In Bill´s (in Portland Maine) little 'Cheers and Jeers' anicdote about how unnecessarily antagonistic marriage laws are against (and only against) gays in the U.S., he both misses the point entirely and openly shows his own tendency toward personal prejudices. Apparently, according to Bill, there are numerous groups of people who should be discriminated against based on their choice of lifestyle only, regardless of the fact that their choices neither do (nor potentially do) anything to affect our constitutional right to the freedom to practice our religion of choice, nor do they contradict the historical social norm of marriage for the purpose of procreation and social cohesion. Neither do they, in any way, and possibly more important, preclude the exclusion of homosexuals in any of their respective companies. Bill´s group of those he believes are less worthy of being considered for legal marriage consist of:
Satan worshippers, divorcées, rapturists, crack addicts, axe murderers, neo-nazi anarchists, "schtuping" nuns, porn addicts, kitten-drowners, deadbeat dads and chain-smokers.
Now, with the exception of axe murderers, I don´t believe any other of these groups of individuals fall under the category of illegal behavior (I know it´s illegal to sell and buy crack, but I don´t believe it is illegal to be addicted to it), and, regardless, there are laws set up to punish them. What bearing it has on who should and who should not have a right to marry, I just don´t see. So, what exactly is the comparison Mr. In Portland Maine is trying to draw; that there are those who could do harm to the institution of marriage in general, and that we should do what we can to protect that institution from irreparable damage; and that we should strictly adhere to a constitutional definition of the institution that can in no way affect our other constitutional freedoms?
Well, in that case, good point, Bill!
Updated Nov. 12, 2009
And Bill had a response via email; reposted here, in its entirety (cuz I´m fair like that). You can read it below the fold and respond, or not, accordingly.
Hey. I saw your post on my post and tried to comment but it wouldn't post it. So here it is via email. Bill
I'm guessing none of you were here in Maine during the Catholic Church's little assault on us nasty gay people. You can twist my post any way you want, but the fact remains: the church (in which gay priests, bishops and cardinals run rampant) has a fixation on gay people that is quite puzzling...and quite damaging to the gay community, many of whom were raised Catholic.
Being gay is like being left-handed, or blue-eyed vs. brown-eyed. Unlike the other characteristics I mentioned in my post (atheists, satanists, etc.), being gay is not a choice. It just is. I am still amazed that you guys just don't believe that. Do you think we'd put ourselves in such a position of public ridicule, discrimination and physical harm like that? Why on earth would we do that? And when did you choose to be straight? Gimme a break. And another thing: gay kids come from straight parents. Should we outlaw straight marriage since they're the "gay factories?"
Oh, and by the way: left-handers used to be persecuted as "evil" in some societies, and southpaws were forced to learn how to write right-handed. Silly, huh. Funny how we evolve to a higher level of thinking when we learn new information.
The fact is, gays are targeted for no reason other than we make good villains and galvanize the easily-scared. We're "Icky" and "Immoral" and all the rest. Blah blah blah. Unless you're willing to follow the Bible EXACTLY as written---following all the rules and regulations therein TO THE LETTER (as God intended, right?), then you might as well stop following anything in it. Cherrypicking passages is for wussies. Bring back stonings and slavery and make women property again---it's the Christian way going back thousands of years. Or was God wrong about all those things that we no longer follow? Yikes...I would hate to question His judgment if I were you.
Wouldn't it be nice---seriously---if the Catholic church could stem the bleeding (church closings, followers leaving in droves) if they would do with the gays what they've done with so many other parts of Biblical teaching...and that is, adapt to modern times? Five states now prove conclusively that same-sex marriage does nothing to harm society, families, or communities. We're 8 percent of the population, for crying out loud---you're THAT threatened by us? Really???
C'mon---nobody who gets married is under ANY obligation to have kids. The marriage license says NOTHING about children or "social cohesion." Not that I'm against either of 'em...but if you can't see that America is made up of a whole variety of family types and structures, and they all get along pretty well, you've got your head in the sand. And I'll tell ya what: I'm completely in favor of really, really old people getting married. No kids involved there, my friend, but their vows are just as valid and beautiful as anyone else's of any age or, um, fertility potential.
And just to be clear: the vote was on "civil" marriage. That amounts to filling out a form at City Hall, paying $150, and having a Notary Public say the magic words. That's it---no religion involved in ANY way. The church part is 100% optional in ANY marriage. But the state part----ya gotta get that part approved first or you're not married, no matter what the priest or reverend or rabbi says.
I stick by my words. The people who fawn all over the "sanctity of marriage" sure do let a lot of abhorrent (often including themselves--coughcoughMark SanfordJohn Ensigncoughcough) people into the "institution," and do an awfully poor job decreasing the divorce and adultery numbers. Allowing gays to marry won’t hurt the "institution" one bit. Somehow, I think you guys actually know that.
Thank you for the discussion.
Bill in Portland Maine