Two Sisters, Two Views of Gay Marriage
May 11, 2015 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Two years after Elizabeth and Mary Cheney publicly fought each other on marriage equality, another set of sisters, also named Elizabeth and Mary, write about their own challenging experiences:
I know that in this day and age many thousands, if not millions, of families find themselves in predicaments similar to ours. My desire is that our joint disclosure might help others begin to open their hearts and minds to one another. I hope that they can find both the courage and the charity to have those difficult but potentially transformative conversations that they, like we, have avoided for such a long time.
posted by Ouverture (53 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just... I want to have a serious and open-hearted conversation with Elizabeth about this, but the fact that she's sticking to these "time-honored principles" when that's no more worthy a response than "I want to" just sticks in my craw. I could give 852 different examples of time-honored principles that really shouldn't be honored anymore (and thankfully aren't, in most cases), but you know what? I really don't feel like it. And I shouldn't have to, because people trot them out over and over and over again.

And as for this:
It is my deep conviction that the complementarity of gender—man and woman—and the possibility of new life that may result from their union aren’t accidental but essential to the institution of marriage.
...well, to many male/female couples who can't have children, and choose to get married anyway, saying that marriage is solely about procreation is downright cruel.

Elizabeth, you simply don't want to accept your sister's relationship as a marriage. That's it. And that's not very nice of you.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:44 AM on May 11, 2015 [30 favorites]


It is my deep conviction that the complementarity of gender—man and woman—and the possibility of new life that may result from their union aren’t accidental but essential to the institution of marriage. Until about fifteen years ago, most people, gay and straight alike, would probably have agreed with me. Today I’m well aware that many no longer do, including my sister.

Well, all I could find was this, but I'd really like to know where she got the idea that a majority of gay Americans didn't support gay marriage until 15 years ago.
posted by Huck500 at 10:46 AM on May 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Elizabeth's understanding of both the historical and the modern role of marriage doesn't match my understanding at all. It's definitely clear that she closely follows the arguments against marriage equality as her rhetoric matches the latest attempts at arguing against it without sounding too bigoted - for example, the idea that one man and one woman are required for sexual reproduction and child welfare implies that the state a right and a duty to legislate marriage.

I wish that anti-equality believers would just come out and state, "It is against my religious beliefs, and my religious beliefs should be the basis of state and federal laws." It would certainly be more honest.
posted by muddgirl at 10:47 AM on May 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


Elizabeth can have all the opinions she wants about what makes a marriage a "real" marriage. The dispute is whether or not she should be able to have the force of government compel others to comply with these opinions. I'm guessing that she has never had to deal with the distinction before. I wish someone would help her do so now.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:00 AM on May 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


It is this: Becky and I care passionately about dogs, and have come to see dog rescue as an absolute imperative. Several of our friends, though, don’t see things the way we do. Despite many conversations and attempts at persuasion, they still insist on buying pure-breed dogs. They are doing something that we, on moral grounds, wouldn’t do ourselves. So are we required to hate them, or their dogs? Should we refuse to associate with them, and wish them ill? Of course not. Our views are in a certain sense independent of our friends and family; and while we wish they agreed with us, we accept that they sometimes won’t, no matter what we say to them.

I think this is how Elizabeth feels about marriage: She has a considered view that is largely independent of me.


This hamhanded analogy suggests that Mary may be her own worst enemy when it comes to making arguments in favour of supporting same-sex marriage to her sister.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:03 AM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I find the framing of the problem as a mere disagreement over a minor matter to be problematic. Because we're talking about oppression and lack of oppression, not some dry academic issue or mere idle speculation. Denial of marriage to same sex couples means denial of hospital or prison visitation rights, it means denial of the right to be at a partner's funeral, it means denial of the right to share patental rights or adopt.

This is not merely disagreeing about tradepolicy, or copyright, or whether or not Age of Ultron was a good movie, it is saying, to a member of an oppressed class, that you support their subjugation and want them to continue being oppressed. That isn't something where people can simply agree to disagree, where taking one view doesn't make you an oppressor.

And by framing it as a mostly irrelevant disagreement where people can disagree but still be friends ignores the very heart of the matter.
posted by sotonohito at 11:12 AM on May 11, 2015 [25 favorites]


That analogy actually annoys me as a dog owner and a dog lover as well as a queer person, because I actually don't think that there is jack-all immoral about owning a purposely bred dog. And I say that as someone who prefers rescue! But it is entirely not the case that everyone can find a dog that is suited to them or their needs in rescue, especially if you don't live in a region that still has a ton of dogs winding up in rescue as is the case in the northeastern US.

