On Marriage Equality

It was fascinating to follow the saga of equal marriage legislation in New York, particularly after a series of Twitter exchanges with people, most of whom opposed the concept. One in particular was pure comedy gold for the way he tried to present his argument against allowing LGBT people to marry.

In Canada, gay marriage became legal several years ago – if I remember right, in 2004, following a fairly long battle. It wasn’t a legislated thing, really, it was actually the product of court challenges, and creative efforts to circumvent existing laws. Without doing a ton of research, it was actually a church serving Toronto’s Gay Village that started the push by realizing they could use an old concept called publication of the banns to get around the need for a marriage license which couldn’t be issued to gay couples in the Province of Ontario. Once Ontario had equal marriage, other provinces eventually followed suit. The history, though, isn’t the point. The debate is.

Before this all happened, I guess I fell into the “defend traditional marriage camp” to a certain extent. It wasn’t that I had any particular interest in denying anyone any rights, but I think the way I saw it was “give them all the legal rights, etc, but call it something else. That to me was a rational position at the time.

Then I started to wonder why that mattered – why does the same matter? It doesn’t really. It’s a term to which we as a society attach some value, even if it’s just a semantic value, but it’s in no way compromised by allowing LGBT people to marry. In fact, what I came to realize fairly quickly is that whatever it was called, whatever it was, it didn’t matter to me. At all. If a gay couple can get married, its impact on my life is absolutely zero. If they can’t, however, there is an impact because it means I live in a society that accepts some manner of discrimination based on an inalienable feature of a person. That isn’t good.

What I’ve come to now is the realization that there simply are no good arguments to discriminate against LGBT people. It’s pointless. It’s stupid. It’s wrong.

The fact that it’s stupid is what trumps everything. I simply can’t get over the depth of stupidity that comes with all of the arguments made by homophobes. It’s not like they have intelligent arguments that can be debated. They’re just idiotic.

They claim that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage – the sanctity that leads to half of marriages failing, you say? Okay, whatever. They seem to suggest that it’s some kind of harbinger of societal downfall. Really? In Canada, it’s done nothing of the sort. In fact, more people couldn’t care less, it’s not a debate that anyone hears anymore. The deal is done, and everyone’s moved on.

Then it gets into other absurdities. Gays can’t reproduce so they shouldn’t be allowed to marry since marriage is for procreation. Okay, well, what about all the straight couples that can’t have children? Or choose not to? I’ve absolutely no interest in having children, and yet I’m married. Does my childfree marriage in any way impact someone else’s? No. Not at all. It’s pretty simple.

Then you get into more ridiculous arguments, like “slippery slopes”, suggesting that somehow there will be a broad push to expand the definition of marriage more. Why? Marriage is still between two consenting adults, no major, realistic effort exists to change that. It’s also not something most people will accept, whereas SSM isn’t really controversial, or shouldn’t be. I also found some other bizarre arguments – some moron on twitter named @WordGuru seemed (in a ridiculously long winded blog post) to believe that gay people getting married would subject him to some sort of outbreak of public gay sex (interestingly, he didn’t have an issue with lesbians), somehow stripping him of his right to be “free of perversion”. Well, I’m confident that won’t actually happen, because again, it hasn’t here.

See what I’m getting at? No one has made a single, decent argument against gay marriage that I can consider worthy of any intelligent debate. It’s really something that there’s no reason to find controversy over. Allowing equal marriage rights just makes sense.

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