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screw trash day, let’s talk about marriage equality

17 Jun

It’s been a long week of hard work and hard play, and I’m paying for it today.

That said, Glee Live was super fun last night, with the added bonus that they were filming for the 3-D movie, so we got some extra treats, like Jane Lynch and Gwenyth Paltrow. I was also pretty much in the perfect seats by the small stage. So, life was sweet, and while it was entirely less emotional than the somewhat surprising even that was the Darren Criss show, it was pretty lovely. Also, hilariously, it was Marci’s first concert ever. I can’t get over how weird that is.

In other news, I have news I can’t news at you yet. But some nice contract issues got resolved this week for things I have coming out in 2012. Announcements soon.

Additionally, we seem to have a pregnant squirrel nesting at least-part time in an empty flowerpot on our windowsill. This has caused much excitement on Twitter, so if you want to follow along I’m @racheline_m over there.

Mostly though, I’m preoccupied with the looming marriage equality vote that may or may not happen in New York State. Briefly, our Assembly has passed a marriage equality bill every year for years, and every year the Senate manages to either block its passage or its even coming to the floor. Last year, I watched the vote live, thinking I’d get some sort of West Wing miracle of human decency, and even while I wasn’t expecting it to pass, I cried when it didn’t.

This year, there are two days left in the legislative session — today and Monday. We are within one vote, with several swing votes in play, of it passing. The general consensus is that it will pass, if the Senate lets it go to a vote, which they seem disinclined to do. 58% of New Yorkers support marriage equality. The bill has carve-outs (which aren’t even legally necessary) to “protect” religious institutions from having to marry people they don’t want to marry.

I’ll be frank, marriage equality is a ridiculously fraught issue for me. Marriage is a fraught issue for me — I have a lot of feelings, often conflicting, about it around gender, generational expectations, queer culture, and desire. But it’s utterly central to my being deemed fully human by the state. It is to me not a referendum on my relationship, but on my humanity and safety. And it’s been all I can think about for the last week (seriously, half my tweets from the shows I was at this week were about marriage equality).

It is so heartbreaking to wait. It is so heartbreaking to be told that human rights or desire or activism or love are simply not enough for people to be able to stomach my full inclusion in society. It is so heartbreaking to hold my breath while people have a nice little vote that feels too much like an exercise in junior high bullying on whether or not I get to be one of their kind today.

That we are on this cusp of change is a place I never expected to see in my lifetime. But now that we’re here, I am impatient; I am scared; and I am unable to fathom how people can say “this is a hard issue” when we’re just people with messy apartments and funny pets and boring jobs and so much goddamn resilience asking to be heard, when the ask should never, ever, not once have been necessary.

For those that say patience, for those that say next year, for those that say we have endured so long we can endure a little more or wait for demographic change to save us, I say this: every day we don’t have marriage equality is another day that someone doesn’t make it to the finish line with us. There are already so many people who should have gotten to see a day that isn’t here yet and didn’t get to because of ignorance and fear and disease and hatred. We can’t wait. It’s so cruel to make us wait.

If you live in New York State, please, call the undecided senators immediately. Please also call your senators to either thank them for their support or to tell them where you stand.

I know not everyone can call for all sorts of perfectly legitimate reasons. But “I don’t feel like it,” “I really unprefer the phone” and “I’m not an activist” aren’t really good enough today.

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10 Responses to “screw trash day, let’s talk about marriage equality”

  1. April June 17, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    This made me tear up a little bit to be perfectly honest. I’m rooting for you all from afar in Alabama (which is so far from legalizing any type of marriage equality it’s sickening…), and I hope and pray that this time around, you’ll be crying tears of joy rather than disappointment.

    Also, I’m still entirely jealous of your Darren Criss experience, as well as your Glee Live seats. Glad it’s been a good (albeit crazy) week for you 🙂

  2. Nina June 17, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you. I’ve been campaigning hugely in the past couple days, but my biggest fear is that they just aren’t going to let it come to the floor for a vote. I can’t even talk about the amount to which it makes me feel less than human to be treated like this, so I really appreciate you doing so for all of us.

  3. Jinian June 17, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    I’m watching Santorum flail right now trying to say that states’ rights are SO IMPORTANT! but we need a federal definition of marriage because, um, thingy. Which is enraging but at least also funny. Hoping really hard for you guys this time around.

  4. deconstructingglee June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I always see these tweets and wish so hard I could help. I never had reservations about marriage — partly, I suppose, because of my very conservative past (I studied to be a Baptist minister) and partly because marriage equality happened in my country reasonably early on.

    I’m married almost six years now, and it’s only just been recognised (as a civil partnership) in the country where I live, but I still love being married. I have reservations about it on a more general level, but on a personal level, it’s the best thing I ever did.

    That said, I was a tad gleeful when the minister informed us that they hadn’t managed to change the province’s forms yet and that one of us would have to sign under “husband”. Jumped at it.

