Mainwaring goes on to argue that because “Only a little more than 53%” of the signers were Republican, and the rest an assortment of parties, gay marriage is a “common, mainstream concern”, to be shared among citizens of all backgrounds. Mainwaring defends the signers of this petition, stating that because they signed an anti-gay marriage petition, their actions cannot be chalked up to homophobic motives. He says that “the vast majority simply view ‘marriage’ as an immutable term that can only apple to heterosexuals”, and that “’we’ shouldn’t mess with [the term marriage]”.
I mentioned before that Mainwaring’s opinion on this topic is considerably unique. This is because he himself is, in fact, gay. It was not only the fact that Mainwaring decided to mention this, but also the juxtaposition of this statement that was mildly infuriating to me. To me, placing the fact that he is gay directly after his statements defending the people who signed the petition is a bit like an African-American saying “I think blacks should be subject to a lower standard of living than whites…and it’s okay for me to think this because I’m black! If a black person were to say this today, this would be considered socially unacceptable from nearly every person in this country, and it should be the same for Mainwaring and all other gays. It’s extremely difficult for me to even begin to wrap my head around how Mainwaring can even have this opinion. How he can blatantly undermine the oppressed minority he has categorized himself into, simply because “we should not attempt to force into an old construct something that was never meant for same-sex partnerships” is appalling.
Mainwaring believes that simply because the term “marriage” has meant one thing for the past two hundred years, it simply cannot be open to interpretation, like many other dated laws. So many different sections of the constitution have been twisted and bent toward various opinions, just as the following should be. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The argument that Mainwaring is trying to make is ill-supported and weak. It is less credible that the late 1920’s “Separate but Equal” mantra, considering civil unions, which Mainwaring proposes for gays, are in no way even close to being equal to a “traditional” marriage.
Before the Civil Rights Movement, many people were raised to believe that blacks were meant to be inferior. However, as awareness arose, people began to realize that this simply is not true; under the eyes of the law, there should be virtually no difference between a black person and a white person. Likewise, there should be no difference between a gay or a straight couple. A civil union is in no way a reasonable alternative for gays, and if us as Americans were to make that statement the new “traditional”, there one day in the future may be no limits on the term “marriage”.