Friday, April 10, 2009

Reducing masquerades and fighting fair on gay marriage

Because much of society holds gays in contempt, they often try to pass off as heterosexual, engaging in a charade.

Many homosexuals go to the proms with opposite-sex dates. They get married and they have children. For a while, they may even believe they are straight.

But their true colors are eventually and painfully revealed, and the women they married and the chi1dren they bore are left to deal with the fallout of having been props in the heterosexual playacting of the "family man."

These families are the real victims in this cultural war against gays. As a result of the Iowa Supreme Court decision last Friday allowing gay marriages we can hope fewer Iowans suffer in these masquerade-ball families.

Many, of course, still will.

The court's ruling doesn't scrub our society of bigotry toward homosexuals.

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, once compared gays with unicorns and leprechauns, suggesting that they are just liberal imaginings. He spoke in Carroll Wednesday but released much of his vitriol toward gays earlier in the week when he claimed in eastern Iowa that legalized gay marriages in Iowa would lead to incest.

"We have no residency requirement in Iowa law, which means that people can come from all over this country - a man and a man, a woman and a woman - it could be, I suppose, a father and a son or a mother and a daughter," King said Monday night in Cedar Rapids. "They can come to this state and get married and then go back to the state where they reside."

King should read the law before he comments on it.

In Iowa, incest is a Class D felony.

What's more, a state memorandum sent to county recorders makes it clear the associated charge that the court ruling will be a door opener for polygamy is just flat out false.

Iowa Code chapter 595 clearly defines marriage as a civil contract between two parties, and nothing in the court's decision alters that definition.

Many liberals, President Barack Obama most notably, agree with King's premise that marriage should be between one man and one woman. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, once told me that "all other things being equal" heterosexual couples should have preference over gays seeking adoptions.

It's fair to fight this way, to make the case that kids and families are stronger with a married man and woman at the helm. But it is cruelly inaccurate to raise the specter of incest and bestiality in connection with the gay marriage debate as it demonizes people.

At the end of the day gay marriage is a cultural firestorm because Americans are forever obsessed with other people's sex lives.

Each day we are flooded with news of celebrities' sexual doings, and you can't get from the first tee at the golf course to the fairway without hearing rumors of some sap's infidelity or bedroom conquests. It's as reviling as it is irrelevant, and this prurience is probably the most pathetic thing about the American state of mind.

The worst-reviewed movie in my lifetime, "Gigli," starring those one-time star-crossed lovers Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (who gave us the first celeb-fusion name, Bennifer), still pulled in millions at the box office because people thought they might get to see some nocturnal gymnastics with the atrocious acting.

There's another angle to consider.

A marriage license - for gays or straights - is in the eyes of the state largely an economic pact tying people's fortunes together. In that sense, a homosexual union is essentially a free-market choice about who has access to one's money.

Moral judgments on homosexuality are better left to the churches, which don't have to perform gay marriages or even accept homosexual members.

Some churches denounce homosexuality as sinful.

Southern Baptists have been very vocal in their opposition to gay marriage.

Meanwhile, the Episcopalian Church confirmed an openly homosexual bishop.

Fortunately, you can attend either church.

And since opinions about homosexuality and marriage are at their core religious beliefs or lack thereof you should be able to marry someone of either sex.

This column first appeared in The Carroll Daily Times Herald.

2 comments:

----- Jennifer ----- said...

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