Friday, November 28, 2008

Protection of Marriage

I was in DC a few years back, and on the metro there were all kinds of people handing out flyers and going to a demonstration about "protection of marriage." Actually, though, it wasn't about that at all. It was really about manipulating the prejudices and ignorance of the public at large so they'd vote against their interests, for Republicans who'd lower taxes on people making more money than they ever would.

Now there are places where they're concerned about the protection of marriage. Take South Korea, for example. Actress Ok So-ri is looking at an 18-month stretch for the crime of adultery. No scarlet letter nonsense over there, it's off to the hoosegow and we don't want to hear your excuses. Now it's true that this law has been sullied by vindictive partners looking for revenge, and it's true that this appears to be the only sort of instance in which their law is applied.

But if you really want to protect marriage, you need to toss adulterers in the pokey. And to be fair, you can't leave it at that. You have to jail the divorcees as well. True, these measures seem archaic and draconian. But whether or not gay people tie the knot has nothing to do with protection of marriage. What Rosie O'Donnel does or does not do won't affect my marriage and it won't affect yours either.

Measures outlawing divorce and adultery won't be popular, and they won't garner you nearly the number of votes among the ignorant yahoo segment your candidates may require (and no, I don't think everyone who voted for W. is an ignorant yahoo, but without them he'd never have made it, even with his brother's state, his daddy's court, and Katherine Harris).

But if you're for protection of marriage, and you're not willing to jail adulterers and divorcees, you're full of crap.
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