An amazing thing happened today: California legalized same-sex marriage. Of course, it’s more complicated than that (the CA supreme court actually declared any previous gay marriage bans unlawful under its Constitution) but the upshot is the same, and a lot of people are celebrating tonight. I know I’ve said this forty times before on this blog, but it’s important for straight couples (like us) to be vociferous about this, as nobody can claim that we’re doing it out of self-interest. This is a goddamn human rights issue.
The famed 19th-century Unitarian preacher Theodore Parker has one of my favorite quotes: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one… And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.” Your personal cynicism can be measured precisely by how much you believe that quote to be true. Are we on an inexorable path towards enlightenment, or are bursts like this just random flashes of light in mankind’s circular death march?
Theodore Parker lived just before the Civil War, and was discussing slavery, but the argument holds. I have to believe we are heading towards enlightenment, even with the repulsive fuck-monkeys currently occupying the White House, or else there’s really no point to any struggle, or, for that matter, teaching your kids anything but survival.
The Declaration of Independence said “all men are created equal”, but I like to think of America as having one golden rule: Thou Shalt Not Be Punished for Things Beyond Your Control. That was slavery’s essence – punishing those babies who were born black by making them lifelong indentured servants. It defines “sexism”, and now, “homophobia”. The next frontier, of course, is “beauty”, but we’re still a long way from considering the irredeemably ugly or morbidly obese as anything but punchlines.
Once you get past the chokingly ill-educated, insanely stupid argument that homosexuality is a choice, from then on, YOU MUST provide gays and lesbians every last protection under the law, and allow them to call their partnerships “marriage” or “civil unions” or “Sapphic trysts” or whatever the hell they want. Just like you can. End of story. Because, like I said, in this country, we don’t punish people for choices they didn’t make. There’s a name for places like that.
Inevitably – INEVITABLY – a bill will be put before the government, or a referendum on the ballot, that will declare same-sex marriage illegal, and it will be sponsored by some of the most morally-repugnant lowlifes in politics and organized religion. I have trouble fathoming most conservative and Republican behavior, but going after gays is truly sickening. It’s one thing if you truly believe in unprovoked war, or unfettered capitalism, or denying climate change… but there’s a special place in hell waiting for those who punish homosexuals for daring to get married. The vindictiveness is astonishing.
Religious conservatives could be trying to end poverty (like Jesus) or preaching tolerance (like Jesus) or spreading a message of love (like Jesus), but they’d rather spend their time going after fags. Forget the cruelty; it doesn’t even make sense in terms of time management. How do these people manage to block off their calendars? I work freelance and take Dexedrine, and there’s no WAY I could squeeze that much gay-hating in the week.
Hopefully, this will seem quaint to those reading from the future. It will have long been settled: homosexuals are married, just like different races get married, just like two left-handers get married. The moral arc of history may be bending towards justice, but man – it’s a jagged, horrible, tooth-chipping ride.
our friends Jason and Tim hug after their ceremony at City Hall, Valentine’s Day 2004