Monday, October 8, 2012

Marriage equality? Why not?

In the recent years, a real revolutionary idea gains support all over Europe and other regions of our world: Marriage equality for all human beings, or more simply the debate for civil partnerships and gay marriages.

Until  now, marriage was considered an institution that applied only between a man and a woman. That is what our religion and traditions taught us. On that belief we formed our societies and all moral laws to make them work and be coherent. So is it any wonder that any radical change in this institution, finds so many conservatives radically opposing it!

Well it is always one corrupt establishment that is staunchly against gay marriage and anything coming from the gay community: The Church. Especially the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches in Europe are the worse offenders. The Protestant Churches are more tolerant, that is why we see in those countries more progress and acceptance.

When the priests preach about "God's will" isn't it ironic that they think that love between two men or two women is shameful, punishable and unchristian, yet the rape of boys and abuse of many children in general committed by them, especially by the Catholic Church is something that they can commit and get away with it? For centuries the priests, monks and nuns of the Catholic Church were abusing and raping children all over Europe, Africa and Latin America. What a hypocrisy!

And all this because the Church is dominated by corrupt, narrow minded bigoted males. No gay man or woman will ever find peace and equality as long as these men are allowed to pour their bile and poison Christianity's true message, that is a message of love and tolerance.

And what about other regions of the world? In a recent article published in the Economist, we read about the unhappy marriages that many women in China suffer, simply because their husbands are gay. To hide their homosexuality they marry unsuspected women. But these marriages of course are loveless, sad unions. So both men and the women they marry fall victims of the society's outdated "morality." So there goes Asia's and other conservative countries' argument that homosexuality is a "western disease".

In many regions of Africa, Japan, India, and the Arab states, they boast that homosexuals simply do not exist in their countries and only western countries "suffer" from this disease. Well in the above mentioned article we see why. Unhappy marriages, unhappy lives, forced to live together with a person that you do not love or are attracted to. And what a pity for those women too. Cultures like these just create unhappy and unproductive people, easy to manipulate and guide; human robots.

Because human sexuality is highly linked with human creativity and freedom of thought. If you can express yourself freely sexually, then you can express yourself creatively in all other spheres of your life. Suppress the first and then you control all the other. That has been and is happening in Europe and the "West" in general as we speak.

And it is why the Christian Church like most oppressive religions like Islam, Judaism Catholicism and so on, the first thing they do is to suppress human sexuality, outcast homosexuality and even ban masturbation itself!! No wonder this world has so many messed up people. It is a crime against humanity, and if I could, I would sue any religion and its leaders that promotes such barbaric ideologies for crimes against humanity.

So many "straight" people do not reach their full potential because some of them are just breeders. Their only purpose in this world is to make children. And not only raise children, but make sure they baptize them as soon as possible and initiate them into a dogma or religion. "Multiply the flock of God!" As if they have no other use or grace. But then they simply remain in their animal status and never progress as human beings intellectually or spiritually, if their only use is to procreate and the only legacy they leave behind is their children.

 You see, some people have only yin in them. Some others have only yang and they desperately are trying to find the opposite to feel whole and fulfilled. They can not exist unless they are in some union with the oposite sex only. Some people though have both yin and yang in them, so they do not need the opposite sex to feel fulfilled.

They only need another human being of any sex or orientation, that will be able to connect with them spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Who would you value more; a wife beater husband, an alcoholic dad, a useless mother and bad wife, or a person with developed spirituality and intellect, no matter of what sex, age, color or sexuality he or she belongs!

Marriages should be among two human souls, not just two farm animals that procreate and produce more workers. I know I put it a bit bluntly, but that's what it is. Any two people who want to share their lives together, should be able to do so. We only find gay "marriages" weird and a threat because we are used to see only "straight" ones.

 Besides, we do not discuss of having two men, one in a dress and one in a tuxedo in a church, having the exact same ceremony as a straight couple. Rather about a legal platform, that will give both gay and straight marriages the same and equal status.

To protect two lovers that live together for years from any legal action by the family of either party, in the case of one of them passes. Or in the case of any legal action of one party against the other in the case that  the relationship ends.

Or give the same protection and rights in a case that one partner is a non-EU national, just as any straight person can have his/her rights protected when he/she marries an EU national. So in other words, marriage equality should be passed in a pan-European level and accepted, protected and promotes in all European states. There should be no divisions on this issue either.