And frankly, if I was one of their friends and I had a breeder-purchased dog, I don't think I would be feeling all that loved by friends--or I guess, associates--who judged me for where I got my dog from. Not even if they were avoiding judging me over it at this particular second. Mary's mention of "many conversations and attempts at persuasion" would make me feel condescended to and incredibly angry just as the same condescending "conversations and attempts at persuasion" that I see concerning same-sex marriage do. I have a reason to be in a same-sex marriage that has fuck-all to do with the social and cultural institution of marriage and everything to do with accessing certain legal rights, and I'm so angry that people who are only concerned with the social stuff would deny me those legal rights for their own high-handed principles.
posted by sciatrix at 11:13 AM on May 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


I dunno, as a traditional marriage supporter I got excited by Mary's dogs analogy. So there is the argument that, once marriage is redefined beyond one man and one woman, one ought logically to be able to call anything marriage. You've all heard it: 'If a man can marry a man and call that marriage, then I should be able to marry my dog and call that marriage.' The standard response to shut down this argument--which forces discussion of the core question 'what is marriage?'--without discussion is 'SO GAY PEOPLE ARE LIKE DOGS????' It's a false analogy, but sounds great.

Here, Sister Mary has actually false-analogized her gay marriage like the choice to have a rescue dog or a purebred. Sort of funny. Not a good argument.

Why is everyone not glad that these sisters disagree and get along? Stop projecting your mutually-assured-destruction worldview on individual families who can live and let live.
posted by resurrexit at 11:13 AM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Elizabeths position were that she thinks gay people shouldn't marry but that she supports their legal right to do so that would be a different matter, then it'd enter mere disagreement territory. But if Elizabeth is voting for people who are working to deny her sister marriage then she iscausing harm to her sister, and that isn't mere disagreement.
posted by sotonohito at 11:14 AM on May 11, 2015 [11 favorites]


You've all heard it: 'If a man can marry a man and call that marriage, then I should be able to marry my dog and call that marriage.' The standard response to shut down this argument--which forces discussion of the core question 'what is marriage?'--without discussion is 'SO GAY PEOPLE ARE LIKE DOGS????'

Actually, 'Dogs can't consent' is the only counter I've ever heard in this case.
posted by Huck500 at 11:17 AM on May 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


So there is the argument that, once marriage is redefined beyond one man and one woman, one ought logically to be able to call anything marriage. You've all heard it: 'If a man can marry a man and call that marriage, then I should be able to marry my dog and call that marriage.' The standard response to shut down this argument...

And it gets shut down because it the commission of the logical fallacy of slippery slope.

Stop being obtuse.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:17 AM on May 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ressurexit: I don't give a shit "what marriage really is" right now. I care that I can sponsor my partner for immigration. Until I can do that by some other means that is no more torturous and fucked-up than the current system, and until I can access the full panoply of legal rights currently packaged under the label of marriage with my partner, you will pry access to the legal institution of marriage from my cold dead fingers.

I promise, I ain't impugning your religion any. I don't care about the cultural stuff. But jesus, I need my relationship to be considered as legally valid as your opposite-sex one, and anything less is fundamentally insulting and unfair.
posted by sciatrix at 11:19 AM on May 11, 2015 [19 favorites]


"If you accept A then you must accept B" is only fallacious to the extent B is not possible. In the marriage debate, if you substitute anything in the "one man and one woman" formula, you have to come up with a reason why "A, but not B."
posted by resurrexit at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2015


I guess I'm glad for Elizabeth's kids that Mary has decided to put up with her sister's bigotry, because Mary sounds like a pretty cool aunt to have, and it's nice that the kids will get to not be 100% surrounded by antediluvian bigots. But ugh.

On an individual level, sometimes we must perforce hold our noses and ignore other people's bigotry. Not every moment is the appropriate time and place to score a victory for truth and justice; sometimes you just have to roll your eyes and let the racists racist or the homophobes homophobe, and concentrate on eating the goddamn turkey. Sometimes the maintenance of polite harmony is more important than calling someone out, especially when they're unlikely to actually change their view as a result of it. Sometimes you gotta play the long game.

