Thursday, August 13, 2015

2 Hot 4 8List: 8 Questions I Always Get Asked About Marriage Equality

.:2 Hot 4 8List: 8 Questions I Always Get Asked About Marriage Equality:.

I try my best to be a moderate when it comes to my personal opinions. Most people know what they are, but I try my best not to be combative about them when I encounter someone who doesn't share the same opinion as I. This blog post will not be as charitable, because I've allowed a lot of people to get in their myopic jabs on the topic for long enough. This hopefully addresses most of those so-called issues they raise.

Here now are 8 questions I always get asked about marriage equality, especially in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling that recognizes LGBT marriage to be on the same legal footing as heterosexual marriage.

8. Why are the LGBT redefining marriage? 

First of all, marriage has been redefined so many times over the centuries that it's not even funny anymore. The idea that marriage is a union of love has been a fairly recent idea. There isn't really a "traditional" marriage, to begin with. Otherwise, all rape survivors will be required to marry their aggressor, just as the Bible stated.

In its current form, aside from the idea of one person loving another person for the rest of their life, marriage is understood to also come with concurrent rights. These rights are the crux of what marriage equality advocates are fighting for. It's something under the domain of the government, and in the case of the Philippines and America, the government is supposedly a secular one. What this means is simple: defining marriage as "biblical marriage," while not only problematic because of how the Bible itself defines marriage, also alienates the people who are not subscribers to the Bible.

TL;DR - marriage can stay the same for your church, but the government, in the interest of equal rights for all, needs to reassess marriage in order to live up to this secular ideal.

7. Why are the LGBT forcing people to bake them wedding cakes? How is this equality?

Oh. You mean that story in America of how a gay couple sued a bakery for refusing to bake them a cake for their wedding, then subsequently got awarded over $100,000 in damages afterwards?

First of all, you might not have read the entire story: this bakery didn't just "politely" decline this couple, they also doxxed (that is, they released the identity and private information) of these people when they complained about being refused service. People gloss over this fact, yet when you realize that the doxxing caused them anguish (they were given death threats) and extended that anguish to their adopted kids (they were also given death threats), suddenly, it doesn't seem like the bakery was fined nearly enough for what they did.

There's nothing "polite" about calling people an "abomination," okay? This is every bit as manipulative as saying that the old lady who sued McDonald's over their coffee was being frivolous (she received 3rd degree burns, not just some booboo someone can kiss to go away).

Also, remember how big a deal it was when people would refuse service to black people? Well, why would it suddenly be okay to refuse service to gay people just because? Are they not entitled to the same rights as black people in the first place?

Nobody was demanding this bakery to get gay married or to preside over the gay marriage of a couple that they already did business with before, prior to finding out about their orientation. That's plain discrimination, and it boggles the mind how people could think that discrimination is okay just because you claim that your God told you so. "God" has "told" people to do the Crusades. "Allah" has "told" extremists to fly a couple of planes into the World Trade Center. None of this was cool. A "lesser" offense hung on the same conceit isn't, either.

6. Why am I being called a bigot for not sharing the same opinion about LGBT marriage? My freedom of speech is being impinged!

First of all, when someone calls you a bigot, they are also exercising their free speech. We see a lot of people confused with that all the time, including certain bloggers who block people who call them out on their hypocrisy when they start cyber-lynching someone.

Still applicable, huh?

Secondly, let's get one thing straight here: your freedom to say whatever you want doesn't mean you are going to be free from consequences. If you lose your job because you went on a racist tirade, I'm sorry, but that's the consequence of you exercising your freedom of speech. Just ask Hulk Hogan, even if I feel bad for the guy.

To be fair, he's too orange to be a white supremacist.

If you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. The only thing freedom of speech entails is that you won't be arrested by the government for saying whatever, although in the Philippines, we don't even have that level of freedom, since libel is a criminal offense here. Just ask Fashion Pulis.

Don't confuse our Philippine laws with American laws. This isn't an argument about tradition but legality.

Lastly, when you call someone an "abomination," do you even think being a "bigot" is remotely comparable to what you just called an LGBT person? Learn to check your privilege before you make these kinds of complaints, because you're working from the assumption that nothing is wrong with insulting the very being of an LGBT person by calling them an "abomination" all because your "God" "told" you so.

5. So does this mean I can't believe that God doesn't approve of LGBT marriage anymore?

Of course not! You're free to keep believing this, the same way some people still believe that slavery, or women's suffrage, or interracial marriage are all horrible things God would shun, too.

What you can't do, though, is to conflate your religious beliefs with the legal demand for equal rights for everyone, including LGBT people, to marry the one they love, who just so happen to have the same genitals as they do.


Your church can continue to never marry LGBT couples to each other, but if the government decides marriage equality is a thing, you can't pretend that the law has to conform to your religion, because it doesn't work that way.

4. Why does this matter so much to you if you're straight?

Well, wow. I didn't realize that empathy is a bad thing now! Do I even need to dignify this question with an answer?

