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I held that view until it dawned on me that there being nothing essentially wrong with monogamy, it really isn't a reinforcement of heterosexuality for gays to marry. The only objections now are coming from religious bigots, and if I were exclusively gay, I would want to marry if only to poke bigots in the eye. I sincerely doubt there are that many heterosexuals who really think same sex marriage is a bad thing in and of itself. Equality means what it says. Why should heterosexuals enjoy rights that are denied to lgbtq people? This is a democracy. If anti-same sex people want to live in a theocracy, tell them to go to an Islamic country and see how they like it. Finally, climate change and population growth are now threatening the very existence of the earth as a viable place to live. To me, the real heroes are lgbtq people who do not want to have children by donation; better that they emulate straight couples -- if those straight couples are like Brad and Angelina, adopting unwanted children, just as you might adopt a sterilized dog or cat at the pound. (No, of course I am not making a parallel; the bigots with their silly argument that same sex marriage will lead to bestiality are doing a fine job of that. I am only saying that good same sex couples will adopt, not go the ego route with sperm donations from the couple themselves. Think about it, who is the No. 1 backer of the anti-equality movement? If you said Tony Perkins and his Fumbling Research Council, I suspect you are wrong. I think it is either the Mormons or the RCC. Why do they pump so much money into fighting queer people? Because same sex unions are not supposed to produce good little Morons or Caplicks. Without new recruits, these groups will die out. Hence, it is the same old same old, old man Saul Leviticus telling people Gawd doesn't like queers. So my position, why imitate the straights, has evolved over time (as Obama would put it) and that those inclined to marry should be allowed to do so. The bigots want to claim exclusivity because they believe marriage is holy. But marriage is civil as well, and without the right to marry, monogamous gay couples are denied all manner of benefits readily available to straights.
I just ran across quite an interesting counter-argument on another forum. Not sure what I think about this yet really. I had posed this question:
Has anyone ever seen an argument against marriage equality that a.) is not religious and b.) makes sense?
And here's the response:
Gay marriage reinforces heteronormative behaviours. Gays are allowed to be "acceptable" ... if ... they comply with conservative lifestyle norms. Monogamous dating to find "the right one", marriage unto-death-us-do-part, children, suburbs, little league, PTA. Acceptable careers, acceptable friends, acceptable lifestyle choices.The world is full of "queers" beyond monogamous gay couples. Each of them is discriminated against by various aspects of law; inheritance, adoption/custody/etc, next-of-kin rights, along with workplace discrimination, insurance, etc.But gay couples make up the most visible portion of this population. By peeling them away from the rest, the conservatives are able to not only reinforce their own 1950s lifestyle fantasies, but further entrench legal discrimination against anyone different. This delays or even reverses gains made in other areas for other kinds of "queers".(Just as "gays in the military" merely reinforced America's mainstream love-affair with perpetual war. Now you can't hate the baby-killers coz they might be gays, and you don't hate gays, do you?)Without "gay marriage", gays will force the laws and regulations, the rules of institutions like hospitals, to be changed to accept non-hetero and especially non-heteronormative relationships, in order to just have common sense rights that even heteros understand the need for. (A gay man in hospital, his 20yr partner is denied next-of-kin rights, but his 20yr-estranged sibling from a different state is accepted instead. Let them "put a ring on it" and you don't have to recognise their relationship. "If they were a real couple, they would have gotten married, like normal people do.")Gay marriage reinforces hetero marriage, reinforces the conservative movement's gains in the last 30 years. It makes it harder to get reforms that support the whole rainbow of "queer" culture and makes it easier to undermine reforms already hard won.So congratulations on your big win, Conservative America.
Somewhat related: a recent Pew Research Center survey says that despite significantly fewer African-Americans than white Americans supporting same-sex marriage (42% vs. 53%), a majority of blacks (and not whites) say florists, caterers, and other wedding-related businesses should be required to serve all couples (61% vs. 45%).
Loren and Pat, there's an xkcd comic that points out: "People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years."
Thanks, Pat! I thought the quotes were all anti-interracial-marriage; it's stunning how both types of opposition statements are practically interchangeable.
@Pat VERY instructive, Pat! Thank you for posting that!
@Loren, as a follow up to your statement of a desire to see a comparison of opposition to both same-sex and interracial marriage, I found this interesting little quiz. Damned if I could tell the difference in who the bigots were referring to!
I can't help but notice that the bible-thumpers and true believers have been foretelling the whole fire-and-brimstone trip as a reaction to the gays getting marriage rights for ages, just as others of their ilk predict the end of the world (which they can't wait for!) ... and it didn't happen yesterday, it's not happening today, and I'll bet ya a cup of coffee it won't happen tomorrow. Meantime, they've tried to make a version of it happen with Prop 8 and DoMA and failed miserably, while studies of same-sex couples report that children of such unions are at least as happy and well oriented as those of hetero couples.What I would really like to see is a comparison between those who rail against same-sex marriage and those who were so upset about the Loving vs Virginia decision, mostly to see how many of these bigots finally wake up and smell the coffee.
@Bertold, just as that Reinhardt opinion states, inclusion is the key to any democracy. I put a lot of stock in that old adage, agreeable somewhat nebulous, that as long as one is not free, all are in chains. As for "models of commitment," one of the primary accusations of homophobes is that gays are promiscuous. One of them was quoted as saying gays have a hundred partners a year or five hundred, or whatever. Wouldn't marriage help prevent the spread of HIV and a bunch of other problems laid at the feet of gays? Not that any of these dolts ever make much sense.
Sometimes there's good news. This time, thanks to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (from the NYT):
The lessons of our constitutional history are clear: Inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most important institutions,” Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt wrote in the three-judge panel’s unanimous ruling. “When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.
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