On day two of the BBBC 2009 i’d like to address the NO H8 campaign. I am Dutch and live near Amsterdam. To some of you that may seem like I live in the ultimate free state, citizen of the suburbs of Sodom & Gomorra. But it’s not that bad, really… we’re more conservative than you might think.
Yes we have registered partnerships… open to both opposite and same sex couples (it’s a purely legal alternative to marriage, which is being considered having a religious component, and will give partners the same legal benefits as married couples) and I think it is a good thing. Why should same sex couples who want to commit to eachother and take care of eachother, just like hetero sexual couples, have less legal possibilities to do so? With mr. Horwitz, I can make him my heir and he’ll be elligible for a part of my pension plan should something happen to me and he has to go on alone.. but if mr Horwitz were a ms Horwitz… I should not be able to appoint her as my heir and partner on my pension plan? Would my love and my responsibility for my significant other be worth less?
And yet… even here in my liberal mini country there are narrow minded people who have a “not in my back yard” attitude towards same sex registered partners. Last year, in my town council, we had quite a fierce discussion between the confessionals and conservatives on one side and the liberals and social democrats to the other. NO… the confessionals were not against the same sex partnerships… everyone should have the right to form a formal bond… after all, that’s the law… but… the offical who would have to close such bond, who would conduct the ceremonial aspect of the registration .. he/she should have the liberty to refuse to do so if their personal beliefs were opposed to same sex couples.
It made me angry and sad. Should I want to be a teacher at elementary school… I can’t say I’ll teach Dutch and History, but I won’t teach children how to write…. That is an essential part of the job as a teacher. If you want to be a wedding official, you can’t choose that some couples you will “marry” and others you won’t. Aside fromt he fact that I think you shouldn’t even want to become a wedding official if you have issues with same sex couples, the whole discussion is ridiculous… and yet so very real.
So the NO H8 campaign, it may be an initiative to protest against proposition 8… but as far as I am concerned, it’s not limited to that. There are so many couples same sex and opposite sex who deeply love eachother, and care for eachoter. And if you truly believe that all men are created equal… then we all should have the same rights and access to social institutions.