Opinion Columns & Blogs

Marriage faces a truly insidious foe

From the manly Central Coast of California to the rock-bound, virile shores of Maine, the populace has spoken: Americans believe that heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman is the only kind that should exist.

And now I have a new project to suggest for those who have fought for this important cultural and moral principle.

I believe they should take it to the next step and outlaw divorce.

Call it a modest proposal.

I make it in light of the Tuesday election results from Maine, where voters overturned a law that allowed gay marriage. The question has now gone to a vote in 31 states, and gay marriage lost every time except one, including in California, where Proposition 8 put the kibosh on same-sex marriage.

In that context, banning divorce makes sense. How many times have you heard someone say “marriage is between a man and a woman” and a male-female relationship is the only proper context for togetherness?

You’ve also heard that gay marriage threatens man-woman marriage.

If gay marriage is a threat to straight marriages,divorce is a full-blown, knock-down-the-fortress tsunami.

The phrase you hear most often is “the sanctity of marriage.”

I must confess that this narrower view of morality is not easy for me to advocate, because I have lived some of my life in sin and have known many others who did, and do, the same.

My lovely wife and I (shhh) lived together before we tied the knot. But we have been married now for 38 years, a longevity I can today confidently attribute to the fact that gay marriage has not been legalized anyplace.

I tell you, this changing my perspective about matrimonial right and wrong is hard work. I know lesbian couples who actually seem to dote on one another, for example. I have gay male friends who appear to be warm and loving human beings.

I’ve lost friends and colleagues who were gay, a couple of whom got me through my darkest hours in life.

I have numerous friends and family members who live together unmarried, who have children out of wedlock, who have children by more than one father, who are of different races, who live in all kinds of familial arrangements.

By hanging out with these folks all my life, I came to conclusions I now know to be spurious.

Conclusions like:

Love is hard to find. It’s a precious commodity. It can exist in anyone and be given to anyone.

When you find it, I have thought, it doesn’t much matter what or who the vessel is that carries it.

You welcome it.

I came to believe this panoply of relationships, this infinite variety where love is the common and defining ingredient, is the way things should be.

How foolish I was.

Thanks to American voters, I now see that only marriage between a man and a woman will make this country’s greatness continue and keep us free from sin.

What can be a greater threat for men and the women who marry them than the specter of it ending one day? As a nation, we simply can’t let that happen.

So get those petitions circulating. Times a ’wasting.

Once we get the nonsensical notion that divorce is acceptable squared away, we can go after other licentious attitudes and practices that cropped up in the socially destructive 20th century.

We can ditch laws that allow miscegenation, for example, or that put a crimp in the practice of jailing people because they seem suspicious or look different or pray to different gods.

Where do I sign?