  5. Tess June 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    So I’m straight and when I’m walking down the street I can pretty much pass for white (in the same way that Darren Criss can… oh yes, I so just went there with the gratuitous DC reference) which means that I fit the heteronormative WASPy mold on the surface. And I live 3,000 miles away from New York State in a different country (at least for now). And yet I can’t stop thinking about this, following your tweets, obsessively checking Google News for updates, etc. I get the occasional sideways glance from friends who are kind of baffled as to why it matters so much to me. And honestly, I can’t even give a very good explanation for why it matters to me so much. It just does. Maybe because the more states that move in the right direction, it gives me hope that the 39 states actively denying rights will ultimately have to change a little sooner than previously (though not holding my breath for a second)?

    This week, the thing I keep coming back to is the comment that one senator made (and damn, I have been trying to find the quote for like 20 minutes but grrrr… Huzzah! I just found it!)… Grisanti said: “If I take the Catholic out of me, which is hard to do, then absolutely they should have these rights…” And this just KILLS me. This is where I start to want to tear my hair out. Because ok, isn’t this exactly what separation of church and state is about?! The bill has the provisions in it to explicitly not require priests to officiate same sex marriages (as if that would have even been an issue but I won’t go off on that tangent because I know this comment is going to be hella long anyway).

    So I genuinely don’t understand this. Ok, so you’re Catholic. Fine. I’m not. So your god and your church don’t agree with same sex marriage. Fine. I don’t believe in your god and I don’t belong to your church and I have no interest in forcing your priests to go against their faith. I just DON’T. GET. IT. If I, as a heterosexual woman, go get married to a man down at city hall, does that make us married in the eyes of the Catholic Church? Actually technically NO! Because I would never get married in any kind of ceremony where I made any kind of statement about any god. That’s just how I roll. And we all know that if a married Catholic couple gets divorced that’s not recognized by the church, only by the state. Clear distinction between church and state there.

    And look… I know that in lots of cases, there just is no argument to be made with a “no” voter. It’s about dogma and totally ignores the issue of separating church and state (and I totally know that there are other issues here other than that but I’m attempting to say somewhat focused here). God says it’s wrong, so it’s wrong. And honestly, I don’t have anything to say to most of those people because they have no capacity to actually hear anything outside of their sphere. But Grisanti is openly acknowledging that it’s his faith that’s his primary point of conflict about this decision and that it is very much a point of conflict for him (which for most it isn’t). Why aren’t Catholic proponents of equal marriage rights pounding down his door and explaining exactly why it doesn’t go against their faith? Surely there’s a Kennedy or two kicking around who could give him a buzz? And maybe they are and we’re just not hearing about it (though I really wish we were because OMG Dolan’s “Asian” comments…).

    I dunno… I know I just ranted ad nauseam from my mostly heteronormative-acceptable liberal intellectual (though FYI Neil Patrick Harris I’m neither jewish nor homosexual 😉 ) perch from a place where gay marriage has been legal for 8 years in a country where gay marriage has been legal for 6 years. So why does this matter so much to me? Because it does. Because you’re not here. Because the fact that you or anyone else in NY is not here shouldn’t matter.

  6. michelle June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    I really hope NY passes this. I was so excited in late winter when it was up for consideration in MD and then frustrated when it was blocked. And I know that’s only a fraction of what you feel.

    On a bizarre tangent…I was driving behind your mini-van today. I know it wasn’t yours but there was a rocket emblazoned with a large “RM” on it, two stickers with the word “Maltese” on them, and one of those Is for Italy. The only thing missing was “Be Grand”. ;-p

  7. Bethynyc June 18, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    J keep trying to call my state senator (Lanza, ugh) and keep getting busy signals or “mailbox is full” and I will keep trying. Will email as well. He is sort of on the fence, but Staten Island is so conservative that I have no idea which way he will jump. But I will keep trying. This is important.

    (Also, Glee Live was AWESOME!)

  8. aliasbagoas June 18, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    I’ve found letter-writing therapeutic, although the responses are impressively slow. If you want an exercise in comic relief, for all my mixed feelings about Bloomberg, this NYTimes article is what I hope the future looks like: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/nyregion/same-sex-marriage-opponents-frustrated-in-ny-lobbying.html. May the bastards get shoved to the fringes, and then perhaps off a cliff. I’m not holding out much hope for the vote – I’ve been consistently underwhelmed during five years in this country by the rate at which anything decent is done, even in cases where one doesn’t have to deal with all the faffing about the gays. And there’s something particularly galling about Dolan having the rank chutzpah to pretend to any sort of moral authority. Anyway. Fingers crossed for a West Wing moment – growing up on that sort of liberal fantasia is a dangerous thing, isn’t it? Particularly given the fact that Bartlett is the sort of liberal Christian one wants to see more of over here. I watch the scripture-quoting passage with the conservative talking-head whenever I’m feeling particularly grumpy. It usually helps.
    On a completely different note, your ongoing Kurt/Blaine series is excellent, if perhaps too close to the bone. I cannot quite relate to the two performers, but the snares and snaps of a relationship between two career-driven chaps are all too familiar. And the adorable smut doesn’t hurt either. Merely wanted to applaud and say thanks – afraid I’m not plugged in to LJ, so cannot comment in the appropriate place.

  9. ahautevoixdotcom October 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    This ~”debate” (ugh) resurfaces because of the election. May I quote part of this on fb? And if so, what attribution do you like?

    • RM October 30, 2012 at 4:50 am #

      Yes, feel free. Naming me or the blog is fine, mostly a link if wherever you are posting supports that is always appreciated.

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