Friday, March 29, 2013

Marriage Equality

I almost titled this article "The Gay Marriage Debate", but I decided against it.  For one thing, I don't believe there is such a thing as 'gay' marriage.  If two people love each other, whether they are of opposite or same gender, and they choose to get married, that's a marriage.  Homosexuals don't pay gay taxes, don't put gay gasoline into gay cars, and don't eat gay food (unless it's quiche, which is pretty gay).  Therefore, they don't get gay married; they just get married.  Furthermore, I didn't feel the word 'debate' was appropriate, because as far as I'm concerned, there is no legitimate debate against same-sex marriage.

Of course, as with all civil rights issues, there are people who oppose equality.  They'll give a multitude of reasons, but anyone with half a brain and a quarter of a heart can see that the sole reason is bigotry.  There's no excuse, no exceptions.  There's no logical argument for the opposition to equality.  If you are against equality for any person or group of people, then you need to go peel that American flag sticker off of your vehicle.  (It's right next to your stick figure family, diagonally across from your support ribbon.)

Let's take a look at some of the bigots... er... traditionalists arguments, and why they're as bogus as... a thing... that's really bogus.  Sigh.  I feel dumber just considering some of these arguments long enough to write about them.

"It's against the bible."

My answer to that: Who gives a shit?  If you truly believe in the freedoms you're guaranteed by our constitution, then you shouldn't.  It's right there in the first sentence of the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."  This means that when someone's argument is "But America is a Christian nation!" the proper response is "Bullshit! Read the constitution."  Or if you want to be a little more classy than that, "Horsefeathers!  Familiarize yourself with the constitution of this nation!"  You can call them a rube, too, if you think they can take the sting that they'll surely feel.

It bothers me that so many people use their religion as an excuse to behave like bigoted hypocrites.  All religions teach "the golden rule" or some variation of it.  Basically, treat others as you want to be treated.  Yet, a lot of people of every religion seem to have missed that very basic lesson.  If you, being straight, can get married to anybody you want, then a gay person should be able to marry the person of his or her choosing, too.  That's fair.

And let's suppose for just a moment that our forefathers, in their powdered wigs and shiny pants, hadn't put the guarantee of religious freedom into the very first amendment of the new constitution they were drafting.  Suppose that the official religion of the country was Christianity, but that otherwise our society had progressed to the point it's at now more or less in the same way.  People love to tell you that  homosexuality is forbidden in the book of Leviticus, but what they don't typically mention is that cutting your hair or your beard, getting tattoos, or even wearing blended fabrics is also forbidden.  So, if you want to tell me that homosexuality is wrong, stop cutting your hair and shaving your face (that means no mustache waxing, ladies), have that tribal nonsense lasered off your arm, and throw out all of your comfortable 50 cotton/50 poly hoodies.  Then you can talk to me about why a gay person shouldn't be allowed to get married.

"It's against nature."

If nature made straight people, then nature made gay people.  End of story.  I had a collie named Kelsie growing up, and one time I saw her have gay dog sex with another bitch.  (Yeah, I know it's immature that I smirked as I typed that sentence.)  If having sex with a member of the same sex was against nature, nobody notified my dog.  And there were probably gay and bisexual cavemen.  I have no way to prove that, but you have no way to disprove it.

"It's not normal."

I'm assuming that people who use this line of 'logic' are saying that it's not a social norm for same-sex couples to wed.  But can somebody really be that blind to history?  At one point it wasn't 'normal' for a black person to wed a white person.  It wasn't 'normal' at one time for women to have the right to vote.  It wasn't 'normal' to not own slaves if you had a plantation to run.  It wasn't 'normal' to listen to rock and roll music, and before that it wasn't 'normal' to listen to jazz.

Things change.  Social norms fluctuate.  It's a cliche, but it's true: you either change with the times, or you get left behind.  When you open your mouth and hateful, bigoted garbage flows out like vomit from Katy Perry's mouth (or vomit from my mouth when I hear a Katy Perry song), rational people aren't going to want to listen to anything else you have to say.

"But if a man can marry another man, what's to stop someone from marryin' a cow?"

Yes, this is an actual idiotic comment I heard an idiotic hick make once.  Really, if that's your line of thinking, I'd have to guess that you have a secret desire to marry a cow.  And if that's the case, then you should be for gay marriage, since you apparently believe that two consenting adults of the same sex getting married will somehow open the floodgates of wackiness, and wacky marriages such as man and cow, woman and toaster oven, or female-type robot to genderless humanoid goat creature will follow.

'Consenting' is obviously the important word there.  Two men or two women can consent to marry one another.  A cow, no matter how much it seems to love you, cannot.  Therefore, it makes sense and is okay for two bros or two hos to get married, but does not make sense and is not okay for you to divorce your gross wife and marry that sexy, sexy bovine.  Go ahead and divorce your wife if you want, but leave the cow alone.

