Equality for All or Quinoa Equals Mashed Potatoes

Today is the second day that the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. I won’t go into the specifics of what each of those means because most people have a pretty good idea already: same-sex marriage. If you are on Facebook, you can’t help but notice how many people have changed their profile photos to some version of the equality sign so I had to get in on the act and make one that I feel represents my food service industry history.

On April 2nd, I will celebrate my one year wedding anniversary with my husband. One year of marriage may not seem all that impressive, but April 2nd will actually be our 22nd anniversary of being together. We spent the first twenty years or so waiting for people to realize that our relationship does not affect anyone else’s and thankfully, New York State came to that realization in July of 2011. I think a lot of people don’t fully understand how same-sex marriage is absolutely non-threatening to the rest of the world. Maybe if I put it it in terms of food, it will make more sense.

If you go into a restaurant and look at the menu and see something that you would never order you simply order something else. If you don’t want to eat quinoa you order the mashed potatoes instead. What you don’t do is scour the restaurant to see if anyone else ordered quinoa so you can tell them how much you hate it. You don’t make a cardboard sign that says “God Hates Quinoa” and picket their table. If they order quinoa and it sits on their plate and their plate alone, how will that affect your plate of mashed potatoes? I can’t think of any way that it would. Therefore, you simply eat your mashed potatoes and they eat their quinoa and both of you enjoy your dinner. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

If you are a raw vegan and only eat cold zucchini lasagna with almond cheese that is your decision. Personally, I don’t understand it but that does not mean that I think all raw vegan restaurants that serve cold zucchini lasagna with almond cheese should be shut down. I just make a conscious decision to eat elsewhere. Just like that person is not going to go to my favorite bar-b-q place and order brisket with mac and cheese. Vegans and carnivores can live happily amongst each other and they just agree to disagree. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

Maybe someone thinks same-sex marriage is wrong because it’s unfamiliar to them and therefore scary. It’s like me and seafood. I didn’t grow up eating seafood of any kind and as an adult, I still hated it. What I eventually realized was that when I said “I hate seafood,” what I meant to say was “I am unfamiliar with seafood.” Gradually, I tried it and now there are a few items that I like. No, I don’t expect straight people to dabble in the world of homosexuality to see if they like it. I just expect people to open up their horizons a little bit and be willing to see if it’s something they can tolerate instead of hate. When I first tried shrimp, I tolerated it and now I like it. Is it my favorite thing to eat? No, but I don’t shudder at the thought of a plate of shrimp as I did when I refused to consider the possibility that shrimp can be very good and it is not threatening. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

Lots of people are against same-sex marriage because they think the Bible says it’s wrong. I know that Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” But what about Leviticus 11:7-8? It says, “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you” Have another bacon cheeseburger and consider that maybe every line of the Bible isn’t exactly correct.

I know that in time, this country will recognize same sex marriage as a right. It’s happening and honestly, it’s happening faster than I ever expected it to. Forty years from now, it will seem silly that there was a time when so many people were against it. I hope that the Supreme Court makes the right decision. Marriage is something that everyone should have a right to; gay, straight or even that drunk couple who met at a casino in Vegas and got married by an Elvis impersonator two hours later. Seriously, they have a right to get married and people who have been together for thirty years and raised children together don’t? It makes no sense.

Remember this: same-sex marriage is just like letting someone at the next table order quinoa when you order mashed potatoes. A starch is a starch and a marriage is a marriage. They’re just different.

I hope you will share this post. It would mean a lot to me if you did and you can consider it an anniversary gift to me and my husband, Mark.

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48 thoughts on “Equality for All or Quinoa Equals Mashed Potatoes

  1. Attitudey Judey

    Bitchy, you are my damn idol sir!Congrats on your first anniversary together! So happy for both YOU and YOUR HUSBAND! Also, WELL SAID! I will share this with my facebook friends! Keep up the awesome blogging sir!

  2. Sarah Jackson

    I love quinoa. I love mashed potatoes. I love your blogs. I go out of my way to make time to read what you have to say and have been following you for quite some time. This is my favorite one yet. Happy Anniversary to you and yours! XO

  3. Anonymous

    Amen BW! Amen! My uncle is gay and has been with his partner for 20 years. They aren't hurting anyone and neither are you and Mark. Congrats on your anniversary! I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision too!

  4. Anonymous

    As always, eloqunetly stated my friend, as only the Bitchy Waited could state it! Happy upcoming anniversary, and hope to see you & Mark again in 2014 when we visit the City as a family for the first time since we moved out to Mpls 5-1/2 years ago. :-D-Eli

  5. Alicia C.

    Happy Anniversary! Spent Many years in this industry, and this is a perfect way to explain this issue. Really, how can you argue with this logic?! Love it! Re-posting!

