Folks, I have to reveal something that might shock you. There's a dirty little secret I've been keeping from you all this time. Something that will be so repellent to some of you, that I wouldn't be surprised if you click away from this blog in just a few seconds. OK, ready?
I don't believe in gay marriage.
(sound of thousands of angry mouse clicks)
When I say I don't "believe" in it, I don't mean that in the sense that I don't believe in Santa Claus. I mean that I don't view gay marriage as the Holy Grail of gay civil rights. I don't feel that way for a number of reasons, but mostly because I have no interest in ever getting married. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. It just feels wrong.
First of all, the religious aspects of marriage are meaningless to me. I am an unapologetic atheist who is often struck dumb by the fierce religious convictions of some gay people, which is good thing because I'd probably lose some friends if I spoke up.
I can remember going to confession when I was in middle school, and having to add extra lies to the number of lies I was confessing, in order to cover the lies of omission for not confessing about all the rotten, typical shit that boys my age did. Then, instead of sitting there saying my penance (which was always "Say 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers"), I'd sit there and hum "Up The Ladder To The Roof" by The Supremes, two times, which seemed to about the right amount of time it would take to say the penance. Even at that age, the ridiculous of it all annoyed the fuck out of me.
Sometime in high school, I got comfortable letting people know that I as "agnostic", which really bothered the good students that I ran with, because most of them were also in Campus Youth. In college, I morphed into saying "atheist", because I was no longer worried about staying friends with other students if they didn't like it. After college, I would dismissively tell people that I was "nonreligious" or "unreligious", because "atheism is a belief system unto itself, and I don't believe in anything."
Fast forward a few years and a few funerals into the age of AIDS. After those years of watching Christians smugly nod their head in agreement with God's wrathful judgment, that's where I came a lot more venomous in my opinions. No longer could I merely ignore the mystical hooey of religion. I was no longer "unreligious", I was "DISreligious", and that's pretty much where my views stand right now. When my sister invited me to my niece's christening, I told her, "The next time I enter a church, I will be carrying high explosives." Uncle Joe did not attend.
And as far as the civil aspects of gay marriage, I have a problem here too. Another blogger, The Malcontent, once coined the term "monogavangelism", meaning to actively promote monogamy as the best way to live ones life. This sort of moral relativism infuriates me, to say the least. If monogamy is the preferred way to live, then every step outside of momogamy must therefore be one rung down on the ladder to evil.
Monagavangelists, gay and straight, imply that a person's moral worth goes down as their number of sexual partners goes up. The assumption is that being coupled is the natural state of being, and something that we all should be working towards, and if we aren't interested in that, then there is something wrong with us.
Of course, politically, I do fully support the gay marriage movement, although I'll admit that at least part of my support is out of the satisfaction in seeing the Christians go into apoplectic fits over the issue. And it does satisfy me to see my earlier predictions being proven true, as gay marriage is being proven to be an almost overwhelmingly lesbian phenomenon. Although lesbians represent a mere fraction of the overall gay population, they represent the majority of all gay marriages...proving once and for all that marriage isn't so much a gay-straight issue, it's really more of a man-woman issue.
I do believe that gay marriage was the wedge issue that cost us the 2004 election. I do believe that Gavin Newsom may have been the witting or unwitting puppet of a campaign to thrust gay marriage onto the national stage, as Barney Frank warned us all at the time.
But basically, I'm in the camp that believes that marriage is an ultimately false social construct, invented to own property and persons, and perpetuated to maintain social status. It rings false to me, personally, on so many levels.
But don't let MY issues stop you from getting hitched, my marriage-minded brothers and sisters. Every gay marriage is a thorn in the side of the religious right, and I love me some thorns. But just don't start with the monogavangelizing when you're around, deal?