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OpEd: Straight-up, let’s ban ‘gay marriage’

The term does a disservice to the gay community. Commitment, not sexual orientation, is all that matters at the altar.
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Gord Woodward, January 20, 2014 11:15:51 AM

Enough mincing around the issue. Let’s make 2014 the year we ban gay marriage.

Not the act, mind you. Why shouldn’t gays and lesbians suffer enjoy some marital bliss (a term meaning, “Hahahahaha. Yeah, right”)?

Nope, what we’re talking about is forbidding the union of the words “gay” and “marriage.” It’s a relatively new phrase that could disappear tomorrow and not be missed (kinda like “twerking.” And “Justin Bieber“) because it has fulfilled its purpose. It serves now mainly to antagonize the Religious Right, and there are plenty of other easy ways to do that. (Just pick anything that calls for equal treatment of women.)

Marriage isn’t gay or straight. It’s simply marriage, a partnership between two people who don’t know any better love each other. Their sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nor does their gender. Or race. Or age (though, as Doug Hutchinson and Courtney Stodden prove, there are exceptions to every rule). Or anything else, including, obviously, their mental state.

So why do we persist in describing it as “gay marriage?” We don’t talk about “straight marriage” yet we feel the need to single out gays and lesbians who choose to say “I do” (a term meaning “I will probably regret this later”).

By slapping their vows with a different label, we perpetuate the myth that they are different, that they require special status. (Who knew they were all from Quebec?). And yet the gay rights movement has fought adamantly for just the opposite — for recognition that its community is just like all others and deserves the same, not unequal, treatment.

We’re not fully there yet, not when TV still gives bigots like The Bachelor‘s hunky Juan Pablo Galavis a platform from which to spout nonsense about gays not being worthy of their own show about same-sex love. Talk about the Hot calling the kettle whacked!

But, at least when it comes to matrimony, equality has arrived. Society is on board and government has followed. The marriage license makes no reference to sexual orientation so “gay marriage” as a descriptor makes as much sense as “gay driver’s license” (if there were such a thing, you can bet the photos would be a lot better) or “straight birth certificate.”

Stamping out the term would be a reminder that we all take our pants off one leg at a time (except honeymooners, who don’t wear any). That would leave just one unusual thing about those who choose to walk down the aisle with a same-sex partner: getting married at all, in this day and age. Have they not heard of living in sin? Perhaps they’re just eager to discover what we long-wed victims couples know — that marriage is like having a bath. After you’ve been in it for a while, it ain’t so hot.

On second thought, maybe we shouldn’t worry about banning “gay marriage” in 2014 after all. The better step might be a ban on marriage, period. Then we wouldn’t have to bother figuring out what to call it. “Bliss” would do the trick nicely.

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Gord Woodward

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