Brad’s Banter: Fictional Forbidden Love Sells While Real Same-Sex Love Still Offends

In early October, the United States Supreme Court announced it will not hear marriage equality cases any time soon, letting recent lower court rulings in favor of marriage equality stand. Proponents view this as a win; more than half the country has now legalized same-sex marriage.

There still stands, however, a large opposition to same-sex marriage determined to defend the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

I was in the Marine Corps when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was about to be repealed, and I’ll never forget the hour we wasted one beautiful Friday afternoon listening to our Company Commander awkwardly tell us that it was okay to be gay now. There was no grumbling, or conversely, any cheers. The most common reaction was laughter. We simply didn’t care.

Four years later, while watching television personalities debate the topic, I can’t help but continue to laugh.

Marriage equality cannot be debated on perceived moral standards or religious views (unless you are ready for the nation to ban bacon and shaving). The definition of morality is too subjective and the Constitution specifically calls for the separation of Church and State. What marriage equality is about is how the government defines marriage, and the perks it gives married couples.

Married couples, defined as such by the United States government, are given certain rights and benefits. These include the ability to file taxes jointly, the right of survivorship and inheritance, domestic violence protection orders, spousal medical decisions, and funeral and bereavement leave.

Why should anyone be denied time off work to cope with the death of a loved one, simply because his or her love offended someone?

In a nation fascinated with forbidden love and stories of love conquering all, it amazes me we are still trying to regulate who we think should be able to love each other. Nicholas Sparks and Stephenie Meyer made fortunes telling us about how love is the greatest force in all of nature, yet we continue to try to manage it with antiquated laws and personal beliefs.

Somewhere in there is a corny analogy comparing love to a hurricane. I should call up Nicholas Sparks.