As I was perusing around the Internet the other day, I came across an irresistible story with a hilarious caption: "Lisa Lynette Clark pleaded not guilty to sex charges involving her 15-year-old husband." Fifteen-year-old husband? Initially I thought this was an article from "The Onion," but it was actually from cnn.com. As pathetic as it is, this actually happened.
Apparently a 37-year-old woman married her 15-year-old son's friend. This means that by the time the youngster can drink, his wife will be approaching menopause.
There were many things running through my mind as I read this story, but the one thing that resonated most is the hypocrisy in the argument people make about preserving the "sanctity of marriage."
People who oppose gay marriage (anti-homosexites, as I like to call them) do so because they believe marriage should be a sacred union between a man and a woman. However, what do they say about a union between a boy and a woman? Even more, is there anything sacred about a 15-year-old marrying a 37-year-old?
If you enforce so strongly that marriages must be between a male and a female, then shouldn't you enforce that marriages must be truly sacred unions with the same rigor? With rising divorce rates (they have more than doubled since 1960) and adolescents marrying their friend's mom, it's obvious that nobody cares about any sacred union or any "sanctity of marriage." Instead, people just want a union between a male and a female – even if it's a tumultuous and unhappy union. Clearly, many "anti-homosexites" enjoy enforcing the male-female component while overlooking if their unions are even the least bit sacred.
Take, for example, marriages like O.J. and Nicole, Tina Turner and Bobby Brown and Kobe and his wife. Obviously these marriages were not the most "sacred" of unions, but people are less concerned with these than marriages between people like Elton John and Richard Simmons. Does this make any logical sense? Never mind the abuse, murder and unfaithfulness involved in the male-female marriages listed above, the important thing is that we do not let gay people wed! Give me a break.
Even if you oppose homosexuality personally, religiously, morally or for any other reason, why should you be allowed to impose your personal beliefs on someone else's personal beliefs? After all, they are personal beliefs, aren't they? What makes you so much better than gay people that you can tell them who they can and cannot marry? I realize the bible is opposed to gay marriage, but again, if you believe this, then don't marry a gay person, and you've done your duty.
It is not your business who anyone else marries, no matter what you say – so get off your high pedestal and mind your own business. And saying gay people cannot marry because the bible says so is imposing your religious beliefs on someone else – something nobody should do.
Whether or not gay people are allowed to wed will have absolutely no impact on your life, so I suggest you let it go. There are many problems in this world (a world where gay marriages are illegal, mind you), and none of them have to do with gay people or their desire to marry each other. And if one day gay people are allowed to marry, life will go on, and America will not weaken or crumble as a result of gay marriages.
If you are still an "anti-homosexite," and you are completely convinced that we need to preserve the "sanctity of marriage," then I suggest you make an uproar about 15-year-olds marrying 37-year-olds, domestic abuse in marriages, people being unfaithful in their "sacred unions," and the rising divorce rates, because there is much more to be said about the union itself rather than the kind of people who want to form a union.
Tim Waddingham is a senior, double-majoring in Political Science and Speech Communication. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.