I find a certain poetic balance in the fact that a group of bigots are calling for the U.S. Senate to vote on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriage on Sixth Day of the Sixth Month of the Sixth Year of the New Millennia – in other words, “Doing the Bidding of the Beast” it seems.
I followed that link in this Slate article by William Saletan which is a good read regardless of your stance on gay marriage, provided, of course, that you’re not a unreasonable bigot. For those too lazy to follow the link, he discusses “Covenant Marriage” which is apparently much harder to dissolve than the normal piece of paper. The ad campaign should be “NEW & IMPROVED!! Ball & Chain: Now with more Chain! for those fundamentalists who really want to prove their devotion to another.” Never mind that it just takes a bit more time and/or ammunition to end the marriage anyway. (And by “ammunition” I mean either legal or the kind you buy at Wal-Mart with a gift card. Whatever you want; consequences sold separately.)
In their foundational statement on marriage, Catholic, Baptist, and evangelical leaders claim to be defending it against cohabitation, divorce, and “diminishing interest in and readiness for marrying.” They call for “mentor couples” and “influence within society” to promote marriage. Can you imagine a more powerful influence than finding out that the gay couple down the block has a stronger marriage than you do? Can you imagine a more powerful way for that couple to earn society’s respect? Here’s a chance to get more marriage, less cohabitation, and less divorce. Is that what conservatives want? Or would they rather keep out the gays?
Numbers are clearer windows to the soul than eyes. If you sign the petition to stop gay marriage but won’t solidify your own commitment (even in this only-nominally effective way) then you are proclaiming your bigotry, which isn’t very big of you at all.