All of the recent hubbub over gay marriage has gotten me to thinking that perhaps we shouldn’t be so concerned about same-sex unions and maybe we need to initiate a ban on opposite-sex weddings. My wife and I have just celebrated our 25th anniversary, but it sure seems that we’re in the minority these days.
I think that most of the problems facing married couples have to do with the fact that women and men are very different, and the differences will never be completely reconciled. I don’t believe that women are inferior to men, but to deny the basic differences and biological peculiarities is foolhardy at best.
For example, here are a few things that women do that men will never understand:
- They enjoy making useful objects useless, such as towels that are not intended to dry anything, candles that have wicks but are not intended to be lit, and bars of soap that are not intended to be used in cleansing anything.
- They spend hours clipping coupons so that money can be “saved” by buying products that would not have been bought if there hadn’t been a coupon.
- They insist bitterly that the man is an idiot when they don’t check to see if the toilet seat is down before trying to sit on it.
- They spend $600 on a clothes dryer and then hang all of their wet clothes in the bathroom or laundry room.
- They go into stores and touch every piece of merchandise at least once and utter the words “cute” and “tacky” at least 200 times each, without having any money or any intention of buying anything and then call the exercise “shopping.”
- They insist that the house isn’t clean so long as there is any evidence whatsoever, including trace amounts of DNA, that anyone has ever lived there.
- They pour windshield washer fluid into the power steering reservoir instead of the windshield washer “thingy” despite the fact that the power steering “thingy” is clearly marked “POWER STEERING FLUID ONLY” and then complain that the people who design cars must think everyone is a rocket scientist.
I realize that women could compile their own lengthy lists of things that men do (or don’t do) that they consider irrational, but that’s my point. Men and women are so fundamentally different that getting along for any amount of time at all requires extraordinary bilateral patience and forbearance, and without condescension. It seems that same-sex unions would have a much better chance of lasting just because the most fundamental obstacle — the inherent difference between men and women — isn’t in the way.
People of my generation were raised believing that homosexuality is perverse, and there are still many backwards individuals who believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. Of course, none of them can cite the occasion when they made the choice to be heterosexual. Most if not all of the objections to gay marriage are based in religious beliefs, and the idea that morality is inextricably bound to religion. Religious types are fond of quoting the Old Testament passage from Leviticus that says that for a man to lay with another man as with a woman is an abomination. But then again, the same Old Testament says that eating pork is a no-no and I don’t see any conservative Christians lobbying for a constitutional amendment to ban consumption of bratwurst.
The objections to gay marriage are all based on bigotry and fear, and religion is being used as a lame surrogate for rational thinking.
I would feel uncomfortable in a room full of gay people, but it’s the same discomfort I would feel in a room full of black people or a room full of Lithuanians. We have a tendency to steer away from those who are racially or culturally different from ourselves. The fact that I would be uncomfortable or even fearful in those situations, though, is my problem, and it’s up to me as an allegedly rational adult to recognize my own prejuduces and not blame them on innocent bystanders.
This is a civil rights issue; churches don’t have to marry gay couples if they don’t want to, but for government to deny basic rights to a very large segment of the population because of religious fears is unconscionable.