Monday, November 17, 2008

The anti-gay marriage votes




One of my favorite bloggers Chas has a post about the reaction to the anti-gay marriage votes in the recent election. He makes a point I have argued (unsuccessfully) for years that no-fault divorce gutted marriage. When one partner can simply quit the contract without regard to the desires of the other, you have something less than marriage. Chas says it is simply a civil contract.


"As a civil contract, how can it be legally denied to gay people? Arguments against gay marriage as a religious choice will probably still hold up, because no one has to join a religion that they don't like. (snip) If the religious right continues to try to control secular civil marriage contracts to reflect their own views, they may find themselves in a very uncomfortable, and losing, position."


I think, however, that the votes on gay marriage nationwide tell us that it isn't just the religious right trying to control marriage. There is a vast pool of sentiment against 'gay marriages.'

Now, is that bigotry? Is that prejudice? I would say yes. Is it wrong? If it is wrong, it is at least understandable.

The gay movement is a movement based on sexual behavior and it is a movement that insists on special rights to that sexual behavior, special tolerance, even before we get to the issue of marriage: Sex parades, sex clubs, promiscuous sex, and public funding for health problems arising from promiscuous sex. Demands for public education in the 'right' of people to have sex a certain way, even as far as educating children in the 'right' to have sex a certain way. All of these things I would put in the category of demands for special tolerance and special rights. To date, the larger culture has granted the gay movement these special tolerances, even at enormous cost to the state and culture. I might add that, though the heterosexual culture is also increasingly perverse, it still does not condone any of the behaviors for itself that the gay movement prides itself on.

These are serious presumptions on civil culture and public sentiment. But to my mind, that isn't all that is wrong with the so-called gay movement. I know we are just stupid idiots here in mid-America and what we think shouldn't count, but I rather doubt we know all there is to know about human sexuality. What we might find out has been utterly blocked by politics. So I'll just go ahead and show what a stupid idiot I am:

- Is it a normal human development (a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle) for a man to adopt the mannerisms of an adolescent girl? Or does it not strike you as a manifestation of mental illness?

- Is it normal human development for a woman to adopt the mannerisms of a boxer or a street fighter?

You may argue that not all gays do this and I would agree with you, but I also think that gay politics has prevented us from looking further into the issue of what is and what is not a manifestation of mental illness. Now, suppose we find out with certainty that my two examples are indeed mental illnesses. What should be done? Nothing. But I think we do then have an argument to make that our children should not be instructed that this is a normal example of human development.

As a former writer for a gay magazine (yes, friends, I wrote for a gay magazine because at one time I was young and liberal), I knew lots of gay men and women. (As a matter of fact, I know a lesbian couple who have been together for years, whom I love, who barely speak to me any more because I am not liberal.) I rarely met a gay man with a lasting love relationship and where there was one, it was never, ever monogamous even temporarily. Indeed, I would say the norm for gay men was to fall in love madly every week. And all the time cruising the bars for a sexual encounter (more than one) every night. The relationships I saw were also more likely to be violent, among gay men and women. I'd say since the gay movement began, we have never heard anything remotely honest about the nature of gay behavior. If we did, I think the vote against gay marriage would be exponentially higher.

Marriage stands for something in our culture that is more than a contract, no matter how trivial liberal governments have tried to make it: Monogamy, commitment, sexual discretion, and civil society.

NONE of these qualities are valued by the gay movement though, I happily and heartily admit that these are certainly values of SOME gay men and women.

But before we further chip away at the idea of marriage, can the gay movement attempt to show some responsibility? Can it value some of the things we value? Can it fearlessly face and analyze its own behavior?

Not yet it can't.

(COMMENT MODERATION TEMPORARILY ON)

3 Comments:

Blogger Chas said...

Walker,
You make many good points. It's a big topic, and I hesitated to blog about it at all, because there is so much to consider.

It's true that religious conservatives are not the only ones against gay marriage. Yet it's also true that gay people are not the only ones for gay marriage. There are a lot of people on both sides with different reasons, agendas and motives.

