On the eve of celebrating the independence of our nation, let’s take a moment and recognize the fact we’re still fighting for the equality of people in 2008.
Founded on freedom from the oppressive government of England, our forefathers risked their lives, liberties and sacred honor to plea to foreign nations the case that we, as a people, should be free of the tyranny of King George III, and to rule ourselves as what would later be known as a Representative Republic.
Initially, these human rights didn’t extend to Africans, and certainly not to women or Native Americans. And today, in 2008, we have grown, intelligent, loving people (who happen to have impeccable taste in footwear and can dance better than me) who aren’t allowed to marry because their sexual organs are the same. Well gasp. The horror.
I know that as soon as I utter the words “Gay Marriage” in terms of equity, eyes roll across floors in America, and people whisper the expected asides. Here we go again. Do we have to go THERE?
Our culture is one which disdains promiscuity and promotes monogamy, even when it’s serial monogamy. At the same time, these same people who berate promiscuity don’t allow for the rewards of monogamy for the gay folks, creating the self-fulfilling prophecy of unsafe sexual trysts rather than proud weddings and long-term relationships. This is due, in large part, to the common notion that marriage is both for religious reasons and for procreation.
So, let’s go there.
Marriage is a legal contractual commitment binding between a man and a woman to promote monogamy (and get the estate when the other one meets with a fatal ice cream truck incident). Allowing coverage under spousal insurance policies and puts everyone on an equal level of matrimonial misery tax wise, the focus should not specify sex (and how much sex is there really after the honeymoon?) — but a life partnership commitment between two consenting adults.
If it were true that marriage is fully religious in nature, atheists would be refused the right to wed. And yet, even the godless marry. Why? Because, protected under the Bill of Rights, and, as a country, the Constitution grants Americans freedom of religion, and also freedom from religion.
Say marriage was for the purposes of breeding and procreation. If this was the case, all couples practicing birth control would be barred from marriage (condom clause number 3.14?). Sterile couples would not find happiness together legally, because their pairing would be forever doomed to being defined as promiscuity or ‘shacking up.’ The elderly would be banned from the altar for inability to produce offspring. But as it is, under the Constitution of these United States, these people are allowed to marry. So no; marriage is not for breeding.
Some claim there is a moral imperative to not allow same-sex couples to be legally allowed to pay as much taxes as I do. Whose morality are we talking about? While we’re flapping our gums over whether or not someone deserves to be married, we should instead be determining why the federal government is in the business of deciding who is fit to marry or not, and why some of the Congressional leaders who ban gay marriage are getting it on with their male pages.
Would gay marriage normalize gays? Oh boy, I hope not. Who needs more normal people in this world? Normal people walk through Safeway with their lattes and sunglasses on their heads comparing feminine hygiene products and watch the Hallmark channel. My gay best friend taught me that oil didn’t go down the dipstick hole in the car, and butch chicks help me fix my flat tires and know more about life, tolerance and love than ‘normal’ folks.
Rather than vilifying people who are willing to take the matrimonial plunge, why not reward gay couples as we do any couple — with higher taxes? Heaven knows we could use the money.
If we are truly a nation founded on morality and equality, on wisdom and on the values of ‘equality for all’ from our illustrious forefathers, we must recognize that marriage is not a privilege, and government doesn’t have the right to deny this convention to homosexuals.
Perhaps the final hang-up is with the terminology. Fine. Call it Contractual Commitment instead of Marriage. Either way, the results are the same: someone wears white, eats a lot of cake, is carried over the threshold, has to cook, clean, work, listens to whining, gets asked if the pants make their butts look big, and shares their loves, laughs and laments, hopefully for the rest of their life.
We all have that right.