Same-sex marriage is happening. So?

The less time we spend on this, the more we might realize what sort of mess we’re in

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
UTMikeColLogoSame sex couples, it would seem, can drive a short distance from Chester County and obtain a marriage license.

At the same time, our state Attorney General is refusing to defend the state’s defense of marriage act — a law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and bears a lot of resemblance to the federal law struck down not long ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And of course, for comic relief, the always entertaining State Rep. Darryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) is offering a series of rants making him sound a bit like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters (“cats and dogs, living together….”) and generally explaining why we’re all going to Hell (I’ve been to D.C., how much worse can Hell be?) if we allow this sort of stuff in the commonwealth.

So, yeah, this is what passes for civil discourse in Pennsylvania these days.

Let me confuse the issue with a few facts:

Same-sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania. Performing one might not yet be, but if you got married somewhere else, you’re married. Yup. Go read your U.S. Constitution and check out the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

For those of you too lazy (which based on voter turn out, is a lot of folks), or unable to understand (Tea Party members) here is the key passage:

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

Basically, it means that my drivers license issued in Pennsylvania is valid in Virginia. Or, in my case, my marriage performed and licensed in Virginia is valid in Pennsylvania, too. Thus, a same-sex marriage performed in Delaware also has to be honored in Pennsylvania.

The courts haven’t quite gotten there yet (a recent Ohio ruling is among the first) but pending suits in this state will make it moot. No amount of faux outrage can overcome such a basic tenant of law.

So, it a greater sense, the fact that Montgomery County is offering marriage licenses to same sex couples — and yes, my sense is that it’s kind of a thin publicity stunt by Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, one of the state’s most ambitious politicians — is basically bending to the inevitable, albeit in a politically expedient and pandering way.

I’m even less thrilled with Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s refusal to defend the state’s ban in court — not that I agree with it — in short, she’s failing to do the job she was elected to do.

Ask any number of defense attorneys whether they think their clients are guilty and privately some will suggest they are and deserving of harsh penalties — and yet they still defend them. That’s their job. Kane had to know when running for this office that laws like this come with the territory. Like it or not, Kane has an obligation to defend the state here, even, maybe even especially when its laws violate the U.S. Constitution and are kind of asinine.

Which brings us to Metcalfe.

With the state facing all sorts of issues raging from the potential of bridges collapsing into rivers (and Metcalfe’s blocking of the transportation bill to further enhance the chances of that) to pensions, this issue is sucking the oxygen out of the room, in a cynical, pandering attempt to play politics.

I’d completely ignore Metcalfe if there weren’t one or two local state representatives running in his posse of hate and stupidity (remember Metcalfe cited “God’s law” as the reason for preventing another state representative from speaking on the floor of the House earlier this year).

For a second, let’s assume that same-sex marriage is the most important issue facing Pennsylvania right now and deserves more than a shrug and acceptance of its inevitability.

So….why is it such a scourge and such a threat to heterosexual marriage?

“Well, because it is.” Yeah. Okay. That explains it all.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me (okay, probably), but when I hear about a couple of guys getting married my first thought (or even 50th) isn’t “Wow. I should dump my wife and try that out.” So, I’m missing the threat to “traditional” marriage.

“We have to defend marriage.” From what? At the current divorce rate, the biggest threat to marriage would appear to be…wait for it…people getting married (followed quickly by said married people cheating on their spouse). I see no compelling reason not to allow gay folks to mess up at being married just like us straight folks.

The Bible says it’s wrong (so claims Metcalfe). The same verse in Leviticus cited for homosexuality being bad also bans real estate transactions, tattoos, mistreating foreigners (uh oh, anti-immigration folks), seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (and there goes the entire state legislature to Hell), spreading slander (ditto), poly blend fabrics in clothing (yoga pants: a sin against God!) and dozens of other things that happen daily without indignation from elected officials, including: and make sure you’re sitting for this one: bacon.

In fact, a close reading of the Bible makes it clear that having a same-sex spouse isn’t nearly as bad as chowing down on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (add mayo, and it’s all over, brother).

And, maybe it’s me, but I haven’t seen Metcalfe out there calling for an immediate ban of pork roll to comply with “God’s law.” Although a few protest marches at Red Lobster might be a good thing, to be honest. And maybe Olive Garden, too, for that matter.

So, like Shapiro and Kane, Metcalfe and his posse of politasmurfs aren’t really acting from anything like conviction, but a rather cynical political motivation.

You see, Metcalfe (like more than a couple of state legislators around here) wants you to forget that he voted for the midnight pay hike and the pension expansion that enriched them and exploded your real estate tax bill. They want you to forget that Pennsylvania is about 80th in the U.S. in job growth (okay, 46th). They want you to forget that our roads are crumbling, our schools are failing and most legislators are wholly owned subsidiaries of various special interest groups, left and right.

So they trot out “gay marriage” or “abortion” — and both Republicans and Democrats do it — political shiny keys to distract you from what’s really going on, how by and large these folks aren’t doing their jobs.

When this state is facing real issues, nothing will get done as long as we allow these cynical distractions to keep from holding each and every one of these folks accountable.

