You May Now Kiss The Brides



Who are now the squarest people on earth? Who are the only ones left who want to get married and join the military? Homosexuals.
~Fran Lebowitz



UPDATE: I am leaving the text below as it was when I first wrote it, but my own position on gay marriage has changed somewhat. I am beginning to think that from a legal standpoint, gay civil unions might be a better idea than gay marriage. Why? Because laws regarding marriage have always recognized the fact that there are differences between men and women. (Since I'm not a Harvard professor, I can say that and NO ONE CAN STOP ME! HAHAHAHA!) In recent decades, liberals have been attempting to change this, and the results have been a skyrocketing divorce rate, fathers deprived of their children and homes against their will, divorced mothers struggling to simultaneously raise their children and hold down a job to supplement inadequate or nonexistent child support, child abuse by "Mommy's boyfriend" (a group statistically far more likely to abuse children than almost any other), broken homes, deadbeat dads, venereal disease, and a lot of lonely adults. Perhaps homosexuals could be allowed to marry without further encroaching on the needed differentiation between men and women in a heterosexual union, but given the disastrous results of previous tampering with marriage law, I'm not confident about that.

BUT, for the reasons outlined below, it is vitally important that we have some way of legally confirming our relationships.

I am not completely convinced that gay marriage would further erode the legal recognition that men and women are different, but I am concerned that it might. Still, gay marriage could not possibly damage marriage anywhere near as badly as no-fault divorce has.

Also, it has to be said: The majority of Americans, crossing party lines, are not in favor of gay marriage at this time. Though that didn't stop a liberal blogger whose site I visited recently from making the sweeping assertion that "the Bush administration has disregarded the call for gay marriage." No, it just recognized that the call for no gay marriage was larger. Also, some of you may recall that the Clinton administration "ignored" that call too.

In any case, I will not marry anybody, male or female, as long as American courts believe that marriage means the right to have your spouse subjected to a slow and agonizing death by starvation. The judical murder of Terri Schiavo has inexplicably dampened my own enthusiasm for marriage.

***

Some homosexuals do not want to see our relationships conforming to traditional heterosexual models. They tend to say this as if it were an obvious fact that these traditions are bad. Personally, I am broadminded enough to think that heterosexuals got a few things right.



America's Founding Fathers understood that rights and responsibilities go hand in hand, and constructed our government with that in mind. If we homosexuals want the same right to love as our nature inclines that heterosexuals have, we must be willing to accept the same responsibilities. In short, the responsibility of committing ourselves to love, fidelity, and legal union with another human being.



One common objection to allowing homosexuals to legalize their unions is that marriage was intended to protect the couple's children. (Does this mean that heterosexuals who do not want children, or are physically unable to, should not be allowed to marry?) I could point to the appalling statistics on "deadbeat dads" and unwed mothers on welfare, but heterosexual negligence does not dispute the principle. What does is the patent fact that many gay couples have children. Do these children not deserve the protection of the law?



In practice, marriage entails a great deal more than children. It is the official, legal joining of two adults' lives. As things stand, when a homosexual in a committed relationship dies, his or her life partner may be deprived of the property they held jointly. The recent crackdown on illegal aliens resident in the US has resulted in many gay couples being separated, while if they were of opposite sexes, they could have gotten legally married and thus guaranteed the foreign partner's right to remain.



At an HRC function I attended, a Lesbian in her thirties told a harrowing tale. A few years earlier, she had gone to a doctor about some minor complaints, and discovered that they were in fact symptoms of an advanced brain tumor. Her life was in serious danger; they scheduled surgery for the very next day. She was warned that it was entirely possible that she would never wake up from the surgery. She spent the evening with lawyers, providing for the proper settlement of her property, and, more grimly, arranging for the disposal of her own remains. Among other things, she had to fill out forms and sign papers stating at what point, if she were to survive the surgery but be unable to emerge from a coma, life support should be disconnected. If her spouse had been a man rather than a woman, he would have had the legal right to make all of these decisions for her, and she could have spent what might have been the last evening of her life with her loved ones instead of with lawyers. As a postscript to this story, which by pure chance had a happy ending, let me point out that many homosexuals have families which hate them for being gay, and these resentful blood relatives, rather than the homosexual's chosen life partner, are endowed with the legal right to make these decisions when that homosexual is unconscious and hooked up to machines.



For the last several decades, our society has been urged to shirk sexual responsibility. Commitment and abstinence are strongly discouraged; promiscuity and single parenthood are applauded. Our children are being raised in poverty and becoming delinquent in unprecedented numbers. I personally know dozens of women whose husbands abandoned them and their small children, encouraged by this era's free-and-easy attitude toward sex and marriage. Less easily measurable is the psychological damage done to adults, gay and straight, who are unable to share trust, love, and a lifetime with another person, because of the severe beating that the institution of marriage has been given. If we are to reverse the dangerous trends of recent decades, it is imperative that we all, gay and straight, honor the commitment of marriage.

 

 



The International Commitment Ceremonies Registry
"The International Commitment Ceremonies Registry (ICCR) is an official organization that collects and stores searchable records of Commitment Ceremonies that have been performed all over the world. The ICCR provides Commitment Ceremonies Registration Services. This service is used to create a permanent historical record of one the most important events in a couples life. Many governments do not recognize these unions. The ICCR was created to recognize all these unions on an international level."



Religious Support for Equal Marriage Rights
Interfaith Working Group Online's essay and guide to more resources.