With the recent legal activities in Iowa and Vermont, the Same Sex Marriage issue isn’t going away, as some proponents of Prop. 8 hoped it would after the proposition passed. I stated then that people don’t stop fighting for basic rights regardless of how many times those rights are denied them.
Now, this issue will be taken up and debated at the Federal level by the Congress. Not because there is any politician brave enough to address the issue, but they’ll be forced to by the District of Columbia City Council who have proposed to recognize the same sex marriages performed elsewhere. I’ve been thinking about the arguments against Same Sex Marriage as well and I agree with Peter Sagal, who lumped them into 3 groups: It is against God’s law, it is against tradition, and it’ll destroy heterosexual monogamous marriages.
I’ve covered these arguments in the past but thought that I’d do so again, if perhaps you missed it or didn’t understand. The first one isn’t an argument at all, and is irrelevant. What if my God told me it was okay? What if he told me to kill kittens, and build giant obelisks to his glory? It doesn’t matter. My and your personal religious beliefs aren’t an argument for denying people their rights in a secular nation that doesn’t recognize any religious belief as valid. That whole ‘wall’ Jefferson talked about.
Arguing marriages traditional place is also a poor argument, the whole liberal enlightenment movement of which the United States is probably the best product of is based on overcoming narrow-minded traditional beliefs, laws, processes, etc. Slavery has a long tradition in the world, Misogyny does too, as well as genocide, torture, pedophilia, polygamy, etc. The list could go on and on, these are all traditions that we’ve overcome and are better off for it! I won’t mention the fact that what is presented to Americans as traditional marriage is younger than our country, but that can be for another time.
The final argument that same sex marriage will destroy heterosexual ones is ridiculous on its face. What is the divorce race in our Nation? 50% How many more heterosexual marriages are loveless or festering wells of spousal and children abuse? According to the Center for Health and Gender Equality 22% of women interviewed admit to domestic violence abuse. This actual incidence of domestic violence is almost always under reported. In some surveys the number has been as high as 50-70%! It appears that heterosexual marriage doesn’t need any help being destroyed, heterosexuals are doing a bang up job all on their own. All of this and I haven’t even begun to question how what two people do in the privacy of their own home effects what you do in the privacy of yours? You might not like it, but besides not being comfortable with the idea of two men or two women raising children and having sexual intercourse it can’t do anything to your marriage. What is much more likely to destroy it is money issues or infidelity. Besides there’s no evidence to support this, the divorce rate in Massachusetts hasn’t spiked since the same sex marriage became legal, for the few weeks that it was legal in California the only statistics to see a spike was the rate of marriage… They used this argument too when it came to giving Woman the vote, passing Civil Rights legislation, and abolition… Nothing was destroyed then either…
Finally, those opposing same sex marriage will fail for one reason, the young don’t care. It might take more years than it should, but it is inevitable. Look at some exit polling from last year’s election concerning Proposition 8 in California:
18-29 (20%) 39 61
30-44 (28%) 55 45
45-64 (36%) 54 46
65+ (15%) 61 39
As older voters die off and younger voters replace them and the LGBT movement continues to press for equal rights, laws protecting “marriage” will fall and the LGBT community will be able to enjoy the same rights heterosexuals take for granted. As Andrew Sullivan stated, the essential civil right is not the right to be different — because difference, in this context, is the prerequisite assumption of bigotry — but the right to be the same.