The old joke goes, "Of course I think gays should be able to marry. Why shouldn't they be as miserable as the rest of us?"

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard arguments on Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban. My Facebook feed bled red and pink gay rights symbols, references to loving thy neighbor and abstaining from judging, real-time updates on the Supremes' comments and perceived leanings. SCOTUS, SCOTUS, everywhere.

I think of myself as open-minded. I can play devil's advocate with the best of them. But opposition to gay marriage, simply put, don't make a lick of sense to me. To me, gay marriage is not a legal issue. It is a human rights issue, a liberty issue, a respect-me-and-I'll-respect-you issue. Now, I haven't done the research on opposition to gay marriage. I know there are religious arguments and social arguments, studies that allegedly prove that kids do best with a father and a mother. I have no research on hand to argue with such studies. I've only got my gut.

Politics and religion both seem to be like a flag snapping around a pole, driven by a thousand competing winds. As much as we all want to believe that politicians "vote their consciences" and religious figures "stand for principles," I've seen too many men and women do the triple-DC-flip-flop to stay one step ahead of the mob and call that "leading."

I have a family, a legal one. I said, "Hey government, I'd like to marry this man!" They said, "One woman? Check! One man? Check! Heeeere ya go!" I said, "Hey government, my husband and I love each other and we'd like to have a child!" They said, "What are you asking me for? Go on with your bad selves and make that baby!" I'm not going to say that our life has been conflict-free; there have been plenty of tears shed and freeze-out fights and sleepless nights and moments of despair when I believed I would never, ever, ever be able to take a shower again. But we've never had to fight someone else for our right to live our lives the way we want to.

There are times when I look at my son and completely ignore the advice of experts. Let him cry it out, they say. I pick him up and hold him close and kiss the whimpers away. This child is not community property. I do not parent by a show of hands. He is mine. Nobody knows him like I do. Not you, Doctor. Not you, Senator.  Not you, Reverend.

To me, outlawing a gay family is as egregious as outlawing breastfeeding. If the state of Washington made breastfeeding illegal I would become a lactating outlaw. If my church called breastfeeding a sin, I guess I'd pack for hell. Because experts and principled politicians be damned. I know that what I'm doing is right. And to anyone who says "how could they vilify breastfeeding? It's a personal choice, and none of the government's business what you do with your own boobs!" I would simply remind you that in the last couple of years the government has injected itself into millions of bedrooms in this country, telling women what to do about birth control (you can still HAVE it... we just won't COVER it. Sorry, poor women. Looks like you're about to become welfare mothers. Step into my office so I can shame you for your irresponsible choices and being a drag on our economy. Abstinence! Abstinence is the... sorry, that's my escort service on the other line. Can you hold on a minute?) and telling committed same-sex couples that they are second-class citizens who clearly are not virtuous or responsible enough to have what any idiot 18-year-old can dive into during a crazy weekend at the Hooters casino in Vegas.

My family is blessed to live within the parameters of the law. The thing is, this law is about as sturdy as the first two little pigs' houses. The wind blows another direction tomorrow and suddenly we're forced to put our son in military school starting at age 7. The wind blows another direction in a week and we have to pass genetic screening before we can use a public park.  Think it'll never happen? Maybe you're right. Maybe politicians do have our best interests at heart. But before you settle in all cozy-like, wrapped in your basic civil liberties, ask the gay couple down the street about the benevolence of our magnanimous American government.

You, government, don't get to legalize a family. Not mine, not any family. All people born in this country are protected by the same constitution that protects your right to have an affair, get a divorce, and make choices for your family. How dare you assume that you have the right to hand down special rights to your equals?

That's all I have to say about that.


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