Why the HELL would anyone make it their business to tell another person whether it's okay for them to get married?
Let's get this out of the way:
Here for your reading pleasure are my rebuttals to ten major arguments against gay marriage.
#1: They shouldn't call it "marriage" because it violates the sanctity of the marriage bond, which has always been and should always be a bond between a man and a woman.
Now, I ask these people . . . how can another couple's wish to have their love publicly and legally recognized do anything to tarnish what you promised (or want to promise) to your heterosexual life mate? How is what they do in any way related to you? If you meant "to have and to hold 'til death do you part," how does it hurt you if two gay people want to do the same? Not to mention that if marriage is so sacred, why is it that it's a legally binding marriage if a couple jumps in the car and elopes in Las Vegas on a whim? If these people are so worried about marriage MEANING something, why is it that heterosexuals are not given some kind of exam or forced to have loads of before-marriage counseling to make sure they've got the right attitude? Male-female couples are not held to any standard at ALL for marriage, but then all of a sudden a dude wants to marry another dude and in the midst of 55-hour-long marriages and huge divorce rates for heterosexuals, people cry out "No, that violates the sanctity of marriage!" I ask you: WHAT sanctity is automatically assured by the bond being between a man and a woman only? If it's SANCTITY you're worried about--putting aside for now the fact that making sacred arguments to "protect" a civil institution is unconstitutional--why have some of the biggest anti-gay-marriage activists been supportive of divorce, non-traditional marriages like open marriages (if it benefits THEM), and other arrangements that allow for quite a lot of leeway if and only if those involved are heterosexual? Sounds like a double standard to me.
#2: They should just call it a civil union.
Under the United States Constitution, it's illegal to deny a citizen rights based on race or religion or national origin. Why not sexual orientation? Are gay people not citizens? And it certainly isn't illegal to be gay; homosexuality is widely acknowledged as existing and in many places it is maybe looked at as a curiosity but not so much so that the homosexual people are treated like freaks. So, if you can't say they're not allowed to be gay and you can't deny them anything based on their sexual orientation, then why is it that their wish to join themselves in matrimony has everyone up in arms? They don't want something different from what heterosexuals have, which is why they're not satisfied with "a civil union." They want to be allowed to become a lawfully wedded couple whose civil AND personal bond is acknowledged just like anyone else. Why is this such a problem for everyone? Why would people cling to the delusion that it's satisfactory to make a "different" marriage that's okay for homosexual people to have? Separate but equal doesn't work.
#3: Gays should not be allowed to claim the same government benefits as heterosexuals who get married, because homosexual unions don't produce children and those benefits were invented with families in mind. And speaking of children, HOW AM I GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO MY CHILDREN?
First off, let's put the important part of this argument aside and take a look at the obvious: Homosexual people CAN have children. Perhaps most cannot have a natural child between the two of them, but some homosexual people have children from previous relationships, or can adopt or foster children, or for that matter can contribute eggs or sperm to have a child in an alternate way. Not to mention that some people might be bisexual and/or have children from a previous relationship but end up in a monogamous homosexual relationship that they wish to make permanent in the law. And there are heterosexual couples who bring to the plate all these situations too (previous marriage children, adopted/fostered children, and artificially conceived children, I mean). And sometimes couples involving one or more trans* people have the appropriate equipment to reproduce with both being biological parents of a child, even if their gender identity and presentation makes them a gay couple.
Now on to this: If those government benefits were really intended solely to make life easier for families, then the benefits should start at the birth of the first child. No married couple has ever had to sign a paper stating that they promise they will attempt to spawn, thus deserving their benefits. I don't imagine elderly couples who are beyond childbearing age would be denied marriage benefits just because they cannot have natural children together. And I've never heard of any fertility test one must take in order to be allowed those benefits, so you know couples exist in which one or both members of the marriage union are infertile, not to mention you don't suddenly lose the right to marry if you have a vasectomy, a hysterectomy, or a tubal ligation (deliberately for birth control or for other reasons). None of these non-child-yielding situations cause marriage benefits to cease . . . for STRAIGHT people. Why should those arguments only apply to gay people?
