Same Sex Marriage

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Arguments Against Gay Marriage

Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. 

Who says who marriage is to be defined by? The married? The marriable? Isn't that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money in stored in his vaults? It seems to me that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations are hardly a compelling reason. They're really more like an expression of prejudce than any kind of a real argument. 

Marriage is for procreation. 

The proponents of that argument are really hard pressed to explain why, if that's the case, that infertile couples are allowed to marry. I, for one, would love to be there when the proponent of such an argument is to explain to his post-menopausal mother or impotent father that since they cannot procreate, they must now surrender their wedding rings! That would be fun to watch! Again, such an argument fails to persuade based on the marriages society does allow routinely, without even a second thought.

Same-sex couples aren't the optimum environment in which to raise children. 

That's an interesting one, in light of who society does allow to get married and bring children into their marriage. Check it out: murderers, convicted felons of all sorts, even known child molesters are all allowed to freely marry and procreate, and do so every day, with hardly a second thought by these same critics. So if children are truly the priority here, why is this allowed? Why are the advocates of this argument not working to prohibit the above categories of people from raising children?

Gay relationships are immoral and violate the sacred institution of marriage.

 Says who? The Bible? Somehow, I always thought that freedom of religion implied the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in the law and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument.

Marriages are for ensuring the continuation of the species.

The proponents of such an argument are going to have a really hard time persuading me that the human species is in any real danger of dying out through lack of procreation. If the ten percent of all the human race that is gay were to suddenly refrain from procreation, I think it is safe to say that the world would probably be better off. One of the world's most serious problems is overpopulation and the increasing anarchy that is resulting from it. Seems to me that gays would be doing the world a favor by not bringing more hungry mouths into an already overburdened world. So why encourage them? The vacuity of this argument is seen in the fact that those who raise this objection never object to infertile couples marrying; indeed, when their retired single parent, long past reproductive age, seeks to marry, the usual reaction is how cute and sweet that is. That fact alone shows how false this argument really is. Let's face it - marriage is about love and commitment, and support for that commitment, not about procreation.

Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage. 

That one's contradictory right on the face of it. Threaten marriage? By allowing people to marry? That doesn't sound very logical to me. If you allow gay people to marry each other, you no longer encourage them to marry people to whom they feel little attraction, with whom they most often cannot relate sexually, and thereby reduce the number of supposed heterosexual marriages that end up in the divorce courts. If it is the institution of heterosexual marriage that worries you, then consider that no one would require you or anyone else to participate in a gay marriage. So you would have freedom of choice, of choosing what kind of marriage to participate in -- something more than what you have now.

We shouldn't alter heterosexual marriage, which is a traditional institution that goes back to the dawn of time. 

This is morally the weakest argument. Slavery was also a traditional institution, based on traditions that went back to the very beginnings of human history. But by the 19th century, humankind had realized the evils of that institution, and abolished its legal status. So what happened to tradition?

 Same-sex marriage would start us down a "slippery slope" towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and all manner of other horrible consequences.

 A classic example of the reductio ad absurdum fallacy, it is calculated to instill fear in the mind of anyone hearing the argument. It is, of course, absolutely without any merit based on experience. If the argument were true, wouldn't that have already happened in countries where forms of legalized gay marriage already exist? Wouldn't they have 'slid' towards legalized incest and bestial marriage? The reality is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Scandinavian countries for many years, and no such legalization has happened, nor has there been a clamor for it.

If gay marriage is legalized, homosexuality would be promoted in the public schools. 

Gay marriage is already legal in several states and many foreign countries, including Canada, but can anyone point to an example of homosexuality being promoted in the public schools? No. Because it hasn't happened in any significant way. What is being objected to is tolerance of gays, not genuine promotion of homosexuality. And if tolerance itself is not acceptable, what is the absence of tolerance? It is bigotry. If we do not promote tolerance in the public schools, we are accepting that bigotry has a place there. Is this really what we want?

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