Traditional? Says who?

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Hi! Me again. I know it tends to get a tad redundant hearing the same people say the same things over and over again, but I get so much amusement value out of reactionary nattering trying to justify losing arguments that I just have to share.

On Feb. 11, you published a letter by Gord Nixon where he gives one of the more common excuses making the rounds these days when it comes to same-sex marriages: it’s traditional and for making babies.

First, I really doubt Mr. Nixon will ever see this response, since his letter to Nunatsiaq News was merely one of the numerous, identical letters he spammed to newspapers across the country (I checked), so I rather doubt he reads many of the ones he sent it to.

Getting to the letter itself, well several things come to mind. The first is that it is factually wrong. Not, mind you, that people getting their knickers in a knot over the idea of same-sex marriage really worry to much about facts getting in the way. It’s so much easier to be sure of your position when you don’t let evil, contrary evidence get in the way.

Marriage has, in many cases, had reasons that had nothing to do with procreation. My late grandmother, after many years of being a widow, married a man she had fallen in love with when she was in her 70s. Procreation was obviously not a factor or a reason. Marriage has been used as a tool of diplomacy, as a business arrangement, as a way of committing crimes, as a way to cover up crimes. So please spare us the sanctimonious nonsense about how special and untouchable it is.

As for tradition, well, for quite a long time a woman who married became, essentially, the property of the husband. She couldn’t own things separately from him, couldn’t legally make decisions. She couldn’t even protect herself in law if he sexually assaulted her.

I think most people these days, except perhaps the men who prefer the wife barefoot, pregnant and mute in the kitchen, are rather glad society moved past this traditional view.

Keith Morrison
Cambridge Bay

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