In the wake of North Carolina becoming the 30th state to put a ban on gay marriage in its state constitution, President Obama finally “came out” and expressed his support for gays having the right to marry, while concurrently expressing his belief that states should maintain the power to decide that they don’t, thus making his endorsement about as profound as if he had come out with his support for butter pecan as the best ice cream flavor. I wonder if gays in North Carolina were able to find anything to be grateful about within all that confusing double-talk.
And so we trudge on with this issue. It’s a civil right. It’s not a civil right. It’s an abomination. It’s beautiful. It’s natural. It’s a choice. People say it’s an issue that states should not be allowed to vote on. Others say it’s something only the states should be able to decide. Still others say it’s an issue for the states IF the states agree with their side.
Of course, you know what I say.
What the f***?
First of all, I’m far from an all-knowing wisenheimer on all issues gay . . . . (pause so you can look up the definition for “wisenheimer”) . . . (Ready? Good). I grew up in a Catholic community in smallish Midwestern town in the 80s and 90s where the subject was rarely broached. I don’t really even remember it coming up in church or religion class, although admittedly I usually wasn’t paying attention. There were a couple of times when gay characters popped up in TV shows I watched. I don’t remember how I reacted to those characters, but I do recall being weirded out when a character came out in the comic strip For Better or Worse. Yes, I read that strip. It was somewhere on the page in the vicinity of Calvin & Hobbes as I recall.
In middle and high school, I sometimes used “gay” and “queer” in place of “stupid” or “lame,” and “fag” as a malicious way of putting our (presumed straight) cohorts down. We all did. As it turns out, I did know some people then who turned out to be gay, but I had no idea at the time. I’m not sure when I actually made my first openly-gay acquaintance. Probably college. I don’t think I had any gay “friends” in college, though. Not because I was avoiding the possibility. It just didn’t happen.
When I did AmeriCorps after college, I got to know and hang out with more gay people than I ever had before. It wasn’t weird. I got along with just about everyone there, regardless of their sexual orientation. I made friends there that were gay, and I’d still be friends with them to this day if they were around here.
I don’t think I ever had any really close friends that were gay, though. They were in the friendship zone, but I don’t think any gay person ever made it into the inner-circle. I can’t say why. It just didn’t happen.
I’ve never been to a gay wedding. I haven’t been invited to one. I haven’t been to a gay couples’ house. I haven’t been invited to one. That might say something about unnerving about my general pleasantness.
I stopped using gay slurs years ago. I get the chills whenever I hear someone use them now.
So, that’s where I’m at now. That’s the crux of my experience when it comes to gay people. With that, I’m supposed to pick a side: pro gay marriage or anti gay marriage. Here’s what I can deduce:
Am I anti gay marriage? Yes. In the sense that I don’t want one. OK, I’m already married, so I don’t want another marriage to anyone. But if I was single, I still would not want a gay marriage. I mean I REALLY would not want one! I don’t think I would do it for $1 million. Probably not $10 million . . . probably. Not that anyone would want to gay marry me anyway. I’d be a terrible gay groom/husband! Why? Because I’d be majorly creeped out about the whole thing! Me standing up there and looking at another dude and saying wedding vows? And then “You may kiss the . . . groom”? Which one of us is he talking to? Awkward. And then afterwards, we’d go off and do . . . you know, that stuff that gay guys do? Uhhhh, really, no thanks. Whatever. Not for me.
Am I pro gay marriage? Probably not, because if I qualified as that, I’d be the worst pro anything ever! Imagine me in the stands at a Cleveland Browns game. I don’t hate the Browns, nor do I like them. But if I’m at a Browns game, I suppose I’d want them to win, kind of. The Browns are down 21-17 with 3 seconds left in the game and they’ve got the ball on the 4 yard line. The person sitting next to me turns to me and says, “Would it be great if the Browns scored here and won?” My response: “Sure. Whatever.” That’s the metaphor. That’s how pro gay marriage I’d be if I in fact qualified for that side. I’d be a passive Browns fan for gay marriage.
“Look at that cute gay couple. Wouldn’t it be great if they got married?”
