A few months ago I was invited to attend the Gay Writes Community Writing Club sponsored by Salt Lake Community College. We meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 6:30 p..m, SLCC Community Writing Center, 210 East 400 S, Suite 8, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.
This group is open to the LGBT community and allies. Members get feedback and help on their writing whether it be poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc; it has helped me a great deal with writing my articles. Please join us.
For the next few months, I will be highlighting some of the great talent in the group. I know you will enjoy the writings.
by Ked Kirkham
We were drenched, soaked through,
so that you must
peel my clothing
off you. What
possessed us, as surely
we were under some influence,
some notion, movement of heart
or dancing of spirit.
Would we not
all the same,
but we walked, finding
ourselves here, after an hour
standing closely enough, that our
heat rose between us.
Fragrant. Our clothing
memory of rain
was in the words
we spoke as we walked.
The same words, in fact
we have just spoken
in our nakedness,
us from tomorrow,
and the vows we
have given to each other.
Marriage and DOMA
by Ked Kirkham
What is the answer to the crossword clue: TO DO LIST, in six letters?
Agenda! I had been trying to sort and set my thoughts about the often made charge of a Gay Agenda, and here it was: a list of things we want to do.
I have had some thoughts I would like to bring to the table. I shall let you have your say as well. Call that part of my agenda.
DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act. I’ll acquiesce that I do not have an Act yet, so I will produce a Defense of Marriage Affirmation. The Act, itself strikes me as bullying of a very sinister form; having that pulpit from which it comes.
You don’t need to defend marriage to me! I get it. I believe in it. You don’t have to defend marriage from me either. I want it the way I saw it with my parents: honest, committed, intimate, tender. Their marriage was a bulwark against many storms, a bridge over many crevasses. It lasted 63 years, and while there would be seven children that are not all that it produced.
Procreation is not the sole reason to marry. I do not believe it has been for a number of generations. We have found- developed, even- additional benefits to marriage. Companionship: Mutual aid during turmoil involving health, happiness, social affairs. Marriage has joined diverse backgrounds and experiences, introduced interest in and concern for those not exactly like us.
Marriage creates family. The nucleus of a society, we can compare the ideal with the actual. In every direction we see examples of abuse of the right marry and to establish families. I am aware that I live up to the old saw that data and examples are sometimes used in debate the way lamp posts are used by drunks: for support more that illumination. There are positive examples of family in every camp as well. Infants in the home, toddlers in day care, youth in school; we also have siblings, parents and in-laws, some in care centers and nursing homes where we sit at the bedside. The family rightfully educates in areas of compassion, finances, tradition.
What are we asking for that calls up such objection? We are asking for the equal right to choose in whose care we will put our medical and legal decisions; who we will assign the dissolution of our affairs. These are the civil rights we desire. We wish to have that person named, indelibly, on the record of our lives.
The DOMA arguments strike me as posturing by a few declaring that they alone know what is good for all. I am aware that this can be thrown back at me. The difference in my mind is that I do not want to tell you how to practice your marriage. I want my rights to be equal in the eyes of the laws that govern us all.
Regarding marriage and family rights: how many families were torn apart at the slave auction in denial and disregard of any rights? How many laborers from China and the Philippines were denied the right to marry here or to bring their wives with them? Recall how recently laws were withdrawn that forbade interracial marriage.
Readings of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have brought the term usurpation to mind. Who gets to accuse who? We are asking to enjoy the security of a home shared lovingly with someone of our own choosing.
You have usurped the dignity of marriage, not we.