I was thrilled with the news that the state of New York has decided to legalize same-sex marriage, not only because I think it is the right thing to do in the name of equal rights, but also because it will piss off and annoy people whom I think should be pissed off and annoyed more often. And while I’m certain many gay men and Lesbians in the Empire state will be in a celebratory mood, this straight Michigander will also derive much enjoyment listening to the whining warning cries of impending hellfire and brimstone from those who still hold the medieval anti-gay views which are now slowly – thankfully and hopefully – disappearing from the political landscape.
One of the canards always dragged out by these morons is that the union of gays in matrimony will somehow destroy the "sanctity" of straight marriage. Strangely, however, I have never heard a satisfactory explanation as to why that supposedly will happen. If a couple guys in Albany tie the knot will a happily married straight couple in Binghamton suddenly decide to split? I just don’t get it. It’s all a flaming (pardon the pun) non-sequitur to me. Not that any arguments of the religious right have ever made any sense to me.
If the study of history has taught me anything, it’s that in the long-term the course of human history tends toward more tolerance, enlightenment and freedom. This is not to say there aren’t interludes of horrible intolerance, violence, oppression and injustice on massive scales, but I am a firm believer in the notion that overall, despite the inevitable setbacks along the way, things will –with sometimes glacial slowness – get better. I don’t think I’m being a naïve and hopeless optimist in this view. I think it is borne out by realistically looking at historical trends. And for that reason, I am hopeful that anti-gay bigotry will one day be as rare as defenses of slavery are today.
And so I salute the people of New York for making a small step in the history of tolerance and the improvement of humanity.
Life can sometimes be hard, cruel and unfair. So if there are things we can do to make our time on this planet a little happier for someone during the short time we are alive, why not do them? What makes my neighbor happy may not be my cup o’tea, but so what? He or she may not be into what I like. But if we can both learn to follow our dreams without hurting the other guy, we will both be better off. Life is too short for hate. And if you believe your god tells you to hate, perhaps you should tell your god to fuck off.
For if the choice is really between divinely-inspired hate and human-inspired love, I’ll vote for love - any kind of love - every time.