Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It’s ON Like DiscriminatiON!

Many years ago, a wise man once said that "a good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years." Of course, due to inflation, a good catch word can now obscure analysis for 100 years. There is perhaps no greater drain on the public dialogue than the unanimous acceptance of a good buzz word and all its implications. Words like diversity, living wage and empowerment are universally accepted as The Good and never challenged in the public sphere, despite their many obvious shortcomings.

For no other word is this more painstakingly true than discrimination. This one word carries with it so much burden and onus that we each flee from its accusatory finger like Britney Spears from an over-eager Social Worker. Governments, institutions and corporations go to tiring lengths to prove that they are untainted by the discrimination boogey man.

Yet, what does discrimination even mean? Legally, it is supposed to mean an unfair application of the law, but as it is used now, discrimination basically means "an idea I disagree with." Not getting enough money from work? That's discrimination. Can't afford a house in the neighborhood of your choice? That's discrimination. School officials admitting unqualified minority candidates over more qualified white ones? Well, apparently that is not discrimination.

Now, in the name of a word which has no meaning, we mean to obliterate a word that does. Unlike "discrimination" this word has had meaning through every age and every society of mankind. It has had meaning in every nation and every culture. This word, put simply, is marriage.

For the past decade, across this country, gay-rights organization have sought to use the power of the courts to obliterate the meaning of marriage in favor of an overly broad definition of discrimination. There is only one problem: marriage, as defined between a man and a woman, is not discriminatory. It is a law and a definition that applies equally to all persons. I am no more able to marry a gay man than a gay man is. Equally so, a gay man has just as much right to marry a woman as I do (and did). Traditional marriage between a man and a woman is no more discriminatory than handing out free donuts, even if what you really wanted was a pretzel. It is what it is, take it or leave it.

If we are to hold gay marriage up on the same pedestal as traditional marriage, than gay marriage must prove that it holds equal value. Alas, this is where the gay-rights movements has perpetually come up wanting. In working so hard to show there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, they have yet to show that there is anything right with it. Traditional marriage has been and will always be the building block of society and the facts bear this out clearly. Individuals who are married live longer, have more money, are less likely to commit crime and are more likely to live fulfilling lives. Similarly, the greatest indicator in the success of a child is whether or not his parents are married. No government program, no school, no religion can have as a great an impact on a child and, in turn, society as a mother and father.

Adulterous relationships certainly exist, yet as a society, we do not endorse them. Why? Because of the harm and damage that the relationships inflict on a family, specifically children. While gay marriages certainly do not harm children, conversely, they cannot show how they benefit them. For this reason they are no more deserving of state recognition than that of a man and his mistress. Still don't believe me? Answer this question: what value does gay marriage add to society that just being room-mates doesn't? Why, then, should they be given the same recognition and privilege reserved for the single most successful social program in history: traditional marriage?

This political season, most of us will not be able to participate in the most important election of this new millennia. Not because of some imaginary republican voter-suppression machine, but because most of us do not live in California. (What, I can't vote just because I don't live in California? That's discrimination.) On this November's ballot, California voters will be asked to support Proposition 8 which writes into the constitution that which we have always known: marriage is between a man and a woman. This simple proposition would overturn the California Supreme Court decision which trumped the will of the people and provided equal recognition to an unequal union.

Having been raised in the Bay Area, I have always said that California would be the greatest place to live on earth if it weren't for all the Californians. Now is your chance, California, to prove me wrong. Now is your chance to redeem yourself for all the past ills you have foisted upon the rest of the world, namely, Police Academy 1 through 8. On the other hand, Catwoman we will always hold against you.


Rachel said...

you know, i read that the mormon church was recruiting out of staters to spread propaganda :)

i'm obviously not going to argue politics and/or moral and social issues with you because that would be an exercise of futility in both directions, but you're an excellent writer and i greatly enjoy reading your blog even if i sometimes find your thoughts appalling :)

but i did have a couple thoughts i needed to share:
No one denies that affirmative action is discrimination. It is just reverse discrimination to make up for past discrimination. (double standard, sure)

Although technically a gay man can marry a woman, if he then applied for any sort of government benefit which only applies because of that marriage, the marriage would likely be found fraudulent and he would be in very very big trouble, so its not really the same...

And out of context, i would read "Individuals who are married live longer, have more money, are less likely to commit crime and are more likely to live fulfilling lives. Similarly, the greatest indicator in the success of a child is whether or not his parents are married" as an excellent argument in support of gay marriage...

The Average Joel said...

Yay! Dissenting opinions, huzzah! I love it and thanks for sharing.