Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments for and against gay marriage. I don't know all of the legal ins an outs they were considering or what the impact of their decision might mean for the broader future of the United States of America. I'll leave that analysis to one of the many bloggers who also happen to be lawyers.
I do know this. Even the fact that they are considering the case created a launching pad for discussions among my many friends throughout social media. Many of my friends on Facebook changed their profile picture to a giant equal sign and it led to an in depth discussion between me and my teenaged son.
As anyone that has read this blog in the past knows, I work with the show choir program at my local high school. I know this is going to sound like a broad generalization and those should probably be avoided when discussing something like civil rights and equality, but the performing arts does seem to draw more than its fair share of openly gay participants. I don't know that the percentage of gay members is any higher or lower than any other activity. I do think they feel more accepted in the performing arts community and as a result fewer of them feel the need to hide who they are. (I think that's a good thing if you were wondering.)
Anyway...I got a little off track there. All of that was just to say that I have lots of very close friends who also happen to be gay. Politically I'm pretty conservative, but I fall firmly on the side of gay rights when it comes to marriage. Why shouldn't two consenting adults be allowed to marry? I seriously don't care what your sexual preference is. Do you like to have clamps put on your nipples while getting spanked with a ping-pong paddle? Super. Do you enjoy dressing up in a big furry rabbit costume and bumping your over-sized mascot heads together while bumping uglies? Wonderful. Do you prefer penis over vagina or vice versa? Awesome. I don't care. Enjoy it.
I don't know every argument against gay marriage, but the two I hear the most are because it goes against tradition and the old biblical/religious argument against it.
Let me start with the tradition argument. I don't get how you can even make that argument with a straight face. In business and life the "we've always done it this way" argument is the lamest of all. Times change. People evolve (hopefully). You can keep your tradition while we start making new ones over here.
As for the biblical/religious arguments...
I grew up in a staunchly Christan family. We attended Southern Baptist churches from the time I was born until I was in my twenties. These were the epitome of strict conservative social values. Don't drink. Don't smoke. Don't dance. Don't gamble. And for God's sake, don't associate wtih people who do. All of those commands really led me to try, and decide I liked, almost all of those things. I smoked, drank, danced, and gambled my way through most of my adult life.
The Bible thumpers refer to "the scriptures" when arguing against homosexuality, but it cracks me up when they reference the book of Leviticus and its condemnation of "men laying down with other men." They love to cherry pick the scripture and choose the passages they like while overlooking the rest. Maybe if they were strictly adhering to all of the laws put forth in the Old Testament I could take them seriously, but I don't recall ever seeing one of the women from the church walking around shouting "UNCLEAN" when they were menstruating. I also recall a couple of their daughters getting pregnant while they were unmarried, but I don't remember them getting stoned to death over it.
So guess what? All of the laws of Leviticus are archaic and out of place with modern society. All of them...
Here's where the discussion went with my teenage son last night. Christians argue that gay marriage will degrade the institution of marriage and they hold up their religion as the defining reason why it shouldn't be allowed. Our church has never come right out and said one way or another where they stand on this issue. They talk a lot about inclusion in general, but I don't expect them to start performing or recognizing gay marriages in the church. And nobody is trying to tell them they have to as far as I know.
Many churches may not believe that gay marriage fits with their beliefs and they're allowed to believe whatever they want when it comes to their religion. They aren't allowed, however, to foist their beliefs onto the rest of society by trying to make it law for everyone. Jews and Muslims don't believe in eating pork, but I don't see them trying to get a law passed outlawing sales of pork products.
So if your church wants to allow gay people to marry and another doesn't...great. This country was founded by people seeking religious freedom. You're free to believe whatever you want. Just don't try to force the rest of us to believe it with you.
All of that to say that I fully support the right to marry for everyone. If you're a consenting adult I don't care what happens in your bedroom. If you love one another you should be allowed to make it official in every state in the nation. I'm proud that my state has already made it legal and I look forward to the day when that's the case in all 50 states.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
Oh wait...I just thought of another argument against allowing gay marriage. I heard this one yesterday on the evening news. Apparently one of the aguments against was that the point of marriage was to produce children. I think it was Justice Kagan who then asked something like "If that's the case should we deny marriage to couples who are both over the age of fifty or sixty?" I wondered sort of the same thing. Should we give fertility tests to poeple who apply for a marriage license and deny them to the infertile? So dumb...
a lot of people get sick of hearing about this issue every 5 minutes by those pushing the issue. those against it generally keep their mouth shut and say nothing. would be nice if everyone else did the same and let people feel however they wish without being labeled bigots.ReplyDelete
I don't recall calling anybody a bigot, Tony.Delete
So what you're saying is everyone should just shut up and leave things the way they currently are. I suppose that would make everyone happy that's opposed to gay marriage (or legal unions if you prefer, Waffles).
