What’s The Big Deal?
Marriage equality and gay rights are prominently in the news this week because of the Supreme Court decisions, or indecisions, regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. I have no idea why anyone might feel threatened by gay marriage as a legal right so it’s hard for me to understand what all of the fuss is about. If religious institutions don’t want to perform religious wedding ceremonies, that’s a different matter and I support their right to worship as narrowly as they wish. I support gay rights and I support religious freedom. I am neither gay nor religious. I don’t think you need to be part of a group in order to understand their reasons for wanting protection under the law. I don’t see how someone else’s desire to worship hurts my desire not to, nor does it make sense to me that someone else’s marriage threatens my own- unless it is my particular spouse they are hoping to marry. That I might have something to say about.
I do think it will be hard for the folks on the far right to come up with reasonable, legal arguments against marriage equality for gays. Defending “traditional” marriage as a cultural norm becomes a trivial pursuit in the age of the Kardashians and The Bachelor, doesn’t it? Our world is filled with unwed parenting, blended families, reality tv competitions for mates, and celebrity culture. Those of us who are in long term marriages to the same spouse we started with decades ago are not necessarily the majority anymore. I wonder if any studies have been done about the number of heterosexual couples in long-term, committed relationships versus the number of homosexual couples in long-term, committed relationships? What would the numbers tell us there? Would there be any surprises?
In any case, I hope gay couples will soon have the same legal rights to marriage as heterosexual couples have in all 50 states. I see no reason they should be spared the stiff and awkward engagement photo, wedding showers, the thank you notes, the chicken dance, the cake cutting ceremony, and the exploits of a drunken wedding guest forever caught on video. They, too, should have to live with the photographs of the puffy sleeved dress or garish cummerbund. And in their golden years, may it not be a big deal at all for their 50th wedding anniversary announcement to be plastered on the community news page of their local newspaper.