Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Marriage Defender" Accidentally Insults People Who Matter

[TW: Homophobia]

Via the anti-equality blogosphere, we get two diverging perspectives on the importance of community acceptance of relationships.

In Corner #1, we have Amber Lapp at the anti-equality-leaning Family Scholars Blog, speaking of her community of friends who are supportive of her heterosexual marriage:

"Doherty’s term, 'friends of marriage' captures the truth that marriage is, as sociologist Kai Erikson says, 'something of a community affair.' In his book Everything in its Path, Erikson elaborates by saying that marriage is '…validated by the community, witnessed by the community, commemorated by the community' (219) and that the community is almost like a magnetic force that can help to hold the couple together (or perhaps tear it apart).

Given this, I think that one thing that we can all do to lower the divorce rate is to 'befriend' the marriages of our friends and families—whether that means offering a listening ear, offering to babysit on a Friday night, or working cooperatively on a garden."

Although Lapp writes in a heteronormative context, I would agree with her that communities and friends are important in sustaining relationships. Isn't it community-building to want others to respect and support one of our most important relationships in life? Isn't it a sign of a healthy society if communities support and build up such relationships rather than tear them down?

Unfortunately, in Corner #2, anti-equality blogger "Playful Walrus" has a less charitable view of the importance of community affirmation and acceptance of intimate relationships. The compassionate Christian opines:

"Emotionally and mentally healthy adults do not care so much what other people think about their relationship or their sexual practices."


Of course, "Playful Walrus" made his comment in the context of telling everyone how awful, immature, crazy, and needy it is that same-sex couples seek community support and affirmation of our relationships.

It's sad, really, that this is a purportedly Christian man's view of community and relationships. Walrus likely doesn't believe he harbors ill-will toward LGB people or our relationships. And yet I wonder. Does he intend his cruel maxim on emotional and mental health to only apply to adults in same-sex marriages, or was he making a statement about adults in heterosexual marriages too?

To apply it only to those in same-sex marriages would indeed be prejudicial and bigoted of him. It would look an awful lot like anti-gay animus, in fact.

Yet, I suppose, since "marriage defenders" Aren't At All Bigoted Or Anything, we can logically infer that Playful Walrus just issued an equal opportunity insult to all married people who seek and appreciate community support of their relationships.

Whoops. So much for defending marriage.

Related: Anti-Gay Ordinance Accidentally Hurts People Who Matter.

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