Monday, November 10, 2008

Defending marriage (and democracy and golf)

California passes a law to "defend marriage." What does that mean?

So one man and one man is not a marriage. Hm. But I guess that's ok, because gays can still marry an opposite gender person if they want. Fair enough.

Let's try it elsewhere. How about the traditional definition of democracy:

Ergo, one woman, no vote. But don't worry, it's still fair, because a woman can still influence elections by persuading her husband or brother. Heh.

How about our long standing and important sporting traditions?

Don't be swayed by modern fads, Tiger Woods can perfectly well still hit balls at home... uh, with sticks... if he, ah, wanted...

Wait, maybe there's something wrong with this argument...


Analogies aside, a Q&A for conservatives:

Q: My Religion prohibits gay marriage:
So don't gay marry.

Q: I should have the religious freedom to ban it if I want.
A: But my religion says gay marriage is fine. Tell you what, you can ban that bit of my religion if I can ban other bits of yours... How about, say, wearing crosses. Deal? Ixnay on the gay marriage in return for ixnay on the crucifix necklaces. Isn't freedom grrrreat?

Q: But my religion says gay marriage is a sin.
A: And it also says that blasphemy is a sin, right? But I don't see you trying to vote cussing illegal. So either gay marriage is more important to you than the 3rd commandment (2nd for Catholics), or you have already accepted that your religious beliefs should not be imposed wholesale on everyone else.

Q: Gay marriage is really about justifying weird sex acts.
A: No, it's about being able to marry the person you love. If it was just about freaky sex then gays wouldn't want to get married would they? They'd just have freaky sex and not worry about promises of forever.

Q: The whole point of marriage is go have kids.
A: Hey, great point.


And on second thoughts, gay people often are fertile, can have kids, and do a wonderful job of raising them too. So I guess this argument isn't so good after all.

Q: But being gay is a choice!
A: How would this conversation with yourself work? "Hm, a lifetime of persecution, marginalization, and violence? Sign me up!"

Look, I couldn't be attracted to my own gender if I tried. Not even for a minute. To me, men hold the sexual thrills of boiled cabbage. If you find that you are capable of feeling romantic love towards same gendered people, then I hate to break it to you but you aren't completely straight. I suggest you come to peace with it in your own personal way.

Q: Ah, but then if gay marriage is banned I won't be tempted into that sin!
A: And if cheeseburgers were banned you wouldn't be tempted by those either. Actually you would, remember how well prohibition worked?

Q: But all those other things, gender and race are genetic. Homosexuality isn't. Says
There is clear evidence that people are not born homosexual. For example, studies of identical twins have found that when one twin is homosexual, the likelihood of the other twin also being homosexual is only 50 percent or less. If homosexuals were "born" that way, the incidence of homosexuality among identical twins would be 100 percent since they share exactly the same genetic material.
A: About 5% of the population is gay, so that means that your odds of being gay are literally 10 times higher if your identical sibling is gay. Gee, that *totally* doesn't sound like a genetic influence at all. :headdesk: Do they even think about this stuff before they post it?

Anyway, the point is that you can no more decide who to fall in love with than you can where lightening will strike. If you could custom order the people you love, and then love them on command, our lives would all be a whole lot easier.

Q: Homosexuality isn't natural.
A: Neither are cars, televisions, or pretty much anything on the McDonalds menu.
Though, really, gay sex is found in almost all the species of animals that nature has to offer, so, yes, actually it is natural. Who knew.

Q: But if you can marry same gender, then why not children or animals too?
A: Can animals knowingly, and with full understanding, pledge their entire life to remain with you, to love and honor, to join body and soul? Can children? In fact, can either of them form any kind of legal contract whatsoever? Nope. So there you go.

Q: But gay marriage is just wrong because, ugh... well it is.
A: That's the price of freedom I'm afraid. You have to let people do things that make you go "ugh," unless you have a spectacularly good public safety reason why they shouldn't. And there is simply no such good reason to ban gay marriage.

Q: But... But...
A: "America, sweet land of liberty*

* offer applies only in Massachusetts and Connecticut."
Doesn't fit very well does it?

Q: But it's my right to vote to ban anything I think is bad! That's what democracy is about!
A: And what constitutions are for is to protect unpopular minorities from the tyranny of squirmy majorities. They stop us from, say, suspending the right of women to vote, or of Jews to not be arbitrarily thrown in jail, or the left-handed to marry the right-handed ("what, we're not saying they can't get married at all, just not to right-handed people!") - no matter how many of us vote for it.

And hey, you'll be glad of it some day when whichever minority you (or your loved ones) belong to ends up on the short end of some majority's stick. You don't even have to speak out for other groups now, before anyone comes for yours, you just have to support the constitution's regular ability to protect us all. And that includes the right of consenting adults to marry the one that they love, whether or not you approve of their particular combination of races, genders, or religions. You don't have to like it, you just have to think how you'd feel if I had a power of veto over your choice of spouse.

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