s wrong with you?” (What makes you think there’s anything wrong with me?)

“Are you a–lesbian?” (If I were I wouldn’t hide it.)

“I can’t believe a woman with hips like yours never had children.” (WTF?)

I kid you not. People have actually opened their mouths and regurgitated this verbal stupidity all over the place. So because I’m a woman I have to automatically get married and start popping out babies because it’s the “traditional” thing to do. But I’m getting off topic aren’t I? The point is I never wanted to get married, chose not to have children, and that was my choice to make. I had the ability to make this choice for better or for worse and I appreciate the fact my choice was mine to make.

What bothers me is there are people in this country just like me who might never be allowed to make those decisions. They may never be able to stand up in front of their families with the person they love and celebrate that love whether in a denominational or non-denominational environment. They are denied the right to form a family and have children as well. And why? Because the person they love and want to create a family with happens to be the same physical sex they are?

Who are we to snatch the right to make those decisions from anyone, regardless of sexual orientation? No one–that’s who! We are no better nor worse than those who are denied the simple human right to choose. This goes for any personal choice a human being makes that harms no one. No one stood in my way when I decided marriage and children were not in my cards. No one will stand in my way if I change my mind in the future.

Traditional be damned! We all deserve the right to make of our lives what we choose as long as it harms no one.

Until Later…Blessed Be

 

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