This morning, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the 1996 law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman – the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional because it deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples. Oh, how I do enjoy the culture wars where victories mean we don’t have to kill people – like in actual wars – we just get to kill knuckle dragging, regressive ideas.
If you are among the minority of people who feels that marriage (as defined legally) should consist of a union between a man and a woman, know that public opinion is shifting so fast on this issue that soon enough you’ll be forced into the closet with your views.
And in the closet you can stay.
If it gets too lonely in the closet, you might occasionally venture out, under the cover of night where maybe you can cruise the park and find other hate mongers to commiserate with, and the anonymous, fleeting nature of your exchange might save you from the ridicule of your peers, who have jumped onto the wave of progress and are threatened not by the intimate acts and lifelong commitments between consenting adults.
If your argument for denying rights to homosexuals rests on any scholarship found in a book of laws written by an all knowing creator of the universe, then fine- bully for you- I’m sure there is a club of like people in your neighborhood where a man in a dress who has taken a vow of celibacy (alter boys don’t count!) will join you and yours in holy matrimony- and that is just great- nobody is taking that blessed event away from you.
But after you do your thing in the church, it isn’t legal until you go to court and sign a contract.
The argument that if Adam and Steve can be openly and legally married will somehow tarnish the integrity of their neighbors hetero marriage is part of a broader picture wherein people cling to an idealized picture of the world that recalls Norman Rockwell, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and the smell of moth balls. It was a simpler time, right before the 1st season of MAD MEN, where women did what they were told, and men did whatever they wanted and gay people did their best to become invisible. Sure, some of had an aunt Edna, who moved away and lived with her “friend” Alice but they never went anywhere as a couple, did they?
There are many who were killed because they were gay. Matthew Sheppard was beaten, tortured and strung up on a fence and left there to die because a real man was so enraged that he was gay. The defenders of the defenders of marriage act may never give physical agency to that kind of rage, but their brand of hatred springs from the same putrid, poisoned well. If you are infected with this rage, if you are foolish enough to defend the defense of marriage act my advice to you is keep it in the closet.