My friend and co-writer on this blog recently ‘came out’ in favor of gay marriage, here. I found his article rather well written and compelling, so I thought I would write a response.
Before I get into the meat of it, which was a poor word choice, I will say that I think Corben did a very nice job of setting up the issue: those opposed to gay marriage typically oppose it on moral/ethical/religious grounds while those in favor of it claim they are supporting a fundamental right and (these are my words, not his) that ‘legalizing’ gay marriage will promote equality and fairness.
I have no reason to believe gay marriage or homosexuality in general are in any way immoral or unethical, and, as a Christian, I do not think God really concerns Himself too much with what people do with their genitals, so why should we? I reject the typical argument of the Right. BUT…
I do not think marriage is a fundamental right. You know: Life, Liberty, Property. Those sorts of things are fundamental rights. One could argue that marriage falls under Liberty, but I would point out that we as a society have no qualms with restricting marriage in other categories. Family members (by blood) can’t marry closer than a second cousin in most states; polygamy is illegal in every state. We have decided that those sorts of marriages are wrong, yet gay marriage is not?
I’m not saying gay marriage is wrong, mind you, I am merely saying that if this is about ‘marriage equality’ as so many supporters claim then we simply must allow other sorts of marriage. I personally have no problem with gays or siblings marrying each other, and if multiple adults wish to willingly enter into a marriage, fine. Children, objects, and animals don’t count for the same reasons that we don’t allow children to sign legal contracts or let animals be the CEO of a company (while there are no such restrictions on gays).
So here is my official line on gay marriage: either get the state completely out of marriage and stop allowing the government to say who is and isn’t married or leave it the way it is: one man, one woman.
That’s right, I oppose gay marriage. But not really. I’m more apathetic than anything else. Legalize it, don’t, just please settle the issue so we can get to more important issues. I can think of 16 trillion more important things than gay marriage right off the bat. Call me a ‘hater’ if you like, but I am hesitant to break with tradition whilst also maintaining state power. Tradition has taken us pretty far as a society, but it has let us down too, so I don’t mind abandoning tradition*, but I would at least like to decrease the power of the government while we’re at it.
The main reason I ‘oppose’ gay marriage though: to annoy people. Why? Because they annoy me. Not the gays, I understand perfectly why they support gay marriage. It’s the non-gays who support gay marriage (particularly the fanatical sort). They call people who oppose it bigoted; they say gay marriage is the most important thing in the world, they will not compromise, and they get really bent out of shape over issues of equality and fairness.
It’s these people I oppose by opposing gay marriage; I don’t bear any ill will towards the gays, in fact if we could find a method of legalizing gay marriage in the least satisfying way for the non-gay supporters of gay marriage, I would support it. Why?
Well for one thing: life isn’t fair. They consistently fail to recognize this fundamental fact of life, and often fail to see that government trying to make life ‘fair’ only makes it less fair (or ‘more unfair’-don’t ask, don’t tell). Gay marriage is a great example of how government upsets the scales of fairness even more than life does, yet the supporters of gay marriage often want the government to do other things (more taxes, more spending, in general) based on their concept of ‘fairness’ which I oppose.
The other reason I ‘oppose gay marriage’ is because the supporters frame the issue in terms of equality. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m all for equality, especially equality before the law. But, and this is an important distinction, the proponents and advocates of gay marriage (many thought not all) see gay marriage as another stepping stone in achieving equality of outcome. That is something I oppose, vehemently.
So here’s the main reason I ‘oppose gay marriage’: the issue is full of hypocrisy on both sides, and I dislike each side equally. The Religious Right…I won’t even go there; their hypocrisy is well known. But as for the Left: they scream and moan about such artificial ideas as ‘fairness’ and then seek to impose their version of ‘fairness’ on the rest of us (not through gay marriage but through other things like taxes).
They also whine about equality, though they again misrepresent what equality is and what it should be. They want what they call ‘equality’ and yet they would oppose such things as ‘tax equality’-we all pay the same rate of taxation. Yet they get their panties in a wad over income inequality. Not that there’s anything wrong with wearing panties.
In other words, the supporters of gay marriage should be framing their arguments in terms of FREEDOM! (insert Mel Gibson scream here). If they made the argument that consenting adults should have the freedom to marry whomever the like without the state wagging its finger at them, I would be all for gay marriage. But they don’t. They like big government; they want big government to be able to restrict the freedom of others. They just don’t like it when the ‘others’ involved happen to be gay. And it’s that hypocrisy which alienates me from the gay marriage camp.
So I will sit in my own camp, alone, waiting for the government to deregulate marriage and let anyone and everyone “marry” without any government recognition of who is and isn’t married. You may say I’m a dreamer, and I am the only one. I hope someday you will join me, and the world will move on.
*I don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever I read the word ‘tradition’, I think of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof screaming “TRADITION!” in my head. You know, because I like watching lavish, Broadway Musicals…and listening to show tunes…