Dinosaurs Looking at the Meteor: My Thoughts on Marriage Equality (Updated)

It’s difficult, sometimes, for me to write how I feel.  It’s partly because I put so much pressure on myself to do it. Most people are just fine using their Twitter or Facebook to give a very brief statement about their beliefs.  Like this:

            “Amendment One Sucks!”

That’s, well, that’s true. It does. But it’s not a very complicated thought.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be. Someone who thinks that the Amendment that passed in North Carolina yesterday is a bad Amendment and says so has a good amount of compound statements in “Amendment One Sucks!”  If you write that, then you believe that marriage isn’t just a union between 1 man and 1 woman. But why do you think that?  If you agree with the Amendment, why do you think that?  I am more interested in that, in the reasons why as opposed to the actual statement, the brief lashing out and disgust.  Sense I am interested in that, I suppose it is fair that I explain why I think what I think.

My position on Marriage Equality is pretty simple. I don’t care what you do or who you do it with.  It has absolutely nothing to do with me.

My belief about this is beyond what even the most liberal people believe.  You want to marry a man and you’re a man? Fine. Women marrying women?  Ok. Two men marrying two men? Ok. Three men marrying eighteen men? Fine. I do not care.  If I do get married, which I seriously doubt, it will be with a woman who feels the exact same way.  My future wife will think that marriage is ridiculous as well and, probably, won’t even want to get married.  Which I would be just fine with.  I don’t find marriage interesting because of the intense amount of domestication involved with it, or the fact that people tend to turn into boring, lesser people when they do get married. My ideas about marriage aren’t proven, by the way.  Everyone that I care about and that’s married have wonderful, beautiful relationships, gay and straight.  I just don’t think I could do it, or want it.  The first time my wife called me wanting me to pick up toilet paper on the way home from work would probably be the day I jump off a building.

Because of my intense fear of marriage, I respect anyone who wants to or has gotten married. Anyone. Gay or straight.  And, sense I don’t understand marriage, I don’t understand why it’s really that complicated, or why you can’t marry who you want to marry.  What makes a man and a woman who want to get married different than a man and a man? Or a woman and a woman?  I don’t understand why anyone wants to get married, and that, to me, is why I think it’s just fine if everyone is able to get married equally.  The idea of wanting to spend your life with just one person is a concept I don’t completely comprehend.  I respect, regardless of race, gender or sexuality, anyone who does understand.

That is also why I am sympathetic to people in our society that have always kept a traditional view of marriage and are afraid of the wave of progression that is heading their way.  It used to be simple.  You graduated high school.  You went to college.  You met a nice girl.  You had sex a few times.  You cheated on her to see what it was like.  You asked her to get married because you knew you couldn’t get anything better. You got a job. You bought a house.  You had some kids.  You got old.  You got fat. You died of a heart attack.

Now, you graduate high school or you don’t. You go to college or you don’t.  You date one, two, three, twenty people in a span of ten years.  You work countless jobs.  You go to college to be an accountant.  Then you go to college to be a banker.  Then you go to college to be a history teacher.  Then you go to college to be a writer.  Then you go to grad school.  Then you work three jobs and date randomly, date ex-girlfriends several times, finally move into the city, get the dream job and you’re thirty-five and single and you spend your nights playing “Geometry wars 2” and listing to Mogwai.

Life isn’t simple anymore.  We live our lives in this buddle of circumstances that are reactions of our adaptation to the problems and opportunities that come up in our lives.  There is a generation of people who know this in practice, but keep the ideal of an American life in theory.  They believe that, yes, life is messy but it doesn’t have to be or it shouldn’t be.  If we had some structure, they think, if we had some rules, then maybe life would be less messy.

At the heart of Amendment One is the active and real push by many in North Carolina to stop the inevitable.  I picture it as thousands of dinosaurs standing on top of each other’s head, arms out-stretched, trying to stop the meteor from crashing and ending all they know.

I can’t say that these people are ignorant.  But I can say that it’s bigoted.  That’s a strong word, but there is no other way to put it. Refusing to grant equal rights and privileges to everyone, regardless of their differences, is discrimination.  In this case, in North Carolina’s case, this discrimination is justified because, look, look! The meteor is crashing down!  We have to do something!  I don’t hate these people.  I’m annoyed by them, but I understand them.  In a real way, I’m sad for them.  That meteor is coming down, whether they try and stop it or not.

Because I date almost exclusively interracially, this issue of discrimination has real weight.  Not long ago, it was illegal to marry a white woman if you were a black man.  And, still, in many, many states in the union, it’s still a dangerous proposition.  It’s more acceptable, now, however.  It’s not because people changed their minds about it or there was some huge public outcry.  People dated outside their race and, once the world kept spinning and the sun kept burning, everyone just, well, they forgot they were supposed to be upset.

So, yes, the Amendment that passed last night is upsetting. It’s upsetting in the same way as a lone dinosaur looking over at all those other dinosaurs stacking up, getting ready to catch that meteor.  It’s upsetting because it’s a waste of time.  Stopping marriage from being completely equal for everyone won’t make gay people stop and think, “You know, maybe being gay is a bad idea.”  That isn’t going to happen.  People can’t change who they are.  The Amendment passing is upsetting because it shows how unsympathetic we tend to be to the plights others. It’s upsetting that, even though we say we are a country that believes in “freedom,” we are very selective of how we distribute that freedom. It’s upsetting because I can’t say what I feel in my heart, not correctly or adequately.  I have two sets of married friends that are dear to my heart.  I love these people more than I can say. Every time their rights are stepped on, it hurts them and it hurts me.  I wish everyone could see their love for each other the way I see it.  I guess that’s asking too much, too fast.  I’m going to keep asking anyway.

Update:  I’m not the only one who feels this way.


3 thoughts on “Dinosaurs Looking at the Meteor: My Thoughts on Marriage Equality (Updated)

  1. This is really really great. All day I’ve been searching for literature to help me “let go” a little, and your ability to concisely, politely, and compassionately dismiss the amendment for the sake of inevitable hope has let me breathe for what feels like the first time today. THANK you 🙂

  2. Jarvis, I always enjoy reading your writing! So often, I can close my eyes and hear you say these words! Keep asking and keep writing! Cheers!

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