July 25th, 2012
Same-sex marriage not a basic rights matter
Derryck Green: Do you actually have any gay friends? Do you know any gay couples? Have you ever confronted them with the notion that they have every right to marry, as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex?
I mean, sure, it’s a joke that’s guaranteed to get a laugh and a wink or two at the Sean Hannity Comedy Club. But anyone who actually knows people who are gay knows how utterly absurd it is.
You point out that there are enormous differences between a man and a woman. Yes, and there are also enormous differences between gay people and straight people. Have you ever been emotionally and physically attracted to another man? No? There’s a reason for that: you’re straight.
Ask any straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, “We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!” That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the ability or even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.
No, the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another’s happiness, health, and well-being, to the exclusion of all others. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows.
That’s what makes marriage a good thing, whether the couple in question is gay or straight. And personally I’m confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately rule that there is simply no Constitutional justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying gay couples the same legal benefits and protections that straight couples have always taken for granted.
I honestly don’t understand why the prospect of the gay couple down the street getting married gets you so bent out of shape.