Iowa & Vermont just became the third and fourth American states to legalise gay marriage. They join Massachusetts and Connecticut in a small but no doubt slowly growing club: states who are no longer bound to bigotry against their own citizens. Running score: Humanity – 4; Dark-Aged superstitious bollocks – 46. But the human beings are making ground.
Also, it seems DC is now willing to recognise same-sex marriages performed in other states. Do I hear a tide turning here? Sploosh, sploosh. Yes. Yes, I do. I’m willing to take bets on how long it takes the remaining 46 to come around (in the case of Calfiornia, to come back around). It might take a decade or even a few decades, but one thing’s for sure: it’s inevitable. Fighting this is as effective as Canute attempting to hold back the ocean.
Predictably, various proponents of the “gay marriage = slippery slope to hell in a handbasket where everyone can marry their sister” or “omg the liberal ay-leet are a-tryin’ to dess-troy Jeee-zuss with their The Gay Agendas!” arguments are coming out of the woodwork, riding their highest horses onto oversized soapboxes and, well, bitching and moaning like a pack of moaning bitches. Some make the arse-backwards claim that The Gays are trying to destory marriage itself! Well, somebody needs to explain that to me. Gay couples want to be a part of something that they’ve been excluded from for their entire lives - how does that equate to wanting to destroy it? All gay people want is the same thing everyone else gets: the right, bestowed at birth, to marry the love of their life. They don’t want to ruin it for anyone, including themselves.
Of course (and as usual) when it comes to fundamentalist hand-wringing loons, the reality of the situation is something completely different. They say it’ll destroy the institution of marriage, they say it’ll mean the end of the family, some even seem to think it’s all part of The Gay Agenda’s plan to have The Gay taught in every schoolroom in the country (and by “The Gay” these people mean “have sex with anything, anywhere, anytime”). However, what they really mean is “Wah. Sob. We’re losing our grip on an exclusive Christian heterosexual privilege that we didn’t earn (but got really, really used to having, puh-raise Jee-zuss) and have really only held onto through laziness/reluctance/fear of losing votes on the part of the legislature and disproportionate fundamentalist representation & lobbying in government going back two or three decades. Oh noes! People are waking up and realising that not only will they not go to Hell for giving The Gays equality, they’re also starting to realise we in the Religious Right are not as numerous or important as everybody used to think we are (and they may be onto the fact that we’re hyper-reactionary & paranoid with delusions of persecution - or perhaps they’ve just realised we’re full of shit)! And not only that, it’s all happening democratically and we on the nutjob fringe don’t have the numbers to stem the tide forever! Oh, and thinking about gays just makes me feel … icky … so they shouldn’t get to marry each other. It’s unnatural … or something. There’s even something in Leviticus about them being, well, icky, in the eyes of God (but we won’t discuss the other parts of the Bible that make selling my daughters into slavery or killing the children of my enemies or massacring, with bears, children who tease bald people just fine – they’re just metaphors, outdated tribal moralities or other things that can be described by various phrases designed to both support our bigotry and deflect criticism of it).”
Tough cheese, brethren. You’ve had it your way for long enough and it’s time to let the other kids play. Time for equality – not “special rights”, not privileges above and beyond those of good ol’ God-fearin’ straight folk - just the same rights and the same privileges everyone who happens to like the opposite sex gets. Hell, some would argue that it’s straight people who’ve had the special treatment for so long and that it’s simply time to level the playing field for everyone.
As any childcare worker or nanny could tell you, the kid who gets spoiled rotten his whole life and suddenly gets asked to include other kids in his sandbox is always going to throw a tantrum. So what do you do? Give him a cuddle and make the others go away? Or tell him to harden up and deal with reality? You can’t insulate yourself from stuff you find objectionable forever. After all, people here in the real world have been tolerating bleating fundie idiocracy and its accompanying rise to inordinate levels of power and influence for years. Well, it’s time for a dose of reality. Time for all hysterical homophobes to harden up and deal with the inevitable progress of fairness & equality – or be remembered in a similar light as those who opposed Rosa Parks sitting where she damn well pleased.