Friday, February 17, 2012

Responses to "Five Reasons to Oppose Gay Marriage"

I did it again. I wandered into the vipers' pit at And I simply couldn't resist commenting upon their ridiculous post, "Five Reasons to Oppose Gay Marriage." Since it is apparently impossible for me to comment on their site (I signed up, but was never allowed to post), I shall do so here in my own space. My efforts to bait FReepers into visiting me here have been (wait for it) fruitless, even when I seeded articles with as many disparaging words as I could think of. Oh well.
Image from WBET
Here are the bullet points, followed by my comments.

1) Gay marriage is incompatible with Christianity (and for that matter, Islam & Judaism).

[Editor]: First and foremost, this is only a reason to be personally against same-sex marriage. It is not sufficient reason for laws or constitutional amendments. Conservatives like to squawk about religious liberty, but often forget that the first amendment is supposed to also protect people from religious oppression. So, a religious objection is (or should be) irrelevant in law.

Secondly, not all Christians (or Jews, and I'm sure some Muslims) are anti-gay. Some are very welcoming. Besides, the bible's scant admonitions are imprecise, probably badly translated, and inherently open to interpretation. If you parse "thou shalt not lie with man as with a woman," there's plenty of wiggle room there (pun intended). And it says nothing about two women. Jesus, by the way, never said boo on the subject.

2) Gay marriage will end up infringing on religious freedom.

[Editor]: In no way is this true. Religions and the religious are free to go on thinking that same-sex marriage is bad, and that gays are demonic heathens. No serious person is attempting to have same-sex marriages performed at churches who do not want them. Churches are currently allowed to deny performing marriages, and do so all the time. 

As for business people "being forced" to provide catering halls, cakes, flowers and the like, really? If a person is so religious that their personal morals are offended by selling goods or services to gay people, perhaps they should try a different vocation. Good grief, do they run background checks on all clients, in case they may be doing something against their religion? This potentiality has nothing to do with legalized marriages anyway. Right now, gay people regularly have commitment ceremonies, and the business owners are faced with the same decision. 

3) Civil unions could confer every "right" that marriage does.*

[Editor]: This one is dumb. But let's take it at face value. If civil unions and marriage are the same, why bother with different terms? "The same, but different" or "separate but equal" don't fly in the United States. Anyway, the statement isn't true. Civil unions don't have any federal recognition at all. The solution is simple. Everyone should recognize that there are civil marriages and religious marriages (holy matrimony). I got married at City Hall. I didn't ask for--nor do I want--holy matrimony.

4) Gay marriage may be where it starts, but it wouldn't be where it ends.

[Editor]: Even though it is a common part of speech, a "slippery slope" argument isn't just a logical fallacy, it's one of the main ones. It actually has that name! The following is an actual line from this argument:

"Furthermore, once that door is opened, where does it stop? How about brother and sister? Marrying the dead sound any better? How does man and dog strike you? Adults marrying children? How does marrying a tree or a clay urn hit you?"

In all of the above examples--except the brother and sister, assuming that they are both adults--you have not just bad logic, but a legal impossibility. Leave aside how insulting it is to have my relationship compared to one with a dog, corpse, tree, child or urn. None of those things can offer informed consent. So the argument is void. The incest argument is a red herring too. Nobody is sexually oriented toward family members. It isn't a sexual orientation. And there are no throngs of incest activists looking to get married! Let 'em move to Kentucky or something.

5) Marriage already has enough problems as it is without gay marriage.

This is probably the stupidest item in the list. "Marriage" isn't a collective, like The Borg on Star Trek! My marriage--and I already have a legal, gay one--isn't, doesn't, can't affect anyone else's. Opponents act as though expanding marriage to include same-sex couples is a zero-sum game. If I take some "marriage," it doesn't take some away from somebody else!  

Okay, so that's it? Those are your "good reasons" to oppose gay marriage, FReepers? None of your reasons can explain why my current gay marriage is doing anything to anybody. There are thousands of married gay people in several states and the District of Columbia. What tangible harm are they causing right now? Because this isn't hypothetical anymore. We're here, we're queer, get used to it. That may be cliche, but it is 100% apt.

In the unlikely event that you want to read the article that inspired this response, by all means, go to Hang around, read some stuff, but be warned. They're pretty appalling.

*Upon re-reading #3 above, I realized that a surface reading of my response could be seen as a contradiction. First I say separate isn't equal, then I say I will take civil marriage over religious marriage. If you took it that way, read it again. This is about civil marriage, and the rights and privileges afforded by it. This isn't and never was about holy matrimony.  

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