Can gays hurt marriage any more than straights have?By Jim Trageser
This article was originally published in the June 2, 1996 edition of the North County Times.
Ah, the joys of wedded bless. Kissing under the rose arbor, surrounded by supportive family and friends. Ducking handfuls of hurled rice. Driving off into a new life, trailing a noisy garland of old cans and shoes and new hopes.
It's a sacred moment, an undying commitment to two people united by love, mutual respect and shared dreams.
That's two people of the opposite sex, of course.
No, our great institution of marriage is not to be tampered with, not to be ruined. Can't have same-sex marriages. Nope, wouldn't be right for the rest of us. Would wreak havoc with the sanctity of the joyful unions good Americans and God expect of our couples. Would undermine the very foundations of our society.
If we allow two men who deeply, devoutly love one another to marry, it will diminish the value of heterosexual marriage. Indeed, the day we let women marry women, all seven (eight? nine? Heck, who can keep track anymore?) of Elizabeth Taylor's passionate marriages will immediately become worthless. Bonnie Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer might as well have just eschewed their fairy-tale marriage and lived in sin.
If two "life partners" of the same gender were to have their commitment recognized by the state, it would make a mockery of Ted and Joan Kennedy's exemplary union, make a farce of the John and Lorena Bobbitt holy wedlock.
Were we to officially sanction two people living together, raising children, paying off a mortgage, but also sharing the same body parts, why would decent heterosexuals like the tender couple Roseanne and Tom Arnold even bother with getting married anymore?
Sure, Dwight Eisenhower had a torrid affair while serving in Europe in World War II, Bill Clinton can't keep his hands to himself, Newt Gingrich divorced his first wife while she lay in a cancer ward, and FDR had a decades-long relationship with a woman other than Eleanor. But what's any of that when compared to those perverts who want to act like a real couple just because they love one another?
The list of marriages that would be despoiled by recognition of same-sex marriage goes on and on Burt and Loni, Andrew and Fergie, Donald and Ivana, Tonya and Jeff. All these honest, God-fearing heterosexual couples who have dedicated their lives to the holy celebration of their sacred wedding vows would see their life's work reduced to bitter jokes if we let gay men and women who just happen to love each other get married like real people.
Heck, if we believe gays and lesbians are so detestable, so utterly unworthy of the basic human and civil rights we claim for ourselves, perhaps we ought to just go ahead and let them suffer the horrors of marriage. Heterosexuals have done almost more damage to the institution than it can possibly bear. Yeah, a nice little rotten marriage would be just the thing to punish those whose "lifestyle" we find so offensive.
On the other hand, if we truly believe marriage is about loving and honoring another person, about committing ourselves the good and the not so good to a person whom we just do not want to live without, then how can we possibly, in good conscience, deny that opportunity, that right, to anyone?
If, however, we're serious about having the government tell consenting adults whom they may choose to spend their lives with, then I have a suggestion on where to start: For her own sake, for ours, please, someone strip Liz Taylor of her license to marry.
© Copyright Jim Trageser
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