Try to stop me!
The person specifically referenced the post and said they hoped I would keep writing. I hadn’t intended to say anything that indicated I was considering not posting, but I know that sometimes when I’m writing a post in a hurry that I phrase things weird. Even when I’m not in a rush, I make odd typos (the words I type are correctly spelled, but they are the wrong word, usually a related word, but wrong), which can also lead to misunderstanding.
So I re-read the post, and read it again, and couldn’t find anything weird.
Then I got a second email from a different person, with the same sentiment…
So, let me be perfectly clear: I’m not contemplating stopping this blog. I am not worried about how many people are reading it. I have written elsewhere about the fact that if I didn’t have a blog and an author site and twitter that I would write a lot of these things anyway. Because for years before I had computers or the internet I would type up my thoughts in a kind of essay/op-ed format on various topics.
It’s just the way my head works. I have to write things or say things in order to process what I’m thinking.
Especially when I get irritated about something. Such as the bigot currently serving as governor of Pennsylvania. Bad enough that last summer he had lawyers file a brief opposing marriage equality in the state supreme court that compared adult same sex couples wishing to be married to twelve-year-olds acting out play marriages. This week, when a journalist asked him if that had been appropriate to characterize adult same sex couples as 12-year-olds, he said, no, “incest would be a better comparison.”
And then he laughed.
He has since issued something that some people call an apology. But it’s that classic “if anyone was offended” line. Plus he claims that he was just listing other examples. “The law doesn’t allow siblings to marry,” he said. He’s trying to make it sound like a reasonable comparison.
But the emotional subtext of words matter. “Incest” conjures images of sexual conduct often involving some sort of coercion or abuse. The primary definition is “sexual intercourse” between close relatives. And yes, if you heard someone say that they intended to marry their own brother, one of the distasteful thoughts that springs to mind will be about sex. But when you hear the word “incest” the first thing that comes to most people’s mind is an abusive relationship in which an older relative is forcing a person over whom they have power into unwanted sexual conduct.
I understand that to a lot of people the very idea of people of the same gender having sex squicks them out just as much as the idea of an adult raping a child. But you can’t make legal policy based solely on your own queasy feelings.
Lots of people are equally disturbed by the notion of elderly people having sex. But you don’t see anyone out their lobbying to make marriage between elderly people illegal.
List any sexual activity, any activity or practice no matter how ordinary or boring it may seem, and you will find someone out there who is completely weirded out and disgusted by the thought of it. So if the fact that some people don’t like to think about what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms were a legitimate reason to legally ban people who do those things from getting married, no one on the planet could ever get married.
Seriously? If you find out that a good friend or a relative is getting married, do you quiz that person and their intended on their sexual proclivities before you decide to attend the wedding? Of course not.
Marriage is about love and commitment. It so happens that most humans have sexual as well as emotional needs, and most humans expect to satisfy their sexual needs with the person they have fallen in love with (and who has fallen in love with them). But marriage isn’t only about sex, despite what the bigots keep saying.
And gay relationships aren’t only about sex, any more than straight relationships are.
So the governor can keep laughing, but the only thing that’s laughable is the idea that he has a point.