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Gay Marriage: What’s Your Problem?

November 7th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

To all those Maine residents who voted to deprive gays the right to marry:

What is your problem? Seriously, I just don’t get it. Can anybody offer me a logical, coherent reason why gay marriage is a threat to anything? During the brief time you had when gay marriage was legal, were the foundations of society crumbling apart? Did every heterosexual marriage fall apart and suddenly end in divorce? Did the children of those divorced couples become homosexual and turn to a life of crime and depravity? Were rapists and child molesters roaming the streets kidnapping children and raping small animals? Did God Almighty in his wrath send plagues to destroy you for granting rights to those whom He considers an abomination (even though He created them)? Did a hole in the earth open up from which thousands of Demons ascended into the world of the living and begin devouring your souls?

Did any of that shit happen? Or did a few nice gay and lesbian couples enjoy a nice ceremony with their friends and family to celebrate their love for each other?

I’m serious, guys. What the fuck is your problem with gay marriage? I’ve asked many people about this and nobody has been able to give me an argument that is even the least bit convincing as to why gay marriage should be illegal. Let me try to go through some of these arguments to point out just how absurd they are.

1- Marriage is something Holy. The Holy Bible condemns homosexuality. Therefore homosexuals should not be allowed to marry.

At first glance this has a certain logic to it. If marriage is a religious institution and it doesn’t recognize gay marriage, the law can’t force it to do so. But it conveniently ignores the fact that there is more than one religion in the world! Can you believe it? I know! In fact, the Christian faith alone has hundreds of denominations, all with different interpretations of God and Scripture. Some of these denominations do not condemn homosexuality, and some churches are willing to recognize a union of same-sex couples. Telling them that they can’t do that actually violates their constitutionally guaranteed right—a basic human right—to freedom of religion. It would be like the congregation of one church deciding by popular acclaim that theirs is the only church that can offer Holy Communion, and all others are banned from doing it. If same-sex marriage is perfectly acceptable to a particular church, how exactly is it constitutional or even moral to prohibit them from exercising this particular religious function?

This isn’t even to mention the fact that marriage is not merely a religious function, but a social function as well. Certain rights and privileges independent of church doctrine are afforded to married couples that unmarried couples do not enjoy. To deprive them of these rights based on religious doctrine is also blatantly unconstitutional. Letting gays get married under the law doesn’t mean your church has to recognize it as a religious union.

2- Religion aside, the societal purpose of marriage is essentially reproduction. Since gay couples can’t reproduce, they should not be allowed to get married.

Many couples can’t reproduce. Should they therefore be forced to divorce? Oh, and gay people can reproduce—just not with their same-sex partner. Oh, and another thing—many unmarried people reproduce too! Yeah, I know it may be hard to believe, but lots of women get pregnant when they’re not even married!

This argument is utter bullshit, through and through. Depriving same-sex couples equal rights based on their incapacity to reproduce with one another is like banning blind people from the cinema because they can’t see the screen.

3- Children need both a mother and a father to grow into well-rounded adults.

Take a look around. How many “well-rounded adults” do you know? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but everyone is fucked up nowadays. Nobody has a picture-perfect childhood, and it’s not because of the breakdown of the American family structure—it’s the human condition, augmented by these insane times we’re living in. Television, the internet, and the rest of the mass media affects the human brain in profound ways that we don’t even notice because we’ve never lived in a time without them. Everyone suffers from an overload of information, conflicting facts and opinions, and worst of all thousands of manufactured desires implanted by the endless barrage of advertisements we’re subjected to every day.

This quaint idea of a normal, healthy childhood is an illusion, and has been for at least a century. Thanks to television and advertising, which has gotten particularly insidious in recent decades, do far more harm to the psychology of developing children than the lack of a mother or father figure. How many children grew up without fathers during all of the various wars in history? How many lost their mothers in childbirth before modern medical technology? Having an exclusively male or exclusively female parent is not new in human history. Families have come in all different shapes and sizes since families have existed. To suggest that one mother and one father is the only “right way” for a child to grow up is to profess a profound ignorance.

