Friday, April 24, 2009

Whatever happened to, "shut up and sing?"

Above: The 2012 Republican convention (nomination speech).

Carrie Prejean is being hailed by Republicans everywhere for defending "traditional marriage" at the Miss USA pageant, and essentially losing as a result. I put "traditional marriage" in quotes, because it's a terrible, terrible term, and I want you to understand that I'm using it only for the loaded buzzword that it is.

I don't understand why gays can't get married. Legally, the government's role in marriage is to recognize the civil contract between two consenting adults. Why can't those consenting adults be of the same sex? Would that bar heterosexuals from marrying? No. Is it a moral issue? That's up to the couple and their church to decide. Until I hear a compelling argument against gay marriage that isn't explicitly religious in nature, I see no reason for "traditional marriage" to be the rule in the United States.

Prejean is winning much praise in conservative circles for her bold stand in such a public arena. This proves two things: 1) the right has an admirably flexible stance when it comes to political posturing in a neutral public arena; and 2) "traditional marriage" is apparently a daring viewpoint these days. Considering how states are falling like righteous dominoes for gay marriage, perhaps that second point is actually true.

What's gotten lost in the whole discussion is just how stupid her answer actually was:

What she said: "I think it is great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? In my country and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anyone out there, but that is how I was raised..."

Putting particulars aside for a second, this statement is contradictory. First she says it's great to have choices in marriage, but then in her country (HER country?) we shouldn't have them? Kind of the way right-wingers say veterans fought for your right to free speech, so shut up?

And isn't "That is how I was raised" used to justify every form of abuse from spanking on up?

Prejean later said she was being "biblically correct," as opposed to "politically correct." Well, I won't argue that (I easily could, but it's a beautiful day out). But what she is essentially saying is that moral convictions are, or should be, above Americans' legal rights to make choices. Which, once again, reinforces my view that there is no legal, secular argument against gay marriage.

Regardless, I'm not going to ridicule Miss California for speaking out or for defending her stance. That's her right. And, after all, it was gay gossip-blogger Perez Hilton who asked the question in the first place.

Hilton's gotten a lot of static for the exchange. I thought the question was fair and civil; but his Twitters calling her "a dumb bitch" and worse afterwards just made him look petulant. There's also the question of why he was a judge, and whether such a ratings-feeding confrontation wasn't in pageant organizers' minds in the first place. It's unfortunate that Hilton is reacting that way, because he's correct on the issue.

An incident like this only helps conservatives, because it pits the all-American beauty queen against the loudmouth, obnoxious gay guy. It allows her to look earnest and sincere while he comes off as confrontational and childish.

Then again, there are much more important things going on. And it's not like Prejean's a front-runner for the 2012 GOP nomination...just third or fourth at best.

At the end, I think we can all agree now that California is equal-opportunity crazy.


rhonda said...

since we're romanticizing the past with all that "how i was raised" bologna, she should just zip it and get in the kitchen.

GumboFilé said...

I don't understand why gays want to be married. I would think it would be too bourgeois and miserable for them. It certainly doesn't allow them to do anything they can't already do.

Ian McGibboney said...

I don't understand why anyone wants to get married, but that doesn't mean I don't think any two consenting adults should be allowed to do it if they so choose.

Marriage does offer definitive abilities regarding medical visitations, property transfer, benefit sharing, etc., which most gay couples in the U.S. do not enjoy. So there's that, at least.

Anonymous said...

Of course the reason homosexuals want to be married is to legitimize their relationships. Most gays recognize that their relationships are viewed suspectly by heterosexuals- the government's "seal of approval" would be legitimizing. unfortunately, in countries where this has been tried it has failed because of the nature of most homosexual relationships. In one study the average legally married homosexual had 9 extramarital partners per year. certainly not the rock solid kind of foundation that families should be built upon. once the government removes the "one man and one woman' definition of marriage anything is possible. adults and juveniles; guy and his dog; threesomes; all the while clogging the courts with senseless divorce suits from the multiple crazies that enter into alternative marriages. Why not just offer a secular civil union and be done with it?

BTW this generation is the first to have more couples cohabitating than in marriages.

Ian McGibboney said...

What part of "two consenting adults" opens up a slippery slope to anything involving animals, the underaged or polygamy? It seems to me that none of the above allowed is even a possibility. But if you're going to argue that course of logic, then maybe the problem is heterosexual marraige in the first place. After all, isn't that a just a gateway for gay marriage? Let's ban that too!

Everything you've said about homosexual relationships is, frankly, crap. Not only is it stereotypical and unsubstantiated, but even if it were true, the same is rampant in "traditional" marriages as well.

Finally, the state's role isn't to determine what a marriage is for. You aren't required to raise a family, or otherwise serve as a role model for some parochial family standard. Why can't two consenting adults just love each other?