Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Marriage Should Go--Right Now

Nowadays you can hardly talk about marriage and not feel the dark insecurity of the vast majority of men and women, many of whom would go a long way, only short of death, to hold on to their tightly guarded paranoia that marriage has everything to do with a man and a woman. The rest of us who suggest otherwise could take a blipping vacation at Guantanamo.

Little wonder why in a party last week, a good ol' fashioned conversation with a friend quickly turned into an exchange of politely thrown cynical jabs as soon as the usual suspects showed up. The suspects, as I feared, were not Jack and Jill and Dr. Phil.

Instead, they were Adam and Adam and Eve and Eve - the same sex couples, same sex cohabitants, or simply people who enjoy companionship and take part in bedroom activities with the like-minded ones of same sex.

Our talking point wasn't, of course, how same-sex people have sex with each other. Even by my friend's standard that would be dumb, although he detests the entire "homosexual" thing with utmost sincerity (he says he can't bring himself to imagine how guy-guy or girl-girl things actually happen, so I asked him to surf the web with a more open mind).

We talked about the rights of homosexuals to marry, to call themselves married, and to call themselves a family, all of which now only applies to men married to women and women married to men.

The questions we asked ourselves were: Should homosexuals marry? More precisely, should we let them marry? (I know, putting it this way sounds offensive, almost degrading them to second class citizens, but that's the current reality) and should they adopt and raise children and call themselves a family?

My answer was 'yes.' I am not a homosexual; not even remotely, platonically, or by any other conceivable or imaginary way you could call yourself one. My friend's answer was 'no,' a thumping negative, all the while hoping he would get his point across the fence and stick it inside my bone head. Unfortunately, his twisted logic (I told that on his face and he turned bloody red) wasn't any better than what the Vatican offers in the press releases, turning his efforts into a total waste.

I told him he's an ass; and I can tell you it's good to have friends who don't mind being called an ass.

We agreed on something. Assuming same sex couples someday get their due right to marry, which they should get without further delay, we agreed the Vatican could considerably clean up its image by FedEx-ing their blessings overnight. This has the potential of becoming the masterstroke of Benedict XXX, should he decide to strike again after so callously quoting from obscure texts from the Middle Ages to insult Muslims. Methinks the Pope still kinda "lives" in the Middle Ages, so he is probably more comfortable with the medieval texts and ideas. Enough digression.

Same sex marriage is not a popular thing. It's not even an acceptable idea among many heterosexuals who are moderate and are usually open to listening to what others have to say (like my friend). Many of these good, decent folks couldn't come up with a single good reason why they are opposed to same sex marriage. Instead, they keep repeating the pathetic moral AIDS logic, strongly advocated by the Vatican (where time is frozen, and God skates on the frozen time) and other religions.

The Vatican had previously said gay marriage is "gravely immoral," a "threat to families," and is "harmful to the proper development of human society." While declaring marriage is "holy" (gasp), the Vatican said, "homosexual acts go against the natural moral law." Ouch!!!

If you think they sound a lot more like the cave dwellers living in a doghouse and a lot less like someone living in a 21st century society practicing equality, freedom, and liberty for everyone, then congratulations, you are right!

The problem is in their premise of objection, which is equating morality with the laws of Mother Nature. Nothing could be further from the truth and it doesn't make sense at all. If they had said we don't endorse gay marriage because we don't know how a man does a man or a woman does a woman, I would have personally sent a thank-you note to the Pope for their collective ignorance. Instead they talk about morality, and I don't see what morality has to do with the preference. I can agree that it could be a matter of taste, but calling it moral or immoral? Never.

Also notice the use of such charming phrases like "threat to families," to which I say Amen! How could you notice the perceived (and imaginary) threat of same-sex couples to marriage and not notice a good fraction of families are surprisingly efficient in self-destruction?

Married folks don't quite mind abusing their divine bond. About one third (this is arguable, because different studies quote different percentages, but lowest you get is about a quarter) of married couples drop their underwear outside their bedrooms.

Again, it's the heterosexuals who engage in frequent, messy, and obscene court battles over custody, infidelity, and everything they cook up to stink an entire courtroom. I don't care if they don't want to stay with each other, but why can't they just get it done amicably? Why do social resources have to be wasted over lengthy courtroom battles?

The Vatican is not the only insane representative of religions. Islam, its ever-fighting brother, is not far behind. They don't grab the headlines because Islamic societies, cultures, and countries are usually very hush-hush. But someone called Sheikha advises on the Aljazeera website, "The reason why gay marriage or homosexual behavior is prohibited in Islam and thus banned in Arab and Muslim states is the devastating effect and chaos it'd inflict on the moral and social fabric of society. Same-sex marriage is reversal of the natural order, it's a moral disorder. It's violation of the limits prescribed by God."

When it comes to allowing the homosexuals to marry, the torchbearers of Jesus, Muhammad, and Vishnu share the same bed, eat from the same plate, and quote the same God. They don't want the word 'marriage' to come even remotely close to the homosexuals, but they don't mind killing each other with their God's approval (arguably).

Religious connotations aside, the most appalling part of the entire debate is the continued endorsement of "marriage-not-for-homosexuals" by a broad section of the Jacks and Jills climbing down the divorce hill. The only explanation is that it is not about principle, if ever there was one. It is all about power — the existing hegemony over marriage and divorce — the existing social supremacy.

Sad and equally bad.

Here is a reasonable way out. It's a "cut and run" solution based on the following propositions.

1. Marriage, as it stands now, is a deep perversion of the equality principle. We are generally opposed to specific groups enjoying specific favors and enjoying them forever. I use the term "favor" loosely, and it could be anything from having quotas in jobs, admission in universities, political stuffs, to marriage for heterosexuals and heaven for Christians or Muslims or Hindus (but not for all of them mind you). We should all be truly equal under all social norms.

2. We need our institutions to be lean and slim - not obese, like marriage, which enjoys no extra benefit from the existing and perfectly acceptable legal civil union. Since legally we are already on a sound platform, all we have to do is to extend the premise of union from "man and woman" to "any Homo sapiens and any Homo sapiens with valid identities." It's not that difficult.

3. Marriage, not including the legal binding, only validates the religious and social approval to fuck and suck. We don't need religious and social approval to do what we choose to do in our own privacy, and with whom.

4. Society won't look any different if we abolish the institution of marriage and move on like it was never there in the first place.

5. Everyone needs a second chance. So do the divorce lawyers (send them to Sudan).

The only way I can satisfy all the above propositions is by suggesting marriage should go. Right now. It never made sense then and it doesn't make sense now. Period.

I have my friends in Adam and Eve. They never got married. There wasn't any Priest or Mullah, or Pundit available. And they did just fine.



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