This really shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

Freedom isn’t a privilege. It’s a right, and it doesn’t make any difference how many referendums deny the LGBTQ community their constitutional entitlement to marriage — it doesn’t make those laws legal.

I’m tired of the bullshit arguments about how “redefining” marriage will somehow render it less valuable. Even with millennia of marriage history and tradition, somehow marriage’s death will come at the hands of two men or two women and their decision to put some shiny rocks on each other’s fingers and sign a few legal documents.

Faulty logic lurks behind every piece of pseudo-science and pseudo-psychology that the anti-equality folks offer up. No one can prove either way whether growing up with a mother and a father holds more or less value than growing up with a homosexual set of parents because the abstract concepts of good and bad lie outside of science — thanks Biology 109! As an American — nay, a human — you have the right to believe any crazy thought you want. You can believe that one loving set of parents is worth more than another, but just because you put your science pants on and say something like there are “unique advantages to a parenting structure consisting of both a mother and a father, political interests notwithstanding,” doesn’t validate your arguments.

You look ugly when you lie, and it would be refreshing for you freewheeling bigots just to admit it: You don’t think anyone in the LGBTQ community deserves the same “equality” that fills your red, white and blue arteries. Sure, we’re all created equal, but aren’t some of us more equal than others?

And stop it with the “(I’m) for equal rights for all Americans, but no one has the right to redefine marriage” garbage. Maybe you fell asleep during civics class or were busy praying in school, but there exists a separation between church and state. Religious arguments have no place in legal debates, and since marriage rights inhabit the legal arena in this context, please don’t use your religious text as exhibit A. Picket as many gay marriages as you want, and feel free to tell the newlyweds they have an eternity of experimental short films waiting for them in hell, but kindly get the fuck out of the way of the court’s decision.

When the Supreme Court makes a long-awaited decision on two cases on same-sex marriage this week, anything less than a full endorsement of marriage equality for all will signify that our “precious” rights are more valuable than the actual people that use them.

Leave it up to the states, you say? If we had left slavery up to the states, would that dark chapter have ever been completely abolished? If we had left women’s suffrage up to the states, would my mother, sister or grandmother have the right to vote today? I don’t know, but the odds seem bleak to me.

Gay marriage represents more than two people getting hitched and having a 50-percent chance of getting unhitched. Gay marriage represents the ideals that we claim to stand for. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — unless you’re gay — that’s gross.

In his famous obituary for Richard Nixon, Hunter S. Thompson wrote “some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House.” Today’s situation is no different. Unless we stop looking at gay marriage objectively, bigoted laws and hateful statutes will continue slithering into law books nationwide. Framing gay marriage as a blitzkrieg assault on state’s rights conveniently circumvents the larger issue of equality, and, by extension, asserts that the voting public can use its democratic rights to decide that gays — or any other group of people — don’t deserve the same liberties that it does. “Never mind that the anti-gay marriage rhetoric directly mirrors the anti-interracial marriage rhetoric,” anti-equality troglodytes will say, “this time it’s different! Marriage really is under threat!”

In the 1960s, the American government knew that without direct intervention, the scourge of legal discrimination would not end. Everything changed with the advent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even if it wasn’t overnight, and our country will never go back to the way it used to be. If we want to continue down that path to the idealized vision of “equality” that every politician espouses, we have no choice but to legalize same-sex marriage. And if you disagree with me, you’re wrong.

Andrew Eckhous can be reached at aeckhous@umich.edu.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.