I hear that there are quite a few of you out there thinking about voting for California’s Proposition 8, the so-called “California Marriage Protection Act,” which would effectively write a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution.
I have to admit, though, that I’m having trouble understanding why you’d vote for something like that. I’ve been in a heterosexual marriage for over 14 years, and that’s long enough to have experienced marriage both before and after the advent of legal same-sex marriage. I can honestly say that same-sex marriage hasn’t had much of an effect on my own marriage. If anything, the fact that same-sex couples want to get married is a kind of validation. It can’t be all that bad if everyone wants to do it.
If same-sex marriage has negatively affected your marriage, then I suggest that perhaps your marriage isn’t as resilient as it could be. Seek marriage counseling.
“Ah,” you might say, “but homosexuality is wrong.” I don’t agree, but it’s certainly your prerogative to feel that way. You might have deeply felt beliefs about which sexual organs should go where, based on what some really old book or really old guy in a pointy hat says.* Fine. So don’t get married to someone who’s got the same parts as you. That seems like a pretty easy-to-follow rule. You don’t need a constitutional definition to keep you from accidentally marrying the wrong person, do you?
What it comes down to is this: You’ve only got one reason to vote for Proposition 8, and that’s because you like to tell other people what to do. There’s a strong puritanical tradition in this country of poking our noses in other people’s business, but it’s always run counter to the value we (claim to) place on freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The truth is that, if you’re a heterosexual, same-sex marriage doesn’t affect you.
Or rather, it only affects you to the extent that you let it. If the mere fact that loving, same-sex couples can express their commitment and devotion to each other through marriage fills you with fear and disgust, then I think that’s your problem, not theirs.
* I am not, of course, referring to Dumbledore.