Why Not Legalize Same-Sex Marriage?

Okay, I keep hearing about the fights that erupt in every State when local legislators or courts even talk about making it legal for people of the same gender to marry one another and have that marriage legally recognized by that State.

Opponents of same-sex marriage talk about “activist judges” who, somehow, reinterpet the Constitution to allow gay or lebians couples to marry one another. There is always a big hue and cry whenever the subject comes up, primarily for religious reasons.

Homosexuality is almost universally condemned in every religious faith in the world and anti-homosexual feelings have been expressed by people of various ethnic backgrounds and by people of either gender. It seems that, to find a positive comment being made about homosexuals or homosexuality, you pretty much have to talk only to homosexuals themselves. It is no wonder that the rights of gays and lesbians have een strongly curtailed in countries around the world.

Yet, certain countries have legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions, though these nations tend to be of European descent – Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden – and you won’t find something similar occurring in an African or Asian country, with the sole exception of Nepal. In the United States, only the States of Massachusetts and Connecticut give recognition to it.

Civil Unions are recognized in the nations of Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary,  Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay. In the USA, civil unions are recognized in California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

So, what’s the big deal? In the USA, we often tout ourselves as the freedom-lovingest country in the world. But, when it comes to recognizing same-sex marriage or even its watered-down version of civil unions, we seem to hark back to our history as one of the most religiously devout countries in the world and giving gays and lesbians any rights at all is almost like asking some one to cut-off their own right arm. The Religious Right, of course, is leading the fight against gay marriage in America. This is expected, since atheists and agnostics have no religious grounds upon which to oppose gay marriage in the first place.

There are numerous statements made by same-sex marriage opponents that I have heard repeatedly over the years. I’m going to explore each of them in-turn and give my responses. I’d like anyone who is opposed to same-sex marriage to tell me if/how I may be mistaken.

CLAIM: “Allowing gay marriage would take away from the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.”

RESPONSE: How? Men and women have been marrying each other for thousands of years, with mixed results. How would heterosexual marriage be less important or less likely if we allowed gays to marry? Unless you were going to legalize gay marriage and ban straight marriage at the same time, this claim is irrelevent.

CLAIM:  “Most of the major religions consider homosexuality an aberrant behavior.”

RESPONSE:  So what? Religions around the world condemn all sorts of things, like: eating certain kinds of foods, making statues, not attending religious services on certain days and converting to another religion. Will we rewrite our laws in order to accommodate the religious precepts of all the major world religions? I should also point-out that the USA has no state religion and no religious test is allowed as a condition to hold either elective or appointed positions within the government, so there is no reason to care what a particular religion or group of religions likes or dislikes. 

CLAIM: “Allowing gay marriage would open the door to practitioners of all kinds of aberrant behavior to seek legitimacy.”

RESPONSE:  An interesting argument, perhaps with some justification. But, to claim that it would force the legalization of bestiality, pedophilia and incest is something of a stretch and ignores the fact that there is a compelling state interest to prohibit such behaviors.

CLAIM:  “Allowing gay marriage would cause thousands of confused young people to accept homosexual inclinations as normal, and they would begin to actively practice homosexuality.”

RESPONSE:  If you don’t have homosexual desires in the first place, you’re not going to act on them. Most people, male and female, who experience homosexual desires in their lifetime never act on them, and I don’t see how legalizing gay marriage would cause that to change.

CLAIM: “Homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic. Homosexuals can change to heterosexuals, with proper counseling, and thousands have. Legalizing gay marriage would dramatically curtail efforts to save people from being homosexual.”

RESPONSE:  Even with gay marriage prohibited by law, anti-gay ministries have had dismal results trying to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals. The actual numbers of people who have been changed is very low, with frequent relapses into homosexual behavior. I don’t see how the prospects for such programs could get any worse.

I await the response from the anti-gay lobby.

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One Response to “Why Not Legalize Same-Sex Marriage?”

  1. vladseventysix Says:

    Perhaps heterosexuals should start an Institution of Mating that does legally acknowledge the existence of mating other than being a sexual offense.

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