The Argument for Same-Sex Marriage: Kiwi-Gin Cocktail

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

-So this is the longest post ever. You may want to make the cocktail recipe at the end of the post before actually reading this.-

So if you aren’t keeping up with things here in California and at Vanilla Garlic Headquarters let me keep you up to speed. Proposition 8, the voter-approved law that banned gay marriage in California months after the state Supreme Court made it legal and after 18,000 gay and lesbian couples had already hitched their trolleys, was recently dubbed by the 9th Circuit Appeals Court as unconstitutional.

This, however, does not mean that same sex couples can now get married. A stay is in place as the proponents of Prop 8 figure out whether to go back and seek a larger appeal from the 9th Circuit or go directly to the Supreme Court (who may choose not to even hear it).

I, as you may or may not know, am getting married in August.

You can say I have a vested interest in the subject.

I’m obviously very happy for the win and am writing this a few days after the 2-1 decision was announced. I'm also finally in a place where I’ve calmed down a bit and can bathe in the glow of social justice and bask in the fact that things seem to be going the right way – at least as I see it. Little steps is progress and all that positive whatnot.

Ah, but you may be wondering why I needed to calm down. It wasn't from joy but from anger and frustration. What I’ve been pissed about is how the decision brought all these angry people out of the woodwork. They came out in droves, frothing at the mouths and pulsating with rage. They declared judicial overreach and shrieked about activist judges. (Strange how they’re only activists when they don’t rule in your favor.)

Normally, I stay out of it all. Especially the internet arguments. You can't hear who wins over the din of a pack of shrieking banshees, if, indeed, anyone CAN win.
-Even worse is that I didn't win.-

Yet, all this anger and fervor… it’s hard to deal with when it is directed squarely at you. This whole Prop 8 thing is extremely personal. For gays and lesbians far more than anyone else, even the Prop 8 Proponents because it is a law that directly affects me, my life, my partner’s life, and the lives of many people we know.

I spent way too much time arguing on the Internet the last few days with, well, nothing to show for it but emotional exhaustion. All it affirmed was that some people don’t like the idea of gay marriage and no matter what I say they never will.

Still, I want to make my arguments. I need to just put them out there. This is a self serving post. There is little talk about food here. Yes, a bit at the end and a rather lovely recipe should you want to skip along to the end and give that a look. It's a rather lovely cocktail using gin and kiwis and it kicks quite a bit of ass if I do say so myself.

No worries on going straight to it. I wouldn't blame you as just writing this I want a sip. This is a food blog and food is what you came for and not my soap boxing (or, at least, not this much of it). I understand.

TL;DR and all that.

Years of culling my readership have ensured that probably 99% of my readership is pro gay marriage. If you aren’t then I hope you’ll read this anyways and hear my side of it. I’ll do my best not to offend but in a subject like this that’s so politically charged that’s easier said than done on both sides. I will delete angry, snide, and wrathful comments; and will allow civil ones from both sides. After all, this blog is my home and I expect everyone to behave in my home. My house. My rules.

I also have never asked this but if you like this post I encourage you to share it with people who agree and especially with people who don't agree. I'm hoping that just maybe I can convince someone to this side of the argument (sarcasm in this post aside).

Let’s begin…

-A short history of progress.-

Gay Marriage Will Demean Straight Marriage: How? In five states and in Washington D.C. same sex couples are getting married. How has this directly affected you? Who has actually been hurt?

As far as I see it the 50% divorce rate demeans marriage. Realty television shows demean marriage. Meeting a random person and getting hitched by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas demeans marriage. Adultery demeans marriage (I’m looking at you Mr. Gingrich). Shotgun weddings because two people who aren’t in love made a bad decision and got pregnant demean marriage.

Two committed people who may have been together for years, have kids, and want the government to legally recognize and provide protections for their family is demeaning to your marriage? Really? Again, I ask you how?

I suppose to some it’s a tarnishment claim. Marriage is an idea. A trademark of everyday life for more conservative people. Somehow gays getting married infringes upon this aspect of their unique identity. Still, this is a rather brittle personal argument at best.

So stop and ask yourself how two people of the same sex getting married directly affects you.

Marriage is for Raising Children: That’s why the elderly, disabled, and infertile aren’t allowed to get married. Oh, wait, they can. Some of these couples can adopt you say? Well what if they don’t want kids? They can still get married.

If that’s okay by you, then the marriage-is-for-children argument is void because based on this reasoning it’s not just for child rearing. Some couples get married because married couples get special rights that ensure their ability to take care of each other and as a way to signify their bond with each other. Isn’t that enough?

In addition, numerous studies (particularly one very thorough study performed by the psychology and sociology departments at the University of Virginia) have shown that children raised by same sex families show no signs of mental or emotional harm and, in fact, grow up to be in better health when compared to straight families. This is attributed to the fact that these same sex families have zero chance of accidental pregnancy and have to jump through numerous hoops to become parents. This demonstrates more resolve to become committed and attentive parents than someone who just happened to get pregnant at an inopportune moment in their life or in the instance of an opposite sex couple who may not be financially or emotionally ready yet to raise a child.

