I felt it was important to point that out because the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow gay people to get married was causing too much unnecessary handwringing for my taste. You would have thought that folks were being forced at gunpoint to take same-sex partners for all of the rigormarole.
But neither asteroid, fire, nor Hurricane Katrina the Sequel befell California as a result. Hopefully, the folks in Bakersfield aren’t disappointed. More on them later.
The fact that the apocalypse didn’t begin shortly after the couple in this picture, Phyllis Lyon, 79 and Del Martin, 83 took their vows should serve as a sign that it’s gonna take more than two women affirming a relationship they’ve been in for 51 years through marriage to cause the End of the World. I mean if we calculated 51 years of life for Britney Spears, we’re talking at least 10 or 15 husbands.
But if she got married again, despite her questionable taste in men, no one would lose their minds over it.
And that’s too bad.
I have always felt that being gay is nature and not nurture because if you actually made the “choice” to be gay or lesbian, I’d have to ask you some questions about your self esteem or lack thereof. With what gay people go through, you’d have to be nuts.
For example, did you know that until a few years ago gay people could be arrested for having sex? Yep, that’s true. There were serious anti-sodomy laws on the books, especially in the south. The Supreme Court struck them down and now gay people can have sex just like straight folks.
(Personally, I think that decision came down because someone explained to the men on the court exactly what “sodomy” entailed. Because these laws basically outlawed an act that I’ve been asked to perform by far too many men but won’t get into here, the law got changed.)
However, getting married is still not a universal right for gay people. They can do it in Massachusetts because the commonwealth’s Supreme Court struck down the statute outlawing it.
But on the federal level, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that strictly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. Several states have put similar laws on the books since then.
(Considering how strictly Mr. Bill has followed the letter of the law in his marriage, I find it kinda ironic that he started this ball rolling, don’t you?)
Neither of the guys running for president likes the idea either. Barack Obama likes civil unions, while John McCain likes Samuel Alito and John Roberts. (that kinda tells me where he stands.)
And don’t get me started on the Bush Administration’s push to put this specialized form of discrimination into the Constitution. It’s amazing how a guy can tear up the parts that deal with civil rights and liberties, and try to replace them with a provision that tells gay people “you can’t get married.”
Unfortunately, California looks like it’s headed for a similar constitutional fight. I was listening to National Public Radio this morning and there was a story on how the county municipal office in Bakersfield has stopped performing marriages altogether because they don’t want to marry gay people. A bunch of religious folks have managed to get a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the November ballot.
But I find it hard to take marriage that seriously. I don’t see what gay people can do to screw up the institution of marriage that straight people haven’t already done.
I mean Britney Spears has been married twice, and one time lasted 24 hours. Michael Jackson found two people willing to do it with him. I have straight friends who have just about made me turn away from marriage completely.
And besides, how seriously should I take something that can be done by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas at a drive thru window?
I wish all of the gay and lesbian folks in California who will be going to the chapels and getting married the best of luck. I hope it’s all it’s cracked up to be for you.
I especially wish Lyon and Martin the best. If they leave this planet tomorrow, they leave it knowing that they made the ultimate commitment to each other….and to me that’s cool.