Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Marriage Debate

When did gay go mainstream?

Even in the face of threats of war, financial panic, debt crisis, budget cuts, and all the new pope hoopla, it seems that gay marriage is all anyone in politics or the media wants to talk about. It's like the whole world's gone gay.

I'm not gay, so I don't know how qualified I am to address this topic. But I do have dear friends, both male and female, who have been close to my heart for many years, who are gay. They don't seem different from other people I know, except for being gay. They're just my friends, like any other friends. I never really think about them being gay--unless I'm being beaten over the head with a political agenda.

This is still America, the remnant of a free country. So here's what I believe. I believe every person alive--gay or straight--has the right to spend his or her life with whomever they want to be with. I believe gay couples are entitled to legal civil unions that will recognize their commitment to each other and protect their rights. I believe gay couples should be left in peace to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without discrimination of any kind.

But, with all that being said, I do not believe in gay marriage.

Why?, you might ask. Well, in the first place, I've been married. I was married for 33 years, four months, and 18 days. To the same man, it's important to specify. So I know a lot about marriage. And anyone who thinks marriage is about sex is sadly mistaken.

Marriage is about the next generation. Oh, sure, you have the big chemical attraction and the fireworks and all that pizazz to start with. That's nature's little trick to ensnare you into perpetuating the human race. But marriage becomes more about bills, babies, and unexpected setbacks such as a job loss or health issues. A husband and wife living together and navigating all of life's ups and downs are probably too busy to realize they are teaching their children as they go along. They are teaching the kids how to face life challenges and stay committed, as different as they are and as much as they don't understand each other sometimes. Parents are providing their children with two distinct role models, one for each gender--an integrated experience their kids will benefit from throughout life.

A same-sex union simply doesn't have that dimension. Marriage is dynamically organic. Take two completely different creatures--a man and a woman--and combine them to create something totally new--children. To me, that's marriage. Marriage has been the basic unit of successful civilization throughout history. Is it wise of us to mess with it? Just asking...

I may be hopelessly behind the times, and whatever the Supreme Court decides on the issue, I'll accept their decision about the laws of the land. But it won't change my definition of marriage. To me, one man plus one woman equals one logical definition of marriage that no man may put asunder.