19 August 2008

Gay Marriage.

People never cease to amaze me. Yeah, I know it is banal statement and a trusty sort of cliché with which one can launch an essay. Try not to judge me too harshly. It’s a rainy day, and I’m tired. It’s the best opener I had at the moment. Okay?

Gay marriage is not going to end civilization as we know it! At least that’s my take on things.

I say this because in recent weeks, I have had several acquaintances, progressives who are working hard to undo the devastation of eight years of Bush and his deep-forest hobgoblins, river trolls, mendicants, and felons, tell me as an aside, “I’m as liberal as they come, but I’m not for this gay marriage stuff”. Thankfully, I didn’t get a wink and a nudge as this was said.

But, what I did get, was that “look” and a moment of awkward silence, as though I was supposed to signal a, “Yeah, me too”. I didn’t, because I don’t agree that one can hold a progressive ideology, and then set such parameters. It’s like saying, yes I support voter’s rights, but..., or I oppose torture, except..., or I support civil rights, except. At least, that’s how I feel about it.

In the first place, and putting aside all the legal issues about long-term, same-sex couples who are deprived of hospital visits with one another by angry, vindictive relatives, or adoption issues, or the passing along of property—all really incredibly important issues, yes—but let’s just focus on the basics, shall we?

Why should two people who want to marry not be allowed to do so simply because they both get to use the same public restroom? Huh, tell me. You can’t, without appealing to some interpretation of the bible—and, that is a very sticky wicket. Since no one knows for certain what has been stuck in and what has been left out of that particular best-seller as it’s been passed through about four or five different languages, and translated and rewritten by various groups and individuals intent on putting their own spin on things.

Nope, it is going to take a lot more than that to pry the notion that gay-marriage is just fine, from my cold dead fingers.

I wish I’d been asked by that Warren fellow at the Saddleback Q & A what my definition of marriage is. I’d have told him it is two people hooking up for some stupid and poorly thought out reason involving love, convenience, or preservation of the family name, or to make sure you’ve always got someone to eat popcorn with on Saturday night while watching a flick.

Hell, I don’t know why people get married. It never turns out quite the way you thought about it at the time. For me it’s been danged good, interesting, but a good thing. For others, it doesn’t always go well. That’s life. But, if homosexuals (I would sort of like to reclaim the word gay), lesbians, transgendered, or some subtle variation of all that want to get married, more power to them. I mean after all, it’s not as though denying them marriage will make them stop doing the things that some people object to. Now, will it?

Seriously, it doesn’t threaten my marriage anymore than old Maybelle Quicktoliedown’s five sequential, and seemingly heterosexual, marriages to, and divorces from, several variations of the same Johnny Worthlessasspit threatens my marriage. My marriage will survive, and so will yours.

And honestly, no government, federal, state, or local has any business dictating to any church who they must marry. Your church doesn’t wish to wed same sex folks, then don’t. There are plenty that will.

The flip side of that coin is that no church should be dictating to any government to whom it may or may not issue a marriage license.

You don’t approve? Fine! Don’t go to the reception and drink the free booze, and for sure don’t check the registry at Niemans or send a toaster. And leave me alone about it, I don’t care that you don’t approve. We’ll just focus on getting done the things on which we do agree.

And somehow, it seems appropriate to close with another cliché. Politics sure does make for strange bed fellows.

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