Monday, June 11, 2012

How My Personal Existence Refutes Pretty Much All of The Anti-Gay Marriage Talking Points

I have never really understood the opposition to gay marriage. Not just because I happen to be for it, but because the arguments against it make absolutely no logical sense to me. I've spent a lot of time Googling around to try and find like, one, single argument that makes some kind of sense- just so I could be like, "Oh, ok, well, I see where you're coming from here", and I keep coming up empty. It's not because I'm so strident in my beliefs; I'm pro-choice, but I can see how someone would not be; I have socialist leanings, but I can see how someone would be pro-capitalism; I'm an atheist, but I can see how someone would be religious, and so on. I can Devil's Advocate the fuck out of myself. The problem with the arguments against gay marriage, I find, is that if they did make any kind of sense, they would also apply to me and restrict my rights in some fashion, which they do not. Let's discuss.

1. Gay Marriage Would Inhibit Religious Freedom- This is like, the big argument right now. They've sort of glommed onto it, thinking it sounds more reasoned than "We jest don't like them gays and neither does Jesus!".  Apparently, if same-sex marriage were to be legalized, gay couples would start suing the crap out of churches and temples that refused to perform such ceremonies. Huh.

See, as previously stated, I'm an atheist. I am well aware that I cannot walk into a Catholic Church, a Jewish Temple, a Mormon Temple or the Church of Scientology, or any other religious institution and demand that they perform my marriage ceremony. Even if it's to a dude. I also cannot sue them for refusing to perform it!

2. Marriage Is a Religious Institution: There are myriad options available to me, your friendly local atheist, to be full on married. If I do want to get married, I can get married by a judge and I am still allowed to call it a marriage and not a civil union. I can also get married by a sea captain with a peg leg- which sounds like the best idea EVER- or by Elvis in Las Vegas. Or, if I were Ted Bundy, my beloved and I could be legally married  simply by "declaring it" in court in the middle of my trial. No priest necessary, still considered marriage.

3. It Will Be FINANCIALLY IMPOSSIBLE, Health Care-Wise, and Social Security-Wise AND ALSO Straight People Will Get Fake Gay Married For The Benefits- This is supposedly the "OMG, Totally Secular" argument. Why would this be any different from like, all of the people in the country having straight marriages? And who says that right now, today, I could not get "fake" married to a dude? Who says that I could not get Green Card married to a dude? Who says I couldn't go the Michele Bachmann route and marry a gay man? Absolutely no one. Also, I think everyone should have health care anyway. This argument is stupid.

4. Marriage is For Baby Having!- Guess what? On the off chance that I do get married, I do not plan on having any babies. It is totally legal for me to do that. If I were to high tail it to court today and marry some random dude, they would not ask me if I were planning on having babies and refuse my application if I said no. Marriage still totally legal. For the record, though, I am pretty sure there are too many babies. 

5. Babies Need To Be Raised by Two Opposite Gender Parents- I am single. I could get knocked up tomorrow, have the baby, raise it by myself and it would be totally freaking legal. Also, seriously, I'm like one of five people I know whose parents are still together and crazy after all these years. I am no more well adjusted than anyone I know who was not raised by two opposite gender parents. In fact, possibly less so! There are lots of people that I think probably should not have babies. I don't think 13 year old girls should have babies. I don't think that's a good idea for anyone involved. Am I allowed to legally prevent a 13 year old from having a baby? Nope, not so much. 

6. Schools Will Be Forced To Teach Children That Homosexuality is Normal- I don't know about you guys, but the last time I checked, public schools really weren't allowed to "teach" that it's OK to discriminate against anyone. They weren't allowed to discriminate against me when I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance due to the "Under God" part. I mean, really, if you truly want your kid to be a weird, out of touch bigot, it's probably your job to make that happen. Public schools kind of have to remain neutral on the grounds that they exist to provide an education to many, many different children, and it would be pretty shitty of them to give preference to one child's system of belief over another's. Once we get into the "Christian Children should be allowed to bully Gay Children as an expression of their religious beliefs", we start treading what you all like to call "a slippery slope" whereby another child could claim to be bullying your child because being ugly or having braces is against his or her personal belief system. How about we just teach kids not to be jerks? Which brings me to...

7. If Gay Marriage is Legalized, Those Who Oppose it On Religious Grounds Will Be Considered Bigots- Guess what? You already are! I, Robyn Pennacchia, consider James Dobson to be a bigot. I am allowed to think that, and same sex marriage still isn't legal in most states. I can also think you're a jerk. And you can think I'm a jerk. You are allowed to have any opinion you like about me, and I am allowed to have any opinion I want about you. That's how shit works here. Suck it up.

8. It Will Destroy Traditional Marriage- GUESS WHAT I CAN DO? As previously stated, I am totally free to marry literally anyone with a dick. It doesn't matter if I love them. It doesn't matter if I plan have children with them. It doesn't matter if I do it at a drive thru chapel in Vegas, and get married and annulled 15 times in one night for funsies. It doesn't matter if I am doing it for the insurance. It doesn't matter if I'm doing it to get someone citizenship. It doesn't matter if I have not even known them for more than 30 seconds. It doesn't matter if I marry them and we move to that suburb from The Ice Storm and have key parties and I bang 17 different dudes every week. It wouldn't matter if I joined some weird cult and had an arranged marriage to a dude I'd never met before. And guess what? No one would give a shit and it would all be perfectly legal. And the odds of anyone suggesting that any of my hypothetical marriages would have any effect on their own would be slim to none.

9. It Will Lead to People Marrying Their Pets- Why buy the cow when you can get the sweet, sweet lovin' for free in any of the THIRTEEN states in which bestiality is technically legal? Which, um, is more than either the states that allow same sex marriage (6) or "Civil Unions (12). Also, it's way more legal to marry your first cousin (about half of the states allow it), which I think we can all agree is a lot creepier than wanting to marry someone you are not in fact related to.  But for reals, guess what I can't do? Marry someone in a coma, or marry a 13 year old boy, because guess what? They can't give consent! Neither can the cow. Problem solved!

10. Gay Marriage is Not Supported By Religion- GUESS WHAT? Neither am I. I am just as much a citizen, just as entitled to protection underneath the law as anyone else. You can go to church seven days a week and you are still not entitled to any more or fewer rights than I am. You have no more right to force me to believe in your god than you do to force anyone to live by the rules set by your personal religion. In turn, I have no right to force you to believe any of the things I do. You are totally free to like sour cream even though I think it is gross and weird. The only people who have any kind of obligation to follow the laws of your religion are those who have chosen to participate in it. That's pretty much how this country works. You wouldn't like it if the Mormons forced you to wear sacred undergarments, if the Jehovah's Witnesses refused to allow you blood transfusions and birthdays, if the Scientologists forced you to strap yourself to an E-Meter and undergo Dianetics, or if the Moonies demanded you have a mass wedding! Please understand that someone forcing you to abide by their religious tenets is just as bizarre as you demanding they live by yours. 

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I suppose the gist of what I am trying to say here is that none of these "arguments" are the basis for anything other than laws specifically discriminating against one group of people. No one is suggesting that I not be allowed to be married ever because I am not religious or because I don't plan on having children. Not even James Dobson. And that's fucking bullshit, so there.