Sunday, June 18, 2006
I’m not a TV fan but I found myself hooked on Big Love. Big Love, which ran on HBO is about a polygamous Mormon family – father, 3 wives and their 7 children. As I watched it I kept drawing parallels between their life and the current kafuffle about gay marriage. Odd connection since the Mormon Church isn’t know as a bastion of gay rights.
Multiple wives, just as gay love tends to raise up visions of orgies, partner exchanges and all other sorts of swinging sexual escapades. The TV series showed that there was no such thing going on. In fact, the family is as ordinary as the day is long. They bickered over little things, had in-law problems, maxed out credit cards and shared family meals. Nobody enjoyed a three way, swung from the chandeliers or reveled in the naughty bits.
Polygamy, much like homosexuality is an anathema in this country. I certainly can’t condone 14 year old girls being forced to marry 65 year old men, any more than I could condone 14 year old boys being with 65 year old men. However the show, other than some scenes shot as “The Compound” didn’t focus on that aspect. All 3 of the wives and the man all entered into a polygamous marriage freely and of their own will. It just felt “right” to them. Nobody recruited them, forced them or brainwashed them. They all appeared to be intelligent women with minds of their own. It’s same with gay love, nobody “recruits” us, it just feels like the right and natural thing.
The family on Big Love is forced to hide behind a façade, the houses are connected via a common back yard yet from their front doors they appear to the neighbors as one couple and two single Moms. Friendships with people who don’t follow “the principle” are discouraged and the children speak to their friends in half truths and little white lies. Much energy is spent in hiding the truth and pretending to be what they are not. That’s how it is with gays who aren’t “out”. They mumble their pronouns, pretend to be single when they are not and are vague about what they did last weekend.
Odd isn’t it that two such disparate groups with such opposing viewpoints and beliefs really have so very much in common?