I hope that everyone had an excellent Marriage Protection Week. Devoting an entire week to celebrating love and encouraging it to blossom is a wonderful idea. While I understand that divorce can also be something to celebrate, it warms my heart to know that the fine people leading our country want to help us save our relationships. The thing that puzzles me is how they plan to go about it. Instead of buying every married couple in the country a trip to the Caribbean or sending secret service agents to slip roses under our pillows while we’re at work, the powers that be seem to think that ridiculing gays is going to strengthen their marriages.
I shudder to think about the kind of romance that the social conservatives envision. Imagine the following scene, if you will: A man sits at the breakfast table, staring at his newspaper, less interested in reading the articles than avoiding another awkward conversation. His wife sullenly places some burnt eggs in front of him and pauses as she notices an article about Gay Pride Week.
“Gays disgust me,” she says.
Immediately, the paper is flung to the floor. “Oh, honey, me too!” cries the man in elation. Passionate lovemaking ensues; breakfast is spoiled.
Okay, so that’s a bit far-fetched, but so is the notion that allowing gay couples to marry will somehow undermine heterosexual relationships. Is anyone here worried about losing your girlfriend because gays are allowed to date? Are you suddenly going to find sex unappealing because gays can fuck too? There is nothing rational about feeling threatened by gay marriage; when your relationship falls apart, it’s your own damn fault, not some sneaky gay conspiracy to undermine your life.
Yet there are always those who seek others to blame for their problems or to oppress in hopes of feeling superior. There are people who devote a significant portion of their lives to making others uncomfortable. One of these fine, upstanding conservatives is the Family Research Council’s Genevieve Wood, who ironically appears to be single. She reminds us that “the majority of homosexual couples don’t stay together more than a year and a half,” and therefore it is “ludicrous that … any two men or two women could have advice for a married man and woman.” Notice how easy it is to prove a point when you compare apples to oranges. She’s implicitly comparing the length of dates to that of marriages; I’ll go out on a limb here and bet that the average straight couple doesn’t last longer than that either. And if gays were allowed to marry, I’m sure that they would last just as long as heterosexual couples.
Call me crazy, but I think that allowing and encouraging all sorts of loving relationships will make our society stronger, not weaker. That’s why I think that, until gay marriages are allowed, we should have “Relationship Protection Week.” And it should be all year long. If you’re only showing your devotion once a year, I imagine that your relationship is pretty badly strained.
But then again, maybe I just don’t understand love.
Loren Williams is a senior computer science major.