OK, my right-wing friend, you can go on believing that marriage is a thing for a man and a woman; that matrimony is so called because it comes from the Latin for mother; that an elephant is called an elephant because God gave Adam the right to bestow names on the lower creation; that if the dictionary has given us clear definitions for bastardy, illegitimacy and unnatural relations, who are we to use terms less harsh than these, just because our social usages have changed?
So convince the leader of your party (now our prime minister) that the term marriage is sacred, and get him to bring an appeal before the Constitutional Court against the gay marriage law. And now when, seven (seven!) years and 22,000 gay marriages later, the Court rules in favor of the law, notice how many children already use the term "uncle" in reference to their uncle's partner.
I understand your disgust. Perhaps you would rather they said "partner by full consent in civil union," or some mealy-mouthed formula of the sort, but such things are a little long for children.
Romney sat himself down beside a man who had the look of being an honest, straight-arrow retired working man
The other day, when Prime Minister Rajoy appeared on a radio show and was asked about the gay marriage ruling, he reacted as if he had just been goosed by a nun. He waffled as best he could, saying he had never said he had anything against the rights of gay couples, but he did object to the use of the term "marriage."
One of the most pathetic moments in the public life of Mitt Romney -- in one of those on-the-street encounters that advisors advise political aspirants to make -- took place in 2011, when they dragged him into a diner in New Hampshire to force his honest, cheerful presence on the people who were having breakfast within. Romney sat himself down beside a man who had the look of being an honest, straight-arrow retired working man who voted Republican. Romney and his crew fairly licked their chops when the man mentioned that he was a war veteran. The Republican's jaw could be seen jutting a little as he prepared to strut his stuff.
But at this point the perfect man asked whether, as president, he would prohibit gay marriage. Romney, a little taken aback by so specific a question, said that for him, marriage could only exist between a man and a woman. He repeated this several times: the same phrase. Without any arguments at all. An identical phrase, uttered several times. The veteran said, "Sorry, I'll never vote for you."
Romney rose with the frozen smile of a politician for whom a golden moment of colloquy with a Regular Joe had just been poisoned. Appearances had laid a trap for him: the man who looked like an elderly redneck Republican had turned out to be an older gay gentleman who believed in the ties created by love. He said this straight out, and that he would only vote for a president who recognized the rights of a homosexual union. As simple as that. Human rights are summed up concisely, and do not require extensive theoretical structures. They can be expressed in the space of time it took Romney to sit down and chat with a presumed voter who seemed to be a conservative heterosexual and turned out to be a conservative homosexual.
But, dear defender of terminology comme il faut, you need not feel poisoned by life. They may have adulterated your moral dictionary, but look on the bright side: the Constitutional Court cannot oblige you to attend gay weddings - even if it was your own daughter who wanted to take her girlfriend as a wife. Nor can the court oblige you to actually pronounce the holy word, marriage, in reference to what you consider a farce. Seven years have gone by in defense of the virginity of a term: long enough for some of those gay marriages to be ending in divorce. All's well that ends well.