I had to delete a Facebook friend. This wasn’t someone I particularly cared about, but it was someone who I thought was better than his recent posts would suggest. Even though this guy, John, was the weird kid in school who kept his head buried in a book for most of junior high, I would have defended him, and I did when other kids called him nerdy or awkward.
I’m sad to say that I can no longer defend John because he has no intention of defending me or my right to marry the person I love regardless of gender. Earlier this week, John posted this article. With a title like “I Was Wrong About Marriage,” I was under the impression that John, a Mormon, had come around, like much of the country after Obama came out of the I-actually-like-the-gays closet. But, as it turns out, I was wrong about John, and he is still wrong about marriage.
In that lovely link, I found a very well-organized argument for why the gays are too morally bankrupt to provide to the family system in a healthy way. According to this article, letting gays get married would be a crime not against humanity, but against humanity’s children. Can you imagine innocent kids growing up in a household that embraces equal love and compassion for all? It’s disgusting.
All sarcasm aside, I take a deep breath and remind myself that in a country that promotes freedom of speech, it is important for John to be able to post that article and not be punished by law for being an unforgivable bigot. When I think of what bothers me most about John’s post, it’s the same thing that bothers me about this entire debate. The talking points used to defend this bigotry are based purely in hate and bad information.
I could debate every argument used to defend not allowing gay marriage, but it’s starting to feel like that would be a waste of my time. I can only scream the gays won’t kill the notion of the family or the world will not implode if Sally has two moms so many times. It feels like the folks who have put their foot down about gay marriage have no interest in seeing things through any other lens. In their eyes, there isn’t even room to find a common middle ground.
So is there a common middle ground on this issue? I can think of plenty, but the country doesn’t seem to see it this way. For the pro-gay marriage side, the phrase “civil union” isn’t good enough for the gays, and for the anti-gay marriage side, the word “marriage” is too good for the gays.
The best way to solve this issue reminds me of how my mother used to solve sisterly disputes. Let’s say that we both wanted to claim ownership of the same toy. Neither of us can find a way to share this toy. Instead of continuing to let us bicker over the toy, mom steps in and says, “If you can’t share it, then neither of you get to have the toy.” She promptly takes the toy away, hiding it in a closet somewhere, and now we must find the same fun in other toys.
If we can’t find a way to share marriage, perhaps it’s time to take marriage away from everyone. Let’s examine the benefits we get from marriage and reassign them to our other toys, our other legal unions. The way we are fighting about this, no one deserves marriage as anti gay-marriage advocates want to define it — but good luck trying to take marriage away from them.