I didn’t change my facebook profile picture to a pink equal sign. Don’t get me wrong I support empty gestures as much as the next guy; and there’s nothing like a picture of Ernie and Burt superimposed over parallel lines to legitimize a serious political issue. I’m just not entirely on board with gay marriage or heterosexual marriage either. Sure, I’m a married man (very happily if my wife is reading this) but marriage is an institution that blurs the line between Church and State. A couple can get married in a church or a courthouse by a reverend or a judge, where else does this crossover exist? You can’t serve your jury duty in a church choir (although that could make for an hilarious Jack McBrayer movie). You can’t pay your taxes with prayers (I tried).
This whole debate could be clarified if the government left recognizing marriage to the churches, temples, synagogues, and covens and simply let two people of whatever gender, race, or religion merge like corporations do. That’s basically what marriage is in the eyes of the government, isn’t it? Two people combine their assets, tax responsibility, and such. Taking the word “marriage” out of the equation eliminates any questions of morality and then people who did oppose gay mergers would have to come out and say, “I oppose this because I’m a hateful, ignorant, prick”. The U.S. does not need to legislate morality, leave that to the Taliban. So if your church is progressive and approves of gay marriage, great; if your church opposes gay marriage, fine but the male prostitute your pastor visits is free to legally spend his life with the person he loves. That’s win-win. I hope the day comes soon when any U.S. citizen can get down on one knee and ask the person they love, “Will you file jointly with me?”
Ed Furman is a Second City alumni and a co-founder of the Annoyance Theater. He is a playwright and co-authored the hits Co-ed Prison Slutsand Rod Blagojevich: Superstar.