I’m a relatively calm person. I clap at sports, I’m OK in queues, I see traffic as an opportunity to people watch and I understand that some pedestrians take pleasure in walking slowly. It’s not a concerted effort to stay in a happy place - I’m no Hulk. But sometimes the absurdity of modernity gets to me. Here we are, in a time when tiny robots are taking colour photos of Mars while same-sex marriage is still opposed. When I think about that, I get mad. And then I pretty much am The Hulk. The continued debate over the legalisation of gay marriage has got me mean, green and a bit nude.
I’m heaps gay. Have been since I realised my intense need to be best friends with Rachel Weisz, Abby from ER and Michelle Pfeiffer were not because we’d have great chats, but because I wanted to pash their faces off. As I’ve talked about before, I used to be relatively passive about gay rights, not wanting to rock any boats and cause a lezzy fuss. This is mostly because in my sheltered existence, the only homophobia I experienced was the public assumption that being a lesbian meant that you fancied all women, for the happiness of men. For the record, being a lesbian is not something you have in common with someone else, and therefore not a powerful basis for a blind date, or for that matter, a three-way.
Now, with the prowess of social media and its ability to politicise and promote causes, it would be socially irresponsible to ignore advocacy. Activism has never been simpler, so rainbow coloured boats are rocking left, right and centre. The NZ Herald today reported the good news that with 64 MPs backing the bill to legalise gay marriage ahead of the first reading, it will progress to a select committee. Excellent. But, and there always seems to be a but, it was also mentioned that a growing number of MPs have been declaring that they’ll be voting against, while Family First delivered a 48,000 strong petition in opposition to the bill, a fact that makes me very Hulk right now. That’s right, a big green lesbian Hulk. Put that in your image bank, Family First. Now I’m going to make out with all of your wives.
It’s the same, tired, argument: preserving the sanctity of marriage as a heterosexual institution. In all my Hulkiness, stupid is the best word I can come up with, and I think it works. It’s so stupid I can hardly believe that in 2012, I’m having to put fingers to keyboard and actually explain how very, very stupid it is. As one excellent campaign puts it What. The. Fuck. To generalise wildly – the ‘church’ could really use a win as popularity wavers. Let the same-sex couples kiss under your roof and you might get a few more visitors, guys.
What’s even more frustrating is this purported image of marriage as some sort of high-powered love-institution of harmony and male/female unity that can’t possibly be accessed by homosexuals. It’s certainly not how holy matrimony started out. Marrying for love only began in the 18th century, before then it was strictly business, passion was for affairs only – in 12th century high society, having a bit on the side was actually considered a higher form of love than saying your vows.
All this mourning of the loss of ‘traditional marriage values’ is just daft. Marriage updates to what society needs it to be, the change in the 18th century was because there was a desire to express loves so big they came with a contract. Now, it needs to open up to the opportunity of gay marriage, because until it does, there’s a huge amount of love in the world that’s being ignored. And that’s just not cool.