Worlds & Time

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Understanding Anti-Gay Marriage Arguments

So, as far as I understand it, the three main arguments against gay marriage are:
  1. It's not traditional. (Also seen as: Marriage is the fundamental unit of society)
  2. I don't like the thought of gay marriage. (Also seen as: Gay marriage is icky or I don't want my kids to see it)
  3. Gay marriage is against my religious beliefs.
  4. There isn't any reason that gays should want marriage anyway.
I'm not much for tradition, so I feel that 1. is a hollow argument. Americans try not to legislate our own personal prejudices so 2. is certainly not a valid argument.

3. is more complex. I feel that the best argument against it is pointing out that by legislating a person's religious beliefs you are egregiously violating the first amendment. You see, there are people with other religious beliefs out there that do favor gay marriage. The Unitarian Universalists, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ and many reform Jewish temples all support gay marriage. Those churches represent millions of Americans, all of whom are having their freedom of speech trampled by larger denominations that want to be able to have their own sacraments legally recognized but prevent the smaller churches from doing the same.

The reason for this post is number 4. though. You see, I've noticed that this response is usually related to a single argument against gay marriage. When you ask people why straight people should want legally recognized marriage but gay people shouldn't the answer is usually: for the children.

According to a lot of the anti-gay marriage Christians that I've had the pleasure of being disgusted by over the years, since gay people are incapable of creating a baby, they shouldn't have the legal status that straights have to take care of the child.

Personally, I thought this was ridiculous, and I've pointed this out numerous times. Gay people may not be able to have sex with each other and procreate but the can and do take care of babies through adoption or surrogacy or sometimes even heterosexual sex (we may refer to those people as "bisexual"). Recently, I finally got a response that floored me.

Gay people shouldn't be able to raise children.

Okay, that's a fairly serious negation of my counter argument. If gay (and bisexual) people were not allowed to raise children then that does in fact mean that there would be substantial difference in the necessity for legal protections from gay families.

It would also require tens of thousands of children to be forcibly removed from their parents (sometimes blood parents and often the only parents that the child has known).

Don't forget that this is a Christian that I was talking too. A Christian that apparently thinks so little of gay people that he finds nothing wrong with denying them the ability to raise their children.

You can see him say that in the comments to this post on his blog.

He'll think that I'm being hyperbolic. But I think that when someone gets the point that he is at: denying the ability of gay people to be decent, loving parents, then perhaps a little bit of hyperbolic language is justified.

So, that's his trump argument. Gay people don't need legal protections to protect their children because they shouldn't be allowed to have children. Not only should we not be considered able to make the choice to marry, but we also not be considered good enough to raise children.

If you were curious, that's prejudice. That's what gay people want to get rid of in this world.

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