Monday, August 30, 2010

Standing On the Wrong Side of History

Exactly who does gay marriage harm?

The proponents of California's Proposition 8 have spent at least $40 million defending their perception of marriage, with more than half of that funding originating from out-of-state sources, including the Church of Latter-day Saints -- commonly known as Mormons -- who seem to think that polygamy and child marriage are just swell. 

Since one of the most long-standing condemnations of the gay lifestyle has been the perception that gays are wildly promiscuous, shouldn't society as a whole welcome a shift to committed marriages? And at a time when home foreclosures are at their highest in history, shouldn't communities embrace the emergence of solid, generally two-income citizens contributing to their tax bases? And what about all those children orphaned by the endless civil unrest and upheaval in our world -- what would be better for them than to be adoped by two solvent same-sex adults able to provide them with a loving and stable home?

It's a complete fiction to insist on a family model headed by a mother and a father when the reality is that more than 13 million American families are single-parent, with 80% of those headed by a female. (It's even higher in the U.K. and Australia.) Of the supposedly "normal" families I can think of, it's hard to summon up an example of one where the extraction of at least one of those traditional parents wouldn't have resulted in fewer neurotic, ruined adults populating the waiting rooms of America's therapists. 

I think the movement to oppose gay marriage really comes down to one simple thing: people who perceive themselves as "haves" love to deny a basic right to the people they perceive as "others." It was the same when pograms annihilated entire villages of Polish Jews in the 19th century, or when Irishmen were denied entry to New York bars at the turn of the 20th century, or when interracial couples were harrassed during the 1960s. Gay marriage is inevitable and affirms our progress, however slow and halting, as a species. Who really wants to stand on the wrong side of history?

1 comment:

  1. A sensible and clearly articulated point of view. I can't see how Proposition 8 can stand. As you say in your post, "gay marriage is inevitable". It's all there is to it.