"I don't want you to hate me, and I don't want you to disown me."
January 24, 2015 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
posted by Rhaomi (70 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
 
We need many more articles like this, because what the writer captures so simply is that these are just two people who love each other and want to get married. That's it. It's as human and relatable as can be.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:15 PM on January 24, 2015 [28 favorites]


Nice catch. Hesse's an excellent writer, and this is one of her better stories.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:24 PM on January 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is a sweet story. Thank you.
posted by SPrintF at 7:33 PM on January 24, 2015


I wish for them that this was a happier story with everyone they loved coming together to celebrate their love for each other. But then it wouldn't have told the whole the story of what many couples are facing.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:43 PM on January 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


People say it's about religion, but they're OK with ignoring all the other crazy stuff banned in Leviticus like shellfish, pork, tattoos, and blended fabric. They don't want to think of themselves as bigots, so they hide behind the Bible. We've made a lot of progress as a society, but I'll be glad when no one thinks twice about two people in love who decide to commit to each other in marriage.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:55 PM on January 24, 2015 [32 favorites]


Don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't read the comments don't
posted by nevercalm at 7:55 PM on January 24, 2015 [36 favorites]


Monica Hesse does a lovely job, as always.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:59 PM on January 24, 2015


Thanks for posting. That's some great writing.

This is a bell that can't be un-rung.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:07 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


God, how horrible to live somewhere that you might have no choice but to keep working for some bigoted sack of shit like that guy Tim, or find an even more hateful asshole down the road.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 8:12 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Don't read the comments...

The person asking the bigots "Do you need a hug?" is pretty funny, though.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:14 PM on January 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh man, that is a tearjerker! The moment when the saleswoman jumped up and down all, "I'm so excited for you!!!!" and the contrast of loaning a projector, talking about how best to use it and that the bulb is a good strong one, and letting her have a day off her job, and then not going to the wedding.

There are these spots where people and ideals meet in one place...
posted by Deoridhe at 8:24 PM on January 24, 2015 [21 favorites]


The person asking the bigots "Do you need a hug?" is pretty funny, though.

Against my better instincts I did have a peek at the comments and that person is doing lovely job of letting the air out of the bigots' tires.

But man, it's so shitty that they were let down by a lot of people close to them.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:34 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, I just noticed that it's also been linked by The Drudge Report. So yeah, the comments are going to continue to be pretty awful on that one.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:41 PM on January 24, 2015




Kathryn Frazier and Tracy Curtis are friends with the Lashers and invited them to their wedding, but they decided not to attend because of their religious beliefs. “I’m sure we’ll discuss it at some point,” Tim Lashar says. “Because I have to wonder if they think, deep down, that we don’t accept them.

Well, yeah, you kinda exactly don't accept them. That's pretty much the definition. Don't be all "hey some of my best friends are gay but y'know God's all NO HOMO so what can you do". Stand with your beliefs, man.
posted by disconnect at 8:46 PM on January 24, 2015 [28 favorites]


Against my better instincts I did have a peek at the comments and that person is doing lovely job of letting the air out of the bigots' tires.

AChem's laconic style is what really sells it. I'm envious.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 8:49 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


From T.D. Strange's link: Under his proposal, marriage certificates could be signed only by a religious official, who would then pass the certificate along to the clerk. Judges could no longer perform legal marriages.

That wouldn't actually outlaw same-sex marriage since there are plenty of religions perfectly happy to perform same sex marriages. Which brings me to a question: Why aren't those religions that perform same sex weddings (or would if they could do so legally) suing for violation of their religious rights when they are not allowed to do so, or at least filing amicus briefs about how their religious rights are being violated?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:52 PM on January 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think the best we can hope for is that the Lashars are having such a mind-bending moment of cognitive dissonance that the next time we hear from them they'll have founded some sort of free-love cult somewhere after having sold all their belongings and bequeathing the business and its holdings to their lesbian, happily-married employee.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:53 PM on January 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why do people keep objecting to same-sex marriage is a religion issue when marriage is a legal status and nothing to do with religion unless performed in a church or by a member of the clergy?

