Monday, April 7, 2008

Shopping Day, Part 2

Okay, so after we're done grocery shopping, coming out of the store, there's a guy with a little table there with stacks of forms in clipboards.

"Sign a petition?" he asks.

"What is it for?" we reply.

He had several petitions for people to sign, and briefly explained each one. They were related to various local issues - redistricting, methamphetamine-related crime, etc. But one of them was to enact a law to define marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Yawn. We said what Amy Winehouse said when they tried to make her go to rehab.

Now, as progressive bloggers, we see this tired old chestnut dredged up over and over again. And each time, I ask myself, what are conservatives afraid of? And they are afraid. I mean, whenever they address the subject of 'gay marriage' they always use the language of fear: the "Defense of Marriage Act," and so on, always constructing their rhetoric and catchphrases in the language of defense in the face of imminent danger. They don't just proclaim a preference for heterosexual marriage, they proclaim it is under attack and threatened with extinction.

My suspicion is that they are not afraid, but they are aware that fear is the best tool to motivate the public, and so they use it to achieve their ends. But as for the people who are so concerned about gay marriage that they are willing to go to great expense to try to eradicate it, are more likely to be motivated by a reaction to their own repressed sexual identity issues. So, these reactionaries feel that if gay marriage gains acceptance, they will not be able to resist the feelings they labor so hard to suppress. It's their own marriages they're worried about, not ours.

Ironically, one of the reasons they cite as justification for their cause is their belief that the "homosexual lifestyle" involves a lot of promiscuity. Their solution to that is to enact legislation designed to prevent gays from forming monogomous relationships. So, they promote monogamy by denying people the right to be monogomous. Brilliant.

I think that any mentally competant adult who is legally able to enter into a contract agreement has the same right to enter into a civil marriage contract. If they want to hold different values for religious marriage, that's fine. If their church won't recognize their marriage, that's a separate matter from the legal contract that is civil marriage, which is the right of every consenting adult couple, despite the righty-tighties' rhetorical fear-mongering.

Still, as I have in past posts and other blogs' comment sections, I ask the same longstanding question and challenge any right-winger to answer: What are they afraid of? Why do they feel threatened? From what does heterosexual marriage need to be "defended"?


The Future Was Yesterday said...

Don't you love being accosted like that? "Sign this!" like they were a traffic cop or something.

"What are they afraid of? "
I'm not a tightie rightie, but I was raised by them. Your post addressed most of their fears, mostly their own sexuality. Fundamentalists don't get a lot of enlightened sexual education, and further, that religion demonizes sex as dirty, sinful, terrible, etc.

But there is a fear you didn't address; that of "it's got to be true because the bible says it's true." The Bible is Fundamentalists constitution, not the one we think of. If something is proven to be true that the bible says isn't, and further, does no damage to anyone, then they look at the bible and say, "I thought you said this was true?", and go right into meltdown. EVERYTHING that bible says HAS to be true, and they will go to any means to make it so!

Granny said...

Most of them have no idea what they're doing. I make them wait while I read it (carefully) and then tell them everything that's wrong with it.

They usually stammer.

Did you see Arnold came out against the petition?

I borrowed your avatar (little guy banging head) for "granny". Between WA's computer and mine, it's a wonder anything gets written at all.