Afternoon boredom often finds me browsing through an eternal stream of Youtube videos. This afternoon I ran across a video containing a brief interview with Chase Whiteside, one of the creators of New Left Media. You can visit their Youtube page HERE. In this short informal interview, Whiteside discusses his place in the LGBT (or LGBTQ, as I’m slowly becoming accustomed to pronouncing) and how he views the collective national discussion on gay marriage and gay rights in general. Almost in passing, Whiteside states that there are no real arguments against equal civil rights for homosexuals. He agrees with a point that Dan Savage makes, and that point is that just like there are not two sides to Black rights, there are no two sides to gay rights. You can watch this interview HERE, and skip to the 9-minute mark if you’re just interested in Whiteside’s response I mentioned.
As simple as this is, this struck me as an incredibly powerful yet painfully simple fact – there simply aren’t two legitimate sides to the argument when you really look at all the information. You can’t say that homosexuals are equal with heterosexuals and then stipulate that they should somehow be treated differently. That doesn’t make any sense at all.
A quick Google search using the keywords ‘arguments against gay rights’ brought up several pages but BalancedPolitics.org struck me as particularly interesting. On their site is a table outlining the common arguments both in favor of and against marriage rights for homosexuals. As with any good table, the points mirror the opposite point in theme and subject. He is the list of arguments in favor of legalizing gay marriage:
- Denying them is a violation of religious freedom (civil and religious marriages are two separate institutions).
- Marriage benefits (such as joint ownership, medical decision-making capacity) should be available to all couples.
- Homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle nowadays with most evidence strongly supporting biological causation.
- Denying these marriages is a form of minority discrimination.
- It doesn’t hurt society or anyone in particular.
- The only thing that should matter in marriage is love.
- The number of child adoptions should increase since gay couples cannot pro-create (although some might see an increase in gay adoptions as an argument against same-sex marriages).
- It encourages people to have strong family values and give up high-risk sexual lifestyles.
- The same financial benefits that apply to man-woman marriages apply to same-sex marriages.
I think the majority of people would agree that at least most of these points are sensible and derived from rational thinking. Now here are the list of arguments against the legalization of gay marriage:
- Most religions consider homosexuality a sin.
- It would weaken the definition and respect for the institution of marriage.
- It would further weaken the traditional family values essential to our society.
- It could provide a slippery slope in the legality of marriage (e.g. having multiple wives or marrying an animal could be next).
- It confuses children about gender roles and expectations of society, and only a man & woman can pro-create.
- The gay lifestyle is not something to be encouraged, as a lot of research shows it leads to a much lower life expectancy, psychological disorders, and other problems.
The strongest point on this list, and the one that so commonly used to argue against the legalization of gay marriage, is the argument from religious belief. Regardless of how liberal and free-thinking some Christians may be, there are still clear-cut verses in the New Testament that label homosexuality as a sin. Happily enough, this is completely irrelevant for legal purposes, due to the separation of Church and State.
The majority of the rest of the arguments (notice there are fewer against than in favor of) at least partially rely on the argument for the maintenance of the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of ‘traditional family values.’ Shotgun weddings in Las Vegas that are annulled only hours later are the most immediate example of how thoroughly heterosexuals have trampled on the sanctity of marriage. An incredibly high divorce rate speaks to the same issue.
When it all comes down to it, there doesn’t appear to be any legitimate argument against the legalization of gay marriage, especially when religious arguments are rightfully removed from the legal equation. So what then, are we waiting for?