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Let us live and let live

By Staff | Oct 25, 2013

On Oct. 1,2013, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry, and the child of one of the couples.

Good for them. I hope they succeed. Why shouldn’t two people who love each other have their relationship recognized by the state?

“Well, marriage is for raising children.” Yet heterosexual couples who aren’t planning to have or who are unable to have children aren’t prohibited from getting married. And like it or not, same sex parents are adopting children all the time. I have a friend who married his partner in Washington, D.C. They’ve since adopted twins. You should see the pictures. Adorable. Surrounded by loving friends and grandparents. And two happy and very loving parents.

“My faith tells me same sex marriage is wrong.” A few years back, one of my oldest friends, an architect, married his partner of 18 years. The ceremony was held in Massachusetts in a church on Tufts University campus where his betrothed teaches. The congregation wasn’t forced to open its doors to a same sex couple. It wanted to. And if your religious group doesn’t want to marry Jack and Joe, or Jill and Mary, then don’t. But the legal part of marriage must be available to everyone.

“But same sex marriage will harm the institution of marriage.” I haven’t noticed that any of my friends who are married to opposite sex partners have experienced any marital discord because Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. recognize gay marriage. And it certainly hasn’t weakened or in any way harmed my relationship with my wife. We’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary at Berkeley Springs over Columbus Day weekend.

Some people are afraid that if same sex couples can get married, what’s to prevent men from marrying a cow, or a goat or a sheep? Or women setting up barn with a donkey, or talking a Clydesdale into leaving Budweiser? I understand why this would be a concern. If men were free to engage in bovine love, think what a shortage of cows would do to the price of meat!

Just one problem with this supposition. It isn’t happening. In states that sanction same sex marriage, there’s been no stampede of human beings leaving their spouses, or girlfriends or boyfriends for barnyard animals. I’ve never had a female friend, even when drunk, tell me that she pines for Mr. ED and would leave her husband and kids in a heart beet if only it wasn’t illegal to do so. No sodden buddy crying over Amalthea because she doesn’t exist and even if she did, it would be to the jail house for him if he couldn’t keep his lust under control.

The bottom line is: a human can’t marry an animal because an animal can’t give informed consent. And even if one could, I doubt that Lambda Legal or even the ACLU would oppose a law that prohibited inter-species marriage.

So live and let live. Life is too short to create problems where none should exist.

Austin Porter