But—and it's a big "but"—that's not to downplay the fact that they are shitty and wrong. You can acknowledge that they are shitty and wrong, and you are being tolerant of it, without necessarily being accepting or in any way legitimizing the underlying point of view. And between Elizabeth and Mary, only one of those people seeks to use the law and its majestic monopoly on violence to enforce an arbitrarily-selected way of life on other people against their will. Somehow, in giving Mary and Elizabeth equal time, I felt like that got lost.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:26 AM on May 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's just such a toothless essay that contains ... I'm not even sure what it's supposed to contain. It doesn't even tell me how they made it work. It doesn't talk about any of the conversations they must have had, or what it was like to work through them and arrive at this conclusion. The whole thing is predicated on a sort of "well we're sisters and we're close and nothing is going to change that" -- um, okay? That's nice. What about the rest of the world and millions of other families who aren't like that? What about all the other gay people you don't personally know and love and who don't take care of your children? Do their rights matter, or the quality of their lives, or ...? Obviously it's great that your family is still hanging out together, but is this being presented to us as some kind of superior position to any other reaction?

It's like the slightly damp saltines of bad gay marriage discussion.
posted by automatic cabinet at 11:31 AM on May 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


[Several comments deleted. resurrexit, cool it.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:31 AM on May 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


"If you accept A then you must accept B" is only fallacious to the extent B is not possible.

On the contrary, "If you accept A then you must accept B" is fallacious unless B is inevitable (not merely possible) given A.

"If the legislature raises the speed limit from 65 to 70 this year, then they'll raise it from 70 to 75 next year" is a fallacious slippery slope argument, even though it's possible that the legislature will raise it to 75 next year.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:31 AM on May 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why is everyone not glad that these sisters disagree and get along?

Because the thing they're disagreeing about is currently illegal in parts of the USA and legal in other parts. When any two people in the USA can get legally married, I'll be glad that these sisters can disagree and get along. Until then, I'm pissed off that anyone hold up these people as a shining example of how to be. "Agreeing to disagree" makes it harder to get people their civil rights.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:33 AM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


In the marriage debate, if you substitute anything in the "one man and one woman" formula, you have to come up with a reason why "A, but not B."

I've never understood why exactly this is a downside. I mean, oh god we're going to actually have to discuss things and not just blindly follow somebody's narrowly-defined idea of "tradition"? Quelle horreur.

But that's the real conservative fear, isn't it? Not the gays getting married; that's just a convenient position to hide behind — the real fear is that people will start thinking about lots of things that just "are the way they are" without any real reason for being that way.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:33 AM on May 11, 2015 [17 favorites]


And yet my views on marriage remain the same, stemming as they do not from particular affections, but from time-honored principles. Happily, what Mary and Becky have shown me is how easy it is to love gay individuals and even gay couples, despite disagreement on the meaning of marriage.

Oh, I do so hope Elizabeth's next op-ed is about time-honored principles like women not being able to vote, or the economic and spiritual advantages of owning other people (especially the ones who are genetically inferior to us and not even Christians so really, we're saving them).
posted by Lyn Never at 11:38 AM on May 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


When my family was first introduced to Mary’s partner, Becky, at the beach about six years ago, she had obviously been coached by my sister to arrive with gifts in hand—Veuve Cliquot and several good bottles of bourbon. As a family we’ve learned that there’s little that can’t be smoothed over during cocktail hour.

But we didn’t need any liquor to accept Becky.


As I was reading this, I knew in my heart of hearts I would have LOL'd had the next line been:

It helps, though.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:40 AM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don’t come to my understanding of marriage because, as some will undoubtedly assume, because I am a “bigot,” or have animus toward gays and lesbians. ... Yet I can’t abandon my view, nor can the silent millions of people who agree with me. It is a deep and considered conviction about the nature of reality, analogous to the deep conviction that many other people now hold about “marriage equality” as a fundamental moral truth.

Of course, you could easily find many, many white people who thought exactly the same about interracial marriage before _Loving_. People who insisted that they didn't have any racial animus against blacks, but that same-race marriage was a longstanding social institution that deserved protection and was in some way the natural order for humans.

Really, Mary should dislike or resent Elizabeth, at least a little. Elizabeth thinks that if Mary gets sick, her partner Becky shouldn't be allowed to make medical decisions for her, even if she has a valid health surrogacy. Elizabeth thinks that if Mary or Becky dies, the other shouldn't be able to inherit her property without extensive taxation. Elizabeth thinks that if Mary or Becky dies, the other should not receive any Social Security benefits. Elizabeth thinks that if Mary or Becky were in the armed forces and killed, the survivor should receive absolutely nothing from the government. Elizabeth thinks that if Becky were not a US citizen, Mary shouldn't be able to bring her to the US to live with her. Because those are all things that marriage does or guarantees.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 AM on May 11, 2015 [22 favorites]


Well, at least they can make their relationship work by just not talking or thinking about big honking elephants in the room. It sounds like any normal, "close" family where people just don't really talk seriously, where conversations are about the weather and just what's new, where those conversations take place once every few weeks, and if something interesting happens, they'll probably let them know whenever it's convenient, maybe weeks after the fact.

