Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Gay Marriage, yes or no?

Gay Marriage:
Wow, what a can of worms.  From the 'Destroying the sanctity of Christian Marraige' argument to 'equal rights for all', this topic has caused more heat-under-collars than any other issue (except maybe abortion.)  So here is my take.

Pro-gay marriage arguments:
  • Everyone should have the same legal rights.
  • If two men get married, it doesn't affect my marriage in any way.  
  • Marriage is just an affirmation of commitment, and doesn't mean anything (asides from legally) anyway.  
  • Marriage has historically been a fluid concept. In Ancient Rome, you were married if you lived together as a couple. In early America, you couldn't be seen together unless you were formally married by a fire-and-brimstone church. In the pre-historic era, you were ugg uug arrrrrg arg. 
Counter-Pro-gay marriage arguments:
  • You can acheive the same legal rights through other tools, such as the vaunted 'civil unions.'  
  • If two men get married, it DOES affect my marriage, because I lose the status of 'man/woman' and I don't feel that 'marriage' means the same thing if it isn't man/woman therefore my marriage is lessened.  (Yeah, I was struggling on that one...)
  • Marriage is not just an affirmation of commitment, it is a special contract between a man and a woman and has serious effects upon your 'public' face.  
  • Marriage NOW means what I want it to mean.
Anti-gay marriage arguments:
  • Marriage is, was, and always has been a union between a man and a woman. 
  • Marriage is a Christian arrangement, and the Church doesn't approve of homosexuality.  
  • Marriage is an affirmation of the roles of man/woman in a family.
  • A family consists of a man and a woman and their children.
  • Civil Unions can take the place of 'marriage' without disturbing the social entity of 'marriage.'  
  • Homosexuality is wrong.
Counter-Anti-gay marriage arguments:
  • What is, was, and always has been isn't always right.  Move on, change, adapt.  Society's values have changed over time, and that isn't always a bad thing.  
  • The Church's views are based on literal (sometimes) interpretations of the bible.  This is a book written a thousand years ago, and is no longer relevant.  See above counter-argument.  Does being gay prevent you from being a Christian?
  • The roles of man/woman in the family have changed so that there is no longer the Man = provider, Woman = domestique distinction.  Marriage as an affirmation of the old socially acceptable order is simply holding women back.  
  • A family can consist of anything you want it to.  If a man dies, does the family die with him?  What about a single mother?  
  • Civil Unions are a divisive tool used to justify bigoted views of homosexuality.  Why not just ban marriage altogether and force everyone to have a civil union?  Or why not make civil unions the legal family unit, and make marriage an optional extra?  
  • People who think homosexuality is wrong are welcome to their opinions, but would they mind keeping it out of my face?
I think I have perhaps moved a bit beyond rational argument, but this is the position I have been forced to adopt:
I do not disapprove of gay marriage because it does not affect me in any way.
I UNDERSTAND that people have strong opinions about marriage, and I RECOGNISE that civil unions are a way of achieving equal legal rights.
I UNDERSTAND that people feel that marriage would be 'eroded' by gay marriage, even if I disagree.
I therefore do not feel that I am in a position to take a stand and try to convince other people to accept my views.  Therefore, I will support your right to have whichever view you feel strongly about, even if it isn't my own.

Phew, what a long-winded way of saying 'I don't know.'

No comments:

Post a Comment