11:59pm Friday 11 May 2012 Nunhead Height
I am not against gay people doing what they want to do. Freedom, and all that, is good. I am a libertarian, often, as I am for freedom and usually freedom is the cheapest option, and libertarianism annoys people on the Left and on the Right and I am nothing if not annoying.
But gay marriage is like anything free: It has a cost. Like “free” lunches, free healthcare, free education, free sex and even Free Nelson Mandela – someone has to pay for it. Even my show at the Source Below every Tuesday and Wednesday “Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous” is not “free”. I stand by the door and make you give me something, even if it’s an explanation as to why you sat through two hours and don’t put even one billion dollars Zimbabwean in my bucket.
What the proponents of gay marriage are asking is that the state – the state – as in the people who take our tax money and enforce our laws and contracts – okay, not much of my tax money – proponents of gay marriage are asking The State to grant a license to people who previously had relationships all on their very own without state intervention. Then they want the state to enforce that license or contract if things go wrong, which they almost inevitably do.
Yes, marriage is all well and good, but it goes wrong, frequently, and since the good people of the nations of America and England refuse to enforce the marriage contract for people who already are married – the men and women in heterosexual marriages - marriage is not worth the hard drive it is encoded on.
Does the state enforce ‘for better and for worse’ and ‘til death do us part.’ Does it say to straight people: “Make it work. You have no choice.”? No. The state lets married couples get divorced whenever one person wants it without even an explanation needed.
So you split up, you gay lovers. You enter the divorce courts, forced mediation, counselling, the mess that comes from an extra mothers and fathers in custody battles, women’s shelters, and council flats for the dispossessed. Who is going to pay for all that? Do you think your £29.50 marriage license is going to cover all that? No, it will come out of MY tax dollar. And I don’t want to pay.
What I think gay people want – if there is such a thing as “a gay person” having seen incredible flexibility in human preferences as to make the term “a gay person” or “straight person” completely ridiculous – Am I gay because of what I did in university or what what goes through my head when I watch Mens Olympic Water Polo?
So, to finish my sentence, what gay people want is a state-sanctioned party – the Wedding – and the piece of paper, which ironically is SO Wizard of Oz. “You want to be married”, the Wizard says “so with the powers invested in me…”
Everyone wants what I call “The Full Eastenders”: The meeting. the sex, the engagement, the fights, the cheating, the reconciliation, The Big Wedding, the marriage, the children, the cheating, the fights, the heartache, the divorce, the custody battles, the reconciliation, and the ending in murder or suicide. Who wants to be told you can’t have the wedding bit?
[The absolutely brilliant Matthew Parris wrote about why he won't attend weddings, even gay weddings: It is another Saturday ruined.]
Let’s ban heterosexual marriage, too, because it doesn’t mean a friggin’ thing in this country. When your wife wants to divorce you, you wouldn’t believe how fast and unstoppable that procedure is, even if it isn’t even in her best interests, let alone the children or society’s, whatever society is. You go from Married to Divorced in 35 days. 35 days! The mother is possibly extra crazy from the exhausting hell of giving birth to a baby or two and not in sound mind – not that any woman is completely free from insanity.
The court won’t enforce a straight marriage and it won’t enforce a gay marriage. But you want the wedding, gay people, so go ahead. But don’t expect to get any satisfaction when it goes wrong from the people who gave you that license, or cosigned that contract. And by God, it will go wrong. And don’t expect me to be happy that I have to pay for it.
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