June 05, 2006
Defending Marriage From the Marriage Bigots
Look, am I mad or something? I look around and about at people talking about same-sex marriage, and it seems that everyone is accepting the discussion on the marriage bigots' terms, rather than reality. Come on people, let's get a grip:
1. Same-sex marriage already exists in the United States. It has for two years. The definition of marriage in the US already includes members of the same sex marrying each other.
2. By pressing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between men and women, it is the marriage bigots who are looking to change the definition of marriage.
3. The language of the proposed constitutional amendment would end thousands of legal marriages -- both the same marriages that legally exist now and all the same-sex marriages that would occur between now and whenever the theoretical moment would be that the 37th state ratified the amendment.
4. The proposed constitutional amendment would make second-class citizens of all same-sex married couples by stripping them of a marital status they currently enjoy, while allowing all other legally married couples to continue being married.
Why aren't people hammering the marriage bigots with this? There's a manifest difference in a debate which has as its founding proposition that same-sex marriage is a theoretical construct in the US -- which is the proposition marriage bigots want to promote -- and the debate which has as its founding proposition that same-sex marriages are already here, and there thousands of them. The latter forces the marriage bigots to come out and admit that their proposed amendment and their goals destroy real marriages between real people -- thousands of marriages between thousands of people.
Why aren't people asking the marriage bigots flat out what they have against marriage? Against married couples? And by what right are they able to say that couples who are already legally married should have their marriages declared null and void? This proposed amendment breaks up marriages. God damn it, people should be hollering this at the top their lungs every time one of those marriage bigots gets all sanctimonious about what marriage means. People ought to be getting these marriage bigots into a corner and getting them to admit that they need to destroy legal, loving marriages in order to accomplish their goals. We ought to be getting these marriage bigots admitting that they have to strip away rights these Americans already have to do what they want to do. And then we need to ask the people "who don't know what they think about it" if they want to align themselves with people who want to destroy actual marriages in order to "preserve" a definition of marriage that doesn't actually exist.
As long as the marriage bigots can frame the debate as "defending marriage," they can avoid acknowledging their agenda is patently hateful. But the accurate frame is that they're attacking marriage -- and attacking actual marriages -- to change the definition of marriage into something that is in line with a discriminatory social agenda.
I'm not worried that this obnoxious and hateful proposed amendment will pass, mind you -- there are enough people who think that something as odious as this ought not be in our foundation document, even if they don't like the idea of guys marrying guys. But the argument is much larger than the proposed amendment, and the marriage bigots are falsely arrogating the moral high ground in the argument. Look: anyone who wants to destroy marriages should not get the high ground in the marriage debate. I don't know how much more simple it can be made.
Same-sex marriage is already here in the US. Thousands of same-sex married couples already exist in the US. The marriage bigots want to destroy the marriages of thousands of Americans. Could we please make note of these salient facts? Really, it's not too much to ask.
Posted by john at June 5, 2006 09:42 PM
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