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Who Wrote the Book on Love?

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I’m a straight man. I’m married and have kids. I was raised Catholic, but gave that up when I realized the hypocrisy of it all. Or maybe I just lost faith and haven’t found it again.

Whatever.

Recently, the Alaska constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional. Cool stuff.  And pretty damned obvious.

But there are still some groups who think that allowing these couples the same rights as the rest of Americans will somehow devalue their own marriages.

Whatever.

The arguments are stupid. And bigoted. And, frankly, indicative of the narrow mindedness that pervades our world. As I read the news articles and the commentary out there, it makes me wonder what we would do, as a nation, if these arguments were about race rather than sexuality?

I was reading an article on Townhall.com, a prominent and often repugnant right-wing sounding board. I usually read it for a laugh. The views are generally so outrageous and the rhetoric so poorly executed as to serve as good fodder for showing how to not argue a point — yes, even the articles by Chuck Norris and, sometimes, John Stossel fall into this category. These articles are full of ad homonym attacks, red herrings, and all kinds of other faulty logic. But the recent article by Joanne Moudy really is over the top. Here’s an excerpt:

In Gifford v. New York State Division of Human Rights, Administrative Law Judge, Migdalia Pares, apparently didn’t consider the U.S. Constitution or the Giffords rights at all when she slammed down her gavel. Quite the contrary, she levied fines of $13,000 and ordered the Giffords to hold LGBT weddings – in their own home – or not hold them at all. And in Orwellian fashion, she ordered the Giffords to indoctrinate their staff with re-education training classes so they can ‘learn’ the state’s viewpoint on marriage (which is apparently that anything goes)…. Care to marry your donkey?

What is it with these folks bringing animals into the argument? Stupid. But anyway, it got me thinking about what if we replaced sexuality with race, what would that do to the argument? Would it show just how silly it is to try to deny someone’s rights just because you don’t agree with their life.

And let’s not go into the argument that sexual orientation is a choice, unlike race. It’s not. Does the straight man or woman have any control over whom he is attracted to or whom she falls in love with? Not really. It is proven that the people and traits we are attracted to in a mate are, at least somewhat, hardwired into our brains. I’d give you a citation, but figure you can take the time to look it up if you’re interested.

So there’s that. And, let’s be honest — who would choose to live a life that so many revile, who would purposefully place themselves in the crosshairs of discrimination?

It’s simply not logical.

But anyway, back to this little experiment:

In Gifford v. New York State Division of Human Rights, Administrative Law Judge, Migdalia Pares, apparently didn’t consider the U.S. Constitution or the Giffords rights at all when she slammed down her gavel. Quite the contrary, she levied fines of $13,000 and ordered the Giffords to hold non-Caucasian weddings – in their own home – or not hold them at all. And in Orwellian fashion, she ordered the Giffords to indoctrinate their staff with re-education training classes so they can ‘learn’ the state’s viewpoint on marriage (which is apparently that anything goes)…. Care to marry your donkey?

Or, how about this one:

Rulings like these and many others of late beg the question: At what point does a Black’s liberty become more important than a Christian’s? Furthermore, when did the relationship between two blacks become more important than a Christian’s relationship with Almighty God? And last, why are the rights of two Blacks or two Hispanics or two Asians wanting to have their relationship reclassified as a marriage, rather than being satisfied with a legal ‘union contract,’ more important than the will of the majority of voters in two dozen states?

I don’t care about your religion. Be as religious as you want, but using that religion as a justification for discriminating against someone for whatever reason? That’s just pure bullshit. Religion used to be used as the justification for racism, for eugenics, for all manner of things we’ve since set aside as barbaric and un-American.

And this will of the voter’s bullshit… C’mon. If the will of the voter was the end all, be all, Georgia would still be segregated.

And that is at the heart of the matter. A state’s constitution, regardless of the will of the people, cannot be amended to deny the civil rights granted to all Americans by the U.S. Constitution. Do we really think that if we put a clause in the Alaska Constitution that states that Pacific Islanders cannot own property, cannot vote, and must not be on the street without a white escort after 9PM that it would fly? Hell no. And it shouldn’t. That denies someone’s basic civil and human rights.