Same sex couples were also seen to have larger support networks, more equitable divisions of responsibilities, and let’s not go into the pressure to be perfect parents, as any mistake a gay parent makes will be placed under more scrutiny than straight counterparts.

-Because if straight parents goof it's a learning experience and normal. Gay parents making a goof it's proof.-

Marriage is a Holy Union: The bible does state this many times, no question. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh," Genesis 2:24. This the most immediate verse I can recollect that demonstrates this.

But the Bible also says a lot of things about relationships. For example, many opponents of gay marriage say that this may lead to public acceptance of polygamy. Now personally, if that’s your thing and a lady wants a few men on the side or two individuals want an open marriage then I say go for it. I don’t care what you do in your home.

Neither does God, apparently, as Lamech had two wives (Genesis 4:19), Abraham had quite a few and had sons with them (Genesis 25:6), as did Jacob (Genesis 31:17), and Gideon (Judges 8:30), and God through Nathan tells David that he can have many wives (2 Samuel 12:7-8), and Rehoboam had a veritable harem of 18 wives (2 Chronicles 11:21).

Given, God does note many times in the bible that monogamy is the preferred spiritual path. We see this particularly in 1 Timothy 3:2, “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,” and Titus 1:6 “…the husband of but one wife…” All this is very much focused on the singular. Still, God does give consent to polygamy so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

God also states that, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Romans 13:10. So let’s just run from there and say gay love is good love.

As for the holy union? Marriage licenses are controlled by the state, not by any religion. Religions can only bless unions through ceremony. They cannot issue a license. What gay couples want is the state issued license so that their family is legally recognized with all the benefits that come with it, not a blessing (though some same sex couples are religious and do want that as well).

I guess those years working as youth group leader for my Lutheran church all through Middle and High school paid off. Even more so when I demonstrate the flaws in the argument that…

The Bible Says Homosexuality is Wrong:  The Bible says a lot of things and some of it not very well (see above). There’s the old hat argument - but accurate, none the less - that eating shellfish is a sin, but you don’t see religious groups protesting Discovery Chanel’s, The Deadliest Catch. Leviticus 11:10 reads, "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you."

So... yeah... shrimp is forbidden. Word of God.

Also, remember how I said divorce demeans marriage? God thinks so too in Mark 10:8-9: "And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

God is also against women wearing gold or pearls as the Bible points out in 1 Timothy 2:9 because they make you look like a dirty whore. Tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) and bowl cuts (Leviticus 19:27 ) are also out so the Beatles and practically every single singer or actor you’ve ever loved will burn in Hell. Though arguably, Nickleback deserves to be there for constantly raping my ears on the radio.

Then there’s slavery, which the Bible is totally cool with. But don’t take my word for it…

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling." (Ephesians 6:5)

"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." (Leviticus 25:44-46)

"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever." (Exodus 21:2-6)

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment." (Exodus 21:7-11)

Keeping hostages, sex slavery, it’s all good. These verses were used in defense of slavery by conservatives back when abolition was considered by many to be contrary to the benefit of society.

But this is all Old Testament. Jesus surely has a different opinion right?

"The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48)

Oops, no, he advocates beating your slaves. Maybe later on in the New Testament?

"Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them." (1 Timothy 6:1-2)

Well, crap.

Like I said, the Bible says a lot of things. Keep in mind that it hasn’t been updated (I'm not counting new translations here) in the 2000 years since it was highly edited by a group of very privileged, upper class men. Just because the Bible says something doesn’t make it right or even okay. The Bible and other religious texts have a lot of great things to say, but I think it’s all something you need to apply some independent thought and critique to. The Bible was written in a completely different time when kings ruled, lightning was considered heavenly wrath and not known to be excited ionization in the atmosphere, and women were property.

Religion is a good thing in that it encourages the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated.

-I'll just leave this here.-

Being Gay is a Lifestyle Choice: I’m gay so I think I can speak with more authority on this more than any specialist so let me clear this up for you all once and for all.

No. It isn’t.

Yes, there is situational homosexuality (read: prison or desert island), and perhaps some environmental factors may influence some people or perhaps these factors simply influence their behavior (to use labels, straight-acting gay vs. super flaming handbag full of rainbows gay).

I suppose it is a choice to repress your feelings, which is something that camps like Exodus do through mass brainwashing and guilt. This, however, generally leads to suicide and depression for most.

While my dad is a great guy, loves Fiance’, and is very kosher with having two of his three sons turn out gay when he first found out I was gay he sent me to see now-famous psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Dr. Nicolosi encourages homosexual “reparative therapy” to help people repress their gay feelings. During our sessions he argued to me that I was feeling gender-deficient and tried to make me understand that I liked boys because they had traits I wanted to emulate.

I nodded and cooed. I told him what he wanted to hear. Over phone sessions I would tell him how all the bad thoughts were going away while I watched Dawson’s Creek on the TV with the closed captions running and fantasized about Kerr Smith.

Speaking as an ex-patient of his, I can say the man is a dangerous loon. He’s a guy with a degree in psychology who says being gay is a mental illness, something the American Psychiatric Association has said is not the case since 1973. Because Nicolosi’s or a church’s therapy can actually increase the suicide rate in a group that already has staggeringly high numbers (gay teens are 1/3 more likely than other students to commit suicide according to a 2006 Psychology in the Schools report) I would say that Nicolosi and programs like his that damage young gay people must be stopped.

