Irony is afoot. The latest polls show that there are now more Americans supporting Gay Marriage than before the turbulent reaction to California’s Proposition 8. Proposition 8 is a California initiative which denies the right of same sex couple to marry. I have to ask, “Why?” Why this swift change in ideology? What argument is so powerful as to remove the fear of a great sin? The answer is simple – the fear was and is unjustified. There is no sin. The irony is that the very Proposition against Gay Marriage is the catalyst for progressive change.
The demons of the human psyche are much more powerful when hidden behind a mask. Children pull the covers over their heads to hide behind the monster under the bed. Their closet door is ajar and there is certainty in the child’s mind that the monster is hiding in the closet. The cloak of fear drives irrational phobias. Exposing the fear as irrational removes the power – the phobia subsides. Cloaked in darkness, covered by the mist of ignorance, sheltered from truth – demons rule.
There are two perceived demons in the debate about Gay Marriage. One demon says that allowing Gay Marriage will destroy the sanctity of tradition – thus causing some sort of complete cultural collapse and a return to the Dark Ages of morality. The counter demon is the fear of homophobia itself. Progressive people on the political left fear the ignorance and loss of critical thinking skills by the conservative right. The term homophobia is a prejudicial term and is as invalid as the fear of marriage equality.
In the lay terms of myriad social and psychological support groups the demon is placed on the table, the demon is exposed, and the fear is removed. The door to the child’s closet is opened, the light turned on, and the demon vanishes. The demon is only as powerful as the imagination of the fearful. Proposition 8 served to help put the demon on the table – in full view of a thoughtful populace.
We have witnessed the demons of past cultures being destroyed by exposure. How about those black people who were granted only 3/5 humanity by the founding fathers? What were the irrational fears of the Ku Klux Klan? What were the fears of the Jews in Nazi Germany? How did the fear of integration in the 1950’s and 1960’s actually play out after the Civil Rights Act of 1964? All of these irrational fears, phobias if you will, have been rooted out and only the most fearful refuse to turn on the light.
The very act of keeping Gay Marriage on the front burner of national attention has exposed the fear as irrational. Proposition 8 has served to expose itself as a foolish child hiding under the blanket. The monster is out of the closet and he has no fangs.