Same Sex Marriages: “The only time I’d wait so long for sex is if she is 17 years and 11 months old.” Probably you remember the “legen-wait for it-dary” quote by the famous womanizer Barney Stinson, a favorite with the millions of fans of one of the most enjoyed comedy shows in recent years. The man who would advise you to suite-up, score chicks, and be awesome, the man who gets “a soul boner” after doing something good for a change, the charismatic naughty boy who cares more about his suits and ties than a one-night stand, the man with enormous mummy and daddy issues.
Well, at the time the first season of the show was aired, Neil Patrick Harris broke the hearts of millions of female fans by proudly announcing: “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”
In 2014 he got married to his partner Burdka in Italy and now they are happy to have their twins, born by a surrogate mother. It has been biologically confirmed, that each of them is the father of one of the twins. Sounds like a happy story, but it was not at the beginning when Neil told his mother. It was no walk in the park during the years he was struggling with accepting his sexuality. It all has a happy ending, right? But let’s not forget who he is, how much money he’s got and his status in the circles he works in.
Before Covid19, same-sex marriage was one of the issues on which people were divided the most. If you open YouTube and look for some information on the subject, the only videos that pop up are of those preaching strongly against it, mentioning the name of God quite too often. I’m willing to bet that even a person who is against homosexual relationships, never mind marriages, would find those videos far too shocking to listen to. There is so much hidden and open hatred in them – one wonders what would have happened if that was channeled into something positive.
The polarization on the topic is frightening! One does not know where to begin. In most countries homosexuality is still treated as a disease: “They are sick people, there is something wrong in their brain and they must be cured!” I have heard that so many times and felt sick to the core because we all know how that went in the previous centuries. And speaking of previous centuries, history is again my clear mirror.
The first gay marriages date way back to before 3-d centuries BC. The Book of Leviticus prohibited homosexual relations and marriages. They were known to have been approved of in the early Roman Empire, but later, in 342 AD, the Christian Roman Emperor Constantius II banned homosexual marriages and ordered the execution of those who were already in marital relationships. The stigma settled in and remained forever with gay people being treated as mad, prosecuted, and oppressed till way after the middle of the 20th century. The movements in defense of the basic human right to love and to live with whoever you love, to share your life with the person you feel connected to, started in the 70s and grew stronger till the 90s and even more so in the 21st century. Denmark was the first country to legalize homosexual marriages and 28 more countries slowly followed suit. In some countries, same-sex marriages are performed only in some states but are recognized in the whole country – Mexico for example.
If you look at the world map, you will be astounded at the large territories where the popular opinions are strongly against homosexual relationships, and by this, I mean where over 80% of the population is for a ban on “this kind of behavior”. That is predominantly Russia, all its former republics, the whole former Eastern Block, the Islamic countries, and a big part of Far-East Asia. The issue has long been a political one – the candidates for the presidency and government closely monitor the attitude of the population and ride it fiercely. If the population is against it, politicians go along and do not change the constitutional law to give these people basic human rights and turn a blind eye on them. If the religion is strong and the church is powerful, the outcome is the same. However, if the movements in support of gay people and human rights are strong, politicians ride that wave and use them in their campaigns. In democratic societies, the voice of the people is more likely to be heard and that is why same-sex marriages are entered into the constitution and legalized. In some countries, however, there is a ban on homosexual relationships only for the Muslim community.
The arguments against are so many, but “Mother Nature” is quoted most often. A child has to have a mum and a dad. All right then, that is true, but what about the abusive fathers, the abandoned children (132 million today)? What about the dysfunctional “normal” families? The defenders of „our family values and traditions” are not prevented from following those, are they? The number of children affected by mental problems down to those same values is rising to 20% of all under-eighteen kids in the world. So much for a healthy family environment. It’s not you, it’s not me, but someone is responsible for that number. So what values exactly are being defended here? At the same time, after years of scientific research, it has been proved that a child’s mental health does not depend on the gender of the parents. It is strongly dependent on the amount of love and recognition received at home. In other words, the defenders of the “normal and natural way” state that a homosexual cannot love their child enough?