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  1. Tom says:

    Actually Rex,

    Jews do believe in God, just not Jesus, and Allah to the Muslims is the one true God, so they believe in one too…. Typical response one would expect from someone like you, making rash generalizations to an unsupportable point. All religions sanction their marriage under the god the believe they have. Our christian God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Just because I don’t believe two people of the same sex should be married, does not make me a bigot. I and many other Christians and Muslims simply disagree based on moral and religious beliefs. Just because gays like yourself believe they should be allowed to be married does not make it right. Just because nudist think they should be able to walk around nude doesn’t make that right either, it not morally acceptable. And since you’ll never have children of your own, you’ll never know what it is like to want to protect them from the horrors of this twisted world. So please do us all a favor and don’t talk about things you cant and wont ever possibly understand.

    But have a nice day anyway.

  2. Rex says:

    To the nearly illiterate Tom:

    First off, I’m glad God anointed you to speak not only for your religion, not only for all denominations of Christianity, but for all world religions. Clearly, your own bigoted beliefs should be legally binding on all Americans, not all of whom belong to your church. By your own argument, there are no married Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

    Also, I really hope that the inevitable passing of gay marriage ruins your relationship, and all boys and girls will grow up gay. I know this will happen, because you said so, and you are clearly an expert on child psychology and human sexuality.



  3. Turk182 says:

    Mike: a bit of time-honored advice from Mark Twain that applies here:

    “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

  4. Tom says:

    Inclusion in the The Unionville Times, The Kennett Times, The Coatesville Times and the Chessco Times really doesn’t qualify for “tens of thousands of readers”… Are these papers even printed or are they just online? Also, your statement “especially after all of the positive comments, calls and emails on this column” is interesting because I could only find (3) supportive comments on the above listed websites, combined. I am certain I will be overwhelmed with responses from your loyal readers to my comments should I place them on all the channels you have, it can barley stand the thought of the magnitude of there responses. I have to apologize for my lack of mastery of the King’s English, I am no where near the level of writer you are, certainly not posted like you, Im sure,in major paper outlets throughout the country. I am humbled by your skills. Regarding McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, I fail to see how that supports your argument that “Same-sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania. Performing one might not yet be, but if you got married somewhere else, you’re married. Yup. Go read your U.S. Constitution and check out the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.” In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, McDonald sought the right, within his own state, more specifically, his city, to posses a handgun in his home. This has nothing to do with one state recognizing the rights bestowed by another state…

  5. Tom says:

    Oh and Mike, the reason it is not a threat to you is that your a grown man that wasn’t exposed to homosexuality as a child. Think of your early years as a boy and the physical drives you had. If it was all OK and acceptable for you and your male friends to have sex, do you think it might be more probable that it might happen? Do you think that maybe your moral compass would be off or confused because you were told its OK? Do you think that the other boys who are having the same urges you are might just try it because everyone says its OK? This is the serious problem that endangers our young boys, having an improper channel for their urges. And just because, you as a grown married man scoff at the idea of it being a threat, you dismiss the impact it has on young influencable boys. I want to protect my children from all unatural, immoral acts like gay sex or bestiality, so that they can be spared the confusion exposure to these acts can bring.

    • Mike McGann says:


      Okay, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — especially after all of the positive comments, calls and emails on this column.

      Thank you for your input on our readership, it must take a lot of caring and character for you to comment when you feel that no one will see it. I’m sure my tens of thousands of readers appreciate your kindness. The same goes for your critique of my column photo and writing — I am bowed by your clear mastery of the King’s English.

      But let us address a few facts:

      First off, on my 14th Amendment argument, and your argument about carry permits: look up McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 and get back to me on that. It is exactly the legal concept I speak of, and as an alleged “liberal” you’ll be delighted to know that Justice Alito (I guess he’s liberal, too?) agrees with me and not you.

      I’d argue with your other points, but frankly, nothing I could say would add to refuting them beyond people just reading them and their likely immediate revulsion.

  6. Tom says:

    Thankfully Mike, no one reads you articles, I was barley able to get through the nonsense and jumping around mis-information. And really, clean up the picture, people might take you seriously if you actually try to look like a man worth taking seriously. It tells a lot that you are someone who just doesn’t give a crap and your statements in this article support it.
    You confuse several issues. One :“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Well, news flash. I have a legal carry permit issued here in PA, and the Constitution states I have a right to bear arms in the United States, yet 31 other states do not recognize my PA carry permit. This also applies to many other state issued licenses.
    Two: You try to tie morality to the biblical readings. Being immoral is for example, sexually dissolute; profligate or promiscuous, has nothing to do with religion, it is a state of being. Like most liberals, you try to justify your support of immoral behavior by searching for scripture readings that counter common sense morality. You don’t need to look that hard. Truth can most clearly be found in innocence. Just ask any child if it is normal for a man to kiss a man or for a woman to kiss a woman and they will look at you like you have two heads, “that is disgusting” they would say. The reason is, because it is. It wasn’t meant to be. It is only when you allow your thoughts to be twisted because society tells you its OK, instead of listening to your own common sense.
    Third: You mistakenly try to tie a civil marriage to a religious marriage. A marriage by a judge is a civil event, it has nothing to do with God or the bible. It is a Civil Union and should be called such. God does not bless Judges to marry people, nor are they married in the eyes of God, rather they are married only by the corrupted court system, and that is all. Try not to confuse and ignite people by implying that a gay “marriage” is a religious, God endorsed event, because it is not.
    I personally do not have an issue with what people do in the privacy of there homes. Straight people don’t masquerade in parades demonstrating whatever deviant behavior they have, and gay people ought to try to be take the same approach

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