You cannot fix what is not broken.

Next, I argue that if being gay is a choice then, logically, so must be being straight. If you are straight think back and ask yourself: when did you choose to only like the opposite sex? Furthermore, if there was a choice to be made doesn’t that infer that there must have been attraction to the same sex for a choice even to be made?

Arguing choice is a two way street – by insisting there is a choice to be made you’re simultaneously arguing that you yourself must have made one and had inborn tendencies for same sex attraction. I personally never made a choice because I instinctively assume that vaginas are spooky places hiding Cuthulian tentacles formed of nightmares and teeth. (Sorry ladies.)

So yes, it’s not a choice. You are, in fact, born this way.

First Gay Marriage. Next Will Be Polygamy, Bestiality, and Incest: Okay, I already covered the polygamy thing. I, personally, don't care if you're into that or not. Neither does God. As for how polygamy affects children? I have no clue so I'm not going to postulate about it as that's not what this post is about.

As for it leading to incest? Really? Are the hordes of incest groups out there lobbying our Senators that I don't know about? Is there an incest movement complete with incest pride parade? And I'm talking about consenting adults here. Not parents or adult figures molesting children who are too young to defend themselves; and in connection to that statement, there is no correlation connecting being gay to being a child molester. In fact, U.C. Davis did a very intriguing study about this.

This whole argument is specious reasoning at best as incest and being gay have nothing to do with each other with no grounding in fact whatsoever. Same for bestiality. (And ew.)

Activist Judges are Overturning the Will of the People: Let’s look at this argument through a historical lens.

-Still, I understand her panic.-

Women’s suffrage was a long and arduous battle for women. In fact, a suffrage bill was brought to the House in 1915 and soundly defeated. Another was defeated in the Senate in 1918. Twice. Then again in 1919. All of these lost even with President Wilson urging Congress to pass the bill.

-Next they'll want respect, careers, and credit in their own name!-

The bill eventually passed in 1920 and then went through some difficult ratification deliberations in the states. The general public did not get to vote on the subject. It is generally surmised by most historians that the measure would have been voted down if it had been. Indeed, the fact Congress voted it down so many times shows that, 1) times were different back then as they are now, and 2) voting on individual rights via Congress or popular vote isn’t always a good thing.

Most Americans in the United States frowned upon interracial marriage in the 1960’s. It was a Supreme Court decision that overturned the backwards laws.

The Lovings, an interracial couple were married in D.C. due to Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act that banned marriages between any white person and any non-white person. When they returned to Virginia police officers invaded their home one night and found them sleeping in bed together (sex between the races, by the way, was a separate crime; similarly, today, gay sex is still illegal in many states even though it is rarely enforced). The Lovings showed the police their marriage certificate, which the police confiscated as evidence against them when they were prosecuted.

The sentence for this crime was 1 to 5 years.

In 1967 the Supreme Court under the Equal Protection Clause said that this was, essentially, all 'effed up. In their words,

"Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

This bears striking similarity to the recent decision of the 9th Circuit Appeals Court decision:

“We consider whether that amendment violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We conclude that it does… Proposition 8 served no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status... and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

Had the ban on lifting the laws against interracial marriage been put up to a popular vote it would have failed. Miserably. A Gallup poll on interracial marriage taken in 1968 shows that the popular vote would have kept the discriminatory law firmly in place. This itself is a good demonstration of why popular vote isn’t always the right one and why judges have to step in.

-Because these people have a right to vote.-

I think we can all agree that it was a good thing that these “activist judges” were there to protect the minority. That is their job, after all. To strike down laws that are illegal. They aren’t activists. They’re simply interpreting the law and ensuring proper protection for all citizens. Otherwise, the majority could simply do anything they wanted against any minority.

In fact, the Public Policy Polling organization recently took a poll of GOP voters in Mississippi in 2011 and asked them if interracial marriage should be illegal. 46% of voters in this state stated they were against it.

Spooky, no?

So, then, who wants to put up interracial marriage to a vote in Mississippi in 2012 and see what happens?

The courts have had to overturn many laws like this such as disallowing marriages to Japanese Americans, requiring Chinese citizens to carry papers of residency, Chinese immigrants being banned from voting, etc. (Wikipedia has a rather terrifyingly complete list.)

As for your religious beliefs being overturned? Separation of church and state. We are not a theocracy. And if we were then we would, essentially, be a socialist state.

That’s bad.

In addition, if you’re very conservative and religious you need to recall that not everyone is the same religion as you. To require everyone to follow the laws of one religion is to infringe on the right of religious practice of others. Everyone thinks their religion is the right one and that is where we begin to have all sorts of other problems. (Not my video, by the way, but I love the point it makes.)



Gays Already Have Civil Unions: Not in every state, no we don’t. Or domestic partnerships. Even in states that do we still don’t generally get full state benefits let alone NONE of the federal benefits of marriage.

