Monday, May 30, 2005
A Valentine for San Francisco
San Francisco is to be congratulated for affirming the right of gays to marry and doing so in defiance of all higher authority except their consciences.
Marriage is an ancient human relationship and will always remain the only familial connection that can be based entirely on choice. We do not get to choose our mother, father, sisters, brothers, cousins or children; in the sense that we know exactly who children are going to turn out to be after investing eighteen years in their raising. Children come with mountains of obligations beyond the diapers, and although they are certainly worth every moment of the time we invest it can even happen that they grow up and register in some Party that is antithetical to our own beliefs.
The featured simulation above symbolizes the freedom that will now be offered even to those who will probably reject this particular match for a variety of reasons. Matt Drudge will probably not be moving to San Francisco so he can offer David Brock marriage with a bouquet of yellow roses. David already spurned him. David would probably not be interested in a man who does not share his new political beliefs now any more than he was when he occupied a prominent position on the Right. Ann Coulter, while doubtless the best man of the three, will therefore miss out on the chance of standing up for the fantasy duo. But we can wonder who else might have been involved if such a wedding took place.
Weddings are always a wonderful human experience.
So while I hardly ever agree with anything that happens politically in San Francisco it was very nice today to open my paper and see that the city of the Golden Gate had allowed gays to put their head in the same noose provided for heterosexuals.
Now, having said that, and along with advising that the calligraphy on the wedding certificate be in Old English, I would like to add a cautionary note on the institution of Marriage as practiced by the government.
Before you pick you bride’s maids, groomsmen, and decide on what kind of wedding cake to serve at the reception think about that license you take out from the government. Read the contract the government issues. It is a Soviet kind of one size fits all document. This is in itself enough to sour you on the project. There are over 50 obligations intrinsic in the deal; the contract can be changed without notice and on the whim of the legislature, most of whom are attorneys. Would you sign a contract like that for a motor home? No way.
Think about that. Also, the judicial system is staffed by a cadre of former attorneys and judges who are immune from accountability. You can sue your contractor but not the judge. Which do you think can cost you more?
While getting government to recognize that you are married is necessary to securing benefits such as medical insurance, government marriage can cost you in ways you do not anticipate.
The better approach on the issue would actually be to let people determine who they name as their family members and write their own contracts, where necessary. A further objection, not often cited, to the current involvement of government in marriage is that some Americans view it as a sacred bond, affirmed by God, and therefore within the covenant of a religious institution; others as a civil contract, and therefore within the jurisdiction of the right of individuals for self determination. Many Suffragists married with a conscience contract in which their husband agreed to ignore the mandates of government.
The bottom line issue is that it is we ourselves who should be making these choices about our lives, not the government.
But tomorrow is Valentine’s Day – so congratulations to San Francisco and long live romance.
Posted by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster at 8:07 AM