Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace: Traditionalists Turn Gay Marriage Into Greek Drama

A wedding ceremony needn’t consist of drama–unless someone objects. “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

If someone objects, then the Greek drama starts. As in the conflict in Sophocles’ Antigone, in which King Creon feels he has to stop the eccentric love of his son for Antigone because it is contrary (as he imagines) to the will of the gods and good order, so it is with the traditionalists in relation to gay and lesbian marriage.

In 21st century America, traditionalists have placed themselves in the role of the rigid and angry father–as in the last five minutes of The Graduate (when Dustin Hoffman carries off Katharine Ross, and they escape by bus to Simon and Garfunkle’s “The Sounds of Silence”).

So the drama will end over gay marriage–not like Antigone–but like The Graduate.

Why? Because empathy from the larger community and love between individuals are stronger than the will of the would-be restrainers. The black civil rights movement also won by appeals to love and empathy–as will gay and lesbian marriage equality in our day. Traditionalists find themselves belated, behind the times–and holding a bag of metaphysical arguments that have been absented of love and empathy.

Pharisees don’t win in a democratic era. Marriage was made of humans, not humans for marriage. Experiment wins.

Time is passing the traditionalists by, and time waits for no (definition of) marriage or man.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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