Commentary: There is no threat from gay marriage

The (Raleigh) News & ObserverSeptember 27, 2011 

I went to the gay parade Saturday, and guess what?

I still like women. So what is it, exactly, that y'all are so afraid of?

And why? Hmmm?

The way Tea Party, religious and conservative groups are protesting, you'd think that men loving men and women loving women and everything in between - there were transgenders at the N.C. Pride Parade in Durham, N.C., too - pose the greatest threat to the sanctity of heterosexual marriage since ESPN went 24 hours.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt railed in a fiery, pre-parade speech against cynical politicians "who aim to take power in this state and turn us into scapegoats. It's time for us to fight for ourselves" and turn out to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

You know all those people who want a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage? Dale Rowe wants to go them one better: He wants them to outlaw divorce.

That was the sign on the side of the pickup truck he drove in the parade. I spoke with Rowe on Duke University's campus as he waited for the parade to begin.

Rowe represented FAAST: Freethinkers, Agnostics, Atheists and Secularists of the Triangle.

The way FAAST sees it: If Bible thumpers are going to outlaw marriage, they also should outlaw divorce. After all, to them, the Bible says anyone who divorces and remarries is an adulterer.

"They're also going to have to outlaw shrimp and poly-cotton blends," Rowe said. "You can't wear clothes made of two different kinds of fabric. It's in Leviticus."

Hallelujah, we could all do with less poly-cotton blends around here, but no more shrimp and grits?

Egads.

Groups as different as Quakers, Episcopalians, atheists and Unitarians proudly flew their banners.

Most surprisingly, though, were the banners representing corporate sponsors, companies that want green, even if it comes from a rainbow-colored purse.

MetLife, Best Buy and Capital Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Garner were among the many companies represented. Barry Driver, general manager of Capital Jeep, expressed the sentiment of many companies when he said: "We reach out to all different groups. We want everybody to know we have a place where they can come in and be treated equally and where nobody's judged. There are a lot of people in the gay and lesbian community who do shop with us and feel very comfortable doing it."

The thousands in the crowd included all kinds of men, women and some you couldn't tell what gender they were.

You know what, though? Neither their happiness nor mine was affected by that.

That leads to only one conclusion: The only man or woman who threatens the sanctity of your marriage is the one you see climbing out of your bedroom window at 3 in the morning - or the one whose pantyhose you find in your husband's glove compartment.

So chill.

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