And don’t hark back to the “good old days” when all families were supposedly like that, either. Unloving couples forcing themselves to stay together can do just as much psychological harm to children as couples that get divorced—perhaps even more harm. The generation that grew up in the 50s and 60s is no less fucked up because their parents dutifully remained together. They harbor just as much resentment against their parents for staying together as my generation holds against our parents for splitting up.

To put it simply—the child of a same-sex couple is no more or less likely to have a bad childhood than the child of a straight couple. There are good and bad gay parents, just as there are good and bad straight parents. It doesn’t get more obvious than that.

4- But won’t children of same-sex couples get made fun of at school?

Yes, of course they will. But guess what? They’d get made fun of at school even if their parents were of opposite sexes! Kids get made fun of at school. Always have, always will. It’s the job of the parents—whether gay or straight—to teach them how to handle it. Learning how to handle the derision of others is a necessary part of growing up, and once you learn it you’re all the stronger for it.

5- If gay marriage is legal, they’ll teach it at the schools!

No, they won’t. This is a lie. Sure, if the teacher is talking about marriage, he or she might mention that marriage can be between a man and a woman or two men or two women, but that will be the extent of it. This idea that gay marriage will somehow lead to third-graders being taught how to eat pussy or sodomize each other is beyond ridiculous, and the only people who buy this propaganda are morons.

6- They’ll shut down churches that refuse to perform gay marriages!

No, they won’t. This is another lie directed at morons. It would be unconstitutional to shut down a church because they refuse to perform a ritual they believe stands against their religious principles. Just as unconstitutional as it would be to prevent a church from performing a ritual they believe doesn’t stand against their religious principles—which is what anti-gay marriage law currently does.

7- If we allow a man to marry another man, what’s to stop us from allowing men to marry children, or animals, or broomsticks?

Um…seeing how much of an up-hill battle it’s been just to allow gay adults to marry each other, I don’t think we’re on any sort of fast-track to letting people marry children, animals, or inanimate objects. Although, the super-radical liberal that I am, I think if a person wants to marry an inanimate object, they should have that right.

But there’s an easy way to prevent this whole “slippery slope” thing, and it’s by legislating the one major difference between gay marriage and those other things—consent. Two adults of the same sex are both consenting to their union. Children are incapable of giving informed consent when they’re too young to understand what they’re getting into, and animals and inanimate objects are incapable of giving any kind of consent whatsoever. So all you have to do is extend marriage rights to everyone who is capable of giving informed consent. That will quite definitively include gays and exclude those other things.

8- Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. If you change the definition of marriage as it’s been defined for thousands of years, you will be rocking the very foundation of society.

This is perhaps the most common argument against gay marriage, but it just doesn’t hold water. The institution of marriage varies greatly over lands, cultures, and historical time periods. In most cultures throughout history, marriage was an agreement between families, exchanging a daughter for the sake of land or a political agreement, and the daughter was usually a very young girl just past puberty.

In America today, we have this relatively new idea of marriage as something based on love between two adults of relatively the same age. And how well has that worked out for us? As I mentioned before, plenty of children raised by these couples that married out of love are miserable because their parents, out of a sense of religious or moral duty, force themselves to remain together even after the love is gone.

Marriage based on love is a wonderful idea, but in most cases it’s just not practical. I don’t want to suggest that all love is fleeting and doomed to wither and die—indeed there are many couples out there who love each other deeply and for whom the love does not diminish with time—but the majority of couples who marry for love eventually fall out of love. So marriage, as it is currently defined within American society, is not quite as perfect as the so-called “defenders of marriage” would like to believe.

More obviously, no definition is written in stone. Words have whatever meaning humans choose to give them. In England, the word “faggot” means a bundle of sticks or a cigarette, while in America it is used by opponents of gay marriage to describe the people whose rights they are trampling on. If we can’t let gay people marry because it doesn’t fit the definition, you just change the definition. Duh.

9- Being gay is a choice, and choices have consequences. One of the consequences of choosing to be gay is giving up your right to marry.

This is my favorite. I find this argument extremely amusing. They’re not denying gay people the right to marry—just to marry each other. They can still marry someone of the opposite sex, so their rights aren’t being denied at all! Unless of course you subscribe to the definition of marriage I described above, in which case they’re not denying gay people the right to marry—just to marry someone they love.

