The Great Marriage “Debate”

10 12 2008

There is probably no debate in the public realm that gets me riled up more than the one over gay marriage. And with the recent headlines surrounding California’s Proposition 8, and the ensuing discussion on the blogs and discussion forums, I’ve damn near had to go on blood pressure medicine.

What riles me up so much is that the arguments against granting same-sex couples the same civil rights as heterosexual ones are just so damned flimsy. Many of them are recycled from a lifetime ago when the debate involved interracial marriages. None of them hold any water legally (which is why those against the idea rush to put the matter to public vote, in my opinion.)

Let’s take a look, if I’ve forgotten one, please feel free to add it.

1. “It’s against God, the Bible, or whatever deity or holy text I hold dear.”  I’ve read some convincing positions that argue that the Bible’s oft-quoted “no gay” scriptures are not so clearcut as many would have us believe, but I am  no theologian. I can no more stay awake through a book of the Bible than I can through a few pages of Shakespeare–so I leave that argument to those more well versed than myself. But at any rate, the blessing of a religious institution is not required for a marriage to be legal now. The institution can be entered into at a drive through, presided over by an Elvis impersonator, with nary a priest, preacher, or vicar in site.

2. “If a woman can marry a woman, what’s next her Saint Bernard? ” This “argument” is so ridiculous it hardly merits discussion, but since it gets used so often, I must. The idea that if same-sex marriages were recognized we would suddenly have to place our seal of approval on marriages between species, between adults and children, or between people and their dining room sets ignores one thing–that marriage is a contract that must be entered into by two people who can legally enter into such a contract. To compare the perfectly legal actions of two consenting adults to criminal actions that victimize children, animals, or household goods is beyond absurd.

3. “It’s just disgusting!” The anti-gay marriage folks just can’t seem to get beyond the sex. Marriage has long been known to put the brakes on the ole sex life, so there ya go. If the “ick” factor is the measure by which our society will sanction a marriage, then it will become a very rare institution indeed. Seriously. Think of every married couple you know. Now picture them having sex. If it makes you cringe, their marriage is invalid. Stupid, huh?

4. “The purpose of a marriage is for having children, and, well, the gays can’t do that!” Or any variant of the same–“they don’t make good parents, their kids would get picked on, a kid needs a mom and a dad, etc.” Last I checked, the government did not grant marriage licenses based on desire to start a family. Nor did they come back years later to dissolve marriages that hadn’t produced offspring. So from a legal standpoint, that hound won’t hunt. As to whether gay and lesbian couples make good parents…I imagine they are just as good or bad as their heterosexual counterparts. But since a gay or lesbian couple can’t very well have an “oops baby” it stands to reason that any children they do add are more likely to be wanted and cherished. And kids need both a mom and a dad? Dare to dream. I don’t know the statistics, but kids who only have one parent in the house are probably more the norm than the exception.

5. “Marriage is sacred! It must be protected!” From what? Are there millions of men and women out there, faking their way through a “traditional marriage” just waiting for gay unions to be legalized so they can leave their wives or husbands for a partner of the same sex? I doubt it. There’s nothing sacred about a union that can be entered into on a whim, and exited from almost as easily. Half of marriages end in divorce, half of married people will cheat on their spouses, and I can almost guarantee that everyone reading this knows someone who has entered into a “sacred” union with three or four different people. If you really feel marriage is something sacred that must be protected, there are a lot better places to start than by telling an entire group they can’t do it.

It’s because there are no sound arguments that the foes of gay marriage have gone to the polls to ban them. Placing civil rights on the ballot box is, to my knowledge, unprecedented. Can you imagine if desegregation had been left to the popular vote? Or women’s rights? We would be years behind where we are now on those issues.

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33 responses

10 12 2008
Amanda

All excellent points!

10 12 2008
Mental P Mama

Amen. And, amen. I still don’t know how a married gay couple are a threat to my marriage. As far as I know, that is my job;) By the way, how is Twilight coming along?

10 12 2008
cuteasasa

Finding love is the greatest gift you can receive in this life. Marriage should be the full commitment of your being to that love. (If you look at the heterosexual record, you’ll find that is a rather shaky theory tho.) I, while allowed by law to have this experience, have never been given this blessing. And that’s exactly why I would never, ever deny it to another living soul. More hetros should have to live with never having received this gift. Maybe then they would understand the value of what they are so arrogantly denying others.

10 12 2008
joanharvest

I don’t understand it either. My main argument is ‘It’s nobody else’s business.” All your points are valid and true.

10 12 2008
imom

Hear, hear!! Very well said.
I’ve never understood the whole if you let gays marry then people will want to marry their dog, or horse, favorite shoe theory. Ridiculous!
I found your blog through Tammy at The Color of Home and have loved the few posts I’ve read!

