Dear Big Daddy,
I am absolutely elated by the California Supreme Court’s decision.
–Office of Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys
Marriage is an institution that exists in nature and ultimately is beyond the power of any government or court to redefine.
–Office of Senator Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks
Dear essentially random Democrat and Republican,
I love those times of year when everybody puts on their Charles Darwin hat and…scratch that…puts on their some other scientist hat…what I mean is, when everybody thinks they’re a naturalist. You know, an expert on what is and is not natural.
By “that time of year,” I don’t mean spring, or even this Barbecue-in-Purgatory of a May we’ve been having. I mean whenever there’s gay anything is in the news.
Any regular reader of my column knows, I’m rarely at a loss for far more words than are really necessary or tasteful. And I hate to pick on McClintock, because I’ve done it far more than he deserves. But I practically tied my brain into a rosary trying to make sense of that nature bit. I don’t know much about history, but I do know that in addition to their better-known pursuits, the Greeks had governments and courts mucking around with marriage law long before there was a Bible. Heck, it was our courts and governments that got rid of polygamy (well, outside Texas).
Nature, just like global warming or the Bible, can be used to justify just about any ideas one might have about how other people ought to behave. If you take a cold, hard look at the animal kingdom, sure, you’ll find some beasts that mate for life (and are about as faithful as French presidents). You’ll also find a whole lot of pooping in public, infanticide and bad table manners. All things I don’t want in our state constitution.
I suppose there is a natural tendency to think of “natural” as “what comes naturally.” Though all I had to do was look around and see how much trouble other fellows had boozing all night, dominating a legislature and bedding women who were way out of their league.
But what really seemed unnatural to me was…well, marriage. I spent half my life in a different kind of closet, pretending I could be faithful to one woman when the truth of it was I could hardly be faithful to 12. If I still had a finger to put a ring on, I would have spent last week hoping the court had found a way to ban all marriage. I’d bet my last shot of JWR there’s a quite a few queer Don Juans and lesbian lotharios cursing the court for yanking away their last and greatest excuse to avoid a legal commitment to their partner. If the goal is to make gay people unhappy, rest assured a few are more miserable than ever with this newfound “freedom” the Supremes have provided them.
And speaking of happiness, it’s kind of amazing how worked up all these legislators got. I kept reading through all the responses hoping to find a Democrat release a statement saying, “Yeah, that’s cool I guess, whatever,” (though a few were as silent as a closeted Green Beret on the matter). Nor did I find a Republican willing to announce they were “vaguely annoyed, but then I remembered tomorrow is office bagel day.”
But maybe this ruling could bring the tax-loving and gay-not-loving parties together on a way to fix the budget. How much do people usually blow on weddings? Almost as much as Eliot Spitzer spends on call girls for a couple nights, that’s for sure. Now all you have to do is make that the price for the new California State Marriage License! For the sake of easy math, let’s throw out a rather conservative $10,000. Now multiply that by the few dozen corporate lawyers, Hollywood producers and political consultants who would actually pay that to impress folks, and you have an itsy-bitsy dent in budget deficit.
And you would have effectively banned gay marriage again for most people. Straight people could still slip over the border for a night, or opt for the online weddings Nevada would surely offer in response. Sure, this might not be fair to straight couples who don’t have money to travel or fingers to use computers. But is fairness a can of worms you really want to open?