Observations on the world today.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

But What About Naomi? 

ActForChange : Act Now
Spurred by the recent Massachusetts State Supreme Court decision against discrimination, some members of the radical religious right are aggressively campaigning to amend the U.S. Constitution to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples in committed relationships. The proposed amendment (H.J. Res 56/S.J. Res 26) would also invalidate all state and local domestic partnership laws and nullify civil rights protections based on marital status.
Not that I think this Amendment has a snowball's chance of being ratified anyway, but I've come up with a few very interesting questions which I think we, the loyal opposition, could use to help squash the issue even in some of the iffy states.

The questions all concern the issue of transgendered couples. Suppose a man was to marry a woman who used to be a dude? Suppose a woman who became a dude married a chick who used to be a guy? And another thing, suppose a woman marries a guy, and the guy later becomes a chick? What happens to the marriage then?

Then there is the issue of swingers. If marriage is between one man and one woman, what happens to people with open marriages? Do we still have to recognize polygamous marriages when foreign visitors from countries where it is legal to take several wives come to our shores?

These issues are not addressed in the legislation. And simply asking the question of proponents of the Amendment puts them in a very dubious position. It basically forces them to acknowledge that the issue is not cut-and-dried. It forces them to examine the paradox of what-they-mean-by-that when they try to define heterosexual normalcy let alone when they try to dictate private decisions like who one will mate.

And then there is the issue of the reasoning for the amendment push in the first place. That being that marriage is a sacred institution established by God. As noted by Jon in the World Wide Rant:
The first "marriage" was between Adam & Eve (unless you count legends of Adam’s earlier wives, but we’ll ignore those and go strictly with the ancient texts that are available in Wal-Mart). That "holy union" resulted in the Fall of Man, the expulsion from Paradise, original sin and an excellent novella with a beautiful epilogue by Mark Twain.

Skipping ahead many generations we come to Abraham, the man 3/5 of the world’s population claim as founder of whichever of the several one true religions they follow. Abraham was married to his half-sister, a fact which evidently bothered God not in the slightest as He chose the couple to be the direct ancestors of his Chosen people and of the Messiah (now a major motion picture). When Sarah grew impatient for a child, Abraham, at her request, impregnated Hagar, her maid (this was long before unions), whose willingness to the union is not mentioned. Later Sarah thought better of the idea and drove both maid and son into the desert. (That God wasn’t terribly upset by the first recorded surrogate mother is evidenced by the consolation gifts he gave them, which included a supernatural spring for Hagar & Ishmael and the world’s richest petroleum reserves for their descendants.) After Sarah died Abraham married again, going Tony Randall four better by siring six children when he was well over 100 and then driving them into the desert as well like a good father-uncle would do for his sort-of firstborn.
In fact, the bible takes no position whatever on transgendered marriages, or - for that matter - on the responsibility of the federal government in democratic nations to define them with legal-speak. It does however, sanction incestuous, vengeful, whoring, chattel-taking, polygamist, hetero unions.

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