September 25 2006, 3:24 PM
It's not illegal immigration. It's not health care reform. It isn't terrorism and homeland security. Education? Nope. Social Security? Sorry. The economy? Try again. The environment? No dice. The single most important issue we face in America, my friends, is none of the above. Nothing -- I repeat, nothing -- is more important to our fine nation than banning gay marriage. Seriously. But don't take my word for it, because it isn't my idea. It's Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave who says that "protecting traditional marriage" is the most important issue that Americans face today.
Speaking at the Family Research Council's 2006 Values Voter Summit, Musgrave, a Fort Morgan Republican, said she agrees with those who say legalized gay marriage would destroy religious freedoms... ..."As we face the issues that we are facing today, I don't think there's anything more important out there than the marriage issue," Musgrave told an enthusiastic crowd. The Colorado District 4 House member is sponsoring legislation that would amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard is pushing a similar bill in the Senate. Neither measure has won enough votes to go to the states for ratification.I may not be the best person to ask about this, because not only do I think banning gay marriage is not the number one issue we face in America, I don't even think it's in the top ten...and I don't even see how you could make a real argument otherwise. You're telling me that banning gay marriage is more important than improving our schools? That it is more important than increasing access to health care? That it is more important than protecting our country from another horrible terrorist attack? If you happen to agree with Musgrave, you're telling me that if you had to choose only one, you would take a ban on gay marriage over stopping a terrorist attack? Really? If two gay men, whom I don't know, decide to elope tomorrow, my life won't be different. Hell, if one guy decides to marry his Toyota Camry tomorrow, I'm still going to get up and go to work in the morning. But if a terrorist blows up the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow, my life will change. If health care premiums rise by 15%, my life will change. If social security isn't fixed...okay, my life probably won't change if social security isn't fixed, but you get the idea. Maybe I'm going to extremes here, but if you are going to declare an issue to be number one in your list of things to accomplish, how can you possibly place something like banning gay marriage at the top? How can you justify that? Gay marriage only affects you if it happens to be something that you are personally, and deeply morally, concerned about. Gay marriage may affect your marriage because that's what you tell yourself and because that's what you listen to on the radio. But I don't - so it doesn't affect me. But a terrorist attack? A terrorist attack affects you whether you like it or not. Rising prescription drug prices affect you whether you take prescription drugs or not (unless you decline health care altogether, in which case you really have too much going for you to worry about gay marriage). These issues are not on the same level as banning gay marriage, and they never will be. We've all got our own pet issues and interests, particularly where politics is concerned, and I don't begrudge anyone who believes that banning gay marriage is an important issue. Important issue? Maybe. The #1 issue? Not a chance. You know, if banning gay marriage really was the biggest issue we had in America, then we really wouldn't have much else to talk about.