Reframing Gay Marriage

By | November 17, 2008

I just finished reading the very short (100 pages) book called Don’t think of an Elephant by George Lakoff.  I thought it was excellent and highly recomend it.  I want to try it out.

Proposition 8 passed in California, unfortunately.  It banned Marriage for Gay/Lesbian couples.  It defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

I hard supporters of Prop 8 talk about the sanctity of marriage.  And how you could have “civil unions” which were the same thing.  I was thinking this morning what else people who voted for Prop 8 would support.  Especially when it related to a word, like Marriage.

How about Kissing or Love or Sex?  Would they support a proposition saying that Kissing is defined as between a man and a woman?  How about Love or Sex being defined as between a man and a woman.  If two men wanted to kiss, they would have to call it Man-Lip Pressing.  And it would be the exact same thing as kissing, but it would have a different name.  Would that be ok with the gay community?  They could DO IT (kiss) but they couldn’t CALL IT (kiss).

Marriage, Kissing, Love, Sex.  These are words that have baggage (good and bad).  They have meaning in society.  Marriage is a lifetime committement and the basis of a family.  Kissing is showing affection to your partner.  The words we use to describe them matter.  Do Lesbian couples have sex?  They don’t have intercourse.  The words matter.

This is a slipperly slope.  Saying two men or women can’t “Marry” is like saying they can’t Kiss.  They can have a civil union and they can press lips.

I think it’s sad that people don’t believe in equal rights.  The government shouldn’t be telling people who they can and can’t marry, kiss or love.

This is my first try at “reframing”, but I hope I did it ok.

2 thoughts on “Reframing Gay Marriage

  1. Dan

    Why can’t we just get rid of the word marriage from all laws and regulations.  Instead all couples go to the state to get a civil union.  Actually, I would think it should be called a civil union contract.  That is what it is, a contract.  The two people sign a contract with each other and they agree a number of things including sharing assets, etc.  In exchange, the state, health insurances, employers, hospitals, etc agree to recognize this contract and extend extra rights to this new entity.  (Instead of being two separate people, such as Dan Lipka and Linda Greenwald, we are now one combined entity, Dan and Linda Lipka.)

    Then they can have a big party afterwards and call it married or whatever they want. 

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  2. mdmadph

    I second Dan’s comment.  Remove the word “marriage” from all law — you’re never going to get religious types to agree with homosexual marriage anyway (and I don’t blame them for that), so just make everyone get a “civil union,” as far as the law is concerned.

    In the privacy of your own home, you can call it whatever you want — “marriage,” “partnership,” who cares.

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