Yeah. I don't think they're as "close" as they say. Or their definition of "close" is different from mine.
posted by qcubed at 12:04 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don’t come to my understanding of marriage because, as some will undoubtedly assume, because I am a “bigot,” or have animus toward gays and lesbians.

The aversion that anti-gay Christians have to being called bigots or homophobes is amusing. It's totally okay for them to judge other people as being sinful, but don't you dare judge them back! Okay, to be fair, no one likes being called a bigot.

And it's aggravating how they think that the only reason Christians have been generalized as homophobic is due to extremist loons like the WBC. No, trust me, that's not the reason why.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:07 PM on May 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Maybe that conclusion isn't quite fair, I shouldn't presume to know their relationship. I just know that in my case, where there's disapproval of my "lifestyle" (ironically enough, were I straight, my being chaste would be a virtue), it has created a distance. But, whatever. Families are weird things.

They deserve each other.
posted by qcubed at 12:08 PM on May 11, 2015


You know what? I just want to say to an audience that I am so proud of my dad, who went from being an opponent of gay marriage (on something like Elizabeth's grounds) to a guy who accepts gay marriage purely because he was argued around to it - unlike almost everyone in the whole world, he thought about an issue and then changed his mind. Also he is way more accepting of trans people than I had ever expected him to be. My dad - so much better than I believed him to be when I was a teen!
posted by Frowner at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2015 [36 favorites]


Oh, and Elizabeth is a complementarian? There's a dog whistle if I've ever heard one.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:17 PM on May 11, 2015


Short short version of both essays:

Elizabeth: I know there are a lot of arguments for gay marriage, including my sister's happiness with her partner, but I still think it's wrong just because.
Mary: I obviously disagree with Elizabeth on whether or not I should be allowed to get married, but she's family so what the fuck ya gonna do.
posted by mightygodking at 12:28 PM on May 11, 2015 [25 favorites]


Oh, and Elizabeth is a complementarian? There's a dog whistle if I've ever heard one.

A dog whistle to who? Sounds like a straight-up whistle to me.

Okay, to be fair, no one likes being called a bigot.

This is one of those amazing things about terms like bigot; it's an informative classification that everyone considers bad, like racist. (Heck, even Vox Day does his level best to pretend that his views aren't racist -though I suspect he's aware of what he's up to- because he knows what it signals. Once marriage equality is arrived, would Mary be okay with being a called a "reactionary"? Because that's also a loaded term, but with a very different reading than bigot.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:35 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Until then, I'm pissed off that anyone hold up these people as a shining example of how to be. "Agreeing to disagree" makes it harder to get people their civil rights.

I fully support marriage equality, and I'm heartened by the historically unprecedented shift in public opinion toward gay people in such a short amount of time. But what I do not like, what I find utterly obnoxious and short sighted, is this kind of scorched-earth attitude that reduces the complexities of individual relationships to a single issue and a binary choice to which everything else is secondary in importance.

These are people doing the best they can to love and respect one another while being totally at odds on an issue fundamental to them both, and your biggest concern is how effectively Sister Mary is repping the cause.
posted by echocollate at 12:44 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is one of those amazing things about terms like bigot; it's an informative classification that everyone considers bad

Unless you're Pastor Steven Anderson!

(But he got the nickname the Pissing Preacher for a reason, so we can just discount everything he says, I think.)

A dog whistle to who? Sounds like a straight-up whistle to me.

I think a lot of people still aren't aware of how loaded "complementarianism" is if they don't follow the cultural chatter on the subject. Conservative Christians knew that they were fighting a losing battle with "patriarchy."
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:44 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reading this article was like biting foil. Wasn't there one similar in the news cycle (and MeFi as well) in 2011? Something like "I'm Chuck and I'm Dave, and we disagree on everything but we're best friends! How amazing it is that we get along so well?... (Extended microcosm for America metaphor)... therefore laws relevant to social issues should stay exactly the way they are!"

unlike almost everyone in the whole world, he thought about an issue and then changed his mind

Trying to avoid this for the moment; lately, each time I go on a quest for statistics, data, books and op-eds to inform myself on an issue, I become slightly more right-wing and conservative than I was when I started.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nothing is static. I think these sisters are both doing a good job, and since Mary wins history, there is no reason for her to cut off Elizabeth.

