Thursday, October 30, 2008

"I now pronounce you Husband and...uh...The Other Guy."

Here in beautiful sun-stroked California, voters go to the polls on Tuesday and decide on the fate of gay marriage. If enacted, Proposition 8 prohibits same-sex unions, making it confusing for either side because voters supporting same-sex unions must vote "no" while opponents need to mark the "yes" box.

Frankly, I thought we decided this one once and for all. Same-sex marriage passed the CA State Supreme Court back in May. The Court found banning marriage on the basis of gender violates equal protection laws. The ruling also makes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation virtually indefensible.

Okay, so California has a same-sex marriage law. Now comes this proposition funded largely by the Mormon Church and other out-of-state conservative groups. This is where I'm puzzled.

In my last post, I discussed the conservative movement as advocating a weak central government with greater powers delegated to the states. Theoretically, greater "states rights" gives you and your neighbor the opportunity to govern yourself as you see fit. Since our country is a physically large "melting pot," certain legislation passed by the federal government might be inappropriate in some regions due to climatic differences or local custom. That's the theory anyway.

Since the founding of our country, each state makes its own marriage laws. Interesting how conservatives from other states want to violate our state's right to adjudicate marriage as we see fit just because they don't like Adam and Steve getting hitched.

Driving around LA, I see bumper stickers urging a "yes" vote to "restore marriage." Organized street-corner demonstrations ask motorists for a "honk to preserve marriage." I'm all for preserving and restoring marriage. Perhaps those supporting Proposition 8 should think about restoring and preserving their own marriages before they dictate to others.

In this great land of ours we like to call This Great Land Of Ours, Holy Mortal Wedlock gets the stuffing beaten out of it every minute of every day. Statistically, a few more than half of all marriages end in divorce. 70 percent of all married people admit to stepping out on their partners at least once. So a great majority of married people don't care really about the sanctity of marriage until Adam and Steve decide they want to cement their relationship and exploit the tax advantages. Now everybody's in a rush to preserve good ol' marriage.

Here's some unsolicited advice: Before sticking one's nose into other people's marriages, one might want to ensure one's own marriage is wired nice and tight.

I gave this proposition a good going over before opposing it. I realize there are very few marriages I care about. First and foremost is my own. Am I being the best husband I can be to my wife? Is there anything I can do to improve my own marriage? Right now, I hear my wife yelling, "Make more money!" in my head.

I care about the marriages of my family and friends. I hope everyone is happy and well. If I don't know you, I waste not one moment thinking about the state of your union. So if I don't care about the marriages of strangers, why should I care about who (or what) they marry?

Besides, I don't believe for a minute that gay couples hold Holy Mortal Wedlock in any higher esteem than the rest of us. So gird yourself for the spectacle of same-sex divorce. Talk about Must-See TV! I can see it now...

Gay Divorce Court. A combination of regular Divorce Court and Antiques Roadshow. Each contestant states a reason why he should be the recipient of each piece of community property. Tears are encouraged. The combination of best story and the closest guess at the item's value wins the item. Oh the pageantry! Oh the savagery! Oh the ratings!

See, there's an upside to everything. Hey, if Adam and Steve invite me to their wedding, I'm going. I'm sure it will be very tasteful.

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