Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. All Receive Failing Grades! Accordingly, more and more people are starting to acknowledge the flawed nature of all arguments which oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.
This article discusses 10 of the most common positions presented by opponents of marriage equality and outlines why each deserves a failing grade. In reality, marriage is a societal institution. The natural world didn't create marriage, humans did.
Nature-themed arguments against gay marriage say little about the societal institution of marriage but reveal a lot about the homophobia and heterosexism of those who present such arguments. In this regard, the disapproval isn't about gay marriage per se -- it's more about discomfort with homosexuality, period. They reason that because two people of the same sex cannot procreate that they should not be allowed to marry. While the production of children may indeed be a feature of many heterosexual marriages the capacity to procreate does not determine the legal validity of such marriages.
There are many married straight couples who cannot biologically have children or who choose not to. The procreation argument ignores the fact that people marry for a wide range of reasons unrelated to procreation including love, friendship and companionship.
References to the Bible, the "sinful" nature of homosexuality, and "religious beliefs" are regularly made by those who seek to rationalize their support of discrimination via religion. Marriage is a religious institution, they argue, and not one for society to tamper with. Given that the U. In order to legally marry there is absolutely no requirement for a religious ceremony to be held. In this sense, marriage is not a religious institution but a socio-legal one governed by the state.
Religious beliefs about marriage should never be enshrined in laws in ways that restrict the freedom of others who do not share those beliefs. They say that efforts to legalize same-sex marriage will fundamentally alter the institution for the worse.
History reveals, however, that marriage laws in the U. There was a time when women were the legal property of their husbands. There was a time when a man and a woman of different races couldn't marry each other. There was even a time when not one country in the world had legalized same-sex marriage! Removing discrimination from the institution of marriage does not redefine "marriage" -- it simply makes the institution more accessible and reflects the evolution of society.
Allowing same-sex couples to marry apparently poses a "threat" to "traditional marriage" as though somehow heterosexual married couples will all be at risk of divorcing when two people of the same sex marry each other. If those who use the "sanctity" argument were genuinely concerned about the institution of marriage they'd focus their efforts on helping those straight married couples who are at risk of divorcing.
If marriage was so "sacred" they'd also be pursuing the outlawing of heterosexual divorce. They do neither of these things. The only married straight couples impacted by the legalization of gay marriage are those in which one of the parties is a closet-case gay person who dreams of coming out and marrying someone of the same sex! They argue that children need a "mom and a dad" in order to flourish in life and that legalizing same-sex marriage denies children this opportunity of "normalcy.
There is no evidence that children are psychologically harmed by having two dads or two moms. They talk of charity-based religious organizations being "forced out of business" for "sticking to their beliefs" about marriage.
In this reverse scenario, gay people are apparently "hateful" for wanting to be treated equally in society. How dare we demand equal rights and criticize those who discriminate against us!
In no state of the U. Religious groups and churches are still free to pick and choose who they will and won't marry. Organizations that receive public money, however, and which must adhere to anti-discrimination laws, should rightly be challenged if they engage in discrimination against a protected class of people. People who present these scenarios portray a catastrophic future with society crumbling under the weight of rampant immorality and social discord.
Efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, however, simply aim to provide same-sex couples with equal access to marriage laws -- there is no intention to change the fundamental definition of marriage as the legal union between two adult human beings who have no direct biological connection with each other.
Facts are useful in this regard: They argue that "marriage" should be left exclusively for opposite-sex couples and that same-sex couples should be granted "civil unions. Various countries and American states which initially permitted "civil unions" for same-sex couples have subsequently enacted marriage equality legislation. These jurisdictions have pursued such changes because civil union legislation, no matter how valiant the effort, is not able to provide the same rights and benefits as legal marriage.
In essence, having a two-class system continues to maintain the erroneous notion that one group straight people is more superior to another group LGBT people. Ironically, most advocates of this argument also support the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA , a law which allows the federal government to deny more than one thousand federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples legally married at the state level.
The maintenance of a system which allows some states to recognize same-sex marriage and others not to, and which allows the federal government to ignore legal same-sex marriages performed at the state level, sets up a cumbersome and extremely complicated national map of unequal rights and legal nightmares. Those who support a "states' rights" approach to same-sex marriage should at least be consistent and drop their support of a federal government act DOMA which essentially tramples states' rights.
Marriage Equality is the Future -- Embrace it! There is no logical or reasonable basis for denying same-sex couples access to secular marriage laws. Opposing the inevitable marriage equality is a waste of time, money and energy. I urge all of those who oppose gay marriage to start focusing on their own lives, to accept that they don't need to marry a person of the same sex, and to recognize the right of all Americans to be treated equally under the law: Thank you to those at the GMUSA facebook page who have regularly shared their views on this topic and who have, in that regard, helped contribute to the ideas and arguments expressed in this article.
Photos by Murray Lipp.