A compromise to satisfy all

Steve Hammer

If there's one thing that sticks in my craw more than anything else these days, it's the pseudo-debate about gay marriage, civil unions, the defense of marriage and all that.

With all the attention it's received lately, you'd think that we'd solved all the other problems in the world, such as hunger, poverty, wars and holding fair elections in this country.

President Bush used the issue of gay rights to win the election last year. He somehow convinced most white people that John Kerry would have forced their children to turn gay, have an abortion or both.

There doesn't seem to be any room for compromise on this issue. The right-wingers are certain that God will smite us if we don't crack down on the gays, and the gay agenda seems to be equally as intractable.

Here's a compromise that, like all compromises, will fully satisfy no one but seems like a fair way to settle this argument. I learned it as a child from my parents during summer road trip vacations with my two sisters.

If my sisters and I were arguing about a game or something, my parents would confiscate it and not allow us to use it in any way. Marriage should be the same way.

Let's just abolish marriage altogether. Get rid of it. Outlaw the issuing of any marriage licenses and automatically make all existing marriages null and void.

If you people can't compromise on marriage, then nobody can get married.

Marriage is the last thing I think about. I've never been married, been in danger of it only twice and have no plans to ever get married, barring a last-minute reversal by Halle Berry or Jennifer Lopez.

Marriage ain't done shit for me, in other words, so why not get rid of the whole institution altogether? Maybe then we can move on to something important, like getting the Pacers to the Finals or legalizing marijuana.

The Republicans talk about the sanctity of marriage and its alleged holy properties. Getting married apparently makes you a better, more God-fearing person and keeps you free from sin.

The vows of marriage are inviolate and the institution needs to be protected, they say. One of the protesters at a recent Statehouse rally carried a sign that said marriage would mean nothing if gays could get married. Others were wearing buttons that said, "One man, one woman."

Well, guess what? Marriage already doesn't mean anything. Ask Britney Spears about her 55-hour marriage, how sanctified and how holy it was. The only reason her marriage lasted 55 hours is that it took 20 hours for the lawyers to set up the annulment.

And "One man, one woman"? I know maybe three or four people for whom that description fits. None of them are under 50. I've never met a married person who said they'd been faithful for the entire duration of their marriage.

Under my plan, getting married would be punishable by a year in jail or a $10,000 fine, payable to me. If you are currently married, that's just too bad. Consider yourself single again, so go ahead and have that fling. It's now officially permitted under the law.

If you're a gay person who wants to get married and feels this compromise is unfair, tough. Where were you during the Florida recount in 2000? How many Kerry flyers did you hand out in Ohio last year? I have no sympathy for you.

Getting rid of marriage will, overnight, end hypocrisy on the part of millions of people. If everyone is single, everyone becomes a free agent. I will have even less compunction about hitting on your wife than I do now.

It seems like a fair compromise. Either everybody can get married or nobody can get married.

The larger issue here is of gay rights. Gay people want rights and the Bush supporters don't want them to have any. Following my logic, the ideal thing would be to get rid of all rights and freedoms, something which the White House and Congress are already in the process of doing.

My main question, though, is, why are conservatives so obsessed with homosexuality? I have a guess.

He probably gets so steamed up thinking about all these homosexuals walking around with civil rights that he wants to lash out at them by giving them all a firm spanking. Or maybe they should be tied up and beaten with whips until they agree to not be gay anymore.

It seems like the only people who talk about gay sex are conservatives. I've known a lot of gay people in my life and not one of them has ever talked about sex in vivid detail. Most straight people do much more talking about sex.

But gay people tend to keep their private lives private, at least around other people. The only demographic actively talking about the details of gay sex acts, other than gay pornographers, are conservatives. I think they protest too much.

Let's just end this entire marriage debate the only fair way, by taking it off the table. And look for me to start talking to your wife very soon.

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