And guys . . . you explain it to your children as "Sometimes two people love each other and get married. It doesn't matter what gender they are." If your argument really is that anything difficult to explain to your children should be outlawed, I figure most families in America are going to have to put the smackdown on high school physics.
#4: Homosexuality is evil/bad/wrong, and the government should not condone that lifestyle by giving them the right to marriage as if they're decent people.
Obviously this is extreme, and is hogwash. I've got two points on this one too. One: Everyone's up in arms about the benefits, but quite honestly I doubt most homosexual couples even care that much about the tax breaks. They want rights. Like normal people. Because they ARE normal people and they ARE healthy, ordinary people who happen to like members of their own sex in their bed. It's not so much that they want to sneakily make the government shell out benefits to aid their GAY lifestyle; it's that they want to be allowed to cement their love, and be allowed to have the same kind of partnership any other couple in love is afforded.
But now I come to my second point: If the government isn't outlawing homosexuality and actually protects people's rights to embrace their sexuality, then it is not fair under the Constitution to bar them any right that heterosexual people have. If you are going to publicly acknowledge the gay people's right to be gay but then turn around and claim that of course GAY people can't have THAT, then it is a case of "separate and unequal." You can deny a man who is a murderer his rights, because he has done something against the laws of our society (not to mention something horrid and disgusting). He has violated another's basic right to live, and therefore we can take rights away by putting him in prison and making him subject to our laws regarding what to do to him as punishment. But there is no "anti-homosexuality law," and homosexual people who engage in homosexual relationships are doing so presumably because they want to. No one's rights are being trampled upon when gay people are allowed to love each other.
And now . . . all you people who are protesting outside courthouses about gay marriage and how it's wrong despite displaying all the qualifications for being legal . . . soon enough you will be making embarrassing faces and holding hateful signs in history books, being portrayed as the bad guys in the fight for equal rights for all.
#5: There is Biblical condemnation of homosexuality.
Another news flash: America is NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION. I know a lot of people think it was founded on Christian ideals, and it's true that a lot of our earliest settlers were Puritan, but the country's main founders did not start America as a nation where you are free to worship Jesus however you want. We do have a largely Christian culture, of course, and some Christians are fond of using "BUT THERE ARE MORE OF US!!!" as justification for why the rest of us don't actually matter very much when it comes to protecting our rights. Christianity is not (well, should not be) held up as the law of the land by the government, nor should it force adherence to Christian values. These "values" in the Bible--a lot of them are screwed up, and a lot of them completely violate the American way of life. I mean, Jesus threw people out of the place of worship because they were trying to make money on sacred ground or something. What do you think He would think of passing that hat in church, or the idea that you should tithe to the church a whole bunch of your money? What does God need with it? And let's face it, America is run by money--the economy and big business are really the driving forces behind the government.
So, anyway, getting back to the point: You cannot expect us to accept "The Bible says homosexuality is wrong!" as a valid reason to condemn it and deny gay people their rights. The Bible is not the Constitution. The Ten Commandments are not the Bill of Rights. And the President is not God, though sometimes we get one who thinks he is. If you believe homosexuality is wrong, don't have homosexual sex. And if it bothers you that much, don't hang out around gay people. But don't you dare tell me that because your religion condemns it as "evil," you therefore have a right to persecute them (and yes, denying them rights that other people get based entirely on sexual orientation IS persecution). The Constitution specifically forbids the acceptance or forced practice of a nationally recognized religion, so obviously no religion's dogma can be upheld as law.
(Not to mention lots of things that are against our Constitution, such as murder and slavery and polygamy, are condoned in the Bible. I don't see anyone arguing that we should bring those things back because there's Biblical support.)
#6: Allow gay people to get married and you open a can of worms!
I've heard this one a lot. Many (sorry, I have to say it) assholes think that allowing gay marriage would open the door to "other" inappropriate relationships. I have heard people say it's only a matter of time at this point before we have to acknowledge the sanctity of a man who marries his goat, or a woman who wishes to marry her son, or a child who wants to legally wed an adult.
There are laws against these things, laws that make sense and are not inappropriate. A goat is not a consenting individual--it cannot hold a pen and sign a form, or promise anything. It is an animal. Neither party in a gay couple is an animal, and both are capable of reasoning and expressing their wishes. Not to mention that gay people have citizenship and legal standing under the law, so they should have all rights that "people" are afforded. And in both the other cases, children can't get married because they're below an age of consent. Same reasoning here: They're saying that the decision to get married needs to be made by consenting adults, and children don't have the maturity to make that decision.