Then, there comes the question: “How am I supposed to explain this to my children?” Jimmy Kimmel engaged in conducting short interviews with small kids in the street, with the parents’ consent of course. The kids’ answers are funny and totally eloquent.
“Gay marriage is when a boy marries another boy and a girl marries another girl, but for some kids, it’s difficult to understand. Not for me, though.”
“Anyone can get married to whoever they want if they are old enough. I will marry when I’m 30”
“Gay marriage is when two men marry. Women do not marry – they have lesbianism.”
“I have no idea what you are asking me. I will not get married because one of them wants to have the money of the other. I am not doing this.”
“People marry because they are pregnant.”
“If two people want to get married, they will get married. It makes no difference if they are boys or girls.”
“Anyone can marry who they love. This is called connection.”
And so on. The children are below 10 years of age and they understand quite well. They understand us pretty well, too.
I understand the pain of people who want to stand for the old ways, for what they were taught was good and bad, right and wrong. I understand the parents who taught them these same values. Those have been passed down from generation to generation and we hold on to what we know, afraid of what could happen, scared we might catch homosexuality like it’s a virus.
Yet, women are more likely to understand and show support. “Brokeback Mountain” – one, if not the greatest, love story of all time was viewed mostly by women. All men I have asked why they would not watch the movie with two exceptional performances by two great actors, have given me several reasons: they are not gay to watch a gay movie, they do not feel like watching the love between men, they find it disgusting or they would give me some vague explanation like: “I don’t watch movies about love.”
But you don’t have to be gay to watch a movie about the love between two men just as you don’t have to be a serial killer to watch “American Psycho”. “Brokeback Mountain” is a movie about forbidden love. Forbidden by dogmatism.
“Why do they have to marry? Can’t they just live together?” “Why do they have to have kids?”
Well, the legal side of a bond between two people has to be the same for everyone. If a husband is injured at work and taken to the ER, for example, his wife can go and see him as a family member. This does not apply to a gay partner, nor do any of the laws, covering the rights of a “normal” married couple.
About children… Well, what about them? For me, a true example of a father is Ricky Martin. He has three children from a surrogate mother, just like many couples who can’t have children of their own. He raised them alone, taking care of every last detail in their routine – eating, sleeping, bedtime stories, playing, changing nappies and he never leaves them for more than two days. He goes on tour with his kids, keeps them close. Now Ricky and his partner are enjoying their fourth child. These children look happy and loved.
Matt Bomer had his three boys from a surrogate mother. The fan-favorite got secretly married to his partner in 2011 when his children were already born, but he announced the news publicly three years later. In an interview, he said: “There’s a level of love that really dissolves a lot of egotism and self-absorption. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. But at a certain point in my life, my whole day would have been about this interview. Now it’s a small part of a day that also includes a drop-off at school in the morning and baseball practice and a lot of other things that take precedence.” During his acceptance of a Desert AIDS Project humanitarian award, he announced: “I’d really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry, thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment.”
It’s all about love, that unconditional love not all of us are given, which not all of us have found, but why can’t we be happy for those who have?
Naturally, before we do that, people, in general, have to comprehend the meaning of “unconditional love” and the “I will love you if…” and the “I can love you when…” In love, there are no ifs and buts and every single human being deserves that love and none of the strings-attached dynamics.
The issue is too large, too controversial and it’s not my place to persuade anyone into changing their beliefs. I am just sharing my observations as a straight woman with far too many bitter “normal” and conditioned relationships behind her.
What about honor and romance, you might ask.
What about them? We can well go back to seventeenth-century England:
“Honour and romance? What would you know of either? I live in a world of constant danger. I risk my life for love every day. You have no idea what’s it like to be in a room with someone you cannot live without and feel you are oceans apart. We cannot so much as smile at each other without ensuring no one else is watching. It takes courage… to live outside the traditional expectations of society. You all talk of doing the same, but perhaps that is all you do. Talk.”
I will let you guess who said that and let you talk. So, talk.
More on “The War on Same-Sex Marriage” in Diamonds Production Magazine MARCH 2021