Thursday, August 9, 2012

I am for Civil Rights: Why I don't accept the argument of those who oppose gay marriage

This post is written with the specific intent of being posted on Facebook.

Let me be very clear from the start.  I am in favor of gay marriage, and if you do not like it, then you have a choice to make.  You can state your opposition, you can remain silent, or you can simply stop being my friend.  Here's why:

1)  Gay marriage is not about a feeling to everyone.  For some of us (most importantly gay men and women) it is about civil rights.  It is about the 9th Amendment and the 14th Amendment.  If you choose to ignore those parts of The Constitution then you must at the very least accept you are in favor of legalizing discrimination.  It is discrimination just like it was discrimination to limit the rights of African-Americans.  And before you go there about choice versus nature, you know you are not going to get anywhere with that.  If homosexuality were a matter of choice, it would still be discrimination.  How?  Criminals make choices we don't agree with, and they are still afforded marriage rights. There are approximately 1400 Federal and state laws regarding marriage, which ignore or are written to be prejudicial against so-called civil unions, partnerships, and common law relationships.  What other 'feelings' present such a wide range of discriminatory laws? Further along the spectrum you must also accept the contradictory nature of religion in the U.S.  More specifically, I will ask you a question to illustrate my point. 

Why is it okay to erode the separation of church and state (in order to promote your religious philosophy) which would limit the rights of people with views in conflict of your own, but at the same time be wrong to expect religious organizations to pay taxes and adhere to a single, specific interpretation of religious values?  Of course you know the answer.  The first Amendment states no laws be enacted to discriminate against religious beliefs.  It also states by way of legal reciprocity that religions cannot dictate laws in the civil realm. 

2)  Gay marriage does not interfere with your ability to practice your religion or your life in any way.  How many people have been displaced because of gay marriage?  How many people have divorced or found themselves unwilling to marry in states where gay marriage is allowed?  How many churches have been destroyed because of gay marriage?  There has not been one single piece of evidence to prove any heterosexual person or couple who has suffered because of a gay marriage.  And don't give me that old, "My cousin . . ." , or "My friend in Kansas . . ." bullshit, either.  That old standby is pure myth and is all too often linked to purely fictitious propaganda.

3)  Your values are YOUR values, and in matters of civil rights, have no place in the discussion.
I am not going to change your mind, and you are not going to change mine.  Too many people who are against gay marriage continually bring up their "feelings" and feelings tend to be immutable.  Opponents to gay marriage do not rely upon facts or legal issues.  They base their opinion on religious texts and incorrectly assume several things 
            a)They assume the Bible is meant to be taken literally, when the literal interpretation of the Bible is a 19th Century convention.
            b)They cherry pick the arguments they want to make and say those parts of the Bible are meant to be lasting while other laws of Leviticus are simply guidelines relevant only to the Ancient Israelites, which is obviously hypocritical.  
            c) They assume everyone should accept and follow the same interpretation of the Bible, which is virtually impossible and contradictory to the Constitution.
            d) They assume the Bible should continue to be the basis for law in this nation, which is not only secular in nature, but is the very model of secular humanism from the period of Enlightenment, where people all around the world dreamed of a nation unfettered by the reach of religion.  This point is important because the vast majority of Christians believe the U.S. was founded by the auspice of God.  It cannot be both a secular nation to protect religious freedom AND a godless nation in need of religious rule.

4)  I am sick and tired of people saying they don't "hate" anyone.  Well, my wife said it best when she said, "You may not hate anyone, but you certainly don't like gay people."  That's the truth.  I am just extremely tired of people trying to justify their bigotry with their version of theology and rhetoric.  I get it.  You are opposed to gay marriage and you want us all to believe there is no hate in your hearts or minds when you support discrimination on this level and remain silent when it comes to gay bashing and violence against gays.  I get it.  We all get it.  I'm just not buying it.  Go sell it somewhere else.  Go sing it on the mountain, for all I care.  Just don't pester me with that idiotic justification any more. The simple truth as I see it is you are not in favor of some people having the opportunity to share their lives in a marriage and be equal to you.  Privately you can believe that, but in a pluralistic nation such as ours, your personal views should not be allowed to interfere with the rights of others.

I am standing my ground, so you have a choice to make.  I will accept every choice you do make, but you need to stop insisting I accept your arguments because there is nothing left to argue in my mind.  Accept my position (and all of its implications); reject my opinion and my arguments; say something or remain silent; decide to end our friendship.  It's your move, and I don't care if you think I am being ignorant or passive aggressive.  This is my position and I am not moving from it.

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