Humor by Diane Farr
Just as Portugal's president ratified a law allowing gay marriage, making his country the seventh in Europe to do so, Argentina became the first Latin-American country to make same-sex unions legally binding this week. Canada, Iceland and South Africa also shine on this list, but in only five U.S. states and Washington, D.C., are we willing to let love conquer all.
I don't see how heterosexuals have the right to bar any unions. After all, the largest divorce settlement in recent history just occurred because Tiger is a cheetah and Elin's freedom and silence are worth the equivalent of a small country's gross domestic product.
If we really want to preserve the endangered traditional marriage, perhaps we shouldn't ban same-sex marriage, but consider putting Katharine Hepburn's thoughts about co-habitation into American law. The grande dame is said to have wondered whether men and women really suit each other. "Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then," she quipped.
That's the arrangement settled on by Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, who rather infamously have lived in separate houses next door to each other for almost their entire partnership (they say because of his snoring). Such an approach to coupledom might appeal to Realtors, but it's hardly a practical solution for the rest of us.
Truthfully, I don't understand the fear of gay marriage. Could it be that married heterosexuals who condemn same-gender unions believe that if everyone gets a chance to ride the marriage-go-round, this institution's legitimacy will somehow be diminished? Haven't they watched "The Bachelor"? The first time I saw this "reality" show, I truly believed it was a farce. Eight seasons later, the joke is on me because there is absolutely no underlying meaning -- other than America just loves segment producers picking a spouse for educated white people. (Of course viewers loathe any Third World family that attempts to pick an acceptable spouse for a child, but maybe that's because arranged marriages aren't on network television.)
Are conservatives afraid that two male or two female partners would take marriage lightly? More lightly than the five celebrities I can think of who married and divorced within the same year -- and the three I can recall who married and divorced within the same weekend in Vegas?
Given that among some heterosexuals, American marriages end in divorce more than 40 percent of the time, shouldn't we welcome gays and lesbians who are not only excited to embrace traditional marriage, but committed to making it work? At the very least, America's embarrassing divorce rate could decrease, making matrimony more revered. Frankly, at the very worst, same-sex couples couldn't possibly do a lousier job.
Or do right-wingers fear the straight population would be shocked and ashamed when the world sees how much fun marriage might be if it didn't include the obligatory opposite-gender-based warfare? Ah, those battles with my husband who never throws out socks, underwear or T-shirts. Or the tiffs about how he insists on beating the tube of toothpaste down to its most anorexic state before discarding it. Or the endless skirmishes over his habitual displays of pocket change or restaurant matches in unsightly piles in the mistaken belief he's contributing to the interior decoration.
Wait a minute, if both members of a married couple are the same sex, is there any chance that both would be able to see the dishwasher is right next to the sink and fill the appliance when required and actually run it? If so, I'd bet the energy they don't waste in dirty-dishes disputes could be put to more amorous use. I would really envy that.
I don't actually believe that Kate Hepburn meant that all men are messy and all women are June Cleaver and therefore should live apart. I mean, she almost certainly cut Spencer Tracy some slack whenever he forgot to put the toilet seat down or when she tripped over his boxers on the way to the kitchen -- or when he remained married.
But considering how painful and palpable infidelity is in marriage (and how common it is in the news thanks to Jesse James, Tiger Woods and the new tsunami of smut surrounding Mel Gibson), maybe we could begin by honoring requests from people who really want to revere the institution. What if the newcomers to the state of matrimony actually reminded us all why it should be held up to our highest regard?
I realize that many of you reading this might embrace a religious proscription on marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman. But if this modern, diverse world has taught us anything, it's that the typical Ozzie and Harriet kind of marriage isn't the only option -- or even, in too many cases, the best one.
Diane Farr is known for her roles in "Californication," "Numb3rs" and "Rescue Me," and as the author of The Girl Code: The Secret Language of Single Women.
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Humor & Funny Stories - Same Sex Marriage is on its Way | Diane Farr
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