Mary wins history because there is no way Elizabeth's children will grow up to be as bigoted as she is. And we are seeing that already - even young evangelicals are less bigoted than middled-aged.

When we met, 15 years ago, my friend the chairman of our local church committee was scared of everything she didn't understand. Today, she is accepting of gay parents, immigrants, socialists (!! this is the wildest one) and homeless people. If we had been dismissive of her and avoided her back when she first came into the local community, she would have stuck to her backward ideology.
I think it is a matter of months before she accepts gay marriage - she's already begun talking about how Jesus saved all men and was not prejudiced...
posted by mumimor at 1:03 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm glad they can get along, but this seems like the problems all stem from Elizabeth. She needs to pull her head out of her ass.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:13 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I dunno. Gotta say bigot. However she wants to rationalize to it. As it is, me and the Missus will sit on our porch, drink wine, and toast NY state for recognizing our marriage. Or, I will, and she will too after she gives birth to child #1 :)
posted by triage_lazarus at 1:18 PM on May 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have a coworker who changed his mind regarding SSM based solely on the discovery of someone who he knew and liked who was not able to get married.

The fact that a sister cannot condone her own sister's life and happiness and is not immediately called out and ridiculed for it is a loss for everyone involved.

Hell, I think even if the family disowned the gay sister (or vice versa) it would be a better outcome. Someone upthread said it would be cool to have an aunt like Mary but I think being raised to know that "that marriage/life is unacceptable but she's family" is a terrible thing to teach children. So many abusive people are accepted into the fold because "hey, they're family."
posted by M Edward at 1:46 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am not gay, but I am in other ways the strange aunt in my family. And right at this moment, as the kids reach their teens, they are coming with questions of all sorts. If any of them are gay, they will end up at my doorstep and find TLC here. In my view it is a good thing that my siblings both openly disagree with me and acknowledge their love for me (and vice-versa). It shows the kids that humans are capable of love and care across ideological boundaries. If we lived in the Balkans or in Syria, our attitude would help prevent war.

When I was a teen, I had a similar experience. My "crazy" aunt helped me find the culture I was interested in - and then and now, because we have a family where we live with each others' differences, this all ends up in familial accept, despite initial doubt. Paradoxically, although the entire family agreed that my aunt was "crazy", her accept and guidance helped my family accept my life choices.
posted by mumimor at 2:04 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


These are people doing the best they can to love and respect one another while being totally at odds on an issue fundamental to them both, and your biggest concern is how effectively Sister Mary is repping the cause.

My biggest concern is not how effectively Sister Mary is repping the cause. Any two people can choose to get along however they want. I just think that their style of getting along isn't super-healthy and it's really lop-sided.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:10 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just think that their style of getting along isn't super-healthy and it's really lop-sided.

I agree, but it's also true that neither one has come to Ask Me looking for relationship advice.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:32 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I find it much easier to accept that people make complicated choices in their family relationships when those are not the subject of a back-and-forth in the Atlantic - of all places! - as if somehow Elizabeth's muddled thinking about the history and purpose of marriage needs to be presented to everyone so that we can fully understand that family relationships are complex. Basically, this article presents gay marriage as if there are "two sides" that are equally legitimate, equally good for society and equally logically argued.

Honestly, it's a really difficult decision to deep-six racist, homophobic or transphobic relatives and friends. I struggle with this stuff regularly too, but I don't want to give my racist relatives half an Atlantic article to explain why they just deeply believe that [racial group] has an unacceptable culture.
posted by Frowner at 2:41 PM on May 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


So there is the argument that, once marriage is redefined beyond one man and one woman, one ought logically to be able to call anything marriage. You've all heard it: 'If a man can marry a man and call that marriage, then I should be able to marry my dog and call that marriage.' The standard response to shut down this argument [...] without discussion

Or it can be shut down by simply pointing out that at least 125 years ago lesbian relationships were called marriages, and one man with multiple women was called a marriage, and somehow neither of those "redefinitions" resulted in any marriages to dogs during the subsequent century. Not to mention laws against inter-faith and interracial marriages being struck down.
posted by XMLicious at 3:33 PM on May 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


@Frowner, exactly. If Elizabeth and Mary get along ok despite Elizabeth being a raging bigot who wants her sister to suffer then that's their business. But when they publish an article in the Atlantic talking about how awesome it is to get along despite one of them wishing significant harm on the other and present this as a great wonderful alternative to all that incivil bickering going on nationwide, then there's a problem.

