Maine, Maine go away…

“…the institution of marriage has been preserved in Maine, and across this nation.”

When Frank Schubert, the campaign manager for “Stand For Marriage Maine”, uttered those words last night he must’ve thought pretty highly of himself. I mean, it’s not everyday that you get to “save” an entire institution that impacts just about every single human being on the planet.

Scott Fish, a spokesman for the group, said the campaign had never been anti-gay. “The campaign was very clear about that,” he said. “This was a campaign about protecting traditional marriage.”

Ah, but Mr. Fish’s statement is very telling in his use of the word “protecting”, as if homosexual people are out to harm marriage. As if two gay people who love each other and want to share their life together will have any detriment to my own marriage. I’ve always been confused about this. I have a close friend who is gay and he has been with the same partner for 25 years–much longer than many “traditional marriages” last. They love each other and want to be together for the rest of their lives. They live in Minnesota, so they are not legally married, but the way they live their life actually makes my marriage stronger because they are promoting the ideal of commitment. Their relationship is a beautiful thing and should be a standard for the way “straight” people live.

On the other hand, I have another friend who has been married and divorced twice. He has a child with his first wife, who ultimately went on to marry someone else who was also divorced. This divorced friend of mine has actually weakened my marriage because he is proof of just how flimsy this institution really is. People jump in and out of marriages so often that the pillar of this institution–commitment–is meaningless. Wasn’t he paying attention to the “until death do us part” line? That is the crux of the whole thing–that no matter how tough life gets, you will always be able to depend on the person you married to be there for you. It isn’t “until someone better comes along do us part.” It isn’t “until I can’t deal with your BS anymore do us part.” It isn’t “until we realize that we made a mistake do us part.” Marriage is supposed to be the ultimate commitment, and that’s all that matters in this debate.

I make no judgements against divorced people–my own parents are divorced, and I have several friends who are divorced. And I think that it’s better to divorce than to be miserable for the rest of your life, especially if there are children involved. But for all these activist groups to claim that they are “protecting” marriage by barring an entire segment of our society from making a loving commitment to each other is just a coverup for homophobia. They claim it’s dangerous to re-define marriage because that will open the floodgates for adults to marry children or animals. That’s just nonsense. The only way to define marriage in it’s truest sense is “the monogamous union of two adult human beings.” It has nothing to do with how you have sex.

Let’s just call banning gay marriage what it really is: discrimination. And let’s just call an institution that is defined by lifelong commitment, but comes with an out clause just in case, what it really is: hypocrisy.

The only way to really protect the institution of marriage is to make divorce illegal.


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