(SCENE: MITCH is at the grocery store. He meets Avery LIBRELLE, who is also out shopping)
LIBRELLE: I’m so upset that the GOP in the Legislature has muddied the waters with their “Civil Union” proposal.
MITCH: Why’s that?
LIBRELLE: Civil unions are nothing but separate but equal.
MITCH: Yeah, that’s the cliché du jour for gay marriage supporters. The idea that having an identical civil contract that confers exactly the same rights – in the eyes of the government, which is what we’re talking about here – is somehow like Plessy v. Ferguson Jim Crow-era absurdities is completely nuts. From the perspective of government, it’s more like “Equal but Equal”.
LIBRELLE: But the word “marriage” has a status to it that “civil unions” doesn’t.
MITCH: And that remark shows what “gay marriage” proponents are really about. It has little to do with “rights”, and lots to do, I suspect, with forcing society into accepting something that it, on its own, just does not. The “status” of the word “marriage” is a matter of individual perspective and belief; is it government’s job to change that, for its own good?
MITCH: Huh. Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
LIBRELLE: No kidding. The GOP is wasting the legislature’s time with this bill, bringing it up after the deadline for policy bills.
MITCH: Right. No different than Representatives Paymar and Martens still flogging their gun grab legislation. They can’t get committee hearings, but they can still bring up their bill as an amendment to another bill during floor debate.
LIBRELLE: Well, that’s different.
LIBRELLE: I don’t know. (takes a bunch of grapes from the produce stand, picks a few, starts eating) It just is.
MITCH: OK. Well, anyway – I think this means the GOP minority sees that there’s a fracture in the DFL caucus. We know that outstate DFLers are feeling really nervous about this bill – that support for gay marriage, like gun grabs, is entirely focused in the Metro. It’d be dumb for them, as a minority, not to propose the compromise; it shows the people that, contrary to the DFL and media’s narrative, there is a compromise.
LIBRELLE: That’s so wrong. We should not play games with civil rights.
MITCH: Like Paymar and Martens and Latz are doing?
LIBRELLE: Oh, that’s different. That’s about the children.
MITCH: So is marriage.
LIBRELLE (eating more grapes) Well, the courts have ruled on this already.
MITCH: Right – the courts ruled that civil unions interactions with existing laws, and the federal DOMA law, were a problem. So the law needs to be written right, and adjustments need to be made to other laws, state and federal. That’s what legislatures do; try to pass laws that pass legal muster.
LIBRELLE: But eventually gay marriage is going to happen. Young people all support it.
MITCH: Maybe they do. Young people also made Justin Bieber and Nicky Minaj stars. More to the point? Most “young people” have no idea what marriage really is. But whatever, fine; maybe gay marriage is inevitable in the great scheme of things. And truth be told, but for one thing, I don’t really care.
LIBRELLE: (3/4 done with bunch of grapes) And that one thing is that you’re a bigot.
MITCH: Er, no. In fact, I guarantee I’ve put more on the line against genuine hatred of gays than you have or ever will. But no, the one thing is that gay marriage is one more attack on the importance of gender – the idea that the sexes are different, and different for a reason, and that reason is that each gender has a vital role in raising the next generation of children.
LIBRELLE: Gays can raise children just as well as breeders. Sometimes better!
MITCH: Right. This isn’t a dig at gays’ motivations as adoptive parents; I think gay adoptive parents are a better idea than, say, single parents if that’s the choice, which it very rarely is. And at the moment, I don’t doubt that gay parents are better parents than straight parents, as an average across all of society, if only because you have to be so superhuman-ly above average to qualify to adopt, whatever your affectional orientation. In fact, that is one of the reasons I would like to see gay marriage – so that we can drop this absurd stereotype of the Magic Gay Couple, all superhuman in their loving wisdom. I joke that Gays will have truly arrived as equals when you see a gay married couple on Cops, with a lady in a wife-beater T-shirt being dragged out to a squad car as her wife screams “I’ll be waitin’ for ya, Evangeline! Ah love yewwww!”.
LIBRELLE: That’s just weird (almost done with grapes)
MITCH: Whatever – the point is, when society grows beyond the narrative it’s been fed this past few years, the idea that gay couples are actually better than straight couples, then maybe we can talk about equality.
LIBRELLE: Oh, whatever. Hey, didn’t you predict gay marriage would die in committee?
MITCH: Yep. I win some, I boot some. I think gay marriage is worth more to the DFL as a wedge than as a few thousand married couples with nothing to be pissed off about other than…property taxes and business taxes and regulations that restrict entrepreneurship.
LIBRELLE: Huh? Well, you were wrong.
MITCH: Really? When did Governor
Messinger Dayton sign the gay marriage bill into law?
LIBRELLE: He hasn’t yet.
MITCH: Huh. OK.
LIBRELLE: But they will pass it! They have to!
MITCH: OK! We’ll see!
LIBRELLE: (finishes grapes, tosses stem into trash bucket)
MITCH: Um – were you going to pay for those?
LIBRELLE: Oh, it’s not shoplifting. It’s an undocumented meal. The AP says so.