In 100 days, the lovely Mrs. Shabazz and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary. Like most married couples, we look forward to it. And unlike most married men, I've started the early planning stages to mark the occasion. I bring this up not to brag, well there is a little bit of that, but if I were to drop the ball on this stuff, it would do more to harm my marriage than any gay or lesbian couple tying the knot would.
The debate over same-sex marriage has been reignited by President Barack Obama's comments that he personally supports gay marriage, but thinks the issue should decided at the state level. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has said he opposed gay marriage, but doesn't engage in some of the vitriol that some of the more hard-nosed conservatives have. My big question has been this: Why is same-sex marriage such a big deal? It's at least one point on which Chris Bowen, the 2011 Libertarian Candidate for Indianapolis Mayor, had right: "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married."
I have batted this issue around in my head for years and I can't think of one practical reason as to why gay marriage shouldn't be legal. It doesn't take money out of my pocket, nor infringe on my property rights, so why should I care? In the nearly three years that my wife and I have been together either as dating or a married couple, any problems we've had were not related to gay marriage. When I look at my own parents, who've been married for nearly 45 years, any near misses they had were not related to gay marriage.
Two people joined together in a committed relationship raising children in a stable environment. This is bad why? Now the opponents of gay marriage say it hurts "traditional family values" and will break down society. I ask once again, how? Child molesters, murders, and felons can all marry with no restrictions. Remember Desmond Turner, who was convicted in the Hamilton Avenue murders a few years ago? He can get married, but my friends Bruce and Gene can't. And they've never even gotten traffic tickets.
All I have ever asked from people is a logical, rational reason as to why gays should not be allowed to marry.
If the argument is they can't procreate: Neither can the elderly or infertile, but we let them marry.
If the argument is gay marriage will lead to things like polygamy and bestiality, I point out two things: Polygamy is actually in the Bible, remember King Solomon. Second, marriage involves the consent of two parties so if your dog can sign a marriage certificate I say take him on Letterman instead of Niagara Falls for the honeymoon.
If the argument is that churches would be forced to perform gay marriages: I ask you to show me a church that was forced perform a wedding that did not involve a prelude to a civil war in the 17th century.
If this is about saving marriage, stopping gay couples from getting married isn't the answer.
How about we lower taxes and reduce regulations and government spending so we can create jobs? Most families break up over financial matters. When couples can make a good living, they tend to stay together.
Second, how about fighting crime. Crime can break up a family. Just ask the families of this weekend's past murder victims. How about we continue to provide more choice and vouchers so families have more options when it comes to their children's education? How about stepping up child support enforcement, so men who have fathered children will be responsible and there will be less dependence on government. If the proponents of strong marriages and families really want to do some good, they'll focus on those issues, not some mirage called gay marriage.
There is no logical, rational reason to ban gay marriage. At the end of the day, opponents just need to come out and say that they oppose gay marriage because it creeps them out, plain and simple. Two men walking down an aisle, kissing each other and going on their honeymoon and doing what couples do on their honeymoon makes social conservatives and some other folks just feel icky. Now two women, I actually find attractive, but that's in my DVD collection in storage, don't tell my wife. So instead of citing a bunch of totally bogus reasons as to why gay marriage should be banned, ask yourself this question. If two men celebrating their wedding night makes you feel icky and creepy, then why are you thinking about it?
Gay marriage will not be the downfall of Western Civilization. Government spending, unchecked entitlements and a prolific regulatory scheme are doing more to hurt my marriage and family than my next door neighbors. Maybe we really are trying to ban the wrong thing.