I think that's enough points and counterpoints.  Not that you need a counterpoint to any of those arguments, because those arguments are as flimsy as... a really... flimsy... piece of... something.  Dammit.  It was clear to me as I started typing this, and it became clearer still as I typed each paragraph, that the true reasoning is simple bigotry, and the things people site as their reasons are just after-the-fact excuses for the hate.

I have a lot of friends who support marriage equality despite what their own sexual orientation is.  I'm proud to see so many of them voicing their support on facebook and in person.  It's embarrassing to me as a human being that there are still so many people in our country opposed to equality.  But I do take solace in something that I heard Jon Stewart say years ago.  I have to paraphrase because I don't have, and don't where to find, the exact quotation, but essentially he said that any time in the history of our country that people have pushed for civil rights, those who opposed have eventually been overcome.

Even Bill O'Reilly agrees that those opposing same-sex marriage have no legitimate argument.  And when Bill O'Reilly is saying anything in support of what could be called a 'liberal cause', either the world is about to end or the 'liberal cause' is absolutely and clear-cuttedly in the right.  (My spellcheck claims "clear-cuttedly" isn't a word, but I'm not buying it.)

Come on, America.  It's time that equality applies to everyone.  That is, after all, an inherent part of the word equality, is it not?  It's time that gay couples should be free to marry, because (insert lame joke about gay couples having the right to be as miserable as straight, married couples here).


  1. Everyone gay or straight IS equal under the law as it relates to their Constitutional rights. We all have the right to love, congregate with, have legal contracts with, and have sex with however we want.

    Marriage is a separate issue. If marriage were a right, you wouldn't need a license to get one. Marriage is not a constitutional right, it is a legal distinction given to couples & comes with multitude of legal and tax benefits, provided said couples meet certain criteria.

    So let's keep in mind when we argue the government should "legalize love", that love is NOT a criteria for marriage, and that there is no such thing as the "freedom to marry". You only have the so-called "freedom to marry" if you meet the requirements for marriage in your state.

    The criteria for marriage is not set in stone and should be decided by the people. The criteria for marriage should be a testament to the moral and societal attitudes of the people.

    Perhaps there is no legitimate argument against gay marriage - it doesn't matter. It's not a rights issue, its a social issue that is subject to the whims of the people. Democracy rules when it comes to these issues, and we should keep it that way. If you don't like it, then change minds. Don't petition the government to create rights where they don't exist - it's a slippery slope.

  2. I disagree. It is a rights issue. Marriage is a legal process, meaning it involves the law, meaning it involves lawmakers (meaning the government). The government cannot deny legal rights to a certain group of people, despite what the social whims are.

    It is not a slippery slope. What would the fallout be if same-sex couples were allowed to wed? It's already legal in a handful of states, and I'm fairly certain that life has continued on as it did before in those states.

    1. Marriage is not a right precisely because it is a legal process, requiring the sanctioning of society at large in order to exist. It's a man-made institution that's primary function (from a legal standpoint) is social engineering. That's a far cry from the negative rights philosophy of the Constitution, where the government's function is protect your individual rights, rather than bestow them. The Constitution does not grant you the right speak freely, it prohibits the government from trying to censor you.

      Same-sex marriage itself is not the 'slippery slope' part - the individual States reserve the right to define marriage as whatever they like, and the Federal government should recognize all marriages and extend federal benefits and protection. This is why it is equally wrong for the Federal government to define marriage in any way, or compel the States to overturn the will of the people when it comes to issues not related to fundamental individual rights.

      The slippery slope exists in the discussion of same-sex marriage, where the loudest arguments on both sides are rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of rights and how the government is supposed to operate. The government shouldn't legislate based on 'love' any more than it should in favor of God's opinion.

      Personally, I think any couple intent on raising a family should be extended the legal benefits of marriage. Gay, straight, blood-related even, I don't care. I don't see why a couple not planning on a family should get those benefits - just because they're in love? Seems a bit unfair (dare I say discriminatory?) for all those poor saps who haven't been so lucky. In any case, that's just my opinion, and I'll vote for it.

  3. Some good points, though keep in mind that you don't have to be in love to get married. Quite a few people have married for money, power, or some other ulterior motive.

    Also, I guess any points/counterpoints related to the constitution may be moot, because every time I look at it I see items that our government seems to bend to their benefit, and others that are ignored entirely.

    Your use of the word "institution" reminds me of the Groucho Marx quote, "Marriage is an institution. But who wants to live in an institution?" (I think that was Groucho, though it may be misattributed.) That has nothing to do with my stance, but why not share a Groucho quote when you can?