I can understand the arguments on both sides pretty well. Unfortunately, I don't see that there are going to be any easy answers to resolve this.

I think it's going to be simple math - the number of voters for or against it, that will decide what happens, or court rulings. Either way it goes it's likely to be contested. But whatever we end up with is probably going to be determined by the popular culture.

The voting numbers seem to be moving slowly more and more in favor of gay marriage. How long it takes to get there is anyone's guess. But it seems like it's inevitable at some point.

Would gay marriage help cure the promiscuity of which you speak? Or would it drag marriage into the gutter? Or both? Or neither?

I really can't say. But we may well live to see it, whatever that may bring. Then... we shall see.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous kevin s. willis said...

There are two kinds of folks who are not gay who support gay marriage (I don't profoundly object to gay marriage, but that is different from supporting it). The first type are typical, they have gay friends, they watched Will & Grace, they have a feeling that something is being denied to gay people (though, technically, it's not--gay people can marry people of the opposite sex, just like straight people can, and though that may seem glib, I think it's turning things on their head to say that people are being denied a fundamental right when they actually want to do something very different than what the "right" describes) . . . but, anyway, these folks feel that gay people are being denied something, and it's not fair, and they should get to get married too, and the world will be a better place. So, that's fine.

The other folks are from the 60's "smash monogamy" crowd who want to deconstruct the nuclear family. And I think lots of homosexuals are also in this camp--our entire notion of family and marriage is just wrong, and it needs to be destroyed. Defined out of existence. These are the folks who tend to worry me.

I don't see voters moving in favor of gay marriage in significant numbers, except in small, insular enclaves. The judiciary may be moving in that direction, but not the voters. Prop 8 passed--in California. Where there is, you know, um, San Francisco. A state that goes blue in almost every election. It's a state controlled by liberals. It's filled with Democrats. And has a larger-than-national-average population of homosexuals. And they voted to ban gay marriage there. By significant margins. Where gay marriage is currently accepted, it's not on the ballot, and where ballot initiatives have been proposed, they tend to favor banning gay marriage or coming up with something that isn't called "marriage", and propositions against gay marriage win where Republicans and conservatives lose. Ergo, the same folks who were voting for Kerry were voting against gay marriage. The same folks who were voting for Obama were voting against gay marriage. This is not an issue where there is a radical shift. Maybe in a generation--but it ain't happening in the next five years, I'll say that much.

Would gay marriage help pomiscuity? No. Not unless gay men marry lesbians. It takes a woman to whip a man into shape. And even they have a hard time.

A gay marriage is, on average, going to be like two whoop-whooping "take it off!" fratboys who happen to have sex with each other. There are obviously differences, but guys are guys. A few individuals will stand alone in their pure, monogamous relationships but, generally, when sex is easy and freely available, males will have sex. And have no trouble coming up with justifications. It is wired into us. Women keep us in check, and thank God for them.

Will gay marriage drag marriage into the gutter? As a practical matter, I don't know if it'll be any worse than anything else that has assaulted marriage, including the fundamental flaws of our own fragile human nature. But it will be a wedge that, leveraged with litigation, will be used to deconstruct the nuclear family. Who is to say what love is? Who is to judge what a "family" is? Aren't we all really one great big government-sponsored family? Who is to say what a "parent" is? And so on. That is problematic.

But, any time the issue comes up, unless it includes polygamy, I'm going to vote against it. Not so much that I support polygamy (I think polygamists are nuts), but because an effort to redefine a centuries old institution to benefit one group while continuing to merrily exclude another is the height of selective bigotry. They want to say that two adults of the same sex can enter a loving, mature, adult, consenting relationship recognized by the law--but three people can't! That's unnatural! It's a perversion! That sort of double standard, as much as anything, will keep me voting against gay marriage. Of course, I might support the "gay marriage plus polygamous marriage" law, but such a thing would be doomed in any sort of ballot initiative. So it's an easy stand for me to take. ;)

3:13 PM  
Blogger Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...

Walker,

Cla makes the same argument about no fault divorce.

7:08 AM  

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