Also, how many same-sex weddings have a 'bride' and a 'groom'? I wonder how many couples (perhaps unconsciously) go down this path for their wedding or is there so much infrastructure that simply drives them this way (note the difficulty someone had buying a card in the article).

I thought this was quite well written and I particularly liked that it brought up the issue with fairness to both sides.
posted by dg at 8:58 PM on January 24, 2015


note the difficulty someone had buying a card in the article

dg: when we got same-sex married in Canada in 2014, it had been legal here for some time. We were amused (because we had the privilege to be so amused) by the number of "Mr. and Mr." or "Grooms" cards we got, because they are now widely available. It wasn't something we had even thought about until we started getting the cards. "Oh, holy shit, yeah, of course they're available." The nifty thing was that some of them were given to us by people we wouldn't have thought would have been comfortable buying such a thing. Pleasant surprises, you know?

Also, based on the person who did the card buying that you're referring to in the aritcle, she may not have known of the the cool little independent lgbt-friendly-or-owned stationery/gift shop/bookstore nearby which may have stocked such an item. Or wanted to go online and search for "same-sex wedding cards."

So, she went with dog with champagne. And then sent it late.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:07 PM on January 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh, I just noticed that it's also been linked by The Drudge Report. So yeah, the comments are going to continue to be pretty awful on that one.

That was one of those deals where I read the comments and thought to myself, "Wow, these comments are such a sewer of hatred, even for Washington Post commenters, that I wonder if Drudge linked the article." And sure enough.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:17 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


On my phone I've got a picture of the "for two special men" and "bride and bride" cards that I saw in the wedding card section of the local Target here in Iowa a few months back.

It's hard to balance being happy that things are getting better and being sad that some people still feel the need to behave cruelly to people whom they genuinely seem to care about.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:21 PM on January 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: "Which brings me to a question: Why aren't those religions that perform same sex weddings (or would if they could do so legally) suing for violation of their religious rights when they are not allowed to do so, or at least filing amicus briefs about how their religious rights are being violated?"

Because that same logic could be applied for things like polygamy, and we've been down that road before. The crux is not whether a religious ritual needs civil recognition to be valid; it's whether vestiges of religious tradition are a good enough reason to hold up the expansion of marriage rights.

“Violation of [one’s] religious rights” is not a silver bullet in the courts. Laws that end up discriminating against people of certain religious beliefs generally have to survive strict scrutiny. But at the same time, the original polygamy case raised the distinction between religious belief (God instructs that I can be spiritually “sealed” to more than one woman) and religious action (I will therefore enter into civil marriage with two women). To oversimplify, the Supreme Court ruled that regulating religious action is fair game as long as there's a defensible reason to regulate that action other than “because we don’t like that a particular religion is doing it.” In other words, the laws need to be neutral and generally applicable. See also this case 100 years later dealing with the practice of Santeria.

If a religion challenged a marriage law on the grounds that the marriage rights it granted were far too narrow, my guess is that it would go a lot like the polygamy case: marriage laws are the enshrinement of common-law marriage practices that go back centuries; they are generally applicable; they were not dreamed up just to beat up on a particular religion; hence the existing law is a constitutional restriction on religious action. The only remaining point is whether the state has a rational basis for regulating marriage in this manner, but then that’s the very point already being argued in pending same-sex marriage cases.
posted by savetheclocktower at 9:26 PM on January 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, OK House Rep Sally Kern has introduced three bills:

"House Bill 1599 is dubbed the “Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act.” House Bill 1598 is called the “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act.” A third measure would allow businesses to refuse to provide services to the gay community, among others."
posted by bunderful at 9:33 PM on January 24, 2015




Thanks, Savetheclocktower. I guess I was thinking of it not so much as freedom to practice a religion (though I think I might have even used those words, my bad), but more "Marriages of that religion get recognized but not my religion." so more of a discrimination on the basis of religion thing. Also, within the context of banning same sex marriage already decided to be unconstitutional (which is why Oklahoma has it), I would think that saying only religions authority could perform marriages wouldn't result in not having same sex marriages as that person thinks, right?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:39 PM on January 24, 2015


I suppose that depends on whether OK defines religion as "Christianity" or more broadly to include all religions.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:04 PM on January 24, 2015


Christian churches perform same sex marriages.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:24 PM on January 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Kathryn Frazier and Tracy Curtis are friends with the Lashers and invited them to their wedding, but they decided not to attend because of their religious beliefs. “I’m sure we’ll discuss it at some point,” Tim Lashar says. “Because I have to wonder if they think, deep down, that we don’t accept them."

