Archives-Codi's GLBT Viewpoints

And Justice For All? Pope Does Not Agree

Picking the Battles, Knowing the Opposition
Gay Fourth of July Equality Requires Action

Vol. I Issue 13 September 10, 2000

And Justice For All? Pope Does Not Agree

By Codi Pendance

One month after our "traditional" Pride month, it seems the attack is on. In many places July has been added to the time period for Pride celebrations as in Rome, Italy. Where the Pope made his comments and opinions known from his balcony. The Pontiff feels bitterness at the Pride festival taking place in Rome during the Catholic Church's "Holy Jubilee" and further stated that homosexuality is ''contrary to natural law.''

It seems that homosexuality is only "contrary" to the Catholic Church when convenient. As a practicing Catholic I have never seen my donations refused, nor have voluntary projects been rejected due to my sexuality. It has been "hinted" for centuries that the convent and priesthood were havens for gays and lesbians as protection as well due to family banishment. (Both great reasons for a vocation) I wonder if the current shortage of both is related to His Holiness' views? Probably.

Possibly a boycott of church donations would make the Vatican more aware of the presence of our community. I am sure it would at least send a message of "value" to the Pope. I am not suggesting that we can buy God's acceptance. I don't think that is the issue here. We make our peace with God as individuals in all areas. The basis of Christianity is that God's love is open and available to all. It is the Pope, a human, not God who sees us as ''contrary to natural law,'' and that we should not feel pride in ourselves and our community during the Jubilee. Well at least not in Rome.

According to Church teachings the Pope is "presumed" infallible in matters of faith. Homosexuality is present throughout nature, humans don't own the copyright to same sex attraction. As well Pride is a long standing taught principle of the Catholic Church.Weren't saints and martyrs proud of their beliefs as well as faithful? It seems His Holiness has obviously provided the world with his opinion, which does not have to include fact. A matter of faith must to some degree have a factual basis. The facts show that homosexuality is nature, and that pride is a positive and also natural occurrence. Opinions like certain other portions of general anatomy, are something we all have. Too bad more don't have a popular balcony from which to spout theirs.

Codi

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Equal Pride #9

Picking the Battles, Knowing the Opposition by Codi

This article is not placed here as the opinions of the StoneWall Society. It is placed here as food for thought, and my personal opinion. I would very much love to see member/reader response as this as you will see is a very important issue to us all. That Being "same-gender marriage" Vs other options.

Look at the current standings. To date over thirty states have taken prohibitive action on the same sex marriage issue. That being that even if same sex marriage is legal where performed those 30 states will only accept a marriage as one between a man and a woman. More states are now looking at like measures. The actual issues of same sex marriage have been defeated soundly in all areas to date. There is a message here. Like it or not.

What are our options? The obvious it seems is to address the equality of the legal rights of both heterosexual and homosexual couples. In several countries; France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands have registered partnership. This works to instill the equality of legal rights for same sex couples. It seems the concept and use of the word marriage ignites the opposition, as well as adds to the oppositionís size. Vermont is the U.S. most well known case of same sex equal rights being addressed as Civil Unions. Also seems to be the highest possibility of success.

So is "marriage" our issue or equal legal rights? Lets take a moment to examine the social acceptance of "marriage". Like it or not, "Marriage" is geared traditionally, religiously, and socially as part of the heterosexual world. As a gay male in a twenty year relationship, marriage does not work. I realize these are stereotypes but also a fact of life. I do not wish to be someoneís husband or wife. Or a Mrs or Mr in that context. My partner and I are not likely to have children, do you see where I am going? Get married and have kids, man & wife, Mrs & Mr, husband & wife, it goes on and on. Even if we do get state approval or even country approval. Will the churches ever agree? Equal does not always mean "the same."

Yet, 30+ to 0 we fight on. Spending thousands of dollars to fight a concept which is older than our country. Why? Is it assimilation? Is it just "if they have it we have to as well?" While we fight this uphill battle we move farther and farther away from the goal of rights for same sex partners. Now the opposition is striking before we can even act. Lets say we do get "marriage" legal somewhere. There will still be thirty states in which that "marriage" will not be recognized. What have we gained? Shouldn'tít a focused effort to achieve the equal rights for same sex partners be the agenda. So what if it is called Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, or even "Other". If it means we can legally visit our loved ones when they are sick, that we can legally get information about their status, that we can legally own join property, that legally we can know that our estates are disbursed according to our wishes, they can call it whatever they like. Not to mention daily life benefits like the security of knowing legal protection is on your side. Insurance, investment, credit, all sorts of issues apply here.

What is so bad about our legal relationship being called something different from Marriage anyway? We are different. Our difference is the basis for the core of our equal rights movement. If we are the same in our relationships, then that means our rights are already equal and legally established. Of course that ridiculous! Our relationships are different, they are with members of the same sex. So they deserve a different view, name, heading. My point is lets get on with securing our equality and quit fighting the wrong battles and definitely stop fighting the wrong opposition!

There are legal partnership agreements available in some states. These are more business geared but as I understand would possibly offer some legal protection. I am in the process of investigating where these are available, how they work , cost and will report my findings here. If you would like to assist in this, just drop me a line and we can all combine resources and findings in one area for ease of location. It is time to address our rights not the right of religion and other groups to prove we donít deserve to have rights at all.

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