Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Right to Be Out:
The Constitution is not a Closet

There is a right, it is often not spoken of. That right, is the right to be out. Who we are, in a sense of identity, is a right. To expose that right, whether our patriotism, sexuality, or religion, is part of the right to free expression. It is not in words, so many words, that it is displayed, but in actions and symbols. It is a right under siege, a right under threat, and in many cases, a right denied.

The fight against California's proposition 8 is part of that. To be married, to feel firmly in the good graces of society, is part of being out. Marriage is being out about a certain person, and a certain mixture of love, passion, association, and future. This is sometime cast as a right for a particular group, but really, the right to be out touches everyone. Because where people cannot be out, they hide, and they take with them those who do not truly know them. Consider the woman who marries a homosexual man, who, because of his fear of being out, denies it. Even to himself. How does she feel on the day that her marriage is exposed as a lie? The right to be out means also, the right of others to feel secure. Truths about the self should not be hidden.

Many people come to Second Life, not for the sex, but the right to be about about their sexuality. Here people can wear leather, silks, whips, or whatever other symbols of their inner lives and desires they need. Here men who feel like women, even if only part of the time, can express that. Here, people who identify themselves as furries, can be who they feel themselves to be, within the boundaries that they set for themselves.

This means it is important to defeat this pernicious amendment, because it denies the very right to free association, and the right of free expression, which are the reason for the other rights we have. If feminism means anything, it means the right to choose our lives and live them. Bigoted and hateful movements demand that other people affect a purity that they do not have. No homosexual men in the Mormon Church? No lesbians? Please, it is outside of belief that this is so.

The right to privacy is also the right to being public. The right to be with, means the right to protections. The right to love, is the right to love in light of day. We don't have separate but equal elections, schools, contracts, buses, or any other thing which is based on the civil rights that all have. Even now there is the Defense of Marriage Act, an odious statement from an odious age, passed by the odious generation, that nakedly declares that the words of the constitution are merely words, and they do not have to abide by any promise. There is no faith and credit to a nation, that denies rights state by state, after promising otherwise. We would not permit a state to bar marriages between two people of different faiths, or different ethnic backgrounds, and yet we feel comfortable doing the same thing based on gender.

I am not married, and maybe I never will be, I almost certainly will marry someone of the opposite gender when I do. But that's my life. Not the Mormon Church's life, or the Catholic Church's life, or the Southern Baptist Churches life. It is against the principles of America to impose religious law on civil contracts, it is unAmerican in the deepest way possible. You can have your religion, but you cannot, by any vote, establish it.

Vote, and donate, against 8, because a constitution is no place for a closet.


  1. Okay, apologies I have to start out with a poet peeve of mine and that is this: " To expose that right, whether our patriotism, sexuality, or religion, is part of the right to free expression."

    No such thing as a "right to freedom of expression."

    This phrase does not exist in the Declaration of Independence or the United Staes Constitution. I find it interesting when people express that U.S. Citizens have a "right" to the "freedom of expression" - which we do not have.

    What we /do/ have is the the right to the "freedom of speech", which scholars and legal precident have already and clearly determined to mean "political speech'. Which your first statement does not fall under.

    Okay - not arguing your greater point, though! So, with all that said... lol

    I don't have a problem with homosexuals being together at all. I am all for it in fact and I believe that they have that /human/ right. As long as they keep it in the bedroom more or less, I couldn't care any less than I already do about their love lives.

    However, what is wrong with a "Cival Union", which affords all the exact 'right's and 'privileges' of a "Marriage"?

    I am not arguing or debating. I'm am asking in genuine and honest curiosity. I don't live in California. I live in Washington and that is the current debate here.

    As for "Marriage", the big debate is that "Marriage" is 'sacred' and 'religeous' in nature and, of course the bible-thumpers proclaim '"homosexuality' a 'bastardization' or whatever other terms they like to come-up with and throw around. (I assure you, I am not a bible-thumper.)

    So, my question - in serious curiosity - is why not allow the gay and lesbian crowd to have a "civil union' and have all the same rights and let the bible-thumpers have their 'marriage' and ke-se-rah, se-rah" (or however that damned song title is spelt) so the debate just ends and everyone lives in Shan-gri-la"?

  2. ari's concerns not withstanding, and without tackling the relationship between 'speech' and 'expression,' I particularly appreciate this language: "It is against the principles of America to impose religious law on civil contracts, it is unAmerican in the deepest way possible."

  3. Civil union does not grant the same rights as marriage, because there are hundreds of federal privileges granted to people who are married but not in civil unions.

    Next, the unconstitutional DOMA not withstanding, marriages should be recognized in any state that has marriage. Most states don't have civil unions.

    Separate but equal, is unequal.

    As for no such thing as a right to free expression, that's also untrue:


    The UDHR has been ratified by the United States, and under the constitution, is the "law of the land."

    A quote I've learned to love: "you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts."

  4. To quote Article 19 in full:

    Article 19
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

  5. And article 22 is also on point:

    Article 22
    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    the social and cultural rights. Marriage is a social and cultural right.

  6. /me smiles at Lillie.

    Yes, and I suppose you also have a "right" to be heard. A right to not be offended. And if a man is alone in the middle of the wilderness with not another soul for 50-miles, he is still wrong.

    It is the United States Constitution that overrides all others within the borders of the United States.