Well, yeah, you kinda exactly don't accept them. That's pretty much the definition. Don't be all "hey some of my best friends are gay but y'know God's all NO HOMO so what can you do". Stand with your beliefs, man.


You aren't wondering if they don't accept them. You're toying with your own self knowledge that, when push comes to shove, you won't accept them, and you can't accept that about yourself.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:33 PM on January 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


A card with bride and a groom seemed insensitive. She ended up choosing one with a dog holding a glass of champagne.

"A woman needs a woman like a dog needs a glass of champagne."
posted by Going To Maine at 10:35 PM on January 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


(And yes! What a delightful piece. Good find.)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:42 PM on January 24, 2015


she may not have known of the the cool little independent lgbt-friendly-or-owned stationery/gift shop/bookstore nearby which may have stocked such an item. Or wanted to go online and search for "same-sex wedding cards."
So, she went with dog with champagne. And then sent it late.

Oh, cool, but I guess obvious there would be cards etc available now. It may be a false perception, but it seems most wedding photos of female same-sex couples feature one in a dress and one in a suit (by no means all, though) and I wondered if it was just that being the path of least resistance or something.

Yeah, but she sent it. While I in no way condone her position, it must be quite an internal struggle for someone who believes in their heart of hearts that all people who are gay are headed directly to hell, but accidentally gets to know a couple and is struggling to reconcile that with the fact that they're quite nice and just like normal people really ... I'd like to think that, at some point in the not too distant future, she'll wish she had gone to the wedding and tell the couple that.
posted by dg at 10:57 PM on January 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


Christian churches perform same sex marriages.

I'm cynical but I'd guess OK conservatives would argue that those aren't real Christians.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:58 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this piece; it was very special to me, largely because it reminded me so much of the beautiful wedding of two very dear friends of mine (both women) that I was extraordinarily lucky to be a part of several years ago. People ought to know how common these experiences are: there are often so many points of pain and difficulty people go through in arranging and carrying out a same-sex wedding, so many tough moments with family and friends. Truly, same-sex marriage is the bastion of the bold, the courageous, and the great of spirit. And I wouldn't trade anything for the privilege of being part of those two excellent women's lives.
posted by koeselitz at 11:03 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


(also that was one of the most beautiful and enjoyable weddings I've ever been to)
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


While I in no way condone her position, it must be quite an internal struggle for someone who believes in their heart of hearts that all people who are gay are headed directly to hell, but accidentally gets to know a couple and is struggling to reconcile that with the fact that they're quite nice and just like normal people really ... I'd like to think that, at some point in the not too distant future, she'll wish she had gone to the wedding and tell the couple that.

I took that away from the article too. I mean, my gut reaction was "fucking bigots," and that's not out of line, but on the other hand they're witnessing this supposed abomination happen before their eyes, and all they see is two happy people, rather than hellfire and damnation swallowing up the state.

All snark aside, the Lashars seem to be on the horns of a dilemma. "Our religious teachings told us this is horrible. All we see is happy people, even when they're getting mistreated by others, including us. What's the deal? God? You there? Oh. Do unto others...oh right. That."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:20 PM on January 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm queer myself, and yet my house seems so dusty this rainy PNW night.

Also, if I ever get married, both of the brides are gonna be in white tie & tails, dammit, and so will the cake topper if I have to sculpt it myself out discarded motorcycle seat foam. Although I prefer Rose Levy Beranbaum's pistachio "marzipan".
posted by Dreidl at 12:41 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


From the article: “I don’t want you to hate me, and I don’t want you to disown me,” she would remember him telling her. “But I just want things to stay as they are.” He would not be coming.