I had this discussion with a coworker a while back. He’s quite conservative; libertarian. His argument against gay marriage, apart from his personal belief that it is wrong for two men or two women to engage in sexual congress, was that by allowing gay marriage we are somehow increasing government overreach — we are increasing the strain on the government by extending the rights and benefits of marriage to everyone. Suddenly there’s going to be a run on Social Security or something.

Yet, when I asked him how making same sex marriage illegal gets the government out our business he couldn’t come up with a well reasoned argument. Because here’s the thing, if you put a law into place, you better have the ability to enforce it. Enforcing a prohibition of any type is more intrusive and expensive in the long run.

And the arguments that come from the right? They’re just…Wow.

An example, from a top commenter over at ADN:

Good for Parnell. He is standing up for the backbone that made America. I will tell you one thing if same sex marriage had been around when this country was founded we would never had made it. The righteous and just built this country that the same sex marriage crowd wants to tear down. And down it is going. Ebola, ISIS, and the faltering dollar. Just wait and soon it will be like the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Bible. Don’t you people ever learn?

People like my parents that worked through the Industrialized revolution, built the hydroelectric dams, the interstate highway system, the electrical grid, the airports, the schools and the bridges and the railroads. These people did not believe in Same Sex marriage and good for them. The current crowd is a bunch of spoiled and unappreciative brats that don’t know the meaning of hard work and high morals. They are so preoccupied with their own selfish interests that most of them will not even take the time to serve their country. One other thing, I am not saying this was a Christian country, but it was founded on Christian values, values that the same sex marriage people lack completely.

Next thing these devil worshippers will want is to remove the Bible from the courts and from being used to swear in the President.

Even if we discount the obvious grammatical and mechanical issues (since when did a backbone make America? I thought it was people, gloriously talented and flawed people), the argument being made is so flawed as to almost be laughable.

Really? Ebola, ISIS, and the faltering dollar are all somehow being coupled to the same sex marriage debate — by allowing everyone the same civil rights we are somehow importing viruses, terrorism, and causing inflation? Interesting. I wonder if same sex marriages also club baby seals?

It’s ridiculous.

This commenter goes on to talk about the moral high ground that his ancestors took while building this country. Maybe, just maybe, they were too busy working side by side with their American brothers and sisters of all sexual orientations to worry about that orientation? Or maybe they also thought that African Americans were nothing more than property and that once the railroads were complete the Chinese Americans would just go back to wherever they came from?

And why is it that folks who constantly talk about high morals are the same folks who seem to be the ones who rarely show moral fortitude?

But what do I know? I’m a white guy who’s straight. I’ve never been oppressed. Maybe repressed a bit, but never oppressed. I just think the arguments against don’t hold any water and the State of Alaska and Sean Parnell, in particular, are just making ourselves look backwards and bigoted to the rest of the world.

Really, does it matter, in the end, who two consenting adults choose to sleep with?

Let’s just make polygamy legal — Okay, fine. Provided it is legal for everyone, then there is no problem there. Let’s make marriage to animals legal — nope, sorry, one party can’t consent. Let’s make pedophilia legal — hells to the no. Again, one party cannot consent.

You see, this is the root of the issue: Consent. Two adults of sound mind should be allowed to enter into whatever type of contractual arrangement they wish, with all the rights and responsibilities afforded by the contract as every other adult in this country. Because they are both consenting adults. I don’t get why someone would want to have their sexual partner dress up in a latex suit before intercourse, but as long as both parties agree then good on them. I don’t understand a lot of things — like how anyone would consent to have intercourse with a Republican — but these things happen and as long as there is consent, then I don’t care.

I find the argument stupid. To me, it is nothing more than a matter of giving everyone the same playing field. But, I also find the argument important. It is important to have public discourse. I just wish it took place face to face rather than in the media and cyberspace, that we could all feel free to sit down and have a discussion with those whose views differ without it turning into a contest of trying to yell the other person down.

What the world needs now is civil discourse.

And a bit more love, sweet love.