Rethinking Gay Marriage...
You know, up until last week I had no problem with the idea of gay mariage, unions, whatever you want to call 'em. Now, I have some serious issues with it.
First of all, what is a marriage? The traditional view of marriage (and I defy you to find a culture that practices marriage rights to the contrary) is simply this: it is the union of two people for the purposes of creating a new family unit and then propigating the species, with the inherent belief that both people in the union will cleve to one another, exclusive of others. Naturally, you cannot propigate the species unless you have a complete set of sexual organs, meaning his and hers, despite the advances of medical science (we're talking tradition, here). Mother Nature, God or the Gonad Fairy designed it this way, and it works. It has for a few million years.
Civilization has erected (no pun intended) many institutions that protect this union and the various threads that eminate from it (children, inheritance, parental rights/responsibilities, etc.), and these institutions have also, mostly, served civilization well. Among these are religious/legal codes stressing monogamy, the sanctity of the union, legal and religious prohibitions about simply up and leaving your mate when it becomes inconvenient for you to stick around. These institutions have worked, for thousands of years.
It has also been discovered, and the research is litterlly everywhere, that the issue of a such a union (i.e. children) grow up to be much better adjusted and happier when they have a complete set of parents (his and her) who take their legal, moral and religious responsibilites mentioned above seriously.
There is also a school of thought that finds homosexuality a disgusting practice, morally and physically repugnant, and in conjunction with the religious, legal and moral codes mentioned above, would fight a hungry tiger handcuffed in order to see that their children, their communities and, finally, themselves, do not have to witness or take part in homosexual activity. This school of thought also believes that homosexual activity constitutes an aberration of the natural order fo things.
However, we live in a tolerant society, unlike Afghanistan, for instance. We live in a nation of laws, one of which states that an individual can be or do whatever he or she wants to, so long as they are not harming others or breaking any laws which the people have decided are worth having. We're also willing to bend the legal, the moral and the ethical from time to time to suit people's whims or fancies, provided of course, they do not lead to things like mass orgies of bloody axe murdering in the streets. So far, so good.
The central tenet of argument surrounding homosexual marriage is simply this: there are those that thumb their nose at conventional morality, others that wish to stretch the bounds of acceptable behavior, and still others that are selfish to the point of not caring what happens to the society around them, provided they get what they want, any way they can get it.
Up until people started openly flouting the law in San Francisco this week, and consequently, no one in a position of authority deemed it necessary to stop them, I was all in favor of letting gays marry. I don't care what people do to each other behind closed (closet) doors, provided I do not have to see it, hear about or have it pushed in my face. I have now changed my mind.
This is not a matter of civil rights. It is not a matter of affording rights to an "oppressed" minority, nor is it just an extention of a traditional value to a different set of circumstances. Now, it's whining.
I have been acquainted with quite a few gay people in my life and they allpretty much have the same traits in common --- they love attention, anyway they can get it. They're overly defensive and quick to take offense, and nasty about it, too. Their very (non-sexual) behavior is often consciously designed to shock, outrage and get attention. They tend to be quite emotional people as well. I guess if I was a memeber of a group that was ostracized for it's sexual preferences, I guess I would be all those things too. I generalize, but you get the idea.
Putting just as important issues aside (inheritance, spousal support, patrimony, etc), that is what this all boils down to; an attempt to get attention. A temper tantrum run rampant. An attempt to acquire not, as the defenders say, equal rights, but to get rights the rest of us would never be entitled to and to deconstruct society as we know it.
Once you begin to revise the idea of marriage, the rest is just a matter of time. In a custody case, for example, who is the father and who is the mother? Are those roles interchangable to suit someone's needs? Now we have to expand the definition of father and mother and apply a traditional, natural, set of ideals to fit a different circumstance. Once you revise the definition of marriage to allow a union in which propigation of the species is never likely to occur, you can now make the case that a man could marry a dachshund, and that would be allright because there would be no puppies. Same thing, just a different species. Once you revise the idea of law, that it can be whatever you want it to be if you hold your breath long enough, and begin to tear it away from its moral and (yes) religious foundations, then you can finally make the case that it would be okay for you to shoot the daschsund because you caught it humping the Irish Setter down the street, after all, it was your husband/wife and had violated the "sanctity of marriage".
The more ridiculous the argument, the more ridiculous the behavior to justify it.
I have a message for gay folks: be happy that you don't live in a society which will not tolerate your behavior, cater to your whims, or kill you for indulging them. Be extra happy that you live in a society which is willing to turn the other cheek (no pun intended) in the name of tolerance, despite their own morality. Tolerance only goes so far, however, and you're pushing the envelope.