Not Separate, and Certainly Not Equal

One of the common arguments by proponents of redefining marriage is that it shouldn’t matter to the rest of us.  I’ve always argued that this isn’t true.  Typically the arguments then center around the fact that it won’t be enough for something to be merely legal, it will be necessary to further promote and encourage it – particularly through education.  

However, it’s a lot easier to disprove the fact that gay marriage won’t affect the rest of us.  
California is in the midst of what you might call financial turmoil.  Spending more than we bring in.  Potentially billions of dollars in budget shortfalls and budget cuts.  For one of the largest economies in the world, this is certainly not good news.
But amid all of these dire financial warnings and cutbacks in services and increases in cost, I found it a little surprising that there were gay couples getting married today in San Francisco. On a Saturday. I found it hard to believe that City Hall would be open on a weekend to service these requests.  A quick visit to the San Francisco City Hall web site confirmed my suspicions – they aren’t open on the weekends.  
But they are today.  
I wonder who is footing the bill for those employees who are coming in today so that these couples can be legally married?  Is that overtime pay?  How is that being funded?  From tax revenues, I assume?  
Who authorizes this expenditure?  How often are similar exceptions made for heterosexual couples?  Does this seem fair?  Critics will complain that this is a little thing, but it’s indicative of the fact that we aren’t dealing with a government that is neutral on these issues – we are dealing with certain governments that are actively pushing and encouraging these things, taking sides.  Not just taking sides but taking sides at taxpayers expense.  If the law of the land says that gay couples now have the right to marry, so be it.  I may not like it but I am bound to abide by it.  What I am *not* bound to is having my tax dollars go to fund opening government facilities and pay for government utilities and pay government employees (overtime or otherwise) because a particular government entity wants to show special consideration to these gay couples.  
That is not equality.  That is not fairness.  It is partiality of the sort that opponents of gay marriage are routinely belittled for.  Certainly there are other city halls that won’t be open to accommodate such requests today.  But I’m betting that not being open isn’t an attempt to slight gay couples – it’s merely consistent with the fact that they’re not open on the weekends in general.
Don’t but this not separate but equal line.  It’s not true.  Not on this first day, and not in the years to come.  

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