Remember the Maine

November 5, 2009

Maine gave us Stephen King, so I didn’t think it could be all that bad until I heard today’s news: Maine Gay Marriage Law Repealed. Go ahead, follow the link. The ignorance on display is breathtaking.

I no more understand the anti-gays today than I did when they amended my own state’s constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage three years ago.  (Actually, it was already against the law here, but amending the Virginia constitution just made it “illegaler”.)  I think Will Ludwigsen summed it up best in his blog post this morning: “Why, under any circumstances, would someone else’s marriage affect yours at all?”

There’s also the reasoning of our former president Bill Clinton to consider.  I’ve never had much respect for the philandering son of a bitch, but I have to give him credit for changing his position on this issue.  “I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it,” he said during a recent CNN interview.  He said his prior opposition to gay marriage was incompatible with his support for adoption rights.  Exactly.  Now that I’m a father, I can already see the positive effect of a child’s having two loving parents afforded the full support and protection of the law instead of just one.

So, what exactly is your major malfunction, Maine and Virginia (and other states)?  What rational reason can you give for outlawing the marital union of two men or two women?  Is it because you think homosexuality is a lifestyle choice and not a biological determination?  Well, that’s not supported by science.  Sorry.   It’s also not supported by common sense.  As a gay friend of mine, Garrett Peck, once explained to me, “Do you think I wanted to be gay?  Why would I voluntarily subject myself to society’s prejudices?”  And even if, for the sake of argument, homosexuality were a choice, how precisely is it a source of evil?  Is it evil just because the Bible says it’s a sin?  Please keep in mind that the very same book of the Bible in question also says that it’s a sin to wear clothing made of mixed fibers.

So what we have here, basically, is a country that represses people solely based on the color of their sexual skin, so to speak.  It then soft-pedals its bigotry with the placebo of civil unions while conveniently forgetting the lesson of Brown v. Board of Education: that separate is not equal.

Over a hundred years ago, “Remember the Maine!” was the start of a rallying cry for the Spanish-American War, begun when Spain allegedly blew up the U.S. warship Maine as it was docked in Havana Harbor.  It turns out that other devils might have been responsible for the tragedy.  If so, then the ensuing war was the quintessence of stupidity as well as a misguided attempt to eradicate evil.

I hope history will likewise have the same judgment of Maine’s referendum against its own people.