There is nothing gayer – in the adolescent slang sense of the term – than the issue of gay marriage. Never have so many people whined so much over something that is so stupid.
Personally, I am inclined to support the legalization of gay marriage for the same reason I support the legalization of drugs: everyone has a right to self-harm. The problem with gay marriage, however, is that it shouldn’t even be an issue. In a truly free society, the government wouldn’t preference any private affairs, and gays could make contracts with each other and call them whatever they wish – be it “marriage” or “domestic peace treaty” – while others could recognize such contracts as they wish. Extending marriage rights is merely about qualifying more people to take part in something that shouldn’t exist in the first place.
Modern political discourse is frustrating enough, but since gay marriage is a non-issue, the arguments both for and against it have been particularly groundless – and tit-twistingly annoying.
Many on the religious right have secured their place in the Earl Warren District of Hell for even thinking about desecrating our sacred Constitution by adding in it references to marriage. Senator Rick Santorum has called it “the ultimate homeland security” to prevent 1-3 percent of the population from being able to call itself “married.” Some have literally said that gay marriage would mean the end of Western civilization as we know it. This is the type of belief that can only be bearable when expressed in a heavy, drawling Louisiana accent, replete with medieval references to beasts and horns, at 9 on Sunday morning FM radio.
Not all opponents of gay marriage are this acrimonious – many would love to see gays get married, but also want to retain the institution’s traditional definition. Their message to gay men is thus a friendly one: “Be a sport,” they say, “and learn how to fuck a chick.” Some of the clerics even offer to teach.
Meanwhile, the gay left has stuck to its own tradition of identity-thought. Its members have claimed that gay love cannot be sanctified unless it is recognized by the state. Coming from those who think government is God, this view is expected. But nothing could more undermine the concept of love and individuality. It’s also claimed that disallowing gay marriage encourages social castigation and results in more closet homosexuals. But having sex in closets is a fetish hardly confined to homosexuals. It’s hard to see how forcing something on a resistant public would result in greater acceptance.
Opponents argue that guys marrying guys could eventually lead to guys marrying two guys and guys marrying dogs. As to the dog argument, not only is it invalid – dogs can’t consent – but, if my cousin is any indication, it’s already legal. Gay marriage advocates, however, have not sufficiently answered the polygamy point. If marriage is opened to include any lifelong loving relationship, there would be no principle to outlaw the Salt Lake Syndrome.
Advocates ask why straight couples should have legal benefits that gay couples don’t have. But why should any couples have legal benefits that singles don’t have? Why should anyone have special benefits? That’s the fundamental question that this pesky, futile feud over marriage ignores.
That said, what to do now? Should marital benefits, as long as they exist, be extended to gays as a measure of equality? Should we go by the short-term philosophy that what works for the goose works for the gander?
Here’s why I don’t think so: imagine that members of a certain religion were specially treated by the government. Would the solution be for members of a second religion to also be specially treated – or for the government to stay out of religion altogether?
The orientation-equality war will never be resolved until there is a complete separation of sex and state.
Alec Mouhibian is an undeclared sophomore.