Civil unions not kid stuff
LIFE is good again. The state Legislature is in session. For a humor columnist, these are the best of times, when columns seem to write themselves. Times when words like zany, weird, wacky, daft, curious, odd and kooky get a real workout. And the Silly Season is off to a great start.
Wading bravely into the quicksand of government-sanctioned personal relationships is Kauai Sen. Gary Hooser, unfazed, apparently, by the public backlash against elected representatives who last tried to smoosh same-sex marriage, civil unions and unholy matrimony into a tidy government-approved box.
Hooser is unfortunately displaying the tin ear many politicians have when it comes to discerning the wishes of the public at large. He correctly sensed that the public is warming up to the idea of "civil" unions between human beings -- though I think the word "civil" rarely applies to people who promise to live together for the rest of their lives.
Yes, the general population is showing an inclination to accept "civil unions" among even same-sex couples, as long as the term "marriage" is not involved. I'm not quite sure why heterosexuals hold the term "marriage" in such high esteem, considering that half of marriages between men and women end in divorce and an alarming number end in even more dramatic fashion (See "California v. Scott Peterson," etc.)
WHERE Sen. Hooser's proposed bill goes astray is in allowing 16-year-olds to be one of the partners in said union.
There is another word for people of the 16-year-old variety: children. It is odd, curious, weird and a bit kooky that Hooser would support a union between, say, man and boy, man and girl, woman and girl or even woman and boy. How would a child of 16 even be able to enter into a legal contract, which I assume is what a "civil union" would be, when only legal adults can enter into contracts? A 16-year-old can't even buy booze or a pack of cigarettes, yet Hooser thinks they can buy into an adult relationship. Can you say "wacky"?
Not to beat a dead libertarian horse, but this is the kind of nonsense that shows that government shouldn't be in the personal relationship business at all. Marriage is a cultural and religious right between two consenting ADULTS (or one adult and one inanimate object) that needs no stamp of approval by the state. As Hooser is about to learn, governments should just treat everyone equal as individuals and stay out of defining partnerships and conferring special rights upon selective buddy-ships.
Buy Charles Memminger's hillarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org