The Strife of Life with a Wife: Fighting Facebook Friends Over Prop 8
Stand-up comic and all-around Southern gal and lesbian, who married her wife last year, Jen Kober, weighed in on the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold--that nasty little anti-gay marriage measure -- Prop 8 on her Facebook page. All sorts of hell ensued when one of her friends challenged Jen on the term'marriage.' Come on, we all have one of those FB contrarian friends...
With last week's PROP 8 ruling in California, I began to seethe and fester with anger at this administration. I can't believe a state as progressive as California could uphold a law that is such a fundamental violation of civil rights. I was pissed and loaded for bear. So where did I go to vent all of these frustrations? Facebook. That's right. I will update my status and let everyone know how I feel. Certainly the wise members of this social network will feel my pain and unite with me in my misery and passionate discourse. Or at least I could find somebody to argue with and get to vent all my thoughts on my laptop. The following is the madness that ensued...
My original post said:
WTF? How are we letting IOWA be more progressive than us? Come on California! These are CIVIL RIGHTS!!!!!!!!
The bold type, capital letters and a bevy of exclamation points would certainly convey to everyone how upset I was over the decision. I got several thumbs up from folks who enjoyed reading the comment, and then the responses poured in....
Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Jeff A. wrote: "I know I'm in the minority here, but there has to be another way that same-sex couples can get the rights they are denied in legal and medical situations without redefining the traditional meaning of the word marriage...I'm interested in solving this problem without destroying either group's interest."
I replied: "Why is the word MARRIAGE so important to you? You know you have a 55 percent divorce rate? I am married to my wife. We are not partners, girlfriends, roommates or experimenting. We are married. Deal with it. Start saying it. Get used to it. We are people. Just like you. We fell in love and we want to get MARRIED. We were raised with the same hopes of getting MARRIED that you were. When I get EQUAL rights and terminology then the problem will be solved and not a moment before."
Jeff A: "Jen, my interests do not wish to ban anyone from a (hopefully) life-long commitment to a loving partner, straight or gay. From a purely legal standpoint, how are we expected to uphold contractual responsibilities when one term (marriage) is being used to identify multiple unique relationships? You have every right to pursue happiness. I do too. We should respect each other rather than force our will onto the other. The only way we'll solve this is through mutual respect. Comments like "screw tradition" don't encourage someone like me to listen to opposing arguments."
Me: "I never said screw tradition. I am saying we should use one term. MARRIAGE. That's what it is. Marriage between two loving human beings. Have you ever been denied the right to do anything Jeff?"
more on next page...
Jeff A: "Jen, I joined the Marine Corps at 19 years of age...of course I've been denied what I want. Life is full of disappointments. That's life. If we work together (respecting each other's views and interests) we can find a mutually agreeable solution. It starts with you and me as friends, schoolmates, and fellow Americans."
(Now I remember this douchebag, we went to high school together. He was a jerk then, and apparently that hasn't really changed much!)
Me: "Jeff, The Marine Corps is not exactly a haven for open mindedness or acceptance. Nor is it a place where I imagine homos get a fair shake. You chose to go to the Marine Corps and you were denied some things you wanted. I get that. I am a law-abiding taxpaying citizen -- who is married to a woman. Married. Married. Married. Prop 8 may have passed, but I have a marriage license signed by the Terminator. I respect your right to express your views, but there is no mutually agreeable solution other than my marriage being legal and recognized in EVERY state. Just like it was unacceptable not to let women vote or blacks own property it is a violation of my CIVIL RIGHTS to deny me the right to MARRY the woman I love."
Jeff A: "Okay, so I get it that most of you disagree with the traditional definition of marriage. Since I believe in standards I ask you this: What is the legal criteria you suggest one must meet in order to reasonably guarantee a society focused on maintaining long-term relationships through marriage? I am not saying that most married people actually think this way, but if we are to change the way we look at marriage, let's make it better."
Me: "Jeff - Letting Gay people get married WOULD make it better. Jackass."
The argument got more heated when my sister-in-law --my wife's sister -- jumped into the fight. She went off on poor Jeff and I hear through the grapevine that he blocked us both on Facebook. Well, so much for open dialogue. But I did feel better. I got lots of responses from straight folks, Christian folks, people young and old who were completely in SUPPORT of marriage equality. I'm hoping Barack will just kick down the door of the Oval Office and say, "This is bullshit! Let the gay people get married or I will put my foot in your ass!" Unlikely, but hey, this is my fantasy, I do what I want!
The final comment left said this, "Culture evolves, Jen. Patience, your day WILL come."