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June 17th, 2008
02:47 am
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A moment of channeling Morford
The phrase "culture jamming" has popularly come to mean something like (per Wikipedia) "turning away from all forms of herd mentality." That definition would have it be an individualized act, a personal opting out.

But today's weddings in California are culture jamming in a much broader sense.

Jam, v.tr.: To block, congest, or clog. To cause (moving parts, for example) to lock into an unworkable position.

Culture jam, v. tr.: To bombard with conflicting cultural signals in such a way as to threaten or break societal conditioning.

Even as a gay marriage supporter, seeing this photo -- of two men in tuxedo shirts, black leather jackets and cowboy hats, standing at the altar -- caused me some cognitive dissonance. For three decades I've been bombarded with images of what "marriage" is. Being thrown these contradictory images leaves me feeling ill at ease. Unsettled. There's a little Archon inside me whispering that accepting these images means a terrifying loss of order.

But.

Pictures are funny things. You see in a photograph -- more so than real life, anyway -- what you want to see. Your brain seizes on the contradiction of the image; glosses over the little touches that make it real. The tender glance, the gentle hand-holding.

And you miss the world of your other senses. The laughter, the scent of roses, the taste of chocolate, the hugs of well-wishing friends, the vibrant joy and exultation of a love long suppressed, stepping out tentatively into the world as if it can't believe the sun still shines after a lifetime hidden in the basement.

You can't be there for a wedding, gay or otherwise, without feeling it.*

The love.

That's what this is about; that's why this is the right thing to do. Expanding marriage is about love versus fear. It's about confronting that dark dissonance of unquestioned social convention, letting it flay your unquestioned expectations and strip your conditioning raw and naked ... and still being willing to let go and wander, unprotected, away.

"Something big is indeed being lost here, and we will be better off without it."

When convention protects love, friendship, community, happiness, guard it with your life. When convention stands in the way of these things, dance in the rubble.

Convention is not all we have: people are all we have.

--

And besides which, this means George Takei** has finally gotten married. By all accounts, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

--
* Okay, some people can. Those people should be treated as a case of brain damage and gently guided away to sulk in their corner.
** You remember his total pwnage [video] of Tim Hardaway's "I hate gays" comment. Right?

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[User Picture]
From:baphnedia
Date:June 17th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
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*thinks deeply, then decides to swim for shallow depths*

I for one, support the idea of 'love who or what you love'... as it isn't my place to judge the actions of others. However, America, ur doin it rong.

Gay marriage became an issue because conventional families were afforded tax advantages worth thousands of dollars per year, joint lending (and advantages to the interest rates), lower insurance rates, etc etc blah blah blah. Marriage is a religious ceremony, and if it were kept in religious circles (and out of our government), so long as those who are married are taking care of their families responsibly, who cares?

It isn't the responsibility of our government to be accepting gay marriage. It is the responsibility of the People to accept gay marriage, oh, and the churches too. Or, when such couples pass away, we might start seeing the judges who married them performing last rites and funerals too.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 17th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Marriage has been a civil institution as well as a religious one since at least Hammurabi's day. See Hammurabi's Code (http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/MESO/CODE.HTM). And while California's government is allowing homosexuals to enter into a marriage contract it does not require any church to recognize them. Which isn't so different from all state and federal laws regarding divorce and remarriage, which is against at least one Church's doctrine. Personally, I think that the civil and religious aspects of marriage should be copmletely severed by changing the name of "marriage" in the law books and removing the legal power vested in the clergy to perform government recognized marriages.

--
"Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there."
[User Picture]
From:baphnedia
Date:June 17th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Nail? Head? WHAM!
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From:zon14
Date:June 17th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
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The term civil unions to cover heterosexuals as well anyone?

I too don't really think it's the government's business to grant tax breaks because two beings crossed the alter and said "I do" with the intent of staying together as long as they inhabit this physical vibration. And I say this as a dragon who's been married thirteen years and so has benefited from those very same tax breaks. Personally, I think churches can marry or not marry whomever they please, though I doubt I'll be attending any of the less inclusive ones any time soon.

Edited at 2008-06-17 10:24 pm (UTC)
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From:lysana
Date:June 17th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Why force people who seek a religious blessing of their union to go through the extraordinary step of two ceremonies?
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From:natetg
Date:June 17th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
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In California, the civil function is basically takes place in the form of signing a marriage license. I've seen it done - it took all of 20 minutes from the time the people walked into the county office. Getting something done at the DMV will take more time.

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From:zon14
Date:June 17th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Actually you can go through as many religious ceremonies as you like without signing any kind of license. There's no legal requirement to sign anything after saying "I do". Certain sectors of society may think you a freak and a nut for not doing it, but that's their problem.
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From:kadyg
Date:June 18th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
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It is my understanding that big chunks of Europe work that way. You have a civil ceremony then have the Full Metal Wedding at the same time, or later, or not at all and you're just as married. I think tat if you're the sort of person for whom a religious blessing is important than two ceremonies probably won't slow you down.

My grandfather and his wife did the reverse: They eloped to Phoenix and got married "in the eyes of the church" because getting married in a "legal" ceremony would cost my step-grandma her widow's benefits from her first husband and no one wanted that. Yes, they are gaming the system, but when you're 74 and in love you should get to do whatever you want in that regard.
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From:hafoc
Date:June 18th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
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Because allowing preachers to perform a religious ceremony that has legal standing under civil law and is binding upon the civil courts is a violation of the clause in the Bill of Rights prohibiting establishment of a state religion. Let con men in tight collars spew whatever they want, to those who will listen to them, but their particular narrow-minded version of telling God who he can and cannot love should never be allowed the force of law.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 19th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
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That would only be a violation, Hafoc, if only clergy of a certain denomination was allowed to perform marriages. However, any clergy person of a recognized religion is granted the power to perform marriages not just those of monotheisistic religions.

--
"Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there."
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