Thursday, February 26, 2004

I’m intrigued by the idea that by allowing gays and lesbians to marry somehow the institution of heterosexual marriage will be weakened. Isn’t it funny that gay marriage is this terrible threat, but there hasn’t been a movement for a constitutional amendment banning divorce, adultery, pornography, televised sports, or any of the other things that contribute to marital problems? Anyway, back to the point I was going to make.

The idea that allowing gays to marry will weaken the institution of marriage is simply an extension of the victim mentality that is so pervasive in America today. If my marriage fails, it’s not my fault, it’s because of the faggots! Ultimately, the institution of marriage boils down to each couple. Marriages don’t fail because some mysterious combination of external forces rend the fabric of the relationship. Marriages end because one or both of the people involved in the relationship decide to end it. It is a choice. To argue that this choice is the fault of anyone else is silly. Sure, other factors influence a marriage. But ultimately the people involved in the relationship have to make the decision to end it. Janet Jackson’s breast, homosexuals, Sex in the City, Friends, nor Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky have the ability to end individual relationships.

Of course we do have a set of pervasive attitudes in this country that slowly chip at a person’s faith in their relationships. Parts of society encourage people who aren’t happy to walk out without trying to work it out, sex is promoted as easy and free, and work is valued over family. But these attitudes have existed long before the issue of gay marriage became a pressing issue.

But none of this changes the fact that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our choices. Nurturing my marriage is my responsibility, not the Federal Government’s. Similarly, the Federal Government has no power to end my marriage. I am responsible for the choices I make, and it is shameful the extent to which people in our society try to dodge responsibility.

We should be honest. Opposition to gay marriage is less about preserving heterosexual marriages, and more about discrimination against homosexuals. The question then is, should the Federal Government be in the business of discriminating against a class of individuals based on religious intolerance? What’s next? Banning Jewish marriages? Muslim marriages? Atheist marriages? If the Federal Government is in the business sanctifying marriages (the Christian fundamentalist version only, of course) why should we allow these other heathens to marry?



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