Yep. Two self-identified “heterosexual” guys from Otago on New Zealand’s South Island got married so they could go on an all-expenses-paid trip to next year’s Rugby World Cup in London.
I was going to call this post “Two Rugby-Loving Dudes Make A Mockery of the Mockery That Is Gay Marriage”, but I decided to wait until after you’d clicked to annoy you.
Look at these guys’ sweet beards, by the way. Otago is the same place I wrote about last year, where professional rugby players grew out epic beards regardless of whether their women wanted them to or not.
A little kiwi context for you. Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand. It is the nation’s all-consuming passion. There are only two countries in the world where rugby is the most popular sport (Wales being the other), and for the kiwis it’s not even close. Those people love their rugby, and they especially love their national team, the All-Blacks.
So a radio station holds a contest, offering a trip for two to the Rugby World Cup, where the All-Blacks will be favorites to win it all. And dudes participate in the contest, because they love rugby and they love each other!
From the Otago Daily Times:
Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick wrote their wedding vows yesterday, brimming with ”nervous excitement” about their big day. The Dunedin men will marry tomorrow, but their move has horrified gay groups.
The pair are heterosexual best mates.
Engineering student Mr McIntosh (23) and teacher Mr McCormick (24) will tie the knot to win a The Edge radio station competition and a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Mr McCormick said from Auckland yesterday opposition to the wedding was understandable but the pair never intended to offend anyone.
”We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path.”
Mr McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage. ”It’s just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup.”
”We picked up our wedding certificate and the nerves are starting to really hit home.”
The pair said their wedding vows would touch on their friendship and recall their time playing rugby together at King’s High School in Dunedin. They were undecided if they would take hyphenated surnames and who would walk down the aisle. The couple’s wedding song is Cruisin’, by Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Mr McIntosh said he thought the marriage would last at least two years.
Mr McCormick, a teacher at Musselburgh School, said the friendship began after the two met at Pirates Rugby Club in Dunedin when he was aged 6. His family, like Mr McIntosh’s, was excited about the wedding.
“They’re backing us 100%,” Mr McCormick said.
However, gay rights groups have condemned the union. Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said the wedding was an ”insult” because marriage equality was a ”hard fought” battle for gay people.
”Something like this trivialises what we fought for.” The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, ”as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Mr Ballantyne said.
Hmm. Mr. Ballantyne might be right. Let’s examine the several points that come up in the article, and try to get at the truth of what this is and does.
1. These guys are not here to offend anyone. They are here to do their own thing and travel their own path. This seems to me to be a completely unassailable position. This is the cornerstone justification for homosexuality and homosexual marriage. This is what I as an individual wish to do; I have found another individual who wishes to do it with me; I do all I can to minimize harm to other in my lifestyle; you must therefore bless my actions. Yep. That settles that.
But I guess it doesn’t, because Queer Support is still mad. So let us talk on.
2. This is not mockery. It’s love. I am sure these young men are not trying to make a social or religious statement. Surely they are motivated only by the love of rugby, and are willing to jump through hoops and endure social pressures to achieve that end. These two men love each other, truly love each other, having known each other since they played junior rugby at the age of six. Go Pirates! Their vows will recall their times together, and the special bond they have with each other through rugby. How can this be a mockery of gay marriage? After all, gay marriage is about love. It’s about affection. Two dudes love each other. Let them marry! If they choose not to have sex with each other, fine!
How could this possible be a mockery of the “institution of marriage” as we’ve defined it: a strictly legal union of two adults made in order to gain a formal granting of civil and societal advantages ( + love). For some, a tax break, for others, an all-expenses-paid rugby trip of a lifetime.
3. These guys are mates! They’re friends, they’re best buds!
I read an article recently by a man who identified as straight, but had “fallen in love” with his male best friend. I put “fallen in love” in quotation marks not because of the gay thing, but because “falling in love” is a stupid name for a stupid thing. Love is something you do, not something you fall into. Anyway, this guy appears to suffer from a very common malady: the inability to express love without sex. Both men and women in our sex-saturated society lack tools and language to express either love or affection (two different things) to friends. The confusion this engenders leads some to think, “I guess these feelings are me trying to tell myself I’m falling in love/need to have sex with this person.” Affection is especially difficult. That’s the emotion one, the one people stupidly call love. And when we can’t express that emotion, we twist.
These two kiwis, on the other hand, seem to have figured that part out well enough. They love each other but they don’t want to have sex with each other. Look how they’re hugging in the picture above. They know how to express affection.
4. This trivializes marriage. Or as Mr. Ballantyne put it, this “trivializes what we fought for.” What exactly does it trivialize, Mr. Ballantyne? Love? Are you going to tell these guys that their love isn’t real? (Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re already announcing that they expect the union to last for two years that bothers you.) How would you describe gay marriage in a way that makes it other than what these guys have done? The only way to do that is to fall into the emotive language of passion, and passionate is something marriage never has been.
Marriage is indeed an institution, a grand and fundamental one, which has already been trivialized. The movement to legalize gay marriage around the world has sought to wear down, denigrate, and redefine marriage until it became something else. It is now, at its best, two people walking through life together in a legally recognized manner. And if these two guys want to do that for two years, and get a sweet sweet honeymoon while they’re at it, more power to them.
It’s too late not to trivialize marriage, Mr. Ballantyne. Thou art the man. Go back to traveling your own path.
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