Most people believe the current gay marriage debate is about whether gay people can legally marry. In actuality, nowhere in the US does sexual orientation have any bearing on marriage legality. A gay man and a lesbian could waltz up to any justice of the peace in this country, in any state, wearing matching rainbow leggings, carrying pride flags instead of flowers, and tie the knot, no questions asked. Constitution upheld, fabric of society unscathed.
The truth is, Proposition 8, DOMA, state marriage amendments, Chris Christie’s veto in NJ, the Pope, the protests, and the two major Supreme Court opinions received today aren’t about gay or marriage at all. They’re about gender. The act struck down by SCOTUS today might more appropriately be called DOGA – the “Defense of Gender Act.”
If the introduction of “gayness” into marriage was really what folks in California, and elsewhere, wanted to prevent, then why do we allow the many mixed-orientation marriages that occur all over the US, many of them involving children? If “gay marriage” isn’t about gay people getting married, then what is the “profound redefinition of a bedrock social institution” Mr. Cooper, legal counsel defending Proposition 8 (the California same-sex marriage ban) was debating with the supreme court justices? Mr. Cooper’s argument wasn’t about gay people at all. He repeatedly referred to “redefining marriage as a genderless institution.” Mr. Cooper was arguing a case for upholding the gender binary.