There may be exceptions to this, of course, but we are not denying them their wish forever. If they really want to marry someone who is thirty years older than they are, they can do so when they turn eighteen (or whatever the consenting age is in their case), and it's their life. It doesn't hurt us. We're not opening any "can of worms" or encouraging inappropriate unions by supporting gay marriage. We're just expressing that we never thought THIS one deserved to be relegated to "inappropriate unions" in the first place. Why would it make indisputably inappropriate unions more likely to come about?
#7: Their sex acts are illegal and their lifestyle is immoral. The government should not support this behavior by basically just giving them the keys to the hotel room and looking the other way.
Yup, actually a lot of states still have laws that condemn sodomy. Well, I personally think that's ridiculous, but no one ever pounds on a heterosexual person's door and yells "You BETTER not be sucking dick in there, young lady!" Because supposedly illegal acts are the only way some homosexual people can have penetrative sex, people assume they must do so. That's not always the case, and really doesn't have anything to do with getting married; it's not our business what they do in the bedroom any more than I think it should be our business what heterosexual people do in the bedroom.
People like to talk about how gay sex is unnatural or perverted because it cannot yield children and therefore must be being performed only for pleasure. Yeah right, like all heterosexual married couples are only doing it to get pregnant, therefore making it honorable. Why are condoms and birth control pills and tube-tying and vasectomies and IUDs and diaphragms legal again??? Oh yeah, to make sex safe for heterosexual people to get pleasure and nothing else from the good ol' ancient dance. And gay sex isn't unnatural. A big percentage of the animal kingdom exhibits gay sexual behaviors and I doubt it's because Satan corrupted the souls the Bible says they don't have.
As for lifestyles that are immoral . . . I think people who say this are making generalizations based on certain gay people. Let's put it this way. Being gay makes you an automatic persecuted minority. So in order to not just bite your tongue and pretend to like tab A fitting in slot B, you have to be kind of comfortable with your sexuality if people who are strangers or only casual acquaintances know that you're gay.
The "blatantly out and proud" gay person is the person that the media focuses on. That is one legitimate, not shameful, perfectly awesome way to be gay. But quite honestly, many homosexual people aren't automatically recognizable as gay; the ones who don't tell co-workers about their personal lives are read as straight like it's the default, and you probably just assumed that guy at the office was hetero because you never heard him talking about banging his boyfriend in the doodoo hole. So, in conclusion, if you know someone is gay even though you don't know each other well, that person is probably more open about sexuality than the general population (of all orientations). And people who are open about their sexuality do tend to be read as perverted or sexually deviant by people with a sex-negative attitude. Remember they exist in the heterosexual world too, probably in the same percentage, but because hetero people are the majority their performance isn't automatically a reflection on members of their sexual orientation, any more than white guys committing a crime makes the rest of us go "man, you better watch those white guys" or "he sure is reflecting bad on our race for being a white criminal." No one makes that kind of judgment when the criminal is in the majority.
#8: Homosexuals have a disorder, not a legitimate "alternate" sexual orientation. They should be in therapy, not encouraging the psychosis through acknowledgment and acceptance of their inappropriate relations.
Okay, so most people who would make this argument wouldn't phrase it like that; it'd probably sound more like "That queer boy should get him some HELP" or "All that lesbo needs is a good deep dicking." But anyway, the more eloquent people who nevertheless believe that homosexuality is a disorder tend to say that it's a learned behavior--that there's no "gay gene." But attraction is such a complicated thing. Consider that straight people sometimes have a certain "type" that they have learned to like. I have even read that some ignorant types think gay behavior only results from a lack of appropriate or available heterosexual partners (like in single-sex prisons). Well, maybe there's not a "gay gene," but there isn't a "I like dark-skinned guys" or "I like long-haired girls" gene either, and yet these people's preferences (or fetishes) are still thought acceptable and healthy. If people can enjoy each other, I don't see why it should matter if they're the same sex, because the people in the relationship are the only ones who should be concerned with that.