  6. Paulina

    Congratulations on your anniversary. When I read the 3rd paragraph I thought I must ask the bitchy waiter for permission to share this. Thanks. And now you go and have a big party, Mister.

  7. Anonymous

    Happy anniversary! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let's order a tasty quinoa and mashed taters plates for the judges supreme along with your explanation! Keeping fingers crossed for their decision. ~PolishSpring

  8. Elliott Taylor

    The closed mind set of the anti-equality crowd:I don't know what quinoa is and I don't want to know, because if I knew what quinoa is I might try it and if I try it I might like it and I am pretty sure I don't like it…-Credit to Quentin Crisp for the original train of thought.

  9. Newman

    I think the problem is that quinoa and mashed potatoes are not the same thing. We have different words for them because they are different. I'm not down with forcing mashed potatoes on a quinoa lover or vice versa, but it gets confusing when you try to tell lovers of both that they're eating the same thing. That's the heart of the debate, I believe, and your metaphor does nothing to help with that. And to be a little more clear on my stance before I get piled on and accused of anything – I don't believe its the government's job to define the difference between quinoa and mashed potatoes. The government should simply acknowledge that both exist and that there are some similarities between them as far as the law is concerned (taxes, hippa laws, etc.) But we shouldn't be calling one thing by the name of another and vice versa, and the government shouldn't be involved either way. The government doesn't get to say what is or isn't marriage. I think your metaphor demonstrates that point excellently.

  10. The Bride

    By using your analogy I'd have to describe my sex life as being on a carb-free diet at the moment;-). Now if you could just get the average person to pronounce quinoa properly the wold would need be a better place! Happy anniversary to you both.

  11. Anonymous

    "I may not be the same, but that's not important. No freedom 'till we're equal. Damn right I support it. -Same Love by Macklemore. I suggest you check out the song, it's great.

  12. Anonymous

    Happy 22 of one and wish you 22 of the other. Thanks for the post.Never mind quinoa and mashed potatoes, I never imagined a bitchy waiter could be such a delight.

  13. Tracy

    Here's what I think about the first testament and Leviticus…1. the Jewish people realized that when they ate shellfish, they got sick a lot, probably because they lived in a effing desert and couldn't keep it from spoiling… if they got sick, they probably died, and that would make less of people…2. they realized that then they ate pork, they also got sick and the pigs would give them colds and vice versa, so they banned that too, because more sick people meant less people…3. they realized that if men had sex with men, no babies would be born, so they banned it, because no babies, meant less people, biologically this is why we reproduce, to spread our genes to the next generation. 4. they banned sex with women on their periods because it just gross to do that…and on and on, it's more of a self preservation thing than anything else.Jesus was the new covenant, He said, "love one another as I have loved you", or something like that, I need to google to be for sure, but what is really important is that love was the new commandment. To love yourself and love others…You should be proud of what you wrote, it was really good…

  14. Katy

    Happy early anniversary! this post is awesome! I shared it because of your eloquent comparison of mashed potatoes. I am a straight ally, and was hoping to see a post about it. you never let me down! I have always been proud of my home state (Iowa–who woulda thunk?–) keepfighting the good fight, and keep bitching about the restaurant biz!

  15. Anonymous

    Your quinoa example is fine, if that was all there was to it. But for the government/courts to proclaim that quinoa is as good/normal/legal/common as potatoes gives carte-blanche to the pro-quinoa group to use government funds and public schools to promote quinoa to children, starting in kindergarten. What do you get if you teach children from age 5 through 18 that quinoa is as good/normal/legal/common as potatoes? You get a lot more quinoa lovers.Also, the government must then subsidize quinoa farmers; make a "National Quinoa Day" and a "Quinoa Parade"; and pay for research into and treatment for any strange diseases that pop up predominantly amongst quinoa eaters. If quinoa eaters constitute less than 5% of the population, is it fair to hand the other 95% the bill for all this expense?Why not stick with potatoes as the preferred diet as the USA has done since independence?

  16. Anonymous

    I love when you write about gay marriage equality. And I do know in my deepest of hearts there will be so much facepalming and shame when a majority realise that hey, it's just not so bad! P.S I dislike quinoa strongly. It stuck out my flat last week…

