No Justice From Our Justices

Written by Jill Chapin. Posted in Culture, Opinion, Politics

Published on May 29, 2009 with 4 Comments

By Jill Chapin

May 29, 2009

Proposition 8 has been upheld in California to legally prevent two people in love from marrying each other, for the sole reason that they share the same genitalia. Don’t you find it peculiar that laws are in place to prevent some people from enjoying the full spectrum of – loving?

I can understand why we should be on guard from those who hate, because their hatred could morph into violence. But how on earth could a gay person’s love for another harm the rest of us? From what exactly are we being shielded? Could the mere existence of their marriage license suddenly cause heterosexuals to rethink their sexual orientation? Could they lure children into altering their heretofore natural and unalterable feelings of being turned on by the opposite sex?

To be candid, I myself used to feel that the very definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman precluded homosexuals from enjoying all that a marriage entails. I was all for civil unions, but being a wordsmith, I stubbornly refused to see my bias for what it was. It was separate but equal. It was two different drinking fountains, two different restrooms, two different places on a bus. It was the unpleasant reality that legalized prejudice was still thriving in America, and most shamefully, in myself as well.

Maybe it’s because I worked in a school, and I worried how children would react to same-sex marriage. What I was slow to appreciate is that children will react in whatever way their parents do. If mom and dad take the time to explain that, although most people want to marry one of the opposite sex, there are those who just aren’t made that way. It’s a “decision” that is actually out of their hands, because gay and lesbians almost always recall feeling different even as young children.

It is all but certain that those most opposed to same sex marriage do so because the very thought of their sexuality is abhorrent to them. Which is actually kind of funny if it weren’t so tragic. Apparently they have no problem with heterosexuals who engage in the very same acts, or of heterosexuals who may hang from the chandelier, or put on bizarre costumes. The fact is that one couple’s idea of normal sex is another couple’s idea of kinkiness. What we all need to do is to quietly back out of everyone’s bedroom and respectfully close the door to give everyone the privacy that we all deserve.

Another humorous aspect to those who fear that homosexual marriage will somehow destroy the traditional ones is that heterosexuals are quite capable of destroying their own marriages without any help. Inasmuch as the divorce rate for heterosexuals is obscenely high, a quiet, loving homosexual couple is a downright positive role model.

Personal prejudice is out there. What is so discouraging, however, is that judicial prejudice is too. It was once the law that a black person was considered to be only a percentage of a white person, and that women did not have the right to vote. To our credit, we emancipated blacks and enfranchised women. Now we need to get to work on allowing gay and lesbian men and women their right also to life, liberty and their own pursuit of happiness.

Laws are designed to protect the innocent from those who would do them harm. This one is a head-scratcher, because I simply do not see how and who one loves will in any way negatively alter the lives of others.

But our lives will continue to be diminished as long as prejudice is still constitutionally sanctioned.. It is time for us to let it go.

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin has been a guest writer and columnist in several Los Angeles area papers for over fifteen years. She has written a bilingual parenting book titled, "If You Have Kids, Then Be a Parent!" and a children's book entitled, "My Magic Bubble."

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