Gay And Lesbian Marriage – Call It Glarriage

Gay And Lesbian Marriage – Call It Glarriage

We all know of the great divide between gays and lesbians versus the huge number of people who are opposed to gay/lesbian marriages. I think that the gay world did a lousy job of selling the idea of g/l marriage. Little recognition was taken of the centuries of hallowed tradition behind the word marriage. A hornet’s nest was stirred up because the word marriage carries with it so many levels of sanctity, religiosity, mythology, and yes, fear.

In history, a monarch of one kingdom would marry a princess of another country, and the two countries would become one for all intents and purposes. Marriage was and is a powerful, sacred and societal institution.

What the gays and lesbians are fighting is not only their opponents, but the sanctity of a sacrosanct custom. They are really fighting a battle of semantics. What you call a thing empowers that thing. The word is mightier than the sword, and that word is marriage.

Many people will support civil unions, but they will not support gay/lesbian marriages. Just as profane words have great power so too does the word marriage. We all know the power of racial or religious epithets. Don Imus learned the power of a few words. It cost him his lucrative job.

My advice is–just do it and don’t call it marriage. Predominantly the word marriage meant a religious ceremony, a church-sanctioned event. Use semantics to your benefit, not your detriment. Take away the letter m from marriage and substitute gl, g for gay, l for lesbian, and you have the word glarriage. An exclusively g/l activity. Tony and Hal say, “We’re going to get glarriaged on Sunday. Hope you can be there. Mary and Louisa had a beautiful glarriage ceremony last week.”

Don’t fight sacred words. Invent your own word. Don’t always be seeking “in-your-face” confrontations. Realize the power of the word marriage. One of every two marriages ends in divorce. So why do straights fight so hard against the concept of gay marriage? Because the word marriage is all-powerful. It’s sacred, man. The word divorce often signifies failure; the word marriage signifies success. For some it signifies the ball and chain. Marriage is a rite, not a right.

If you want to get glarried, you have my blessing. Let’s use new words to fight old words that are so loaded with controversial baggage that they sag under their own weight. Many straight couples live for years as unmarried couples and are perfectly happy. Some fear marriage and its burden of legal and social responsibilities–as well they should.

Fight for glarriage. Fight for sanity. Gays and lesbians shouldn’t be seeking to co-opt every straight institution and icon. That isn’t the way to progress, become recognized and accepted. Don’t fight your opponents head-on; go around them. Get your own thing. Get on your own bandwagon. Gays and lesbians should have their own institutions and icons. Then they can say to Sally and Bill, “You can’t get glarriaged. That’s our thing. You’ve got your stupid old shopworn marriage buggy; we’ve got the latest thing–glarriage. Get lost.”

Even the spell checker on my computer has been adjusted so it does not redline glarriage as a misspelled word. It used to give me the possible alternative of the word as garbage or garage. You fight words with words. A straight can the say, “Oh, I don’t care if Barry and Jim get glarriaged. That’s their thing. I would get livid if I thought they were going to try to get married. Over my dead body.”

The same thing is true of the abortion debate which has torn this country asunder over the last fifty years. The controversy has deep religious roots. A great deal of the problem has been one of semantics. The words used in the debate are laden with flash points. The phrase “fight for life” moves people. “The fetus is a living person.” Try and fight those words.

Why do you think the Republicans fighting to repeal the estate tax, call it the death tax? Because they realize people don’t worry too much about the word estate, but they perk up their ears when they hear the word death. That word is pregnant with meaning, you betcha. Words have power. More power than policies or ideas.