10 12 2008
Alan

Amen brother! Amen…

10 12 2008
The Incredible Woody

Hee-hee – I love point #3!! And I guess my 18-year marriage isn’t valid since I have yet to procreate!

10 12 2008
Jesse

#1: I think it is wise that you do as you did and keep out of trying to interpret a book that you don’t believe in.

#2: “. . . marriage is a contract that must be entered into by two people who can legally enter into such a contract. To compare the perfectly legal actions of two consenting adults to criminal actions that victimize children, animals, or household goods is beyond absurd.”

What about mothers marrying sons and brothers marrying sisters (all of age, of course)? Is that such a far-fetched idea to entertain? To you that may be completely different than same-sex marriage, but to many others they are not. If you are fighting right now to just ignore everyone else and mind your own business, how could you then say that two adults who just happen to be immediate relatives and who have found ‘true love’ should not be allowed to marry?

10 12 2008
Little Miss

Very well said, VV. I never really have thought about it and I especially like your arguments. They make complete sense to me. I have a dear gay male friend who has been with the same partner now for over 30 years. My last heterosexual husband (that sounds like I had one who wasn’t…but you know what I’m getting at) couldn’t last six months in a marriage.

10 12 2008
stogirly

1. “It’s against God, the Bible, or whatever deity or holy text I hold dear.”
Separation of church and State.

2. “If a woman can marry a woman, what’s next her Saint Bernard? ”
Animals can’t consent. Except maybe a parrot. No one likes them though.

3. “It’s just disgusting!”
All sex is gross if you think about it.

4. “The purpose of a marriage is for having children, and, well, the gays can’t do that!”
Adoption. There, they can, and they really want those children.

5. “Marriage is sacred! It must be protected!”
Don’t most end in divorce?

People should be able to do what THEY feel is right as long as they do not infringe other peoples rights.

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

It’ s timely that I posted this today. In my mailbox was the latest newsweek which has a brilliant article on the topic. Here’s the link, it brings up a lot of points Ive never heard before…

http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Jesse, you would be well served not to presume what I do or do not believe in. I said I find the reading of the Bible to be a snooze on par with Shakespeare, not that I found it to be a text that should be dismissed totally. Your apparent take on the Bible’s meaning is not one shared by all Biblical scholars (I’d encourage you to read the link I posted above). As to your apples to oranges comparison: Last I checked, incest was illegal, and homosexuality was not. There is a motivation to prevent closely related people from having children–I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the potential handicaps and health challenges that happen in those cases. And, as the pairs you list are already related, they already get many of the benefits that same-sex couples seek. Thank you for stopping by!

stogirly–and thank you for stopping by too! “People should be able to do what THEY feel is right as long as they do not infringe other peoples rights.” I agree!

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Amanda–thank you! And thanks for stoppin by!

Mental P Mama–Im ALMOST done. I havent had much reading time this week.

Imom–glad you’re enjoying yourself!

cuteasasa–on the other hand, if more gay people got to experience marriage, maybe they wouldnt want it! LOL

Joan–mine too!

Little Miss–yeah, if anyone really wants to protect marriage, maybe more ought to be done to insure that people who get married mean it when they say I DO.

Woody–yep! null and void. Tell him to get out! LOL

10 12 2008
trailerparkbarbie

Daaaamn…..you’re smart!!!!!!

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

TPB–who me?

10 12 2008
Jesse

I read the article earlier this morning. It might be worth reading if you have absolutely no knowledge at all about the history and culture of the people in the Bible. That article has, in fact, been received with chuckles from those in the religious community who can very readily see the absurdity of the points the author makes.

10 12 2008
Peter Parkour

Great post, great comments, great comebacks, all well thought out. What Joan and you said. 😉 If I can come up with a legitimate argument, I’ll be back just so you can set me straight. 😛 Nice job, V.V.

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Jesse…thanks for adding your opinion. I doubt her points are any more absurd than the anti gay marriage points I outlined, but at any rate, as I said there is no requirement that a marriage have the blessing of ANY religion, so I really dont see why it matters. If gay marriage isn’t for you–dont enter into one.

10 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Peter…thank you sir! One thing I pride myself on is being able to see both sides of a coin…but for the life of me, I have never seen one argument against gay marriage that didnt fall under one of my bullets…if you do see one, by all means let me know!

10 12 2008
Jason

Oh boy. You know how I feel about his subject. I’m starting to get all stirred up again…..deep breaths, easy, in, out, ahhhhh. Okay. I’m all right now.