#9: Allowing gay marriage would support alternate family structures that are unhealthy. Children raised by two gay parents are not as mentally healthy or well-adjusted as children raised by a heterosexual married couple, and plus they are more likely to be gay when they grow up.
Well, maybe part of the reason kids with gay parents might be viewed as mentally unhealthy is that they take a disproportionate amount of harassment by people who would say shit like this. Blame the bullies who are messing with them--and STOP them--don't blame the victims for bringing it upon themselves. It is not an automatic, undeniable force of nature that children with gay parents get picked on and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. STOP IT!
And about them being more likely to be gay . . . really? Maybe it's just that they aren't taught it's WRONG so they're more likely to not be in the closet if they ARE gay, but still--do straight parents have any guarantee that they will only raise straight kids? Gay kids seem to be coming out of straight parents all the time. And another point: No one seems to be opposing divorce without immediate remarriage, and it's also been suggested that children in single-parent homes are less well-adjusted than two-parent homes. But no legal matchmakers are rushing around forcing single moms to get hitched again because it's better for their kid, you know? BUT PLEASE, LET'S THINK OF THE CHILDREN really gets old as an excuse, too. You know it's not about the children. It's insulting when you pretend it is, because you wouldn't suddenly support gay marriage if they were barred from raising children.
#10: If a homosexual wants a "regular" wedding, there'd probably be a religious officiator there. How can a priest join two men or two women in holy matrimony when homosexuality is condemned in the same Bible that bestows the authority vested in that officiator?
Yet another news flash. Christianity did not invent the institution of marriage any more than it invented the women and men themselves. So that's my first point: You don't necessarily have to get married in a Christian church (there ARE other systems that have marriage ceremonies, guys, from courthouse marriages to Pagan handfastings). You don't necessarily have to be married in the traditional way to still have your marriage mean the same as any other in popular society. If it is important to the marrying parties that spirituality play a part in joining them in matrimony, then they will find the system that supports them. My second point, though, is that there exist in this world (gasp) gay Christians, gay Jews, et cetera. These are just people who have decided to live by the tenets of Jewish tradition and morals or by the teachings of Jesus Christ rather than by picking out the lines that spell hate and convincing themselves that these are more important. There ARE Christians who don't believe all of the Bible is true, and obviously anyone who can be homosexual, be secure in it, and be able to take a homosexual marriage partner is secure in a relationship with the god in question.
Anyway, people have been getting married in some form or another since the dawn of history, and it is ridiculous to jump up and holler that there is no "proper" way to do it except through a set of church rules that grew out of texts only 2000 years old. There are plenty of spiritually satisfying and personally enriching ways to take marriage vows.
These points are all very important, I think. It doesn't affect me personally (except in the case of my wishing for the best for my gay friends), but I think it affects society as a whole when we deny people their rights. I mean, a gay couple who isn't allowed to get married also doesn't get some of the other benefits of marriage, like being considered next of kin in a situation where one is sick, or inheritance, or rights regarding admittance to special events or custody issues with any children.
The point is, marriage has to change to include this as a legitimate form of itself. People freak out because they've never lived in a time when something they hold dear is changed before, but marriage hasn't been the same since the dawn of time; it has changed, whether through court rulings or shifting attitudes. It used to be that when a man married a woman, he basically owned her. She was his property. Divorce also used to be illegal--marriage was legally binding for life until one of you died, with few exceptions. Things change . . . and this needs to.
In conclusion, I'd like to simply say that not allowing gay people to marry as they wish is to deny them the full experience of being an American citizen. Do you really want to be one of those people that kids of the future look back on and shake their heads, thinking "Wow, I can't believe how back-asswards the U.S. used to be. It's like burning witches!"
Of course, there are plenty of people left in this world who would break out the stakes if the practice of witch-burning wouldn't land them in jail. There are plenty of people who are shaking their heads at the other side too, thinking "I can't believe what the world's come to that two chicks are allowed to MARRY each other." And I think the bottom line is that these people can't acknowledge the full humanity of anyone who's different from themselves in any way they consider fundamental.
If you don't want to support them and their fight, at least leave them alone. Don't be the bigot in the history book.
