Democratic Underground

Stop the Wedding! I Think the Groom is Gay!

November 15, 2004
By Brian Gougherty

Help Us Raise 1000 Contributions... Please Donate!
This week is our fourth quarter 2004 fund drive. Our goal is to bring in 1000 individual donations before midnight on Sunday, November 21. There is no minimum (or maximum) donation. Whether you can spare $5 or $500, your contribution will bring us one step closer to our goal. So please take a moment to donate right now!

I'm confused. Haven't the last four years been a crusade against religious fundamentalism? I know there's some uncertainty surrounding the issue, but at least what we're claiming is that the terrorist threat of Islamic fundamentalists is what hurled our military into the Middle East to restore our nation's security, right? So, one would guess that by now Americans would generally be intolerant of fundamentalists and their medieval values, right? Wrong.

Last week's banning of gay marriage in eleven states was a grim reminder that America still has some fundamentalists to deal with at home. The people I'm specifically talking about are our country's beloved right-wing radical conservative Christian fundamentalists; those who are quick to denounce the oppression of women by the over-bearing traditions of Islamic society, but then turn around and deny two men or two women the right to get married in their own society because it would violate the "sanctity" of their own most valued tradition.

What's even more shocking is that many of these Constitutional amendments ban civil unions too, a status that has no religious or traditional connotations but would merely provide for gays and lesbians the many benefits that are provided for heterosexual life partners. This goes beyond any fundamentalism - its blatant discrimination.

But for now, let's limit our analysis to the sacred tradition of marriage. Many people I've talked to who are equally appalled by the ban on gay marriage "have no clue what those people are thinking." So for those deprived of any reasonable explanation (and that's okay, most of us are) allow me to enlighten you with my own theory.

Psychological studies have shown that many homophobic people have insecurities surrounding their own sexuality, and sometimes are latent homosexuals themselves. But homophobia comes way down the road. An initial evaluation of one's "preference" would probably stem from a much more innocent thought; say a heated daydream about the milkman or mail lady.

This could confuse people. So, why not turn to religion for consultation and guidance as people often do at troubling junctures in their lives? Yes! Here lies a simple solution; "It's wrong! It's wrong! It's wrong!"

Rather than help make sense of these feelings, those who turn to the Church are provided with a comfortable abode where they can simply deny they ever had feelings. Here, fantasies of bike shorts and biker chicks are no longer products of their imagination but deviant thoughts they can completely detach themselves from because they were probably put there by the Devil.

After these people convince themselves they're not gay, then it's time to convince the world - and what better way to say "I'm straight!" than to get married?

But wait! Nobody gave them a pill to make them magically attracted to the opposite sex. So when do the lambs stop crying, Clarice? What if they become jealous of those religiously-challenged infidels who are carelessly living out the "deviant thoughts" they've so desperately repressed? And now they want to get married? Doesn't anybody respect a little sanctity these days? They must suffer!

I'm not saying that everyone who voted in favor of these proposals is some kind of closeted homosexual. But, I think it's realistic to say that people whose every decision is dependent on religion generally lack the ability to objectively address issues of sexuality outside of boy-plus-girl. What results is a great deal of sexual repression and a great deal of insecurity revolving around these issues. It's one thing when people repress their own thoughts, but it's much more serious when dealing with your own insecurity means controlling the lives of other people.

When do "sacred" traditions do more harm than good? What is the danger of evoking an ancient and irrelevant mentality that's completely unadjusted to the circumstances of the modern world? You'd think these were questions that Americans had dealt with since 9/11, if not earlier. However, our country's position on fundamentalism, or even freedom and oppression is still unclear.

The recent elections have proven that Americans are still willing to sacrifice the civil rights of others while enjoying the exclusivity of their own lives. We've seen this happen before with blacks and women in our society, and just how a small voice became a large one in these movements, the same will happen in defense of homosexual rights. No more gay pride, now it will be gay rights.

 Print this article (printer-friendly version)
Tell a friend about this article  Tell a friend about this article
 Jump to Editorials and Other Articles forum