This cartoon from ’04 is making the rounds again on the Interwebs and I’m happy about that. I’m no historical brainiac but I can say with confidence that this scene took place as soon as democracy of any kind began. As long as there are voters making decisions based on superstition and fear, there will be politicians willing to scare the hell out of them. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
Among the past “bogeymen” in U.S. elections have been minorities, criminals, immigrants, and terrorists. This year one of the bogeymen seems to be gay marriage.
Denying a sector of the population their rights to participate fully in society is un-American. (Not in terms of what we’ve actually done, but in terms of what we say we stand for in our constitution.) I can think of no logical reason to continue this bigotry. The reasons I’ve heard have all been based on superstition or fear––”Who are we to redefine marriage as The Bible states it?” “It will erode the traditional family.”
The Bible has several definitions of marriage, most of which involve either multiple wives (King Solomon) or buying and selling your daughters like property. Clearly, American Christians and our government have already redefined marriage as The Bible states it. Regarding “eroding the traditional family,” if that’s really our concern it is divorce that should be outlawed, not marriage. We heterosexuals have already made a travesty out of what same-sex marriage opponents are currently defining as “marriage,” with more than half ending in divorce long before “death.” How many opponents of gay marriage are on their second or third hetero marriage?
I’ve always believed that there can be no crime where there is no victim. No studies or statistics that I know of show that gay relationships harm anyone. They don’t cause crime to go up, kids to be molested (or “warped” by same-sex parents), economies to fail, property values to drop, jobs to be lost, the sky to turn black, or rivers to turn to blood. Where is the victim? What studies do show, however (as does common logic), is that our sexual orientation is hardwired from birth. I can’t control who or what I find sexy and neither can you. Punishing me for liking redheads makes no more sense than punishing women for liking women.
There was a time when it was illegal to marry outside of your own race or religion. This seems preposterous and grossly unjust to us now. I’m looking forward to a time when we can say the same thing about same-sex marriage.