Marriage Freedom, Redux

For those of you who have never had the misfortune of listening to the Drew Mariani Show™ on Irrelevant Radio, a short introduction is in order.  Imagine an amateur Rush Limbaugh, with the same ego with even less actual information at his fingertips, completely imbued in the worst of Catholic superstition, angels, the devil, faith healing and there you have Mr. Mariani on the radio.  My first experience hearing him was several months ago when he had an actual scientist from the US Geological Survey on the show. The whole purpose this poor flummoxed woman was on the show was to “validate” Drew’s theory that there has been an unusual rash of earthquakes, which to him signaled the End Times.  No matter how many times she said that in the realm of earthquakes, a couple of months was meaningless in terms of any long term trends, he would not let it go.  And even after she left the air, he kept going on how all these earthquakes must be a message of some kind.  The guy is obviously impervious to evidence.

Today he was back on marriage equality as the Supreme Court has agreed to take a case on marriage freedom as the circuit courts have disagreed (well, actually only one has.)  So, of course to Mr. Hystriani, if the Supremes rule against him, the world will certainly come to an end.  Civilized Society will certainly collapse.  Whatever.  

The problem with Mr. Hystriani and his ilk is that they just have no idea what the hell they are even talking about.  Today he said that marriage is about procreation and lasting relationships.  Well, yes, sort of, but actually, totally wrong.

No one needs to be married to procreate.  Apparently Adam and Eve were the first to do so and billions have done it since then.  If the purpose of marriage is procreation, then I am guessing that a healthy percentage of people who get married should have their license revoked.  Lots of people get married who can’t possibly procreate.  But if they have a male birth certificate and a female one, they can get married.  Nobody asks them what their current plumbing is and if it works.  And as an aside that I can’t find anyplace else for, I find it hilarious that bisexuals can get married more easily than homosexuals!

Now, the reverse is somewhat true, if you are going to procreate, marriage is maybe a good idea.  Because it is basically a contract where the husband agrees to take care of the kids and the wife agrees that they will be his.  In earlier times, this kind of contract was probably necessary to protect women and children and its enforcement by society was crucial.  But in a sense, this is legal stuff, property rights and such, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the quality of the relationship between man and wife.

Well, what about that relationship?  Well, obviously you don’t need to be married to have a relationship, sexual or otherwise.  I once knew a couple that dated for over 50 years — they were waiting for their parents to die so they could get married.  Unfortunately his mother outlived him.  True.  Or take the case of George Takei and his husband.  They have been together for 25 years, but only got married a couple of years ago.  Would they still be together if they couldn’t get married?  Pretty sure they would.  Why get married then?  I presume they wanted some of the legal rights that come with marriage, perhaps the right to put each other in a nursing home.

So, marriage is not about procreation — do we really want county clerks checking people’s plumbing?  It is not about relationships, per se, people are going to have them anyway.  It is truly about sharing legal rights with another person.  And if someone wants to share those rights with someone else, it is no skin off my back.  Or Mr. Hystriani’s.

Of course on the one hand, when Hystriani wants it to, gay marriage is going to shred the very fabric of civilization.  In the next breath he is complaining that “1.2 percent of the population” is shouting louder than the rest of us good decent folk.  Huh?  If they are less than 2% of the population how will they destroy civilization?  By living together and opening joint checking accounts?  Oh, the humanity!

Even if homosexuality is a sin, it is not the only sin.  And lots of sinful people are married.  In fact I can well imagine that there are certainly heterosexual marriages where many more sins are being committed than by say, Mr. Takei and his husband.  Sins where others have suffered — grievously.  And what has society suffered from Mr. Takei?  Pretty much nothing that I know of.  OK, maybe some bad Facebook memes, but I am not sure that is a sin.

But to hear Mr. Hystriani say it, that 1.2 percent is taking away his “religious freedom.”  Because we all know that “religious freedom” means that he is free to believe whatever he wants — and then he can force you to act according to his beliefs because, well, god.  If you dare follow your own conscience, well that interferes with HIS “right” to foist his religion on you.  There are plenty of people who believe that even if homosexuality is “sinful,” gay people are no more sinful than the rest of us and therefore deserve their civil rights.  “But that’s not what the bible says,” folks like Hystriani scream.

Oh please.  Stop with “biblical marriage,” crap.  We know full well that the bible is full of terrible ideas about relationships.  Solomon and his 700 wives, Abraham and his slave, Lot and his daughters.  Biblical marriage is nothing to crow about.  Neither Jesus nor Paul married and both of them at times preached that a person must basically abandon everything of this world (including family) and devote his life completely to god to make it into heaven.  Maybe some of us don’t want to go to heaven.  That is our choice and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, we should be free to opt out.

I am sure that the Supremes, if they rule correctly that the state has no reason to keep people from claiming their civil rights because of what the bible does or does not say, will make it clear that churches are free not to join people in marriage in their churches for any and all reasons.  Which I am sure the Catholic Church™, Inc. will do.  Which will suit a narrow minded bigot like Mr. Mariani just fine.


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