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Comments from others:
Clark Beyer: I agree with Mikey; why the HECK does it bother anyone else? They don't have to attend the wedding if they don't want to.
Sardonyx: YES YES YES!!! I agree wholeheartedly!! Some Christians can be such hypocrites! "Love thy neighbor" is completely contradictory to "man who lays with another man as wife is an abomination" or whatever. It pisses me off to hear "That's so gay" "You're so gay" GAY DOES NOT MEAN STUPID!! It's so incredibly f'ked up. This rant is a gem that I'll be sure to read over and over. Such passion, such truth. Thank you!
Ray: A completely moving piece, filled with common sense and quite a bit of logic. However, the U.S. Constitution does not include "sexual orientation". When it was written, homosexuality wasn't really discussed. That's not to say that it wasn't practised, known about or condoned.
If people had the same amount of comon sense that you've just exhibited, then I think the world would be MUCH better off.
D.: Yeah... it's really sad when you can't even tell your own family your gay... at the very least my mother would disown me. She thinks all gays should die. T___T
Thank you for this rant. People like me really appreciate it.
Rick: I get grossed out at the thought of seeing a dude kiss another dude (or for that matter hold hands). Sexuality is a choice and not genetic (thoroughly proven). I do believe all people should have equal human rights. Do what you want behind closed doors but dont force me to look at 2 homos kissing. No marriage.
Stephen: First off... Rick, no one's making you look at homos kissing.
I think homosexuality is a perversion of God's natural desire for humans, but it doesn't warrant something ridiculous a constitutional ban on gay marriage. As a Christian who is, I guess, technically, "anti-gay," but church and state are separated in this country (or at least it claims to be and should be), and you can't limit citizens rights just because they make a choice that goes against someone else's beliefs. Besides, gay marriage is not a sin. They've already committed the sin by becoming gay, so just let them get married, already.
As to the 'can of worms' argument, both sides make compelling arguments. It's certainly true that there's no direct line of logic that will take you from gay marriage to beastiality and pedophilic marriages. However, it is only logical to see that we, as a nation, have been getting less and less strict about these sort of things. Regardless of either side of the 'can of worms' debate, it's morally and legally right to let them get married, even if, and I'm not saying this is the case, they just want to get married because of the legal benefits or to prove a point and advance the "gay agenda."
The question of choice in the homosexuality debate is interesting because there's been no conclusive science to point to either side. I don't buy that there's something in our genetics that makes someone want to be gay, but I don't think it's a simple choice. I refuse to beleive that Elton John was genetically predisposed to want to bone dudes, but I refuse to believe that he woke up one day and said to himself, "I think I'll bone dudes for the rest of my life."
There's something hilarious about saying "bone dudes," let alone twice in a single sentence.
Millenium_King: (1) You're looking at the problem the wrong way. Do not say "The government should let gays get married!"
Instead, you should say "Get government out of marriage completely."
Big brother has worked long and hard to make people dependent upon government benefits over the years. It's time to end that dependence and make marriage a civil matter between Person 1 & Person 2, not Person 1 & Person 2 & the STATE.
Unfortunately, the same liberals who pushed for more involvement by the government in people's lives (through SSI, Medical, government-backed pensions etc.) are the same ones who gave the legislature and the courts the power to define marriage.
Get out from the government's yoke and get back in charge of your own lives people.
Synesthesia: Good points. Why people make such a big deal out of people being gay is a mystery to
Take Orson Scott Card for example.
He gets on my last nerves.
This is because he's constantly writing articles that state that civilization will fall apart if gay marriage is allowed.
He's even in an anti-gay marriage organization.
What I cannot understand is, why do these folks spend so much time and energy on GAY PEOPLE? Aren't there more pressing and important issues out there? Things like child abuse, spousal abuse that do exist in heterosexual marriages. (not that they don't exist in gay relationships, but these are folks who automatically think a relationship is unhealthy because there's the "Wrong" amount of men or women) They don't even talk about those kind of issues. Or the way the model of heterosexual marriage they support is rather unhealthy to put it mildly. These folks push for male dominated relationships where women have to be submissive. It's an ideal environment for abuse. Abuse that will mostly be blamed on the woman. It doesn't make any sense to me at all.
They really should just leave gay people alone and do something else.