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BILL MAHER

Valentine's Day, that great state holiday

NEW RULE: You can't claim you're the party of smaller government, and then clamor to make laws about love. If there's one area I don't want the US government to add to its list of screw-ups, it's love.

 

On the occasion of this Valentine's Day, let's stop and ask ourselves: What business is it of the state how consenting adults choose to pair off, share expenses, and eventually stop having sex with each other?

And why does the Bush administration want a constitutional amendment about weddings? Hey, birthdays are important, too -- why not include them in the great document? Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake -- you know, to send the right message to kids.

Republicans are always saying we should privatize things, like schools, prison, Social Security -- OK, so how about we privatize privacy? If the government forbids gay men from tying the knot, what's their alternative? They can't all marry Liza Minnelli.

Republicans used to be the party that opposed social engineering, but now they push programs to outlaw marriage for some people, and encourage it for others. If you're straight, there's a billion-five in the budget to encourage and promote marriage -- including seed money to pay an old Jewish woman to call up people at random and say "So why aren't you married, Mr. Big Shot?"

But when it comes to homosexuals, Republicans sing "I Love You Just the Way You Oughta Be." They oppose gay marriage because it threatens or mocks -- or does something -- to the "sanctity of marriage," as if anything you can do drunk out of your mind in front of an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas could be considered sacred. Half the people who pledge eternal love are doing it because one of them is either knocked-up, rich or desperate, but in George Bush's mind, marriage is only a beautiful lifetime bond of love and sharing -- kind of like what his Dad has with the Saudis.

But at least the right wing aren't hypocrites on this issue -- they really believe that homosexuality, because it says so in the Bible, is an "abomination" and a "dysfunction" that's "curable": they believe that if a gay man just devotes his life to Jesus, he'll stop being gay -- because the theory worked out so well with the Catholic priests.

But the greater shame in this story goes to the Democrats, because they don't believe homosexuality is an "abomination," and therefore their refusal to endorse gay marriage is a hypocrisy. The right are true believers, but the Democrats are merely pretending that they believe gays are not entitled to the same state-sanctioned misery as the rest of us. The Democrats' position doesn't come from the Bible, it's ripped right from the latest poll, which says that most Americans are against gay marriage.

Well, you know what: Sometimes "most Americans" are wrong. Where's the Democrat who will stand up and go beyond the half measures of "civil union" and "hate the sin, love the sinner," and say loud and clear: `There IS no sin, and homosexuality is NOT an abomination' -- although that Boy George musical Rosie O'Donnell put on comes close. The only thing abominable about being gay is the amount of time you have to put in at the gym.

But that aside, the law in this country should reflect that some people are just born 100 percent outrageously, fabulously, undeniably Fire Island gay, and that they don't need re-programming. They need a man with a slow hand.

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Bill Maher is host of "Real Time with Bill Maher."

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