THERE are a lot of people who are always up in arms about marriage in this country. In particular there are a number who are constantly having conniption fits, throwing their hands in the air, and lamenting that marriage has “lost its sanctity.” And this is all because Ron and Evan down the road wanted to get a piece of paper that gives their union legal legitimacy. Well, I am almost positive that little piece of paper is not going to change a single solitary thing about marriage in general, except the fact that more people like Ron and Evan can get married.
People all over this country were fairly sure that when the “Divorce Revolution” began in 1953 that the world was going to end, and yet the world continued to turn. Then in 1967 when the landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage people were sure that the world was heading toward hell in a hand-basket. But, as surely as I am sitting here now, the world is still intact. And I am willing to bet my life on the fact that one day when same-sex unions become legal across this country, that the world will keep on going.
I am tired of hearing that two men or two women marrying would somehow irrevocably harm marriage. I have asked repeatedly how exactly this could be, and generally I get one of two sputtering responses. Either it will ruin the sanctity of marriage or it will harm “the children.” These two separate entities have never really been fleshed out for me; they still have no established meaning. Talking to one person here will be completely different than the answer I received talking to another person last week. As a result it has all become very confusing for me.
I know a number of gay people who have been in long term relationships and either are married or consider themselves married. They have beautiful relationships and a love which I would dare anyone to challenge. Sactity is something that resemblesor has the qualities of godliness, and, since I believe God is love, then there is sanctity in their union because it is filled with love. It has been a grievous miscarriage of justice for this country, who is supposed to regard all men as equal, to not recognize this fact. At this point the law is not preventing people from being gay or stopping people from forming loving relationships; the law is simply discriminating against people who want nothing more than to live happy, fulfilling lives.
The second point – “the children” – is treated like there is an eminent danger to any child that would be raised in a household with two same-sex parent. I will ignore the fact that not all gay couples that want to get married want to necessarily raise children and move onto the underlying fear of what would happen if they did. Many of the people who fear a child in a loving household with either two dads or two moms also believe that every child should be raised in a fifties nuclear household with a mom, a dad, a dog, two-point-five kids, and a white picket fence. Many of these people are opposed to single parents too; a belief which I believe is untenable.
Think about Arkansas for example. In 2008 the people of Arkansas feared same-sex couples adopting children from foster care that Initiative Act I was passed. This law sated that no childe could be raised by a single adult or cohabitative parents. Rather than risking a child be placed into a home that would love and raise them, people chose that a child should be remain bouncing from foster homes and orphanages. To put it in plain terms, a child with no home and no family is better off than a child with two dads, two moms, or one of either. Because THIS is a representation of social justice in the American household.
Only through experiencing the Rockwellian ideal of the formulaic household will a child gain the skills needed for life and be well adjusted. This is tantamount to telling people who grew up in single-parent households that they are somehow broken or incomplete. Something that I can assure you is not always the case. Some of the strongest people I know come from single parent households because their mother or father did all she or he could for their children, and they grew up watching this. On the flip side I know a lot of kids who come from two-parent households and their family life is in a far worse state of affairs. You can’t make sweeping generalizations about the American household when every one of us comes from a unique and different background.
I think people should stand back and think long and hard about what they are arguing about before they commit to it. When someone tells me that I can’t get married because marriage is between one man and one woman, I would like to know where that believe came from. I get two answers usually, which are really just two variation of the same answer. The first is that God intended for marriage to be that way. It is Adam and EVE, not Adam and STEVE. The second is a little more evasive but often times have the same origin, people tell me that being gay is just not natural. I have been lectured on the square-peg-round-hole logic, if it can be called that, and still it just does not hold water.
Regarding the argument about what exactly God intended, there are a number of things that I have qualms with. I will briefly put here my first problem and that is the separation of church and state in this country. It is one of our founding principles and I am sure that our patriotic fathers put in the first amendment to the Constitution. But, moving past that bump in the road, there are some ideological problems I have with this kind of argument. First, I believe that I was born on this earth just as gay as I am now I however cannot prove this so it is a moot point. Second, is that in the Bible there are multiple-multiple cases of polygamy being endorsed by God. Solomon, for example, had over a thousand wives and he was loved by God above other men. Men in biblical times also stoned their wives, beat them, and sold or bought them like commodities. We have moved past these things in our modern society, and I am sure that most people would agree that this is a good thing.
The second argument is that being gay “is not natural,” which I will again point back to being born this way briefly then move on. I will have to say that I am thankful that we as a country are not big on natural things, because otherwise we would be an Amish colony on steroids. I am willing to bet that you love your new iPhone4 too much to part with it because it is unnatural to talk through light waves bounced off of satellites in space. Because that is just plain weird. So it is clear that your problem is not that it is unnatural, it is that you think that gay people are –icky– and that is about it. Well deal with it. If our biggest problem with R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl on camera was the fact that the girl was underage, then I am not sure what the deal is with what to consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home.
As hard as it is to accept for some people, change happens. It may be one of the few things that have defined mankind for our entire existence. We are constantly changing and evolving. The general trend of change in society is that it is for the better, and every time society makes a change for the better it is harshly opposed. The key is to look past your own personal feelings and look at society as a whole, look at the lives that are around you and ask yourself what is truly right and charitable. What is the right thing to do? Just because something is different that does not mean that it should be feared or oppressed, it means that it is waiting to be understood.