Happily Ever After

We're exactly one year into gay marriage, and a vengeful Jehovah has yet to stomp us into kibble. I confess, I have never been in a gay marriage myself, and, barring setting off on a long whaling voyage, I'm unlikely to be. I also don't wear cowboy boots, read Michael Crichton novels, or drink chicken blood, yet there are people who do, and not all of them are possessed by unclean spirits. Certainly, we shouldn't expel them from society. Except, perhaps, the Michael Crichton fans.

Months before the state Supreme Judicial Court solemnly intoned its blessing on same-sex marriage, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, made a thoughtful, nuanced statement comparing gay coupling to bestiality — specifically, “man-on-dog” sex — and polygamy.

He also said that homosexual rumpy-pumpy “undermine[s] the basic tenets of our society and the family.”

Senator Santorum's views on civil liberties are scarier than the phrase “with a special appearance by the stars of American Idol. ” He also makes a lousy point. Gay unions and bestiality are two completely different things. Just consider the difficulties of marrying, say, a Komodo dragon:

Minister: “Do you accept the world's largest lizard to be your lawful wife?”

Nervous Groom: “I do.”

Minister: “And do you, the world's largest lizard, accept this man as your lawful wedded husband?”

[Komodo dragon bites off Groom's foot.]

Nervous Groom: “Oh my God!”

Best Man: “Is the bar open?”

Even with couples' therapy and distemper vaccine, there's no way an interspecies relationship can work. The best you could get is an on-again, off-again flirtation, as between Miss Piggy and Kermit, or between a magazine writer and his self-respect.

Polygamy is more problematic. Imagine the domestic life of Snow White and the seven dwarfs. (If you need help visualizing this, visit the Adult, Fetish — German section of your local video store.) Yes, there would be benefits to such an arrangement: easy carpooling, for example, and party rates for Blue Man Group. But the bathroom schedule would be hell, and in a relationship among eight people, somebody's bound to feel left out. Probably Sneezy.

This half-assed deconstruction of Rick Santorum isn't helping my point. To argue the case for same-sex marriage, I will now enlist dead homosexual icon Oscar Wilde.

Thank you. Ahem. Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

That's very clever.

I've got a million. Bigamy is having one wife too many; monogamy is the same.

Very good. I'll have to use that one.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

Well, okay. But that's not really witty.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. Except maybe on Fridays at ManRay.

Hold on. You're not Oscar Wilde! You're famous gay Republican Abraham Lincoln!

No I'm not. Um, Lady Windermere? Pass the cucumber sandwiches. Algernon, come here you saucy poof!

Cut it out. You're 6-foot-4 and dressed like a zombie's butler. Carson Kressley would get blood clots from looking at you. I refuse to argue with the imaginary ghost of a president pretending to be an Irish fop — not when history and literature offer many examples of great untraditional unions. There's Holmes and Watson. Frodo and Sam. Bush and Saud. Nationalism and socialism . . . dammit. Hoisted with my own canard. Still, there must be a good excuse for untraditional marriage that isn't ruined by wet French ideas like “equal rights.” Let us resort to the last hope of the botched argument: the personal anecdote.

I asked my wife whether she thought gay marriage was a good idea. She looked up from a landslide of soiled onesies, her eyes like bloodshot cauliflowers, her blouse striped with baby spit. In the next room, a pile of dirty dishes threatened to implode into a ball of superdense matter that would tear open the very fabric of space. The dog barked. The telephone rang. The toaster spurted jets of flame. Our lovely newborn screamed as if the legions of hell were marching through her diaper, which smelled like they probably were.

“Same-sex marriage? Sure. Why should gays miss out?” said my wife. “Now get me more nipple pads.”

What sort of jerk would deny a person the chance for this sort of marital bliss? And does anyone know if the whaling fleet's hiring?