The controversy surrounding same sex marriages is a baffling one. Mainly due to the fact that they really shouldn’t be any controversy at all.
The argument that two men or two women wouldn’t treat the “institution of marriage” with the “reverence it deserves” is illogical. What the problem really boils down to is that gay men and women will not be marrying in a church and thus denying the clergy much needed funds.
I am a straight man and I am getting married, I am not getting married in a church. I have as much respect for the institution of marriage as the next man but I do not see the issue with denying the term to anybody else.
It is an argument over semantics and a last gasp power play by increasingly irrelevant religious institutions.
If you were to look at the situation another way then, maybe, the opponents of gay marriage would see things differently.
This is a little thought experiment I would like people to carry out. Read the following passage:
Gay marriage is immoral as it weakens the fabric of the family. It confuses children as to what is the natural order of things. If we allow gay marriages then it will only be a matter of time before we allow bigamy.
Now replace the word “Gay” with “mixed race” and read it again. No one would ever publicly decry mixed raced marriages and expect to be taken seriously. So then, why is one form of discrimination intolerable and the other tolerable? You would not deny marriage to people because of the colour of their skin or their religion, so why deny it to people who are gay?
The answer, as it so often is with moral issues, lies in a misreading of religion. Christianity and other monotheistic religions argue homosexuality is a sin and immoral. I can clear this argument up quickly, it isn’t.
To argue that gay relationships will damage society is as misguided as arguing that all straight marriages last and are happy. Clearly they are not; a quick look at divorce rates will tell you that. A quick look at the statistics from agencies like Accord or those that deal with domestic abuse (from either partner – it is a myth that only men are violent and abusive) will clarify the point.
More damage is done to society by forcing couples together because of ideas of honour, or because of an unplanned pregnancy or because of a parents business contacts. More harm is done to the individual forced to live a lie because of who they are.
The terms “gay” and “straight” are labels that we attach, if you remove the labels then things become much clearer. If you boil the argument down to its most fundamental component then it becomes simple. Marriage is about love. If a couple love each other then they should be allowed to make the public declaration of said love through marriage. That is all it is about.