Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: gay marriage

The Gay Marriage Conversation

Jason called me this morning from New York wanting to talk about Obama’s public embrace of gay marriage.

“Isn’t it great?” I asked.

“Well, sure. It it terrific. But…”

“Yeah, he should have spoke up earlier. But you know, politics as usual.”

“It’s not that. It’s just that after Hiroshi heard the speech, he turned to me and asked me to get married.  He said it was our defining moment.”

“Cool. Mazel tov.”

“Shut up. I don’t know if I’m ready to get married.”

“C’mon, Jason, you’ve been dating him for seven years now.”

“He’s really pressing me.   He’s says we have to do it for Obama. That Obama is the first gay President.  That we need to be a symbol for the gay movement.”

“So, do it!  You can hire me as your instagram wedding photographer!”

“But I’m afraid.   It’s like once you get married, everything falls apart.”

“That’s not true.”

“Look at you.”

“Don’t use my marriage as an excuse not to get married.”

“Damn it.   It’s just I always hear that when straight people get married, they stop having sex.”

“That’s a myth.   You just do it faster.  So you don’t miss the beginning of Celebrity Apprentice.”

“I love Hiroshi, but just ever since the gay marriage thing became a bit thing, all my straight friends are pissed at me.  At work, they go “So when are you getting married?” And I say, “I don’t know if we’re getting married.”  And they go, “Of course you’re getting married!” It’s like I owe them something.”

“Jason, a lot of people have been working hard so you can get legally married.”

“I understand that.”

“I don’t think you do.   Do you know how many Facebook updates I have written in support of gay marriage? How many times I clicked on “Like” when a meme was going around the Internet calling for equality?  I think you could at least show some gratitude and get married for us.”

“Get married for YOU?”

“Sometimes you need to think of others beyond yourself.”

“But marriage.  It’s so… uh, uh, straight.”

“What do you mean by that?!”

“Straight.  As in boring.  Vanilla.  Missionary position.”

“Don’t use the term “straight” like that. It’s derogatory. Just because you’re straight doesn’t mean you’re boring and vanilla.”

“C’mon, Neil.  You’re straight.   Have you ever ****** or *******?”

“Ugh!”

“Exactly.  If I get married, it’s going to take all the fun out of being gay. I’ll be shopping in Walmart like you did today, buying a twelve pack of toilet paper.”

“Marriage is a wonderful thing.  It is so special to commit to one person, and share that love for eternity.”

“Maybe I should tell Hiroshi that I want to move to North Carolina.  It is beautiful there.”

“I’m sorry to tell you, but within ten years, I’m sure gay marriage will be legal everywhere.  You will run out of states to escape to in fear.  Except maybe Texas.”

“Yeah?  What is Texas like in the summer?”

Not All Gays Like My Blog

There has been a big month for the rights of gays and lesbians.  The Iowa Supreme Court found that denying same-sex couples the opportunity to marry violated that state’s constitution.  The Vermont legislature overrode the governor’s veto of a law giving same-sex couples the right to marry.

Naturally, there is a backlash.    Have you see this nutty video against gay marriage on YouTube?

Of course, there is now a backlash to the backlash, and I have not been spared.

In the last few weeks, I have received quite a few emails and comments about a post I wrote in 2006 titled “Why Gay Marriage Should Be Banned” — which was probably a dumb title, but at the time, I was a clever, bratty, and naive young blogger.

Here is a recent comment to this two year old post:

This is perhaps the most blatant expression of typical American miseducation of the masses. Your comparison between gay marriage and marriage between a goat and a man is perhaps the worst argument standpoint I’ve ever seen on this topic. There is no comparison between the two.  Homosexuals are people too – animals aren’t. Marriage is a human act, not an animalian one – idiot.  You use humour to compensate for the lack of a proper argument.  You and your supporters are a joke.

Let me say this right here.  I am a supporter of gay marriage, even those gays with poor reading comprehension.   Or those with a dislike of goats.

