I heard a rumour once that during the Cold War, the CIA indirectly funded some pretty crazy art, and artists. Andy Warhol’s peers. They specifically wanted to tell the world that this is the land of the free – look what we can do here, at what you can do. You can do anything here. They wanted the world to know that America was different from the Soviet Union. That the people in America were free and prosperous.
My Sister In-Law, many years ago, said the media contributes to the infantilisation of society. I didn’t understand what she meant at the time, I was much younger. But it stuck with me and I see it now, we talk about complex, interconnected issues as if they are separate – we give them two or three minutes airtime each, and we wonder why all this horrid shit happens all at once, as if mysteriously connected in some way? Society is deadened. We are not stimulated.
If you care about violence against women and girls, legalise same-sex marriage. Unless you only care about violence against straight women.
If you care about violence against men and boys, legalise same-sex marriage.
If you care about standing up to ISIS, if you are worried about religious extremism gaining a foothold in your society, legalise same-sex marriage. This is something real that we can do.
If you want to create a culture of understanding, tolerance and compassion within and for your children, if you want them not to become bullies, legalise same-sex marriage.
And if you care about the sanctity of marriage, do as love instructs you: be generous and allow loving, committed people to marry. Because the exclusivity and sanctity of marriage lies not in the details or contrivance, but at its heart, and the heart of marriage is love; think how rare it is for a person to be eager and willing to commit to another for the remainder of their days. The lesson of marriage is loving generosity, not selfishness. That is what makes it exclusive. If you care about marriage, learn its lesson and be loving.
And if the heart of marriage is not love, then the sanctity of marriage is already lost and the only way to regain it is through love. Allow love. In the spirit of love, celebrate love. Love your fellow man, and permit him to marry. Permit her to marry. Do not deny it, do not forbid or persecute it.
The only thing that fairness threatens is privilege, and the way privilege relates to status. Some people feel as if they have a lot to lose. And fear breeds stubborn-mindedness. But the sanctity of marriage is not under threat, because its exclusivity is born of the nature of the union, of the freedom and will of the participants, not of the social contrivance that surrounds it. Love does not threaten marriage. It is a strange irony – this idea that more love and greater inclusiveness will somehow damage the institution of marriage, when in reality it strengthens it.
Too often it seems, the onus is on the oppressed and marginalized, to prove that they deserve to be treated fairly, to prove that they deserve equality. But it is not the job of the downtrodden to rise up – instead the burden of fairness and equality rests on us all. It is not the obligation of homosexual citizens to fix this injustice. Advanced strides in fairness and equality reflect well on everyone, they heal a scarred society, and they help to build a strong and vibrant culture for the future.