Gay marriage is legal in California now, though predictably there’s a proposition on the ballot to make it illegal. The ballot language — “Revokes the right of gays to marry” — is under protest from the folks who want to do just that, because representing the proposition’s actual intent on the ballot is deceptive.
Whatever. I am voting no on the proposition. Even in a democracy, you don’t get to vote on who is allowed to have rights. On issues like this, on equal rights and so on, the judiciary has to trump what the people say. Any democracy where the rights of one group are up to majority vote is no democracy, just a parody. Democracy gone wild, really.
But there is one argument against gay marriage that has always fascinated me, just because of its sheer weirdness. These are the folks who say that allowing gays to marriage somehow cheapens their own straight marriages. It took me quite awhile to parse this argument. After all, my own marriage feels just as strong and sacred as it did before gay marriage was legal anywhere, so I never figured out what I was missing.
But now I think I have it. Marriage is like M&M’s.
See, just as marriage is about a relationship between a man and a woman, M&M chocolate candies are all about the little “M” on the outside of the candy. Now M&M’s allows you to customize your M&M’s if you want; when I went to my friend J’s 40th birthday party last year, his wife had ordered some of these custom M&M’s, with messages like “Over the Hill” and “J’s 40!”. With the little M, M&M candies used to be special; no other candy had just that combination of shape, flavor, and lettering. But now that you can have your own message on your M&M’s, the whole M&M experience is cheapened. It’s less notable now. The whole meaning of what M&M’s are has been tossed out the window. So by allowing gays to marry you essentially give people the right to have their own messages on their M&M’s, thereby cheapening the whole experience for everyone.
Ludicrous? Well, so is the original argument.
Anyway, the takeaway message here is that I’m voting No on Proposition 8, and so should you.