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Let Them Eat Wedding Cake

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Transcending age, race, religion, class, creed, and disability, love knows no bounds. Unfortunately for love, it's illegitimate child, marriage, knows them all. A good marriage is the brass ring in the whirlwind of love that is so obstinate to attain and almost harder to keep. To be denied the chance to marry, the opportunity to reach out and grab the brass ring, is to be denied the acknowledgement, validation, and protection the ring signifies. Despite the fact marriage is not indicative of love, it is most often the product of it. To marry is the announcement to the world that, through determination and commitment, a couple plans to spend their lives together. More than the opposite of "single," marriage is the institution designed to legally protect the smallest unit of society, the family. It is imperative same-sex couples be afforded the right to marry in order to honor their commitment, protect their families, and as a progressive advancement in society's acceptance and tolerance of basic divergences.

From dating service to "blind date" to blindly praying, society has constructed an industry of the pursuit of the elusive Mr. or Mrs. Right. So difficult is the soul mate search, weddings have developed into $40,000 affairs in celebration, veritable hunting-party congratulatory soirйes. But, for homosexuals, that search, the endless meandering through classifieds and come-ons and even the discovery of love against the odds, means nothing, at least not to the government. Though marriage has been traditionally an institution between one man and one woman, as society evolves, so must all institutions. Education is an institution that has greatly benefited from reform and progression. Were it not for the advancements of society, schools would still be segregated. Prejudiced whites worked on the same mindset that homophobes work on today, creating hatred and intolerance from fear and narrow-mindedness. Segregation taught that separate, but equal is, in fact, separate, but rarely equal. It also taught that ignorance about a community is not a good reason to exclude them from the protection society offers their more mainstream peers.

A litany of peculiar misconceptions about homosexual lifestyle has prevented many from accepting gays and lesbians as members of society. The "church" as a whole has effectively ostracized the homosexual community as one large abomination on the soul of humanity. Wielding bibles like knives, religious fundamentalists have caused many to feel torn between their religious standpoint and their own beliefs in civil rights. The hindrances created by the inclusion on Christian attitudes, values, and world views on national policy are historic. The separation of church and state was a paramount decision in this nation's history and should not be used and abused or abandoned and ignored as titular traditionalists see fit. The alleged immortality of homosexual relationship and the sacredness of marriage are not valid in a secular law-bound society. The implication of any immorality based on the single fact of sexual orientation alone also undermines the devoutness of many homosexuals, who, along with being gay, are pious as well. Homosexuality is an issue of physical and emotional attraction and not a sexual perversion. Same-sex marriage is not in the league of incest, bestiality or polygamy; homosexual relationships are between two consenting adults.

Marriage as the solitary venue for procreation and the continuation of species is obsolete. The flaw in such logic comes in the assumption that all who marry intend to bear children. This is considerably incorrect. Post-hysterectomic women, impotent men, and the elderly are all allowed to marry and there is no criterion on any marriage license that inquires of a couple's conception intentions. Marriage is about a union of two who wish to be regarded as life partners, regardless of their intentions to bear children. Long has the time passed of sending away unwed pregnant daughters and missionary sex on Saturdays for the conception of the next born. Marriage today is as disparate as the people who partake in it. Same-sex marriages would lessen the number of "cover marriages" and contract marriages that result in maladjusted children and later divorces. Instead, it would allow homosexuals the choice of marrying someone they love and care for, not simply who is legally available to them. Another common misapprehension many grew up under is the assertion that both a mother and a father, that is female and male parental counterparts, were imperative and the only way children could be brought up properly. As families grow more diverse, having two good parents irrelevant of their sexual orientation is a step in the right direction. This is another institution benefiting from evolution. The family schema has moved away from a restrictive nuclear model and into a broad array of possibilities and living arrangements. The attributes that children need to mature into healthy, moral adults do not depend on the sexual orientation



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