Gillette’s newest lawmaker, Rep. Troy Mader (R-Homophobe) seems to be just getting started in his effort to convince the rest of Wyoming that gays and lesbians already have all the rights they need, so this marriage nonsense is out of the question.
Mader distributed copies of a new commentary he wrote, “Of Gay Rights and Marriage,” to 45 news outlets via email on Sunday, including WyPols. It’s a fascinating document and one that probably shows us more of what he thinks about gays than his 1987 book, “The Death Sentence of AIDS: Vital Information You Need for Your Family’s Health and Safety.” That screed mostly contained quotes from AIDS “experts,” with Mader tossing in his two cents at the end of each chapter.
In the very first paragraph of his op-ed, Mader explains homosexuals have all the rights afforded to everyone else. “Can they vote?” he asks. “Live where they want with whomever they want? Own a home? Drive a car? Choose their vocation?”
Yes, they can do all of those things and more, Rep. Mader, but the Human Rights Campaign points out there are 1,138 federal benefits, rights and protections associated with marriage that gays and lesbians do not have, as long as they cannot legally marry like heterosexual couples do. These are hardly inconsequential things; for example, they include the right to own property jointly, inherit without probate, share a bank account, visit their partner in a hospital and make decisions about health care if they are unable to do so themselves.
So what’s with this “rights” issue, Mader ponders, which leads him to another question. He asks, “What if it isn’t about rights at all, but rather the stifling of free and open debate about a questionable lifestyle – one fraught with known health risks?”
The lawmaker, who was appointed by the Campbell County Commission to replace Rep. Sue Wallis after her death before the recent budget session, wonders why anyone is even still talking about same-sex marriage. Of course, Wallis talked about it frequently, because, while she was a conservative Republican on many issues, she was in favor of gay marriage.
“Last time I checked no human being ever defined marriage,” Mader asserts, which should be quite a surprise to lawmakers everywhere who have historically defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but who are increasingly willing to include same-sex couples in their respective state laws.
Here’s where Mader’s case becomes extremely confusing. While humans can’t possibly define marriage, he says, “It doesn’t matter if one believes the definition came via nature or nature’s God as stated in the Declaration of Independence, both are beyond our scope and ability to define. We simply recognized its existence and the many benefits as a foundational block for society and the nation.”
If that’s what Mader learned growing up in Wyoming, no wonder we need to rethink Wyoming’s schools. We always thought the Declaration of Independence was written by men (specifically Thomas Jefferson, with a little help from Ben Franklin), not nature or nature’s God. Our Founding Fathers just plucked the definition of marriage from the Declaration out of the air, apparently, and decided it fit their needs for a moral society. Good thing it wasn’t trademarked.
But another flaw in Mader’s rationale is the fact that the Declaration of Independence doesn’t actually mention – let alone define – marriage at all. In fact, what the Declaration did declare – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — certainly seems to make an excellent case for same-sex marriage to be legal.
“What we can do is play word semantics and re-define marriage to fit our puny little mindsets,” Mader intones. But it’s Mader’s point of view, based on misunderstandings and intolerance, that seems particularly narrow and upside down: nature or God rather than men made our laws, but God did not make our nature, i.e., homosexuality, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
And then Mader makes the leap that gay marriage will lead to polygamy and bestiality. “We’ve ‘progressed’ from considering homosexuality detrimental a generation or so ago to now considering it an alternative lifestyle,” he writes. “Will we soon ‘progress’ further and call marriage any ‘love’ relationship between whatever – another man or woman or child or animal or perhaps a mix of all the above or in multiple quantities? Ever heard of Polyamorism? And if you’re interested, I can forward you requests sent to legislators to legalize ‘Polygamy.’”
According to Mader, here’s what it would say about the rules of life in our copy of the “Official Conservative State Legislator’s Playbook,” if it existed: “The Rules of Life (let’s capitalize them, because they probably would have in the Declaration of Independence if they had been included there) are written by God, and since we are a Christian nation, we must follow those rules just like we do the Bible. If the Rules of Life get all mucked up with equality and things of that nature – not to be confused with nature’s God, who defined marriage — it will just complicate things and pretty soon homosexuals will demand to be treated as equals under the law like the rest of us.” Are you following this?
Actually, what Mader believes is this: “A rule was established long ago and it was: ‘One man and one woman constitute a family. The family was established to be the bedrock of society.’ … The further any society gets from this rule, the less freedom there is and the more government there will be due to the chaos caused by ignoring the rule.” Where does he get this stuff?
So now it’s clear. According to Rep. Mader, if gays are allowed to marry, the entire bedrock of society will crumble, and we’ll lose our freedoms, and we’ll get more government. We bet it will be BIG government, too, the kind conservatives have warned us about for years.
Yes, the kind of big government that asserts its right to tell people who they can love, and who they can marry, and reminds gays that they really have all the rights they need, so they should just shut up. They can drive cars and own their own homes, as Mader points out. What the heck else do they want from us?