The Iowa Supreme Court today legalized gay marriage. Or, put another way, because I’m a bit of a libertarian who thinks everything is legal unless expressly prohibited, the Iowa Supreme Court today acknowledged that there is nothing in the Iowa Constitution that prohibits two people of the same sex from getting married.
I read an account of the ruling in the Des Moines Register. It quotes one Craig Overton of Pleasant Hill as saying, “Animals don’t do that.” I presume that Mr. Overton is referring to same-sex copulation as something that animals don’t do. I hate to shake his faith in our lower-order friends, but if ol’ Craig would simply Google “homosexual behavior in animals,” like I did (the IT guys here at the Z compound love my Google cache), he’d come up with some two-million-plus results, the first one of which is an extensively documented Wikipedia article. I won’t bore you with the details, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that animals do indeed “do that.”
Then it occurred to me: Maybe I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion. Maybe Mr. Overton is saying not that animals don’t have homosexual relations, but that animals don’t get married at all. Maybe it’s marriage of any kind that he’s against. Now on that score, he may be on to something. Never in my life have I heard two penguins exchange marriage vows. Ever been to a caribou wedding reception? Me neither. I never see llamas registered at Club Wed.
Maybe none of us should get married, because “animals don’t do that.” If they don’t why should we be permitted? Let’s see, what else don’t animals do that we could prohibit? Driving? Done. Want to open a restaurant? Not until a Chilean Sea Bass does first. Pooping in the terlet? Go behind a bush, dillhole. That’s the way God intended.
On the sexual continuum, I’m pretty straight. What the hell do I care if two men or two women want to get married? Why do I care about that any more than if two heterosexuals get married? Does my buddy Craig think that if we allow gay marriage that straight people will all decide suddenly that they’re gay, too, and instead of marrying Stephanie, Gus will marry Steve?
You sometimes get the argument that this is a slippery slope, and allowing this will soon lead to allowing some jerk to marry a goat. I have two words for you: Free will. The goat has none, at least none to consent to marrying someone of a different species. You’re arguing against allowing two people who are capable of higher-order thinking from following their own free will. Of course there are strictures against people following their free will. But if you put two people of the same sex loving one another and getting married--and, indeed, even having hot steamy sex--in the same category as big-ticket free-will proscriptions like murder or robbery, then you might want to think again.
I just don’t see the downside to permitting two people, committed to each other of their own free will, from having their love and commitment acknowledged by the state. No one will compel your church to marry them. It’s a civil issue, not a religious one. This is one pointed reason we have separation of church and state in this country. You are free to disagree with this on moral grounds, but civilly, I think, you should be all for people being committed to each other, and having their commitment bound by law.
This issue, I’m certain, is far from settled in our fair state, so I’m sure you’ll hear more from me on this. Stick around. This could be a fun summer.