For example, under federal law if you marry someone of foreign citizenship then that individual can receive U.S. citizenship. Since gays and lesbians don’t have access to this right under federal law (see DOMA, which the president declared as unconstitutional) many legally married, long time committed binational couples face the threat of having a spouse deported. Imagine this happening to your partner. Imagine if you have kids and are facing this situation of their parent being kicked out of the country. Imagine the choices you have to make.

This is nothing to say of the innumerable tax and inheritance laws. Social security protections? Not a chance. If the second parent was unable to adopt a child legally through state laws then the chance a child could be removed from his or her parent is a very real concern. The child would be torn away from a guardian of many years and placed with strangers and could even be separated from his or her siblings.

Other rights include that employee benefits for federal workers aren’t given for domestic partners unlike married couples, and that’s nothing to say of COBRA coverage (regardless what COBRA Commander says).

-"Equal benefits is how we keep our henchmen happy! COOOOOOBRAAAAAA!" ~ Cobra Commander.-

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) doesn’t apply to gay families. This act guarantees family and medical leave to employees to care for parents, children, or spouses. As currently interpreted, this law does not provide leave to care for a domestic partner or the domestic partner’s family members. Imagine if your child was in the hospital but not being given the time off to be at his or her bedside because – remember? – the law won’t let you legally adopt your own child. A bit cruel, no?

Heck you might not even get a say in the care your child received, let alone the care your partner received. Since many states don’t even have civil union laws families of gay people who don’t approve of certain members being gay can and have sued to deny all benefits to a long time partner, even going against the will of the deceased and winning in court to ensure that a partner isn’t cared for as intended.

Some conservatives don’t want to pay taxes for gay and lesbian government workers to have benefits for their partners. But gays should have to pay for the husbands, wives, and children of straight workers?  Really?

Can we opt out? No. Now if you make it so gay people pay significantly less in taxes so we don’t have to pay for services not available to us then we may have something to build on.

This is all to say that civil unions and domestic partnerships are not the same as marriages. Separate but equal is bad enough. This, however, is simply separate and unequal.

-*sigh*-

Churches and Religious People Are Losing Their Jobs, Incomes, Etc.: There is the argument that people in public jobs have been fired for not wanting to grant same sex marriage licenses or charities losing their public funding. Here’s the thing on both of those: tax dollars pay the people in public government jobs. Therefore, they are required to serve the entire public. They do not get to pick who to hand legal documents and forms, too.

As for public funding for a charity? Working for a nonprofit I can say this: No group is entitled to government funding. If you want it you have to abide by their rules. That generally means no exclusion. Essentially if gay peoples' taxes are being used to pay you then you can’t exclude them.

Simple, right?

I’m doing my best to see it from the other side’s point of view. Really, I am.

Some conservatives say they don’t want to explain homosexuality to their kids. Well, guess what? Homosexuality exists and the kid is YOURS. That child’s education and outlook is indeed your responsibility. Uncomfortable talks are part of being a parent. Remember that? It’s what you signed up for. You can't shield them from everything.

If you just think gays are icky, well that’s just not a good reason legally speaking and I doubt you can ever be convinced otherwise.

Regardless of where you stand I encourage you to read the actual judgement of the case in full here and see what all three judges say before arguing further either way in the comments.

*deep breath*

Okay, recipe time. The amount of time I took research and writing this piece left little time to do any cooking. After I finally finished finding my sources and all I just wanted a simple easy something.

This kiwi cocktail is just that. Kiwi, gin, and a spritz of grapefruit make for a bright, light, and rather relaxing drink for the tail end of what's been a surprisingly warm winter. In addition, it'll help you calm down if you're a tad riled.

So a glass to you all. Here's to finding out what's to come.

Cheers.


Kiwi-Gin Cocktail
2 ounces gin
1/2 of a kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce simple syrup
ice
peeled slice of kiwi to garnish (optional)

Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of kiwi.

61 comments:

  1. You are a fantasitc writer and cook! Love your blog. Cheering for justice and sending blessings for a happy wedding day to you this August. :-)

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  2. thank you for sharing, this post just about broke my heart, I've added a link to it across on my own blog I hope you don't mind but I had to share your story. I wish you the best of luck and happiness in your forthcoming marriage.

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  3. Wonderful! I'm allergic to kiwi so I'll skip on the drink (looks delicious, though!) but I loved the post. Love love love.

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  4. I need to keep a copy of this rant on my person at all times. As a southerner I find myself locked into this line of conversation often but it's hard to remember all the right things to say (the facts!) when often I just feel like saying "Get over yourself! People have all kinds of feelings and lives, just get over yourself, stop being ridiculous and mind your own business!" which often doesn't truly get my point across. Maybe I can dust off my high school acting skills and recite it like a monologue...

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  5. I love this post. And I love you for posting it. I'm proudly Canadian, so we love all our gays up here. And I'm really glad that our government is solving the problem of foreigners getting married up here, just so couples can have that choice (though, it was a total shit storm when the problem came up). I know Washington state has voted in gay marriage, hopefully the rest of the rest of the west coast won't be too far behind.

