You know?, seems like every time there is a news article that has to do with gay people we have to face yet again the slew of stock comments from the opponents of gay marriage. I thought, what better time to address some of those stock arguments that they always mention. This is going to be long, so my apologies right now.
Stock argument no. 1: God said 1man + 1woman
Hold it there buster. If you are going to use the bible, then you better be ready for it to be turn around on you. Let’s start with Kind David. The bible clearly says that he had several wives and concubines. Actually, the bible talks more about men having several wives than the opposite. So technically, the bible condones polygamy. Now, King David was not the only one, there is a whole bag of Godly heroes that had several wives, and they are still held as role models. So, no, the bible does not speak conclusively about 1 man + 1 woman.
Stock argument no. 2: God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve
The Hebrew word “ādām” used in Genesis 1-3 is not a name: it either means “humanity” or “the man”. Same for the word eve, it means female. So, Adam and Eve were not persons; they did not exist. Adam and Eve are literary inventions meant to symbolize humanity in its male and female form. Yes, literary creations just like Don Quixote, Sherlock Holmes, Cinderella, Jekyll and Hyde, the Count of Montecristo , Carrie, Hamlet, Superman, and many other famous literary characters.
The bible is a wonderful book, but it is not a historical account, nor is it reliable as a historical document. What is most insulting of all is the fact that my pastor took the time to explain that to me. Why didn’t your pastor do the same? The resources are all there. Why is he insisting in keeping you ignorant?
Stock argument no. 3: Leviticus, Leviticus Leviticus…
Once again, if you use the bible, you better be ready to have it used against you. Leviticus also says that if you disrespect you parents you should be put to death; you should also face the same fate if you: Eat shell fish, use blended fabrics, commit adultery, and several others. If you do not follow those, then you are a bigger hypocrite than I am, because you are picking and choosing what to follow and what not to. This is a direct violation of Lev 19:12. Thou shall not swear falsely by my name, nor profane the name of thy God. Since those provisions are ALL made by God and you do not have the authority to pick and choose.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself said that He came into the world to make the law new. That means that all those provisions from Leviticus that you are so fond of quoting were cast aside by Jesus Himself. Since they were made obsolete 2000 years ago when Jesus walked the earth, why are you still hell-bent in quoting them?
Lastly, Leviticus 4:2 says To be ignorant of what we are bound to know is sinful. These days we have a better understanding of human sexuality and human psyches. God, through psychology and psychiatry, has given us a better understanding of the human condition and we are responsible to learn from it and adapt our thinking and behavior; so if you are going to argue that Leviticus is still current; then you are still responsible for your sin of ignorance.
Stock argument no. 4: Two men and/or 2 women cannot procreate
The procreation argument… I love this one because I have yet to find anyone who will take me on this one. Let’s say for a moment that you are right and marriage is about procreation. Can you please explain why there is NOT ONE SINGLE amendment that reads something like this:
"In order to protect the sacred marriage institution and the procreation responsibilities of the partners, marriage in this state shall consist of a man and a woman of procreation age, who, having been tested, can prove they can procreate. "
If marriage was about procreation, why not go after people who can procreate and DO NOT? Gay people cannot marry in most states after all. Why is it that the people that cannot marry and cannot procreate are the ones targeted for an amendment that seeks to “protect” the procreation aspect of marriage?
Stock argument no. 5: The intolerance of gay people
Now, now, try as you may, that argument is the same argument that an abuser will try to use against the one he is abusing. Yea, we see through that. A man will hit a woman and the moment the woman strikes back, he starts accusing her of abuse.
Gay people have been the victims of murder, oppression, beatings and calumnies. The law and the bible have been used against us for hundreds of years. Who did that? What sector of the population championed this kind of behavior against gay people? What kind of reception did you expect to receive? Are you saying we were being tolerant when we were taking your abuse and remaining quiet? Are you saying that we were being tolerant every time one of us was killed like a dog, or bashed with a 2X4, or bullied in school, or thrown out of our homes at 15, or lost (or denied) our families, jobs, homes, careers, salaries, friends etc. and we didn’t say anything? Are you saying that now that we are not taking your abuse we are NOW being intolerant? Truly, are you expecting that argument to stick?
Have you ever heard of the phrase "You reap what you sow"?
Stock argument no. 6: What's next, Polygamy & Bestiality?
Well, I have 2 points to make on this one:
- Mormons have practiced polygamy for over 100 years. To this day, there is an orthodox group of them that practices it; where is your rage against that? Even then, they have not looked to make it legal in any state. If the Mormons have shown no interest in making polygamy legal, and they are the ones with the most to gain; NEITHER WILL GAY PEOPLE. GET IT THROUGH YOU THICK SKULL. Putting that one on the gays does not make it sound more convincing.
- Bestiality has been practiced for hundreds of years by both straight and gay people. Now go and read point no 1 and make some correlations.
Stock argument no. 7: Marriage for Straights & Civil unions for gays; fair isn't it?
