The following 15 minute video tells the story of child brides, featuring one girl in particular. I was struck by her frankness and courage and wanted to share her story.
This article was brought to my attention today and highlights a particularly poignant case.
A legally married gay couple who legally tied the knot 7 years ago in Massachusetts have been denied their application for one of the partners to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse to an American citizen. The partner in question, Anthony John Makk, is Australian and has lived in the US legally the entire time he has been here under different visa schemes. The couple have been living together for 19 years and to top off the situation Anthony is the caregiver for his spouse, Bradford Wells, who is sick with AIDS.
There is no reason to deny this petition for citizenship and Anthony seems like the ideal citizen. The rejection was cited as being based on the Defense of Marriage Act as the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.
The changes that need to happen are at the federal level, not the state level, and cases such as this seem to be based on arbitrary definitions that focus on the letter of the law and miss the point. Two people in love in a long term committed relationship that has been confirmed by an act of marriage. The gender of the individuals DOES NOT MATTER, they are humans being denies basic human rights to chose the person they wish to spend the rest of their life with.
Unless an appeal can overturn this decision it looks like the couple will have to live in separate countries or face losing the medical support that Bradford currently received. A difficult situation and one that should be highlighted as an example of how wrong this type of discrimination and close-minded bigotry really is.
Same sex marriage is banned in many (29) states in the USA, a country that portrays itself to support individual freedom. A recent judgement in California ruled that proposition 8, a state measure to ban same-sex marriages that had a voter distribution 52% for and 48% against, is unconstitutional and discriminated against same-sex couples who wish to marry.
Seeing as married couples have more rights with regard to taxes, medical information about their spouse etc., I see the granting of same-sex couples equal marriage rights to be just and that banning it is indeed discriminatory. The ban seems to be rooted in religious ideology that marriage should be between a man and woman only and the bible (I am not aware of other religious influences on the matter, it seems to be a Christian objection) specifically bans homosexual sexual relationships (certainly for male couples, I am not sure if female couples are mentioned specifically).
Sex and relationships between consensual adults is not something the state or government has any say in. Marriage is a legal confirmation of a committed relationship that grants spouses specific rights and as such no adult couple should be excluded. It does not make any difference that the bigoted voters in California (and other states. California had some slanderous commercial campaigns that I, new to the USA, was more than a little shocked by) banned the union. Mob rule does not make something moral. Might is not always right. And that is what we are fighting for, isn't? Equality and rights that apply across the board. Equality is not discriminating against people who are different to us, whether that is due to gender, race, age, sexuality or any of the other arbitrary factors that lead to groups of them and us. Simply because Californian voters decided to make their little aspect of bigotry legal does not make it right and the ruling is absolutely correct in that it is discriminatory. There are times when it is necessary to overturn the whims of children and do what is right, any parent will recognise this. And that is what is needed here. The issue is equality and what rights everyone should hold and that is the criteria that should be used. Not bronze-age mythology.
If LGBT couples want to marry, why stop them? Can someone offer any logical reason for this (note - the bible or any other religion says so is not a logical reason). If marriage were solely a religious union, then it would be a different matter, but it is not. Its roots may be religious but it has developed beyond that in this day and age. The bible supports slavery, but that does not make it moral or right to own slaves, and slavery, in the traditional and biblical sense of the word (not the slavery between two consenting adults), is no longer legal in the USA. Society is moving forward, acceptance of diversity is gaining ground. These archaic ideologies are in the process of being relegated to history and this judgement is another step on the path.
Unfortunately, this does not mean Californian same-sex couples can marry just yet and it is likely to be appealed so that bigots can continue to interfere in the lives of others for a while longer. But it will happen eventually.
Personally, I am looking forward to the day when marriage is not necessary to recognise the rights of committed partners, regardless of sex. I also would like to see the day when polyamory is recognised and you can legally bond with more than one person. But those are hurdles for the future. For now I just hope this particular step doesn't take much longer.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!