Yeah. The only problem is that things are as they are. Kathryn's father had two choices, and I'm not saying it's easy, but he could have shown up at his daughter's wedding and dealt with it or he could have had this negative effect on them that he will never be able to undo.

She's in love. You don't even have the gumption to take it on as a real issue because you're trying to say it's not big enough for someone to hate you. You're telling your daughter that her love is wrong. Why the hell should she continue to see you or hang out when you've made it clear that your (archaic and incorrect) opinion of human sexuality is more important to you than her?

No doubt you're "just saying" or some crap like that but, seriously, I wonder about some people's desire to hang onto a stupid belief as if it proves anything when love and mutual respect are on the line.

I'm trying to have some sympathy for him but I'm (obviously) failing.

It's a great story but it's so sad to see people treating their families like this. It's love, people.
posted by nfalkner at 1:15 AM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


That was such revealing quote (hence the post title). It says a lot about the cultural sea change on this issue that it's the father pleading to the daughter not to hate and disown him rather than the other way around.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:32 AM on January 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


> "I would think that saying only religions authority could perform marriages wouldn't result in not having same sex marriages as that person thinks, right?"

Interestingly, when same-sex marriage was being legislatively passed in England, at one point in the process, in an attempt to pander to the "what about religious freedom?" people, the proposed bill said that it would only apply to civil marriages, and not religious marriages.

A bunch of religious bodies were furious about this, and said what about their religious freedom if they WANTED to perform same-sex marriages? (Quakers, Liberal Jews, and Unitarians led the charge on that.) The legislation was quickly amended so that religious organizations could "opt in" and perform same-sex marriages if they wanted to.
posted by kyrademon at 3:00 AM on January 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


> "I'm cynical but I'd guess OK conservatives would argue that those aren't real Christians."

They can argue it, but passing a law actually saying that is another thing altogether. And in fact, If only I had a penguin... is right that this particular kind of attempt at an end-run often backfires (such as the legislators in one state who passed a law giving money to "religious schools" in an attempt to favor Christian-flavored education, and were shocked to learn that a bunch of Islamic schools immediately signed on.) There really isn't a state religion in the U.S., and pretending it is so doesn't make it so.

Which isn't to say that such an moronic law wouldn't inconvenience a lot of people, and cause severe hardships for more than a few, but it wouldn't end same-sex marriage in OK and any legislator who thinks it would is pretty much an idiot.
posted by kyrademon at 3:26 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, I just noticed that it's also been linked by The Drudge Report. So yeah, the comments are going to continue to be pretty awful on that one.

There's one dude advocating a return to biblical slavery and also cannabis oil as a way of curing cancer.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:35 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


> That was such revealing quote (hence the post title). It says a lot about the cultural sea change on this issue that it's the father pleading to the daughter not to hate and disown him rather than the other way around.

But is it? Does the father not disown his daughter by refusing to come to her wedding?
posted by moody cow at 5:01 AM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, OK House Rep Sally Kern has introduced three bills:

"House Bill 1599 is dubbed the “Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act.” House Bill 1598 is called the “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act.” A third measure would allow businesses to refuse to provide services to the gay community, among others."


fuck you Sally Kern
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:52 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was beautiful. Thanks for posting.
posted by natasha_k at 6:21 AM on January 25, 2015


This story is just so frustrating, but the link-fueled comments remind me once again, that back in the eighties, when my ex was fooling around with a weird kid named Matt from Takoma Park, if he'd only secretly been a sex murderer, we'd be living in a whole other world.

I was right, though—there was something wrong with that guy.
posted by sonascope at 6:43 AM on January 25, 2015


That was a good article. I lost it at the end when the sales clerk, a virtual stranger, got so excited for them. The times are changing in a good way. I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness together.
posted by arcticseal at 6:46 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: "I would think that saying only religions authority could perform marriages wouldn't result in not having same sex marriages as that person thinks, right?"