The Supreme Court already ruled that separate but equal is neither. You might not like it, but the SCOUTS were very clear on this; you cannot create separate institutions for percentage of the population based solely on the fact that your impressionable little heads and your fragile little egos cannot bear the thought of THOSE people drinking of the same fountain.
So, it's either civil unions for all, or none. You don't have to believe me, just read the decisions. See Plessey v. Ferguson, which introduced the 'separate but equal' doctrine. Follow it up with Brown v. Board of Education, Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States and Green v. School Board of New Kent County, which dismantled the 'separate but equal' doctrine. And don't forget the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Guess you just have to read now… and look, just so you don't have excuses, I have provided you with links.
Stock argument no. 8: Marriage is a sacred institution ordained by God
First of all, marriage has 2 elements: Secular and sacred. A marriage is only sacred if you go in front of a representative from a god and swear in front of him. Since the state does not recognize any god, when you go to get married by a judge, there is nothing sacred about it because the justice of peace will not invoke the name of a god, but the name of the state. (S)he will marry you By the power invested in me by the state of [insert your state here]
To call "sacred" a marriage performed by a representative of a secular government is in direct violation to what Exodus 20:2–5 says:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Do not have any other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.
So if you insist on equaling civil marriage to the sacrament (or covenant) of marriage you are committing the sin of idolatry.
Furthermore, gay people are NOT lobbying any church for the right to marry; we are lobbying the government, the overseers of the SECULAR institution of marriage. We expect the government to treat us like any tax payer. Church and God have nothing to do with that expectation. And let me give you one more, if marriage is a “sacred institution”, then: why is divorce legal, and also, why is there not one single church that will marry you without a license from the state? And why is it that the state WILL marry you without needing permission from a church?
Stock argument no. 9: Churches will be forced marry gay people
The scare tactics never end, do they? If we believe that there is a separation of church and state, why would the state infringe upon that doctrine 200 years after it was instituted, and with no prior conviction of doing so?
Think about it, if there is any, ANY group that is well versed in their constitutional rights is the church; at least when it comes to the government’s responsibility to leave them alone. I say that way because the church has not understood the basic principle that freedom of religion carries with it freedom FROM religion, and they have consistently poked their noses into the people’s business and will continue to do so while at the same time demanding to be left alone.
That being said, the constitution clearly states that the government shall not infringe on the church’s right to do business as they see it fit. The church knows that very well, but it is still crying wolf because it brings attention to them and it sounds plausible. Trust me, there is not a church that will see that happen and not file a federal lawsuit and win it.
Stock argument no. 10: Gays can marry someone of the opposite sex
Oh, the joys of being ignorant. No, truly, life is so much simpler that way.
Gay people expect the right to marry anyone of their own CHOOSING just like any heterosexual person. If you would not like your mother picking up a wife/husband for you (and God knows she would probably do a better job than you) then you have no right to tell anyone they cannot marry anyone they CHOOSE.
If you CHOSE your wife/husband, then I have the same right to CHOOSE my gorgeous hunky husband and it is a matter of law; just wait for it.
Stock argument no. 11: The "will of the people..."
Of all the ones I've discussed so far, this is the one that most troubles me. I just keep hearing all these arguments for the "will of the people" and I smile with a mix of contempt, sadness and amusement that should be insulting to many. Truly, what is the "will of the people"?
Seems to me that these days we have turned the "will of the people" into a sort of mob rule in which things that are unpopular are put to the will of a mob worked up into a frenzy by someone powerful with an agenda. What is most insulting of all is the fact that people do not see through the fact that they are being manipulated. Amazing!
Let’s take a look at other great moments on “the will of the people”:
- 1850’s: The will of the people was to save the institution of slavery
- 1900’s: The will of the people was to deny women the right to vote (even women agreed)
- 1940’s, 50’s & 60’s: The will of the people was to preserve segregation and the ban on interracial marriage
- During World War II it was the will of the people that Japanese-Americans were kept in concentration camps
- In the 2000 election, Al Gore won the popular vote. Yes, it was the “will of the people” to have President Gore
So I ask, where did we get this idea that it is the job of the masses to decide who gets a certain right and who doesn't?
You know? Forgive my bluntness but I learned several things in school:
- Officials are elected to make the laws and judges appointed to ensure the laws are fair to everyone
- It is the responsibility of the majority to ensure that they do not step on the rights of the minority
- The moment you put the rights of a population for vote, then you open the door for everyone's rights to be put to popular vote. Do we really want to go there?
Lastly, the constitution is there to protect the minorities from the tyranny of the majority. What do you think is going to happen when the Supreme Court gets all those "marriage protection amendments" that were passed by the 'will of the people" to take the rights of a minority? No, really, what do you think is going to happen?
Stock argument no. 12: Sodom and Gomorrah blah, blah, blah...
