Paul Begala asked:
“Why does Rudy Giuliani get to be married three times and Newt Gingrich married three times and Rush Limbaugh three times and a gay man never once?”
It’s statements like this one that put the gay marriage debate in perspective. Like chickenhawks who blithely send other people’s sons to war, the spector of hypocritical conservatives making moral decisions for the rest of us would be laughable if it weren’t so real.
To ask whether I support gay marriage is almost to ask whether I support black-latino marriage. Regardless of whether I hold the same ethnic preference, such couples exist and their unions harm no one, so who am I to oppose formal recognition of them? I simply can’t fathom how any thinking person could be troubled by affording equal rights to equally loving (and taxpaying) gay couples.
But therein lies the rub. The so-called “case” against gay marriage is not intellectual, but rather, an emotional, flailing appeal to the innate bigotry of ignorant people. Indeed, the opposing argument is a flailing one that defies both reason and common decency.
Proponents of caution and nuance say that gays brought this upon themselves“because they would not be satisfied with evolutionary change but instead demanded revolutionary preference.” However, gay couples who married in San Francisco are no more culpable than those who demonstrated for voting rights in the 60’s, flouting appeals for “law and order” from lawmakers who sought excuses for delaying what was morally right.
And enough, too, of those who apologetically state that President Bush, in his heart, really didn’t want to do this. He seeks to place language about sexual orientation, of all things, in the Constitution of the United States. How can there be daylight, then, between those who seek to outlaw homosexuality and the president, who is as wedded to these extremists as he is lacking in moral courage?
Today, the storm rages on in full farce. But at the end of the day, after the Constitutional amendment fails and equality is the norm in many states, gay marriage will be seen in much the same light as interracial unions: common sense, a fact of life, and only a lightning rod in the most anachronistic and backward corners of this newly enlightened country.
As one Massachusetts lawmaker said, “Allow people to get married who love each other. See how it works out. And my guess is it will be the biggest nonevent in the history of Massachusetts.” When the storm blows over, the demagogues who opposed gay marriage will be ashamed of themselves. They ought to be now.