Same-sex Marriage: No Gay Required

Fred C. Kopp
It's so much easier to say "gay marriage" than it is to say "same-sex marriage," "gender-neutral marriage" or any other tortured expression the media might invent.  Indeed, "gay marriage" does roll more trippingly off the tongue, but it's really not "gay marriage" at all.  When applying for a marriage license, there is no box to check, no oath to take, no questions about a person's sexual proclivity.  Ironically, the very heart of the "gay marriage" movement -- homosexuality -- gets nary a mention on the marriage application.

I know, I know.  It's love, not homosexuality, that is at the heart of the gay marriage movement.  But, hey, I'm not the one calling it "gay" marriage.  Sexuality, after all, is the centerpiece of the entire gay movement.  In fact, sexuality is the singular reason for the gay movement.  If all the gay boys suddenly started liking girls and all the gay girls suddenly started liking boys, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.  So leaving sex out of gay marriage is like leaving the meat out of meatloaf -- tasty, but not very filling.

In fact, "gay marriage" is a misnomer.  Gay men and women have been getting married for centuries -- to women and men, respectively.  To women and men, that is, who may themselves be lesbians and gay men.  Kind of a forerunner to "don't ask, don't tell."  No one is denied marriage because of sexuality (or lack of it).  People get married for all sorts of other reasons:  love, money, power, revenge.

The only stipulation until now has been that the applicants must be one male and one female.  I don't know how they verify that and I don't want to know.  State-by-state, we are now in the process of removing that requirement.  Unshackled and free at last, two men or two women are now permitted to tie the knot, but not too tight, please.

That's two men or two women.  Not two gay men.  Not two lesbians.  Two men or two women, period.  This is why "gay marriage" tells only part of the story and "same-sex marriage" picks up the slack.  In several states it's now legal for any two people to get married, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual preference.

I'm not saying that two straight women or two straight guys are going to rush right out and get married just because they can.  I'm sure that would be extremely rare (at first), but the point is that they can, and to leave this little tidbit out of the marriage discussion is disingenuous.  Marriage has traditionally been the perfect solution for difficult family inheritance and money matters, not to mention a convenient path to citizenship for foreigners who want to go through the express lane.  Now that the gender requirement is going away, the use of marriage as a weapon will be open to everyone, no gay required.

In a society constantly searching for loopholes and unintended consequences, it's curious how this little sidecar has mysteriously escaped our scrutiny.  As silly as it seems now, this glitch will undoubtedly have future legal implications, possibly scrubbing sex out of marriage once and for all.

It's so much easier to say "gay marriage" than it is to say "same-sex marriage," "gender-neutral marriage" or any other tortured expression the media might invent.  Indeed, "gay marriage" does roll more trippingly off the tongue, but it's really not "gay marriage" at all.  When applying for a marriage license, there is no box to check, no oath to take, no questions about a person's sexual proclivity.  Ironically, the very heart of the "gay marriage" movement -- homosexuality -- gets nary a mention on the marriage application.

I know, I know.  It's love, not homosexuality, that is at the heart of the gay marriage movement.  But, hey, I'm not the one calling it "gay" marriage.  Sexuality, after all, is the centerpiece of the entire gay movement.  In fact, sexuality is the singular reason for the gay movement.  If all the gay boys suddenly started liking girls and all the gay girls suddenly started liking boys, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.  So leaving sex out of gay marriage is like leaving the meat out of meatloaf -- tasty, but not very filling.

In fact, "gay marriage" is a misnomer.  Gay men and women have been getting married for centuries -- to women and men, respectively.  To women and men, that is, who may themselves be lesbians and gay men.  Kind of a forerunner to "don't ask, don't tell."  No one is denied marriage because of sexuality (or lack of it).  People get married for all sorts of other reasons:  love, money, power, revenge.

The only stipulation until now has been that the applicants must be one male and one female.  I don't know how they verify that and I don't want to know.  State-by-state, we are now in the process of removing that requirement.  Unshackled and free at last, two men or two women are now permitted to tie the knot, but not too tight, please.

That's two men or two women.  Not two gay men.  Not two lesbians.  Two men or two women, period.  This is why "gay marriage" tells only part of the story and "same-sex marriage" picks up the slack.  In several states it's now legal for any two people to get married, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual preference.

I'm not saying that two straight women or two straight guys are going to rush right out and get married just because they can.  I'm sure that would be extremely rare (at first), but the point is that they can, and to leave this little tidbit out of the marriage discussion is disingenuous.  Marriage has traditionally been the perfect solution for difficult family inheritance and money matters, not to mention a convenient path to citizenship for foreigners who want to go through the express lane.  Now that the gender requirement is going away, the use of marriage as a weapon will be open to everyone, no gay required.

In a society constantly searching for loopholes and unintended consequences, it's curious how this little sidecar has mysteriously escaped our scrutiny.  As silly as it seems now, this glitch will undoubtedly have future legal implications, possibly scrubbing sex out of marriage once and for all.