For many in the USA, life changed on June 26, 2015 in a big way.
The Supreme Court ruled, in a landmark case, that the ban on same-sex marriage in many states was unconstitutional.
This ruling means that same-sex couples in every state of the United States are now, by law, able to get married. For same-sex couples, and for pro same-sex marriage activists, this ruling felt like the final, sweet victory after decades of war.
For others who opposed same-sex marriage, the day marked a painful loss and a radical change in the culture of the United States.
Why is it that some people are so vehemently opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage?
Is it simply ignorant homophobia, or are there more detailed points? Regardless of what side you fall on, it’s important to be educated on the points and counterpoints for such a divisive issue. After all, you cannot form a proper opinion unless you’ve been properly informed.
“The definition of marriage is a union between a man and women”
This is the most repeated rebuttal to pro same-sex marriage arguments. Anti same-sex marriage protesters say, simply, that marriage is defined as a union between a man and a women, thus it cannot include men marrying men or women marrying women because that would go against the definition.
It is the the most common argument, and it is the weakest.
Definitions change. For example the word “awful” —a word most of us use daily— was once defined as something that is inspiring of awe, ie: something wonderful. But, the definition has changed. Yet, no one is protesting this new usage.
Second, and more importantly, definitions are arbitrary and written by or decided on by anonymous people and groups in the past and should not be able to regulate legislature on their own.
“My religion is against being gay, and my freedom of religion allows me not to accept gay marriage”
Many people whose religion bans even the ability to simply be gay believe that the “freedom of religion” afforded us by the US constitution grants them the ability to say that gay marriage should be illegal.
Unfortunately for them, their freedom of religion belongs to only them personally, and they cannot force those religious fundamentals upon others. This is the entire purpose of the law. Furthermore, the US government is supposed to function on an only secular level and not entertain or entangle itself with religion or religious ideas in any way.
“It’s a slippery slope. What’s to stop a man from marrying a horse if he can marry another man?”
Some people fear that by allowing same-sex marriage to happen, we as a society open the door for interspecies marriages/relationships.
The marriage between two consenting human beings is in no way related to a relationship between an unconsenting animal. Furthermore, the simple argument that the love between two adult human beings is somehow equivalent to livestock is offensive.
“Gays should just have civil unions instead of marriage”
Some say the title of “marriage” should be reserved only for heterosexual couples, while “civil unions” should be reserved for homosexual couples. They believe this will preserve the sanctity of marriage, somehow.
But, if the benefits of each are identical, why not call them the same thing? If both a homosexual and a heterosexual man were holding an apple, would we call the apples by different names? What this type of legislature would do is create a “separate but equal” society, with is morally repugnant and against our promise to provide equal rights for all men and women.
“Marriage exists purely to aid in production and gays cannot naturally reproduce”
Many argue that gay marriage should not be allowed because marriage is a union created for the support and creation of children only. If gay people cannot naturally create offspring, then they have no need/right to marry.
If this is the case, if marriage is only for procreation, than those couples who decide not to have children should not be allowed to marry. Further, what happens when a couple wants children, but due to their biology cannot. Do we force them to divorce, as they are not meeting the minimum requirement for what a marriage is? After the children have left the home, do heterosexual marriages become null and void? This argument is unsustainable.
We all know this subject can lead to some heated discussion but somehow remember than behind the term gay, you often have human beings that simply want the same rights…