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The Kardashians, Conan, and the Seriousness of Same-Sex Marriage

Apparently, Kim Kardashian’s marriage didn’t last too long. Who knew? And I am truly sorry to hear that. Truly.

I learned about it when journalists started calling to ask for my thoughts on whether the Kardashian news wasn’t indeed another reason for not giving same-sex marriage a try. I have heard this line of reasoning quite a bit from people thinking the reasoning is sound. It goes like this: “See you heteroes make a mockery of marriage so why not give us a chance?” They offer sky-diving and scuba-diving weddings as examples. Or Erik Menendez’s jail-house nuptials where a twinkie from the vending machine served as the wedding cake.

This strikes me as similar to the the tobacco companies begging, “Listen mom and dad, your kids already consume more junk food and sugar drinks then they should. Why not give us a shot at them?”

Who makes an argument for their particular deeply held self-interest by appealing to someone else’s failure to meet the ideal?

Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the plaintiffs who fought for and gave us our nation’s first same-sex marriage law (Massachusetts) separated two years after their wedding and divorced in 2009. It is no more right to pile onto the Goodridges than it to pile on the Kardashians or anyone else whose marriage fails. But our goal should not be to bring marriage down to it’s least common denominator, but to strengthen it. How will redefining marriage to say the “husband/wife” part of marriage is merely personal choice strengthen marriage?

If same-sex marriage proponents are really about taking marriage seriously — as we are told they are — is getting married on Conan’s show the way to show that seriousness? You would go to Charlie Rose for that.


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