Is Michelle Bachmann’s marriage a sham?
July 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
Three Marines based in southern California are accused of bilking the US Federal Government out of thousands of dollars a month after entering into “sham” marriages.
At the center of the so-called sham is a lesbian couple: Marine Cpl. Ashley Vice and Jaime Murphy. The two women had been dating for a few years and decided that they wanted to live together. Since the military offers a stipend to married couples that live off base – and their relationship is not considered legitimate – Vice found a male soldier to marry. Eighteen months later, Murphy found a male soldier of her own and married him.
Outside of those facts few other details are known. How far did the married couples go to create the appearance of a marriage? Did they share a home address with their husbands? How much official paperwork was provided that set up the ruse – if it was a true conspiracy – to keep the $1200 monthly stipend checks arriving regularly? How did this come to the attention of military officials earlier this year that made them begin an investigation?
These details are important to know because there is a decidedly heterosexist tone in the reporting of this story. The main source of coverage comes from a news report via KGTV an ABC affiliate in San Diego. In the broadcast of the story, reporter Preston Phillips sets up his interview with Vice and Murphy by saying that the couple was trying to access benefits that are available only to “true heterosexual couples.” Later he mentions that after the women had been dating for a few months they wanted to live off base “like a normal couple.”
The Marines might not consider a lesbian relationship to be a “normal couple” but those were Mr. Phillips’ words, not attributed to any military source. Furthermore, what exactly is a “true heterosexual couple?”
Since 1996 when Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (signed into law by President Bill Clinton) – followed by 40 states that passed their own version of DOMA – the main rules that define legitimate marriage involve gender and age. These women are presumably old enough to marry. They cannot marry each other because they are the same-sex so they married men.
What are the other rules that must be followed to identify a true heterosexual couple?
These women may have been having sex with each other, but since when does an extra-marital affair connote a false marriage – to an outside authority? No children have been mentioned in this story. In the event that neither of the married couples have offspring is that a red flag? Are true heterosexual couples legitimized by reproduction?
The ranting religious marriage definers in this country have been pounding their chests and stomping their feet demanding that the supposedly traditional definition of marriage – in the eyes of gawd, The Pope, and all that is holy – consists of one man and one woman. That is what these marriages were.
I wish Ms. Vice and Ms. Murphy were a bit more defiant in defense of their situation. After all, how many other “true heterosexual marriages” could be called into question when closely scrutinized?
One example that might not survive examination could be the marriage of former Idaho Senator Larry Craig and his wife. Craig married a woman and adopted her children but the couple never had children of their own. He was involved in a gay sex scandal in 2007 and there had been rumors of sexual relations with men for years. Is his a true heterosexual marriage?
A more recent example is found in the suspicions surrounding Minnesota Congresswoman and US Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann and her husband Marcus. Until recently, Marcus Bachmann was not widely known. Now that his wife has become a full time media hog and is more popular than ever, Marcus is beginning to get recognition.
Mr. Bachmann runs a Christian Counseling center in Minnesota. Although he denies that the center engages in therapy that claims to cure gay people and make them heterosexual, Mr. Bachmann has some strong opinions about homosexuality. He refers to gays as being barbarians and says they need to be educated about ways to be heterosexual (click the link). He says this in a minute long recording where we hear Marcus’ voice and he sounds a bit like Paul Lynde’s portrayal of Uncle Arthur from the classic TV show Bewitched:
Does the tone of his voice and his abhorrence of gayness mean Marcus Bachmann is gay or that his marriage to Michelle is a sham just like the marriages Marine Cpl. Ashley Vice and Jaime Murphy entered into?
Of course not.
Marcus Bachmann might be a very successful con-artist that has built a career around selling snake oil solutions to sexually conflicted people whether or not he ever sucked or sat on a cock. Unless Vice and Murphy were extremely lazy in the establishment of their legal marriages they too should be extended the same benefit of the doubt as any other adulterer, airport bathroom cock sucker or Christian carnival barker that protests too much.
How exactly do we define a “normal couple” in our sexually conflicted and morally opaque culture?