November 07, 2008


My wedding was beautiful and I thank everyone for their good wishes and their interest. I promise to post photos once we receive them from the photographer. Today it is not my own wedding that I want to write about, but marriage in general.

I was saddened to hear that some loving couples will be denied the right to marry thanks to ignorance, right-wing xenophobia, and hatred disguised as religion. On Tuesday, when the United States made history by electing the country's first bi-racial president, just over half of Californians voted to strip gay and lesbian couples of the right to marry. About 18,000 same-sex couples have already married in that state. Voters in Arizona and Florida also approved amendments to ban same-sex marriages. Similar bans had already been passed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections.

My marriage is not negatively affected by the rights of others to marry. If anything, it is enriched by inclusion, by the ability of all adults to celebrate their commitment to another person. I do not want to belong to a discriminatory institution, and thankfully, here in Canada, I don't have to. Between 2003 and 2005, same-sex marriages became legal in every province and territory.

I am rejoicing in Obama's win, but it is a bittersweet victory. Based on the popular vote it was a very close race. Both the high number of McCain/Palin supporters and the banning of same-sex marriages in three more states illustrates just how far there remains to go before equality is a reality.

Egale Canada


Anonymous said...

It absolutely baffles me why anyone would vote against any two people getting married. What does their gender have to do with it and why is it anybody's business?
What's next? Hey, I know, let's have a vote to decide what everybody's favourite colour should be.
Go blue!

ryssee said...

IMO, a Constitution is supposed to ensure freedoms, not to take them away.
I am so excited Obama won, I can barely contain myself. The man is brilliant and has succeeded in everything he has put his mind to. It will take time, but he will find the way.

Anonymous said...

I think the Americans got this one right. if they open up marriage to same sex couples it would open up a can of worms. ie polygamy etc etc. Americans would never allow the same crap that Canadians put up with in Bounty BC.

I respect your right to call the people who voted against this law as "ignorance, right-wing xenophobia, and hatred disguised as religion" but most well informed people know better. Marriage is sacred. Man + Woman.

Calamity Jen said...

Most well informed people know better? I think not. It isn't common sense or empirical evidence that leads people to vote to take away the rights of others, but fear, prejudice and yes, ignorance. Trudeau got it right when he said, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."

Your religion shows through when you use the word "sacred" to describe marriage. Religion has no place in the law and no place in defining human rights. Religion also does not have to be involved in marriage. My wedding was religion-free and it is still just as much a marriage as one that was solemnized in a church.

As for your remark about Bounty, BC.... Have you heard of Utah? Splinter groups of Mormon fundamentalists continue to practice polygamy there to this day. Your slippery-slope argument is a red herring, however. Allowing two loving, consenting adults to wed does not lead to polygamy, does not lead to people marrying their pets or any of the other garbage that same-sex marriage opponents often spout.

I am sorry that you feel that one person has the right to define another's rights as different from his or her own. I am sorry that so many Americans feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

Sacred? Maybe. Man+Woman...say what now?
Sounds more like good old fashioned homophobia to me.
Who makes these rules and whose world is it, anyway?
Live and let live.

Anonymous said...

so long as no one gets hurt then let it be. God will be the final judge. For this I am 100% sure.

Anonymous said...

oh by the way I have no problem showing my "religion". Silly humans thinking they have any power to control anything in this world. People can't even look after themselves:(

Americans do have Utah etc. But they also have the power to put an end to it when they want. Open Gay marriage and they'd have to watch it happen with no say like the Canadians do.

Calamity Jen said...

No one gets hurt -- that's the whole point! If people find themselves offended, it's because they don't know how to mind their own business.

I don't believe in a judgmental God; that is your own burden. If anyone is to be judged harshly, let it be the person who feels it's his or her place to restrict the rights of others.

Anonymous said...

which peoples feel offended? why the big fuss if one doesn't believe in God? Marriage started because of religion did it not? The whole idea was to make an oath to God to be faithful to one another under God. No matter what you or anyone else thinks of marriage, that is what it is and always will be to the one who created it. Try using other terms to describe any other type union. I can think of a few just of the top of my head:)we could go on forever...

Calamity Jen said...

If you forget about ancient Greece and Rome, and you reject the notion that history includes figures outside of your religious knowledge, sure, you can convince yourself that marriage started as a religious rite.

If you do a little research, however, you'll discover that marriage began as an economic arrangement and as a way for men to ensure that their family names were continued in future generations. Marriage was a private matter. Priests weren't involved in marriage until the 12th century, and they didn't run the ceremonies until the 13th century.

While the Catholics were adamant that priests should continue to preside over all marriage ceremonies, Protestant Reformers and English Puritans disagreed. Gradually, the Church lost control of marriage laws. That is why I was able to create my own beautiful marriage ceremony, with a Humanist officiant, and no religious figures or doctrine had to be involved.

As for using a different term than marriage for same-sex unions, there is no basis for the religious right to claim the term "marriage" as their own. And let's be clear: "Equal but different" is NOT equal.

Anonymous said...

You can marry your pets?
I melt every time Bossy gives me those big brown cow eyes.

Calamity Jen said...

That's an awesome way to close this discussion, Anonymous from T.O. I'm not willing to post any more ignorance, homophobia or hate on my blog, so I won't be entertaining any further comments from Anonymous from the 905 area. (Yes, I know who you are, and no, I'm not going to let this affect our acquaintance. It comes as no surprise to either of us that we have extremely different opinions. You'll just have to get your own blog if you want to post about curtailing the rights of others.)

Rob K said...

Way to go, Jen! :)

Penny M said...

Proposition 8 is just plain wrong. It isn't for governments, local or national, to prohibit deeply felt, loving relationships.

Flippy said...

Thanks, Jen. And, congrats on your wedding - I'm gay, but I'm willing to share the word "marriage" with you hets. ;)

As for Anonymous (905) - if she'd like to set up her own blog o' hatred & homophobia, Townhall gives out free blogs to like-minded individuals. She'll be able to post about denying me and my friends the right to marry (because she thinks someone might want to marry their pet???) and she'll feel welcome amongst those people who can't make their marriages work at least 50% of the time. Sacred? Yeah, uh huh.

Someday, when we can afford to have someone watch our pets (gah, I hope none of them try to get married while we're gone - it's Las Vegas after all), maybe Leigh-Ann and I will be able to come to Toronto to get hitched. At least we'll be legal in one country.

I seriously didn't think Prop. 8 would pass. Such a waste of money for something that will someday be completely legal everywhere in the US. The older generations that vote for discrimination are dying off, and that leaves the younger voters who predominately vote in favor of rights for everyone. It's hard for me to fathom that anyone could vote against two people in love not having equal rights...when it doesn't affect them AT ALL. They don't even have to think about gay marriages if they don't want to, yet many people seem to be obsessed with it for some reason.

mrtl said...

Congratulations for you! I hope this country can some day realize that there are plenty of marriages between opposite sexes that don't deserve the right as much as many of homosexual couples. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

are you ready for the next marriage debate in Canada??

Anonymous said...

let's pray that by the end of this we here in Canada will have a law where two consenting adults will have the right to marry. period end of story. we risk marriage becoming meaningless once anyone can marry anyone & any number of people they want.

Calamity Jen said...

Dude, get your own blog already.