I’m not going to pretend that I can look at two dudes kissing and find beauty in that. I don’t. It’s just weird to me. Perhaps two dudes can really love each other as deeply as I love my wife. I have no reason to doubt that idea. But damn it, it’s still freaking weird to me. I don’t know if it will ever not be weird to me. I doubt it’s important one way or the other. So yeah, I’m never going to be the one gleefully jumping up and down at the thought of two gay persons getting married. Can I really be in the pro category then?
I think I can tell you what I am for sure, though. I am anti wasting everyone’s time and energy on inconsequential matters. OK, this is far from inconsequential to gay people. But to straight people, it is extremely inconsequential. And yet it’s straight people who are indeed wasting everyone’s time and energy trying to keep gays from getting married! This is what keeps you up at night? Not the economy, or terrorism, or children starving in Africa, or shitty school systems, or gang violence, or drug cartels, or global warming? You’re worried about the fact that two guys who you’d never hang out with want to engage in a state-recognized contract that ensures them certain rights in each other’s probate matters and health care decisions? That’s so damn important? What the f***?
Is it really going to tarnish or destroy the institution of marriage? Come on. Last I checked, the U.S. has the highest incidence of divorce per capita of any country in the world. We didn’t need gays to get to that! We did that on our own! (pause for applause)
And look at some of these people who are contributing to that statistic. We’ve got a thrice-married politician who will allegedly discuss divorce terms while his cancer-ridden first wife is in the hospital, and then ask for an open marriage from his second wife before ultimately marrying his 23-years younger third wife. We’ve got a celebrated talk-show host who works his way through eight wives (and counting). And of course, we’ve got “Ms. 72 Days” herself, Kim Kardashian. Are any of these people publicly lambasted for tarnishing and destroying the institution of marriage? Are people trying to push though constitutional amendments barring these people from marrying?
Of course not. Because in the end, these people can’t hurt the institution of marriage. Marriage doesn’t need protection. It was around for thousands upon thousands of years before this country came about and it’ll be around for thousands upon thousands of years after the Chinese-Canadian conglomerate of tyranny and misery takes over.* It doesn’t need protection from these jerks, and trying to create such “protection” would just be a colossal and fruitless waste of time. You think it’s any different when the subject is two guys wanting to get married?
(*You watch. Chaninda is not to be taken lightly.)
What I also am. I’m anti-bigotry. It doesn’t take much for me to see that a lot of people on the anti side (the real anti side, not the one I made up a few paragraphs back) are just hateful bigots. They, like me, get weirded out. But they use that as an excuse to spew hatred upon a significant portion of the population. People they’ve never met, yet they hate. I don’t know if it makes them feel better about themselves, or if they actually hate themselves and this is a mass form of projection. Regardless, it’s sickening.
I don’t think the anti crowd is made up entirely of these people. I know some people see the entire anti crowd like this, but those people are usually too terribly unpleasant to ever converse with anyway. You know, the people who will constantly act like unbearable choads in the name of love and acceptance? Those douchebags that are so vile and annoying you’d gladly give any minority or majority group anything they want if in exchange you can kick all those asshats into the ocean? But I digress . . .
Bigots. That’s where I was at. I don’t care for them. And I don’t like any side on any issue that provides a safe haven for them and actively panders to their intolerant nature.
Look, I get the religious aspect of this whole debate. I completely empathize with that. But this isn’t about your or my religion. Nobody is going to force any religion to partake in a ceremony that runs contrary to its teachings. If they tried to do that, I’ll jump right to your side on the front lines, dude. But it ain’t happening. These things are taking places in courthouses, gardens, country clubs, and maybe some churches (the ones you and I don’t attend anyway). Your church, your religion is left unaffected, like everything else in your life.
So where did I end up with this? Hell, I don’t know. Bottom line: I’d eventually like to see all the states take those gay marriage bans off the books. I’m thinking that a year, five years, ten years, 100 years after that day comes, things around this country will still be pretty much the same. Lame.
I really wish Bill Watterson had thought to address this issue. He would have settled everything.