Friday, November 7, 2008

Not Going to the Chapel

My thoughts and feelings about the election results in California, Arizona and Florida continue to evolve. I'm still mad as hell, although I've resolved firmly not to let my pain turn into racism against African Americans or Latinos who want their equality while trampling on mine. Neither am I going to be filled with bitterness when I think of the Californians who prioritized to improve the living conditions for the livestock they eat while worsening the lives of their neighbors. Nope. Not going to go there.

What I am going to do is resume my self-imposed ban on attending mixed-sex weddings for a year. A woman originally from Scotland contacted me because she wants to say her wedding vows in Gaelic. This is what I wrote back to her:

First of all, congratulations on getting married. Secondly, thank you for your interest in Gaelic and for your ambition to say some of the most powerful words possible in a human life in your ancestral language. I truly hope you succeed and that your wedding day is as special as you hope it will be.

I made a decision this morning however that prevents me from helping you. On November 4th three more of these United States passed amendments to their state constitutions to make sure that people like me will never be treated equally under the law. I won't be attending or accepting work related to weddings in 2009, since I am excluded from that institution.

This one hurts because I would love to help this woman and I honestly applaud her ambition, but there's no progress without sacrifice.

So, no wedding work for me in 2009 and no attending mixed-sex weddings in the US.


michael sean morris said...

It's good to take a stand, and I think yours is well-measured and realistic. Now if only all gays took that stand, let's see how the wedding industry would handle that.

Adam said...


Know that you have at least one ally here.

The passage of Prop 8 and similar bans in two other states was truly disturbing, and, if anything, actually diminished my mixed-sex marriage, and really brings into question again for me whether I should have actually gotten married. Not to be mis-interpreted, there's nothing wrong with my relationship with Nena, but we had resisted getting married for some years in part because she was in school and in part because we felt that bans on gay marriage in our state and elsewhere actually cheapened the institution of civil marriage and diminished its meaning and importance for us.

Nena and I had discussed it, and decided that we were on the cusp greater marriage equality so we got the legal status, and now we see that that was not the case.

I really do think that some day my grandkids are going to look at me with a big "huh?" look when I tell them that once upon a time we didn't let same-sex partners marry in this country, but I hope it doesn't take that long to get there.

MaineCelt said...

I'm good at feeding poultry, but not so good at getting my dander up... Here on the farm, I pour a lot of energy into ecological justice--and economic subsistence--and find it a struggle to dredge up additional energy for the SOCIAL justice issues that fester, poorly tended, at the fringes.

There's such immediate satisfaction in earth-work: you pull the offending weed, whisper a wee apology to its dangling roots, then sit back and see all the other plants peacefully expand into the newfound space. In social justice work, the weeding is so much more perilous and exhausting... and yet I know I need to keep working for EVERY kind of justice, whether or not I think I have the energy to try.

Perhaps this is why human folk, as much as other growing things, need the Dark Half of the year. As Roethke writes, "In a Dark time, the eye begins to see..." In this Dark Time, we are given permission to mourn, to weep, and then to rest and dream. In this Dark Time, seeds of justice lay deep below the furrows, storing up energy & preparing to BUST OUT.
Let us wail among the shadows and keen for what is dead. But let us also tell stories around the fire. Let us heap our sorrows, fears and failures upon the Great Compost Pile and listen to the faint whispers of all that prepares to dare and dazzle when the light returns.

Seumas Gagne said...

Hi Mainecelt,

Thanks for the hopeful message of faith and patience - and I really mean that. What's going to happen to your farm if (gods forbid) you or your partner passes away?

Hippy Goodwife said...

*sigh* I am not nearly as articulate as I should be about this. I am stupefied as to why anyone gives a rats ass who marries, or doesn't marry whom ( or who, whatever). I am sorry that I can't offer you solace or wisdom.

I do believe change is coming. I believe like women's sufferage and the civil rights movement of the 1960's that this is the opening salvo in the war to tear down the current discriminatory marriage laws. I am certain that my children will see this change in their marriagable years. I know it isn't soon enough, but I know it is coming. To quote my oldest boy child. " Well that's just a stupid law"