What about the effects on society if gays are allowed to marry?
In which I will address all the reasons I have heard on why we, as a society, should not allow gay people to marry.
1. Oh noes, think of the children!
I do think of the children. I think of all the children in foster care who can’t get into long-term placements because there aren’t enough straight people willing to provide long-term families. I think of the children in foster care who can’t get adopted because gay couples aren’t allowed to adopt. I think of the gay children who grow up knowing that they will never be allowed to get married, that society thinks their love is less worthy because of something they have no control over. I think about how the rates of teen suicide are higher (some estimates place it at five times higher) among LBGTQ teenagers than among straight teenagers. I think of all the children who are bullied at school. I think of Matthew Shepherd who was born the same year as I was, who also studied political science, who was tied to a fence rail and beaten with a pistol butt and left to die. I think of Jaden Bell, and Josh Pacheco, and Tyler Clementi and Seth Walsh and Raymond Chase and all the other nameless children who died rather than continue facing the society we have right now. I think of the children who get kicked out of their house because they tell their parents they are gay so they end up living on the street. So yes, I am thinking of the children.
2. Oh noes, think of the religious freedom.
There is a huge difference between allowing states to allow gay marriage and requiring churches to perform marriages. But what about that case back east where the church had to allow the gays to get married? The church in question had a public hall that they rented out to members of the community for all sorts of public events. The church was told that refusing to serve gays in a business setting was discriminatory. The church was not required to actually perform the wedding, just to allow all members of the community to rent the space in question, which was not a church.
But what if they picket our churches for not performing marriages? Have you not been to General Conference? We get picketed all the time already. That’s because other people have first amendment rights too, not just the religious. Guess what? BYU football games got picketed back when we didn’t allow blacks to have the priesthood. Entire universities refused to compete against them. Did that cause the government to force us to give blacks the priesthood? Not according to the brethren.
I am fully in favor of allowing gays to get married but not requiring churches to marry them if they don’t want to. I think that’s kind of the point of living in a pluralistic society.
3. Oh noes, think of the schools.
Will we require our teachers to teach that gay marriage is okay? I don’t remember ever learning that straight marriage was okay in school, but do you mean that we’re not going to fire teachers for including literature in which there are gay people who are not scorned and mocked and bullied? Then, okay, I’m good with that. Are we going to include literature that has single parents, or kids living with their grandparents, or kids living in foster care, I’m good with that too. Are we going to show that stable families are good for society, regardless of their makeup? I think that’s a good plan. I’m good with children being exposed to the realities that match their own life rather than a preapproved list of Dick and Jane style homogeneity. I also think everyone should read The Great Gatsby and O! Pioneers, so take my curricular choices with a grain of salt.
4. Oh noes, think of the sex education!
People are going to have problems with sex education regardless of what’s being taught. So, biologically, reproduction should be covered in science class. Diagrams, etc. Sex education should teach you when it’s okay to have sex (i.e. when both partners are willing participants and explicit consent has been obtained.) It should teach you about the emotional complexities of being sexually active. It should teach you how not to get pregnant and how not to obtain a sexually transmitted disease. So, like I learned how to put on a condom in sex ed. And I think I looked at photos of diseased parts. And that sexually transmitted diseases were really easy to catch.
I don’t think I ever got educated about how to have sex. So for teaching gay sex in class, I’m not really sure what that means. Because straight people have oral sex and anal sex as well as gay people, so sex is sex to me. I mean, I think the world would be a lot happier if everyone understood the importance of lube, how to perform oral sex, and the necessity of clitoral stimulation in achieving the female orgasm. But I don’t remember any of that getting discussed in sex ed. So, maybe some of y’all went to schools where they discussed varying positions, but my town freaked out when they found out that we got shown a condom on a banana, so that’s where I’m coming from here.
5. Oh noes, we don’t have the data!
We don’t have enough data to know what will happen, therefore we can’t allow it to happen. This is a basic fallacy called “argument from ignorance.” You just flunked Introduction to Logic. Do not pass go. Do not collect your college diploma.
6. It’s always been that way/Judeo-Christian/Old Testament
Slavery had always been that way. Domestic violence had always been that way. Rape had always been that way. The Old Testament is a crazy place to draw your evidence from because unless you want to make your wife sit in a tent one week out of the month, never eat crab, grow a beard and never trim its corners, give up bacon and never wear a cotton-poly blend again, you need to be careful about arguing from the Old Testament. Especially since the OT has all sorts of whacked out family groupings in it that would appall most Christians today. I mean, if you believe in a literal Adam and Eve, their children were having sex with each other, so yeah. We also have penicillin, the internet and flush toilets, so I’m good with progress. We’ve also stopped lobotomizing those with mental illnesses. And given up monarchies. So, you know, change is sometimes good.
7. Oh noes, dog sex/marriage!
To borrow from Bill Maher, which is rare for me, women have been voting for almost a century now and we haven’t seen any hamsters in the voting booths.
Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg can tell the difference between a human being and an animal.