Thursday, July 05, 2012

My Logic on This Controversy

It occurred to me that proponents of gay marriage shoot themselves in the foot.  They say, "if you don't like gay marriage, don't get one."  They say, "Gay marriage won't affect you, so (essentially) it shouldn't both you and therefore it should be legal."

Let's parse this.  It's not an argument for anyone to support gay marriage or to change their minds about it.  It is an argument persuading someone not to care.  Not to care means not to take action.  But then it works the other way.  If it doesn't affect me if I'm against it, then it doesn't affect me if I am for it (as long as I don't want a gay marriage myself), and the gays who want to marry are so few in number that they would never get enough votes for it to pass as a referendum, so they have to depend on straight people.  But they are telling the straight people not to care.  Rhetorically it would be a better tact if they could argue (a) straight people would benefit from gay marriage and (b) horrible things are happening because there is no gay marriage.  It seems to me that both of these are hard to prove.

Polls supposedly show that over the country is more or less evenly split on this issue, but that's only what people tell the pollsters.  In no state that has had a referendum has gay marriage been legalized; it's only been legalized by courts or by legislators (NY).  So when it comes time to go into the voting booth, either (a) people vote what they really believe after telling the pollsters something else (or they lied the first time) OR (b) not enough of the people who favor gay marriage go to the polls   OR (c)  people believe that it doesn't affect them one way or the other so they don't vote one way or the other. 

Obviously, I am not pro-gay marriage; I see no reason to redefine civilization.  It's amazing to me how in less than thirty years the attitudes have changed, though, on this matter.


drgregb said...

Hi Barbara

There is another very significant argument being made by gay-rights activists. Yes, they are making the point that heterosexuals should have nothing to fear. But they are also declaring to heterosexuals that they only want the same rights that they have, specifically, the right to marry.

The gay rights activists (which include an evangelical wing as well) have gotten ahead of the 'moral' issue a long time ago by defining the issue as one of 'civil rights.' When that happened, I knew they would eventually win. It's only a matter of time.

And you are right about the disparity between polling and voting.


Barbara G. Tucker said...

Greg, thanks for posting. You are so right that this has been framed as a civil rights issue, although there is no "right" in the constitution or elsewhere to be married or to be married to whomever you want. There are lots of legal restrictions on marriage, such as age and family relationships. But because the government has given certain rights to people who are married, it is easy to confuse the two; to deny anyone the right to marry anyone else is to deny them the rights inherent in marriage, even if marriage itself is not a right.

Yes, many of my evangelical friends are leaning towards gay marriage due either to ignorance of the history and inherent issues and theology, a misunderstanding of what "Christian love" means, or wimpiness to take a stand for fear of looking like a bigot.

Secondly, those who oppose gay marriage are accused of slippery slope arguments. We say, "if gay marriage is legal, then before long polygamy will be, and before long marrying a ten-year-old will be, etc." We also say, "it will take away the rights of churches to take a stand and not allow gay marriages to be performed in them and by the clergy"--in other words, eventually clergy will not have the right to say, "I'm against this and the couple can find someone else to marry them." Gay marriage proponents will say, "Oh, that will never happen, you are using scare tactics, blah, blah, blah." But it is happening in Canada and it's not a slippery slope. There is a radical element that will not be happy until no one is allowed to say homosexual activity is a sin, nor will they be happy with free speech period on this matter.

I have no trouble with civil unions. Marriage is just a different matter to me. Those who say marriage should just be a religious matter, controlled by the church or mosque, may have a point, but it causes religion to hide and have no place in the public square. Then we might be protected but also have no freedom to engage the culture from our point of view.

I wish I could disagree with you on the matter of time issue. But I can't. This will probably go to the SCOTUS next year and who knows what they will come up with?

Sorry for that long rant. I teach in a public college and will get flack for this.

drgregb said...

Thank for the long rant, Barbara. You have given a lot of good thought to this. I wrote a blog post a few months back about how "hate speech" will someday (soon?) include Christians who speak out against homosexuality. So the means to discriminate and even criminalize us for our "free speech" is already in place.

Barbara G. Tucker said...

Yes, that is what I am afraid of. I am a free speech advocate and don't believe in any restrictions on it (except in terms of national security issues, wartime, threatening the president, that kind of thing). The left, despite what it says, is not in favor of free speech. Hate speech is a perfect example of that. What in the world is hate speech anyway?

A student recently (anonymously) called me a hater because I said something he/she disagreed with, and it had nothing to do with this matter, which I would never discuss in class unless students bring it up.

Thanks for writing!!!

Touching thoughts

An acquaintance put this on Facebook. So much of it applies to me. Church is hard. Church is hard for the person walking through the door...