Something old, something new, something barrowed, something blue. The wedding cake. The bridal shower. The bachelor and bachelorette parties. The bride’s family paying for the wedding. Tossing the bouquet to the bride’s maid. Tossing the garter to the groomsman. The father walking the bride down the aisle to “give her away” to her future husband. Getting married in a church and making a commitment through wedding vows not only to each other but also to God.
These are just a few traditions and practices that take place when a man and a woman get married. These traditions vary based on culture or specific family or heritage, but for the most part they are consistent. These wedding traditions have been around for hundreds of years and clearly have a beginning and a purpose. With many parts deeply rooted in religion and faith; why should this change?
As many states around this country adopt marriage equality laws, the resulting wedding ceremonies between same sex couples mirror traditional wedding ceremonies between heterosexual couples. Why?
Does equality mean adopting, mimicking or hijacking another group’s practices and traditions?
Vermont in 2000) as gays already having rights, but civil unions do not have the same leverage and federal benefits that come along with traditional civil marriage.
Understandably gays wanted the same equal rights as civil marriage. The gay movement did not fight to have the definitions, language and laws regarding civil unions broaden to include all those under civil marriage; but instead sought to have the term “marriage” included in the fight for equality.
You can call it civil unions or gay marriage, I am all for equality but before I continue; the point I am attempting to convey has less to do with freedoms or equality. Freedom and equality are rights that should be delivered to all the citizens of a so called free democratic society. For gays and their respective partners, these rights should include all the state benefits, federal benefits, protections and tax status as their heterosexual counterparts. For me this is logical.
The position I want to high light has more to do with the practicing of traditions (not rights) that should not be copied or practiced by homosexuals.
As human beings we all have a common singularity. Even though we are individuals, we all share in the human experience. Homosexuality is a part of that human experience. My homosexuality allows me to share my emotional intimacy with another man. Outside of our sexual intimacy; there is nothing new or unique about the bonds I share with my male counterpart. Men have shared sexual and non-sexual sacred spiritual bonds throughout history.
For many, “gay marriage” is not the issue. For some the imitation or hijacking of wedding traditions is the issue. Many feel that marriage is between a man and a woman but yet still believe all Americans should have equal rights. Belief in ones faith does not mean it will cause them to commit discriminatory practices to other groups.
Many religious or faith leaning heterosexuals find it offensive that gays are imitating or copying their traditions. This is causing a break down and muddying the waters of the marriage equality conversation.
Their views are shaped through their faith, religion, and traditions. That doesn’t make them homophobic. It makes them faithful to their traditions. The crux of many of their oppositional views is that gays want to adopt a religious heterosexual tradition that is exclusively between a man and a woman and on this distinct point, I completely agree.
The state and federal contractual rights and benefits that come along with hetero- sexual marriage should be ferociously sought after and legally fought for by gays; however it seems like the Gay Mainstream is also fighting to adopt heterosexual wedding traditions and is stating that anyone who opposes this line of thinking is homophobic and non-progressive. Again just look at all the gay weddings that have taken place in New York since gay marriage was legalized. They all mostly mirror heterosexual wedding ceremonies.
Marriage is greatly romanticized and the wedding ceremony is heavily indoctrinated throughout society; so it is understandable that homosexuals want to be accepted as part of the societal whole, but that doesn’t mean you have to copy customs that are not meant for you. Traditions and equal rights are not the same thing.
Traditional wedding ceremonies were one of the final steps solidifying the blessings of a father giving his daughter away.
His blessing allowed his daughter to leave his home and be accepted into the home of the groom and his family. The ceremony was a ritual for the two families and the resulting union was celebrated by the community.
Many times to sway the father’s decision, gifts were offered to show that the potential groom and his family were financially fit to take care of the father’s daughter and any potential off spring that resulted. Religious and cultural traditions have been added though out the centuries to this basic practice.
The majority of marriages end in divorce. Having a wedding in a church does not validate the commitment between you and your better half. Today, more emphasis is placed on the wedding ceremony and all of its fairy tale charades than on the actual development and longevity of the relationship itself. It seems that the Gay Mainstream wants to include the “gay wedding day” as a way to gain acceptance or tolerance from a society that may oppose them.
Of course gays can get “married” how they want. The same way gays can drive whatever cars they want to drive or wear whatever cloths they want to wear…none of that is the point. The point and question is; why are gays adopting or in some cases mirroring straight couples on their wedding traditions? Why are we so limited in our thinking?
I personally think it is laughable that the best we can do to ceremonially show our love and commitment for our male partners is to mimic an institutional religious ceremony that is meant for heterosexuals.