Hello, and welcome to a very special edition of Work In Progress. For the first time ever, I will be conducting a completely fictionalized interview with a completely fictionalized person, Mr. John Q. Heterosexual, about the very controversial proposition appearing on ballots in California in November, Proposition 8.
Remember, Mr. Heterosexual only exists within my imagination, therefore any similarities to any persons living or dead is not only highly unlikely, it would just be pretty darn weird as well.
Jennifer Michelle Moore-Skallerud: Mr. Heterosexual, thank you for agreeing to meet with me today.
John Quite Heterosexual: Hey, sure, no problem. I'm still getting paid for this, right?
JMM: That must be some other interview you're doing, since it's not like I get paid for this so I don't really have the budget to pay interviewees.
JQH: (Sighs with annoyance) Okay, whatever.
JMM: So, Mr. Heterosexual - or may I call you John?
JQH: Sure, yeah, why not.
JMM: Fabulous. So John, I have invited you here today so that I can talk to you about Proposition 8. Are you familiar with this proposition?
JQH: Proposition 8... Proposition 8... Let me think about this...
JMM: You know, it's the one about same-sex marriage?
JQH: (Nodding knowingly) Oh, sure. Yeah, I saw the commercial. That's the one where the girl comes home with that book with the two guys on the front called "King and King" or something, and she tells her mom, (in a "little girl" singsong) "Mommy, today I found out I can marry a princess!" All I know is, I don't want my kid learning that in school.
JMM: Okay, so you are familiar with it, that's good, and you bring up a good point. John, do you ever remember learning about or talking about marriage in school?
JQH: I know that I've heard people saying that if we say it's okay for gay people to get married, then they'll start teaching kids in school that this is okay, and we know it's gonna happen because that's what happened in some other state, too.
JMM: Hmm, well, as followers of my blog know, I'm not really known for having too much knowledge about, well, anything, so I don't know about that. But I'm asking you, John - do you remember how you learned about marriage? Do you even remember talking about it in school, because I don't, so I'm just wondering if you do.
JQH: Well, no, not exactly...
JMM: So, I'm just trying to... let's call a spade a spade, John. I'm just trying to shoot down this argument because it seems to be the one that the supporters of Prop 8 are putting all their money on - that people will get scared and pass this proposition because they are afraid that their kids are going to learn that gay marriage is okay, and, I suppose, that once they know it's okay, they will turn gay. What do you think about that, John? About this idea that learning that gay marriage is legal will make kids decide to be gay?
JQH: I don't think it's a good idea. Kids don't need to be hearing about that kind of stuff.
JMM: Seriously, John. Think about. Do you remember the first girl you ever liked? I'm sorry -I'm just assuming you like girls, what with your name and all.
JQH: Hell yes I like girls! I love girls!
JMM: Wonderful. So do you remember the first girl you liked?
JQH: Sure I do. I was in Kindergarten, and her name was... what was her name? Kirsten? Kristen? Christine? Something like that. Yeah, I used to try to kiss her at recess. Good times.
JMM: Okay, so I remember the first boy I liked. His name was Kevin, and it, too was in Kindergarten, and the thing is, I just liked him because I liked him. Like, no one taught me to like boys.
JQH: (a bit befuddled) Okay...
JMM: So I'm just thinking regardless of how you think that people become gay - I just can't imagine that if marriage had come up in school, and the teacher said that sometimes men and women marry each other and sometimes men and men, and sometimes women and women - that I would have decided to have a crush on a girl instead of Kevin. I liked Kevin because I did, because that is what I felt... does that make sense?
JQH: (suspiciously) Hmph. I suppose.
JMM: I'm just trying to be logical about it. Another one of the arguments for Prop 8, and for this I want to just get out my book, you know the one with the propositions in it, and all the other stuff we're supposed to vote for? (I start digging around in my pile of very important papers to locate the book.) Right here it says, in the argument for Prop 8, "... while gays have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else."
JQH: (thinking for a moment) Yeah, that's right! They don't have that right!
JMM: And I guess I don't get that.
JQH: What do you mean, I mean, what's not to get? Marriage means a man and a woman getting up in front of their family and friends and saying 'til death do us part and that. A man and a woman, period. That's marriage.
JMM: Okay, I mean, that's fine, but even if I think your definition is valid, if two guys get married, how does that affect you and your marriage?
JQH: Because then they're trying to make me accept a different definition of marriage!
JMM: But say you go to Home Depot.... is that a good example, do you go to Home Depot?
JQH: Of course I go to Home Depot!
JMM: Okay, so say you go to Home Depot. And you see two guys walking down the aisle buying... I don't know, hammers.
JMM: So what does it matter to you - or, how does it affect your day if they are married or shacked up or just pals from the bowling league? How does that impact your day or your marriage or your life or anything?
JQH: Because... because uh...
JMM: I mean think about it - it's okay for gay people to be together and have, well you know, relations - all the advocates of Proposition 8 are saying they don't care if gay people are gay and do gay things and all. But the fact that these people want to make a legally binding commitment? You would think that people who are traditionalists and don't even like the idea of sex outside of marriage and everything would be all for this!
JQH: Well come on, now, that's not the same thing.
JMM: Okay, true enough. I know that they are talking about not having sex out of wedlock because it should only be for procreation, or whatever. But you know what? You know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of how in the not too distant past, a black person was not allowed to marry a white person!
JQH: Well, that's totally different. That's just racist.
JMM: Well, of course, we think that now. But do you know that some states had laws against interracial marriage until the late 60's? I mean, it's just crazy to think about now, but it's true, and maybe that is why I get all fired up, because I wouldn't be here if interracial marriage were against the law, and neither would my daughter.
JQH: Hmph, I don't know. I still say that's different. It's not like you can choose what race you are after all.
JMM: Okay, so even though I don't really think we can choose our sexual orientation, if you believe that is not true - that some people wake up and say, "Hey! It's a beautiful day out today, no wind, and I think I will be gay from now on!" - even if that's the case, I still don't see why it would be an issue for you if they made their union legal and all.
JQH: Why do they even want to get married anyway? They have all those domestic partnership laws and everything, why can't they just be okay with that? The can visit each other in the hospital and everything!
JMM: Well, John, why did you want to get married?
JQH: My wife said I had to marry her or she was going to find someone who would, who didn't have "commitment issues."
JMM: Okay, but that aside. Didn't you want to show the world how much this person meant to you? And pledge your love in front of everyone you knew (or at least everyone you could afford to invite)? You know, to make it official and solid and all of that good stuff.
JQH: Well, sure, yeah, of course.
JMM: So why should we deny that to anyone? No one, even the Prop 8 supporters, want to outlaw homosexuality, so why shouldn't homosexuals get to pledge their love in public and have certain health benefits, and have the kick-ass party to celebrate if they want to? I mean, I just want to know why. I just don't get it. That is why I brought you here today, John. I was hoping maybe you could explain this to me.
JQH: You know what? I don't need to explain it. We already voted on this and some crazy judges go and overturn what we wanted, so we shouldn't even have to defend this proposition at all!
JMM: You know, I do get that, I understand that people would be miffed if they voted for something and then all of a sudden they have to vote again. But I'll bet at sometime people were like, "We already decided black people can't vote! We shouldn't have to vote on this again!" Or they were thinking, "We already decided that black people can't marry white people, why should we have to even consider this!" Or, "We already decided that black people should be slaves, what's all the fuss about?" John, sometimes the people need to rethink stuff. Or they're just wrong.