I'll say it very clearly:
I AM A GAY MAN, AND I OPPOSE GAY "MARRIAGE."
In fact, the very thought of it makes me cringe!
Now, promise me that before you brand me a traitor or accuse me of being a gay "Uncle Tom," at least listen to what I have to say, fair enough?
First of all, if you’re really in love with someone, why do you need a piece of paper to prove that? All it means is that when the relationship sours, your partner gets to take half of what you’ve worked so hard to earn (especially if you’re in a community property state like CA). Most of my str8 friends tell me that society is actually doing gays a favor by not allowing us to get legally married!
Regardless of how much of a hypocrite I might seem, I think that our state Supreme Court decision earlier this year was completely WRONG. I have actually read the decision in its entirety (from a legal persepctive and not a "gay" perspective) and it is filled with errors and misapplications of precedent, a clear example of overzealous judges overstepping their bounds and succumbing to cultural whims rather than using proper restraint and following the law. Californians have an opportunity on election day, as voters in a democracy (imagine that), to overturn the decision, and I sure hope that we do. Either way, there is no way the decision will stand if, heaven forbid, it goes to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In California, same sex couples can register with the state as domestic partners and receive almost all of the benefits a legally married couple get without it actually being called marriage. Even in other states, all it takes is a visit to an attorney to draft some forms (i.e. power of attorney, living will, etc.), and it’s almost just as if you were husband and wife. When I lived in Arizona, I knew a lesbian attorney whose entire legal practice consisted of providing these services to same-sex couples.
I do not believe this relegates us to second class citizens, as long as civil unions and domestic partnerships are available. By demanding marriage rights, gays and lesbians are claiming entitlement to something that was simply never intended for them, not due to bigotry or prejudice, but rather the nature of marriage itself as an institution.
As I like to (and need to) frequently remind so many of fellow gay men, "It’s not about you!"
To compare, I am sure that a lot of str8 men would love to be allowed to go into the ladies’ restroom, but they aren’t because any ladies restroom, since its opening, was intended for ladies only. As long as the men have their own restroom, even if they would rather go into the ladies room, this certainly doesn’t make men second class citizens or constitute "separate but equal." No one would dare proffer such a silly argument. It’s just simple common sense that a ladies restroom is for ladies only, just as it is simple common sense (not "homophobia") that marriage as an institution was always intended, and should always be intended, for ONE man and ONE woman. As a gay man, this does not make me feel inferior whatsoever, in the same way that it does not make me feel inferior that I am not allowed to purchase a home in a 55+ retirement community, or be hired to model female bikinis (sorry to disappoint all of you), or have to stand in the long line everytime I go through customs at a European airport. Oh, and how DARE the manager at McDonald’s tell me I’m not allowed anymore to play in the children’s play area and jump in the ball pit. I am going to hire the ACLU and sue!
Let me clarify something: as a gay man myself, I am not "anti-gay rights." I simply do not feel the same sense of entitlement that a lot of gay men have. I am one of those folks who believes in the real American way, that gay or straight, black or white, male or female, blue eyed or brown eyed, you need to quit whining about "injustice" and pay your way in society for the rights we enjoy and that that our country has firmly stood for and fought for since its founding.
Just over two years ago, I made the bold decision that I would stop being a whiny gay man who felt entitled just because he was "different" and thought he HAD to, for reasons that I still honestly cannot articulate to this day, always be Democrat and liberal. I subscribed to these ideas for several years, and they got me absolutely nowhere, and I was nothing but unhappy and depressed almost 24/7. I decided that, even though I'm gay, there must be a better way to live my life, that I did not have to forever sit in the same miserable abyss of emptiness that so many other gays seem content with sitting in and are absolutely determined to stay in.
Once I started realizing that I was a capable and highly intelligent person with actual potential (regardless of sexual preference) and started putting the gifts God gave me to good use, I reached a point of success, personally and socially, that I could have never otherwise imagined. I realized that society is not nearly as "homophobic" as many gay people imagine. In fact, the overwhelming majority of resentment, jealousy and hate I have experienced as a gay man has come from other GAY men, not all of these "homophobic" straight folks. In fact, EVERY str8 person who was a friend of mine before I came out is still a friend of mine to this day. Even those who do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle have gone out of the way to let me know that they still like me as a person and I will always be their friend, because I am Casey first, and a gay man second. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about many gay men I have encountered in the past nine years. There are some pleasant exceptions here and there, but let me say very clearly that those exceptions are clearly the most very precious jewels in the deepest rough.
When I wake up in the morning, I am eager to start my day with a smile on my face. When I walk down Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, or Hillcrest in San Diego, or the Castro in SF, I might be the only person in the vicinity with a real smile on his face and who is proud of what he has achieved and what he stands for and who is genuinely happy and content with who he is as a person, but that's just fine with me. I can only control my own attitude and nobody else's. If all of these other gay men want to be bitter and miserable their entire lives, and deprive themselves of the happniess and fulfillment they could and would otherwise achieve, then they in the end are in reality more "homophobic" than any straight person. However, that is really beyond my control, as I can only decide my attitude and my beliefs and no one else's. Believe me, I had to resign myself to that fact a long time ago, but it sure lifted a burden from my shoulders that in hindsight, I never even needed to assume in the first place!
The bottom line is that I support Prop. 8, mainly because contrary to what many believe, it's not a gay issue at all. It's not about gays, it's about marriage as an institution and what it was always intended to stand for, and what it should always stand for. Again, Prop. 8 takes nothing away from gay people here in CA that we do not get already through domestic partnership.
I was fortunate to grow up in a household where I was raised by both a mother and a father (who believe it or not, are still together now 33 years and counting). The majority of gay men I have met since coming out in 1999 were unfortunately not afforded the experience of growing up in a good, decent, and healthy loving home (many admit they were either abused, were children of divorce, or were raised by day care centers or neighborhood babysitters rather than loving parents), so I can understand why they are so quick to "jump the gun" and dismiss the legitimacy of marriage and allow their sexual orientation do their thinking for them on this issue.
Furthermore, it has been shown time after time that pushing a gay marriage agenda has almost always eroded, not enhanced, society's support of gay people. Many who otherwise support gay rights, and believe we deserve to be treated with dignity and be free from discrimination or hate crime, all of the sudden change their tone when gays start crossing the threshold by insisting on "marriage" rights. It's a classic case of being given an inch of good intention from decent people, and exploiting and abusing it by going miles and miles beyond what was intended. The marriage issue is where people often finally draw the line and say, wait a minute, that's enough!
Personally, if a same sex couple is truly in love, why do they need a traditional and legal sacrament to prove that? Perhaps a lot of gays who think they are "in love" and have found their "life partner" have deep insecurities about whether or not the person they are with really cares about them at all, and they therefore feel that they need legal "marriage rights" from the government to continue to subsscribe to their own divorce from reality. Most gay "relationships" I have seen are based on anything but love, and are instead basically nothing more than "friends with benefits." This makes a mockery out of what a real and loving relationship entails, and society should not be forced to pretend that this resembles anything close to a genuinely committed relationship between two people that is worthy of any type of legal recognition whatsoever.
Ironically, many gay people don't realize that it is best for their own good, intended or not, that society generally looks down on the idea of "marriage" for same-sex couples. Deep down, most gays and lesbians know that, although I'll concede that few are as bold as I am to actually come out and say it. It's the big "pink elephant" in the gay community that ultimately, we can't simply dismiss and ignore, try as we might.
Regardless of your sexual orientation, I hope you'll agree with me that giving "marriage" rights to same-sex couples is a horrible idea. It's best for everyone, gay or straight, that traditional marriage is kept intact.