Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Defense? Of Marriage? ...

Today I learned that the Speaker of the House, Mr. John Boehner, has retained the services of a very high-profile lawyer from the George W. Bush era to the tune of $500,000 of taxpayer money (to begin with; that number may grow if both parties agree) to support the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Congress.

I owed the government money this year for last year. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Speaker Boehner that not one cent of that money from this taxpayer should be spent on defending discrimination. Maybe G.E. or Exxon can pony up this time.

Did you get that, Mr. Speaker? Good.

All righty, then. Let's take a little quiz, shall we? The Defense of Marriage Act defends marriage against ...

a) ... the stratospheric divorce rate?

Nope! Folks can get divorced just as many times as they get married. Divorce is A-OK!

b) ... the notion of "starter marriages," the insane notion that marriage the first time around is just a dress rehearsal, that if things don't work out, the couple will just get a divorce (see a), above)?

Nope! Plenty of folks end Marriage No. 1 with Divorce No. 1 and move on to Marriage No. 2. Many then move on to Divorce No. 2. Many then move on to Marriage No. 3. The sky's the limit! Divorce lawyers would like to thank you for your business!

c) ... the unseemliness of people like Newt Gingrich serving his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital? Or Britney Spears getting drunk-hitched in Vegas, having it annulled 55 hours later, and then saying, "It was just a joke, y'all!"?

Nope! Vows to love, honor, and obey or any other vows of a person's choosing may easily be disregarded when marriage is no longer fun or convenient! (Serious note: I recognize that people sometimes get divorced for reasons that are more grave. I am not suggesting that there are no legitimate reasons for divorce. There are. But this post is about marriage)

d) ... gay people?

Yes! Marriage must be defended against gay people! Gay people only want to dress like RuPaul and gesture emphatically when they speak! Gay people can't possibly be in loving, committed relationships! (Except, they are.) Gay people can't govern! (Except, they do.) Gay people can't serve in the military! (Except, they do.) Gay people can't contribute to society in myriad meaningful ways! (Except, they do.)

Seriously, what is all the fear about?

Truly, I do not understand it. I have gay friends who have been in relationships for much longer than many of my straight friends. They love each other. They live together. They bicker, I'm sure. They're just like any other couple trying to build a life together, one day at a time. (I hear it's difficult. I'm single, so really, I wouldn't know.) Why does gender make everybody freak out?

Let's remove it from the equation for a moment:

Person A loves Person B.

Person B loves Person A.

Person A proposes to Person B.

Person B accepts the proposal of Person A.

Person A and Person B plan a wedding.

Person A and Person B get married.

Person A and Person B live their lives together.

That seems pretty simple, yes?

Now tell me why Person A and Person B should not be allowed to get married?

Really, tell me. Please.

Because you'd be the first.

Because no one has ever been able to explain to me why two people who are gay should not be allowed to get married.

Oh, I've heard "It will destroy the institution of marriage!" plenty of times.

But no one has ever been able to answer the simple follow-up question of "How?"

If my friends who are gay have the right to get married, how does that in any way diminish what marriage may someday mean for me?

It doesn't. In any way. Period. If Britney's 55-hour "joke" didn't destroy the institution of marriage, I'm pretty sure it's safe.

And I've heard, "Marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman, for procreation!"

Mmm hmm.

And what about straight couples who choose not to have children? Should they be denied the right to marry?

And what about straight couples who are unable to have children? Should they be denied the right to marry?

And what about straight couples who get married later in life and may be beyond their child-bearing years? Should they be denied the right to marry?

And what about straight couples who have each been married previously and have had children in their previous marriages and have no intention of having more children together? Should they be denied the right to marry?

No, I didn't think so.

So, it seems to me that the whole "defense" of marriage comes down to simple fear. Good ol' garden-variety "that's different than what I'm used to" fear.

Yes, it might sound funny the first few times you hear a man refer to his husband or a woman refer to her wife. But trust me, you'll get used to it.

No one needs to "defend" marriage. Our government can save its allocated five-hundred thousand dollars.

Because acceptance, you see, is free.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dave said...

Like so much of what the Republicans do this is based on the total abandoning of the separation of church and state.

Because the bible says somewhere that marriage - or holy matrimony - is between a man and a woman that's what these idiots believe. Your list could have included straight couples who get married purely for the financial benefits and don't give a damn about a marriage license. You don't need a license to love. Or to breed.

There is so much religion in right wing politics it's both pathetic and frightening. Often what they claim is unconstitutional is more likely unchristian. You won't find much of this stuff anywhere in the constitution.

One quick way to make us all equal would be for us all to say 'Who needs it' to this marriage thing and just be with the ones we love. Kinda like it was before we invented religion - because that's what we did! Man made god. Not the other way around.

That said, I am happy for anyone to believe whatever they believe as long as they don't force it on me. And that's what the Republicans are doing...every day. It's at the root of the abortion debate as well as the defense of this ridiculous defense of marriage act.

Personally I think there can be no more unchristian act than forcing a woman to give birth to a child that was fathered by her father. But the Republicans think that's just fine!! This is the level of empathy these people have - and they want to run the country! I often wish there were a god, then I could say god help us...and mean it.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

This country is literally falling apart at the seams and one of their biggest concerns is defending marriage? Seriously? How about spending time on an idea like (tax breaks/tax increases/more military spending/less military spending/tax holiday/anything) to put people back to work?

7:54 AM  

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