What better way to wrap up Pride Month than with Friday’s Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage? By now, everyone should be seeing rainbows. I think Justice Anthony Kennedy summed it up beautifully:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”
Of course, the SCOTUS decision did not go without its dissent. Just ask Pat Robertson who swears the gays are going to start ass raping Christians across the globe. And undoubtedly somebody somewhere has made the argument that the only logical next step is for us to start marrying animals.
Okay, let’s nip this one in the ass right now. Bestiality—or zoophilia—is a paraphilia. Sure someone out there loves their (insert barnyard animal here) so much so they might have sex with it from time to time. Even so, animals cannot give consent. So until evolution steps it up a notch, I don’t think the zoophiles have their hopes set too high.
Conservatives like to argue the same tired rhetoric that gay marriage is the end of some ancient institution—an institution, I might add, that has been redefined more times than the Duggars find themselves celebrating another birthday.
Ancient Greeks, for example, considered rampant sexuality a way of finding their soul mates…and, of course, making babies. Later, marriage was a means of securing familial stability, of combining houses and lands. It was all very Game of Thrones. Early Christians considered marriage a “necessary evil” for procreation, and the idea of love wouldn’t enter the equation for another few centuries.
Conservatives are right, though—same sex marriage opens the door to other marriages not yet recognized here in the West.
Because marriage is not a fixed institution. Marriage is fluid, changing with our ever-evolving cultural mores and sexual attitudes—sexual attitudes, I might add, which have changed tremendously over the last 60 years. According to a report published on The Lancet's website, women tend to have more sexual partners; sexual acts have become more diverse; more people support same-sex couples now than ever before. Of course, with all this support for marriage equality comes a higher intolerance of non-exclusivity within those marital vows.
60 years and monogamy is still the name of the game.
Not that there is anything wrong with monogamy. I am in a monogamous relationship and couldn’t be happier. But we know now that humans didn’t evolve to be monogamous. Some of that primordial DNA is still floating around in there, urging us to splash our genes all over the place.
So cheating happens. I’ve done it. You might have done it too. We do it for a variety of subjective reasons, though the common thought is that men cheat for sex while women cheat for emotions. I like to think people fuck to fuck, but let’s not split hairs. I personally ascribe to Dan Savage’s notion that infidelity doesn’t have to be the end all of a relationship. For some, extra-marital sex can even be the spark the relationship is lacking. And, as always, communication is key.
My prediction for the future of marriage, the next phase of this sacred institution, is polygamy. I can just see our conservative friends’ heads exploding now, seeing how they’ve been calling it all along. Of course, it is always lumped between bestiality and pedophilia, so polygamy tends to get a bad rap.
Still, it seems like the natural order of things.
People are already waiting longer to get married, if they get married at all. And polyamory—being in a relationship with more than one person—is no longer the taboo it once was. Still, we’re decades away from the law recognizing any poly relationship.
According to poly advocate Simon Copland, only 16% of Americans see multi-partnered relationships as “morally acceptable.” Copland goes on to explain:
“…people in alternative relationships still face serious discrimination. People I know in polyamorous relationships have been ostracized from friends and family. And there are cases where parents have lost custody of their children because of their lifestyle.”
In the end, marriage is a legal contract between two people and their state that affords more rights than if the couple were two separate entities. It is the people involved, however, who shape their relationships, their lives around each other—however they choose to do so. And if that involves opening up the relationship, or falling for another, or loving more than one person at a time, then that is a commitment.
That is a marriage.
For today, we celebrate. We look forward to our futures. The gay agenda is far from over, after all. So, until next time...
Stay proud America!