Last week, on election day in California and two other states, marriage was banned between people of the same sex. Why?

Well, of course, the lying or delusional proponents of the ban claim that they are "protecting the sanctity of marriage," which can only be between a man and a woman, according to them. The real reason for the ban? Marriage, especially traditional marriage, is under siege. But not by radical or alternative approaches to marriage, and certainly not by homosexuals who love each other. No, in fact, traditional marriage is being assaulted by... traditional marriage. Yep. More than half of those "sanctified" marriages end in divorce these days, and an even higher percentage of traditionally married people have affairs.

Hello? Are Jane and John getting divorced or cheating more these days because Bret and Brad want to get married? Here it comes - HOW STUPID ARE WE?!

Traditional marriage is falling apart because so many people do it for the wrong reasons - financial insecurity, fear of being alone, wanting to live up to an image of being a proper adult, and worst of all, in order to have officially church-sanctioned sex! In other words, for reasons other than being deeply in-love. So, of course, it doesn't work - unless you're able to numb yourself and stay committed to hunkering down into a passionless life of misery-loves-company convenience and complacency. Institutionally-sanctioned sex is not hot! And many traditionally married people quickly find that out too late.

But what has gay marriage got to do with that anyway? Hmm... for one thing, if you just probe below the surface of the inner mind of any repressed person, you will find a stereotypical belief that homosexuals are in fact only homosexual in the first place because they are wantonly obsessed with sex. Right. So horny and perverted and lustfully out of control that they'll even have sex with the same sex! Yeah... Sex! Sex! SEX!!! "Hey! They can't have that if I can't have it!"

Of course, if those repressed oppressors actually knew any gay people up close and personal, they'd discover that a gay sexual orientation is no more of a path to great sex than a heterosexual one is. Emotional and physical connectedness and mental openness is what frees us up for that potential, and for the great trinity of Love-Eros-and-Sex.

My message to the gay-marriage-banning crowd: get therapy, get a life and get laid!

Anway, below is Keith Olbermann's "special comment" on the subject from his show last night. It's very powerful.

Here's Keith O:

"This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

"If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

"Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

"I keep hearing this term 're-defining' marriage.

"If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

"The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not 'Until Death, Do You Part,' but 'Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.' Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

"You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

"And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the 'sanctity' of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

"What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

"It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

"And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

"With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person...

"Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear the phrase "sanctity of marriage" I just shake my head. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. You can get married in Las Vegas at 2am by an Elvis impersonator to someone you met fifteen minutes ago at the blackjack table, and if it doesn't work out, you can get divorced (or have it annulled, the way Britney Spears did with her drunken 2am Vegas wedding) almost as easily.

Somehow this doesn't sound very sacred to me...

The thing is, the moment the state gets involved in marriage (taking money for issuing marriage licenses, putting requirements on the prospective bride and groom such as having certain medical tests, allowing judges and mayors and other government officials to preside over a wedding, etc.), it ceases to be sacred.

Yes, churches can bless (or refuse to bless) marriages, but the state trumps them every time. A Catholic priest might well refuse to marry a couple in certain circumstances (people who have previously been married, for example, or who are of non-Catholic backgrounds and are unwilling to convert, etc.), and that's the right of the chruch. But the same couple that Father O'Malley refused to marry can still go to Vegas and get married at 2am by an Elvis impersonator....

A marriage conducted under the most tawdry and ill-advised of circumstances is legally equal to one that takes place in a cathedral with foreign heads of state in attendance and a blessing from an Archbishop.

How is preventing people who want to get married from getting married preserving anything like sanctity of marriage? Show me how legal contracts taken out before a judge or an Elvis impersonator is in any way sacred.

Want to really protect marriage? Make divorce illegal. Make everyone get married in a religious ceremony (yes, even atheists, so that it's properly "sacred"!). Make people take courses with counsellors prior to being issued with a marriage license.

No, wait, let's just stop SOME people from getting married. That'll make it all okay...


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