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Get Over It, Conservatives: Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Legal in All 50 States

Some day, people will look back with amazement and disdain that same-sex couples were denied a fundamental right for so long in America.

Do a Google search for the term "same-sex marriage". I'll wait. Odds are that you got over 33 million results. Seems like everyone has something to say on the subject, good, bad, or ignorant.

Which is one reason I've never devoted an entire article to the subject ‘til now. After all, what could I say that is new? Still, there comes a time when the elephant in the room is tearing up all the furniture and peeing on everything and you just have to say, "Hey, look. There's a big elephant making a mess, here!"

Vermont, Iowa, New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut -- most likely, you don't need me to tell you what's going on in those states (and the district of D.C.). And if you're a savvy, literate person, you've already seen Frank Rich's wonderful New York Times piece deconstructing the ridiculous "Gathering Storm" commercial from the National Organization for Marriage, a group whose sole purpose it to stop loving couples from getting married, as opposed to helping those in troubled marriages fix their problems.

Instead, let me direct your attention to another well written op-ed piece, "Constitutional amendment on gay marriage is a waste of time" (11 March 2009), this one by an excellent writer named Michael Abernethy. No, not me. This Michael Abernethy is a writer with The Times News , Burlington, North Carolina's leading, and -- one assumes -- only, newspaper.

Abernethy excels at deconstructing some of the arguments against allowing gay marriage with wit and intelligence. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit that Michael and I are e-mail acquaintances and he is probably a distant cousin of some sort, as I have a considerable number of kinfolk in that area of the country.)

In response to the idea that allowing gay marriage will destroy the traditional marriage, he notes, "America's idea of the sanctity of marriage ended sometime between Elizabeth Taylor's fourth or fifth husband and Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage to a school friend." And he seems almost gleeful when it is suggested by an anti-gay crusader that after allowing gay marriage, marriage with "pets or robots" could be next: "I'll be first to sign the papers and finally consummate my love for ‘Agnes' -- my red, hollow-body, Washburn electric guitar -- to whom I've been devoted for 10 years."

What I like about Abernethy, aside from the great name, is his ability to cut through carefully constructed claims that are basically bullshit and fear-mongering and get to the absurdity of the primary arguments. And you should read some of his music reviews -- he's not shy about telling you a piece of crap music when he hears it, either. But I digress.

The same qualities I like in Michael's article are what I like about the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage, only take out the wit and add a lengthy discussion of the Iowa state constitution, with emphasis on the striking similarities to the U.S. Constitution (message to the U.S. Supreme Court received, thank you). The ruling cut down a well-financed, finely tuned anti-gay argument with logic, based in adherence to the principles of the Constitution. For instance, in response to arguments that the people of Iowa were opposed to gay marriage, the court replied, "A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion." (p. 13, VARNUM, HYDE, BARBOUROSKE, BARBOUROSKE, MORGAN, SWAGGERTY, TWOMBLEY, HOCH, MUSSER, DREAMING, OLSON, and EVANS v. TIMOTHY J. BRIEN, In His Official Capacities as the Polk County Recorder and Polk County Registrar.) They got it: that marriage is a legal right, not a religious practice. That doesn't preclude people from making the marriage ceremony a religious service, in any of a number of ceremony choices, but at its heart, marriage is all about the law.

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