Gay marriage confuses the hell out of me. Admittedly, I'm not gay; but I am married. So you'd think I would have at least some sort of idea what's going on.
I suppose I should say I was married; I'm currently in that momentary still-water between filing divorce papers and having said divorce become a reality. For the most part it's been an amicable divorce so far, certainly more amicable than the marriage itself became. Which I suppose is the point.
I've also got kids. They're awesome. There's nothing in my life I'm more proud of than my kids; not one damn thing.
That, in a nutshell, is my experience of marriage. It's been good, it's been bad, and at the end of the day, life goes on. Marriage, for all the joy and pain it can cause, is a thing. It's a reality.
Gay marriage is not a thing.
How can it be? Marriage can't, by definition, be heterosexual or homosexual. It's a commitment, a union... an act undertaken by two people who are saying, “You know what? We really, really should be together.”
Sure, people can be gay... actually, let me rephrase that. People are gay. And straight. And lesbian. And a whole host of blends and shades in between. We're a diverse mob, people... it takes all sorts. It really does.
But marriage can't be gay. And this is what I just cannot understand, no matter how hard I try. If two people, regardless of their gender, want to make a lifelong legal commitment to each other with everything that entails... how is that not marriage? And how can it ever possibly be gay, straight or otherwise?
I hear all the sabre-rattling from the churches (well, mainly the churches) but it seems to me their arguments are irrelevant. They oppose gay marriage, by which I assume they want to prohibit marriage between gay people. I can understand their point of view, although I don't have to agree with it.
At this point, I should say I was raised and got married as a Catholic. Church, rings, vows, the whole deal. And afterwards we signed all the necessary bits of paper so that it was a legal marriage as well as a religious one.
I don't call myself a Catholic any more, haven't for quite a few years now. It wore off. But I know the arguments and I guess I'd have to admit that if any church wanted to prohibit religious marriage between two people of the same gender, then they're within their rights. Stupid, offensive and discriminatory... sure. But still within their rights.
But we're not talking about religion, are we? We're talking about the law. And I can't, for the life of me, understand why churches think they have some sort of say over the letter of the law.
I was hoping that writing all this down would help clarify my thinking, but no. It's still a mess. So here's what I propose.
Let churches oppose gay marriage. They can knock themselves out and I’m sure they’ll feel all righteous about it too. It can't hurt, because gay marriage is not a thing. And opposing something that doesn't exist should be easy for them.
In the meantime, the rest of us can go ahead and marry whoever we damn well like. Because marriage is and should be a thing, no matter who you are.