Jason, I actually started this post a month or more ago and thought of you guys as I was writing it. I had to take a few weeks worth of deep breaths and collect my thoughts before I could finish it

11 12 2008
Heather

Excellent post! Wonderful points!
My whole argument for gay marriage is “No reason gays shouldn’t be as miserable as the rest of us.”
Yes I know, bad joke.

LOL! No, I think thats pretty good!

11 12 2008
Liz

Amen to all of the above. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. I pretty much believe in live & let live… until some crazy faction or another decides to blow up our country. Why not just let people be? Because the world is full of control freaks… who must be in control! But, be careful what you want… you never know how it’s all going to look in the morning. Heh heh…

Protect the sanctity of marriage? That cracks me up since our society dumps spouses at such an alarming rate. Oh Yeah. Let’s protect that, for sure. Or let’s protect polygamy because it’s traditional… a few hundred years ago. They had multiple wives in hundreds of passages in the Bible. Give me a break. In our world, when people are a couple, they deserve the same treatment & benefits as everyone else. Except the polygamists, lol.

I’ve been married to the same man for 31 years, but I still don’t begrudge others for their choices. I wouldn’t want to be judged for mine. Our world is growing so rapidly, including the internet highways, that narrow mindedness is going to become the new Ewwww! factor, if it hasn’t already.

I think its getting there. On this matter, partly because there is just more visibility. I think when my parents were kids, gays and lesbians were these strange creatures who lived in big cities–if you knew a gay or lesbian person at all, it was probably some larger than life stereotype. Now, its the couple down the street, or the guy in the next office.

11 12 2008
Queen of Planet Hotflash

Very well said !!! I am a heterosexual woman, I believe in the right for GLBT people to choose whom they marry and have the same benefits from that marriage as I have. I believe they have every right to adopt children or have surrogates carry children and have the right of both parents being the legal guardians of the child. I believe that they should be able to visit and determine a loved ones fate while they are ill or unable to do so themselves. i believe they have the right to celebrate their love and committment to one another in any way they choose as long as it does not cause physical harm to anyone.
I have a brother and two cousins and a multitude of friends who are gay and lesbian.
I believe for those say well whats going to stop mother marrying son or daughter /father are grasping at straws because they don’t have a very good reason to deny people rights. Who cares who marries who as long as they are of a legal age and mental capacity to consent to do so. Love is Love, why is it anyones business who we love when we are consenting adults. i believe GLBT couples have the right to have families, love and the same civil rights as heterosexual couples do.
And as far as procreation, what about the heterosexual couples who can not procreate on their own? should they not be allowed to marry either? So perhaps a test should be done on couples before marriage to determine if they can conceive??? if it says no then nope RIGHTS DENIED. Stupidity just plain Stupidity
If I ignore the rights not being given to other citizens then who will help me when my civil rights are violated.. no one
Sorry this is so long but it is something I am passionate about. Civil rights should be the same for ALL citizens of the United States.

11 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

you tell em Queen

11 12 2008
Big Hair Envy

Someone has been doing his homework…..

11 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Big Hair–eh, it was an easy assigment. 🙂

11 12 2008
Serendipitous Girl

Hello! Big Hair Envy sent me your way and I’m so glad she did, I’ve been cracking up reading your posts. Thanks!

11 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

S. Girl–Im glad she did too! Hope to see you around more often.

11 12 2008
Asthmagirl

If two consenting adults want to commit to each other, I don’t think their gender should be a problem. I sure don’t think it should be a political issue. My husband and I agree that gays are far less of a threat to our marriage than sex, finances and the selection of furniture all rolled into one. In fact, I’d rather welcome a gay couple into our marriage than shop for a sofa with The Old Goat again!

11 12 2008
sista #2

I was watching some show yesterday and that jackass Huckabee or whatever the hell his name is was on.

He started with his marriage is between man and woman thing, I yelled at my TV…go fuck yourself jackass.

I just don’t get it. You are human, you are in love, what difference does it make what sex you are??

Motherfer’s….all of them.

peace
#2

12 12 2008
The Vinyl Villager

A-girl…too funny! but a great point.

Sista–I saw a bit of that. Wasnt he going on about how “physically it just wont work?”

12 12 2008
sista #2

Vinyl, I could not believe what was coming out of that Jackass’s mouth.

He truely believes all that he spews.

Big F and I just kept cursing.

peace
#2

12 12 2008
ntsc

A few years ago I was at my brother-in-laws retirement party. Now this is a very religious Roman Catholic couple.

Somehow the subject of same-sex marriage came up in the group I was standing with:

Sister-in law: “If gay people are allowed to marry the next thing will be people wanting to marry their dog.”

Roman Catholic Nun – in full habit: “Bullshit”

End of topic.

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