As you may have heard, voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State will be making a choice about marriage equality tomorrow. Geeks OUT is participating in the Campaign for 20 Million More and has been phonebanking, making calls to residents in those states to remind people about the importance of this issue. Zan Christensen, Publisher at Northwest Press and co-founder of Prism Comics, hails from Maryland and currently lives in Washington. We're happy to share his thoughts on the issue with you:
There's been a wave of discussion about marriage equality over the past few years, with all the court cases and the legislation, the referenda, the victories, and the setbacks. It's been everywhere, and it's occupied a lot of our community's time.
But some people say that all the attention being given to marriage equality might be better spent on strengthening equality in employment, housing, and public accommodation, or combatting teen suicide or assault and harassment. After all, why are we so concerned about this one issue when people face life-and-death situations every day over being gay?
Apart from the real life-and-death issues that marriage inequality does pose—such as intervening on behalf of an incapacitated partner in a health decision, having the right to see them in the hospital, or getting survivorship benefits if a partner passes away—the struggle is important because marriage is such a basic part of society. To be excluded from marriage is to forever be seen as on the outside of something that, to most people, is the source of comfort, stability, and family.
Until this century, most gay people could not even envision a time when this country would fully recognize our relationships alongside others. But old excuses of religious intolerance or longstanding tradition are no longer taken as acceptable reasons to deny people access to such a basic part of human life. People are being called out on their attitudes and being encouraged to "evolve," as the President put it, on their attitudes about marriage.
The path toward equal treatment across the board is in being finally acknowledged as worthy of the love, happiness, and stability that everyone wants.
Join Geeks OUT today in fighting for marriage equality! If you live in New York City, join us tonight for an hour or two of phonebanking. If you live elsewhere, sign up for a shift with the Campaign for 20 Million More and make calls directly from home.