February 24, 2004
Amend This! The Case for Gay Marriage.
by The Angry Liberal
Everybody run for the hills! Get your families into your bomb shelters and root cellars and bar the doors! No, al Qaida didn't get its hands on one of Iraq's fictitious nukes. It's worse than that. Even after a nuclear blast, a major city would be inhabitable . . . eventually. But how could America possibly recover from . . . dare I say it? Homosexual men and women getting married! AAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGG!!!!!
Okay, I'm finished with the sarcasm. For those who haven't heard, it has been legal for gay and lesbian couples to obtain a marriage license in the city of San Francisco for the last ten days. Since then, over 3,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the city. And do you know what I've noticed? The sky is still overhead. My mortgage company still wants monthly payments. George W. Bush still can't pronounce the word "nuclear." By all accounts, nothing in America has changed. The fact that gays and lesbians getting married hasn't forced the earth out of its orbit and sent it careening toward the sun hasn't stopped the righteous-wingers from wetting themselves all across the nation. Included in this group is the most incontinent president in recent U.S. history, George W. "If anybody needs me I'll be cowering under this National Guard cot" Bush. On Thursday, Bush had this to say:
And what decision is being influenced by gay couples getting married? His decision to let the traitors within his administration who sold out Ambassador Joseph Wilson's CIA operative wife continue to perform their duties? His decision to forego a serious effort to capture Osama bin Laden and divert resources from fighting terrorism to ousting Saddam Hussein? No, employing traitors doesn't bother Bush and company in the least, and hell, the fake threat in Iraq might actually help him get re-elected. But gays marrying each other? Now, that's got to stop.
It's clear to anybody who wants to read the constitution that denying a marriage license to a couple on the basis of the gender of that couple's members is patently unconstitutional and that doing so causes a boatload of harm to that couple (denial of spousal health insurance benefits, denial of automatic inheritance and survivorship rights, etc.). Therefore, no court in the land is going to enforce any ban on gay marriage currently in place with the crummy constitution we Americans are forced to live under. It turns out we need a constitution that takes away civil rights if the United States is going to remain a Conservative Capitalist Christian State. So the second-rate minds that told us that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons are now contemplating a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Yes, Americans won't rest until we've given gays and lesbians the constitutional finger.
Okay, not everybody is thrilled when they see two guys kiss on television. Everybody has different turn-offs, at least if I've been reading my Playmate bios correctly. Unfortunately for the people on the wrong side of this debate, which seems to be a majority of Americans at present, the "because it creeps me out" argument isn't going to cut much legal ice in the portion of the United States outside of Alabama. Besides, I'm sure that Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter wouldn't be thrilled watching my wife and me sliding lips, either. So let's put that irrelevant argument aside and really discuss what gay marriage would be in America.
1. Gay marriage isn't about gay sex. That's already legal. For those who may have forgotten, by a 6-3 decision last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas sodomy law, and by implication, all other sodomy laws. In other words, those 3,000+ gay and lesbian couples who got married in San Francisco over the last couple of weeks have been having and will continue to have perfectly legal sex whether they are married or not, and no constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage will stop that. Gay marriage is about two people of the same sex standing before their friends and families and promising to spend the rest of their lives together. I find it impossible to believe that any thoughtful American would feel the need to amend the Constitution to prevent a mutual promise. The real irony here is that the group whose ass is chapped the most by gay marriage is the "pro-marriage" folks. As usual, they are sounding off all across the nation, brains in neutral and mouths wide open. They should be called "Pro-straight marriage" folks. Hey, this could be the next KKK! These morons could dress up in white wedding gowns with veils to protect their identities, and ride around San Francisco, burning wedding cakes on the front lawns of happily married gay and lesbian couples. But I digress . . .
2. Marriage isn't about procreation. Hey, I've been to a few weddings in my time, including my own. Never have I heard a line in a marriage vow that includes a requirement that the couple have children. The vows typically consist of stuff about love, honor, cherish, in sickness and in health, well, you know the rest. While many expect a marriage to produce offspring, the legitimacy of an American marriage is not measured by the number of children produced by the couple participating in it. Therefore, anybody who argues that marriage should be limited to heterosexuals because homosexual couples can't reproduce is wrong vis-à-vis marriage and reproduction. This argument would necessitate the denial of marriage licenses to infertile couples, and I'm guessing that movement isn't gathering much steam.
3. Gay marriage would not "threaten the sanctity of the institution," whatever the hell that means. That's right. Since marriage is about taking and honoring vows, the only folks who threaten the sanctity of the institution of marriage are those who break their vows. If Americans wish to protect the sanctity of marriage, they could very well start by denying marriage licenses to Republicans. Dubya's own brother, Neil, recently completed a messy divorce from his wife, Sharon. Adultery played a factor. Then there are Republican icons Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, with one and two marriages ended via affairs, respectively. In short, until the pro-marriage folks do something about their own, who have been wiping their backsides with their marriage vows, they have absolutely no business talking about anybody else's marriage threatening whatever sanctity that the institution of marriage may still possess. Any couple, straight or gay, that can make and honor marriage vows is upholding the sanctity of marriage. Period.
4. Kids will not be harmed by gays getting married. Unless you consider that kids have been somehow harmed by learning that two members of the same sex can be in a committed relationship, you have no leg to stand on. Again, I submit that heterosexual divorce and infidelity is infinitely more harmful to children than gay marriage. The Chickens-Little on the right can talk about damage to children the minute they fix the divorce problem in America.
5. God hates fags. BUZZZZZZZZZ! I'm sorry, that sound means you just lost your court case! With the exception of some easily overturned courts located in America's Ignorance Belt, no federal court has any interest in your dumb-assed opinion of what might or might not offend God. Thanks for playing.
Well, kids, that's all I've got. You're welcome to send me your arguments against gay marriage, and you're also welcome to have fun poked at you in some future column if you do. In the meantime, I congratulate the 3,000 gay and lesbian couples who availed themselves of the right to marry in San Francisco. Those of us who understand the issue are rooting for you. I certainly hope you'll have more success honoring the sanctity of marriage than we heteros have had, but nobody's going to hold you to a different standard, regardless of what the hand-wringers on the right say. Finally, until Bush and his cohorts can offer a single example of harm that befalls America by two people, any two people, promising to spend their lives together, maybe we ought to hold off on the rush to amend. Remember how successful Bush's last "rush to judgment" turned out?
Hey, speaking of Bush, how about an amendment calling for the immediate resignation of any president of the United States whose lies result in the loss of American lives? Just a thought . . .
(Just for the record, Mr. and Ms. Angry Liberal have been happily married for nearly eleven years. Unlike some Republican divorcees who give lip service to the sanctity of marriage, we honor it by staying married as promised. So there.)
otherwise noted, all original