Thursday, June 09, 2005 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
Gay Marriage - Has Anything Changed?
Here we are, one year after gay marriage was made legal in Massachusetts. Has anything changed? Did traditional marriage become corrupted as right wing Christians predicted it would? Is there some kind of way to keep score concerning the issues?
Well, yes, we can keep score. The following are the twelve reasons the religious right gives for outlawing gay and lesbian marriage in the United States. Let's see if any of them have been weakened by one year of homosexual marriage:
- Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.
- Straight people have come to see that their gay friends who've married are little different then their straight neighbors who've married. This is underscoring the fact that being gay is perfectly natural. Bruce Bagemihl documents over 450 animal species that reflect homosexual behavior in his book, "Biological Exuberance." God made homosexuality natural in nature and humans are a part of God's creation of nature.
- Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.
- One of the first things people notice about gay couples is that there are children involved. They know that these children are now protected by civil law in the same way their own children are, and it makes them feel better about allowing gays to marry.
- Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
- Being legally married has allowed couples to come out as never before. Women feel free to speak about their "wives" at work and so on. Children of gay couples don't feel like outcasts in their schools any longer. It has become quite obvious that the children raised by gay parents don't become gay. Also, the stigma for straight parents who have gay sons or daughters has become less intense.
- Straight marriage will be less meaningful.
- This has been proved totally false. Not one straight couple in Massachusetts has reported they no longer want to marry anymore since gay marriage has become legal. There were over 36,000 heterosexual marriages in the state this year.
- Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all.
- This is historically incorrect. At one time, women were considered property, blacks couldn't marry whites, and divorce was illegal. The great conversation concerning marriage that has taken place has opened the eyes of many people, leading to an understanding that statements like this are silly.
- Gay marriage should be decided by people not the courts because the majority-elected legislatures more evenly express the will of the people.
- Again, the Great Conversation has enlightened people that we are governed by a representative democracy with checks and balances. A primary benefit of this form of government is that it helps protect minority rights. Protecting rights of the minority would never happen if that were left to the prejudiced whims of majority rule outside of our court system.
- Gay marriage is not supported by religion.
- Massachusetts has shown that there are many independent churches that not only open their doors to gay people, but are willing to conduct marriage ceremonies for their gay members.
- Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay.
- This is another fear disproved by the new marriage law in Massachusetts. Although the new law has allowed many gays to feel safer coming out of the closet, not one straight person has applauded the law and decided to become gay. People are learning it doesn't work that way.
- Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets.
- The "slippery slope" argument. Not one person in Massachusetts has filed for a marriage certificate in order to marry a relative, an animal, or a multitude of wives.
- Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home.
- With more and more couples coming out in Massachusetts, straights are gaining a better perspective on how gay families raise their children. It's been nationally noted that gays are just as successful in raising kids as straight couples are and in some cases, moreso.
- Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms.
- This argument has really blown up in the faces of those who propose it. The foundation of society in Massachusetts hasn't changed an iota since gays have been allowed to marry.
- Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name, therefore not sullying traditional marriage.
- Equal but unequal has long been a standard of people who are uncomfortable with change. Massachusetts has proven that the costly action of starting up Civil Unions when the marriage system is already in place. Especially when marriage, by any other name, is exactly the same.
Yes, the Massachusetts Gay Marriage Law has provoked a backlash by the religious right. People who bought into their arguments are now seeing that they didn't hold water. This will continue to happen as time passes. Connecticut has passed a Civil Union law which will take effect in October. New York and California are close to legalizing full gay marriage. The faster it happens, the sooner more and more Americans will see that marriage is under no threat what-so-ever by allowing gays and lesbians to marry.
Oh, if you argue that one year isn't enough to prove all this, how about the 5 YEARS in Vermont? You'd be surprised at the number of institutions and churchs that now support gay marriage.
Unfortunately, I think it's going to get more intense over the next few years, with the people of blind (and dumb) faith disagreeing with the people for whom these core Christian values are easy to understand. It pisses me off when Christians swear to God this and that every day, sometimes on the Bible, when what the Bible says is not to swear or curse (cursing being to literally tell someone to go to Hell or tell tham that they will (like Fred Phelps does so ofetn).
I hope to God that our education system does not become so under-funded and over-tested so that kids become incapable of thinking logically, to engage in thought processes rather than having blind (dumb) faith.