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So, yesterday a “news story” broke (Jenny Sanford: “Gay marriage wrecked my family”) on a little-known “news site” (The DiSCust) and quickly spread, without people realizing it was a satire piece (I must admit, myself included). It “quoted” Jenny Sanford and Rush Limbaugh in regards to gay marriage, and made claims that gay marriage was to blame for the “moral decay” of America.

The thing about the article that bothered me the most was that it was supposed to be a satire, but sadly, this is how some people in this country actually feel, and would be inclined to agree with the statements attributed to Ms. Sanford. There are people who really do believe that “the gays” are to blame for myriad problems.

My initial reaction to this piece, before discovering that it was supposed to be a parody, was to be furious. The fight for marriage equality is not the reason that spouses have affairs. Gays and lesbians who share their lives with each other and want it to be federally recognized have nothing to do with people’s inability to keep in their pants, so to speak. If “the sanctity of marriage” has been destroyed, it is not because of us. It is thanks to people like Governor Sanford, who think that cheating is okay. It’s not.

If moral values are declining in America, it’s not “the gays” who are to blame. It’s people who make excuses for bad behavior and find someone else to blame. Where has the accountability for one’s actions gone? You can just buy your way out if you have enough money or power, or go to church on Sunday and be absolved of your sins, you can just get a divorce if your marriage isn’t working. Marriage is not supposed to be a temporary arrangement that can be entered in to and out of at will; it is a commitment to spend your life with, care for, be faithful to and love one another for the rest of your life. Why is it that someone who is denied the right to marry more able to see that than some people who are able to do so whenever they choose? Is it that they take marriage for granted? Is it because it is so easy to get married, divorced and then remarried? Why aren’t philanderers and abusive spouses being blamed for destroying the sanctity of marriage and the decay of moral values? Why are loving, committed gay and lesbian couples blamed for the decay of an institution that we are not even permitted to be a part of? I think that it’s too hard for people to look in the mirror and see what they themselves might be doing wrong; it’s easier to find a scapegoat to pin all the problems on.

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