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Marry Me, Ron!
March 4, 2004
Daddy Against Dan
Name something more important than making a person? That's easy: loving a person.
Baby producin' straight couples are important, DAD, and there's nothing about allowing gay people to get married that takes anything away from a pair of married, heterosexual baby producers. (Not that babies are really that scarce a resource.) And no one is suggesting that ALL people enter into gay marriages, thus denying our "government" a fully populated country. Even if all the gay people on earth got married tomorrow, ya dope, there would still be plenty of heteros out there populating the hell out of the place.
But marriage, as currently practiced by heterosexuals, is not about making babies. A modern marriage is whatever two straight people want it to be. It can last a lifetime, it can last an afternoon. It can be sexually exclusive, it can be open. It can be sacred (church, family, priest), or it can be profane (Vegas, strangers, Elvis). The wife can "joyfully submit" to the husband, as Southern Baptist women are encouraged to do, or the husband and wife can be equals. (Or as in the case of my friends Zac and Megan, the husband can joyfully submit to the wife.) And they can make little smooshes of themselves, or they can be childless. What makes them married--in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the state--is their love and commitment to each other, not their commitment to growing the population.
It's only when gays and lesbians want to get married that having kids--or the ability to make them, since plenty of gays and lesbians have them--is trotted out as the sole purpose of marriage. Why should loving, committed gay couples be held to a different standard on marriage? Why does fertility only matter when it comes time to deny gay people the right to marry?
Gay marriage? Just because a whole fucking bunch of you ass rapers get together and say, "Hey, we should get married!" doesn't mean you should be able to get married. Maybe a bunch of us straight folks ought to get together and start lobbying for the "right" to sew all your assholes shut. How come humans are the only animals that engage in homosexual activity? Could it be a learned trait?
Humans aren't the only animals that engage in homosexual activity, MM, and that's a well-documented fact. (Check out Bruce Bagemihl's book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, which discusses the homosexual lifestyles of orangutans, whales, warthogs, fruit bats, chaffinches, and more than 200 other animals.) And maybe you missed the recent story in the New York Times about two gay male penguins at the Bronx Zoo who adopted and cared for a penguin chick. So it would seem that the big difference between penguins and humans isn't that we practice homosexuality and penguins don't, MM, but that straight penguins aren't threatened by the existence of gay penguins. There is no penguin equivalent of the Traditional Values Coalition, no penguin Gary Bauer or Lou Sheldon, no penguin president trying to prevent gay penguins from loving each other, and no straight penguins talking about sewing gay penguins' assholes shut.
As a straight girl who just recently got engaged, I just wanted to let you know that I'm planning to add donations to Freedom to Marry (www.freedomtomarry.org) to my gift registry.
Lots of straight couples wrote in to say that they would add donations to Freedom to Marry to their registry. One reader suggested that I found an organization to encourage all straight couples to do this. After all, if every time a straight couple got married a donation was made to an organization fighting to legalize gay marriage, my God, it would drive the fundies nuts! But I've got my hands full doing this column and running www.spreadingsantorum.com, so I can't take this on. But someone out there reading this should.
Confidential to Ron Sims: I can't count the number of times I've been at a gay rally, march, or fundraiser and listened to you give an impassioned speech about your commitment to gay and lesbian civil rights. Were you just scrounging for votes, Ron? Or checks? Or did you mean the things you said?
This is a historic moment for gays and lesbians. The president of the United States has declared war on gay and lesbian couples and our families. Elected officials all over the country, in towns and counties big and small, are defying bigoted laws and laying the groundwork for the legal challenges that may ultimately lead to the full civil equality of gays and lesbians. And where are you, Ron? Hiding behind your spokesperson's scripted response? Worrying about how it will play in Spokane?
If we can't count on you to do the right thing now, Ron--if you won't take a stand for gays and lesbians now--we can only conclude that you're a liar or a coward. Either you didn't mean all those fine things you said about your commitment to our civil rights, Ron, or you meant them but you're too afraid to do the right thing. So liar or coward, Ron: Which is it? I think all the gay and lesbian couples--and voters, and check writers--in King County have a right to know.
You're fond of quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in your speeches, Ron, so surely you're familiar with these quotes:
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"An individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust... in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing highest respect for the law."
"In the end, we will remember not the word of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
One day I would like to live in a country where my decade-long relationship is treated with the same respect--and afforded the same rights, protections, and responsibilities--as Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage. You have the power to bring that day closer, Ron. Give a marriage license to a gay or lesbian couple in King County, or to any gay and lesbian couple in King County that wants one, and challenge our state's anti-gay-marriage law, just as the mayor of San Francisco has done. Take a stand against bigotry and discrimination at this historic moment, Ron, or gays and lesbians will always remember you for your silence. Particularly this November.