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A Letter to California Heterosexuals

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Dear California heterosexual,

My name is C. Brian Smith, and I am a California homosexual.

On November 4th of this year you will be asked to vote on Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. I am urging you to vote "NO" on this referendum.

Believe me, I know that sharing the institution of marriage with homosexuals is a scary concept. You, heterosexuals, really, really like getting and being married. You've been doing it for a long time and have understandably become quite protective over its sanctity. Marriage is not a toy, but if it were, it would be your favorite. And nobody likes to share their favorite toy.

Please share your toy with me?

On behalf of all California homosexuals, I am here tonight--broadcasting not from West Hollywood but from my heart--to see if we can strike a deal. If you agree to vote "NO" on Proposition 8, I will do everything I can to make you feel comfortable about sharing the institution of marriage with me.

1. When I get gay married, I promise I won't "kiss the bride." Because really, who needs to see two men kissing? I realize that children, old people and in some cases Jesus Christ, will be present at the ceremony! Perhaps you'd be more comfortable if I offered playful pat on his backside, like ball players do when something goes well. Like a touchdown. I know what you're thinking. Ass play is a rather slippery slope, so we'd better steer clear of that region altogether. I'll agree to that. And yet it's bound to be an important day in my relationship--some form of physical affection would be nice. A firm handshake and/or a fraternal hug? That seems fair and appropriate. We will handshake and hug, and will not kiss the bride.

2. When I get gay married, I promise I won't overuse my husband's health benefits. The health care system in this country is already strapped. If every newly-insured gay spouse suddenly starts skipping to the doctor every time he or she feels "sick", complete chaos will ensue. Pharmacy lines will spill out the door. Overused magazines in waiting rooms will tatter and spoil. And lets face it, when you're sick, the last thing you need to come in contact with is a homosexual who may or may not have HIV... or AIDS. So I promise to use preventative health measures. I will exercise and eating well. I will only visit the doctor in cases of emergency (and in such cases, I promise my husband will not visit me in the hospital, even though it is his right to do so). Because other patients in the hospital might catch something from him. Like HIV or AIDS or a cold or poison ivy because he likes to hike.

3. When I get gay married, I will not teach your kids to be gay like me. You love your children, I know. You protect them from disease and bad weather--shouldn't you also protect them from Gay? What will little Johnny think when he sees two happily married, wealthy, gorgeous gay men living next door to him? "I don't want that lifestyle?" Yeah, right. He will immediately try to become a homosexual. And no parent wants his or her child to become a homosexual (including me). So I promise not to speak to your son or daughter under any circumstance--even if your house falls prey to a horrible California wildfire! and they are asleep in their beds--I will keep my mouth shut--and I'll make every effort to downplay my genuine happiness.

4. When I get gay married, I will get divorced like you. Over 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. I don't quite understand how this strengthens the "sanctity of marriage" you keep referring to, but then again, you've been doing this a lot longer than I have! As you know, we gays don't do monogamy well, cause, we're all like "Hey, there's someone else who is gay. I want to do things sexually with him as well. See ya later life partner." Yeah, your divorce customs should be a cinch to pick up. After ten years and two or three kids, one of us will move out and get gay married to someone younger and less bossy.

5. When I get gay married, I'll only exercise a few of the 1400 rights conferred to me. Can not you see that I am desperately trying to broker a good faith deal with you? I will agree to waive my right to file joint tax returns, social security benefits and custom claims forms when traveling. If it makes you more comfortable, and I think it will, I also will refrain from deciding whether my deceased husband is buried or cremated. Who really wants to deal with that ugly topic anyway?

6. When I get gay married, I promise you can still call people fags and say something is "really gay." Otherwise, 5th graders, Dane Cook, Chuck Lorre and the entire CBS fall sitcom lineup would be humorless.

7. When I get gay married, I will not support polygamy and/or bestiality. If the definition of marriage is broadened to include same sex couples, you can be sure that beastialitists and polygamists, both Mormon and Islamic, will line up in front of wedding chapels faster than you can say "woof" or "I know this ain't heaven, but five virgins ain't bad!" It's the logical next step, after all. And while I support every person's god-given right to marry the pet he loves, I promise I will keep these views to myself. That said, those Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints folks are a pretty resourceful and litigious bunch. And "man's best friends" will sooner or later want to take the relationship to the next level. So it's only a matter of time before you're going to have to share marriage with everyone. I know you feel strongly about this one but just think for a second. Could you really deny your own cat.. the right to wed? Ask the Vice President of the United States just how tricky that can be.

California heterosexual, thank you for considering my compromise. I understand you'll need some time to consult with your spouse before signing off on it--one hand, one heart, that whole thing. To my worrisome female friend: rest assured. Once gay married, I will continue to be a safe, empathetic sounding board for you when you feel the need to drone on and on about absolutely nothing for seven or eight hours over Mojitos at The Standard.

California heterosexual, share marriage with us.

Vote "NO" on Proposition 8.

C. Brian Smith
California Homosexual