But why do they love members of the same sex in the first place? Surely, it’s a choice, right? Yeah, love is always a very rational decision…

This brings us to the crux of the whole gay issue, which always boils down to one simple question: is homosexuality natural? To me, the answer is so obvious that I find it completely astounding just how many studies have been done and how much ink has been spilled over the analysis of this question. The studies always confirm the pre-existing bias of the person or group conducting the study. Gay-friendly groups determine that homosexuality is natural, while anti-gay groups determine the opposite. Well, we don’t need a study to tell us if homosexuality is natural—I can conclusively state that it is.

How do I know? Because I’m not gay. It’s that simple. If being gay were a choice, I would make that choice. I’m not kidding. I don’t want to get too personal here, but women have no interest in me while gay men, by contrast, often hit on me. If I were gay I would probably have a pretty satisfying sex-life. So if I could somehow just flick a switch in my brain that would make me gay, I’d do it.

But try as I might, I just can’t make myself attracted to other men. So how can you possibly tell me that homosexuality is a choice? Could you choose to be gay? Seriously, if you find yourself tempted to engage in homosexual acts, then you are probably homosexual, or at least bisexual. And you are going to be like that no matter what you do or what choices you make.

“But certain organs fit into certain holes!” I’ve heard people say. “Clearly, homosexuality is unnatural.” Well first of all, the human body is not a machine that was designed by a manufacturer who included an instruction manual for its proper use. Religious people would disagree, but I’ve already lost the religious people with this argument so let’s just assume we all accept that the theory of evolution is correct. In terms of natural selection, how could homosexuality be selected for survival when it doesn’t produce offspring? Well, this is a misunderstanding of how evolution works. You have to understand that it actually works on larger, species-wide scales. Nature corrects itself whenever there’s an imbalance, so if a certain species produces too much offspring to feed all of its members, much of the offspring will die of hunger, or disease will wipe them out until their numbers once again fit comfortably in their ecological niche. Too much reproduction is an evolutionary disadvantage, so nature has a few mechanisms to prevent it. One of those is to produce offspring that are incapable of reproduction, or for whom the sex-drive is directed at those with whom no offspring can be produced. It’s not a hereditary gene—it’s just a quirk of the species that about one out of every ten humans will have a misdirected sex-drive, just as one out of every few hundred humans will be a dwarf.

See how far out into left field we’ve gone? We were supposed to be talking about marriage, for Christ’s sake, and here I am talking about ecosystems and dwarves! What the fuck does any of that stuff have to do with whether or not we should let same-sex couples marry each other!?!?

The point is—and I’m talking to you now, Maine—there’s just no reason to deny gay people the right to marry. There is no argument against it that stands up to any kind of logical scrutiny. I can’t help but wonder if those of you who voted against gay marriage didn’t vote that way because you thought you were protecting society, but merely because you hate gay people. Which brings me to the final argument against gay marriage, the one I imagine is actually on most people’s minds when they go to the polls:

10- “Fuck them faggots.”

And unfortunately I think that’s where the issue stands right now. I can counter every argument they put up with rationality and reason and they’ll still ignore me and vote the way their gut tells them to vote out of pure prejudice. Homosexuals continue to suffer under the tyranny of the majority as long as their rights are subject to popular will. Ballot initiatives like Proposition 8 or Question 1 should not even be allowed to go forward, as basic rights should never be determined by majority rule—or else no minorities would ever be granted any rights.

But as long as gay rights are dependent on the opinions and prejudices of the majority of the American citizenry, the focus should be on the source of the problem—this hatred and bigotry that still persists. Most people who hate gays do not know any gay people, so gay people need to come out of the closet and talk to them. As quaint and clichéd as it sounds, confront their hatred with love—their hatred for what you are with your love for your partner. Talk about how much you love your gay partner and how much you’d like to get married. Force these people to really consider, that if marriage really is supposed to be based on love, why is it that God or the state can recognize love for members of the opposite sex but not love for the members of the same sex?

Homosexuality is not a choice, but marriage is. Nature has deprived them of the choice to be straight. We should not be depriving them of the choice to get married.

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