I'd hoped that the gay-marriage fight might lead to a reassessment of an institution that's plainly failing masses of people. But that doesn't seem to be on anyone's agenda.
Topics: Life News
The news of the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s landmark 4-3 decision in support of “gay marriage” reached me on Wednesday in Fairfield County, Conn. — specifically, in Darien, home of the headband for women and the gold band for men, the enslaving ring for which all that work is done in the city and all that money gets made. Here, the nuclear family has been raised to an art, Prozac melts like cotton candy and someone’s child is always amok, strangling Mother or stabbing the swans. This is Michael Skakel-land, where booze is home-delivered in gallons and cases and the remake of “The Stepford Wives,” featuring a slew of local extras, is currently being filmed. Riding to Connecticut on the train from Grand Central, you can tell how the passengers feel about life by the glumness that falls on their faces. Believe me, they don’t want to come home.
I say this not to slander the good citizens of Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich, etc., but only to make a point. If unhappiness could be measured like dollars in the till, you’d find as much of it here as anywhere else. And if gay liberation amounts, in the end, to a lawful ticket to depression and divorce — well, who am I to judge? I live in Vermont, the first state in America to allow some form of legal coupling between queers. This was the famous “civil union” bill, passed by our Legislature in 2001 under pressure from the state Supreme Court and signed into law by our (then) Gov. Howard Dean — “a certain former governor of Vermont,” as he was called on Thursday in the Christian Science Monitor by an unnamed Republican Senate aide.
“The fact that this is the headline in the news is something you can’t pay enough for if you’re Bush,” this aide went on, and I fear that he’s right: “It raises the profile of a controversial social issue that Republicans believe will work to their advantage.” If only for that reason, I’m against the codification of homosexual relations. I’m aware, more acutely than ever, that my community is under attack. If you doubt it, listen to the “Right Reverend” Robert Duncan, Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh, who, during the recent flap over the appointment of an “openly gay” bishop in New Hampshire, said: “As is well known, promiscuity among homosexual men is not just the majority experience, it is the only experience. And even though divorce and promiscuity in America are rampant, the fact is that heterosexuals remain remarkably monogamous.”
And for as long as religious bigots and Republican swine condemn, obstruct and slander my own, I am forced, will-nilly, to break a lance for matrimony. But I don’t really buy it — I don’t buy it at all.
Remember, when they say “one man, one woman,” they mean one at a time. You can have as many as you want as long as you do it in order, i.e., my first wife, my second wife, “Cyndi” and little Ego Jr. — then long years of drooling idiocy and Viagra-popping to keep the old man’s plug in gear. There’s nothing sacred about that, I’m afraid. And until the defense-of-marriage people come down on divorce as hard as they do on gays, lesbians, women and abortions, their words will be as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
Indeed, the chief result of Vermont’s dreaded civil union law has been to expose marriage for what it is — an economic enterprise and a statutory sham, based on a binding contract that, as Germaine Greer observed three decades ago in “The Female Eunuch,” wouldn’t hold up in a court of law for anything but marriage. Almost a third of Vermont’s civil unions have already ended in separation or divorce. The first gay couple whose “wedding” I attended broke up a week later, which only proves that fools are fools, that romantic delusion knows no sexual orientation, and that marriage, gay or straight, is good for business.
No sooner was Vermont’s law passed, in fact, than Susan Murray and Beth Robinson, the attorneys who represented the plaintiffs in the court case that brought it on, were advertising in Out in the Mountains, the state’s leading — indeed, only — “Forum for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Issues.”
“You’ve hired the caterer,” said Murray and Robinson, “settled on the music and flowers, reserved the date, and sent out the invitations. In planning your civil union, you haven’t forgotten anything.
“Or have you?”
Well, of course you have. You’ve “forgotten” all the things that aren’t actually written in a marriage contract — and thus a “civil union” contract — and which you won’t find out about until you try to break it. Why not get a “prenup,” just in case? Not that these hold up in court, either. They don’t, not if you have — that is, can afford — the right lawyer. As a matter of fact, we have them for sale! Isadora Duncan said it best in 1927: “Any woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.”
I supported civil unions when I thought they might be an alternative to marriage. I can’t if they’re only a substitution for marriage, specially created for “gay and lesbian individuals,” whatever those are, and so long as they fall back on the eternally phony cry of “The children!” for their justification. Here, I’m both with and not with the Massachusetts court decision — which stated that one reason to grant gay couples legal marriages was so that their children would be protected under the law. On the one hand, the decision plainly recognizes that any idiot can marry and that most of them do; on the other, it persists in believing that children are “better off” with two parents instead of one, or four, or eight.
There is no evidence whatsoever to support this. The nuclear unit has been a disaster for many children — isolating them, alienating them, imprisoning them, as often as not, with a pair of warring maniacs, caught in a struggle for love, power, money and “security” whose fuel is fear and whose goal is consumption.
So, all right, I’m a crank on this subject. The truth is I don’t give a damn about marriage and I haven’t ever since I got out of one — a marriage I entered sincerely and with the best intentions in what seems like another lifetime, but which no law and no contract could keep from unraveling. Neither could they shield “the parties” from pain, rancor and misunderstanding. It’s the nature of the beast, and no agreement, pre- or post-nuptial, will protect you from it. I’d hoped that the gay-marriage fight might lead to a reassessment of marriage itself, as an institution that’s plainly failing masses of people, but this doesn’t seem to be on either side’s dance card.
And now — what to do? When the religious right equates homosexuality with incest, alcoholism, bestiality and “disease,” I can’t be silent and I won’t be. When George W. Bush calls marriage “a sacred institution,” I know he’s talking through his Texan hat. (Just ask his brother, Neil. Better, ask Neil’s former wife, Sharon.) And when two grown men stand up in their tuxedos, holding hands and saying, “I do,” I’ll continue to roll my eyes and wonder why — why — why — my identity’s been stolen for this cause.
More Related Stories
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Tornado survivor to Wolf Blitzer: Sorry, I'm an atheist. I don't have to thank the Lord
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- Portland is dying
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- I'm not achieving my dreams!
- The most popular Tumblr porn
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Snapchat is secretly storing your photos
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Facebook's hate speech problem
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- When my home was destroyed
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- You are less beautiful than you think
- "Ghetto" tour lets you gawk at New York's poor
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11