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09/27/2006

Video: Bearing the 'burden' of Coulter

by Jeremy Hooper

At this past weekend's Value Voters Summit (which seems to have been so anti-gay, we'd imagine even Fred Phelps was like, "Whoa, you guys are brutal") Ann Coulter discussed, among other things, the legality of same-sex marriage. And after making offensive remark after offensive remark about the "crazy idea" of gay marriage...


(gay-centric thoughts begin around 6:05)

...Coulter went on to say of same-sex unions:

"I do have a rule on all gay marriage debate: If you're the one trying to overturn a 3,000 year institution, I'm putting the burden on you to make the argument"

So accepting Ann's challenge, we reply:

First of all, Ms. Coulter: We are not trying to overturn any institution. It's been said a million times, but it apparently can't be said enough for you staunch conservatives: Gay marriage poses no threat to any heterosexual's union! If any heterosexual FEELS threatened by a society where gays are less stigmatized and folks are free to marry the one they truly love, then that particular heterosexual might want to question just how opposite-sex-lovin' they truly are. Never once has this gay looked at the glorious legal monogamy shared amongst his married straight friends and questioned his own internal truth. The conservatives' obsession with positioning gay marriage as a threat to "traditional marriage" only makes us wonder why they feel their bonds so vulnerable in the first place.

Secondly, the whole idea that what we now know as marriage is the same as it's been known for past 3,000 years is a total myth. As we pointed out to fellow "Value Voters" speaker Mike Huckabee, many societies once believed that if a married man died without producing a child, his widow was required to engage in a "levirate marriage," which meant she had to engage in sexual intercourse with her brother-in-law until they produced a son who would carry on the name. There's also polygamy, the little marital "black mark" that's been allowed by various cultures throughout history. Not to mention arranged or forced marriages, which many cultures still practice today. And even "traditional man/woman" marriages -- historically, such unions were primarily economic arrangements negotiated between families, in which status, economic stability, and prosperity were the foremost criteria in terms of spouse selection. So while the "down on one knee proposal/ bridal shower/ church wedding/ reception with a tossed bouquet" affairs that you and your cronies like to paint as God's perfect design make for convenient fodder, the myth is far detached from the reality of the situation.

But even if marriage HAD always been the one man/ one woman, loving unions that we now know, that would not negate the right to same-sex unions! We are all entitled to equality, and as played-out and tired as it sounds, granting gay couples the same legalities as heterosexual couples is a simple matter of fairness. The recent court setbacks in Washington and New York (neither of which were lost by a large margin, mind you) cited an interest in promoting reproduction and child stability in their rulings against same-sex unions. That was the crux of both arguments -- the children. But marriage is an arrangement that exists independent of children, and any judge who realizes this (including those who dissented in the aforementioned cases) will and did find the courts' opinions highly flawed and embarrassing. The notion that kids and marriage are automatically intertwined is not only offensive to gay folks, but to any couple who can't or simply doesn't want to have children! If that's the best argument courts can make, then we're not too worried about our prospects for legally-wedded lovin'. In fact, we could be seeing a far more sensible ruling coming out of Jersey any day now, the likes of which could change this debate overnight.

But mainly, Ms. Coulter, you kids will not win this particular "culture war battle" for one simple reason: You are totally in the wrong! The only leg you have to stand on is the one steeped in religious conviction! The one that says being gay is a "choice" and "against God," and ergo gay marriage is also a false, immoral construction. This line of thought goes against church/state separation in ways unprecedented! In fact, even though we're personally hurt by the way this debate has played out over the past few years, that emotion takes back seat to the uneasiness we feel when we think of how few people on both sides of the issue have protested the way religious doctrine has been so prevalent in this public, secular government debate! While such rhetoric is passed off by evangelicals as an exercise in religious freedom and gay marriage has been painted as a threat to such freedom, in actuality, the religious right's stance on this issue highly threatens the liberty of anyone who doesn't interpret Leviticus And Romans I to condemn gays to the fiery pits of Hell! It's frankly frightening, and if more people were as passionate about politics as they are Meredith Grey and Dr. McDreamy, we would see far more fervor coming from our side. Unfortunately, we are the harder tribe to rally.

But rally we will, Ms. Coulter. Public favor is turning to our side, and just like every civil rights battle in history, we will win this one. You say you place the burden of proof on us to defend gay marriage's right, which is fine. We are not scared to take our place in the 2050 History books on the page marked "Those who overcame theocratic tyranny." The question is: Will you, Ms. Coulter, remain so outspoken once the burden of proof involves you justifying how, exactly, equal protection under the law was every interpreted to exclude homosexuals.

The Raw, Verbally Naked, Ann Coulter [YouTube]

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