The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Gay Marriage Conspiracy, or Gregor Samsa's Diary, not by Franz Kafka

I was watching reruns of NCIS the other day—I will admit it, I could spend hours watching Ziva kicking bad guy ass—when a telephone survey company called and asked me to participate in a poll. I usually hang up on these morons, but I was watching NCIS on demand and I figured I could just freeze the show where it was and come back to it just as soon as I got rid of the surveyors or pollsters or whatever it is you call these people.  The pollsters / surveyors / whatchamacallits were asking about my reactions to current social issues and one of the questions was what I thought of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to make gay marriage legal. I said that I had no opinion on the subject at all, which seemed to perplex the young woman who was asking me the questions. I had previously identified myself as a conservative Roman Catholic Republican and she could not understand how someone with my ideological and theological background could not fail to be against gay marriage. I told her that whether gays married each other, married a non-gay person, or chose to marry an elderly sycamore tree named Elroy T. Hopkins did not concern me nor is the subject one that I choose to spend a lot of time thinking about.  The status of gay marriage in the law or how to adapt a traditionally heteronormative society to the new legal reality is a matter of indifference to me, except as a reason to use the word heteronormative in a sentence for the first time ever (really, I’m not kidding).

What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their own business and I see no reason to change my view simply because the people involved shelled out $35 to get a license from the county clerk. Getting a marriage license is not like getting a liquor license, which reassures the alcohol consuming public that their bartender is not serving them rotgut hooch he made downstairs in a dirty bathtub, or a pilot’s license, which reassures the passengers that the person in the cockpit knows how to fly the plane. No, it’s just a marriage license, which is the state’s acknowledgment that Person A and Person B are adult human beings who are about to do something incredibly stupid, that they are old enough to know better, and they intend to do it anyway despite their parents’ best efforts to dissuade them. Having invested in the license, having ignored their parents, and having spent a fortune on the wedding, the happy couple, gay and straight alike, should get what’s coming to them and get it good and hard, to quote the estimable Mr. Mencken.

I didn’t always feel this way, of course. Once upon a time, I thought the very concept of gay marriage utterly ridiculous. Why, I reasoned, would two sane people who didn’t have to get married actually choose to do so? What would be the point? Procreation? The reproductive urge having taken the high road to Loch Lomond in this case, why then bother with an unnecessary ceremony?  I thought this argument irrefutable, but there are people who do choose to refute it, strange as that may seem, and which they will live to regret, I fear. Marriage is a holy estate, you see, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, and those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder. So let it be written, so let it be done. And then there are divorce lawyers, whose altruistic motives and theological inclinations do not bear prolonged scrutiny.  I know that I should never think ill of my fellow human beings—it’s not the Christian thing to do, you know—but I can’t get over the feeling that gay marriage is a plot by a cabal of divorce lawyers to expand the client pool for their services. Granted, gay people only comprise some 2% of the population, but if you’re a lawyer who needs work any business is better than no business at all.  Indeed, in the rush to exercise their new found right to marriage, the gay community will dash out and commit most of the same silly mistakes that heterosexuals commit when they think they’re in love, which in turn always ends with the same result: divorce lawyers getting rich. I suppose I should get angry with divorce lawyers profiting from the stupidity of the hormone driven, but somehow or other it doesn’t really bother me. After all, why shouldn’t gays be as miserable as straights?  And why shouldn’t divorce lawyers soak gays for every last cent the lawyers can squeeze out of them? It hardly seems fair, either legally or morally, that gays can jettison an unwanted partner anytime they feel like it and straights cannot. If marriage is that important to gays then let them have at it, I say, and let the lawyers have at the gays as well. It’s a free country, after all, and divorce lawyers have to eat just as much as the next guy, and as a wise man once said, so it goes. No, I don't know what that means and I'm pretty sure no one else does, either.

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