Editor’s Note:  Now that I read it again… I think I can see how it is being misread.   Someone might actually make this crazy argument in real life, so it isn’t that outlandish!

Another Argument for Gay Marriage

Before the election, I read several moving blog posts explaining why Californians should vote No on Prop 8, which bans gay marriage in the state.

These posts usually showcased a friend or relative who had a same sex partner.  We are shown how this couple went through struggles to have children, and are now happily raising a child.  How could you not admire this couple?  Are they not loving parents?  Aren’t they raising their children with as much care and affection as any straight couple? This is a FAMILY!  Why shouldn’t they have the right to be married and express this special love?

Something bothered me about the tone of these posts.  They were buying into the same Biblical view of marriage as the opponents of gay marriage:  that marriage exists for procreation.  The main argument presented was that “Gays can Be as Good Parents as Straights.”  Not surprisingly, most of these posts were written by parents.

Yesterday, I saw quite a few links to Keith Olbermann’s take on the subject.  In the six minute special commentary, he makes a plea for “love and the spread of happiness.”  The issue is all “about the human heart.”

“The world is barren enough… with so much hate in the world, so much meaningless division… this is what your religion tells you to do?… this is what your heart tells you to do?… You are asked to stand now on a question of love.”

While I was touched by the power of the commentary, something bothered me about this argument as well.  If parents were pushing the Biblical/procreation angle of marriage, Keith Olbermann was using the lingo of the Renaissance courtly lovers, as if he were standing outside the balcony of the fair maiden, whispering words like “heart” and “love.”

Why does marriage need to be about heart and love?  Marriage has had different meanings throughout history.  For most history, it was more of a business arrangement.  It is not my role to decide why people get married.  Straight couples can get married for all sorts of reasons.  There are arranged marriages.  People marry for money.  Out of loneliness.  Out of fear.  For me, the best argument for gay marriage is that — gays should be able to do what straights do, even if it for a dowry.  Even if the marriage is a terrible mistake.

This weekend, I went out for sushi with two friends, who happen to be two guys in a relationship.  Being the only straight man of the group, I was the only one who couldn’t hold my liquor, and I got drunk on two glasses of sake. They invited me to sleep on their couch, which I did.  I wish I could tell you some exciting “gay-oriented” stories about the night, but nothing very unusual occurred, not even any dancing to “It’s Raining Men.”  As stereotypes, my friends are very poor gay characters.  Nothing like the guys on “Will and Grace.”  When I tried to tell them about seeing Stephen Sondheim’s new musical “Road Show” at the Public Theater, and how I am seeing a revival of “Pal Joey” next week at Studio 54, they just looked bored.

“How gay!” they muttered to themselves, laughing at me.

Even when I undressed, I was hoping that one of them would at least mention my new striped boxer briefs, but I didn’t even get any glances.  My friend seemed more interested in me showing him how to use Facebook.

Later that night, my two friends had a little “couple’s fight.”  From what I gather, one of them was supposed to have deposited a check in the bank, but he forgot, and the other accused him of being irresponsible.  It was an argument not dissimilar to hundreds that I have had with Sophia.

Would I recommend this gay couple to get married?  Probably not.  Although they love each other, and probably would make great parents, there are still some unresolved “issues” between the two.

But if they want to get married, go for it.  Why should the law stop them from doing the same crazy things that straight people do?

That’s my argument.

California, Here I Come!


(This is an amazing video! Can you believe that the first time ABBA sang on television it was to belt out “California Here I Come!” on some lame Swedish TV show!)

Finally, men, our chance is here!   Like the women in Aristophenes’ Lysistrata, it is time to band together as a gender and make changes to society.   Today, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples DO have a constitutional right to marry.  We now have the unique opportunity to put an end to the tyranny of women, with their living room “design” ideas, their need to watch “The Bachelor,” their pricey shoes and most importantly, their selfish refusal to give oral sex to us while we drive down the Santa Monica Freeway.

