Friday, August 01, 2008

Love is not a diamond, it's a fax machine

Part of my efforts in fighting against Proposition 8 is cruising the Internet for news stories and blog entries that discuss the topic, and countering any false information that I find there. Sometimes that takes the form of a letter to the editor (at least two have been published), but more often my comments are among the many that one can find in comments sections of newspapers and blogs.

Recently I have been engaging with a lovely LDS woman in the central valley of California. She's on the opposite side of the issue, obviously, but she's nevertheless been civil and engaging.

When I asked her how allowing marriage equality would affect her marriage, she replied: "It will cheapen it, it will have less meaning…kind of like a rare diamond that loses its worth and rareness."

My reply was simple. Love isn't a diamond. The more diamonds there are, the less valuable each one is. But if fewer loving couples can marry, it doesn't make her marriage any less special to her. In fact, (and this I didn't say to her, because it just came to me) love is more like a fax machine.

The first fax machine that was produced was absolutely useless, because it had nothing to communicate with. The second fax machine gave itself and the first fax machine true value. Every fax machine that was built after that added a bit more to the value of every other fax machine because there were hundreds, then thousands, then millions and tens of millions of the devices. Same thing with e-mail. The more people who have it, the more useful and valuable it becomes.

Love is like that. The more of us who can enjoy it, the more happiness there is in the world. That's good for everyone.


Esther said...

Hey Tom,
I just checked the blog of the "lovely LDS woman" to see whether she responded to my comment and I saw that it was deleted! I am so angry. What an incredibly rude thing to do. I mean, if you're going to have a public blog and accept comments, don't delete a comment simply because you disagree with the point of view. I mean, I wasn't nasty or anything.

Anyway, I just had to vent. I like the fax machine analogy!

Tom said...

Thanks, Esther.

As you saw, I was disappointed by the deletion, as well.

Perhaps we haven't convinced her, but may sometime if she's relating her debates with us to someone else, that person might be moved by a story -- even if it's Yari relating it. Maybe she will be an unwitting messenger of rationality.

I do think she is likely a very wonderful person. I think in 30 years she might think back on these days with a touch of shame -- but only if her side wins. If we can defeat this -- and go on to win Federal marriage equality -- she will be able to forgive herself and let most of the shame slide right off.

Mimosa said...

That seems like a very odd analogy to me-- the diamond one. Rare diamonds don't lose their worth do they? No matter if other diamonds are found, the old ones are still sought after.