Feeling so gay in a melancholy way
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told the U.S. Supreme Court in a brief last week that it shouldn’t impose, nationwide, “a federally mandated redefinition of the ancient institution of marriage.”
It ain’t necessarily so.
Either knowingly or mistakenly, conservatives often show ignorance of history of the United States and the world. Is marriage an ancient institution? Depends on whether one defines marriage as a legal arrangement or simply as agreements between or among partners. It hasn’t always been a formal, or legal, bond. But loosely speaking, marriage is indeed ancient. What the senators referred to was the definition as a bond between one man and one woman. And that has not always been the case.
In Old Testament Bible times, for example, concubines were the norm – more than one woman cohabiting with one man. But the brouhaha making the news lately is whether partners in same-sex unions should be granted permission to legally marry.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about that: “While it is a relatively new practice that same-sex couples are being granted the same form of legal marital recognition as commonly used by mixed-sex couples, there is some history of recorded same-sex unions around the world. Various types of same-sex unions have existed, ranging from informal, unsanctioned relationships to highly ritualized unions. A same-sex union was known in Ancient Greece and Rome, ancient Mesopotamia, in some regions of China … and at certain times in ancient European history.” In Mesopotamia, the “Almanac of Incantations contained prayers favoring on an equal basis the love of a man for a woman and of a man for a man.” During the Ming dynasty in China’s Fujian province, “females would bind themselves in contracts to younger females in elaborate ceremonies. Males also entered similar arrangements.” Records of ancient European history also show this practice.
But in 342 AD, two Christian emperors issued a law requiring execution of persons in same-sex marriages. Even that close to the time of Christ, politicians gave weird interpretations to his preachings, such as treating everyone fairly. He never made any distinction among heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals or transgender persons. He exhorted his followers to love everyone. Good thing to remember on this Easter Day. His main concern was how people treated each other, and relegated “sins of the flesh,” whatever they were, to secondary status.
Different strokes for different folks
With respect to sexual liaisons, morals have meant different things to different societies throughout history. Modern scientific evidence shows that sexual preference for the same sex is organic rather than a simple matter of free will. The combination of that evidence and the historical background is of great value in removing the stigma from gay and lesbian persons and argues for their acceptance into the mainstream community on an equal moral basis with heterosexuals.
Of ostriches and conservatives
Sen. Ted Cruz
However, if your head is stuck in the sand, the preferred refuge of ostriches and most staunch conservatives for their craniums, no amount of precedent or reason will inspire you to reassess your position, because you regard expedient change as a threat to be shunned with everything in your being. Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz are in that category. They and the others of their ilk are the creaky wheels that make progress a painfully slow process. They cite some passage in the Bible that purportedly condemns homosexuality, conveniently ignoring the many passages containing strictures that no civilized persons, not even right-wing conservatives, adhere to anymore.
These obstructionists must be countered by those whose brains are exposed to oxygen.
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