Hello there, mister (?) author of the Same-Sex Marriage brochure I found at church this morning. I was just milling around in the lobby of a cathedral - wait, they do call those lobbies, right? Ye high holy foyers? - when I saw a kiosk of brochures. As a bored person sometimes does, I browsed for the best ones. I saw a brochure asking in Times New Roman font if I was saved. "If you died today, would you go to heaven?" I figured the answer was maybe (works for me), so kept thumbing the merchandise and came upon this dooze: Same-Sex Marriage.
Okay, if I'm completely honest, I did pick this one for a fun read. I figured it would be some good hell-and-brimstone stuff I could get a little chuckle out of and move about my day. But no. No. You had to go and bring politics and secular law into it, so I'll just do you the courtesy of a rebuff. Afterwards we can go back to being chill-at-a-distance friends.
1. "What is marriage?"
An entanglement of paperwork? The permission to wear elastic waistbands? The brochure answered with some straightforward Catholic stuff about one man and one woman entering a pinky swear situation to make babies. Now, I can give you this one for two reasons. a) I don't really care what you think. I also don't care if you think I look fat in these pants. It's just your opinion. And b) I don't usually have a pressing reason to challenge your beliefs anyway since I happen to be one woman married to one man and making babies. We are oddly congruent in this way. I am so lucky! WAIT. There is that issue of the Godfather of my children being a fabulous homosexual. Let's get back to the brochure.
2. "Isn't marriage just a religious institution?"
You answer yourself, "no". Okay. I'm also with you there because it's more importantly a legal institution that guarantees me rights to my partner's social security benefits and to be on his insurance, legally share his children, visit him in the hospital and make decisions about his care when he cannot. It is also a big, expensive party where you pay for everyone to get drunk and hit on your cousin. That's not what you meant though, is it?
"The vocation of marriage and parenthood is stamped into the very nature of humanity."
Oh, you meant the reason marriage isn't just religious is because it's . . . just the way it is, according to you, who is Catholic and writing this brochure about the official Catholic belief. Gotcha.
"[Marriage] did not originate from the either the church or the state, but from God".
That's like me saying to my kids, "socks go in the left drawer, undies in the right. That rule didn't come from me, it's a law from the invisible parenting gnome who judges harshly and metes out punishment." But fine. Again, you do you, church. I don't have any real beef yet.
3. "Isn't government free to define marriage any way it chooses?"
No, actually. If the government decided marriage was for same-sex couples only, I'd feel stripped of my basic humanity to chose my own mate and form the first building block to a family. I'd say, get your nose of my bedroom! and I want equal benefits and rights and respect. Something tells me that's not what you were going to say, though.
"Despite the many variations marriage has undergone through the centuries in a range of cultures, it displays certain common and permanent characteristics."
So, peens in vajays? Because that bullshit about having to marry your rapist or being the legal property of your dead husband's brother were pretty terrible. So are the parts about a bunch of ladies marrying the same dude. You know, maybe the only thing all marriages have in common is sex. If marriage has had many iterations in the Bible from one peen married to many vajays to vajays being equal to several bartered donkeys, why can't it change again to mean two peens? I'm just using your logic.
4. "Why are same-sex unions not equivalent to marriage?"
Because all humans deserve the dignity of choosing their own partner and calling it a "union" instead of a "marriage" perpetuates further inequality? Yes, then we agree. Wait. You didn't say that at all. You said,
"Same-sex union cannot by nature bring children into the world[...[ Thus, a same-sex relationship can never be equivalent to a marriage".
So, by your logic, only fertile male/female couples doing the deed to make babies can be in a marriage. So, are old people not in a marriage anymore? What about infertile people? I got an IUD in February. Is my marriage over? Maybe I'm only married when I get pregnant. I guess since my job here is done, I'll make a run for it. Hey, are unmarried people who get pregnant actually married and don't even know it? This feels like a stoner conversation.
5. "If two people want to get married, why should it matter to the rest of us whether the law recognizes their union?"
Easy! Because conservatives are afraid of having to pay out social security benefits to same-sex partners. If we treats gays equally, we have to allow them the same tax benefits of marriage as well, and we like our money. Okay, now what's your answer?
"Human governments are right to recognize and foster the marriage relationship through law because marriage makes a crucial contribution to the common good. Any attempt to redefine marriage or make other relationships its equivalent only devalues marriage and weakens it."
Oh, so much crap.
A. Again with the babies. So married, childbearing people contribute to the common good by making more people, but infertile people do not? What if both members of the infertile couple are public servants or life-saving surgeons? What if married peoples' kids are delinquents? What if gay people have two incomes and fewer deductibles and pay lots of tax?
B. Someone else getting married does not devalue my marriage. Maybe the church ought to get up in arms about dog people calling themselves "dog moms" because by letting pet people have love in their lives really devalues the relationship between me and my kids. Oh wait, no it doesn't. Things that don't need defending are impervious to criticism. I am my child's mom no matter what the dog moms are doing. Right? Or am I still feeding these little two-legged creatures for no reason at this point?
C. What about Rush Limbaugh getting married four times? Maybe the Catholic church should come out with a brochure about him.
5. "Isn't it unjust discrimination to deny marriage to homosexual persons?"
Why, yes, and it is also rude. What is your opinion, church lobby brochure?
"On the contrary, granting legal status to same-sex unions would be an injustice, because it would be based on a falsehood. Since marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities, it would be wrong to ignore this difference and pretend it doesn't exist".
So unless we point out how different people are from us, we're lying and doing them wrong by not discriminating. So if I see tall people, I should blurt out, "YOU ARE TALL. YOU ARE DIFFERENT. WE ARE IN DIFFERENT REALITIES" and then knock them down to short level because #justice. You know, gay couples and straight couples pretty much do the same things as the rest of the world - eat, sleep, take selfies in airports etc. Maybe if we focus more on what makes us alike rather than what separates us, we'd have a more peaceful world.
6. "Should same-sex couples be entitled to some of the same legal benefits as married couples?"
Actually, as flattering as it should feel that you think the government's role is to fawn over us soccer moms, the most critical role of government in our society is to assist those in need. Also, I really thought that was your concern as well, come to think of it. Congress, by way of legislation and empowered by the constitution, is obligated to help people find employment, live in a safe community, have access to food and receive health care. I don't think there's anything in there about favoring parents over non-parents, which is the gist of your argument.
Let's just say you were right though and the government's main role is to protect and nurture families. If that were true, we'd have an amazing public school system and low-income assistance programs wouldn't be constantly barraged by threats of mandatory drug tests. It's never about the parents and their habits, it's about getting food and education into the children of this country. But no. Public schools are under-funded and when they are attacked by mass gunmen, the rights of gun nuts are assuaged before the safety of the kids. It's unreal how this whole operation goes down.
Oh well, the Pope already said he DGAF about gays, so maybe chill down on the brochure-making?
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