27 September 2006

Which Side Do You Swing For? (CS)

We're getting closer to elections so you can bet dollars to donuts that the religious Right will release the hounds of cultural war. Despite the real war (or should I say wars as let's not forget about Afghanistan, where, though Newsweek might try to hide it, we cannot ignore that we are losing), the floundering economy, and political corruption run rampant, the "ever valiant fight against gay marriage" will be placed in front of all our faces by folks like Ms. Musgrave and Dr. Dobson and proclaimed as THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING AMERICA TODAY. Well ok, I don't agree with that, but let me just humor them for a moment.......

I'm taking a stance on gay marriage. I'm in favor of it. And my stance is the only one that is right for this country.

But CRAIG!!! How could you possibly be so.... extreme in your opinions????

Well, let's just face it, folks. Either you support gay marriage (or are at least ok with it) or you're a bigot. And I'd hate to have a country that supports bigotry. Now, I also hate to paint things in such black and white, dichotomizing terms, but that's really just how it is. I've never heard a decent, coherent argument against gay marriage, actually. Religious arguments don't count because, even though it's hard to believe sometimes, we do not live in a theocracy and we cannot ever legislate religion.
So what does that leave?

Well there's the argument that letting same sex couples marry is an assault on hetero-sexual marriage. I've never seen anyone connect the dots on that one, though. Can anyone please explain the connection there in a logical manner? If I'm married to a woman and then two men down the street get married, that destroys my marriage how? Anyone? No, no, can't accept that answer, I asked for reason and rational thought. Anyone else? Yeh, didn't think so.

Another argument that there shouldn't be same sex partnerships is because same sex parents don't bring up well-adjusted children. Families with same sex parents will destroy the poor children trapped inside them. Well hmmm let's look into that a little, won't we? Focus on The Family is a blatantly religious organization. They are unashamed of this and will probably even tell you that they are trying to legislate religion. It is in their interests to legislate against gay marriage because of this and one would think they'd find plenty to defend their viewpoint. And yet, their assembled literature against same sex parenting is all by only one man who not only already works for them but also does not seem to have any scientific credibility to his name. Meanwhile various studies within the scientific community (which must go under peer review and scrutiny, unlike some schmuck who just writes some book funded by a religious organization) have shown that same sex parents bring up normal, well adjusted children. So as far as parenting is concerned, science is on my side.

Now, some might say, "Well the Christian Right don't care about science." In most cases, I would be inclined to agree with you. But gay marriage seems a funny case for these folks. The only other consistent argument that comes to mind, aside from the ones above, is the "It's not natural" plea. Not the religious, "The bible says it's not natural," but the attempt at science "The purpose of any species is to procreate and since two men or women cannot do so, it simply is not natural." This is the one that really cracks me up. For one thing, they are coming awfully close here into buying into Darwinian thought. I'm sure if we told same-sex marriage opponents that, they'd be shocked and appalled. For another if we look to the natural world (that is, of animals) then we see that homosexuality DOES occur. And finally, really, who are we to say what's natural? Is your cellphone natural? Your polyester suit? Your reading glasses? Did they all grow on trees? How are we to know that homosexuality isn't a completely natural trigger within a collective species in order to limit population growth? And, knowing as little as we do about the human brain or the human heart or the human soul, who are they who is ANYONE to assume what is natural? One could much more easily reason/argue/figure the very fact that homosexuality occurs AT ALL shows that it IS natural.

In the end, homosexuals are just people too (big shocker there!). I live and work with them. They're my friends and acquaintances and the people I don't' even know who I walk by on the street everyday. And yet, I still manage to live a happy life where I work hard, help others, and do as little harm as possible to my fellow human beings. Most homosexuals seem to tend to do the same. To legislate against them is really akin to racism or sexism... Bigotry. So pick a side.