Josh Olson: Enough already with the marriage equality thing

Posted by Josh Olson on

"Seriously, folks, the world's a mess. We have so many real issues facing us right now, so many problems that really do threaten to eradicate not just our way of life, but life itself, that piddling around with crap like this is starting to feel not just self-indulgent, but suicidal.

"It is deeply and profoundly important that we recognize how absurd this situation is, and get over it as soon as possible. The world is harsh and mean and ugly enough that anyone who devotes one single solitary erg of energy towards making it harder for two people to love each other needs to be labeled as exactly what they are: A hatemonger.

... "'The institution of marriage is unique. It is the one institution that binds women and men together to form a family, and this serves broad societal purposes.'

"As thesis statements go, this one's pretty weak. Many institutions are unique, and just stating that doesn't axiomatically mean that they are sacrosanct. Slavery, for instance, was a unique institution in its day, and it, too served a broad societal purpose. I'm not equating marriage with slavery, just pointing out that Jackson's thesis statement doesn't mean as much as he wants it to.

"'The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right -- the right to vote -- stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people.'

"I hate to begin by calling Bishop Jackson a liar, but then it occurs to me that I actually began by calling him a bigot, so it's too late for niceties. But this statement is a lie. The voters of Californians have had no rights stripped from them whatsoever. Our right to vote (did I mention that I live in California?) remains inviolate. In fact, not only has my right to vote not been touched, I still have the right to vote on laws that are not constitutional, such as, say, Proposition 8.

"Bishop Jackson would have you believe that all that's necessary for something to become law is that the people vote for it. That we have a Constitution that our laws must measure up to is something he'd like you to forget, as is the fact that the Constitution is designed specifically to protect minorities from the unthinking bigotry of the majority.

... "On the subject of the judge's sexuality, the implication is clear - a gay judge cannot be trusted to make a decision on a civil rights matter involving sexuality. By this same logic, a straight judge would be equally suspect, no? It would seem to me, then, that the only solution is to find a bisexual judge to determine this matter, which strikes me as a curious solution.

... "'A marriage requires a husband and a wife, because these unions are necessary to make new life and connect children to their mother and father.'

"Of all the inane and ignorant comments the Bishop makes in his article, this one is most dizzying, I think. It feels absurd to have to state this in the presence of adults, but a marriage is, of course, not necessary at all to make new life. Any two drunk strangers in a bar can conceive, and parents do not need a license to connect with their children. In 2010, it's not even necessary to have sex to conceive a child. If his point really is that we must stop the freedom to marry because only married straight people can have children, we can stop this nonsense right now. On a purely factual level, the Bishop is fundamentally, profoundly, deeply and disturbingly wrong.

... "Bishop Jackson, I've addressed your arguments point by point, but now I'd like to address you directly, because this is a very personal issue. In fact, that's ALL it is, as it has no other bearing on the world, save how people relate to one another. It doesn't affect taxes, it doesn't affect our roads, it doesn't affect the environment, and it has no bearing at all on any of the wars we're currently involved in.

"These people want to love, to live, and to raise good, strong, healthy children, just like every other family. For you to devote this much time and energy to preventing that is unconscionable, sir, and if the God you believe in is real, I assure you, he's hanging His head in shame at your words.

"One last thing, in the spirit of full disclosure. I am single, straight, have no children, and don't really want them. I'm just not father material. I am a great uncle, though. My sister is a lesbian, in a committed relationship that's lasted twenty years now (significantly longer than my own), and has three beautiful, brilliant, incredibly well-adjusted and loving children."


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