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09/03/2009

Mae we 'state' our case?

by Jeremy Hooper

They say:

Mae West used to say, "A man in the home is worth two in the street." From instilling the rules of cooperation, to modeling the relation between the sexes, to nurturing human and social capital, to helping adults and children think long-term, to solving the universal problem of dependency, marriage does what no other social institution can do. Because it predates society and the state, wedlock actually creates, builds, and renews society. Same-sex marriage — a construct that depends on the state for its very existence — can never duplicate these functions.
-Robert W. Patterson
Marriage: What Matters [CWA]

We say:

First off: Mae West was a gay rights advocate at a time when such a thing hardly even existed. She wasn't only pre-Stonewall -- hell, Mae was sticking up for us while the Earth's stones were still basically warm! So if you're going to cite her views on men in the home, Mr. Patterson, you really should acknowledge that Ms. West was more than okay with homes where the men are doubled. To not would be as silly as us pulling a quote from Anita Bryant as a way to prove that the gay community loves orange juice, without ever mentioning that Ms. B considers us to be rotten fruit.

Now that that's out of the away: We gotta talk about that last line. Because it's complete nonsense. The form of marriage for which gay activists are fighting, civil marriage, is a "construct" that depends on the state, regardless of the sexual orientation of its two parties! Anyone who obtains the thousands of rights and benefits that come with marriage does so because of the state, not the church. All of the other cited marital "functions" (e.g. nurture, long-term thinking, society renewal, etc.) are simply notions born out of a Judeo-Christian outlook. They are "hoped-fors" and may even be "should-bes" -- but they are not guarantees that come with anyone's civil union. So to bring them up, and then throw them in the face of gays as things that they can never hope to achieve, is not only offensive -- it's also just plain silly!

Folks on your side love to get all smug about how our unions need the state involved because we supposedly could never be recognized in the eyes of God. Well, Mr. Patterson: Then we challenge all of you who fight to preserve "traditional marriage'"to go ahead and get the state out of your unions. Stop getting a marriage license -- just go to the church and let your pastor and God take care of your bond. Then maybe you all will finally stop using your faith-based ideas on nuptial acceptability to deny us of the only part of marriage that we as a movement are seeking as a constitutional right: The legal contract.

To quote Mae West: "
Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from." When it comes to social conservatives and their constant desire to safeguard us all from ourselves, it seems gay advocate Mae was quite prescient!
-Jeremy S. Hooper

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Your thoughts

".. [marriage] predates society and the state."

This is what happens when the lying liars get all of their historical "facts" from watching the Flintstones and Rubbles. The best evidence available suggests that in the earliest societies had males living together in separate (all male) encampments, and the women and children lived together and separated from the males. The women were used for sex, and the males took whatever they wanted from the females, and allowed the females to share in the left overs from their hunting sprees. While that might not have been a very "polite" society, it was the earliest society which knew nothing of marriage, monogamy, or paternal responsibility.

Which is why, you can spend two years and $4,000 getting a doctoral in theology from a mail-order diploma mill, but it doesn't impart anything remotely resembling an education.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 3, 2009 12:01:28 PM

Quoting Mae West to promote an anti-gay agenda is like quoting Cher or Madonna for the same purpose. :)

Posted by: Tom | Sep 3, 2009 12:22:24 PM

Jeremy said "Anyone who obtains the thousands of rights and benefits that come with marriage does so because of the state, not the church." This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that some religious groups perform same-sex marriages right now! None of those religious marriages have access to the rights granted by a civil marriage.

Posted by: Denys Howard | Sep 3, 2009 12:39:24 PM

....I like this part and will use it (with permission?)

"Then we challenge all of you who fight to preserve "traditional marriage'"to go ahead and get the state out of your unions. Stop getting a marriage license -- just go to the church and let your pastor and God take care of your bond. Then maybe you all will finally stop using your faith-based ideas on nuptial acceptability to deny us of the only part of marriage that we as a movement are seeking as a constitutional right: The legal contract. "

Posted by: LOrion | Sep 3, 2009 1:33:31 PM

Marriage predates society?

Hey, so, if the gay community made up a god out of whole cloth, and then proceeded to argue from authority that our causes should be advanced because our god ordained it "before society," without offering a shred of evidence, people like Mr. Patterson would quickly (and quite rightly) ascertain that we were full of shit. It's sad that they don't possess the powers of self-reflection to see that their own arguments are equally lame.

Posted by: Evan | Sep 3, 2009 2:53:16 PM

Oh, Mae West had lots to say about "traditional marriage". Perhaps the most relevant was: "Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution."

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Sep 3, 2009 3:32:47 PM

I just can't get over their use of Mae West to state their case for "traditional marriage"! Back in the day, conservatives--their intellectual ancestors--were trying to push her away from moviemaking. They really are desperate and/or stupid.

Great counter-quote, Timothy!

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Sep 4, 2009 11:02:37 AM

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