Judging from the reader comments that came with stories about Orson Scott Card’s homophobia affecting the release of Ender’s Game and his participation in a Superman comic anthology, most of you guys either don’t give a shit about sexuality in pop culture or don’t give a shit what celebrities have to say about sexuality. (Though some people wanted to hang Card by his bigoted bootstraps.) But I can’t tell how you guys feel about hearing what fictional characters have to say about same-sex relationships. Since this story isn’t strictly serious, however, I expect some kindness in the comment section, or I’ll have to turn into a ball and roll over your asses.
When the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) got struck down the other day, this country went crazy. And for a good reason, because DOMA was fucking dumb. But that’s for another website. We’re talking about a somewhat satirical admission of homosexuality by one of the most iconic characters in video game history: Metroid‘s Samus Aran. Writer Marco Kaye posted an article on McSweeneys unveiling Samson’s stepping out of the closet, which listed three policy changes that could lead to diplomacy and und erstanding.
And if it seems outdated to you, it’s because it was written in 2009. It remains timeless, however. “I am calling for fellow gay rights advocates to take an incrementalist approach,” says Samus, “beginning with small yet important steps, which I call Morph Laws.” And here are those laws, unedited and oddly prescient.
Morph Law A:
Create a Distinction Between Religious
and Civil Marriage
Religion has shaped the institution of marriage. Some of the more prominent religions say that it must be between a man and woman. Yet other religions, such as Ancient Bryyonian, Luminoth and Alimbic, believe that individuals should be free to marry those of their own sex, even outside their species. Under our Constitution, the Galactic Federation has no interest in preferring one religion to the other. One of my Chozo guardians, a wise sage named Gray Voice, said, ‘Beliefs do not fade away.’ This is why we must separate civil unions from religious ones, with a future amendment granting union to an asexual creature that divides and wishes to marry its other self.
Morph Law B:
Extend Hospital Visitation
Rights to Gay Partners
One of the benefits of civil unions would be hospital access, a human rights policy not in place at many of our galaxies’ sickbays. I have never told this story until now, but a female lover and I were on an interplanetary cruise ship when a Metroid that had been hiding above a ceiling fan descended on her head and drained her life energy in a matter of seconds. I rushed her to the infirmary, where nurses and doctors attempted to freeze the Metroid with an ice beam and fire missiles at it five times. At least that’s what they told me. I wasn’t allowed to see her. Moments later I was informed she was dead. Can an argument be made against this basic human privilege? I’ll never see my partner again — the Metroid guaranteed that — but the hospital was just as guilty.
Morph Law C:
Repeal the Federation Police’s
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy
The most recent federal law to address a same-sex issue occurred in Earth Year 1996, when the Galactic Federation (then called the U.S. Government) enacted the Defense of Marriage Act. In a way, this measure was my ticket into the military. I didn’t shower in the women’s barracks. I spoke little to my fellow officers. I could kill energy-sucking Metroids and secretly remain a lesbian. Now I realize this law is another way for the government to discriminate against people like me. Just for writing this piece, I risk never getting any more mercenary assignments. But there’s an old saying in the Federation — if you’re trying to kill a Space Pirate, the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters. It’s time for our leaders to stop making them.
It’s hard to fight that kind of logic, even if it’s fictitiously placed into the mindset of a pixelated character by a human being well aware of our country’s generally heinous views on equality.
“Marriage is for the multiplayer. Man and man, woman and woman, or man and woman. Two beings united by love. Who are we to stop that?” Indeed, Samus. Indeed.