Friday, March 2, 2007

Dressed like Suze

Last week, I read that Suze Orman, "internationally acclaimed personal finance expert," is gay. Apparently, she was asked about her personal life in an interview for New York Times Magazine and she said, "I've never been with a man in my whole life. I'm still a 55-year-old virgin." I then ran across a blog whose author said that she knew Suze was gay all along. How'd she know? By viewing personal photos Suze posts on her website. Apparently, Ms. Orman's haircut and penchant for the sun visor gave it away. So, I surfed over to Suze's website and viewed the pictures for myself. Sure enough, she is photographed donning a sun visor on multiple occasions.

I wasn't thinking that she looked gay, though. I was struck by the fact that Suze Orman looks just like my Aunt Margie. As it turns out, lesbian internationally acclaimed personal finance experts and straight 2nd grade school teachers from Jupiter, Florida dress exactly the same. Who'd a thunk it?

More importantly, Suze also said that she and her partner of 7 years would like to get married. Because we consider gays second-class citizens, we refuse to allow them the rights and privileges of legal marriage. As a result, when one of them dies, the other will lose 50% of her partner's money to estate taxes. Both of them are financially accomplished women who stand to lose a lot.

I'm not a huge Suze Orman fan--I find her advice sound but her motivational speaking a little nauseating. I proudly stand with her here, though. I have good friends in the same situation (less money, but the same situation), and I see how much they miss out on by not being allowed to throw their lot in together like straight people can.

I was born and raised in the Bible Belt among fundamentalist Christians, and I have heard every single argument against gay marriage. All of them are a waste of mental space. These people generally defend their bigotry by claiming they are protecting the sacredness of marriage. That is bullshit.

When I was 20 years old, I walked into a courthouse in Kentucky to get a marriage license. My fiance and I approached a desk and the clerk asked, "Y'all here for a fishing license or a marriage license?" (Both were handed out at this counter.) We told her we needed a marriage license.

She asked one question, "Y'all aren't close relatives are you?"

"No," I said, "we're not from here."

She laughed and printed out the license. Just out of curiosity, I asked what she meant by close relatives. She told me that she wanted to know if we were first cousins. Not that that would bar us from marriage, they just like to have some idea of how often "that kind of thing" really occurs.

True story.

A few months after we got married, all the sacredness was gone. Five long years and a restraining order later, I now pay a lawyer $175/hour to handle all communication with the man whose name is on that license.

It all fell apart.
And the "gay agenda" had absolutely nothing to do with it.

At the age of 20, I could walk into a courthouse with any male cousin and walk out with a state-sanctioned marriage; but a 55-year-old woman can't marry the woman she has been with for 7 years. Tolerating that kind of bigotry is more asinine than wearing a sun visor.

No comments: