In the early 1990s, my dad, who never served in the armed forces, had a strongly held opinion about gays in the military. He told me, "If I'm in a foxhole, I don't want the guy next to me looking at my butt." I replied, "Dad, I've seen your butt and you're safe."
Dad died a few years ago and took his libidinal fantasies of foxhole butt passion with him to the straight hereafter, where a man's immortal soul is fitted with a heavenly anus zipper and no eyes wander tushward.
Were Dad alive today, he'd no doubt have thoughts to share about this country's push toward marriage equality that has some of our more recalcitrant citizens all in a twist. Take Sue Everhart, please. About gay marriage, the Chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party said over the weekend, "If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship."
Sue Everhart needs to watch more pornography. When it comes to sexual equipment, some gays and lesbians are well stocked!
Everhart clearly lacks creativity when it comes to her ideas of sex, but when it comes to skullduggery and the sinister workings of the cheating human heart, she's a bit more creative, enough so to imagine hordes of straight people pretending to be gay in order to enter sham gay marriages just for the benefits.
Here's how Everhart put it for the Marietta Daily Journal in an interview that should have been an April Fools joke but wasn't:
"You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow. Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you're gay, and y'all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it's unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it's all about a free ride."
You might be one of those adults afflicted with logic who wonders, "Wait a second, why couldn't straight people enter conventional 'sham' marriages with opposite sexed partners?" and shame on you. You're not thinking correctly.
If you follow Everhart's thinking, totally straight people could marry within their own gender just to get the good things that come with marriage. So what 'good' things is she talking about? Medical benefits and joint filing status for annual tax returns. That's about it.
And now that I wrote it down, perhaps Sue Everhart's onto something. It's brilliant. My next door neighbor, Charlie, and I could be 'husbands' and get all the good stuff marriage has to offer, tax relief and group insurance, without any of the other consequences that make marriage so full of constant bother. And maybe that's what has opponents of gay marriage so irked; it's not fear, it's envy. Dad might have worried about the sanctity of his posterior, but Sue Everhart seems concerned that two people might get married and not be forever miserable.
As it is, Charlie and I won't be getting married as I'm already married, to a woman, and here's a short list of the things I've been in trouble for with my wife in just the past month:
1. Disciplining the child
2. Not disciplining the child
3. Being too mean to the big dog
4. Being too nice to the small dog
5. The way I do laundry
6. Not doing laundry at all
7. Being too stingy
8. Being too generous
9. Putting away groceries incorrectly
10. The best way to drive the nine-block circuit from our home to Panda Express and back (seriously)
I could go on, but the conventions of blogging and the interest of household peace preclude it.
I suspect that the Sue Everharts of the world think that within gay marriages, there's no one constantly pissed off at the array of undergarments that festoon every hook and rail in the bathroom. I imagine she thinks that gay couples never get angry about how the one leaves his bottle caps on the counter and the other has to spend all his time cleaning up. I'm sure she's convinced that no member of a gay marriage ever stands in front of the open refrigerator and bellows, "There's never anything to eat in this damn house," prompting the other to snap, "Well maybe if you'd go to the grocery store your f#$*%^& self once in a while..."
If it were so that two people of the same gender could be married and never have to deal with any of the real-life annoyances that keep husbands and wives continuously at one another's throats, well that would be totally unfair. And that's really what I think has got Everhart so piqued. No two people should enjoy the privileges of marriage unless those two people are sentenced to bicker and struggle every single day all the damn time.
So I asked some gay friends, "Do y'all fight all the time like the missus and I do?" and it turns out Sue Everhart has nothing to fear. Gay couples are just as difficultly married as their straight counterparts.
In gay marriage, just as in straight marriage, one's day is more or less filled with, "You're not wearing that, are you?" and "Am I the only one who can see the dust?" and "You did that on purpose!" and "Oh, I suppose you're perfect," and "Because we saw your parents last Christmas," and "It wouldn't hurt you to go out," and "It wouldn't kill you to stay in," and "I saw you looking at her," and "Why can't it ever be about me?" and so on, and so on, and so on, and he still doesn't make the bed correctly, no matter how many times he sees you do it.
Don't worry, Sue. Gay marriages are just as difficult as the rest.
Thus, if gay couples have it just as rough as my wife and I, I can't really see any reason left to deny them the right to do exactly what my wife and I did, which is to make a public commitment of our joint masochism and undying love for one another, to symbolize that commitment through a lasting legal bond, and to bind our fates to one another come what may, in the face of all adversaries and with the full blessing of our society and its conventions.
I'm still trying to figure out what the supposed 'benefits' might be, but I'm married and I'm proud. And Sue, honestly, nobody has an easy marriage.