Okay, I've covered the gay marriage thing before, but lately I've been harrassing a fella named Gary Fouse on his blog. I met him online years ago when he was doing research on my mother's hometown and he came across the website that I had made about my grandfather. Gary's a good guy, but a wee bit too fond of Republicans for my taste. (I've linked to his blog in the links section.) He seems to know what he's talking about, and I'm not into politics enough to debate him too strongly on certain issues. However, when he pointed out his blog about his opposition to gay marriage, I became like my dog when he sees a squirrel, only there's no leash on me.
I recommend that you read it for yourself, and it's his blog for Wed. June 13, 2007. I'm not going to post it here, rather, I'm going to address his points, but I won't be directly quoting him, as they're things that I've heard before. So, this is more inspired by his post than a direct response (which I already commented on, so why do it here?)
Before I proceed though, if you're not going to read his original post, do not think that he's some sort of homophobic bigot. In his blog, he stresses equal treatment for all. Well, equal for everything but the "m" word, anyway. Still, don't bombard him with hate mail calling him a homophobe, 'cause he isn't.
Okay, the first argument that I'd like to point out is the "why can't they just call it something else?" You know, give them the same rights, but don't let them call it marriage. What do you care what they call it? If you're willing to give them all the same protection under the law, then let them call it Super Mario Brothers. Are words really so important? If to you marriage is between a man and a woman, then only get married to the opposite sex. So what if somebody else has a different definition? How's it hurting you? Wait, I'll save you the effort - it isn't. To me, Bud Lite isn't beer, but that doesn't give me the right to tell others that they can't call it that.
The next argument is the "it's been between a man and a woman for thousands of years." Ugh. I hate the "it's been around for thousands of years" argument. That doesn't mean anything, because if you're going to use that as a criteria, then we should still have slavery. Also, people have been drinking their own urine for thousands of years as a cure-all for various ailments for thousands of years, but I shall continue to just flush mine, thank you very much.
Next up, "marriage is for the protection of children." Ummm...sure, it can be, but is that really what it's all about? I've taken an anthropology class, and it seems to me that traditionally it's been more about transferring ownership of a woman from her father to her husband. That's why the father "gives away" his daughter, don't you know. The more I think of this though, the more it hurts my head. Let's just say that it's true. There are gay partners out there who are raising children. Do those children not deserve the benefits of having married parents?
Personally, as a married person, I find it offensive that people try and define what marriage is "intended for". To be fair, Gary didn't say this, but I can't stand the whole "Marriage is for the purpose of having children." Okay, so senior citizens should no longer be allowed to marry. Having kids is part of the plan between Kirsti and I, but it wasn't the purpose of us getting married. I married her because I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her. Everything else is a side benefit.
My personal favorite is the, "if we allow gay marriage, then we'll have to allow polygamy, etc." Ummm...no we don't. Why must one thing follow the other? Allowing women to vote didn't lead to chipmunks voting, did it? (I'm pretty sure it didn't, but I don't have time to look that one up.) Two people of the same sex getting married has nothing to do with somebody marrying multiple partners. Ugh...lack of logic...hurt...head...
There's also the argument that the "institution of marriage" is declining in areas where gay marriage has been legalized. Well, this is the old fallacy of assuming that if something happens at the same time as something else, it's therefore the cause of it. Personally though, I'm not too impressed with the "institution of marriage" in this country either. What's the divorce rate anyway? Come on. We need to stop treating marriage like it's some kind of sacred institution. Maybe it should be, and it certainly is for me on a personal level, but as a country? Puh-lease.
There's more stuff, but I won't get into the whole "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" sorts of arguments because...well, they're too easy, honestly, and Gary didn't stoop to that sort of debate anyway. The bottom line is that I have YET to hear a SINGLE argument against gay marriage that didn't disintigrate with the application of just a little bit of logic.
Okay, so what if logic isn't your thing? Can I go the pathos route? How about this: I saw on TV a lesbian couple who had been together for over thirty years. Who the hell is anybody to tell them that they can't define their relationship as marriage? They can't, but Liz fuckin' Taylor can call all eight of hers "marriage"? Give me a break. The hypocrisy is astounding. Ted Haggard can be "married" and have sex with meth-using male prostitutes on the side? Puh-lease.
And to pull out the whole "won't somebody think of the children" card - The fact is, there are gay people out there who are trying to have families and be productive members of society. These aren't people who are hanging out in bathhouses and leaping from one partner to another. They're trying to make life-long commitments and have a chance at happiness just like everybody else. Helios bless 'em, I say.