The Difference, Part 4

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I read a Dear Abby column the other day, though it's written by somebody else these days. The letter writer's brother refused to go to the letter writer's wedding. He as a gay man is not allowed to have a wedding of his own and he will not participate in an inherently unjust institution. The New Abby intoned that this was proper and listed many injustices against which it has been necessary, as she believes, for people of principle to take brave stands. Slavery, women's right to vote, etc. The meta-messages were clear and unshakeable in the New Abby's mind, to wit, that the world has inevitably been made better by all these brave souls standing up to their sisters (I guess the hundreds of thousands of dead Union soldiers don't really come into it in this version of the story, it's just guys facing down their marrying sisters), that the world is a clear linear stream of steady unstoppable progress from one injustice to the next, and that not having gay marriage is the moral equivalent of slavery. You don't want gay marriage, you're a slaveholder. Obviously.

For those of you who don't know me, hi, I'm the guy here who favors gay marriage. But somehow the cavalier unshakeable certainty that anyone who opposes gay marriage is clearly a closeted slave-holder just stuck in my craw. I'm not a big fan of cavalier unshakeable certainty in general.

Isn't it odd how a nation which has institutionalized and canonized the concept of progress must now force all debates through that sieve? Sorry buddy, all camels of debate must pass through the needle of progress. No exceptions. Isn't it odd that every change proposed is always the right change, that one is not allowed to think, question, debate, or oppose said proposal, and that anyone who disagrees or argues for an alternative is necessarily the enemy of all human progress ever? Because the world must really be that simple.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, it is Iran which has graced us with an uplifting human interest story today. It seems the two teenagers shown in the picture were publicly executed there last week for the crime of homosexuality. "According to the London Times, the teens were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten prior to their execution.... Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.... 'According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.'”

2 comments:

terrye said...

One thing is for sure that guy's sister will never have to see something like that, her brother strung upo for being different.

I miss the old Abby. She would have said he was being a brat. Something to the effect that his sister's wedding was about her not him so buck up.

I don't really have a problem with gay marriage. But the lack of it is not equivalent to slavery. The slave was hunted with a pack of dogs when he ran away, these people are foced to endure civil unions. Scarcely the same thing.

Barry Dauphin said...

The piece doesn't say whether the marrying brother was for/against gay marriage himself. If the marrying brother is for gay marriage, why should he be held responsible for the laws of his state? If he's against it, then it wouldn't make a familial difference if the state adopted such laws.