On Gay Marriage

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Let’s assume there are two lesbians living in Santa Monica, Calif. We don’t know them. We’ve never seen them. For all practical purposes, they don’t exist for us.

Now let’s assume that they decide to get married, and they tie the knot in California. We still don’t know them. We still have never seen them. So far as we know, they still don’t even exist. Whether they just live together or get married, neither their existence nor their marital status affects us.

That being the case, what the heck business is it of ours what they do? It is a confounded mystery to me why some people get all excited about homosexuals and lesbians getting married. As I’ve said before, if you are against gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person. That strikes me as a simple solution to the problem some people seem to have.

You would think to hear some people complain about gay marriage that heterosexual couples would start dropping dead or become impotent as soon as some state approved a gay-marriage law. Whether gays get married or not, it has no effect on the rest of the population. Except for gays, it’s meaningless. It’s a non-issue.

In the meantime, there are plenty of issues that do affect all of us — the devalued dollar, high energy costs, loss of manufacturing jobs, wars overseas and ballooning debt, both public and private.

As a heterosexual, I personally don’t give a hoot one way or the other about gay marriage. If gays wish to provide more business for divorce lawyers, it’s no skin off my nose. If they think making the state a third party to their marriage is desirable, it OK with me. It’s one of those legal matters I don’t have to worry about, and I like those kinds of legal matters a lot.

What irritates me is busybodies who want to stick their nose in other people’s business. For God’s sake, let us all mind our own business. The world will be a better place if we do.

Most people believe that homophobes are in fact latent homosexuals and what they really hate are their own secret urges. So under no circumstances should any child be driven to despair and suicide because someone disapproves of his or her sexual preference. Whether homosexuality is a matter of nature or nurture, I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. It simply is not important enough to cost the life of any child.

Furthermore, if the state recognizes a contract — which is all marriage amounts to, in secular terms — it by no means sanctifies anything. No one accuses the state of sanctifying sales contracts.

The religious aspect of marriage is separate and apart from the state’s involvement. In fact, I don’t think the state should be involved, but it has involved itself. But whatever is holy and sacred about marriage is a matter of religion, not a state marriage license, which is no different from a plumber’s license.

If you wish to worry about marriage, it is better to worry about the all-too-many marriages that fail. It is better to worry about all the single mothers struggling to raise children without a father. It is better to worry about a sleazy culture that disdains the necessity of marriage and treats a relationship as nothing more than a sleepover.

There are a lot of legal and moral issues that need to be addressed in our society, but gay marriage isn’t one of them. It’s an issue only for a small minority of the population. If they wish to live together in a state-licensed relationship, it’s nobody’s business but their own.

Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for 49 years.

© 2008 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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