  17. Karissa

    Of my Facebook "friends" posted this yesterday:"Point of clarification and a Christian perspective: To take a stand on the Biblical definition of marriage does NOT mean that I am filled with hatred, loathing, intolerance, or any kind of 'phobia' towards anyone who has chosen a different path….quite the contrary! It means that I recognize God as the ultimate authority on the subject. I BELIEVE in HIS design for the world. This is MY choice. If you haven't read the Bible, do so….beginning to end. If you still disagree with HIS design for the world HE created after reading HIS WORDS…..you'll get your opportunity to take it up with HIM one day. Just remember… in the end, HE WINS and so do ALL who stand WITH him!!! I take this stand because I intend to be among them and pray that ALL I call family or friend will be, too!"I'm sorry, but they are all batshit crazy. Loved your post, Bitchy. Happy Anniversary to you!As a rebuttal to the above words, I still don't understand how someone having that personal belief can feel they have the right to force that belief on others. If they really feel their mystical and magical god will stand in judgement of all of the sinners one day, then why do they care if gay couples are allowed to marry? They should be happy that they won't have to share their heaven with all of the sinners, right? Crazy Jesus freaks…

  18. Val

    Happy anniversary! I'm straight, but I completely support gay marriage. Everyone should have the right to love and marry who they choose. The heart wants what the heart wants.

  19. Anonymous

    Very creative description of this issue. This may help some see marriage from a different "menu". Proud of your statement and blog, son. Love you, Dad. Happy Anniversary.

  20. Practical Parsimony

    As for not having sex during a woman's period, that it is gross is not the answer. Women were still feared when they bled profusely for a week and lived. They did his with the seasons of the moon. How scary is that? The women had powerful magic and no man should get his penis near that much powerful magic. So, women were banished to a hut during the period. The Bible should be read as a product of the times then. As for 'tolerating' same sex marriage, that word,'tolerate,' makes it sound like we should allow something to exist that is really not good or right or different. We should 'tolerate' blue eyes because they are not predominate? We should 'tolerate' tattoos since we don't like them? In short, 'tolerate' is not a word I would use in this case. I went to a food bank at a Southern Baptist church in the South, taking an autistic woman that I tutored. She went to the food bank and was told that because she was my friend and hung out with me, she could never come back. She called me. I was on my way there and went in and asked why. The person who told her this came outside and said he did tell her that neither of us could come. He denied telling her that he said I was not a Christian. I kept at it. He finally said the church refused to support my lifestyle. Huh?So, did he mean he thought I was a lesbian? I am a dedicated heterosexual just because I love potatoes and have no desire for quinoa. What do you think? I hate to admit I go to a food bank, but I swallow my pride and tell people in town. (100% disability and small ss)Because I have been divorced for over 20 years and have female friends, I suppose people think I am a lesbian. Besides, I have an ignorant acquaintance that thinks that since I have been to the homes of gays during Christmas, that I am gay. I am a supporter of gays and was given an award at a church far away for my stance. However, I am being mistreated in this small town because of rumors, hate, and the church. These people would not do as Jesus did and talk with what they perceive to be sinners.

  21. Haruka

    My wife and I 'married' when it wasn't legal in Canada back in 1999. After it became legal, we married legally on our ten-year anniversary in 2009. I really hope those in the US will all gain that same right.

  22. Josh A.

    Happy anniversary, however I feel I should point out an error in your argument. The argument being made in the courts against gay marriage is not that it will hurt society. The point is that marriage benefits are extended to heteros because straight marriage has proven to benefit society. Gay marriage has not proven to benefit society (not yet anyway). So, the argument against it is not that gays will hurt society, just that they have not proven to help society, therefore are not deserving of benefits.

  23. Ami

    Came here via link from CNN. Adding you to my sidebar. Love your blog.
    Another straight ally here, married 32 years. Your marriage doesn’t threaten mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Tristan

    I was unaware that you were in fact gay- but genuine congrats on your anniversary, and i stand by you and the gay community 100%. It is a persons decision & choice on who they want to spend their life with. It is not harming others. And those that are against it & “hate” it are ignorant. I love you Bible reference also, well said. I swear, if you werent gay, id have to snatch you up! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your wit, dry humor & views on life & people… we think a lot alike… i posted recently on your facebook page that my dream is to live in new york- its just so expensive & im a southern girl from north georgia in the mountains- but im obsessed with new york & i want to become a new yorker, so when i finally make it up there one day & i will ๐Ÿ™‚ i am def looking you up- id love to meet you & your husband too- we could go out for drinks one night, on me of course ๐Ÿ™‚ but you get me & many others im sure thru our what would be miserable days at our many restaurants. keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll support you & always have your back!

  25. GAAAH!

    What a weak analogy! Don’t you know that gay marriage doesn’t just affect gays who get married? A baker in Colorado was forced against his will to make a gay wedding cake, even though he was willing to provide cakes for the couple for other occasions. He also stated that he wouldn’t make a cake for a white supremacist rally. I don’t think that people should be forced to participate in what they don’t believe in, and that’s the problem with gay marriage.

    I can’t wait for the Bulverism, ad hominem attacks, and ridiculous strawman arguments. Go ahead, make my day.


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