3. Aren't you afraid of Sodom and Gomorrah happening to us if we let marriage equality happen?

No. No, I'm not afraid of Sodom and Gomorrah, because Canada has had marriage equality for a decade now, and they're doing pretty okay. And why does your God turn into the hellfire and brimstone version only when it comes to gay marriage, but He's all loving and kind and benevolent and forgiving when it's little crimes like murder or rape or plunder? That's mighty selective, don't you think?

You also might want to read up on why Sodom and Gomorrah was actually condemned in the first place. You might be surprised how little it had to do with homosexuality.

2. So what next? We can now do polygamy? Incest? Bestiality? Marry kids off to pedophiles?

Well, that escalated quickly. It's very clear that the premise of marriage equality is that two consenting adults decide to spend the rest of their lives with each other. All three of these words are integral to the definition of marriage equality. Animals can't legally give consent. Kids are obviously not adults and can't legally give consent, either. Consent is fuzzy when there are power dynamics in play with blood relatives, such as mother vs son, etc. In polygamous situations, the transfer of rights is ridiculously complicated, but if the law were able to dynamically adapt, then so long as all parties involved are consenting, why should it be legally disallowed?

Some Muslims already marry multiple women, as it stands. The reason that marriage equality advocates aren't particularly happy about this is that it's clear that the male is dominant in this setup, and as such, implies there's little "equality" to be expected in the first place.

Ultimately, when two gay people marry each other, how would this affect you? It doesn't. So let them mind their own business as you mind yours. Nobody is forcing you to get married to the same gender.

1.If the LGBT are asking for tolerance, why can't they tolerate people who don't want to tolerate them? Shouldn't they give it before they ask for it?

Tolerance of intolerance is self-defeating, and accomplishes nothing. It also reeks of privilege, because here, we demand the LGBT kowtow to our feelings while we refuse to give even a semblance of respect to theirs. The LGBT are fighting for equality. If we can legally marry the one we love, why can't they? If we can stay in the ICU with our spouse as they lay there in critical condition, why can't they? The law is the great equalizer that levels the playing field for when there is an inherent disadvantage for a marginalized class.

This is why it's so ludicrous to wonder why straight people don't have any "straight pride" parades,  because they don't need one. Nobody is oppressing them systematically for being straight. It's also why nobody is particularly impressed when Tim Tebow professes his Christianity. This is the norm. This is the default. How is this a shocker? When people tell him to "keep it to himself," does it ever stop him from professing his faith? Of course not. It doesn't even stop him from continuing to express his beliefs in public, because freedom of speech allows him to keep doing it, just as much as his critics are enabled by the very same freedom.

Not pictured: a fair comparison.

On the other hand, when you see someone like Caitlyn Jenner come out as a transgendered woman (who is still very much into women, by the way), you will see people praise her because it takes guts to do that, and let's not pretend she didn't get any negative backlash for it. She certainly did.

It's all about false equivalence, and privilege. When you have the luxury of living your life normally without people condemning you for the religion you happen to belong to and for the sexual orientation you happen to possess, it becomes difficult to see why it takes courage when someone who doesn't subscribe to the norm has to come forward and express themselves.

In short, Christians, you are not the persecuted class in this story. I understand how nice it is to pretend you're the underdog, but between a bunch of people who get called "abominations" with regularity, and a bunch of people who have to stretch the definition of "oppression" to claim it, I think it's easy to see who's really being persecuted. You're Floyd Mayweather. You're John Cena. You're the '96-'98 Chicago Bulls. Any backlash you get is because people know you're going to win in the end, and there's nothing wrong with that: you're just being who you are.

When the dust has settled, marriage equality doesn't affect you if you have zero plans of getting married to someone of the same gender. So why should it be any of your business if the government, the one that's supposed to protect everyone, and not just you, eventually decides that gay people are deserving of the equal rights they should have gotten in the first place?

You don't get to debate human rights, because they're just that: human rights.

And in the end, in all this hoopla about the "dignity" of marriage, there is yet another oppressed minority being pushed to the side...

What about us single people? Are we not deserving of "dignity," too? Alas, that is a discussion to be had some other day.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Nothing But The Best Wishes For Nonong And Ryan Rems!

.:Shameless Not-Self-Promotion:.

Today is the Finals day for Showtime's "Funny One," and two of my friends and brothers in standup, Nonong and Ryan Rems, are in the finals!

Skelan is probably a sponsor or something.

All I can say is "thank you" to these two guys. Because you couldn't ask for nicer, more down-to-earth, and hardworking representatives for POV standup comedy than these two guys. Here's hoping that the laughs they have earned from the millions (and millions) of people watching them on television will not go unappreciated today.

We can talk about revolutions for standup comedy tomorrow. We can talk about the ramifications and the possibility of this kind of comedy invading the mainstream after over a decade of being branded as little more than "niche" some other time. Today, I would rather simply express my gratitude and support to two of my friends. It's *their* time to shine. Everything else merely follows.