Sunday Forum: The end is near!
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Gay marriage begins in California Tuesday: The apocalypse can not be far off.
Immediately after the California Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage last month, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, (who started this whole mess when he started marrying gay couples in 2004) predicted that the rest of the country soon would follow suit.
Evan Wolfson, a Squirrel Hill native who literally wrote the book on gay marriage and heads the "Freedom to Marry" campaign, also thinks most states eventually will acknowledge same-sex marriage because each succeeding generation is more accepting of gay relationships and, as they become a larger share of the electorate (and of the judiciary), it will become a non-issue.
If Messrs. Newsom and Wolfson are right, this is the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.
Since gay marriage took hold in Massachusetts in 2004, the "threat" to families that the religious right predicted has become a full-scale assault. Everyone's worst fears have come to pass.
Only a few hundred heterosexual married couples are left in the commonwealth and they live in hiding or risk being sucked into the immoral gay lifestyle that has consumed most of their neighbors. The children in Massachusetts pretty much live on the streets, rooting through garbage for food because their parents are too busy engaging in gay sex to feed or care for them. The schools and hospitals have shut down because the teachers, doctors and nurses are too busy cruising for gay partners to attend to their students or patients.
This is a short-term problem, however, because the birth rate has pretty much dropped to zero since gay couples cannot procreate. And, by the way, the number of people being struck by lightning has reached frightening proportions.
Oh wait. None of this has happened. In fact, nothing has changed in Massachusetts.
Actually that's not true, either. One thing has changed. The percentage of Bay State citizens opposed to gay marriage has dropped significantly and attempts to overturn it have failed miserably. Once people saw that their own marriages and lives and families were not affected at all, let alone threatened, by having married gay neighbors, opposition has all but evaporated. They realized there are more important things to worry about -- like whether Tom Brady will father any more children out of wedlock or the Patriots will be caught cheating again.
Although some religious leaders keep claiming that gay relationships harm children, there is not a single study to back this up. They claim gay couples will raise gay children. Just like straight couples can have only straight kids; if this were true, there would be no gay people wanting to get married in California or anywhere else.
After the California Supreme Court handed down its ruling, the American Psychological Association quickly sent representatives onto talk shows to refute the nonsense that any harm comes to children by having gay parents. But many wrong and outrageous statements made by other commentators stood unchallenged.
Some say marriage should be allowed only for the purpose of procreation. But if that's the case, we should bar from marriage older couples, couples incapable of having children and perhaps even couples whose kids have graduated from high school -- after all, the rationale for their union no longer would be valid. The reality is: Many gay couples adopt and give children a loving, secure home instead of leaving them to institutions or a string of foster homes.
Opponents of the California court ruling scream foul: This issue should be decided by the voters, they say. But democracy sometimes doesn't work when it comes to fundamental rights. If it were subjected to a referendum, African Americans in Mississippi still wouldn't have the vote or be allowed to marry white people.
Harry Truman didn't ask for a vote when he integrated the armed forces, even though most of the troops and his generals predicted the quick disintegration of military discipline and readiness. Nothing much happened. Most service members quickly found they were all pretty much alike.
Now, the vast majority of enlisted troops say they know gay comrades in their ranks and couldn't care less. It is only the people at the top who cling to "don't ask, don't tell."
The anti-gay forces in California are so sparse they had to send for mercenaries from out of state to try to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. They were having such a tough time they resorted to lying, copying signatures and otherwise committing fraud. This was caught on video.
Odd, but they don't seem to have any trouble violating the Biblical commandment that "thou shalt not bear false witness" in the cause of preventing people from breaking the commandment that prohibits gay marriage. Oh, wait. There isn't one. OK, but they are just trying to live up to Jesus' teachings about homosexuality. Oh, wait. There aren't any.
The only religious ground they have to stand on are Old Testament prohibitions which also proscribe eating shellfish or wearing clothes of two kinds of cloth or talking to a menstruating woman, but for some reason they don't seem to be worried enough about those abominations to start ballot initiatives.
So hard up are they to find proper allies in California that the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit that would stay gay marriages until after California voters have their say in November. The group claims "great harm and mischief" will befall California in the meantime. And that harm and mischief must be of such a great magnitude that it would seep across the Colorado River and into Arizona where it could -- gasp! -- cause their citizens to have equal rights.
Arizonans seem to favor equal rights, actually: So far Arizona is the only state to have voted down an amendment to its state constitution that would ban gay marriage. An attempt to bring such an amendment to a vote in Pennsylvania died in the state Senate.
Massachusettsans have learned, as will Californians, that their gay friends and neighbors and family members want only what they want: to be able to love and choose a life partner, to have that relationship recognized legally and to enjoy the more than 1,000 rights and privileges of marriage.
First Published June 15, 2008 12:00 am