What gives, California? To quote Eddie Izzard: "You're supposed to be the crazy state."
Day 2 of Liberal Week is about gay marriage, in case you hadn't already gathered.
I've written about this before, but it's been in the news, so why not again? Gay marriage is not a sexually based moral issue, even though it has become one for both its proponents and opponents. It's a Constitutional issue, one that concerns the government's capacity to legislate the individual citizen. THAT'S why gay marriage shouldn't be banned, and should be legal in all 50 states.
What is marriage? It is the familial joining of two parties. In other words, the two parties involved become family. The slippery-slopists out there who think legalizing gay marriage will lead to men marrying their cousins, or two women, or their pigs; need to realize this contractual and legal definition.
When I marry Natalie Portman, she and I will become family. Furthermore, her family will become part of my family (hence terms like mother-in-law, brother-in-law, etc.). Two people already related to each other cannot be married. It would be like marrying your wife twice, it doesn't make sense. You can't add someone to your family if they're already a part of it.
It's also fair that marriage can only be between two people at a time. Sorry insane rebel Mormons living in the Utah desserts, it's true. That whole "forsaking all others" stipulation sort of wrecks legal polygamy. But only LEGAL polygamy. If you want to live with 8 women, sleep with 8 women, and deal with 96 periods a year, be my guest.
My favorite argument against gay marriage is the "sanctity" strategy. Three words to debunk the myth that marriage is sacred:
Anna Nicole Smith
Speaking of Mormons, I actually found a nice little anti-gay-marriage argument on a Mormom site. And by nice, I mean it wasn't filled with virulent hatred for guys who like guys and girls who like girls.
Many gay marriage supporters ask, “Why shouldn’t there be legalized gay marriage?” That’s the wrong question: there isn’t gay marriage now—never has been. Throughout history, even those civilizations which were more accepting of homosexual relationships did not have a gay ‘marriage’ concept—certainly nothing approaching the equivalence of man/woman marriages in their society. The idea of gay 'marriage' is entirely a modern concept.
The right question then, is “Why should there be legalized gay marriage?” It is important to recognize that the burden of proof is entirely on the ‘pro-‘ side, which needs to provide a positive proof of why society needs to officially recognize same-sex relationships, since human civilization has arguably gotten along well enough without it for thousands of years.
It's a good question. Why should we add to the lawbooks? Interestingly enough, the argument can be turned and used to counter the notion that gay marriage should be explicitly banned. But anyway, here's my answer to this argument:
In 1919, women were not legally allowed to vote. Amendment XIX of the US Constitution CHANGED that. BTW, Iowa beat California to the punch in that instance, too. Why was this change necessary? Societies had certainly gotten along nicely without women voting. There was no crisis averted, no blood in the streets, it's just that women could vote.
Ain't reductio ad absurdum a bitch?
I'll go even further. Why should man be allowed to marry man? Why should woman be allowed to marry woman? Because they're fucking human beings! They deserve the same rights that I as a straight human being inherently possess. The same rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution, supposedly protected by the government. Rights that aren't given to me or anyone else, but are intrinsically mine.
Some more fun from the same site:
Gay marriage is not an equal rights issue. Saying gays have fewer rights than non-gays is like saying marijuana being illegal is an ‘equal rights' issue because people who like smoking tobacco can do so legally, but people who like smoking marijuana can’t. Smoking tobacco is legal for everyone, and smoking marijuana is illegal for everyone across the board—it doesn’t make a difference if you happen to only prefer one or the other.
This is one of the worst comparisons in the history of things being compared to other things. Marijuana is not tobacco. It'd be more appropriate to compare smoking pipe tobacco to smoking cigarette tobacco. Or even chewing tobacco to smoking tobacco.
If I want nicotene, but I hate smoking, don't I have the right to get my fix from snuff?
You know, I used to smoke tobacco. I smoked a pack a day. Then I stopped. And I haven't smoked for a little over 6 months now. I don't know anyone who's quit being gay. Is there a gay patch, or a gay gum that helps you quit? Because smoking cigarettes is an addiction. Homosexuality is... well, I don't know. I don't really know why I like girls. I don't know why I'm into anything that I'm sexually into. Why does my idea of a dream women have to include her willingness to dress up like Lieutenant Saavik from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?
The word "preference" really bugs me in this arena. I prefer Sam Adams over Coors Light. I don't just prefer women. I'm attracted to them. I want one in my bed right now. And gay men don't just prefer men. It's stronger than that.
In 46 states, gay men and gay women cannot marry people to whom they are sexually attracted. If that's not an infringement of rights, I don't know what the hell is. And you know what, it's an infringement of all our rights. The government has no place in my bedroom. If I want to marry Lt. Saavik, I will. The government can't tell me not to. If I want to marry a 90 year old billionaire, that's my right. And if some guy wants to marry his boyfriend, or some girl wants to marry her girlfriend, that's their fucking right.
The site I quoted from twice