November 20, 2003

By Michael Strickland


The issue of gay marriage has been a controversial one for a number of years, but the ruling earlier this week by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts brought the issue back into the spotlight. The high court overturned a ban on gay marriages passed by the state legislature, ruling that gay couples were legally entitled to wed under the state constitution. That has, of course, renewed a spate of denunciations and vociferous opinions from those opposed to gay marriages, gay men and, probably, gaiety itself.

The arguments are all the same. Homosexuality is "wrong." Gays want "special treatment." Making gay marriage legal will undermine the moral fiber of our country. I consider myself a conservative, and most of the time find myself in agreement with much of what commentators like Bill O'Reilly and David Horowitz have to say. But on this issue, I couldn't be further from the right. The arguments hold no water. In fact, I contend that anyone who does not favor gay marriage or thinks that homosexuality is wrong has never known a gay person. I've never met a gay person I haven't liked, a claim I could never make about the countless heterosexuals I've known in my life.

I think it boils down to fear. Many people fear what they don't understand, and for many of such people, homosexuality is about as far from being understandable as possible. All they know of homosexuality is news footage of flamboyant gays parading in the city streets during pride parades, controversial photos of obnoxious gays making out in public, militant gays marching in protest. But to judge the large demographic by such displays would be the same as passing judgment on all heterosexuals based on drunken bikers marching in a Hell's Angels parade, stoned hippies having public sex at a rock concert or anti-abortion activists screaming outside free clinics. Every gay person I've ever met has been kind, professional and well-balanced—in a word, "normal." What's more, they've had bushels more taste and class than many heterosexuals I've known.

Gay marriage is not about getting special recognition or treatment. Though some may want to make some kind of political or social statement, the vast majority of gays just want to have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual married couples. Many private companies already recognize this, and offer the same health and other benefits to "domestic partners" of employees as they do to married spouses (the Walt Disney Company, my former employer, is just one example). It's time to move past Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's "3,000 years of recorded history" and recognize that homosexual union has been around for well over 3,000 years of unrecorded history.

Affording gays the dignity and respect enjoyed by heterosexual couples will not bring about the decline and fall of the United States of America. Like legalizing interracial marriages (which were just as fiercely opposed), it will make America that much more compassionate and civilized.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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November Columns:

11/28: Family Willow
11/27: Thankful
11/24: Nuclear North Korea
11/21: All Jacko, All the Time
11/20: Mantrimony
11/19: Tutankhamen: Page One
11/18: The Dying Light
11/16: Back to the Grind
11/13: Overpriced
11/12: Land's End
11/11: Veterans' Day
11/10: Cabo Bound
11/9: Supercharged
11/8: Internet Buzz
11/7: Recharged?
11/5: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
11/4: No Wiggle Room
11/1: A Week Lost in Time
Previous months in The Archive

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