Sunday, February 15, 2004

Gay Marriage

I have hesitated to post on this issue, because I have so little to add to the discussion. I honestly don't understand the right wing's perspective on this, so I can't respond. How is it that allowing a gay couple to wed harms the institution of marriage, or a straight couple's marriage? I don't ask that question in a tone of incredulous indignation - if someone can explain it to me, I would love to know your perspective. I probably won't agree with it, but I'd love to at least be able to respond.

The only argument that makes even a modicum of sense to me is that if we allow this form of non-traditional marriage, we may be called upon to allow other forms, as well. Polygamy, incest, bestiality, etc., they argue, will follow. (Some leftists claim that articulating this position amounts to equating homosexuality with these other forms of sexual behavior. I don't think that's fair. To acknowledge that other non-traditional relationships exist does not equate them.) My rejection of this argument is two-fold, though. First, if that's really your concern, then why aren't you supporting a definition of marriage allowing two unrelated consenting adult human beings to marry? Second, and more radically, so what?

I attempted to write a humorous piece about a couple that broke up because a gay couple moved in next door, and the wife saw that both parties to a marriage could be treated as equals, and males are able to do all household chores. Ultimately, though, it was just a play on stereotypes. In fact, many of us live in marriages where household chores are divided (though imperfectly, I confess!). Also, let's not glorify gay relationships. Gay couples, just like straight couples, face stress, infidelity, inequality, and even domestic violence. They're just people, struggling to get by in this world. If society can make their lives a little more joyful by allowing them to marry, then let's toss some rice.


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