Who's the marrying kind?

I know this is going to appeal to all the wrong guys, but I can imagine myself far more easily in one of those two-person pantomime horse outfits than in a wedding dress. The horse outfit looks more comfortable. Maybe it's the fault of wedding photographers, but people in wedding dresses always look like they might be saying, "Hi, I'm Frances Farmer, welcome to my gracious drawing room."

Not that I don't understand commitment. I have kept relationships longer than some people keep their teeth, but I have never been inclined to walk down the aisle no matter how much cake was at the other end.

Lots of people really look forward to wearing that wedding dress, though, and will look lovely in it, especially with matching white beards. The Vermont Supreme Court recently ordered that gay couples should have the same legal rights as straight couples. The Vermont legislature currently is drafting rules to make that happen, although it stopped short of recognizing the legal rights of gay couples to marry, an issue that made news in 1993 when it was first reviewed, and ixnayed, by Hawaii's state Supreme Court.

Marriage isn't my cup of detox tea. Having options is, though, so I can definitely understand why gay couples would want the option to be snoochies in the eyes of God and the law. And by gum, they should have it. Gay marriage should be made legal, if only to raise the standard of dancing at wedding receptions. Let's just hope they remember to demand the right to get divorced while they're at it.

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Dr. Laura Schlessinger doesn't feel this way at all. The syndicated radio talk-show host, with 20 million listeners, is well known for championing all the home-and-family values in very aggressive terms. In fact, I listened to her once, decided that if I wanted to hear people bullied I'd rather rent a bondage video, and never listened to her again.

You'd think someone so committed to commitment would champion marriage in any form. Yet Dr. Laura is speaking out against gay marriage and encouraging her listeners to do the same. In a story in the Feb. 15 issue of The Advocate, Dr. Laura refers to homosexuals as "mistakes" and is quoted as saying, "If you are gay or lesbian, it's a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex." She does opine that "homosexual people ... are entitled to respect and kindness as fellow human beings." That's quite big of her. But she adds that same-sex relationships are against her religion as an Orthodox Jew, so therefore they should not be recognized by law. This is her logic as a grown-up.

The cool thing isn't that she's got her foot so deep in her mouth she could probably appear in the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. It is that in her eagerness to tell us what's what, Dr. Laura has announced that God makes mistakes. What else could a "biological error" be? It means that God made everyone, but was distracted by an ice-cream truck when He was working on Andy Dick and Gertrude Stein, and He failed to do a Martha Stewart-quality job. In queers, Dr. Laura has seen God's work, and she has judged it to be poor.

From the minute I popped into the world and got a load of my family, I knew God made mistakes. I accept that out of all the great things in the universe, a Charlie Brown Christmas tree will slip in occasionally. I just don't agree with her that gay people are the biological error.

Actually, the universe is so harmoniously balanced in ways we can't even understand that for anything in it to be erroneous, it would have to almost shift the natural balance. Gay people can't take credit for anything that big; the proliferation of Tommy Hilfiger and Cosmopolitans, while affecting, hardly counts as a cosmic event. The species has survived, perhaps a little tipsier and now dressed like Garth Brooks, but it has survived.

Social distortion

Our primary duty as organisms is to reproduce, which gay people are certainly capable of doing, and might do a good job of since they have to give it some thought. But Dr. Laura doesn't think gay couples should be able to adopt children, thinking, as many people do, that only straight, religious homes should have kids in them. OK, but I'd rather be adopted by Melissa Etheridge than Susan Smith.

I can name a few things I think are biological errors. Val Kilmer. Kathie Lee. People who turn up the bass so loud in their cars that they make your teeth vibrate. In the bigger picture, there exist the evils of arrogance, short-sightedness and busy-bodying, which, as the root of things like environmental problems, social inequity and general antagonism, have gone a much longer way to harm society than anyone wanting to get hitched. These biological boners are things the organism can correct in itself by minding its own business. If it's a biblically oriented creature, it might want to read this as "Do unto others."

That could have been a typo, though. If God was such a screw-up, you can't expect his typists to have been great.

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