I generally attempt to stay away from deep politics here. Not completely, of course. I’ve talked about health care a little, and I’ve touched very lightly on guns and our latest epidemic of mass shootings. In the old days, I wrote a bit on the Clinton impeachment that got some play on the main SFF.net page for a bit, and with the help of Brigid I wrote a series of pieces right after 9/11 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)that I still feel pretty proud of. So, yeah, I do delve into things here and there.
But, on the whole I want this place to be a little less intense than the average political bloviariness that goes on elsewhere, so I generally clench my teeth pretty hard and keep myself from spewing. On the other hand, there comes the very rare occasion where a piece of thinking comes along that just makes me hafta go “Seriously?” I’ve read just such a piece. It goes like this:
In order to get married, you have to be capable of responsibly creating a child by mistake. Am I reading this right? What the heck does that mean? Am I reading this right? I have been thinking about it most of the day, and I just can’t get my brain around it any other way.
Of course, it’s a sham of an argument, but if I play the game of “I’ll grant you …” (meaning I say I’ll grant your position is true) this opens up lots of interesting concepts that, while making many people miserable and disenfranchised, I think would actually result in some good things. Kinda.
So, let me grant you that in order to get married, you have to be capable of making a child by mistake and be able to responsibly raise that child.
First, that means you won’t see many, if any, kids married while in high school, or just out of high school. I mean, unless you’re a kid from a family of money, you can’t possibly afford to raise a kid responsibly at this age. So that cuts several out right away. And then we have to find a good way to identify which kids are emotionally ready and which aren’t. Pick a way, there’s a bunch of psycho-graphic tests out there–one of them must be good enough. Perhaps a Cosmo quiz would do the trick. Good luck on getting Congress to agree on one, though.
Next, let’s talk about ensuring these responsible mistake parents are going to be there long term. Just showing up is, after all, 90% of success (as Woody Allen once famously said). Clearly you’ll need to find a way to prove your relationship is going to last through a child prior to being granted a license to marry. What test do we have that will prove this? Or even just suggest it? Just think how many broken homes this little law will save! Once we have this in place the divorce rate will, by definition, go to zero, and we can therefore reap the benefits of driving the number of children from broken homes down to zero. That will be great.
What? You mean you think these folks we save from marriage due to their inability to responsibly raise their “mistake” children might actually have children anyway? Crazy talk, eh? Totally crazy talk.
And what about folks who for some medical reason are just unable to have children? Clearly they would no longer qualify to achieve their license of marriage, seeing as they are unable to make a child by mistake. Makes total sense, eh?
Also, when we pass this idea into law, what do we then do about all the opposite-sex marriages that no longer pass muster? I suppose we’ll be looking at a lot of forced divorces. And that brings me to Lisa and myself. We’ve proven, I think, that we’re capable of raising a kid responsibly, but without going into great detail, we’re not going to be creating any children by mistake anytime soon. Please, please don’t tell me we no longer qualify to be married. We’ve been planning on growing old together for a very long time now. This is suddenly quite personal.
Look, in all seriousness, I think I understand the root of the folks arguing against the concept of same-sex marriage. At least I think I do. I don’t agree with the position. I think it’s wrong. But (1) I’m just one guy, and (2) despite the fact that I don’t agree with them, I respect what, for the lack of a better term, I’ll call religion-based arguments against equality in marriage laws. Everyone is free to think and believe what they like. But seriously, this just seems to me to be (how can I put this perhaps not so delicately) … uh … stupid. So I ask in all seriousness, what kind of thinking is this?
Surely I must be misreading something.
Or is it some kind of joke?