3 Dumb Gay Marriage Jokes That You'll Never Have To Hear Again Now (Hopefully)
Friday's news that the Supreme Court has ruled gay marriage a constitutional right in all 50 states, making all marriages legal in all 50 states and declaring that all Americans have a constitutional right to get married, is truly wonderful news. It also probably has your uncle/neighbor/family friend/coworker who thinks of themselves as "the funny one" started making gay marriage jokes. "Hey, why not let them do it?" your decidely non-hilarious acquaintance said, chuckling to themselves with pleasure. "Then gay people can be as unhappy as the rest of us!" You nodded with a tight-lipped smile, and went back to working/planning your same-sex marriage/whatever else you have to do that is better than listening to corny gay marriage jokes (which is basically anything).
In the intervening decade and a half, the marriage equality movement has grown by leaps and bounds — but the "harmless" jokes about same-sex marriage have stayed pretty much the same. An animal apart from purposely hurtful homophobic jokes and comments, these bad jokes about same-sex marriage generally front as progressive, and are often told by people who support same-sex marriage. But they still tend to hinge on the idea that same-sex marriage is somehow ridiculous, bizarre, or "different" than opposite-sex marriage. They also rely on the notion that gay people are "others," that there's something just a little bit hilarious about not engaging in standard heterosexual gender norms, and, oh yeah, that marriage is terrible.
This isn't to say that there's no room in the world for jokes about gay marriage — there's room in this world for funny jokes about everything. But these jokes are hack-ish cliches, and with today's Supreme Court verdict in favor of same-sex marriage, we hope the three same-sex marriage jokes below will finally be sent to Crappy Gay Joke Hell, or at least Crappy Gay Joke Purgatory.
'Joke' #1: Marriage Sucks, And Gay People Are Fools For Wanting It
Example: “It is a great day, of course, for supporters of gay marriage. Congratulations to same-sex couples. You can now be as miserable as everybody else.” — Craig Ferguson
"God doesn't hate gay people; he's just upset because they found a loophole in the system." — Daniel Tosh
The Subtext: Hey, we straight people have to get married! It's part of our deal with the Straight People Union, even though we all totally loathe each other. But you gay people had a loophole! Presumably, you used to spend all your time at cool art galleries or raves or smearing sun tan lotion on Cara Delevingne's back while spending the weekend at Rachel Maddow's country house. Now, instead of doing all that cool stuff, you have to live in a traditional domestic arrangement, which you definitely weren't doing before. Good luck with that one, chumps!The Problem: This genre of joke, which fits into the long line of "marriage is hell" gags, runs on the idea that unmarried gay people don't already live in committed domestic situations, don't have close personal partnerships that basically look the same as any straight person's.
This joke genre also overlooks the tremendous amount of cultural and legal privilege that comes along with legal marriage because, hey, sometimes your spouse gets mad at you! Why would you want to deal with that, just for the right to health insurance and inheritance and access to your partner if they're in the hospital?
It also makes every kind of non-marriage partnership invisible in the process. Good riddance to this one (especially since Tosh's joke is, predictably, part of a longer one about how much women suck).
Joke #2: Good Thing Gay Marriage Is Legal, Because I Think [Someone] Is Secretly Gay
Example: “Same-sex married couples are now entitled to the same benefits as other married couples. That’s great news for the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Batman and Robin. Abercrombie and Fitch. Ben and Jerry. Me and Paul.” — David Letterman"Today President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage. He said he hoped his support would make it easier for gay people to get married and for John Travolta to get a massage." –Conan O'BrienThe Subtext: Huh-huh-huh, you are/I am totally gay, huh-huh-huh.The Problem: In this joke, someone is gay, and that's hilarious, because ... being gay is inherently snicker-wrothy. You know, because it's, like, different than being straight and stuff? Like, imagine if I were gay (even though I'm not). I'd have to, like, have sex with a person of my same gender (I totally would hate that, dude)! Like, get it? I'll be glad to see this one buried in the same pit of toxic masculinity where we've exiled "Big Johnson" t-shirts and all the members of Limp Bizkit. I would like to then drive over the pit in Charlize Theron's truck from Mad Max: Fury Road.
'Joke' #3: Gay Marriage Is Annoying And An Inconvenience For Me
Example: "Gay marriage — I am so against it because all my gay friends are out. And if they get married, it will cost me a fortune in gifts." — Joan RiversThe Subtext: Gay people are high maintenance!The Problem: There is a thread in gay marriage jokes that implies that gay marriages will probably be more ostentatious than straight marriages — that a wedding between gay men will be ultra-flamboyant, or that a wedding between two women will contain double bridezillas — and thus, be a hassle to deal with.
If you've genuinely laughed at any jokes in this vein, make no mistake: almost all weddings are a hassle to deal with for the guests, OK? Especially if you register for a bunch of weird melon-peeling devices from Crate & Barrel (we know you are never going to use them, and are merely asking for them in a display of power). Don't fool yourself.
This family of jokes — which paints gay people as more prone to opulent behavior than straight people — is part of the same universe of microaggressions that includes telling gay men you barely know that they are "fierce" or referring to any person or people as "my gay(s)." It involves treating gay people as some kind of exotic and mysterious other, whose customs puzzle your straight brain. Though seriously, the only puzzle here is why any gay people would be friends with the kind of dumbass who tells this joke.
Hopefully, as a new generation grows up with same-sex marriages and the normalization of all different types of families, we won't have to deal with any more corny gags like these. Guess your "funny coworker" will just have to go back to making jokes about mass transit. I mean, what is the deal with airplanes, am I right?