My Favorite Arguments Against Gay Marriage…With Responses
1. The Bible defines marriage as being between man and woman.
So first, I actually don’t know where it says this in the Bible. But second, the Bible says LOTS of things that we now know to be poor guides for society-~-like where it says that women should be property and slaves are okay and bacon is not. We sometimes don’t FOLLOW every rule in the Bible.
More importantly, where does it say this in the Constitution? Oh, that’s right…it doesn’t.
2. It is improper to redefine marriage.
Let me bring you back to this idea of women being property and us realizing that was incorrect. You know what happened as a result? WE CHANGED THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE! And then we changed it again with divorce laws. And then we changed it AGAIN with interracial marriage. My point? THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE CAN BE CHANGED, and should be when we realize that our definition is outdated and obsolete.
Oh, and if someone brings up religion, fun fact: even the CHURCH has modified how it defines marriage. Pope Alexander III released a doctrine that said that mutual consent by the parties getting married was the basis for marriage, not parental pre-arrangement on the basis of economic advantage. This means that even religious institutions are capable of changing this, so the US should probably just stop whining already.
3. A child needs a mother and a father.
Yes, THAT is why we have outlawed single parenthood! Except that we haven’t!! People are still able to get pregnant via sperm donor or have children out of wedlock, and courts still grant full custody to one parent in some divorce cases. Which means this argument is silly and predicated on an assumption that gender defines a person’s parenting ability and that therefore a child needs parents of both male and female gender identity, even though the maternal and paternal roles could both easily be filled by people of either gender.
4. Marriage is for reproduction.
Sure, maybe in like, ancient times or even medieval times but I have news for you: we have more children in our society than we know what to do with. And we let infertile couples and couples that have no interest in having kids (which is totally natural and totally acceptable, by the way-~-more on this later) get married, as well as old couples etc. etc., so you can’t really say that the ONLY reason we let people get married is so that they can reproduce. That is just not valid.
5. Legalizing gay marriage infringes on parents’ rights.
Parents rights to…what? Tell their kids that gay people don’t exist? GAY PEOPLE EXIST. This isn’t a right! This is like saying that teaching about the Holocaust in schools infringes on parents’ rights to promote Holocaust denial. Parents have lots of rights but I’ve never heard a coherent argument as to why this is one.
But moreover, if you’re a super religious parent, you can still teach your kids that this lifestyle is wrong (Note: I AM IN NO WAY SAYING THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG), or that the Bible frowns on it (still no evidence of this either, by the way), or whatever, the same way that MY parents taught me that smoking is bad and that hygiene is important. They couldn’t stop me from meeting people who smoked or didn’t shower, but they could tell me that it would kill me, and they could shove toothbrushes at me and make sure I bathed regularly, and that seems totally reasonable.
6. Legalizing gay marriage infringes on religious freedom.
WRONG. Forcing clergy to perform same-sex marriages against the doctrine of their religion would be an infringement on religious freedom. Allowing civil marriage ceremonies to be performed for same-sex couples in a manifestation of civil rights. Note the difference between religious marriage and civil marriage. I don’t care of the Catholic Church never marries a gay couple (or maybe more accurately, returns to marrying gay couples because I’m pretty sure they did at some point), but City Hall isn’t the Catholic Church, nor should it be. Let’s just get that straight right-off.
7. Legalizing Gay Marriage Will Make People Want to Try Homosexuality
Incredibly, I have heard this argument from people OTHER than Michelle Bachmann, and I’m still baffled. It’s a sexual orientation, not a wardrobe style. For heaven’s sake, try to understand, people aren’t going to suddenly become sexually attracted to people of their same sex/gender simply because they would be able to marry them. The only thing it might do is make people who ARE gay more willing to come out as gay because they realize they’re more likely to be accepted and can actually be with the people they love rather than be shafted and treated like second-class citizens.
8. It devalues heterosexual marriage.
Rights are not a zero-sum game. I’m not sure if people are aware of this and I’m starting to think maybe they aren’t, because that’s the only explanation for this argument. You know what’s devaluing heterosexual marriage? Celebrity marriages that last for thirty seconds, people trapped in abusive marriages because they’ve been taught divorce is an option, refusal to acknowledge marital rape as actual rape, etc. It’s not gay marriage that is the problem. It’s people who are just terrible at marriage who are the problem.
Maybe the people making this argument are just scared that gay people will turn out to be better at marriage than they are. I’m not sure, but it would explain a lot about the arguments we are hearing.