Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This Whole "Protect Marriage" Thing

Many years ago, I had a good friend go into politics. I took a little vacation and went to visit them. We sat down for dinner at one of those Benihana teppanyaki tables in a cheezy bling-bling town. While an illegal alien threw raw shrimp up in the air and juggled both the salt and pepper shakers while waiting for the shrimp to fall, and then beheaded and butterflied those see-through crustaceans before they hit the sizzling table, my newly anointed Republican politician friend told me how opposed they were to gay marriage.

This is from a person who married a gay person.

Granted, said gay person had been convinced that they were only gay as a reaction to an over-controlling parent, and wouldn't be gay anymore if they had hetero sex while closing their eyes and thinking about...England...or something. Based on the nature of the porn collection in their house, they were definitely not thinking about England.

I must repeat, that this person was a Republican.

You know, I've meandered through life, bumping into the most diverse and interesting people, and I've been slack-jawed at some of the things people have told me, but for some reason I kind of just took it all in stride, because the more I lived, the more I understood that EVERYbody is odd, and NObody is immune. Including moi.

But what pisses me off is when people who fuck with their eyes closed pretending to be straight, discriminate and legislate against people who fuck with their eyes open, not pretending to be anyone other than who they are.

Just now I was voting for one of my favorite blogs, pandagon, over at the 2008 webby awards (you too can vote, every day until January 13th), and I noticed another favorite, Bitch Ph.D., was also up for the award. So I clicked through and read this article about the structure of today's families, or what taddyporter calls "cookie-cutter lives." There's this big myth out there that the "traditional family" needs to be protected, as if the traditional family was a kitten or something. I always have believed that this whole traditional family thing, the whole protect traditional marriage thing, was a trumped-up Karl Rove, religious right fanatical bullshit trope.

And it is. I'd love to see some statistics about how many "traditional families" there are in America. The kind with a man, wife and one or more kids. Because I think there's a shitload of non-traditionals out there.

Just like taddyporter, I don't have to think long or hard about all the non-traditional family units I have in my life. There's a couple I know in their sixties who fought and won custody of their infant grandchild. There's the lesbian couple I met years ago, one woman was in her 50s with grown children and her partner was in her late twenties, longing for children. So they got together with a guy gay couple and mixed up both guys' sperm in a turkey baster and had two kids that way. Both couples bought houses next door to each other so they could share parenting responsibilities. That must really suck for those two kids, having two moms and two dads who love them to pieces. My own family is divided by petty and not-so-petty quarrels to the point where I had to look outside of this supposed Catholic church-blessed family structure and find some sort of non-traditional family of my own. I know a girl in her 30s whose mother abandoned her and the rest of the kids. My friend ended up turning tricks, then married her pimp. Marriage - it's so traditional, you know? The mother that abandoned her? Republican.

Family is just a concept. Marriage is just a concept. Neither concepts need protection. What we need to protect is the rights of all human beings who wish to partake in those two concepts. Both concepts should be allowed to all human beings, no matter what their politics, religion, gender, sexual preference or migration habits may be.

Here's what's important. Each of us must strive to be responsible and loving adults, and when we come into contact with children and other defenseless beings (which includes feeble elderly, all animals, and emotionally, mentally or physically disabled humans), we must nurture and protect them so that they can grow into responsible, loving adults, who will nurture, protect and grow the children and defenseless beings with whom they come into contact. That means that when I, a childless person by choice, come into contact with other people's children, I must treat them respectfully, must nurture and protect them while they are in my presence, and help grow them into responsible adults. 

It doesn't matter if I'm single or married, gay or straight. I don't have to adhere to some set of morals defined by some religion or listen to some imaginary friend on a throne in the sky or read some book written by a bunch of fallible men a thousand years ago. These are simply my responsibilities as a human being. Period.

Protect marriage. What a bunch of crap.

Marriage Attacked! 

Canton, Ohio - 5:45 pm: At the break of dawn, after a bloody fight, Ohio state officials declared marriage a national disaster. 500 marriages were slaughtered. At least 18,000 marriages were wounded. It is reported that hospitals are running dangerously low of magic marriage juice, wedding rings and bandages. Children, orphaned by this disaster, are running amok. Those holding on to their traditional marriages barricaded themselves into their homes and would not help the starving, frightened children, in case exposure to the tainted children would threaten their marriages too.

Mrs. Eunice Keigle bellowed from her barred window at our reporter late last night during the deluge: "Them gays is what did this! I knows it! Here we were, all happily married - well, I know my husband is fucking that bitch Norleen from the pool hall, but we's still married at least! - and the gays moved in like terrorists! They planted them fancy gardens and fixed up their houses. They don't have inny cars up on blocks in their front yard. None t'all. What the hell was wrong with them! And they had children! Good lawd, we had the devil himself, with his swishy minion, living right next door! It was like a plague. And I, for one, am staying inside until my government, all those good Christians down there at City Hall, come in and kill all them gays."

Meanwhile, state officials held an emergency meeting in the state records office, standing by helplessly as marriage certificates and birth records burst into uncontrollable spontaneous combustion. Chip Howard, Canton's first openly gay mayor, locked himself in his home as crowds of savage Ohioans filled the streets and pushed towards the mayor's manse holding up torches and singing, "Onward Christian soldiers!"

President Jeb Bush and Vice President Cheney, along with Secretary of State Sarah Palin, addressed the American people from their high-rise offices in Dubai. They asked for calm, as the New World Army was on its way in to quell the violence and kill all the terrorists. They asked all True Christians to put on their secret badge, so that the corporate Blackwater troops could differentiate True Believers from infidels.

Eunice Keigle turned to her husband and said, "Badges?"

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