Thursday, December 04, 2008

Connect-the-Dots Day on the Front Lines of the Big Gay Culture War

Front-page news in southern Arizona's burgeoning Bridal Expo Daily Star! Divorces are down, both nationally and locally! Could it be that all these marriage-defendin' constitutional amendments have finally started to make a difference? Was the passing of Prop 102 in Arizona and Prop 8 in California the bellwether the nation had been seeking for confirmation that marriage is sacred and cool and preservation-worthy again?

Well, no, actually. It's the economy.
In these scary economic times, couples seem to be sticking to the "for worse" part of their marriage vows and deciding their differences may not be so unreconcilable after all.

[Tucson family law attorney Steve Centuori] said people will stay in an unhappy marriage longer during tough economic times, and when the economy gets better, people will file for divorce again.

"It's really interesting," said Centuori, who has been practicing family law in Tucson for seven years. "The two main reasons for divorce are finances and personal differences; finances being the top reason."

Think back with me, for a moment, to any of the comment pages attached to gay marriage stories in the Star, or the Chicago Tribune, or pretty much any paper you may have been reading over the past several years. Specifically, think of all the comments tsk-tsking that our insistence on full marriage rights that include federal and social security benefits, instead of settling for piecemeal civil unions or individually-negotiated contracts, proves that we we're really only in it for the money, not for love. So now it seems that a lot of straight couples are only sticking with it for the money themselves, love having vacated the relationship some time ago, and intend to separate what God hath joined just as soon as they can scrape together enough cash to do so.

Item the next: Jonah Goldberg. Jonah's upset at the gay people who got so upset at upright Californians exercising their democratic right to vote to take away one specific minority group's existing civil rights. Specifically, his shorts are in a bunch over the Mormon home-invasion ad that aired on election day in California.

The argument is that Mormons used illegitimate power, in this case money, beyond their numerical standing in the population to secure victory for the measure. Golly, wealthy gay liberals would never do anything like that!

No, it's just that Mormons are the most vulnerable of the culturally conservative religious denominations and therefore the easiest targets for an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.

It's often lost on gay-rights groups that they and their allies are the aggressors in the culture war. Indeed, they admit to being the "forces of change" and the "agents of progress." They proudly want to rewrite tradition and overturn laws. But whenever they're challenged democratically and peaceably, they instantly complain of being victims of entrenched bigots, even as they adopt the very tactics they abhor.

No comment yet from Jonah on his outrage over the blatantly dishonest pro-Prop 8 ads that aired throughout the election season with claims that children would be "taught gay marriage" in school and churches would be shut down and pastors sued when they refuse to conduct ceremonies for same-sex couples, but I'm sure it must be coming. I mean, someone as righteous as Jonah Goldberg wouldn't overlook something like that, would he?


This is already getting very, very old. The Mormons have been intently planning for decades to fight in every state of the union to deny full civil rights to a group of citizens whose only offense against the Mormon church has been simply existing. Decades. They poured money, resources, and personnel into a neighboring state in which they constitute something like three percent of the voting population in a concerted effort to swing the vote their way, a vote that would have no direct impact on their lives in Utah one bit. But when we finally snap back on one day after thousands upon thousands of days of dishonest, deceptive, irrational fearmongering at our expense, somehow we're the aggressors in the culture war.

We're done being complacent and polite and oh so afraid of offending anyone who either intentionally works to deny us full personhood or casually discriminates against us. We're calling bigots bigots. And that bothers sanctimonious blowhards like Jonah Goldberg, and probably scares them more than a little bit. Quake away, Jonah, and save the breath you're wasting on telling me how to behave.

And, finally, our Daily Star Tucson Love Stories Watch: I'm starting to wonder if the whole thing is a brilliantly crafted setup that will culminate with the story of a same-sex couple that trucked over to California to wed apres Prop 8, since I don't think even the Daily Star is capable of this much unintentional irony. Two of the first three couples in the series had previously been divorced, and now this week we have long-lost high school sweethearts who finally got married... in their eighties. So the Star has promptly wiped out both the marriage is sacred and forever and marriage is for procreation arguments in fewer than 30 days. If the next couple weeks bring mixed-religion or, horror of horrors, atheistic couples, I'll only get more suspicious that they're fixing to shatter the hypocrisy of the big heteronormative bubble they've been shoving at us on a weekly basis. A girl can dream, no?


Homer said...

I exchanged emails with Goldberg yesterday over the Mormons are being picked up crap. He is a complete idiot.

Cyrus said...

It looks like it's time to take to the streets again...and Tucson needs some organizers. Maybe you and Homer are up for it?

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