It seems to me that there are (at least) two interpretations when it comes to marriage equality and I have recently found an exemplary example (with impressive alliteration, might I add) simply within the state of New Jersey.
One interpretation of marriage equality for NJ can be seen here at the website for the organization Garden State Equality. Their reasoning for using terms like ‘marriage equality’ and the ‘freedom to marry’ is given on the page that I linked and I will restate here as I agree with it to the fullest:
Like other civil rights organizations, we don’t say “gay marriage” or “same-sex marriage” because same-sex couples simply want the option of “marriage” – the same option with the same nomenclature that opposite-sex couples have. Nothing special, nothing different. That’s why it’s so disingenuous for our opponents to claim that same-sex couples want special rights, not equal rights. Marriage equality is the epitome of wanting otherwise.
This is obviously the interpretation of marriage equality that I find to be superior. It falls right in line with one of my favorite quotes from Liz Feldman, “It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it: ‘marriage.’ You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it.” Not one homosexual couple is asking for ‘gay marriage,’ they only desire to partake of the same ‘marriage’ that heterosexual couples have always been allowed.
Now, the second interpretation of marriage equality for NJ can be found at this youtube channel and once visited, one can quickly realize why I disagree with this individual’s interpretation of marriage equality, or at least what they are trying to say about it. The name of the channel is newjerseyequality, and to me this is misleading. When given the term ‘equality,’ I tend to think that whoever is using the term is supporting or aiming for equality in the way that Garden State Equality seems to be.
For this youtube user, however, this is not the case. They seem to be using this moniker in order to draw in those who believe in the first interpretation of equality in order to convince them that they are wrong. But it also only takes a moment visiting this youtube channel to realize how absolutely horrible their argument is, and not in the way that I believe that it is wrong or offensive, but in the way that they make their argument.
Take this video from their channel for example:
Do you see the little red caption boxes that keep popping up over this testimony for same-sex marriage? Those are this youtube user’s only way of making and supporting their argument. Without these little boxes, that include no actual facts or reasoning just bare opinions and accusations, the video itself would be ADVOCATING same-sex marriage! The video is a testimonial from lesbian mothers about why they think they deserve to be able to get married. And newjerseyequality’s only way of refuting their message is to caption the video with questions that don’t even make sense relative to the actual dialogue?
Other than the fact that the title of the video is ‘Same Sex “Marriage” is INFERIOR, not EQUAL,’ there is absolutely no argument being made here against same-sex marriage. There are only idiotic statements made with no reasoning or fact as their basis and to me that makes this interpretation of marriage equality the “INFERIOR” one.