Same Sex Marriage, What Would Optimus Do?
The Supreme Court of the United States has begun a three-month long deliberation to decide if the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages with all all the rights and privelages therein across all states. The coverage has been rife with pundits and social commentators and celebrities going on and on back and forth as those in favor of same-sex marriage layout all the arguments for the motion, and those against are, well just against it.
Because hetero marriage is about commitment and honesty...
There really is no argument against allowing two people of the same gender to marry and thus gain access to the few legal and tax benefits that are left for anyone in America. Every single argument against it falls flat.
Apart from the line in Leviticus about a man shall not lay with a man etc, (as always, the religious folk are wishy-washy, flippy-floppers when it comes to stoning to death someone working on the Sabbath or a disobedient child, but that gay thing, nope, iron-clad).
...Hetero marriage is a sincere bond that lasts a lifetime....
And my fav argument, the whole "it will destabilize the family unit and cause harm to the children of such unions" dissolves in the face of actual social studies on the subject that have shown the only danger to having a gay mom or dad is getting your ass kicked by the homophobes at school.
...Hetero marriage is clearly the key to stability and happiness...
Since the cable news channels have been throwing around pundits and celebrities and even a few religious folk to give their two cents on the topic, I've begun to ponder what other opinions ought to be included in the discussion. Since so much of the Defense of Marriage crowd is dependent on their spooky old book, often asking what would Jesus do? I too now wonder about the opinions of literary characters who may or may not ever have existed. What would, say, Optimus Prime, greatest leader of the Autobots have to say on the subject?
Prime famously stood by his motto that "freedom is the right of all sentient beings," so it's no stretch of the imagination to think he'd be implicitly supportive of all humans in their pursuit of happiness. Even a cold, 30 foot tall machine understands the importance of love.
But what about Optimus' arch nemesis, Megatron? Here I think we'd be surprised to find him in support of gay marriage as well, but for terrible reasons. Since Megatron loved to manipulate humans in the hopes of undermining the Autobots, it's likely he would have had Soundwave keep an eye on the last presidential election. Seeing all the fear and hate-mongering spewing from the likes of Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann, Megatron would probably have fallen for their grim portents of an America with same sex marriage.
He'd be all Frank Welker-voiced and evil about it too.
What about another other-worldly visitor who could offer an objective view from the heavens, the lovable E.T. the extra-terrestrial? Assuming his alien species understands the concept of gender, I mean they all looked pretty androgynous now that I think about it -- did they even have genitals?? Well him (it?) and his (its??) species had that heart thing going on so he certainly understood love and that's really what underlies the whole issue. If that doesn't make sense to him, explain it using some kind of plant analogy -- they're botanists you know.
M.J. could show him some tricks with that glowing finger.
What about in the magical land of Middle-Earth where, I barely even recall any female characters in those movies to begin with. Just a bunch a dudes on a really long camping trip, in search of ring...a very special kinda ring. I think we can safely say the whole Shire would be pretty cool with same-sex marriage, especially if Gandalf was presiding over the ceremony like he will be for that lucky bastard Picard!
What about an iconic character of 20th Century pop culture, that original slice of Americana, Mickey Mouse? How would that mouse, the mascot of a family friendly, not so subtle Christian-toned cartoon empire feel about the issue? Well, as a giant corporate entity, Disney hasn't stayed on top by going off half-cocked about self-proclaimed moral authority like the morons at Chick-fil-a, preferring instead to sue little-league teams who dare to use any of their trademarks and being generally litigious.
For a company founded by a closeted antisemitic cartoonist whose creations included a pant-less duck in a sailor suit, I imagine Mickey would be down with equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Just don't open an amusement park that infringes on any of his intellectual property. I can just hear his biting, high-pitched tone "what's this about Butt-Pirates of the Caribbean??"
Even Mickey will tell you, marriage ain't for the faint of heart.
It seems a pointless exercise to wonder what fictitious characters might think regarding important, historic moments in civil rights and marriage equality, but it is helpful for a moment to share the same approach that opponents of same-sex unions take everyday. So the next time you hear someone cite scripture or quote the risen Jesus as there moral authority on this issue, you look them right in the eye and reply "and Captain Kirk said what does God want with a starship?"