OP-EDS

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February 20, 2004

The time has come to allow same-sex marriage

I am what you would call the proverbial fag hag. And it is my duty as a fag hag to look out for my gay friends, since, as Margaret Cho says, "Fag hags are the backbone of the gay community." But recently, fag hags around the world can sleep easier and worry less about the future of the gay community, thanks to the unprecedented step San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is taking towards giving gays and lesbians equal rights. Since last Thursday, over 2,600 couples have been married, and San Francisco city officials are not planning to stop any time soon. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than to unite thousands of couples in holy matrimony?

San Francisco city officials are supporting Newsom in this situation. Judges denied two conservative groups' requests on Tuesday to stop the city from marrying any more same-sex couples and revoke the already-granted marriage licenses. Until San Francisco city officials are forced to stop marrying same-sex couples, they will persist. Likewise, Newsom will stick to his argument that preventing same-sex marriage would violate the equal-protection clause of California's constitution.

It is about time someone took the initiative to truly fight for equal rights in the gay community. Since April of 2001, gay and lesbian couples in the Netherlands have been allowed to marry and adopt with the same privileges enjoyed by heterosexual couples, and since then, many other European countries have followed suit. In a generation where more and more gays and lesbians have summoned up the courage to come out and be true with their sexuality, it is sad that our nation refuses to provide these people with equal rights.

In truth, there really isn't a valid argument against gay and lesbian marriages. The days of the consecrated marriage are long gone, and anyone who still believes in it needs to step into reality. Nowadays, the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman is far from sacred. Men and women get married for money or for green cards; and then there are people like Britney Spears, who decide impulsively to get married for no more than a day or two. Compare that with the supposedly unholy institution of gay marriage, and all of a sudden the arguments against same-sex marriages don't seem so convincing anymore.

And then there are the totally ludicrous reasons conservatives have against same-sex marriage: something along the lines of under-population, the whole world turning gay (because everyone would be gay if they could marry their same-sex partner), and the termination of reproduction. It seems to me that these opponents have a bizarre notion that heterosexuals are heterosexual only because homosexuality is still unconventional, but that the minute someone completely legalizes same-sex marriage, you can bet that we'll all grab a partner of the same sex and get hitched.

At least Chicago Mayor Richard Daley isn't one who falls into the "everyone-will-be-gay-if-gay-marriages-are-legalized-and-there-will-be-no-one-to-have-children-ever-again" group of opponents. He was quoted saying that he had "no problem" with same-sex marriages, since love is love, no matter what sex the partners are. And though only the county clerk's office can issue marriage licenses, Daley never said anything about following in Newsom's steps and starting to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in Chicago. This is a shame because, though his comments were bold, Daley obviously is not bold enough to follow through with his beliefs.

There is a positive aspect to this unprecedented event (besides the fact that over 2,600 couples got married and will now have the same tax and social security rights as any other straight couple), despite protests and objections. The same uproar occurred with the controversy surrounding interracial marriage, and interracial couples are now virtually fully accepted. If anything, this episode is a giant leap forward in the fight for equal rights among any group in this country¬óblack, white, gay, straight, and everything in between. And as a fag hag, a minority, and a woman, I can definitely contest that this is a good thing.