The only way to fully understand a problem and all it's angles is to listen
Just when I had just about given up hope for the Supreme Court, after their very disappointing decision to strike down sections of the voting rights act, they go and pleasantly surprise me. The Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, and Prop. 8 here in California. They found it to be unconstitutional and many couldn’t be happier. Others are less that thrilled about the decision.(see here)
Marriage Equality has always been a bit of an enigma to me. I still to this day cannot understand why so many intelligent people are so against it. The country faces many complex and difficult issues. We have to fix our economy. We’ve got to figure out a plan of action in Syria without straining our relationship with Russia. We have to figure out some way to mend our immigration policies. We’ve got to find a way to protect our citizens without asking them to give up to many of their freedoms and privacy. These are difficult issues, and the necessitate our full attention. So to this day, I find myself baffled as to why people have expended so much energy and have fought so hard to keep two consenting adults, who love each other, from getting married.
For many people living in a free country is great, just as long as I get to do what I want, and others aren’t doing things I find gross. Majority of the time, when someone argues against gay marriage they go the religious route. It’s a rare occurrence that I hear anyone arguing against it for secular reasons.
So I went out (well, went out over the internet) and searched for real and rational reasons why gay marriage should be illegal. And after all that searching, I’m still looking. But here is what I’ve found so far.
1. Religion (This wasn’t God’s plan for us)
I thought I’d start off with the most common argument. Objection to the homosexual lifestyle due to religious reasons. Now personally, I’m a man of faith. I believe in God and in living a purpose driven life. However, I also understand that we live in a free country. Our first amendment guarantees that we live not in a Christian, or Buddhist, or Hindu nation. This country was founded upon the principal, of freedom from any form of religious prosecution. And to be completely honest, the Bible bars us from many things that people do regularly.
To put it bluntly, we’ve traditionally become very accustomed to certain sins, and others we like to look down upon. And if all those days in Sunday school served me well, sin is sin. One isn’t better or worse than another. So I’m very sorry but if we are going to involve the national government, we need to have a completely secular reason behind banning gay marriage.
2. It’s not natural.
There are several reasons why this argument doesn’t hold water. For one, not much of anything we do is actually natural.
I’d list all the things that we do that no other animal does, but it would go on forever. There has also been studies that support the idea that homosexuality is something that occurs naturally, and isn’t a choice. A study on the Fa’afafine in Samoa shows that there may be something genetic that encourages the attraction to men. Of course a homosexual man would likely, not have any children, but there is evidence that it is passed on through women. (See here).
This is easily one of the weakest arguments. First of all, gay couples CAN procreate using one of many methods available today, from surrogate mothers, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Also there are no studies, stating that we are running out of people. In fact the greatest threat to this planet today is overpopulation. I can go on and on about how huge of a problem this is but I’ll let this video explain it.
The problem with the “tradition” argument is that it holds no bearing on it’s own. There are many traditions that that have become obsolete. For example: incest in royal families, slavery, child labor, discrimination, and even genocide. Just because something has always been one way before, does not mean it needs to be that way forever unless that is proven as the only way that works.
5. The Slippery Slope
Next to religion this seems to be the most common argument. “If gay couples get married, then next people will get married to farm animals or inanimate objects. It will lead to polygamy, polyandry, and pedophilia.” While the slippery slope argument is widely used, most people don’t realize that it’s a fallacy. You can’t say, “A will lead to B and B to C. And since C is bad, we cannot do A.” In making that argument you haven’t actually addressed A. You made an argument against something else and stated that because that other thing is bad, we should not do the first thing.
Furthermore, animals and intimate objects cannot give consent. And technically minors cannot do so (legally at least) either. A gay couple consists two consenting adults and can’t be compared bestiality or any of these other things. As for Polygamy, someone can be in a relationship with as many people as they like but due to taxes, visitation rights, and many other reasons, the government is only going to recognize one of them.
But at the end of the day not of this actually matters, because the slippery slope is just a misdirection to something else. Opponents to marriage equality need to make an argument as to why it specifically is dangerous to marriage.
6. It endangers traditional marriage.
This one I still don’t understand. People call it a redefining of marriage, but how much does it really redefine. A marriage is two people entering a (hopefully) lifelong union together, for better or for worse. Why does that need to be a man and a woman specifically. And this wouldn’t be the first time that marriage was redefined. When it was made illegal to arrange children’s weddings, did the institution of marriage suffer? How about when interracial marriages were allowed? The assertion that traditional marriages are threatened by homosexual marriages is preposterous. And sometimes things need to be redefined. Most people don’t like to talk about it, but there was a time when someone of my color was considered only three fifths a human being in America.
7. It teaches children that it’s okay to be gay
This is a common argument. And, I would ask someone opposed gay marriage, “what harm that would do?” Homosexuals are people, just like anyone else. If anything, making newer generations more accepting of people, may solve problems and not create them. Perhaps if children didn’t see homosexuals as pariahs, then maybe there wouldn’t be the level of bullying there is now. Maybe then, teens wouldn’t consider suicide, or go through the depression that so many teenagers face when coming to terms with their sexuality. Furthermore most children are taught that there is noting wrong with people who are of a different religion, and I don’t see everyone rushing to convert.
After looking at all the arguments, I’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t any rational ones. I remain baffled why people think that the National Government should step in and define what marriage is, denying it to masses of people who want it. If you have a better reason, or can explain why it’s the government’s job to deny people the right to be wed, then please leave it in the comments below. And Thank you for reading.