Archive for August 1st, 2003

The Thinker

Why current marriage laws are immoral

The gods must be highly amused.

News items: At a press conference yesterday President Bush said in one breath “I am mindful that we’re all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor’s eye when they got a log in their own”. Then in the next breath he said, “I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or the other.” He and his aides are working hard to figure out a way to figure out a way to make sure those pesky, immoral homosexuals stay deep in the closet by outlawing gay marriages permanently through a constitutional amendment.

Not to be outdone, the Catholic Church, an institution rife with homosexual priests, significant numbers of whom are apparently also pedophiles, and whose leadership has spent the last 2000 years detached from anything resembling reality, had the gall to state on the very same day: “Homosexual relationships are immoral and deviant, and only traditional marriages can fulfill God’s plan for the reproduction of the human race.” As if, of course, the point of marriage is to make babies only. If that were the case my wife and I, who are both sterilized, should now be divorced. Clearly our marriage is now a moot point in the eyes of the Catholic Church, not that we were married there. (God forbid!)

Metaphorically I’d like to do the Monty Python fish slapping dance on both the President and the Pope. What can I say? When it comes to government or religion, apparently you have to abandon all common sense or you can’t get in the game.

Let’s examine our constitution which promises equal rights and justice for all. Just in case we didn’t get it from first reading, we subsequently ratified the 14th amendment to the constitution in 1868 known as the “equal protection” amendment which states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

In short the intent of our constitution is to treat all citizens equally. It obviously hasn’t always worked out that way, but that was the intent. Gradually though, as was clear from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on state sodomy laws, states trying to discriminate against one class of people are finding they have no constitutional grounds to do so. And this just freaks our politicians out. That’s apparently their mission in life: to provide favors to one class of people at the expense of another class.

I’m trying real hard to understand what is so immoral about homosexuality. In particular I am trying to figure out why the government should care. I can understand why a backward, xenophobic religion like the Catholic Church would be up in arms against gay marriage. This is an institution which sees refusing to evolve as a virtue. No matter how wacky its thinking was 2,000 years ago, it needs to be faithful to it, is what passes for reasoning in this institution. But the government? Why wouldn’t it want to encourage gay marriages or gay unions?

What are the consequences if we have no civil unions or marriages for gays? One might be the myopic belief that by scorning gays for their sexual orientation they will see the light, the good fairy will come down, fill them with some sort of grace, and they will magically convert into happy, healthy heterosexuals. Soon they are living in the burbs like Ward and June Cleaver and raising little Wallies and Beaves. Fortunately, not one in a hundred homophobes believe this crap anymore.

So law by itself apparently can’t make homosexuals become heterosexuals. So homosexuals are going to keep being homosexuals even though it ticks off the anally repressed majority. We “moral” people can pray that all homosexuals will lead lives of celibacy and quiet contemplation instead of acting on their completely natural urges. This is one way for them not to be immoral and thus give us no offense. One could look at the Catholic priesthood as a positive example but apparently all that repression just makes the longing worse and encourages the sorts of deviations we seem to fear the most. Eventually human nature wins out and people couple with the gender or genders that turn them on.

By not allowing gay marriages and civil unions society in effect encourages homosexuals to sleep around. From a public health standpoint that encourages the spread of disease. One would think it would be intuitive that government would want to encourage people to have long term, monogamous and healthy relationships instead of lots of short term, sexual relationships. So I would think gay marriages or gay unions would be seen as a logical and moral response by society to encourage everyone to live in peace and respect the rule of law.

If we are hung up on the word “marriage” let’s purge it from the law. Traditionally marriage has been a religious ritual, not a governmental function. In a way by the government sanctioning marriage, it is violating the separation of church and state. In medieval times you didn’t need the government’s permission to get married, just your local cleric’s permission. Let’s have civil unions if people want the legal protections of marriage. Let religions sanctify these relationships in marriage ceremonies for those with religious inclinations.

Clearly I will never be a politician because this is plain common sense.

 

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