Friday, 9 March 2012

#39 Gay Marriage: The End of Civilisation

So there’s been a lot of argument kicked up this week on the subject of gay marriage, mainly following an interview and piece in the Telegraph by Catholical cardinal Keith O’Brian, no relation to Richard O’Brien. Keith has upset a lot of people, by comparing the introduction of gay marriage to a return to the slave trade, and by failing to reach a Key Stage 3 level of reading comprehension by being unable to tell the difference between “Men and women have the right to marry” and “Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman”.

O’Brian and his ilk are being left pretty much out in the cold on this one in the UK. First David Cameron, leader of the party that brought Section 28 in all those years ago, is backing gay marriage. Secondly, a survey by a leading market research company has shown 61% of Christians now support gay marriage, results which Richard Dawkins has chosen to interpret as meaning all those people aren’t really Christians, because that’s helpful. Thanks Dick.

Now I’ve been openly bisexual for coming up to half my life, and always hoped that when I met the person I wanted to marry their gender wouldn’t be a legal factor. A few years ago I was extremely proud to be a best man at a civil partnership blessing in a Quaker church, an event which everyone called a Wedding, and ever since we have all referred to that couple as married.

I’m telling you this because I want you to know where I’m coming from when I say that the current opposition to gay marriage isn’t homophobic, and sadly, it’s right. Because recognising gay marriage in this country or elsewhere will bring about the end of civilisation as we know it.

Let’s begin by addressing my first point, surely O’Brian, former Arch Bishop of Canterbury George Carey and, on the other side of the pond, Rick Santorum, hate gays, that’s why they want to stop us from marrying, right? But let’s look at the language they’re using.
They aren’t calling us fags, or talking about how we’re going to burn in hell, or pointing out how when they see two men kiss it makes them feel funny in their tummy and it’s totally gross. Not once have any of them mentioned how much we love to eat the poo poo. If they were using arguments like that, we could all immediately tell they were being homophobic, and then it would be safe to ignore them.

But let’s look at what they’re actually saying. The Coalition for Marriage says “There’s no need to redefine marriage”. Keith O’Brian says “...this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists” and worries that “the teacher who wants to tell pupils that marriage can only mean – and has only ever meant – the union of a man and a woman” will be called a “heretic” (and when a senior member of the Catholic church starts worrying about people being labelled as heretics, something serious is going down). This piece by the Christian Institute claims a survey showed 70% of people are against redefining marriage. Rick Santorum, who knows a thing or two about redefinition, has said “The Judiciary cannot create life, and it did not create marriage, and it has no right to redefine either one.”

At this point things should be becoming clear to you. This isn’t about adherence to an extremely literal interpretation of a flawed translation of an ancient religious text. This isn’t even about the fact that some people have sex with their bums, and that’s icky. I’m revealing here, now, that the campaign against gay marriage is a front for an ancient brotherhood. Let me make it absolutely clear. When I first started to suspect, I drew an ancient tome from my bookshelf. There I found the words:

marriage n. 1. Condition of man and woman legally united for purpose of living together and usu. procreating lawful offspring; act or ceremony or procedure establishing this condition;”

That tome was the 1964 edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Do you see now? The real masterminds behind the anti-gay marriage lobby?

The Lexicographers

Language is expanding at an incredible rate, and these brave men and women are barely keeping up with the neologisms, and we want them to go back and redo the words they’ve already finished? And bear in mind, this isn’t the first time that lovers of man-on-man or woman-on-woman action have done this to the Lexicographers.

Once upon a time, as confused old people never hesitate to remind us, “gay” just meant “happy”. “Batty boy” just meant “Boy who looks kind of like a bat” and Sodom was just a town’s name!
"We're gonna need to rewrite a shit load of dictionaries after this..."
Is it really that much of a surprise that that Lexicographers are striking back? And if we force them to redefine this last word, say to something long-winded and politically correct like “a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship”, they will snap, and strike back at us where it hurts, our language.

This is how our civilisation will end. We’re looking at a nuclear winter of redefinitions. Soon, egregious will mean abstract. Triangular will mean purple. Pineapple will mean Tuesday. The Lexicographers will rip the guts out of our language, so that words lose all meaning and it becomes impossible to have a sensible, rational discourse on any subject.

You need only look at the opposition to gay marriage to see it’s already started to happen.

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