Two more excellent points from the big gay ruling, both addressing the notion that gay marriage is an abomination of nature because same sex couples can't procreate with one another:
- But it is circular reasoning, not analysis, to maintain that marriage must remain a heterosexual institution because that is what it historically has been. As one dissent acknowledges, in "the modern age," "heterosexual intercourse, procreation, and childcare are not necessarily conjoined."
- While it is certainly true that many, perhaps most, married couples have children together (assisted or unassisted), it is the exclusive and permanent commitment of the marriage partners to one another, not the begetting of children, that is the sine qua non of civil marriage.
There are plenty of strong, opposing opinions about gay marriage even among gays and lesbians but this passage from the recent (amazingly rational and straightforward) ruling by my new heroes, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, perfectly sums up why the issue has always been a no-brainer to me:
Barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most rewarding and cherished institutions. That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law.
It's not about religion, it's not about the children, it's certainly not about morality, it's not about whether or not marriage itself is an outdated social institution it's just about autonomy and equality.
As I prepare for the infuriating backlash to this decision a stream of reactionary, conservative outrage that will surely aggravate my ulcers for weeks and months to come let's hope the Massachusetts State Legislature takes the hint and doesn't try to effectively invalidate this notion by passing legislation or even a constitutional amendment that denies the spirit of the ruling.
More to come, no doubt.
And another scandal surfaces. It looks like yet another priest has been accused of squeezing the Charmin, and this time it seems to have happened 24 years ago at my old high school. I vaguely remember the priest's name probably from old yearbooks but I think he had already moved on to another school (and fresh meat?) by the time I started there (about 19 years ago).
I wonder if this will make it into the alumni newsletter?
I’ve had a swell couple of days kicking about with Doctor Baker and his delightful husband, who breezed into town for a few days. By a wacky coincidence, NPR chose this weekend to broadcast a great interview recorded a few weeks ago: you should give it a listen, if just for his reading of a passage from the Polari Bible. Oh, and you should also pick up a copy of Paul's book, 'cuz it's great fun and educational!
Aside from being excellent company, and aside from presenting me with a copy of Myra Breckenridge, Paul was also thoughtful enough to assure me that if I didn't get into the grad design program of my choice (the issue, I should mention, that’s been consuming most of my mental energy lately) I could always go to Lancaster and study linguistics. After all, there has to be some kind of valid, research-worthy intersection of typography and language, right? A lovely gesture, yes, but perhaps I’d have too difficult a commute if I took advantage of it.