The Lens

Celebrate Cautiously in the Ongoing Fight for Marriage Equality

This holiday season, beware of poison packages dressed up with frilly nonsense. Sure, Aunt Janice’s heart was in the right place when she bought you and your partner an animatronic teddy bear that coos, “Love is love” while hugging a plush unicorn to the tune of Judy Garland muzak.

Then suddenly, the bear starts strangling its unicorn lover as battery acid leaks onto your duvet, threatening to ignite the pink-triangle candle Janice gifted you LAST Christmas.

But it’s the thought that counts, your aunt might say. Well, think harder, Janice.

And that message goes for our elected representatives in Washington. Think harder. The Senate just passed landmark legislation to “protect” our civil right to same-sex marriage.

On the one hand: HOORAY! But on the other: why are our humanity, our dignity, and our family up for a vote yet again? For answers, let’s hear from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Today the long but inexorable march towards greater equality advances forward… By passing this bill, the Senate is sending a message that every American needs to hear: no matter who you are or who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law.”

The gift-wrapping is dazzling, to be sure, but what exactly is in the bill’s box of tricks?

First, the bill does nothing to codify equality. All it really does is say that if you’re already married in one state, other states need to recognize your union. Great, guess we can’t cancel those holiday travel plans then.

Second, this “present” to the gays contains caveats for religious freedoms. Hope you kept the receipt! These same religious freedoms have allowed organizations like Hobby Lobby to deny women reproductive rights, so maybe they should stay the hell out of our ACTUAL freedoms, mmkay?

Third, on the topic of reproductive rights, human dumpster Clarence Thomas has already indicated that he will use the court’s recent Roe v. Wade debacle to chip away at marriage equality.

Fourth, marriage equality is the LEAST our government can do to promote gay rights. Y’know what would be better? Legit gay rights bills. As of now, it’s totes kosher to fire a queer person from their job or evict them from their home.

But, enjoy those nuptials, right?

Pardon our cynicism, but we’ve been to this Pride parade before. It starts off with go-go dancers and miles of smiles, then descends into a sloppy hangover with the realization that we’re no better off than we were before. So, keep marching, keep voting, and keep your queer chin up!

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Kevin Perry

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