Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debunking Gay Marriage Myths

The amount of false claims and fear mongering absolutely astounds me. People continue to buy into it. Organizations continue to perpetuate myths and half truths. Smart people continue to eat it all up without stopping to see what it is, and it’s driving me to the crazy house.

Aren't we smarter than this?

Something doesn’t smell right when proponents of anything, anything, have to qualify purported truth with fragile arguments.

I know I've brought out the horse again, but I said I probably would up to November 4th. This topic deserves serious, intelligent conversation. In fact, I'm starving to death for it. Proponents of this proposition are making points that are misleading and are half-truths at best. While I discussed some of them in my article, California's Proposition 8, I want to discuss more here, arguments I continue to see people push.

I hate to see smart people allow others to pull the wool over their eyes. It happens to us all. I know it happens to me. This is on such a massive scale, though, I have to say something.

I hope at least one person who is Pro-8 listens. I'm not asking for a "no" vote, just serious thought and perhaps a commitment to stop regurgitating crap arguments. Trust me, I've heard them all.

If you think I'm wrong, I only ask you to read this entry in its entirety, then prove me wrong. Please.

And I mean that not as a challenge, but as a plea. I want to understand. Give me something of substance to chew on.

Argument 1:

If Proposition 8 fails, it will threaten our (the LDS or other churches) faith.


One of the assertions that fall under this category is that all church buildings will be forced to allow same-sex marriage to occur within their buildings.

First of all: That doesn't happen now. A church, a pastor, a bishop, priest, etc, can and have turned down couples before. The Catholic Church does it all the time (they won't recognize some marriages - and some divorces, for that matter). Other mainstream churches are the same way. Some pastors won't marry a couple if they don't agree to marriage counseling beforehand.

Secondly, for the LDS out there worried the government might force or people may sue to allow gay couples to marry in the temple - people can sue all they want. They will not win. As it is now, the Church discriminates in its own way who can enter and marry in the temple. It is not a public building. Have we forgotten that there are non-member couples who cannot marry in the church? Straight LDS couples who are not allowed to marry in the temple?

If anything, some courts may hold that, when money is exchanged, there should be no discrimination, so this may prove to be a problem for those churches who charge for wedding services. It won't be a problem for churches with a lay clergy and that do not rely on income from weddings.

It just will not happen.

There is no language in this amendment that states the Christian churches across California will be forced to change doctrine. We are a free nation, free to believe as we will. The Pilgrims came from England because they wanted to worship how they wanted to, and they wanted others to worship the way they wanted to. No one is going to challenge this.

This is not an anti-church proposition.

Argument 2:

In Boston, MA (where gay marriages are now legal) the Catholic Charities have closed their doors because the state has required them to allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused. They are a large and worthwhile charity with great power in the state and they were overruled.

Ahhh, this argument. It holds a lot of weight for the Pro-8 crowd - but it there is much more to the story here.We do not belong to a Theocracy, and the State is not the Church, or vice-versa. It is not the state's place to say what beliefs are right or wrong. The State is there to protect the people and their rights.

A Little Background

Massachusetts state law requires all adoption agencies to sign a contract with the Department of Social Services. This contract includes a anti-discrimination clause, a clause not present in every state law. Texas, for example, does not prohibit an adoption agency from referring same-sex couples to other agencies like Massachusetts and California might.

To avoid a lengthier entry than is necessary, I'll redirect you to the Boston Globe site and The Archdiocese of Boston website regarding the issue. I hope you'll read.

For proponents of the separation of church and state doctrine, the line seems blurred here - but as the church was running a state funded agency and had signed a contract with the state, they had to abide by state law.

So yes, this could happen - but it already is happening in California, even before the courts deemed gay marriage legal and constitutional. "Committed" gay couples are and have been adopting. Single parents adopt.

This is not a marriage issue.

Argument 3:

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children. If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.

How did you find out how gay people "do it"? Friends? Family? Should we really not tell our children? Is ignorance truly bliss?

Sex education is not marriage education. It's sex education. If you don't want the schools teaching your kids about gay people doing it, then all you have to do is sign or not sign (whatever it may be) that paper that allows you, as the parent, to exempt your child. Period. If someone overrules you, then you can and should raise a fuss.

Listen, you are the parents. You are the church. The world teaches as it will, the Church and family teaches as it will. When the child comes home, you can say whatever you want to that child. I would hope you would be loving about it rather than hateful, but you can say something like "That is what some people believe, but this is why we don't."

That easy.

Argument 4, Part 1:

When a man and a woman marry with the intention of forming a new family, their success in that endeavor depends on their willingness to renounce the single-minded pursuit of self-fulfillment and to sacrifice their time and means to the nurturing and rearing of their children--

So adopt. Infertile couples do. Some fertile couples do because they believe its best to help the children who don't have a family to have a family rather than create their own.

And, beyond that, many gay couples want to raise children too. It's why they seek to adopt. These people are not anymore a selfish people than heterosexuals are, and they are more than willing to sacrifice their time and means for the nurturing and rearing of children.

Gay people are just people who happen to be attracted to those of the same sex. Other than that, they're just like you and me (if you're straight, that is, haha).

Part 2:

--Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide. Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment--

Marriage for a homosexual couple is not a completely selfish endeavor any more than it may be for a heterosexual couple.

Part 3:

--By definition, all same-sex unions are infertile, and two individuals of the same gender, whatever their affections, can never form a marriage devoted to raising their own mutual offspring.

This brings me back to a comment made in my first entry here on this blog. To this astonishingly weak point I say (again): should it be made illegal for a straight couple to marry if the couple is infertile?

There’s something wrong when something people are said to hold so close to their hearts -values, morals, freedom - that they have nothing to defend it with but with things like this.

It makes me think, perhaps, some may want to use religion to distract from and validate their own homophobia, hatred, or downright disgust at the gay community.

If that's not it, then I have to think it's because I'm missing something entirely. I've yet to discover what that may be.

But the more people use fear to engage and motivate people, the more pause I am brought to.


Tom said...

You keep hitting it hard, girl!

And don't forget THIS little bit of information.

When the California Supreme Court made their May 15 decision that recognized the right of same-sex couples to participate equally in civil marriage, here's what they said about what affect it would have on churches:

"[A]ffording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

People canfFight for Prop 8 all they want, but they should at least do it with the truth.

Lisa said...

That's all I'm saying :) Thank you.