And how about adoption? Well for the moment I do not favor such move as I believe it is too soon for a society to digest both the marriage and the adoption. Not that I believe that gay parents are any less competent in raising a child than a straight couple. If any alcoholic, drug user, violent criminal or a religious fanatic can have the right to have children, then why not a gay person?

I just think that it will take some time for our societies to fully accept a child that comes from a gay marriage. And for the child's best interests, I think that for the moment we should focus on pushing for marriage equality.

That of course should not exclude the case of one parent already having one or more children from a straight relationship, to have his/her gay partner able to adopt these children if their natural parent proves unwilling to contribute to their upbringing.

Or he/she is simply dead. Many women find themselves in gay relationships with other women after an abusive marriage to a man and in many cases they are already mothers. If their former husbands are unfitting or indifferent in the upbringing of their children, why can't the new gay partner of that mother adopt the children and provide for them?

Having said that, I find that many people in the gay community are not ready either for such progressive changes. They simply do not understand the concept of love, because nobody has taught them that during their lives. Many gay people are lost in obsessions, sexual addictions, fear, various complexes and a constant search to find themselves, to be able to commit to one person and only, or even worse have children.

 I do not blame them. They have been systematically bullied, mocked, forced to live a double secret life and it is not wonder that they seem lost. But they will only recover and act as normal human beings, when the society stops discriminating against them, slander them and mock them in every chance they get.

It is simply what I have said above: the destructive influence of religion's indoctrination and fanatic dogmas against human sexuality for many centuries, that created empty shelled people, messed up, desperately in need in finding acceptance, love and a purpose. Many gay people live their lives as "normal" straight people, only to seek the occasional sexual experience in a public space to satisfy their needs.

Sex is what identifies them as homosexuals and for them it is usually something shameful and they try to hide it, never accepting it. Others feel that homosexuality is a "culture" and they identify themselves only through the gay community and certain bars, music artists, bands, occasions, events or programs. In other words they broke out of the ghetto bars or parks that gay people used to meet in secret to satisfy their sexual needs, only to create a new ghetto, this time in their own minds!

For me being gay is only a part of who one person is, not who she/he is. And I dream that one day, people will chose their partners not according to age, sex, sexual orientation, color, race, religion or ethnic background. Rather to what they see in the other person's soul and heart, according to compatibility, common traits, values, according to chemistry, attraction and the emotions that one evoke to another. Simply two souls embracing and loving each other, not two mammals that need to procreate.

Not that I am against marriage between members of the opposite sex. On the contrary I believe that finding a person that can be your other half and spend your life with, turning the "me" into "we" is the greatest achievement that one can achieve. The ultimate challenge and goal that any human being should strive to achieve, in order to grow as a spirit and entity.

But in some cases our other half is not necessarily what we would expect it to be, of the race, sex or age that we would expect. So why waste or limit so much potential? And remember, not too many decades ago, it was unthinkable for a person of one race to marry a member of another race! I hope soon one day we will end the taboo of sex and sexual orientation too.

Should Catalonia and Scotland become independent?

On September 11th, 2012, a march in favor of self-determination was held in Catalonia, with city police estimating that up to 1.5 million people took part. And this comes not long after the announcement that Scotland will have a referendum in 2014 regarding its independence from the United Kingdom! How will Europe look like in the future and what new challenges await us all with the new change of the continent's borders?

If those two countries (or regions) achieve their goal of independence, then how many more in Europe are likely to follow suit? Wallonia, Sardinia, Corsica, Wales and perhaps many more regions will bid for independence. Are we prepared for this new reality, and what impact will all this have in our continent's future politics and economy?

Personally I am split between supporting the will and the wishes of the people of those regions and being a bit more cautious on the impact that this will have in an already troublesome European economy. I am just not sure that now is the time for such moves; in fact sadly, I believe that it is time for more unity.

Part of me thinks: what is the point of having too many new states in Europe, since we are working for European integration? A more federal Spain, United Kingdom or any other state that faces the same issues, perhaps would be a better solution. Give them more freedoms for self governance. Because I am sure when they gain their independence from Spain, they will rejoin the EU as Catalonia or Scotland. Thus still have no borders between them and still not being totally independent from them.

