I've been debating whether to post anything about the passage of California's Proposition 8, the infamous "Hey, newly married gay couples? Guess what! We just revoked your legal spousal rights!" proposition. Much of what I want to say has been said elsewhere, and I'm starting to get tired of all political posts, all the time.
But I just realized something about all the pro-Prop 8 rhetoric about how the institution of marriage will somehow be devalued or reduced by letting same-sex couples in on it. The Prop 8 supporters' model of marriage is like an exclusive club. Membership in the club only means something if not everyone can get into it, and if we let Those People in, then the snob-appeal goes right out the window. It's marriage as the WASP country club, marriage as the Hetero Kids Only Treehouse (Everyone Else Stay Out!!!), marriage as the nightclub that only lets the A-listers past the velvet rope, marriage as the popular girls' table in the high school cafeteria, marriage as the gated community where everyone's afraid the property values will fall if, God forbid, someone undesirable moves in and paints their house lavender.
The exclusivity impulse is probably ineradicable from human nature. But there's no way it should ever be written into any state's constitution. A state is not a country club, marriage isn't a gated community, and a constitution is not the Heathers' croquet party. And we, as a country, need to grow the hell up. And that's all I have to say on the matter.
[Edited to add: See also Emily Lloyd's "How Could My Marriage Hurt Your Marriage?" and Keith Olbermann's magnificent appeal to everyone who voted for Prop 8: "This is about the human heart." Indeed, it is.]