Editor's note: Check out Edwin Okong'o's blog, Our Man in America.

On Tuesday there were elections in some parts of the United States. Of course, being an alien, Our Man in America couldn’t vote. But he does have the democratic right to express himself, so he’s going to comment on them anyway.

What struck me about those elections was not the Obama-report-card angle mainstream media has been focusing on. Rather, it was an issue near and dear to many of my friends: gay marriage. You might have seen headlines like, “Maine rejects same-sex marriage law.” Or, “California Weighs Maine Vote on Gay Marriage."

Now, I’m no expert in matters regarding this issue, but I do know how to spot a civil rights violation. Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: Some of my best friends are homophobes.

A few years ago I was driving down I-5 to Los Angeles with a friend when a radio commercial for that Bravo television show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” interrupted the music we were listening to.

“These a-holes,” my friend burst out, spewing more expletives than space allows me to print.

“Calm down, man,” I interrupted when I thought I saw his face turn red. (He is black).

“How can a man [expletive] another man?” he asked.

“That’s not what they do on the show, Kunte,” I said. “What if they called you from the show and said they would give you a free wardrobe makeover worth thousands of dollars?”

“Heck no.”

“I say you take it because since your girl left you, you need help matching what you wear.”

He laughed.

“Why does it bother you that two men love each other?”

“It’s wrong,” he said.

I don’t usually argue with people who don’t know why they are angry – people who have as stance, but nothing to back it up with. It is, as goes one Swahili saying, like trying to serenade a goat with acoustic guitar music.

Unlike my friend, the opponents of gay marriage in Maine, California and other states often say they have a reason: they are defending the sanctity of “the institution of marriage.”

Supposedly, the way you defend the Sanctified Institution of Marriage from the already low performance standards is by denying a selected group of people admission. The anti-gay marriage advocates have no evidence that gay people would bring the grades down, but they are going bar them anyway.

And what is this Institution of Marriage? It is in some ways like an institution of higher education. You go into debt to enroll, but unlike the student of, say, the University of California, who might use loans to buy books, you, the student of the Institution of Marriage, buy a big diamond ring.

It might be a blood diamond but, hey, the desire to defend the Institution of Marriage supersedes the Congo’s. Maybe the Creator – who you say commands that students be admitted to the Institution of Marriage in man-woman pairs – will bless you and your lovely wife so much that you are able to adopt one of those children whose parents died in the war for those diamonds.

Maybe you won’t. Who wants to adopt a kid with missing limbs? Besides, the government is sending your tax dollars to those corrupt countries.

University of California students wait until they have graduated to celebrate, but students of the Institution of Marriage are required by decree to throw big, expensive parties called weddings. In the land of my Queer-Eye-hating friend, parties like these might even required one student to pay the other’s family something called dowry.

By the time you realize that you are suffering from an alcohol-induced headache, you are so deep into the Institution of Marriage. You can drop out, though. In fact, even conservative estimates place the dropout rate at around 50 percent.

But unlike dropouts from the University of California, those who fall out of the Institution of Marriage return to college very quickly. In fact, they might have dropped out because another college in Institution of Marriage seemed more promising. They start over again, and drop out again at an even higher rate.

But defenders of the Institution of Marriage — the same people who would advocate shutting down a school district if its graduation rate falls below the national average — tell you to try again. Three, four, five times.