Combating Dystopia.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York States of Mind.

In "In Hope For the World Yet" News, it would be remiss of me as a Jr. level pseudo-social activist not to post an entry in honor of the recently official approval of gay marriage in New York state. Its a great boon for those of us who prefer we collectively work towards equality, and not seem as much the regressive nation we may in fact happen to be when compared to a our allies. The right to marry in NY seems long overdue in ways, as so much of the western world looks to Manhattan as second only to San Francisco as true north when it comes to gay communities and life in general.

It bares noting that this doesn't necessarily mean a sea change regarding the rest of the nations rigidity on the so called issue of same sex marriage. New York state as of last night has become one of only six states in the union who actively seeks (after much deliberation, apparently) to recognize the humanity and equality of all its legal taxpaying adult citizens. Compare that with the number of states where marrying one's cousin is permissible and on the books... and shutter at the sheer wrongness of it all.

Secondly, the victory for marital equality in New York state does not mean that there are not those who will seek to hamper and demonize gay people and this issue of civil rights. The dialog that has been generated around this issue in states where its on the docket is quite simply vitriolic in many cases. Much the way voting President Obama into office hasn't been the harbinger of the "post racial" society I'd heard so much about, the vote here in the right direction isn't going to stop idiots like Archbishiop Timothy Dean of NY from making the hackneyed slippery slope analogies we hear so often:

"That’s what’s going to happen here. You think it’s going to stop with this? You think now bigamists are going to want their rights to marry? You think somebody that wants to marry his sister is going to now say 'I have a right.' I mean it’s the same principle, isn’t it?"

I suppose we could waste valuable time dissecting just how impossibly stupid this line of logic is. If what the good Archbishop implies is correct, the ONLY thing keeping men from this urge to marry their sisters is... a law in place that prohibits this... the man does not much faith in general decency of his fellows it would seem. The ways this analogy fails is tremendous, as two loving (not related) human beings who already share a life or seek to, have no reason to live their lives as though a subjective religious lens. State officiated marriages are offered in a purely secular capacity and in order to assuage some concern of the religious among us, religions can still opt to be highly discriminatory towards those it does not wish to serve or acknowledge. Its just that they cannot entirely control the argument and act as arbiters of social norms for everyone.

I sometimes wonder if all the animus towards gay marriage from christian conservatives does not stem from this fact; the idea that a real or perceived loss of control about being able to be the preeminent decider of who and what unions are valid, and the ability to control the terms through which a couple weds- not to mention the monetary/economic aspects of the ceremonies associated. Perhaps its a more Marxian dynamic than some would be willing to admit in that the ability to control the lines where the in-group and the out-group are divided, and further to dictate the terms upon which a member of the group can change status is being eroded in this particular case...Though it is highly doubtful anyone who has ever wielded any sort of power will abdicate such without a fight.

Its a great, beautiful thing that has been wrestled from the hands of the rigid this day, on the week of NY Pride, no less. To love is a gift, and far as traditions go, has aspects worthy of adhering to as its at least generally a social good. Encouraging more people to conform to standards that we as a society have long held are important, the pinnacle to which any relationship is to be measured against, seems perfectly understandable. Not allowing "conventional wisdom" to hinder people from taking care of their families and loved ones merely because someone else takes exception to whom you happen to love flies in the face of the freedoms that make America's vast potential for humanitarian good somewhat more muted.
Now for something incrementally less exuberant. Matt Pond PA is one of my all time favorite bands, I've always been enamored of the way they meld rock and orchestral sensibilities to get some sweet, lovely layered melody. Midlake is one of my more favorite folksy discoveries of the last year, and "Head Home" is perhaps one of my favorite songs of theirs. (though it seems its hard to choose). Music to read by. Be excellent to each other and have a wonderful (pride) weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment