For the past few days I've been involved in an ongoing debate on gay rights with people on livejournal over this and I figured I'd present my arguments for the case in what I hope is an intelligent and well thought out manner, this is something I've been working hard on, gathering all my thoughts together and presenting them in a way where I am (hopefully) not being directly offensive t religious people or demanding that you see my side and try to understand where we're coming from. I know you're all probably sick of the gay rights posts all over by now but I think this is worth bringing up:
The biggest lobby against homosexual marriages comes from religious communities, churches and fundamental/evangelical religious/conservative groups. I am not going to argue their morals, it's a pointless idea to argue morality. I'm not trying to change anyone's opinions on homosexuality, if you find homosexuality to be a sin don't practice it, no one's making you. No one's going to make you ACCEPT homosexuality or us gays. You don't have to come to the pride parades, you don't have to come to our weddings, hell if you're related to us you're free to cut us off. All we ask is to have the right to marry someone we love. Imagine loving someone so deeply your heart could break but you are not legally allowed to be with said person. (in 21 states including the one I live in sodomy is illegal, even if the partakers are consenting adults). Allowing homosexuals the right to get married is not going to hurt you or your family in any way. If you want to teach your children that it's wrong then go ahead and teach them, I'm not stopping you. Heterosexuals and churches will NOT be hurt by gay marriage. I respect your belief that it is a sin, and you can continue to pray for my immortal soul, no one's stopping you, but having homosexual marriage be legal will not hurt YOUR immortal soul.
"But, Cobain, I don't want my kid learning in school that homosexuality is okay! I don't want to raise my kids in a world where it's acceptable to be gay"
Well, lets face it. Your kids are going to learn a LOT of things you may disapprove of in school. It's a part of growing up. They'll lie, steal, get in fights, etc. Whether gay marriage is legal or not this will not change. Homosexuality was pretty rampant in my high school, less so on my college campus. Lets face it, it IS a pretty trendy thing to be bi nowadays, so your kid will most likely come across homosexuality/bisexuality in school. That's something you'd have to deal with, it isn't up to the school system to cater to the wishes and beliefs of every parent. It's YOUR job to raise your kids and teach them right from wrong. If you feel your kids are learning something you disapprove of then you talk to them and remember, they are people too and they will get to a point where they want to decide for themselves what to believe in, that fact will remain true whether I can legally marry or not.
"But, Cobain, marriage is a religious institution and my religion forbids homosexuality."
If marriage is a religious institution then the government has no place in it. On the same note, if marriage is a religious institution, then I guess it would be illegal for atheists and other non-religious people to marry.
One of the biggest lobbys (outside of religious texts) that most people seem to have against gay marriage is that it weakens the family structure, the traditional view of marriage and harms the children (if children are involved).
Here's something that hit me not too long ago and I've been working on how to articulate it for some time now.
I honestly don't see gay marriage as hurting the structure of marriage in the long run. Marriage has been growing progressively weaker for years. Divorce rates are up, generally anyone over the age of 18 can get married (even younger if the parents sign a form saying they can). You can get married in Vegas to someone you just met and get divorced three hours later.
Abusive heterosexual males have the right to marry a woman but I don't. Do you think a child is safer with abusive heterosexual parents or loving gay parents? What about the woman being abuses? Do you think she'd be happier in an abusive relationship with a man, or in a loving committed relationship with another woman?
Forty to fifty years ago white supremicists (sp?) were sickened by the idea of interracial marriage because it hurt the sanctity of not only the "pue white race" but of marriage as a whole. How are people that swear homosexual marriages will hurt the sanctity and tradition of mariage any different? They're not.
"But Cobain, gays are so promiscuous! They sleep around all the time! They couldn't handle marriage."
That's a silly stereotpe. True, there are a number of promiscuous gays in the club scene, but it's a silly generalization to assume that all gays are slutty. I see straight girls all the time that seep around, and with straight guys, hell they see sex as a badge of honour, the more they have it the bigger of a man they are. Yes there ARE gays like that, but you're overlooking the fact that there are gays in relationships where they are truly committed to their partner and theidea of cheating is unheard of.
If I knew the answer to that I'd be rich. There is definately evidence that there are certain biological traits in homosexuals that are different, and certain animals have been known to show homosexual traits. I can say for a fact that I was born gay, many other gays can also say they were born gay but we are aware that for a heterosexual that does not work as proof. They'd just be taking our word for it. As far as I know there is no surefire way to tell if someone is gay by birth or by choice. Either way that's not the issue.
We, as a species (and especially as a culture), do a lot of things that are not natural. We wear clothes, that's un-natural. If you've ever had an operation of any kind that's definately un-natural. The fact that many of us are still living is un-natural, because if it weren't for man-made inventions and medical advancements many of us would have died by now.
"But, Cobain, all of those things you're talking about have HELPED the human race in some way. Homosexuality, whether natural or not, does not help us, you aren't having sex to reproduce, you're doing it for the sheer pleasure. Why should the laws be changed for that?"
If that's the case then, I guess childfree couples should not legally marry. I'm childfree, so even if I was straight I wouldn't breed because I don't want kids. What about infertile people, they can't reproduce, should they also not legally marry?
Sometimes it can be, sometimes abused or depressed kids will need to find acceptance in some crowd and the GLBTS crowd happens to be a very accepting group of people. No one can really say for sure what causes kids to realise that they're gay, maybe for some it is a choice, maybe for some (especially sexual abuse victims) it is something that happens to them later on in life. For some it is something innate, for others it happens along the way. Nowadays especially there is a HUGE uprise in GLBTS teens (especially bi) and yes many people are just experimenting/being trendy etc. That's no reason to say it shouldn't be a legal institution! If they're being trendy let them, but the majority of GLBTS over 18 are real, and it is unfortunate that we are judged based on what a lot of trendies do for attention (I am NOT implying that every high schooler that says they're bi/gay is lieing, I'm just saying it's something more popular to experiment with in high school and usually the trendies "grow out of it" for lack of better term).
"But Cobain, why is depression so prevalent in the gay community, there has to be some correlation."
There definately is! For many gays it is VEEY HARD to accept themselves, to come to terms with themselves and then to come out to their loved ones. In Western culture the majority of families are in ome way religious, even if they are not practicing many will stil lclassify themselves as religion X and more or less adhere to the basic beliefs. Coming out, in the gay community, is a HUGE deal. Many people are ostracised, insulted and even disowned by their families. That in itself is sure to cause great depression! Often when kids begin to experiance feelings that are forign to them (sexual feelings) they can discuss it with their parents, they learn about it in school or from their friends etc. Now imagine feeling those feelings for the first time, but for someone of the same gender. If you were raised to believe it's wrong, it goes against God/Allah/etc or that you're a "fag" (which kids use as an insult all the time now) you're very very likely to become depressed or self loathing. The idea of depression and homosexuality is very much a "which came first" idea. Were the people depressed and for some reason that turnd them gay, or were they gay and that led to depression thanks to society's views on gays.
My main point in posting this was because I realise that when I debate (especially on this subject) I tend to get very emotionally involved and therefore when I am attempting to make a point, it's so surrounded by emotion that it comes across like either I'm trying to pick a fight or like a rally call.
This is, I hope, a clear and organized explanation of why I feel homosexual marriage should be legal. I tried to think of a lot of arguments against it so I could give my two cents on those arguments, but I'm drawing a blank, so I wrote what I could think of. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.