Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Marriage Protection Sunday


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Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader said the other day that the assault on the institution of marriage is one of the most important matters facing America today. It's so bad in fact, that the President is going to give a speech Monday night laying out his plan to deal with the crisis. Considering the facts that we're at war with both terror and terrorism, we're at war with Iraq, we're revving up for war in Iran, we're dangerously dependent on fossil fuels, the globe is warming at an alarming rate, and we've developed something of an image problem in the rest of the world, you figure this marriage thing must be huge.

Here's the deal. Homosexuals want to marry each other. Many states have passed laws saying that they can't, but Massachusetts seemed to think that gay marriage doesn't necessarily signal the onset of Armageddon and so what the hell. As it stands now, if a man and a woman get married in North Carolina and move to say Ohio, their marriage is recognized there as well. If different states have different rules and other states aren't required to recognize those rules, it could be messy. Not "war on terra" kinda messy mind you, but messy none-the-less. So to deal with this catastrophic situation, the Congress is going to debate changing our constitution to make sure that boys can only marry girls and vice-versa.

I'm one of those live and let live types and in the interest of full disclosure, I'm also one of those homosexual types. I've been grappling with why this is such a huge issue. To find out I've been reading work by a man named James Dobson who is so focused on the family that he started an organization called Focus on the Family. This guy has got his panties in a wad over this whole gay marriage thing. In fact, he wrote a book about it. I'm not going to link to it because I don't like him very much. His argument, best I can tell, goes something like this. Homosexuals don't really want to get married. They are incapable of fidelity and most of them have thousands of different sex partners in their lifetime. (Partly why I don't like him is that he makes me feel so inadequate.) There is a full scale homosexual conspiracy to pretend to want to get married so that they can devalue the institution to the point that it is meaningless for everyone. Dobson just doesn't strike me as a big thinker.

A few months back, I attended the rally in downtown Asheville of the godly who were assembled to express their outrage at homosexuality in general. I was amazed at the turnout. They not only don't want faggots to get married, they also don't want them to work or rent or even it seems breath their righteous air. Both of our candidates for Congress are steadfastly opposed to gay marriage. I've met many of you who frequent this blog and I'd like to know your opinion. First do you think this is the crisis that our leaders believe it is? Also, since most of you are married, do you believe that the desire of two committed gay people to marry has adversely affected, or (heaven forbid) destroyed your marriage? Lastly, will you be spending Marriage Protection Sunday fighting the good fight against the homosexual menace, or doing something more along the lines of frisbee golf?

9 comments:

Kathryn said...

My response. I grew up in a gay family, sort of. I'm not a sociopathic mutant. Well, my sister isn't.

Asheville_Pubcrawler said...

This is another case of politicians pandering for support from the religious faction in an election year. I've never been able to understand just how same-sex marriage poses any threat to marriage between a man and a woman or a traditional family unit. As far as I know, no one is proposing a ban on traditional marriage or families. If a person is opposed to marrying a person of the same sex then he or she shouldn't do it. Who other people choose to marry has no bearing on my own marriage.

I think I've indirectly answered your first two questions. As to thye third, your post was the first I'd heard of "Marriage Protection Sunday." I spent the morning pruning shrubs and the afternoon enjoying downtown. I might have been up for a game of frisbee golf had I received any invitations.

estraven said...

I have many gay friends, including a couple who are raising a child. For the life of me I cannot understand the obsession about gay marriage. I'm hetero, married almost 37 years, two kids and two grandkids, and I just don't get why people think that somehow gays marrying will destroy the institute of marriage. It just comes down to religious belief, and for that reason, has no business being outlawed by a government that was founded on the idea of a separation of church and state. I wish that there were just civil unions for every couple who wants to marry--that would be the state conferring all the benefits etc. on the couple--and then marriage would be by the churches. Then if a church didn't want to recognize gay marriages, okay, but the civil benefits and protections would still be there.

My husband and I have long puzzled over why people get so riled by the very idea of gay marriage. We just plain don't get it. But then, we are comfortable with sex and our own sexuality, and I suspect that a lot of these right-wing fundies are not.

Screwy Hoolie said...

By reacting so defensively to the notion of long-term homosexual partnerships, heterosexual big-government politicians emphasize the weakness of the institution they purport to "sancify". Heterosexual marriages have 50% dissolution rate and are often marked by terrible behavior on the part of both male and female heteros. Heterosexual members of Congress and of the Bush administration who wish to enshrine this unhealthy institution in our constitution are clearly operating from fear, supremacism, and sanctimony.

There's no good reason to prevent the government from acknowledging lifelong commitments. While churches and other religious institutions may choose not to ceremonialize homosexual marriages, that is a church by church decision to make not the business of the federal "for-the-people" government.

The timing of this issue is, of course, naked pandering to the intolerant wing of the Republican party - the zealots and the bigots.

syntax said...

somewhere, i'm sure someone who is part of the "power behind the throne" is watching the folks who make up what screwy referred to as the "intolerant wing of the Republican Party" falling in line and marching in lockstep, and laughing heartily at how easily manipulated these people are.

i've said it before and i'll probably continue to say it again - the masses are asses.

anyway, i can't speak for the rest of you lot, but my wife and i seem to be doing quite well despite the fact that certain evangelical types seem to think that our love for each other will diminish somewhat if homosexuals are suddenly allowed to marry.

Jer said...

If Republicans are so protective of marriage, they should make counselling mandatory for all engaged couples, then have a mandatory waiting period between obtaining a license and the actual ceremony. No more of these Britney Spears "We thought it would be fun to get married" 72-hour unions. Those are what's making a mockery of marriage, not the 2.5-year (and counting) monogamous relationship my partner and I have, nor the 40+-year relationship of the same-sex couple I used to live next door to.

Jer said...

By the way, if anyone else could take a moment to call our representatives or fax them a note, every communication counts.

Senator Elizabeth Dole
Phone: (202) 224-6342
Fax: (202) 224-1100

Senator Richard Burr
Phone: (336) 631-5125
Fax: (336) 725-4493

President George W. Bush
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461

mygothlaundry said...

Well, there was a New Yorker cartoon that said it best. Two women are standing together, one says to the other, "You know, it's not the gays who are threatening my marriage. It's all the straight women who keep sleeping with my husband." and that's kind of how it shook out for me and the sanctity of marriage. Gay men were, uh, not the issue. Personally, I think anyone who is brave enough to venture into the wild and wacky world of matrimony deserves a medal or at least some commiseration and as long as they are both over 18, well, kids, good luck. I could care LESS what sex they are, and I can't even manage to make myself get all worked up about polyamory and group marriages and what have you. A partnership, or a triad, or whatever, is a commitment, and Joe and Jimmy, Janis and Joan are just as deserving of any and all protections under the law that are handed out so blithely to John and Judy.

oh, and, uh, marriage protection sunday? I did go out for beers with a couple of old friends and the many sins of exhusbands were discussed with great laughter and a little gnashing of teeth - does that count?

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