In Illinois, for reasons of historical happenstance, it is a bit of a pain in the ass to get civilly married (in many counties), but quite easy to get religiously married. Courthouses tend to be overcrowded and underfunded; we have no JP system; we have no system for deputizing anyone but judges to carry out civil marriages. However, the state accepts without prejudice any religious ceremony performed by any minister of any faith as long as the couple has a valid marriage license. When we legalized gay marriage there was a bit of concern about whether gay couples would be stuck waiting ages in courthouses for a free judge, but NOPE, turns out there's a bazillion ministers of all stripes quite delighted to do gay marriages, quite in line with existing state law. Most of my friends around here have been married by UU ministers or Reform rabbis, but I also know a Methodist minister who does them, and there's a Calvinist church nearby that does them, and the Hindu temple will arrange them (not sure if the local guy does them or someone else), and so on. (I've even heard about a retired Catholic priest who does them on the sly).

So Oklahoma can go ahead and outlaw civil marriages; it won't even slow gay marriage down. And they definitely can't say "we accept marriages by THIS religious authority but not THAT religious authority (as long as that marriage conforms to state law requirements)" because that's a well-settled point of Constitutional law.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:04 AM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I suspect that the OK bill to outlaw civil marriages will be shot down, not on discrimination against homosexuals, but against atheists. What if a person, for philosophical/moral/religious reasons does not want to be married in a church/by a minister? ACLU will be all over that.
posted by Hactar at 7:52 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The bit about Kelly declining the invite but advising on a projector reminded me so much of the racist little old lady in "Blazing Saddles," as she delivers a home-baked pie and an apology to Sherriff Bart: "Of course, you'll have the good taste not to mention that I spoke to you."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:11 AM on January 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance of some people never fails to astonish me.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm tired of pussyfooting around this issue, so I'll come right out and say it: If your god forbids the joining together of two people in love solely because they happen to share a gender, your god is an evil god. You worship a god of hatred and destruction. If you are a good person, it is your duty not only to cease to worship that god, but to vanquish that god altogether.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:18 AM on January 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: I guess I was thinking of it not so much as freedom to practice a religion (though I think I might have even used those words, my bad), but more "Marriages of that religion get recognized but not my religion." so more of a discrimination on the basis of religion thing.

The terminology confuses things, but the fact that both government and religion call it “marriage” doesn’t mean it’s the same thing. When you get married in a Catholic church, you have a ceremony where a priest proclaims you wedded, and then you sign a marriage license. The Church doesn’t consider you married unless you go through the ceremony; the state doesn’t consider you married unless you sign the license.

So we’re back to the polygamy thing. This actually happened last year; the stars of Sister Wives challenged Utah’s laws against polygamy, making it very much a “marriages of that religion get recognized but not my religion” situation. The judge struck down some portions of the law that were designed to root out de facto polygamy (such as a ban on cohabitation) but upheld the parts that banned de jure polygamy (having more than one marriage license). Which is a great illustration of the “neutral and generally applicable” standard: the formal ban stood, because it’s generally applicable, but the cohabitation ban fell because it was clearly written to get Mormons to stop behaving in a polygamous manner. If there truly is a rational basis for prohibiting a married person from living with someone other than their spouse, then the law needs to be written more broadly to reflect that.

(I don’t mean to compare same-sex marriage to polygamy; it’s just the best example because of the existing case law. A better hypothetical parallel would be a marriage that a religion permits but that the state outlaws for some dumb or petty reason.)

Also, within the context of banning same sex marriage already decided to be unconstitutional (which is why Oklahoma has it), I would think that saying only religions authority could perform marriages wouldn't result in not having same sex marriages as that person thinks, right?

Yeah, two of the 90,358,236 things that are wrong with this proposed law are that (a) it would entangle two things that have very good reasons to be separated; (b) churches in some places (though perhaps not in the vast majority of Oklahoma) are starting to perform same-sex marriages. Of course, lots of dumb state laws are only proposed in order to score political points, and if this thing ever got passed all it would do is ensure that a bunch of people wasted time and money to litigate the thing and get it overturned.
posted by savetheclocktower at 8:30 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance of some people never fails to astonish me.

