I’m a curmudgeon guilty of old school thinking. But I’ve long been a progressive about being a gay man. Bearing that thought in mind, I always considered two of the major perks of being gay were: 1.) not having to serve in the military. And 2.) Avoiding the institution of marriage. But I’m from a different era. Young and old gay people alike want full equality and deserve nothing less. But it will no doubt be trading-in one set of pitfalls for another.
I have heterosexual friends and family members who have been divorced and remarried, in some cases multiple times. We’ve all lost count of how many marriages conservative denizens-to-the-alter like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have “enjoyed.” Too bad for those “family values” hypocrites that wedding nuptials don’t include frequent flyer miles–and extra points for emotional cruelty.
But anytime now, perhaps as early as this week, the Supreme Court of the United States is going to hand-down a ruling on The Defense of Marriage Act–in virtual tandem with a ruling on California’s efforts to repeal the discriminatory sadism of Proposition 8–thus potentially adding a whole waft of entirely new inmates to the “institution” of marriage. And it’s only fair: After all, gay people have been planning these ceremonies, crafting floral arrangements, decorating weddings, designing wedding gowns and frosting wedding cakes since the beginning of time–not to mention the battalions of gay waiters servicing the guests in reception halls. Gay people have been participating in every aspect of the wedding ceremony except for being allowed to openly and legally bond with their own same-sex partners the way heterosexual couples have for time immemorial. And god knows, many a gay priest has joined a heterosexual couple in holy matrimony while mentally undressing the groom. I can think of no one worse to solidify a couple’s marriage vows than a religiously ordained closet queen. Suppression does such strange things to people. Meanwhile, ostensibly “normal” brides and grooms get married while skydiving or snorkeling underwater. They hire Elvis Presley impersonators to officiate while they tie the knot. There’s even a rash of “zombie themed” weddings. Bearing all that in mind, what could be more normal than a gay wedding of two people who’ve already been peacefully living together without any of the benefits of the law for decades?
A lesbian or gay couple’s love for their partners is emotionally no different than what heterosexual couples experience. I’ve sampled both lifestyles. Love feels the same way in the hearts of all men and women without regard for sexual preference. But gay people are (for no logical reason aside from traditional religious mythology) marginalized where the subject of marriage is concerned. Marginalized people can and will act out. Frustration has to go somewhere. Therefore ‘holier-than-thou’ people like to point to “gay promiscuity” with scorn and judgmentalism–while completely overlooking equally bad or worse behavior by heterosexuals who have no comparable excuse for promiscuous conduct and serial monogamy. If a person is wrongfully demonized, it’s a natural reaction to flaunt misbehavior. If you’re already being chastised for an imaginary sin you might as well go ahead and enjoy performing the actual “sin.” However, if and when marriage equality is achieved, it will take generations for the discrimination to cease and desist.
I was recently a guest at a heterosexual wedding where the best man gave one of those typical, rambling speeches intended to embarrass the groom and frighten the bride and her parents. Suddenly the best man decided to start playing with, and hanging-from a very large and low-hanging brass chandelier. He brought the chandelier crashing down from the ceiling, clocked the groom AND himself squarely on the head. The end result was as following: The straight groom and the straight best man spent their wedding night together in the ER having staples put into both of their skulls. Meanwhile, the bride spent her wedding night alone in the bridal suite in bewilderment and dismay. Shouldn’t gay people be granted the same opportunities as anyone else to have an idiotic and expensive ceremony and then wonder who the hell that person is they’ve been sentenced to stare across the breakfast table at for decades on end? Of course they should. Besides, look at the economic boom this will mean for store bridal registries, and the wedding industry–not to mention the spike in revenue for divorce lawyers. Part of our freedoms as Americans, is the unencumbered choice to make our own mistakes within reason–and if we’re lucky, divine our own successes. “Mazel Tov” young lovers.
– Disassociated Press, 6/16/2013
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My book, An Early Work Late in Life is available through PixelPreserve for $29.95 plus shipping and handling at: http://www.pixelpreserve.net/bookstore/