Saturday, June 25, 2011

Who Cares Who Gets Married?

There are so many different things to talk about in relation to redefining marriage to encompass same-sex unions, but I just want to comment on this one common sentiment in this post. Since the NY law was passed, I've seen people I follow on Twitter saying things like "who cares who gets married?" and "why do you care? mind your own business."

As I commented to one, that's so deliciously paradoxical. Setting aside the rights--rights and privileges that can be enjoyed without extending the meaning of marriage, as exemplified in "civil unions"--the reason that marriage is recognized as a social construct, and indeed why the advocates of same-sex marriage say that "civil unions" are not enough, is they want their unions to be recognized and accepted in our society, just like heterosexual marriage.

In other words, the crux in changing marriage to include same-sex unions is because same-sex couples care what others think about their unions. They want others to care. They want us to recognize. They want us to accept.

So telling opponents of same-sex marriage to "mind our own business" and saying "who cares" just makes no sense at all. Marriage is not a private matter. It is a public matter. That's the whole friggin' point of all this brouhaha.

People who get married want to declare their intent formally, publicly, and legally to their society. They want us to care, regardless of their orientation.

So who cares? Me. And you should, too.