Opinion: Marriage is, like, so gay—(oh yeah, I’m totally going there)

Lisa Robertson

About two weeks ago, a California judge overturned Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, on the grounds that it violated the civil rights of gays and lesbians. As someone who found it repugnant that a law was passed taking away a basic human right from American citizens, I was jubilant when this ruling was announced.

One of the main points of the decision, as the judge said, is “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.” Those beautiful words perfectly sum up what I feel about the rights of all couples to marriage.

Marriage, to me, is not about religion. It’s about two people who love each other being willing to commit themselves to each other only and have thought about what that means beyond just the pretty wedding part. Besides, the last time I checked, marriage was between two individuals, not two individuals and the rest of society, with all its differing moral viewpoints.

And let’s be honest. Marriage is not just the sacred institution some people harp about. People get married for all sorts of reasons, not just the idealized version of true love that Americans have enjoyed deluding themselves with for years. Money, power, security, drunken stupidity, familial pressures and procreation—all reasons for marriage over the years. Why ban anyone from that craziness?

And if your straight-couple relationship is somehow suddenly less valid because a gay couple can now get married, as I’ve heard some anti-gay marriage advocates postulate, then you’re an idiot. Simplistic perhaps, but how is it actually hurting your own relationship? I mean really, if the words, “Sorry honey, I feel our relationship means less because gays can now marry,” actually came out of my significant other’s mouth, I would smack that fool. There are several external forces that may hurt a couple: adultery, disagreements about money, whether to have children and on and on. But gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry as a reason? How about no?

As someone who’s straight, I feel it especially important to voice my support for equal marriage rights for my gay and lesbian friends. I mean, how ridiculous is it that I could go out and get married to some guy I meet at a bar one night after 24-hours of knowing him, and two people of the same sex who have, say, been in a loving relationship for years can’t go out and get legally married. Well, OK, unless they go to Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and D.C., states and a district that have all shown good sense and legalized gay marriage. But still, that’s only five out of 50.

Years ago, it was considered immoral for a man and woman of a different race to marry, and times have, for the most part, changed concerning that particular attitude. My hope is that the day soon comes when the idea of banning same-sex marriage is seen in the same light: as a foolish mistake of the past.

Lisa Robertson is a grad student and columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact Lisa Robertson at [email protected]