The answer is clear.  We must marry each other.  Man to Man.  Legally.  May I suggest that you board a flight to Los Angeles or San Francisco immediately?  We will be waiting for you. 

Don’t worry about those pesky rumors of high housing prices in California.  There are TONS of foreclosures on the market.  Because of the Iraq War, the economy is sinking fast.  And since men usually make more money than women, it is economically SMART for two men to marry each other.  Why settle for a mate who only makes 77 percent of what a man earns?   Think about it.  Until now, men have been a bunch of suckers, working our asses off at shitty jobs, holding up the fort for a bunch of female slackers who fool us by smelling nice, like modern day Mata Haris.

Think how simple life can be — man and man.  No more fighting over doing the dishes.  We just won’t do the dishes!  We’ll eat at Taco Bell every night.   All this eating out will also have a positive influence on the economy! 

The only hurdle, and it is a slight one — is that most men find each other rather repulsive when the clothes come off.   As someone who married into a Russian family, I offer a unique solution for this issue — vodka, especially the really cheap brand that tastes like unleaded gasoline.  Of course, since we will also be in two-male-income family units, most of us will also have enough expendable income to bring in the hookers.

Thank you, California!

Note:  It has come to my attention that this ruling mostly applies to same-sex GAY couples, and was not intended as an easy way for straight men to avoid dealing with the craziness of neurotic straight women.  My apologies.

Why Gay Marriage Should be Banned

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When times are tough, you sometimes take jobs you might not ordinarily sign on to. I don’t think of it as selling out. I think of it as making money. Here’s a Public Service Announcement I’m writing for a conservative think-tank:

Why Gay Marriage Should be Banned

VOICEOVER:

“Gay” activists want you to think that President Bush’s proposed Constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is a way to brand “lesbian and gay men as inferior individuals.” This is absolutely untrue. President Bush deeply respects individuals of all cultures and orientations.

President Bush, like most Americans, wants to keep the concept of marriage strong.

As the President recently said on his radio address:

“Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society.”

Most Americans agree that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

And for good reason.

If we open up the idea of marriage to “same sex” marriage, we open up a Pandora’s Box. The concept of marriage will become completely diluted. It’s a slippery slope.

If two men can marry, what’s to stop a man from marrying a goat?

Think about it — is a man+goat marriage really the best way to raise children?

Let’s listen in, as this so-called “family” goes on a traditional summer road trip to see the wonders of Mount Rushmore.

FADE IN:

INTERIOR. CAR – DAY

A family is travelling on the highway to Mount Rushmore. The “family” consists of a husband, his wife (a goat), and their teenage daughter. There is tension in the car.

Husband: “…I know where I’m going. I can read a map.”

Wife: “Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “I’m not asking for directions. I know where I’m going.”

Wife: “Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “Sara, you’re giving me a headache. Let me drive.”

Daughter: “Daddy, I’m Bleeeeh!… hungry!”

Husband: “You’ll have to wait, Veronica. We’ll stop for a burger soon.”

Wife: “Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “Sara, enough with the goat cheese. I don’t care if you’re a vegetarian.”

Wife: “Bleeeeh! Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “@#%$@!!!”

Daughter: “Stop fighting! Stop fighting!”

Wife: “Bleeeeh! Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “@#%$@!!!”

Daughter: “I hate you! I hate you Bleeeeh!….both of you! I wish I had regular parents!”

Wife: “Bleeeeh! Bleeeeh! Bleeeeeh!”

Husband: “A divorce?! Again with this divorce?

Wife: “Bleeeeh!”

Husband: “My mother was right. I should have never married you. Why didn’t I vote for that Constitutional amendment years ago defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman! My life could have been completely different! I could have been happy!”

Wife: “Bleeeeh!”

BACK TO VOICEOVER:

Is this the America you really want? Do we really want men marrying men and men marrying goats?

Support President Bush and the majority of Americans in calling for the ratification of this essential amendment to our Constitution.

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A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: American Woman

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