    Your post is wonderfully thought out - it's really unfortunate that some people are just blinded by hate that they won't be able to see reason. I love the first image during your argument - it's insanity that people argued against the marriage of interracial couples until 1967! Holy crap. Hopefully the Gay Rights movement will be quicker (and not have the same violent backlash against it). Until then, Canada still loves you <3

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  6. Hey -- just FYI: 9th Circuit, not district. Far more exciting when things are in the Circuits. If you were still down in the districts, it would barely be noteworthy!

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  7. Oh dear. I live in a state that ranks at the bottom of educational spending, and consequently there are many uneducated or poorly educated people who want the world to go back to 1950, mainly because they and their communities (church groups) haven't left it. Your arguments are well reasoned. However, as the Shakers pointed out a century ago, "Reason cannot be used to change an opinion formed without it."
    I believe this will be a nonissue in your lifetime, much as interracial marriage is in most of America. The amount of rabid bluntly stupid pushback from the right indicates they know this as well. Just don't let it hurt you personally, it is OK to mad, but don't let the turkeys get you down. You have a life to lead. And that life is NO ONE'S BUSINESS but your own as long as you aren't hurting anyone.
    Oh, in that picture of people holding signs against interracial marriages, how is it the VERY SAME group of people are against gay marriage?? Except now there would be more morbidly obese in the photo.
    Happy Valentines Day. Enjoy

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  8. Richard T., Dallas, TXFebruary 14, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    Hi Garrett, I just wanted to send you a note of "Thanks" regarding this post; well-written and eloquent! I completely agree with your thoughts here! In time, we will get there, as the spirit of the law is on our side, as well as a growing voice in support of change. Also, congrats and best wishes to you both on your upcoming nuptials!

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  9. A wonderful and thoughtful post on the subject. Even though I live in a state where marriage is legal, I still feel the pain when my sisters and brothers are forced to go to great lengths just for a basic human right.

    Well spoken as always...I've complimented you on your prose before and continue to enjoy it and be educated by it.

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  10. Same sex marriage is put forth as a religious issue but really it's a money issue. Usually in this country it comes down to what big business doesn't want to pay for and in this case it is benefits for a whole new bunch of spouses. If we had universal health insurance, pay for everything for everybody, I believe this would be a legal non-issue. Still would be the religous fanatics and haters but legally, a non-issue. Fingers crossed that you may proceed without impediment...

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  11. Excellent post Garrett - I will share it with my friends.

    I will get on my PC high horse about the special olympics/retarded joke. I have a mentally retarded child and at the end of his special Olympics games he is still the cutest, sweetest, funniest little man that brings the most joy into my life. Retarded doesn't = stupid or bad in my house, and I don't like hearing it used that way.

    But I know you didn't mean anything by it. Overall this is the most conclusive, well thought out post I think I've ever read on this subject! Very well done.

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  12. Carrie: I work with a few kids with down myself. I really don't mean anything by it and thank you for understanding. To balance it out I know a few gays jokes, too. They're terribly non-PC, but hilarious nonetheless. Congrats on your son taking names at the S.O.! =D

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  13. I should be immune to non-pc jokes seeing as how I'm a violist, the butt end of every orchestra joke known to man. :)

    And yes, my little dude totally pwned at the SOs. His little Cornelia de Lange self can take your down's kids out any day! Haha!

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  14. The cocktail sounds delicious. I shall try it tonight!

    My only qualm with this post was the page-long disclaimer. I'm a practicing Catholic, and I believe in gays' right to marriage -- God doesn't discriminate when it comes to love in my book. This topic is far too important for you to apologize or disclaim, Garrett. I don't think we needed it, or your constant reassurance that we can skip to the recipe. This is how you feel This is your life. Don't remind people of the opportunity to skip over this important argument -- Make the argument. I think all the apologies up to the "read more" link could go. We don't need your condolences for writing this post -- we need you to stand behind it apologetically!

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  15. I really enjoyed readin your post - you can really see the amount of work that's gone into it! I really feel for you. It's amazing how far we've come in the past few hundred years, and yet there are still so many people stuck in the past. I'm optimistic that one day, the dregs of society will catch up with what so many of us have known for a long time - That as humans, we are all equal, and should treat eachother as such. But seeing how some raise their kids.. my optimism is slightly tattered. I guess we just have to make the most of what we can in life, and attempt to educate those who so sorely need it! Good luck Garrett, I wish you all the best. Go have a cocktail, I think you definately need one x

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  16. I've been reading your blog for years- it's my favorite one on the web. I love this piece, and the timing (valentine's day) is perfect. Finally, as a psychologist, I'm deeply angered when I hear about "conversion therapy". Obviously, it is a case of professionals abusing their power by using their degrees and licenses to push their values.

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  17. Hey Garrett, good for you for expressing your feelings so eloquently. I am a straight woman, but have gay and lesbian friends, and have grown up with gay and lesbian adults in my life. I am pretty sure if I had another life prior to this one, I was an extremely good looking bisexual swinging man :) (I'm hoping I get back to that the next time around!)

    I am excited to be living in WA state where we just made marriage legal for all couples regardless of orientation. Of course, that was immediately put on hold since there are protests about that, and we'll likely have to put it to a popular vote come next round of elections. I am thinking we're likely as a state to vote it in.

