In a stunning development, Utah — Mormon enclave, bastion of Conservative values, Red State writ large — joined a growing number of states whose courts have struck down prohibitions against same-sex marriage.
And I couldn’t care less.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m happy for homosexuals across the state who now have the right to have somebody else make their decisions for them. But on a personal level, it won’t affect my life in the least. The strongest emotional response I feel at this latest development is mild-to-moderate confusion about why opponents of same-sex marriage are so up in arms.
I suppose they believe that two people of the same gender having sexual intercourse is wrong. However, if it’s the actual gay sex that’s the sin, isn’t allowing gay couples to get married the most efficient way to keep that from happening?
Alternately, advocates of a one-size-fits-all marriage model apparently believe homosexuality to be a one-way ticket to an eternity to hell. Personally, I imagine hell to be something along the lines of having another person nagging about your socks being left around the house, or having cold toes pressed against the small of your back just as you’re about to fall asleep. And by that definition, it appears Utah courts just expedited the damnation process — yet the hallelujahs have yet to reverberate from chapels across the Wasatch Front.
Same-sex marriage, some say, poses a threat to “traditional” families. If that’s the case, I wish the ruling had come out a year ago so I could blame gays for my divorce. As is, though, I have to take personal responsibility for my marital miscarriage. Go figure.
And then there are the children. Clearly, those marriage certificates tucked away in obscure files in the homes of gay people across the state will certainly cause irreparable harm to the progeny of straight couples across the state. What do I say to my kids should they happen upon one of these legal documents? It’d be so much easier to explain why a gay couple just lives with each other and its children without the bonds of marriage and its associated legal privileges. Now I may have to resort to teaching about tolerance and unconditional love for those with different lifestyles — ya know, the stuff that Teacher from Nazareth talked about.
No doubt the fight isn’t over about the legality of same-sex marriage in Utah. Politicians across the state will be scurrying to microphones like moths to a light bulb to decry the “activist federal judges” — a fancy way of saying those with whom one disagrees. The LDS Church will certainly go Mosaic Law on this one and demand an eye for an eye. After all, traditional marriage was forced on its members, so it’s high time the church returned the favor.
While it may still be unclear how this saga ends; the court will certainly be bogged down with appeals for a while. But if you think adjudicating the constitutionality of same-sex marriage causes a judicial bottleneck, just wait until the inevitable onslaught of divorces cascades into the courts as marriage is made available to another class of people.
Some would call that judicial activism. I call it judicial job security.