Classical Jewish texts concur that God did *not* destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because their inhabitants were homosexual. Not at all. Rather, the cities were destroyed because the inhabitants were nasty, depraved, and uncompromisingly greedy. Classical Jewish writings affirm that the primary crimes of the Sodomites were, among others, terrible and repeated economic crimes, both against each other and to outsiders. Saying "God killed them because they were gay" is, to say the least, not the Jewish teaching on the subject. (http://www.iwgonline.org/docs/sodom.html)
- What are the chances that 100% of the male population of a village is gay? That doesn't even happen at the Castro!
- If all the males in the city were gay, why did Lot offer females to calm them down? I can just hear the response of the crowd: What, you want us to give them a makeover? Was Lot taking advantage of the fact that he had a horde of gay males that could help his daughters get really hot and then be able to marry off the poor ugly things? Surely he would not offer females to a pack of horny gay males...
- If the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was truly about homosexuality, then why does Ezekiel 16:46-50 say the following?:
This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.
Apparently some people love to quote the bible but do not read it...
Stock argument no. 13: We do it for the children. Children need a mom and a Dad in the house
What I like about this argument is the fact that when looked on the surface, it is hard to disagree with it. Actually, this argument was used very effectively during the Proposition 8 campaign in CA. But on closer inspection it starts to crumble. Let me explain:
- While there is no denying that a multi parent home is a beautiful thing, the nation's 50% divorce rate automatically tells us that many more children are growing up in single parent households than ever before and that there are more children living in single parent homes than there are not. So if the goal is to give children a mom and a dad, why isn't divorce a target? Afterall, it is divorce what is denying childrent the presence of a mom and a dad at the home. Gay peole are not kidnaping parents and holding them for ranson to spite the kids.
- Study after study has consistently challenged the notion that having 2 parents of the same sex is detrimental to the well being of a child. Here is what just 2 of those articles say (Click on the links for complete texts):
- The American Academy of Pedriatics issued a report on their magazine PEDIATRICS (Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 341-344) that concludes "Although gay and lesbian parents may not, despite their best efforts, be able to protect their children fully from the effects of stigmatization and discrimination, parents’ sexual orientation is not a variable that, in itself, predicts their ability to provide a home environment that supports children’s development."
- In the same magazine, This time on the July 3, 2006 (Vol. 118 No. 1 July 2006, pp. 349-364) there are the results of a study titled The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children. In it, the study concludes in part: "Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families."
Furthermore, I offer in evidence the fact that after exhaustive study and consideration, the sate-wide ban on gay adoption in the state of FL has been declared unconstitutional in great part because the proponents of the law have failed to convince several judges that a gay person is not as good a parent as anyone else.
So let's forget about the emotional arguments and the scare tactics for a second. The fact is that there is not ONE SINGLE study, in a peer reviewed publication, done with the outmost scientific rigor that can be quoted as saying that a child raised by 2 people of the same sex is detrimental or conducive to ill effects. Furthermore, every study quoted by those who shield behind this stock argument is based on science that is at least 30 years old or older. This means, that they are relying heavily on research that is OUT OF DATE and already proved obsolete by newer studies.
So, let me be the one asking the questions for a second:
Are you truly doing this for the children? I ask this because every study conducted on modern times has proved you wrong time after time. Not only that, but by trying to block gay people from even adopting or having access to their children you are effectively working against these children you so love to pretend that you care. Children are still growing up in orphanages, foster homes and the streets; every respected child psychologist, pediatrician or child care professional has spoken on the benefits of being reared by a loving adult, but you continue to denounce those studies. So, are you working FOR or AGAINST those children?
Your behavior will give us the answer.
Stock argument no. 14: Marriage is not a right. The constitution says nothing about it
Well, for once we are going to agree, in principle. But let me ask a couple of things:
If marriage is not a right, what and why are you so intent in using state constitutions to exclude people from having a right that is not there? See? YOU put those rights into 40-something constitutions around the nation in the form of an exclusion. That means that at one point or another those exclusions could (and will) be overturned and then marriage will be a right written into our nation's constitution and also in the constitutions of those states. So first of all thank you for ensuring that marriage rights will be something that will be added to the constitution.
Then, let's talk about Loving vs. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme court decision that declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, effectively ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. In this decision, the court states in part:
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. (emphasis added)
And in that little paragraph your argument crumbles like blue cheese. See? you might argue that the constitution doesn't say anything about marriage being a right but the Judges of the Supreme court respectfully disagree with you and have been disagreeing since 1967. While the constitution might not have the word marriage in it, the SCOUTS found that there is an implicit protection in the constitution that protects people from anyone infringing on their right to choose their spouse. In finding this implicit protection, they have effectively inserted marriage into the constitution and there is no court in this country, no matter how conservative, that will overturn that precedent. Now, add this precedent with the fact that you have inserted marriage rights language into over 50% of the state's constitutions, and the word marriage is about to make a grand entrance to the constitution; shepherded by you.
Now, don't start claiming that we started this when the SCOUTS, quoting Loving vs Virginia say:
To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as sexual orientation embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by an individual's sexual orientation. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another (or the same) race or gender resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
You started this battle, so don't blame us when the SCOUTS overturn all those precious "marriage protection acts."