It's hard to wrap your brain around the idea that what you thought Jesus would do is dead wrong.
posted by immlass at 10:04 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I grew up in Oklahoma and my parents still live there, and it's really hard for me to go back these days. Tulsa has always had some arty, liberal types, but it feels like The Big Sort has reduced that number, leaving instead a higher concentration of the churchy, bigoted, don't-call-me-a-bigot conservatives the stereotype leads you to expect to find. I defend it as a nice place to have grown up, in retrospect, but I think the people there now are more homogenous (and homophobic) than they were when I lived there.

But also, having gotten out of Oklahoma and found a larger social circle, I look back at the two women who lived up the street from us when I was a kid, whose house my mom always said I should skip on door-to-door things because they were "very private," and, well, I shouldn't assume, but COME ON. They always seemed very nice when I did knock on their door for something, and I feel like this was a missed opportunity to, y'know, learn to be human.
posted by fedward at 10:29 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Which brings me to a question: Why aren't those religions that perform same sex weddings (or would if they could do so legally) suing for violation of their religious rights when they are not allowed to do so, or at least filing amicus briefs about how their religious rights are being violated?

They have in North Carolina and Michigan. Although those suits include both a general challenge to the ban, and a specific challenge regarding laws that effectively make performing a same-sex wedding a misdemeanor. It wouldn't surprise me if religious groups have generally filed amicus briefs in favor of same-sex marriage.

There a a few other mean-spirited bills trying to get around the ban. One would fire clerks and strip pensions from anyone issuing license for a same-sex wedding, and there are "freedom of conscience" bills floating around which would allow anyone to refuse to issue a license. Historically speaking, "defense of marriage" was a big old bait-and-switch since same-sex marriage wasn't on the table in most of the jurisdictions that banned it. The bans were placed to prevent or punish jurisdictions and organizations making baby steps toward piecemal rights. Marriage isn't the endgame, it's just a convenient hammer anti-gay groups use to advocate discrimination.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:31 AM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


If your god forbids the joining together of two people in love solely because they happen to share a gender, your god is an evil god. You worship a god of hatred and destruction. If you are a good person, it is your duty not only to cease to worship that god, but to vanquish that god altogether.

If Christians already aren't bothered by the mass murders committed by their god as per their own holy book, I don't see how you can expect them to stop worshiping him based on who he allows to get married? The "worshiping a god of hatred and destruction" ship sailed long ago.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:54 AM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I also grew up in Tulsa (although I haven't lived there for 10+ years) and there are certainly pockets of Oklahoma that are progressing. One of my oldest friends has been out to pretty much everyone since high school and never really has an issue with it. And recently a young couple moved in across the street from my grandmother and they just became another part of the neighborhood (they do plan on getting married I hear and she is going to the wedding). On the other hand I also have a bunch of evangelical relatives who just think The Bible says it's wrong and that's the end of it for them. So there's no changing some people. But little by little it's getting better.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:58 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


As an anti theist who opposes even "nice" religion I'd be more than inconvenienced by the proposal to require all marriages be religiously authorized, I'd be effectively prohibited from marrying.
posted by sotonohito at 11:40 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


sotonohito: "As an anti theist who opposes even "nice" religion I'd be more than inconvenienced by the proposal to require all marriages be religiously authorized, I'd be effectively prohibited from marrying."

Oh, it'd be a stupid-ass law that wouldn't stand up to ten minutes of scrutiny; I was just pointing out that not only would it be a stupid-ass law that wouldn't stand up to ten minutes of scrutiny, but it wouldn't even accomplish what they want it to accomplish.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:01 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a queer radical, vehemently against marriage, for the usual reasons, who grew up in the praries, and left for the east coast cities, I don't know articles like this change my mind. I think maybe marriage needs to happen because people like this do not feel complete with out it. Ironically, this has made me in favour of marriage.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


...and there are "freedom of conscience" bills floating around which would allow anyone to refuse to issue a license

For what it's worth, when the religious right in Canada realized that they had well and truly lost, and equal marriage was the irrevocable law of the land, they tried this angle for a while, mostly through the courts.

So, if it's any comfort, measures like these are rearguard actions that reek of desperation.

Here, for example, is our current prime minister, back when he was in opposition and the religious right thought they could kibosh equal marriage.

