Be sure to have some Kleenex nearby as you watch this lovely video, a plea to the California Supreme Court to not render void the 18,000 legal same sex marriages performed in the state before Proposition 8 passed this past November.
Pardon me, I have something in my eye. Okay. You know, in most arguments I really try to see the opposition’s side, in order to glean some sense of why they hold a particular viewpoint (even if that viewpoint happens to go against every one of my own personal beliefs). It prevents me from wanting to just metaphorically jab them repeatedly in the forehead while screaming “WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID??” That’s not a constructive way to maintain civilized debate, after all. However, same sex marriage is one of those “social issues” where opposition to it is so beyond my comprehension I can’t even bring myself to come up with a reasonable argument in favor of it. I shouldn’t have to, because it shouldn’t be a “for/against” issue. How the right for two people who love each other and demonstrate the maturity required to maintain a healthy marriage (a skill many straight people, Yr. Correspondent included, lack, I should point out) to actually get married became a matter of national debate is simply surreal.
Not a single argument against gay marriage is valid. “It’ll make a mockery of the institute of marriage”? No, people like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez, who have five marriages lasting an average of 1.4 years between them, they make a mockery of marriage. Anyone who runs off to Las Vegas to get married “just for fun,” because it’s just as easy to get divorced and act like it never happened later, they make a mockery of marriage. It will “promote the gay lifestyle”? Are we still on this trip? Seriously? Is “promoting the gay lifestyle” part of that mythical “gay agenda,” somewhere between “buy toilet paper” and “return DVDs to Netflix”? Are there people who with a straight face can honestly say they believe that with the right to marry homosexuals will finally begin that insidious “recruitment” in our nation’s schools that homophobes have been fretting over for years, luring children with the promise of fabulous shoes and lifetime subscriptions to Details? See, I know there are people who believe that, that’s what I have so much trouble comprehending. The idea that gays have a plan to turn other people gay, as if “gay” comes in the form of a powder that can be sneakily mixed into a drink, or they carry laser guns with settings for “bi,” “butch” and “flaming,” is as ridiculous to me as the idea that the Nazis built a military base on the moon, or that the world is secretly ruled by seven feet tall reptiles. It’s just another conspiracy theory, which tend to be made up by people with too much time on their hands and not nearly enough medications.
And yet, enough people who really have no business leaving their houses got together and voted to have the right to marry, an act that does not affect anyone but the couple who is marrying in the slightest, taken away from homosexuals. Further, the passing of Proposition 8 may put at risk the marriages of those who made their unions legal before it went through. How do we find the audacity to just tell a couple, some of whom have children, all of whom have friends and families who love them and want them to have the same rights as anyone else, “Sorry, you’re not married anymore”? We straight people may be cavalier when it comes to deciding when and why to end our marriages, but we still maintain the right to make that decision ourselves. It’s one of the benefits of being heterosexual, you see. We can marry whoever we damn well please, and then unmarry them, whether just by splitting up or divorcing, just as easily, without judgment. We make jokes about it, with phrases like “starter marriage” added to the pop culture lexicon. We pass off brief legal unions as “something stupid” we did when we were young, and blame subsequent failed marriages on “not finding the right person.” I’m not saying anyone who’s ever done that is an amoral person who doesn’t take marriage seriously. I’m saying everyone deserves the right to do that without comment, and without regard to sexuality.
See, that’s the thing: I want everyone who voted in favor of Prop 8, or just everyone who is against same sex marriage in general, to cut the crap and admit their decision is based solely on homophobia. You can’t claim to have nothing against gay people while at the same time denying them to right to marry in the same way you can’t claim to have nothing against black people while at the same time refusing to let your children go to school with them. Denying someone a right that most other people have had since time immemorial has everything to do with being against who they are, it doesn’t get any simpler than that. At least people like Fred Phelps have the balls to admit that their politics are based in hate. He’s going to fry in whatever afterlife awaits him, but you have to give him credit for his honesty. I’d like to see everyone else hiding behind the “protecting the children” bullshit fess up as well. If you’re on a mission to ruin people’s lives, at least have the guts to tell them why you’re really doing it.