It starts off with a reader writing a letter asking why conservatives are so virulently against gay marriage: “I am gay and monogamous and am raising kids with my partner of five years, so my perspective is skewed. It would just really help me out to be able to get married. I’m not thinking about ruining the game for anyone else. I just want to join. ” But the conservative, writing under the pseudonym “Glenallen Walker” thinks that the gay folk are totally trying to ruin the game. And he has, like, completely intellectual reasons for this! These reasons are founded on those bedrocks of conservativism: states’ rights and no government intrusion into personal affairs. Oh wait, sorry! Wrong bedrocks! Those would actually seem to support same-sex marriage. Instead, Walker falls back on the same tired arguments that have been used to keep gays from
destroying the social fabric of our civilization marrying for the past few years, and manages to piss me the hell off in the process.
[T]he opposition to gay marriage is not motivated, as a general rule, in large part or small, by bigotry. I am aware there are many gay-marriage advocates who refuse to accept that there really can be a legitimate difference of viewpoint on the issue.
Yes, and those who opposed women’s suffrage totally weren’t misogynists, they just had a legitimate difference of viewpoint on the ability of women’s feeble brains to elect the right person! (You never knew when some silly woman would submit a write-in vote for Babar the Elephant.) And those people who opposed the Civil Rights Act had nothing against Black people — they just needed to make sure white men were not being shaken from the top of the status quo. That is not the same as racism!
Here’s the cold, hard truth: being against gay marriage means, as an unbreakable rule, that you want to deny equal rights to LGBT individuals. Equal rights. Not greater rights, equal rights. You want to deny them access to the exact same construct of marriage that you enjoy, regardless of whether or not you believe that construct is secularly of religiously dictated. You can say your bigotry is founded on religion or history if it makes you feel better, but it is bigotry and it is homophobia. Deal with it.
I don’t mean marriage as we have come to believe it should be — two starry-eyed people mooning over each other, in love forever — but marriage as the best way to establish an enduring relationship between adults to best protect the interests of children and, to some degree, women. Marriage established a mechanism for the training and upbringing of children and provided for the disposition of familial assets in ways that protected the property rights of those who had a share in creating the assets in the first place.
So why aren’t you focused on outlawing divorce? Wouldn’t that really protect the so-called “sanctity of marriage”? And let’s not pretend that marriage did anything to protect women’s assets for thousands of years, and in some places still does no such thing but is instead used as a way of holding a woman in possession.
Over two millennia society has concluded that the best way to do that is a sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman. And conservatives, as a general rule, have an interest in conserving those traditions.
Which explains why I always see Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Rick Warren, Michael Steele, and their ilk on CNN decrying polygamy, the FLDS, and marriages in which the “woman” is an 8-year-old. Oh wait, I’ve never seen that.
Religious conservatives also have another fear, one that I think is legitimate. They’re afraid that a change in the civil code will force a change in religious institutions.
This is especially funny because religious conservatives never give two shits about religious codes forcing a change in civil institutions. Separation of church and state: this thing exists. Sometimes it feels like it only exists in theory (thank you, President Bush!) but it is Constitutional law. Hey, remember how the Bible sanctioned slavery and people were all up in that, saying that emancipation would be an infringement on Scripture giving slaveowners the OK to treat humans as chattel? Guess what — the law changed and the religious institutions survived. And let’s please not pretend that slavery is an institution that’s any younger than marriage. (I have a feeling that some people might even equate the two in certain circumstances.)
There is precedent for this, as in the way Henry VIII threatened the churches in England after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Really? Henry VIII? That’s your precedent? Wow.
While agnostic on the idea of whether it is a good or bad thing, they take exception to the fact that a few unelected judges in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took it upon themselves to make this an issue that every American had to deal with.
I notice he doesn’t mention the elected Vermont legislature that effected the same change. Maybe that doesn’t count?
I am aware that Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, came out last week in favor of ending the GOP’s opposition to gay marriage. But I question the wisdom of adopting political strategies proposed by the fellow who led a losing GOP national campaign, one that rejected conservative values as a general rule, and that couldn’t even win in a state like Virginia, which went to the Democrats for the first time since 1964.
And yet I get the feeling that even if McCain had won the election, this clown still would “question the wisdom” of following Schmidt’s lead. Not to mention that rejecting conservative “values” (oh how I hate that one little word) is not why McCain lost the election in the first place. Apparently McCain lost Virginia because he appeased the gays or something like that. For the love of all that is holy, did this man read any election coverage last year?
As conservative writer, talk-show host and lesbian Tammy Bruce says, “Gays ultimately need to stop looking to government for unconditional love and approval of who we are.” Looking to government to force states to legitimize gay marriage, Bruce continues, “gives the government and other people’s opinions far too much power over the quality of our lives and effectively eliminates our own responsibility for our happiness.”
This is mind-numbingly tortuous “logic.” The fact is that LGBT discrimination is written into the law of every state that forbids same-sex marriage (which, if you’re keeping count, is 46 of the 50) simply by prohibiting that equal right. So there is already a system in place that gives “government and other people’s opinions far too much power over the quality of [LGBT people's] lives.”
Apparently LGBT people should not include marriage in their definition of happiness, and should just concentrate on other things that might make them happy, like, uh, putting together fabulous window-dressings and having group sex in bathhouses and watching Project Runway. (We think this is what gay people do. We’re too afraid to actually talk to them and ask them.) Marriage is totally in the straight definition of happiness, but the gays should just forget it and don’t look to the government to “love” you at all, let alone “approve” of you! Approve of yourself, and approve of the government not giving you equal rights. That’s the conservative way. That’s the American way. That’s the Glenallen Walker way.
I hope that helps.
Actually, Mr. Walker, you did help me! I had a splitting headache before reading this, but then you made me bang my head against the wall in frustration so many times that everything has magically gone numb. Well done.