Here Comes The Bride, Or Maybe The Groom

Thoughts On Gay Marriage

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I’m trying to figure out gay marriage. Help me. (I gave up trying to figure out heterosexual marriage long ago.)

Maybe I need to figure out gays first. Or maybe I need to figure out sex, which isn’t possible. Nothing about sex makes a grain of sense. The whole idea is bizarre. If it didn’t exist and you thought it up, you would end up in a struggle buggy between hefty psych orderlies.

I think it was Lord Chesterfield who said of sex, “The pleasure is fleeting, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” He was being charitable. Sex is probably responsible for more misery and proportionally less pleasure than anything short of hemorrhagic tuberculosis. People jump off bridges because of it. They spend hours in meat bars talking to people they don’t like because of it. Its pursuit wastes unfathomable amounts of time. If the average man spent as many hours working as he did planning to get laid, the caloric output would upset the thermal balance of the earth. (Global warming. You don’t suppose…?)

Now, gays. I have no idea why homosexuals want to do what they want to do, except in the case of lesbians, when it makes perfect sense, except that the average lesbian has the personality of a rat-tail file. But then, I have no idea why I want to do what I want to do. Granted, I’m not particularly at ease around homosexuals, but maybe they aren’t comfortable around me. Call it a draw.

Having spent time in the undersides of cities, I know at least as much as I want to about homosexuals, crossdressers, S&M freaks, and transsexuals, as well as the odder kinks. What does one make of a six-foot-two transvestite, with an Adam’s apple like a bowsprit and the jaw of a front-end loader, wearing a polka dot skirt and brandishing a monster lollipop? I’m not sure. If it happens in somebody’s basement in the remote suburbs, I’m quite sure that it’s not my business.

And so I decided I didn’t give a damn about sexual peculiarities, provided that (a) I didn’t have to watch them and (b) nobody got hurt. If you like Bactrian camels, it’s fine with me, as long as the camel consents. Just do it somewhere else. Whatever it is.

So what I figure about gays is, leave’em alone, if they’ll leave me alone. If the guy at the next desk is homosexual, I don’t care. Gay bars? If they’re reasonably discrete, leave them alone.

What’s this got to do with marriage? Patience. We’re getting there.

Now, Christians of the sort who do not so much love Jesus as hate everybody else will tell me that God doesn’t like gays. I wonder why he made them, then? (Of course I wonder why he made hemorrhagic tuberculosis too, so this line of argument may go nowhere.) If memory serves, God (Leviticus, I think) did say we should stone homosexuals to death. While I am not antireligious, God and I are going to differ on this one. Call it jury nullification.

On t he other hand, I vaguely recall that Jesus once said, “Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” On that basis, gays are safer than a riverboat gambler with five aces and a Derringer in his sleeve.

So why am I against marriage of gays? Which I am.

For several reasons, the first of which has precious little to do with gays. As an American in remission, I have a romantic fondness for the notion of constitutional government, which of course doesn’t exist and never will again in the United States if it ever did. Face it: The constitution is deader than a doorknob. I mean a doorknob with melanoma and clogged arteries. But the memory does provide a convenient platform for launching vituperations and upsettances. That’s what we in the column racket do.

The first objection is to the further extension of judicial dictatorship. Courts run the country these days. The will of the people is irrelevant.

When did you last hear of anything of lasting import being done by Congress? I can’t either. But almost every week you read about some federal judge, or that ratpack of pompous drones on the Supreme Court, who has (Have? This sentence is going to hell) defunded the Boy Scouts, or invented a constitutional right to abortion, or imposed integration, or outlawed the public expression of Christianity, or made it impossible to stop immigration. They tell you who you can hire, who you can sell your house to, what your children will be taught. They serve to impose what could never be legislatively enacted. The judges are out of control.

They’re at it again. Marriage doesn’t mean what it has always meant. It means what some over-promoted nonentity wants it to mean. And the country will obey. Roll over. Bark. Fetch.

A second objection is that there is no logical end in sight once the courts arrogate the power to define marriage. If a man can marry a man, why can he not marry two men? I’m serious. I could argue that the bonds of affection can exist between three men as well as between two. The norm today is serial marriage. Why not parallel marriage? Who are we to discriminate in favor of couples?

Why not heterosexual polygamy? It has a long history and enjoys certain advantages. Why should a man not marry his daughter? A common argument is that it can lead to the defects peculiar to inbreeding. (As a West Virginian, I regard this as unconscionable meddling. Twelve toes are more stable than ten.) But when two people carry recessive genes for some unpleasant disease, we don’t forbid them to marry. Why discriminate against members of a family?

Why should a man not marry, say, his sheep? Our current legal prejudices condemn him, and her, to a life of—I started to say “sin,” but I think sin has been found to be constitutionally inexistent. The penalties for unconstitutional love are burdensome. Do you know how hard it is to get a motel room with a sheep?

Peer behind the shabby curtain of pretended principle, and you see that the government is not an impartial entity serving the public, but a means of imposing on the majority the will of any who can get their hands on the miraculous levers of the courts.