It’s past time we had a chat

Marriage equality is an inevitability, regardless of what’s happening in Russia right now (why are they hosting the Olympics again?).  But at least progress is happening in California.

Still, I’ve never had a logical, productive discussion about marriage equality with someone from the opposite camp, and feel as though my experience of this social phenomenon is diminished as a result.  Even if we disagree, I’d like to hear an intelligent dissenting opinion, if one exists.  So I went to the Protect Marriage website and submitted the following:

I have yet to have a productive discussion regarding marriage equality with someone who believes, as your group does, that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. Instead of having pointless Facebook discussions (that typically consist of someone quoting religious texts as a justification for secular law, or end with someone leaving the conversation in a huff) I figured the best thing to do would be to contact a group of people who have a clear idea of why they believe what they believe, and are capable of having a logical, productive discussion on the topic.

With that in mind, I’ve gone through the “Who We Are” page on your website, and am unclear on a few claims there.

Your website says that “children are most likely to thrive when raised by the father and mother who brought them into this world.”
-How did you come to this conclusion?
-Are adoptive parents (of any gender) therefore inferior?

Your organization claims to want “to protect and preserve traditional marriage…”
-How far back are you extending the word ‘traditional?’ 50 years? 100 years? 1,000 years?

Your website says that our government has “protected marriage to ensure that it exists to conceive and nurture healthy children that will sustain civilization,” and that “procreation is intrinsically connected to marriage.”
-Should the infertile (of any gender) receive the same government protections?
-Are relationships between couples who choose not to procreate inferior in any way?

When you say that children “sustain civilization,” I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
-Do you mean that they maintain the status quo, or that they maintain the same morals and laws that they inherited?

How will same-sex marriage “further [weaken] the societal norm that men should take responsibility for the children they beget”? How did you come to this conclusion?

How will same-sex marriage “corrode marital norms of permanence, monogamy, and fidelity”? How did you come to this conclusion?

Your website quotes Judge Stephen Johnson Field: “marriage is the foundation of family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.” This statement was made in 1888, eight years before he voted to uphold racial segregation.
-Do you contend that this man’s opinions on social norms (125 years later) are still relevant?
-Please define what you believe he meant by “progress.”

How does an opposite-sex couple’s ability to procreate make their marriage superior to one (made up of any gender combination) that cannot, especially if members of an opposite-sex couple choose not make use of their ability to procreate?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

I’ll post here if they respond.  I’m expecting total radio silence, but remain optimistic.

Meanwhile, here’s how I feel about people who think marriage equality will degrade the current (horrendous) rate of successful marriages between straight couples:

divorce, the silent killer of a full 50% of straight marriages

divorce, the silent killer of a full 50% of straight marriages

 

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About Toph Beifong

www.tigerlilytoph.com View all posts by Toph Beifong

2 responses to “It’s past time we had a chat

  • Courtney

    It’s insanely aggravating, how figures of power see fit to stone same-sex marriage because it doesn’t support procreation. And believing gay men weddings will destroy civilization is like believing your dog is a simian overlord in disguise, plotting to conquer Earth. Meanwhile, vicious supporters of straight marriage ignore the constantly-rising hike in divorce, and hundreds of ‘normal’ families treat their kids like garbage.

    Thank you for this post.

    • tigerlilytoph

      That’s a great point, unfortunately: opponents of marriage equality scream about protecting straight marriage as if it’s just fine the way it is, but it’s not, is it? In the United States, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. Maybe instead of protecting marriage like a sacred cow, we should:
      -Educate youth about the permanence of marriage, and how there’s a difference between a wedding (one day) and a marriage (for-fucking-ever)
      -Stop brainwashing women to think that their wedding day will be “the happiest day of their lives,” because OMG that sounds like an awful life if that’s true.
      -Acknowledge that thousands of non-religious weddings occur every year, and that religious ideas of what marriage means are not the only good ideas out there.

      Just a few ideas. I’m just thinking out loud here.

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