Which is why Going To Maine is wrong, they did something a lot more public than going to Ask Me looking for relationship advice.
posted by sotonohito at 3:50 PM on May 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


They gift art supplies and ballet paraphernalia to my 10-year-old daughter

Further proof that Elizabeth is no good: "gift" as a verb.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:07 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


"If the legislature raises the speed limit from 65 to 70 this year, then they'll raise it from 70 to 75 next year"

And then they'll raise it to 85. And 95. And pretty soon cars are going faster than the speed of light and all of physics breaks down! If you can go faster than the speed of light, you can travel back in time. What if one of these drivers goes back in time and runs over my grandfather before he meets my grandmother!

That's how you do it properly.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:59 PM on May 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


Nice civilized veneer over bigotry. That tired old chestnut that male + female is uniquely balanced and anything else is wrong and biologically off as an excuse for making some people and their relationships second class fills me with disgust. I understand why one would choose to downplay one's sibling's bigotry for the sake of family intellectually but cannot imagine doing so myself. In doing so she is wishing her sister real harm in all the ways that denying the legal protection of marriage to people causes real harm - the lack of protection and access for decision making in healthcare, child custody, immigration rights etc etc etc. She wishes her sister to be a second class citizen and the sister's partnership to be an inferior relationship with her attitude. Hardly familial support.
posted by leslies at 7:26 PM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Which is why Going To Maine is wrong, they did something a lot more public than going to Ask Me looking for relationship advice.

I wouldn't disagree that they did something a lot more public than just posting an AskMe, and I'm not trying to beef with folks judging them here. I think my opinion is generally in line with yours: if it works for them, great, but I hope that we can stomp out that kind of working relationship. That said, going by the intro, I don't think they're trying to say that everything is awesome but rather argue that they've been okay passing the buck:

"I hope that [other relatives] can find both the courage and the charity to have those difficult but potentially transformative conversations that they, like we, have avoided for such a long time."
posted by Going To Maine at 7:39 PM on May 11, 2015


I am the torchbearer of 'I love my family even when we don't agree' (go on, check my askmefi history, I'll be here), but right now, the fact that what feels like the entire internet (let alone 9 people in a room with a lot of power saying $deity knows what) is debating the validity of my damned marriage pretty much makes me want to throw up constantly. It's going to be a long month.
posted by joycehealy at 7:48 PM on May 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fuck 'em. We're the goddamn future :)
posted by triage_lazarus at 7:52 PM on May 11, 2015


Starships, clones, warp drive, dystopias, regret, we'll have everything straight people have!
posted by triage_lazarus at 7:54 PM on May 11, 2015


And by framing it as a mostly irrelevant disagreement where people can disagree but still be friends ignores the very heart of the matter.

Someone disagreeing with me about equality for queer people means we cannot be friends, period. How can anyone be friends with someone who doesn't view them as an equal person?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:59 PM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Starships, clones, warp drive, dystopias, regret, we'll have everything straight people have!

though many of us may decide to leave bullshit like "complementarianism" behind and actually structure our relationships as individuals and not representatives of regressive gender role bullshit
posted by NoraReed at 12:08 AM on May 12, 2015


I'm also annoyed by the anti-gay bigots who keep trying to frame their bigotry as "support for traditional marriage". That whole framing is completely at odds with reality. I'm a supporter of opposite sex marriage, in that I'm a man married to a woman so therefore I de facto support opposite sex marriage.

But "supporting traditional marriage" [1] doesn't, just by the words, mean opposing same sex marriage. There's nothing inherently antagonistic towards opposite sex marriage in legal same sex marriage. Legalized same sex marriage will have exactly zero effect on opposite sex marriage. So using "supporting traditional marriage" as an euphemism for opposing gay rights is not merely weaseling but incoherent weaseling at that.

[1] Leaving aside the absurdity of calling opposite sex marriage where both parties are legally equal and enter the marriage of their own free will with no dowry, bride price, or other economic exchange, "traditional".
posted by sotonohito at 4:36 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huh.

A day before Cuban president Raúl Castro was to visit the Vatican, his daughter sponsored a blessing ceremony for gay couples on an island where gay marriage remains illegal.

Depending on what SCOTUS hands down in June, and depending on what Congress turns around and does with that, the US is conceivably in danger of being lapped by Cuba on the issue.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:54 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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