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What's Love Got to Do With It

It's hard to say how big - and how firm - the iceberg is, but the tip of zealous anti-gay-marriage campaigners that we got to see in Sunday's Times Magazine augurs ill for liberal society. Russell Shorto's report from Maryland was too upsetting to read all at once; I had to put it down and glance through the Book Review. There was nothing really surprising in "What's the Movement to Outlaw Gay Marriage Really About?", at least not or me; I've been convinced that the defense of traditional sexuality has come to determine almost every Republican Party policy, from stem-cell research bans to environmental laissez-faire. I am also fairly sure that religion is a tool, not an inspiration. It is unlikely that anybody currently alive is following every command of the Bible; in many cases, doing so would be illegal. The Bible contains some of the oldest text in the world, and any attempt to follow it literally requires serious interpretive somersaulting. Anti-gay-marriage (AGM) activists cherry pick as well as any group. But the wellspring of their thinking is hardly unique to Christians.

The homosexual community would have us believe that marriage is simply about loving one another," said Rick Bowers of Defend Maryland Marriage. "I say it's about two human beings who are wired completely differently, one with estrogen and one with testosterone, living together in love but with the purpose of procreation. It's a lot deeper than love."

How could anything be a lot deeper than love? Doubtless Mr Bowers really means to say "more primitive." It's as though - and this is an amazing twist, considering the source - we're being reminded not to forget that, beneath our human superstructures, we're animals subject to the "purposes" of animal life. In any case, love is clearly secondary in Mr Bowers's quite secular restatement of marriage.

Continue reading about anti-gay-marriage activism at Portico.


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Can we say that "heterosexuality" is "traditional sexuality?" Or that sexuality with the purpose of procreation is "traditional sexuality?"

Just fine tuning.

I'm too angry at those activists to even talk about more than words this morning.

I haven't read the article yet. Here in Massachusetts, our villainous governor Mitt (or, as I invariably call him, "Shitt") Romney is staking out a far-right position on gay marriage and civil unions in order to jockey for a spot in the 2008 présidentielles. He was always opposed to gay marriage, but used to bother dissembling that he was in favor for some "compromise." Regardless, I now believe that the nutbaggers' plebiscite to overturn gay marriage in the Commonwealth will be defeated, now that we've had gay marriage here for over a year and the vengeful fist of Jesus or Bog or whoever has not crushed the golden State House dome.

I did read the piece in the Times magazine, and had steam coming out of my ears by the time I was finished. Isn’t it convenient that the fundamentalists/conservatives/traditionalists have been able to find a smoke-screen behind which to hide their true colors.The truly horrifying thing to me, though, is the fact that I’ve heard the very same arguments against gay marriage (and civil unions) from people I otherwise considered socially liberal. The point that I make when confronted with the notion that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation is that, by that standard, my husband and I (with whom I have enjoyed 21 years of marital bliss) shouldn’t have been allowed to marry, as procreation was never truly part of our agenda. And if that is what marriage truly is, then heterosexual couples who are beyond child-bearing age shouldn’t be allowed to marry either. Seems to me as though love and commitment have everything to do with it, and I can point to a number of long-standing, monogamous and successful homosexual (or heterosexual but unmarried) unions as proof. This is a subject on which I have been known to rant and rave, but the opposition is intransigent and their arguments are, as far as I'm concerned, completely illogical, but always, to some extent, grounded in religion of one variety or another. So much for the separation of church and state.

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