WARNING: This blog is not only controversial but politically charged. If you can not read this and engage in an intellectual and open minded dialogue - please stop reading now.
I support gay marriage.
Now for a little bit of background - I was raised Catholic, but I am certainly very open to other religious ideas and fascinated that we study so much in school before choosing a profession but never study religions of the world before "choosing" one but that is a topic for another blog. Not that it should matter but I feel I should disclose that I am heterosexual and married. So I probably have nothing to gain by seeing gay marriage pass - but I can still point out where I see injustices or at a minimum narrow minded policy making.
I think on it's face if marriage carries legal privileges - then by default it should be open to any two consenting individuals. And I am saying this from an objective position as a legal matter. If you are going to give people rights and privileges if they get married - then in my opinion you can't discriminate against people who want these privileges.
Now let me debunk a few of the arguments against Gay Marriage from how I see it.
The bible says it's a sin
I'm sorry but I don't care. And I am saying this as someone who thinks the bible is obviously one of the most powerful books and thinks as a whole religion helps society deal with the unknown and gives us a reason to act as a civilized society rather than like animals killing each other for our own gains. First - I can't claim to have studied the Bible enough to know whether or not it really says being gay is a sin- I am guessing many can interpret the bible to meet their own needs - but let me talk about a bigger point. I don't think we should be creating laws for a country based on any specific religion or religious document.
I guess I still believe America was founded by the Pilgrims who were trying to escape religion persecution. Whether you believe that or not - I at least believe if you are the governing for ALL the people in America - then you need to take into account that not everyone's religions beliefs are based on this interpretation of the bible or the bible at all for that matter!
It also bothers me that when people say gay marriage is wrong because the bible says so - I am bothered by the clear lack of consistency in this thought. I'm not sure the bible says it's a sin to be gay - but I do know it says it's a sin to commit adultery and I don't think we have any laws in place against that. If we were being consistent shouldn't we say that anyone who has committed adultery should not be allowed to marry again because the bible says it's a no-no? Or if adultery was committed in a couple who decides to stay together - should we as a society strip them of all the legal benefits of marriage because of the sin?
Let me now also say that I don't believe that being gay is a sin. And I've spent a lot of time thinking about this because it's such a political hot topic. I guess it comes down to the fact that there are a lot of things I think are wacky about Catholicism including treating women as second class citizens if they wish to pursue a life serving god. I hope to see female priests in the Catholic mass in my life - it wasn't until I was in high school that they started to allow female alter servers. But I'm getting off topic.
The reason I don't think being gay is a sin is because on a broader non-organized religion view I just believe that if there is one great creator called God then God created some people to be gay (and I am sure there is a spectrum so that is how I rationalize bi-sexuality). I also believe that scientific evidence is pointing to this direction - but for now that's irrelevant because there are many gay people in the world - and that is how the world of today was made.
At the end of the day I can't see anything that comes from a place of love and respect as a sin. I think it may be easy for some to call it a sin if they are not familiar with a loving and caring gay couple - but if they got to know more and more people who I believe may just be born with a different sexual orientation then they can see that there is nothing to fear from gay marriage destabilizing a society - in fact it would only improve things because the more committed couples we have the better.
Children need a Mom and a Dad
I am not going to doubt that this is true. I think it would probably be best for the kids to have a mom and a dad - nuclear family - and a pet. But the problem I have with this argument is that it is fantasy - not everyone is going to have that chance. Either by divorce or death of a parent many children are raised without a mom and a dad. Also there are probably some really bad moms and really bad dads out there anyways (like the ones who video tape their toddlers smoking pot - but let's not go there). Now to take this further - using the fact that ideally children would have a good mom and a good dad as a justification to oppose gay marriage is similarly detached from reality - just because some people say kids are better off with a mom and a dad isn't going to stop gay couples from living their lives together and raise children. In this scenario I believe we as a society are better off recognizing the commitment to their families of gay couples. Just because America tries to punish gay couples by withholding legal privileges of marriage from them doesn't mean gay couples are going to disappear.
If there is no possibility for children then it shouldn't be called marriage
I'm getting long winded so I'll debunk this one quickly - if this were the case then there should be laws that if due to medical reasons a heterosexual couple couldn't naturally conceive a child - then they should not be allowed to marry to be consistent with this philosophy.
It devalues marriage
Really? Because I think there are a lot of disgraceful and repugnant things going on in heterosexual marriages. Abuse, infidelity, etc. We can't really think that this argument could hold up as a reason to oppose gay marriage.
The majority are opposed to gay marriage
News flash - the majority opposed interracial marriage decades ago. Where I think the court decisions of overturning a ban on gay marriage are right is because the majority should not be allowed to just vote to keep rights away from a minority, otherwise we could today pass a law that says Republicans can no longer vote based on majorities. Another news flash - the majority of Americans are uninformed or ignorant. Would you really trust the intelligence of the masses to decide what is fair and just? I think I could get a majority to agree to put an end to Woman's suffrage. Women have been sufffraging for too long! But then Americans would figure out that they just passed a law to end a women's right to vote. Besides it was ill-advised power majority who previously prevented women from voting.
In summary - I actually don't have any issues with people having strong religious beliefs about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. Everyone is free to have their own opinion. However your right to swing your fist stops at another's face - so to speak - and when it comes to legal matters and laws for an entire country - I'm sorry - no matter how big a majority a specific religion may have - it should not be the defacto law in my opinion. That is such a narrow view that because it's some groups strong religious belief that it should become public policy - well our public may not all agree with the same religions ideas and we all have to live together. By default for me laws should be fair to all - not the majority.
I also am encouraged to see that younger generations are more tolerant and open minded - and while recent polling puts the issue currently close to a 50-50 split - I believe it will only be a matter of time before gay marriage will be granted the same legal rights and no longer will we have second class citizens (at least not for gay Americans and at least not legally anyway). Hopefully in 50 years we'll look back at this issue the way we do at preventing women to vote and we'll think "what the heck was America thinking back then".
I hope this blog helps start a useful dialogue and shed some light as to why we can't just point to the bible or any religion for answers to national policy - at least in my opinion.