The comedian Dick Gregory had a lacerating routine that often elicited an uncomfortable laughter from his audience. His pointed observations about race relations in the United States included a reference to the Jim Crow laws of the southern states: “You put a sign on the restroom door that says ‘Whites Only’ and then you call the black man a filthy animal when he messes himself.” I'm dredging that quote up from memory, so it's only approximate, but you get the idea. Perhaps you can also tell where I'm going with this.
Gay men are routinely denounced as promiscuous hedonists, chasing after multiple anonymous sex partners day after day. Mainstream society demands that they stop screwing around and settle down. Some of them say, “Okay, maybe I'll get married.” Then folks like George W. Bush cry out, “Oh, dearie me! We must protect marriage!”
It's not as though straight people have done right by marriage during the time it's been their exclusive privilege. Half of all marriages end in divorce. When Congress was debating the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996, Representative Barney Frank asked its author, thrice-married Representative Bob Barr, which of his three marriages he was defending. Congress passed the measure anyway. Marriage, you see, is fragile and easily destroyed by gay people, even if it's managed to survive the depredations of straight people.
From the June 9, 2006, Letters to the Editor:
Hogue is a local radio talk-show host with a bad case of Limbaugh envy. He's in the Sacramento market where Rush got his start, but he's on a much weaker station. Eric, you see, thinks the sacred institution of marriage is in grave danger, but he failed to notice who was actually damaging it. Obviously, it's impossible for a heterosexual man to enjoy being married to a woman if he knows that other men are getting married to each other. It's kid logic: I really liked my bike until my parents got my brother one just like it!
Marriage is an institution that deserves special recognition and protection. Marriage benefits the government and the country, not to mention that it is the best-case scenario for all involved in procreating and lifelong commitment. The proposed amendment would give marriage its deserved separate and distinctive recognition.
Marriage is a choice of commitment. It cannot be shaped into another form of partners, unions or shack'em up dwellers. Redefining institutions is revisionist history, as well as social engineering.
There is a need for the federal government to control the judiciary. Judicial activists should not be allowed to social engineer from the bench just as legislators shouldn't legislate morality.
What this amendment would do is preserve a moral, healthy institution. If we can spend time, create legislation, spend money and go to ridiculous efforts to save the “spotted owl,” then we should do the same for the best institution on the face of the earth, marriage.
Eric Hogue, Roseville
Would gay marriage be so fabulous that it would leach all of the fun out of straight marriage? Oh, please. Besides, gay things aren't necessarily fabulous. Try self-hatred, for one:
Poor Scott. All hung up on norms. Redheads will never be the norm either, but it's not a generally oppressed minority (unless, of course, “Ginger Kids” is the opening shot). By most estimates, by the way, there are more gay people than there are redheads, in case you were missing my point. Norms!
Beyond sexual orientation
The gay marriage issue is one I support the president on. As a gay man, I must stand up and say: Those who center every aspect of their lives around their sexual orientation are insane.
Homosexuality is simply not the norm and never will be. Even as a gay man, I understand that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. That is how God created it. If you're gay, fine. But there's a time and a place for everything, and it's not in our schools or parades. It is this type of blatant activity that create [sic] homophobia.
Being gay is OK. To love and accept one's true self is quite healthy. But to promote public homosexual agendas endangers all gay people.
Scott R. Hadley, Sacramento
It seems right now as if it's the right-wing straight people who are the most obsessed about centering every aspect of their lives around their sexual orientation. By Scott's rubric, these people are crazy. Hmm. He may have a point! But when a gay man can speak in consecutive sentences about accepting one's true self and the dangers of the homosexual agenda, we have one thoroughly confused puppy.
My favorite line, however, is the one where Scott says we cannot allow homosexuality “in our schools or parades.” Parades! This goes beyond self-parody. Scott, honey pie, have you ever even been to a parade?