Nowadays, his majority government can ram through any legislation it wants. Every time one of his backbench MPs starts playing to their base on this issue, and bringing up these "freedom of conscience" issues, they get shut down by the PM pretty quick. Not out of any committment to equality, mind you, just out of pragmatic realism.

So it's kind of good news that the opponents of equal marriage are starting to switch tactics from trying to stop it outright to slightly more esoteric legal strategies.

I mean, they're still bigoted assholes, it's just that they're bigoted assholes who are starting to grasp that they're losing the real fight.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:56 PM on January 25, 2015


If Christians already aren't bothered by the mass murders committed by their god as per their own holy book, I don't see how you can expect them to stop worshiping him based on who he allows to get married? The "worshiping a god of hatred and destruction" ship sailed long ago.

Now, I wouldn't even necessarily agree with that. Sure, murder's not great, but there are too many people in the world already, and hell, some folks just need killin'. But to deny the union of two souls in love because they look similar with no clothes on? Now that's just evil.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:56 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Maybe this is not the ending journey for some people,” Kathryn said. “Maybe this is the beginning. Maybe our wedding will be useful for later in their journey.”

What a gracious and charitable reaction this is. I hope she's right.
posted by Morrigan at 4:33 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh man, as someone who just had her wedding, this made me cry (a lot). I remember that vulnerable feeling of mailing out the invitations and we're a hetero couple. I want to send them a congratulations card to make up for all the people in their life who couldn't quite see their way to supporting their marriage. The couple sound like wonderful women, and I'm so happy they found one another. May their marriage be blessed.
posted by slidell at 5:40 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


One of the side effects of the near-juggernaut that marriage equality has been the past few years in comparison to other equality measures like nondiscrimination in housing and employment, is that you have states like OK where it's legal for two women to get married and perfectly legal for them to get fired for being gay.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:45 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


churches in some places (though perhaps not in the vast majority of Oklahoma) are starting to perform same-sex marriages.

Whenever people (on either side) start to talk about marriage equality as being split between religion and secular people, I want to remind them that in Canada, it was a church (the MCC) who performed the first same-sex weddings, using a medieval religious custom (calling the bans) that predates the state-regulation of marriage. Many religious groups aren't just sympathetic; they are the vanguard of marriage equality.

As for why marriage equality has lept ahead of employment or housing equality: dealing with government discrimination is much easier than dealing with private discrimination. Marriage equality was the last big barrier for same-sex couples when dealing with the state. Housing and employment means dealing with all sorts of private landlords and employers and, all issues of enforcement aside, not everyone even agrees that private bodies shouldn't be allowed to discriminate. We're still working on equality for women and visible minorities in housing and employment - and we will for a very long time.

But ending state discrimination is a good step to normalising same-sex couples and thus increasing acceptance of all LGBT people.
posted by jb at 2:06 AM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


One of the side effects of the near-juggernaut that marriage equality has been the past few years in comparison to other equality measures like nondiscrimination in housing and employment, is that you have states like OK where it's legal for two women to get married and perfectly legal for them to get fired for being gay.

ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 except the 109th.

Again, with the "religious exemptions."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:42 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


As for why marriage equality has lept ahead of employment or housing equality: dealing with government discrimination is much easier than dealing with private discrimination.

I think it's a bit more complex than that. Preservation of marriage was claimed by conservatives in the 1990s as the primary legal theory to justify discrimination. Most of the state laws and amendments were written purposefully broad to include same-sex marriage or any similar benefit or protection. Hence denial of hospital visitation in Florida to a partner that had medical and legal power of attorney, since power of attorney between partners was a benefit associated with marriage.

Just as a perspective, in Indiana the state law had not a fucking thing to do with anyone getting marriage certificates, and everything to do with communities such as Bloomington and universities such as Indiana University making their own non-discrimination and partner benefit policies.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:56 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


In other words, the shift from a government interest in promoting heterosexual marriage to "Hobby Lobby" freedom of religion arguments isn't just a rearguard action. It's the adoption of a different framework for justifying discrimination.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:55 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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