Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Toronto Yokels' Yucks

Also breaking or broken news when we were away was the two straight guys who announced to the Toronto Sun that they would wed. Then next week (last Friday), they called it off.

Note: Linguists and verbal trendsters can click over to The London Fog blog's August 6th entry to see the report on the original that may have coined platonophobe.

There are hoots and boos involved. As one might expect, the announcement was a bar-fueled yuck between two buddies. Nothing in Canada's same-sex marriage rules require homosexuality, any more than the previous law required heterosexuality. For both, the benefits of taxes, joint property and so forth are substantial and to two tipsy Toronto tricksters, tempting.

According to the guys, Bill Dalrymple (56) and Bryan Pinn (65), they quickly tired of the attention they received. They heard from many people, some amused, some angry. Pinn said when they disengaged themselves, "We pissed off the entire lunatic fringe. We don't want to be anyone's poster boys. This really was an act of political satire. If this is going to cause mayhem, we don't want to be the tethered goats. It's out there now, discuss amongst yourselves."

Of course, this issue was muttered about by all sides in civil-union and same-sex marriage discussions for the past several years. Some DoMA folk seem terrified that gay couples might use marriage or civil-union laws to gain traditional legal and tax advantages that countless straight couples who married in name only have gotten for centuries.

Some gay-rights folk who favor same-sex marriages find the two lads' joke unfunny. With a puffiness more fitting the other side, they claim cheapening of the new legal rights.

Yet through it all remains the question about why adults cannot contract in a marriage or civil union regardless of whether they can or will breed? If aging or ill family members want to enter a contract and play by all the legal requirements, why can't they form a civil union and get the medical and other legal benefits? If a straight couple can marry for tax, housing waiting list and other legal benefits, why shouldn't a homosexual couple be allowed to do so?

It looks like we are years away from resolving all this, except perhaps in Vermont and Massachusetts.

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