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01/17/2013

The absurdity of 'interchangeability'

by Jeremy Hooper

Of all the ridiculous conservative arguments, this one always drops my jaw:

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How, exactly, does same-sex marriage speak to interchangeability anymore than different-sex marriage? In every form of marriage, a man or a woman joins with a man or a woman because either a man or a woman is the gender to whom he or she is drawn. Yes, one can be attracted to both genders—but again, bisexuals might enter into a same-sex or a different-sex union. None of it speaks either or in support or against marriage equality.

I am married to a man because I, a man, am attracted to men. I even "tested" my capacity for interchangeability, back in my youthful days of yore, when dying my hair random colors, gorging on junk food, and smooching on females were things I would still entertain in the name of bodily experimentation. Findings: I look better as a (now-graying) brunette, my abs look better sans the Snickers, and my mister happy is well, happier, when it's with a mister. The way I'm oriented does not leave any room for interchangeability. I love women but I've only ever been in love with a man.

The reason you support the freedom to marry is precisely because you realize that gay people are not able to change and like something that they were not born to like any more than straight people can. Supporting marriage for same-sex couples does not mean mean viewing ever human being as a stand-in for one another—it simply means viewing our spectrum of humanity for what it really is. And that, my friends, is the problem with the thinking of Peter Spriggs, Chris Marlinks and Steven Crowders of the world: they want to interchange their exclusive version or normalcy with the one that actually surrounds us, and we refuse to play-act alongside them.

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