Me: Can you please explain what DOMA is supposed to defend against?
DOMA Advocate: It defends traditional marriage.
Me: Defends it against what?
DOMA Advocate: It defends marriage from being defined into something different. It defends traditional marriage.
Me: Are you in a traditional marriage?
DOMA Advocate: Yes, I am. I’ve been married to the same wonderful woman for 30 years, and we have a wonderful family.
Me: Good for you. And how exactly will your “traditional” marriage, or anyone else’s for that matter, be harmed if people you don’t even know get married?
DOMA Advocate: Well, it affects all of society when you expand the definition of marriage like that.
Me: I didn’t ask about a general effect, I asked about harm – how is it going to HARM your marriage? If you’re trying to defend marriage, you should know something about the harm you’re trying to defend it against.
DOMA Advocate: The harm is that it waters down the definition of what marriage is, and sanctions the raising of children in same sex households.
Me: Children have been raised in same sex households for many years. How will the sanctioning of other people’s marriage harm YOUR marriage?
DOMA Advocate: Because it erodes the foundations of what has been considered to be a traditional family structure for thousands of years.
Me: Please don’t make me remind you what traditional Bronze and Iron Aged marriage was like – needless to say, it didn’t have much to do with one consensual man marrying one consensual woman. I also don’t feel the need to ask you exactly what you find so traditional about a 3:00 AM Elvis themed drive-through Vegas wedding between a middle-aged drunk and a 19 year old stripper he just met.
But you have yet to demonstrate what harm will be caused to YOUR marriage. Will YOUR marriage be harmed the day after same sex marriage is sanctioned?
DOMA Advocate: Yes, it will.
Me: In what way?
DOMA Advocate: I think I already said it.
Me: No, you haven’t. You only talked about the general definition of the word marriage, you never demonstrated how YOUR “traditional” marriage, or anyone else’s, will be harmed.
Let’s make it even easier. Why do we need to speculate about how “traditional” marriage might or might not be harmed in some future potentiality? As it happens, we have a number of states that actually HAVE legalized same sex marriage. Can you demonstrate to me that traditionally married people were harmed or infringed upon in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington? Are traditional marriages in those states worse off now than they wore before same sex marriage was legalized in them? Are traditional marriages in those states worse off than traditional marriages in any other state?
DOMA Advocate: Look, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. With all due respect to gay couples, and I mean that sincerely, the bond they have made – as sincere and loving as it might be – is NOT marriage, it’s something else. I’m not saying they’re not good enough – not at all – just different.
Me: We are not debating whether or not there is a difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality, all I am asking is for a simple answer as to what harm would be caused to your marriage if other people – people you’ve never met – got married. If you are going to stick your nose into other people’s business and tell them what they can or can’t do, you better be able to prove that your own business, or anyone else’s, is going to be harmed by theirs.
Now, since you have consistently failed to show how your marriage would be harmed by the marriage of other people – thereby abolishing the need for any defense – I strongly suggest you tend to your own marriage, and stop sticking your nose into other people’s business.
Look, I get it – you’re uncomfortable with other people’s lifestyles. Fine. You don’t like same sex marriage? Don’t marry someone of the same sex. I happen to be uncomfortable with your Christian fundamentalism – so what? You don’t see me trying to restrict your rights, do you?
You have every right to express your disagreement with someone else, but you better have some strong evidence before you decide to infringe upon other people’s rights. And until you get your hands on this evidence, and prove that other people’s marriage harms yours, I suggest you mind your own damn business.