One of the main arguments the separatists put forward to support their bid, is that Catalonia contributes 20% of Spain’s GDP but only receive back 14%. But that is true for any country! Is it all about money again?  I was talking to a Finnish lady once, and she told me that the South Finland contributes and sustains the Northern part of the country that has very few natural resources. The Helsinki region in fact supports the north! “We send them bucket-loads of money” she said, when we compared Finland and Europe as money transfers from region to region is concerned!

She supported the idea that poorer regions in Europe should get money from richer regions of Europe, as in Finland, the south supports the north! That would be true for most countries. In Greece we have the same problem, in Italy too. Should we start breaking up all countries up? Shall we make a regional Europe, with many small regions being autonomous, while all be governed by one entity in Brussels? And if we achieve that, how easy will it be with so many smaller but more numerous voices in EU to reach to an agreement? We are having troubles now as it is!

Why don’t we create federations within a greater federation, so while Catalonia, Scotland, Corsica, Sardinia, Walloon and any other regions that wish to have more independence, remain in a more federal state formation, they will be governed in local-national, state-federal and European level? They will have their own government and parliament that will cooperate, answer and send their representatives to the Spanish one and the Spanish will do the same in its relations with the European one.

Of course that is only when the economy is concerned. There are many other issues involved, like protecting the Catalan language, culture and heritage. According to many Catalans, new laws appear from Madrid  everyday that take more and more control of Catalan culture and language.

So perhaps the change must come on a Spanish front, not just Catalonia? If the loss of language and identity is being promoted by Madrid then we are talking about potentially a full Spanish state dissolution if the Basques, the Galicians and others follow the example of Catalonia. Perhaps with the encouragement of the EU, Spain should promote more diversity of its culture and heritage. Follow the European motto: Unity in diversity!!

And of course we should be careful on how this dissolution will take place: the Yugoslavian way or the Czechoslovakian way? In most ex-Yugoslavian states, there are still supporters of Tito that remember the Yugoslavian days with a sense of longing. And they all now aspire to become EU members, thus giving up their short lived independence too soon.

Is now the best time to promote dissolution of states in Europe? How will the global markets and economy react and will this shake their confidence on the Spanish region and the euro? Possibly the Spanish region as a whole will find itself in the eye of new a storm, affecting all regions of the former Spanish state. Will such a solution be wise now, and what impact will it have in the overall Iberian and European economy? If Spain dissolves as a country, will this be the solution to the country's economic woes, or the creation of more and will the global investors be happy to invest in new emerging regions?

Perhaps this is what the global players want. To end the existence of old established European states, thus getting rid of the rigidity of the established European elites and their conservatism. So they promote, support and perhaps even fund this new surge of independence bids across Europe. Probably this is good. We need new voices and a fresh air in European politics.

But could it be possible to give the regions their autonomy in a Europe of regions? It is possible that what we need right now is a Europe of regions with their own culture, identity and governance under the umbrella of a European economic and political framework. But that means a redrawing not so much of the borders, rather the institutions and legislative powers that govern Europe so far. Are we ready for this? Should we perhaps focus on establishing a fully functioning European democracy and governance, before we move to the dissolution of the existing European states? Perhaps such moves come a bit prematurely.

Are we ready as Europeans to accept this new reality and start thinking as citizens of a region, rather a nation state? I do not wish to block any attempts for independence from any populace of Europe. Because if that was the case, then Ireland, the country I live in or Greece, the country I come from, should have never gained independence from their former colonial powers. Nevertheless, Ireland is still highly reliant in the United Kingdom or the USA economically and culturally and Greece still struggles economically as a county, relying in a great extend on Europe.

There are many reasons of course for this, that lay on the interests of people both in those countries, Europe and further abroad. But perhaps the Catalonians should be careful not to rush in any decisions and become reliant to any foreign country, group or organization, in their struggle to gain independence from Spain. What good does it make to have many small fragmented states in Europe, that are easier to manipulate? Are the Catalonians rushing to jump from the pan into the pot? Will they become what have FYROM and Montenegro become in their struggle to attract foreign investment and support, to fund their existence; another potential tax haven for big corporations!

I will respect the outcome of both referendums in Catalonia and Scotland of course and I will support the wish of the majority of the population of those nations. But I also wish that they will decide responsibly and not because a passing surge of nationalism!!