There is No Same-Sex Marriage Debate
Most people are proud to be born in whatever nation they were born. Patriotism and nationalism are strongly ingrained in most people from an early age. So it takes an awful lot of stupidity, ignorance, and misconduct to pry the effects of that propaganda away and turn someone's pride into shame. At times I am ashamed to be an American. A place where a majority of the population doesn't even accept the theory of Evolution and where creationists fight and sometimes SUCCEED, at getting religious propaganda into public tax-dollar-funded schools.
Perhaps most shameful of all is the bigotry and ignorance of the population regarding an issue that seems really divisive on the surface but when you apply any thought to it the solution becomes obvious. That issue is, of course, same sex marriage, and the solution is, of course, to make it legal in all 50 states.
No Country for Good Arguments
Most perplexing of all in the so-called debate over same-sex marriage is the fact that those opposing same-sex marriage have yet to make a single compelling argument for why gays should be forbidden from marrying each other. They argue that gays wouldn't make good parents, but I know plenty of people who were raised by straight parents who were abused, mistreated, neglected or otherwise wronged. The fact is that being a good parent has NEVER been a requirement for being a parent and neither has being a couple. Single-parents can both raise and, in most places, ADOPT children.
The merits of someone as a parent does not come from who they want to marry and neither does the merits of them as a person.
Arguments against same sex marriage are often eerily similar to those made against interracial marriage. Claims that gay marriage is unnatural, non-traditional, or somehow infringes upon the will of God himself are commonplace. Perhaps the most ridiculous argument I hear is the claim that, in fact, gays ARE just as free to get married as heterosexuals. The catch, of course, is that gays are only free to enter into heterosexual marriages, something they wouldn't want to do anyway.
Let's go back to the analogy of interracial marriages and make a similar argument. Blacks can marry blacks, whites can still marry whites, everyone is free to marry WITHIN their group. Blacks are just as FREE as whites are because they can marry their kind. Does anyone else see the problem with this mentality? It's the same argument, often known under the moniker of SEPARATE but EQUAL, that kept blacks in the South segregated for decades. In this case homosexuals are prohibited from marrying who they want to BECAUSE they are the same gender, rather than because they are different races, either way it makes NO sense.
The sad truth is that those who oppose same sex marriage are falling back on the same arguments that racists used to discriminate against African Americans. The next time you hear some moron arguing that gays are demanding so-called “special rights” remember that what they are saying is akin to “I don't see why Black people are complaining, they get to ride the bus like everybody else”.
One of the subjects brought up by bigots and morons is that somehow gay marriage conflicts with so-called “traditional” marriage. These ideas are often based upon an OPENLY biased Biblical view of marriage as being between “one man and one woman” and demonstrably false claims that marriage has been that way for thousands of years are often thrown around.
Once upon a time I took a college course called Intro to Anthropology and we talked a lot about all kinds of subjects. One of the subjects that this very broad course covered was that of marriage within a great many cultures. Traditions regarding marriage VARY GREATLY amongst the cultures of the world both modern and ancient. Polygamy is commonplace throughout human history and human culture and there are even some cultures that practice polyandry, where one woman has multiple husbands. The idea that marriage can be boiled down to “one man and one woman” is just embarrassingly stupid on the part of those making these arguments.
In fact the Bible never defines marriage as between one man and one woman exclusively, polygamy is almost as omnipresent in the Bible as God is. The Bible treats women as property to be owned and exchanged. Fathers are permitted to sell their daughters into sexual servitude, women can be taken as plunder during war and if a woman is raped her captor pays a fine and then MARRIES her for life (now that she is a tainted a devalued piece of property). The assertion that somehow the Bible has wisdom to share with us about the matter of gender relations and marriage is INSULTING in the highest degree.
The last fact I want to bring up that demolishes claims of traditional marriage is the fact that heterosexual couples married today engage in all kinds of acts that these bigots wouldn't condone as part of traditional marriage yet which are perfectly legal. There is an entire subculture of married folks who call themselves “swingers”, couples who allow sexual escapades outside of their marriage. This is adultery, a deed punishable by having rocks hurled at you until you're bleeding, bruised, broken and finally buried, in the Bible.
So does a married man who likes being sodomized by his wife wearing a strap-on while dressed as a Priest qualify as being part of traditional marriage? Would you folks who oppose same-sex marriage with such fervor walk into the bedroom and tell them to stop? Would you presume to exercise your control over them? Of course not. But because homosexuals are the minority, because they are already in control, you think you have the right to lecture them about what sexual activity is permitted and what marriages are considered “traditional”.
The Problem is Choice?
Even if homosexuality were a choice it would not be okay to deny gays the right to get married based on that choice. Let's say, for instance, that the same married couple mentioned above choose to engage in bi-sexual activity. Is their marriage now invalid because of that choice? Let's say they engage in said activity BEFORE they get married, before they even meet, is their choice now suddenly going to prevent them from getting married? Is anyone going to stop Julie and James from getting married because a year ago Julie was sleeping with Erica while James was dating Dale? Or is their choice to go back to heterosexuality make their marriage suddenly a viable option again?
Does anyone have the right to tell two consenting adults who they can or can't marry based on choices regarding sexual preference? NO. Therefore even if homosexuality were a choice that still wouldn't be good reason to oppose it.
There is no "Debate"
If same sex couples could get married it would do nothing to hinder the lives or happiness of straight people. I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over knowing that now two women or two men could marry each other. The political nature of this issue means that, for no reason at all, it is often portrayed in the media as some kind of balancing act, as if both sides have good points to make. This isn't some debate where both side have a good point however, this is an issue where no real debate is taking place. There is no rational or legal reason to deny homosexual couples the right to marry, none.
So there is no debate, there's only those who care about equality and freedom versus the discriminators, the bigots and the politicians who play to those bigots for political gain.
I find it amazing that so many of my fellow Americans oppose gay marriage. Many of them were just raised that way and grew up in a society that seemed very anti-gay. Growing up even I found the very idea of homosexuality grotesque and because of my Christian upbringing I was initially against gay marriage (but was, at least, in favor of civil unions with all the same rights). In school heterosexuals often bullied each other with accusations and slurs relating to homosexuality and later in high school these included almost light-heated jests amongst friends. Because to us straight folks the idea of homosexual activity is seen as unattractive (often termed the ICK factor) it can be hard for straight men (I can't speak for women) to be openly sympathetic towards gays and their cause and this exacerbates the prejudice that comes from (often religious) parents and is passed on from generation to generation. This is the unfortunate nature of the culture and it will take a concerted effort to educate the public and get this kind of thing to decrease in prevalence.
For now it seems Americans are content to take baby steps regarding the issue but hopefully it won't be long before opinions begin to shift and reality and equality surpass prejudice and stigma.