Those against gay marriage generally keep their mouth shut and say nothing. Yeah, really, like you Mr. Bigcharles? Why then do I know that you are fiercely anti-gay, specifically anti-lesbian then? Could it be because you didn't quite shut up about it?Delete
Great post by the way JT, thanks for it!
I'm sure a lot of people got sick of hearing about women having the right to vote and racial equality. Too bad.Delete
Excellent piece, 88, thank you.
I really wish that we could divide Marriage of Church and Union of State. The government should not be in the religious business and the work "marriage" has so much religiously charged meaning. The government should be in the business of joining two entities together legally and providing them equal rights. I think all State marriages should become some kind of "Legal Union" for the purpose of everything in government and then if you want to be "married" by the church or bubbaganush you do that yourself.ReplyDelete
Eh...it's just semantics. I think they are mostly just seeking equal protection under the law for things like taxation, insurance, and important medical decisions like end-of-life stuff. I suppose there are some that feel strongly about the label, but I think most would accept equal treatment no matter what you call it.Delete
I also believe as you do. I am a very conservative straight female that enjoyed the "happiness" of marriage in my younger days. And guess what, it ended in divorce as over 50 percent of the marriages today do. If you are a consenting adult, you should be able to marry who you chose. I think there would be some actual benefits to society if this was the case. Such as the economy since a lot of the gays would spend a lot of money on their weddings and lets don't forget the attorneys when the join the rest of us in their divorces. Just kidding, but seriously, two gays getting married will not do anything to change your marriage or anyone else's. I also say let them adopt children to give these kids stable homes instead of being in the system. Most people have this image of just wild lifestyles about gays but that is not the majority. They are just like you and me, your neighbors, your co workers. They just happen to care about someone of the same sex. People are always saying a stable lifestyle is what is best for our society, well let them marry and have stable lifestyles within your community. And furthermore, it doesn't rub off on to other people, my son is gay and his preference hasn't changed mine at all. Times change and we should also. No one is forcing anyone to marry someone of the same sex if that isn't their choice. And in reference to another poster about keeping quiet about it, I think I understand what they were meaning. Alot of people are just tired of it being "pushed in their face all of the time and if they don't agree, then some people do resort to name calling. I think if we could get over the name calling, we could get a lot further with honest discussions. Just my opinionReplyDelete
I love the fact that we still live in a day and age where people are arguing over something as stupid as who and how I can choose to devote the rest of my life too.ReplyDelete
Good post, I can,t believe in this day and age people still give a f@@k about what peoples sexual prefernce is, religion or colour for that matter. Move on FFS.ReplyDelete
Another argument on this subject, but one not heard in the mainstream media is the them and us concept. The very word marriage has always been a hetrosexual term of a union of two people and there are many many hetrosexuals out there that do not like the gay community usiog that specific word to describe the union of a same sex couple.ReplyDelete
Many people in this debate would undoubtedly be more comfortable with it if the gay community came up with their own word thus the word marriage would be for hetrosexual couples and whatever word the gay community chose would be used to describe the union of same sex couples. The funny thing is while I have heard this argument before it has never made the public scene as far as news reports and whatnot. I wonder if the whole situation could be easily resolved by the choice or abandonment of a single word. Intriguing
If you believe gays should be able to get married, you are not a conservative, stop masquerading as one. Conservatives like myself oppose gay marriage for many reasons. 1. Gay marriage is incompatible with many religions. I am Catholic. 2.Gay marriage will end up infringing on religious freedom. 3. Civil unions could confer every “right” that marriage does. 4.Gay marriage may be where it starts, but it wouldn’t be where it ends. Jeremy Irons recently said during an interview that there are lawyer salivating over the possibilities. One example is a father could marry his son so he could transfer fincances to avoid taxes at time of death. 5.Marriage already has enough problems as it is without gay marriage. 6. The effect it will have on children. Seriously, if you were given the choice of parents growing up, would you want gay parents? 7. The effect it will have on our fragile society that is becoming more immoral as time goes by. You are all de-sensitized to the gay lifestyles you have been socializing with and bombarded with by the media and the far left. If you think you are conservative, then you will research all of these reasons, discover many more in the process and with knowledge you may have a different opinion. Currently all your oppions sound emotional.ReplyDelete