Two light-hearted thoughts on gay marriage

I am of course very glad that New York has legalized gay marriage. I have two light-hearted ideas to share in relation to it:

  1. Discussing with The Girlfriend, we noted that the hospital visitation issue isn’t that big a deal for us as a straight unmarried couple — if we just claim to be married, they will probably go with it. It’s not as though married people have to carry around their marriage certificate at all times to prove they’re really married. Same-sex couples’ exclusion from legal marriage also removes their ability to bend the rules in this regard (and the rule limiting visitation to family is a stupid rule that deserves to be circumvented).
  2. Everyone is familiar with the “slippery slope” arguments offered by conservatives: if we legalize gay marriage, suddenly everyone will want to commit incest and bestiality, etc. What few seem to realize is that conservative legislators are in a unique position to test this proposition. After gay marriage has been legalized in a given state, they should introduce bills to legalize incest, bestiality, marrying your car, or whatever else. If the “slippery slope” theory is true, the gay-loving legislators should be raring to go for the next perversion. (This idea is inspired by Dan Savage’s challenge to conservatives to prove homosexuality is a choice by choosing to become gay.)

2 thoughts on “Two light-hearted thoughts on gay marriage

  1. When I do premarital counseling (I use the Prepare/Enrich program for couples), I require couples to have a discussion about the legal aspects of end-of-life decisions and the responsibilities each has to the other, another forgotten aspect of the debate. I don’t want to get into details about this here, but it has happened in my short career where this conversation saliently emerged when a partner in a wedding I officiated became terminally ill only a few weeks after the wedding.

  2. More on point, I’ve had it happen where I have visited a maternity ward as a pastor and while holding a baby or just standing in a certain way my hospital-issued clergy ID is obscured and a nurse has asked me to do something as the father of the child, or initiated medical questions, or in one case, an exam of the mother, assuming that the male present is obviously the father of the child. The last time this happened, perhaps 2 weeks ago, the mother actually had a good laugh about it, “Is it OK if my pastor steps outside while you check my stitches?” (What complicates this are the security bracelets that are used on babies now, that you just can’t take a baby out of the room if you’re holding the baby while something like this is happening.)

    Or another time I excused myself from the room in a maternity ward while the nurse was in the room, and a lactation consultant came by to give me, as the supposed father, some tips on healthy encouragement and even suggested a couple brands of breast pillows (My Breast Friend was her favorite) before I could get in the conversation that I was the pastor.

    So clearly, some heteronormative assumptions will change, for the better, it is hoped.

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