    I am 32 years old. I see myself and my generation, and the younger generations as not really having a problem with this, not really seeing this as an issue! As a matter of fact, when I've discussed it with friends, we're spending more time wondering WHY it's an issue. I think it's an individual's right to make that decision about whom to marry and how. I agree with the argument that you're paying taxes to support other couples and their rights, you should either be able to elect out OR have the SAME DAMNED RIGHTS! I want you to have the same rights!

    Drink a few more of those lovely beverages today, and think about how wonderful it is that you've found that special person that floats your boat :) The "laws" will catch up, and sooner than later. You're blessed. Have a wonderful Valentines day with your sweetheart :)

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  18. First, I love this blog!! I found you about 6 months ago, and have been faithfully reading since.

    Second, I am one of the straight-acting gays. I have been stopped three times in the last year by law enforcement in my itty, bitty town. Which might be funny given that I work in corrections, except that it's not funny at all. They do this where others can see, my co-workers, subordinate staff, and my childrens' friends. I hate that there are still places in our country where it is ok to treat people this way.

    I would give anything to be able to be open, and we are among friends, just not in our itty, bitty town. :(

    Rebecca

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  19. Yes, yes, yes! This should be shared all over the internet. I'm a long time reader who has never posted, but felt I had to show my support since you sound discouraged. Remember - you can't fix stupid. The world is evolving despite these idiots and I truly believe we'll see federally approved gay marriage in our lifetimes (I'm 44), so don't let the haters spoil your engagement. People our age and younger mostly support gay marriage and mortality will eventually fix the issue. Congrats on your engagement! Fingers crossed you can actually get married in August.

    PS: The mussels/f*ck your baby story had me crying at my computer I was laughing so hard - you are awesome! Just keep being yourself in your posts.

    Anonymous in Dallas TX

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  20. Hey all, thank you so much for the support. I urge you to share this post with those who might not agree with same-sex marriage. I'm hoping that I can convince just ONE person. Thank you and Happy Valentines Day!
    -Garrett

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  21. so very well articulated, sir! I pinned this on Pinterest and my email is BLOWING UP with likes and repins.

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  22. Way to speak your mind!--and back it up with great facts! Well done.

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  23. Thank you for writing this post. It made me cry. Sometimes I just feel so helpless that I can ever make a difference, but you gave me so hope. I have many friends who are bi and gay, and they are some of the very best people that I know. Here is to a future of people seeing past differences and overcoming ignorance.

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  24. As a straight ally and proud sister of a fantastic gay man, thank you for this post.

    "I instinctively assume that vaginas are spooky places hiding Cuthulian tentacles formed of nightmares and teeth. (Sorry ladies.)" After I stopped laughing, my first thought was that you published the great female secret and you will be hunted down for that! *laughs again*

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  25. I'll keep it brief: cheers, amen to that, and Nickelback jokes never get old.

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  26. This is the most well-thought-out, logical argument for equal marriage rights I have ever come across! I'm praying for love to be honored in all it's many forms, soon!

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  27. I love this. All of your arguments are so well written and well thought out. I appreciated all of the "God and homosexuality" type of stuff, because as a Christian, this is something I debate a lot. God bless you, your partner, and your upcoming marriage.

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  28. As a straight Christian, seeing LGBTQ(etc.) folks get shit on in the name of religion makes me physically sick to my stomach. Seriously, people? So, thanks for this Garrett. I may be naïve, but I still have hope in solid reasoning, eloquence, and, well, love. And gin. Happy Valentine’s to you and the fiancé!

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  29. Growing up, I remember trying to ask adults what homosexuality was and everyone was too embarrassed to tell me...until I got an explanation from an adult, who basically said "They're bad people who do bad things because they choose to be gay and anyone who says otherwise is wrong and a bad person too." Me being a child who thought everything adults said was true, I have to admit that I completely believed it.:(

    Later in life, I got another similar rant from a teacher claiming that AIDs was God's way of punishing homosexuals, and I realized how incredibly crazy he sounded because my sex-ed teacher had already talked about the origin of AIDs and the various ways you could get it that had nothing to do with same-sex relationships. After being presented with an argument supported by facts against angry baseless ranting, my opinion about homosexuality changed completely for the better.

    So what I'm getting at is, you WILL change people's minds, because you have a well-written, sensible argument for same-sex marriage supported by facts and evidence and you explain all of the things wrong with the arguments being used against same-sex marriage. If you don't get that kind of important information out there, then all you have are naive people nodding their heads while someone yells "Same-sex marriage is wrong because I said so!"

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  30. For once in my life--

    I AM THE 99 PERCENT!

    (. . . of your readership who were already pro-gay-marriage.) LOL

    I am cautiously happy about the decision. I will be fully happy once I know the issue is done, dusted and put to bed, with liberty and justice for all. :)

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  31. I hope you have the most amazing wedding ...I can't believe you don't have the same civil rights there.. In Oz if you are a defacto partnership regardless of gender mix you have ALL the entitlements of a married same sex couple.. Personally we aren't married cause neither of us see the ceremony as adding to our and our loved ones belief in our partnership.. Not sure about quoting the Bible - to me the Bible seems like a fable that was used to teach societal civility in a time that has LONG since past.. My moral radar comes from my dog - be happy, kind, friendly, LOVE food and the outdoors and don't pee on anyone's letterbox!

