June 20th, 2005


civil liberties, communication, gay marriage

I saw a bumper sticker today that made me intensely angry.  Yes, a bumper sticker.

I saw this and I thought, what the fuck?  I knew in theory that these people obviously existed - and in massive numbers - but I'm actually seeing two of them right now, proudly proclaiming their bigotry and intolerance for the world to see as they drive slowly, erratically, and incompetently through about one and a half lanes ahead of me.  And what they are determined enough to special order, so that they can display their sentiment to the world, is that marriage is BATHROOM ICONS.

Part of me wanted to pull them over and ask what the hell they were thinking - did they really think that a same-gender marriage in which the partners loved, cared for, trusted, and were committed to each other "desanctified the institution of marriage" more than a male-female marriage in which the partners marry for show, lie to one another, and abandon or ignore their commitment to each other?  If not, shouldn't they have a bumper sticker saying "marriage = love, trust, and commitment" and let the rest sort itself out?  Or were they afraid that their taxes or their insurance might go up if gay people got the (somewhat dubious) benefit of married status?  Or perhaps they think that, despite thousands of years of history that say otherwise, if they stop hating gay people then suddenly half the population will "turn gay" and there won't be enough children in the next generation?

Another part of me just wanted to find the car parked somewhere, and sneak up ninja style and tape thoroughly pornographic photos of a throbbingly erect penis and an aroused vagina over their nice, clean, dainty little bathroom stick figure icons.  Because, really, that's what they're saying.  Might as well be honest about it, right?  Marriage = cock + pussy.  Organic tinkertoys.  Tab A and Slot B.

The majority of me, of course, ruled for me doing nothing of either sort and settling instead for shooting them a withering glare as I passed them, and coming home to write an article about it on the internet.  Which they will never see.  And I wonder... do these people go through the vast majority of their own lives knowing abstractly that people out there don't "hate the gays", but blindly assuming that those people aren't anyone they interact with on a daily basis?  Probably... but what do you do?  In an era of unlimited telephony, broadband internet access, 24/7 television and radio broadcasting, email, search engines, and more... how can we still at the heart of it be a society with so little honest communication?