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Marriage Jitters

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VOLUME 3, ISSUE 309 | February 26 - March 3, 2004

E-MAIL/MIKE

Passion and Its Suppression

Subject: Why is gay marriage bad for society?

Beyond the moral and religious issues, President Bush couldn’t come up with one reason why a same-sex marriage would affect heterosexual marriage in the speech he gave. I read the transcript three times and he just says that it’s always been this way, that marriage is between a man and woman.

But why is that good and same-sex marriage bad for society? He won’t explain. I have been trying to find out what it is that they are afraid of––just one coherent, logical reason that is not about religion––and I came across this argument in an alternative weekly and wondered what you thought about it:

“Gay marriages will have an impact on regular marriages. Financially, that is... As part of the process, government will decree all benefits offered by companies (health, life insurance, retirement, etc.) for straight spouses must be given equally to gay spouses… To compensate for the increased expenditures, a certain percentage of said companies will reduce benefits provided to all couples, gay or otherwise. The end result: As a direct result of legalizing gay marriage, a certain percentage of straight couples will have their work benefits reduced, or cut altogether. And, of course: Since more than half of divorces are caused by financial reasons anyway, a small but significant number of straight couples will be pushed closer to divorce due to the increased financial burden.”

Re: Why is gay marriage bad?

That is one of the most asinine reasons against same-sex marriage I’ve read––and yes, if that’s all they can come up with, we’re going to win this war in the long rum.

I actually got a kick watching TV coverage of the goings-on in San Francisco, where they asked one of the religious moralists fighting the same-sex marriages how such marriages affected straight marriages, including his own. He responded: “As every new homosexual couple is married, each minute, each hour––now hundreds and hundreds of them––it is rapidly degrading my marriage and adversely affecting it, tearing it apart.”

I sat there cackling, thinking, “Man, you and your wife must have a pretty shitty relationship if this can tear it about!”

The reasoning you present above is equally ridiculous. First of all, at this point in time many companies––including some of the largest among the fortune 500––voluntarily give gays and lesbians domestic partnership benefits, and the government couldn’t stop them from doing it. And many cities and states have constructed domestic partnership laws that mandate that government and sometimes private industry offer such benefits. So, there’s no need for same-sex marriage for that to happen––it’s happening already.

Secondly, the number of couples who actually take advantage of such benefits is quite small––particularly since among many gay and lesbian couples both partners work and receive benefits from their own individual employers––and is not putting any financial burden on companies.

Finally, even same-sex marriage would impose financial burdens on the economy, what is this guy saying? That heterosexuals should be privileged when it comes to issues like health care? And that we should go without health care––and, by the way, create an even bigger strain on the system––so that heterosexual couples won’t get divorced?

The idea that gays have to be barred from marriage in order to keep straights from having financial problems and getting divorced is ludicrous. What ever happened to “personal responsibi­lity,” a bedrock of Republicanism?

Suddenly, they’re blaming their divorces on us? As I said above, if this is the best they can come up with…

Subject: Evil?

I’m curious why you use the word “evil” in regards to Exodus International. I personally reserve the word “evil” for people like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Hitler. They were individuals who were truly evil!

I’m just curious why you felt that way!

Re: Evil?

Something tells me you’re an Exodus devotee. But hey, I’m happy to enlighten an “ex-gay” any chance I get, so thanks for the question.

Any group that preys upon people’s fears, inhibitions, psychological traumas, and the self-hatred instilled by society for the purposes of its own political and social agenda is “evil” as far as I’m concerned.

Exodus calls homosexuality a “sin,” and believes people are somehow lured into it. The group claims it can bring people out of homosexuality through “reparative therapy,” turning them into happy heterosexuals.

It’s a seductive message for people who have been told for entire lives that their homosexuality is bad and who hate themselves because of society’s homophobia. Sexual orientation, however, is not something that can be changed.

There are countless stories of people who leave Exodus eventually, having suppressed their sexual desires and sometimes nearly lost their minds, only to lead their lives more honestly once again as gay and lesbian individuals. I think many of them would attest to you that Exodus is “evil.”

More than that, Exodus lobbies legislatures on the issue of same-sex marriage and gay rights, and offers opinions on political issues regarding homosexuality. It is part of the Christian right, pandered to by George W. Bush and devoted to stripping gays of their rights. That, in my book, is pretty evil too.

E-mail Mike Signorile at Mike@Signorile.com.Email Mike Signorile at Mike@Signorile.com.

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