Gay Marriage Looks like Latest Phony Threat

By Henry, Reg | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Gay Marriage Looks like Latest Phony Threat


Henry, Reg, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Last month, my wife and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary, but it's not clear to me what (if any) name this anniversary has.

Certainly, it's not golden or silver. Maybe it's something suitably romantic for our domestic situation, such as the linoleum anniversary or the kitchen appliances anniversary.

All I can say is that we are continuing to be happily married, despite the many challenges of married life. For example, she has observed that I am a poor driver and speak with my mouth full at the dinner table. This is nonsense, of course, and I would refute these charges if only my mouth weren't full.

But late last month, a new challenge to our marriage arose. A federal judge ruled that gay couples would be allowed to marry in Pennsylvania. Previously, marriage was defined by law in the traditional way as being between one man with his mouth full and one woman who points it out.

But U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, an appointee of President George W. Bush, found the law banning same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. To those of you who are new to the commonwealth or live somewhere where the 19th century and its social customs have already lifted, you cannot imagine how extraordinary this news was.

You could have knocked people over with a feather. In fact, people made a point of not walking near poultry farms in case a stray feather felled them in their tracks. Gay marriage in socially conservative Pennsylvania? Get-outta-here!

But it happened -- and I say thank goodness for the triumph of logic, which is something that doesn't happen nearly enough. It was plainly ridiculous that heterosexuals could get married and divorced multiple times, in ceremonies perhaps featuring Elvis impersonators, and the sanctity of marriage would be preserved, yet that wouldn't be the case if a gay couple attempted the same thing.

Immediately after the judge's ruling, however, long-married people like myself were put on alert. After all, we had been warned.

As advanced by various moralizers and self-righteous busybodies, one argument against gay marriage was that the very existence of marriage would be subverted if same-sex couples became eligible to wed. It was certainly frightening to think that my own marriage would be imperiled after my wife's years of effort to bring me to a state of perfection, a work obviously still in progress. …

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