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Prop. 8 and the ties that bind

Posted: November 22, 2008 9:00 p.m.
Updated: November 23, 2008 4:55 a.m.
Some of my dearest friends are opposed to same-sex marriage. Their "Yes on 8" votes on Nov. 4 reflected that position.

Clearly, many other Californians shared this view, and thus the ban on same-sex marriage campaign was a legislative success.

While I respect their right to their own opinions, and I respect the outcome of a fair election, I do not share in their beliefs.

Admittedly, I hoped Proposition 8 would be defeated.

I just don't see it as my right or moral responsibility to tell someone whom they can or cannot love, honor and cherish in the eyes of the law.

Nor do I feel it's my duty to prohibit gays and lesbians from signing the same legal documents that wind up nullified in divorce proceedings for five out of 10 heterosexual first marriages. (The rate is significantly higher in subsequent "re-marriages.")

When it comes to marriage rights, I have never understood why gays and lesbians have had to endure such an uphill battle. Within a free society, anyone (short of minors, blood relatives or ax murderers) should be able to say "I do" if they choose to.

That stance does not diminish my belief in the sanctity of marriage, but it does reflect my reverence for commitment and kissing your spouse goodnight.

When you're deeply in love, life's too short for anything less.

I have read that many people opposed to same-sex matrimony view marriage as a "God-ordained" union exclusively contracted between a man and a woman.

Given the marital flop rate facing our society, why put so much guilt on the Man Upstairs? We've got millions of children growing up in dysfunctional homes, many the progeny of parents who are AWOL as positive role models.

Surely, the Lord did not design marriages that created these situations, right?

Take away the romance, registries, hormones and taffeta, and marriage is, after all, a joint venture between two people who claim to love each other: a man-made legal partnership exclusively created for men and women.

(Besides being for love and having babies, marriage contracts have also been entered for securing land rights, attaining citizenship, comingling imperial families, and other less dreamy reasons.)

With its roots in ancient civilizations, marriage was fabricated long ago at a time when no one "different" dared poke his or her head out of the closet!

Given that homosexuality has been a feature of human culture since recorded history began (FYI: Socrates, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci all had romantic or sexual relationships with members of their own gender), can you imagine how many gays and lesbians have had to keep their relationships hidden - and then take such secrets to their graves?

This just does not seem fair to me, particularly in a world rife with aggression, depression and loneliness.

The few times that I have been in love, it seemed that love picked me rather than the other way around.

That mysterious magnetic phenomenon just happened, like a lightning strike during an Indian summer downpour: Zap! One day your heart beats to its own myocardial electricity. The next, its rhythm is reset by another person's energy.

Whether or not such attachments progressed into something of long-lasting substance is not relevant to this column. What is germane is the common denominator among these powerful attractions - a very primal, neuro-psycho-biochemical process.

I believe that homosexual affections are no less real or captivating than the heterosexual ones I have experienced. Gays' and lesbians' hearts are intrinsically wired to go pitter-patter over people of their own gender, just as straight men and women fall for members of the opposite sex.

They don't choose to be that way and they can't pray it away - nor should they be made to feel they have to.

As a rather laissez-faire mortal, I try to avoid telling others how to live their lives. Sure, I would implore someone not to steal, maim, take illicit drugs, engage in unsafe sexual practices or perform other acts that are harmful to themselves or society.

But I do not feel it my moral right or duty to tell two consenting parties they cannot marry because they don't have dissimilar sex organs.

Love is blind, remember? It doesn't know from round pegs in square holes or XY-XX chromosomal patterns.

I say, let gays and lesbians have what they want - wedding bells. Not just some civil union given out as a consolation prize.

With Proposition 8 passing, that apparently won't be happening right away. But I do feel it will take place in the not-so-distant-future, with or without Supreme Court intervention.

Who knows? By that time, maybe heterosexuals will be doing a better job at taking their own vows more seriously.

Diana Sevanian is a Santa Clarita resident. Her columns reflect her own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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