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  32. It's ridiculous how some people think they're entitled to control other people's lives only because THEY feel it's right. Having born and raised in a third-world country that borders being a massive hypocritical theocracy (despite claiming to be secular), I often just shake my head and mutter, "Education, people, not doctrines."

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  33. Thoughtful and thorough, and now shared on my Facebook page.

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  34. I loved this so much, I read it twice and posted to Facebook.

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  35. On a lighter note, I just wanted to add...your wedding rings are AWESOME!:3

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  36. This is the first post of yours I've read ... loved it, loved it all. If you cook like you write, I'm looking forward to your other posts. My best wishes to you both on your upcoming wedding.

    GF Jeri

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  37. Excellent read Garrett. Thank you. Shared with my daughter. Will share as well.

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  38. I love your blog. While the food looks good, I have never actually made one of your recipes. It is your articulate and humorous writing style that keeps me reading. (Any more Eat Beast stories?)

    I like to think of myself as open-minded. On most issues, I can at least somewhat understand the opposite stance. My opinion doesn't change but I get where they're coming from. Gay rights is the only issue I can think of that is completely black and white for me. There is not a single argument against gay marriage that has any validity. All of the excuses (bible, children, lifestyle choice) boil down to one factor- HATRED. If you tell these people that they're wrong, they say that I should respect their right to opinion same as I want them to respect my opinion. NO. Racists aren't tolerated. The KKK still exists but it is not accepted by the general public as just a group with a differing opinion. It is listed as a hate group. All these defense of marriage groups belong in the same category.

    I know you were trying not to offend and my comment is harsh but I'm tired of prancing around the issue. I'm tired of trying not to step on the toes of people who hate me. I am a bisexual woman who has been in a relationship with a woman for 5 years. My ability to fall in love with someone does not hinge on gender, race, class, etc. and (f*ck it, I'll say it) I actually think that makes me SUPERIOR to all these homophobes. Let their blood boil with hatred. I know I'm right and history will vilify them.

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  39. Thank you for posting this. I love your blog.
    I'm from a very conservative religious family and it's taken a lot of time and the ease of communication on the internet to change a lot of my ingrained biases. Hubby and I have had many discussions about why we think people are anti gay marriage and my personal opinion is fear.
    I also believe that this issue deserves to go through the system like issues before it. Mainly so people have time to change their opinions. Each change you mentioned in the past took time. I think our country isn't quite ready to change its mind but it's close.
    Wishing you and your fiance all the best.

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  40. I live in Maryland where the house of delegates will hopefully vote on Marriage Equality tomorrow. I also happen to work for a lesbian delegate whom I admire greatly. Thank you for this. Part of my job is wading through far too many letters from people writing our office to explain why my boss' love, or my love, are either not real or somehow a sin. There are days when I am almost brought to tears by the anger and hate.
    Thank you for this. It's lovely to know that there are intelligent, articulate people out there fighting for Marriage Equality. I wish you and your fiance all the love and luck in the world.

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  41. Just grab your rings, come to buenos aires, get married and have a kiwi cocktail! Great post.

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  42. Wonderful post, I completely agree and the issue has my vote and support for what little good it seems to do.

    As a Sacramento resident who went to Davis and had openly gay relatives and friends, I was personally shocked when I went home to go to the polling place with my mother and discovered she thought gay marriage was wrong! For reasons she had never been able to explain to me in a way I can understand she feels it somehow cheapens straight marriage.

    Personally I see no difference between the two being allowed to marry, to me it is merely a legal contract granting specific rights and obligations between the two participating parties and the only real requirement is or should be, being over 18. After that it's your life, do whatever you want with it!

    The rings are beautiful, I would love to know where to get similar ones if that's not too invasive of a question?

    I wish you two the best in your new life together and I hope they fix this legal issue soon for you and the scores of other people out there in similar positions!

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  43. Gee whizzzz!!!1 What a well-written and eloquent argument for your point of view!

    I'm generally a 'live-and-let-live' person. Let people live their lives the way that suits them best and makes them happy, as long as I can do the same without interference from them.

    BUT. If I'm VERY honest (which I normally try to be) I do feel slightly uncomfortable with the idea of gay marriages, especially when kids become part of the deal. My main reason for feeling that is this - why did God in the first place create man and woman? I believe it is because He meant for any unions that take place, to be between man and woman, and that he felt the best way to raise children is by having both these influences in a child's family life. I'm not really putting this very well, but I hope you at least understand what I'm trying to get at. :)

    At the same time, I wish you and your partner everything of the best for your life together.

    And the cocktail looks absolutely delicious and refreshing - just what I need as it is very hot today!

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  44. I hope you feel some release after getting this off your chest, Garrett, and haven't had to delete a slew of negative responses.

    I've had you bookmarked for maybe 2 years now, but this is the first time that I've ever felt compelled to actually comment on a blog, anywhere, you took my comment virginity, lucky you!

