Thursday, August 4, 2011

Love And Marriage

It is a fallacy, a piece of ignorant fluff, that says there can be no love between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Besides the knowledge that sons love fathers and daughters love mothers, the simple fact remains that our essence, our soul if you will, is not a function of the shell we inhabit. Our personality, our fears, our drives, our emotions, may be connected to our physical form through the mechanisms of biology and evolution, but they are not us. If it's true that an immortal soul can be brought into existence with our birth, then how can that self-same soul be made a slave to a physical form it had no knowledge of? No. We are not a product of our gender, any more than we are a product of our skin color, or the God we do -- or do not -- worship. These things are are mere affectations, fleetingly attached to our true selves for the few years we stumble across the stage before the world.

Marriage is another affectation, a convenience and creation of men. It exists to bind together in law and dogma two people, and throughout history it was mostly a man and a woman. It was a means to an end, a justification for and celebration of misogyny, a binding of a woman in subservience to a man, a completion of a deal for passing a woman from one man (her father) to another man (her husband). Called a sacrament and draped in sanctity, it might be celebrated as one of the defining moments of a person's life, and, indeed, there is much to be said for declaring that one person is enough for you for your eternity on Earth, but we can never forget from whence it came, and call into question just how spiritually liberating the practice known as marriage is... until now.

Now, with the pursuit of equality for all Americans, outlined in the continued advance of the right to same-sex marriage, this old, stilted, and somewhat bedraggled ceremony is gaining a new birth of sanctity. For when we declare, triumphantly, that it matters not what form two human beings take, that they love and commit to each other "forever," we breathe new life into vows to love, honor, and cherish, and we admit that our knowledge of the world extends much further than it did when our ancestors first brought the practice into being.

There are those who rail against this new birth, guardians of "sacred" dogma, clinging to a past long surpassed by the forward flow of humanity over the face of this planet and into the black sky above. Our capacity for reason and knowledge tells us that there is no shame in faith, save where that faith seeks to invalidate truth or impose itself on others. In this case, truth is not easily dismissed. To allow the decrepitude of a paternalistic, bigoted past to live within the human milieu is to willingly carry a cancer that will continue to threaten the health of us all. Let no person be denigrated for their belief, save that we hold forth some pity for them, that they cannot see the forest for the trees. In the inevitability of human evolution, there will be those left behind, and they will mark dying branches on our family tree.

They said that a man and a woman of different religions could not marry, that it would destroy us -- they were wrong. They said that a man and a woman of different races could not marry, that it would destroy us -- they were wrong. They say now that a man cannot marry a man, nor woman marry a woman, that it will destroy us -- they are most definitely, wrong.

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