So, since the WordPress editor has a giant rainbow staring me in the face, let’s talk about rainbows! Of course, we need to address the elephant in the room, which is the fact that our government is adding chemicals to our water to create impossible rainbows. That is what all the controversy is about, right?
No? It’s the Supreme Court of the United States decision (SCOTUS, an unfortunate acronym which always makes me add an ‘R’ and think of the Latin first conjugation rather than the third)? Oh, well, that’s a whole different issue.
Let me get it out of the way. I don’t really care about gay marriage. In my opinion, if two people of the same sex want to get married, go for it. There’s been a lot of discussion about how marriage is “traditionally this” or “naturally that” but they all seem to be conveniently leaving out the actual social history of marriage.
Marriage means different things to different people and cultures, and that definition has changed throughout each culture’s history. Marriage in modern times means something very different from marriage a hundred years ago, and marriage in the U.S. is different from marriage in China.
There is nothing “natural” about marriage. It’s a social construct, like money and government. Sure, there’s an underlying biological urge to select a mate, and over time cultures have identified the “marriage for life” is generally going to be optimal for social harmony in the majority of cultures. Exceptions exist, and what that means is different for everyone, which further proves my point.
I won’t really go into the religious argument because it’s a dead end. Once you argue “this is true because God said so” you’ve basically given up the argument. Even Jesus explained his teachings in parables…I doubt saying “My Father said so” would have gotten him very far with the Pharisees. It’s the argument you use with a child because you’re too lazy and/or ignorant to bother with a real answer. So I’ll leave it there, to perhaps explore later (source: CNN).
So why the apathy? In my mind, marriage is two things…an oath and a social contract. As a Marine, and generally as a person, I take oaths seriously. I vowed my life to my wife and I intend to keep that oath. The other part is a social contract; we share finances, legal agreements (in some areas), and assets (for the most part).
If homosexuals are willing to make an oath to each other, why should I be opposed? Let’s be honest, if you’re a heterosexual getting married for the tax benefits, you’re getting married for the wrong reasons. Anyone who thinks marriage is easy probably a) isn’t married or b) is the problem in the relationship. And, still being honest, it’s not like all heterosexuals take marriage very seriously either.
I’ve heard a lot of other arguments, like it’s going to close churches or cause children to be abused. First of all, if a church closes because of gay marriage it’s because they chose to do so. That’s like saying interracial marriages are going to close churches; it will only close them if they want to close. One of my pet peeves (and this will be a recurring one) is when people act like they have no agency in a decision. We always have a choice.
As for the children thing, not sure where that is coming from. Children are abused in heterosexual families and we have ways to deal with abusers. Homosexuals will have just as much responsibility for their children as any other adoptive parent, and can suffer the same consequences for abuse. It’s not like this is a new thing; most states have a way for legal adoption by same-sex couples without being married, and have for years. Personally I think we should be encouraging more adoption but that’s another discussion. I just don’t buy the “gay people abuse kids” argument without some actual evidence to back it up, and if it exists, I haven’t been able to find it.
The bottom line is that I don’t have any issue with gay marriage. I’m not strongly for it only because the controversy itself doesn’t make any sense in my head. As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-issue (and this is where I’m going to lose all the people who have been nodding up to this point) and ultimately I consider it a purely social issue.
That being said, I strongly disagree with the SCOTUS ruling. As far as I’m concerned it’s another loss for our country, and disappoints me greatly.
Woah, where did that come from? I feel like I should add a record scratch in here. But there’s a reason, bear with me, and it’s probably going to take a couple of posts to fully make sense. So fold your “Jump to Conclusions” mat back up!
Let me back up. I think the majority ruling was correct, legally speaking. I’m not a lawyer, so this is my Barney-style understanding, but essentially the Court used the 14th amendment to declare anti-gay marriage statutes unconstitutional. This is essentially the same logic used for interracial marriage in 1967, and makes sense given that precedent. My argument has little to do with the actual law (in fact, given that decision, I’m sort of surprised there were so many dissents…seems like a perfect corollary).
So why do I disagree? Because this is a social issue, and I do not believe social issues should be decided by the courts. They should be decided by, well, society. And we live in a democratic republic, and thus I believe our social issues should be decided by the will of those living in the society, not nine people’s interpretation of the meaning of a 148-year-old constitutional amendment clearly intended to end racial discrimination. By doing so we are basically spitting in the face of our form of government and ultimately creating more hatred in the process.
The decision saddens me because it gives validation to those who believe our country is being ruled by special interest groups, or the “minority.” And when you establish the minority as being wiser than the majority, you open yourself up to all sorts of issues, and ones that I think we can really see evidence for all around us.
Yes, the majority is not always right. And if the majority is truly against gay marriage, I personally believe they are in the wrong. But if you let the majority rule, and change their minds through debate, discussion, and truth, then they’ll end up being happy and think the whole thing was their idea. They’ll accept it because you convinced them you were right and didn’t trample over their opinions through brute force. And over time the right way will prevail.
As America I feel we’ve lost faith in that system, and it’s divided us more than any bigot could do with hateful words and violent actions. By letting the minority dictate what is right we’ve alienated the wrong, forcing them to stick to their misguided principles through shear stubbornness.
This ruling means that the majority was never given the chance to choose. You can no longer argue that the people really wanted gay marriage because any statue saying otherwise, of which we had many, were gutted by the legal system.
To me, it’s incredibly sad to see should have been a celebration of personal freedoms come at the cost of freedom for the American people. We’ve gained something as a society but chipped away at something just as precious in the process.
So, congratulations to all those who have benefited from this ruling. Sorry to rain on your parade (oh, lord, the puns). Get it? Rain causes rainbows, and there’s the parades in celebration…you know what, never mind. I’m out before the tomatoes start flying from everyone!