    I've posted this on my Tumblr as you asked people to share. I hope you gain a lot more readers and support, and have a wonderful wedding. Best of luck for your future nuptuals, and your book!

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  45. Zelmare: Thank you for posting. I appreciate your point of view. What I can say from my experience is this: I work in adoption services and have seen many same sex couples adopt kids from the foster system. The kids show no signs of emotional or psychological scaring or lack. They are healthy and happy. I think what makes for a happy childhood is a loving family, regardless of who makes up that family. =)

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  46. well said. and congrats on your upcoming wedding.

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  47. The only wedding that has ever made me cry was the "Verpartnerung" of two (female) friends. I didn't even cry at my own wedding. But that must have been the most romantic and perfect moment ever.

    In my country, we are not quite "there", yet. We don't call it a "wedding" but a "partnershipping" (okay okay, a registered partnership). We don't give same-sex couples exactly the same rights we give to traditional couples (joint adoption and full tax benefits). But we are, I hope, on a good way. And I am sure that one day we will be where we are supposed to be.

    In my eyes, as long as whoever you are having fun with is a consenting adult feel free to do as the two (or three or four...) of you please. Heck, get married to a tree if that's what you think you need, it is unlikely that it will hurt the tree so go for it!

    Too bad I don't like gin. The drink does look delicious.

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  48. Dear Garrett:
    I LOVE YOU. I'm stuck teaching in this awful conservative school right now where I'll get fired for saying even that the church should love gay people (p.s. quitting at the end of the year; I can't be a part of an institution that teaches this...counting the days), and you just said everything that I think about the subject in a post. Literally. I sit here and think about all of these arguments and stew about how angry I am about the situation....it made me feel better to know that somewhere outside of West Michigan, people agree with me and have rational thought processes. I just want you to know that I'm a committed Christian and I agree with everything you said. We do exist, just in a sad minority. I'm not trying to convert anyone or whatever, it just hurts me deeply that obnoxious Christians who I don't think really understand the love of Christ have earned the whole community this awful reputation about these issues.
    All that to say: congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and I'm praying that it will be able to legally be called a marriage.

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  49. I am a long time fan of your site. I think you do indeed cook as well as you write - I love reading your blog. I am a straight acting man in a 23 year relationship with my partner. Here in MD we are trying to "really" become legal it's odd, that like you, I have suddenly become acutely fascinated by the vitriolic hate and incredible acceptance out there. There recently was a Catholic priest in Gaithersburg Maryland who refused communion to a woman there for her own mother's funeral. For the first time ever, I had to track him down, and email him personally. I cannot bring myself to even start to comprehend something like this. I love posts like this, so well laid out. I have stolen your Chinese cookie recipe I will again steal, oops I mean share your wonderful post Garrett. I sure hope your wedding day is wrapped in all the specialness, legal, fun and love you deserve. Thanks for sharing all your posts, Brad.

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  50. This is an awesome post!! I so totally agree with everything said. Keep up the good work!

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  51. As a fellow Californian, when Prop. 8 was on the ballot, I didn't think anything of it. Being a liberal state and also tending to be among liberal people, I thought it would never pass. After it passed, I was surprised to find among friends and family members that voted for it. It surprised me the amount of people who are generally for gay rights but for some reason or another do not support equal rights for marriage. I found a lot of it had to do with religious influence and basically not understanding what marriage is. (Not only the church can marry a couple.) It opened a dialogue and allowed me to do the same thing you did, which was research some arguments. I am not gay and I do not have many gay friends---BUT I AM a minority as well as a woman. If I allow the discrimination against one minority then I allow the discrimination of them all, which is why I support equal rights for marriage.
    Also another argument for your arsenal: there are many European countries that have allowed homosexual marriage since the 80's, so the "Social Experiment" has already been done. None of them have passed laws for incest or bestiality so the slippery slope argument holds no water.

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  52. Hey!
    Loved the post.
    I'm from a country which decriminalized Homosexuality recently, hence 'out of the closet' and 'gay couples' is something the entire country is coming to terms with, and accepting it. Funnily enough, there have been gay marriages in the country because the law can't do anything about it! I hope India takes measures to legalize gay marriages soon.
    Have a wonderful wedding!

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  53. I was looking for a Dulce de Leche frosting and ran into your blog. First, thanks for the recipe -and second, I think you're fabulous.

    Patty from Puerto Rico -yeah, we are bilingual...lol

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  54. It is rather telling that Mrs. Lovering, who instigated the Supreme Court case legalizing interracial marriage, has come out in favor of gay marriage.

    Garrett, my whole hearted blessing to you and your fiancé is a long and happy marriage. May you see one another with the same loving eyes in 50 years that you see one another now.

    Life is very short - we should love one another with a greater abandon.

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  55. I wish people would just live and let live. Wonderful post - thank you. xo

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  56. I find it very disturbing that humans are the only species on earth that disagree with same sex intercourse or trans-genders. Even Clown fish and some frogs have the ability to switch their sex at will and canines assert their dominance all the time. It proves how far behind the evolutionary scale we are if an amphibian or a dog see nothing wrong with same sex intercourse or marriage and we do.

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Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.
~Garrett

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