Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Weird thinking in opposing gay marriage

with 5 comments

The NY Times has an article by Ashley Parker on the state of opposition to same-sex marriage in the younger generation. The thinking revealed is difficult to understand. For example,

Opponents of same-sex marriage say they must argue in favor of traditional marriage, not against gay people or gay rights.

The problem in the thinking is the idea that they must argue in favor of traditional marriage, by which they mean the historically recent innovation in some cultures that limits a marriage to one man and one woman. (This is hardly “traditional”: King David had seven wives, for example, and the Old Testament is pretty traditional. Other cultures allow polygamy, some with a limit on the number of wives (four, for example), others (as the Mormons formerly held) with no limit on the number of wives—still only one husband, though.

At any rate, they probably have not noticed that no one is arguing against traditional (one-man, one-woman) marriages. People who wish to marry in that format are welcome to, and there is no opposition that I know of. So they are vigorously defending an institution that is not under attack. I find that weird.

I think they believe if two men or two women are allowed to marry, it would (in some unspecified way) “harm” traditional marriage, but I have seen no details at all regarding how the harm would manifest itself or how it would be done.

Basically, so far as I can tell, the movement is a bunch of bigots who claim to be part of a “pro-marriage movement” doing all they can to prevent some people from marrying: a very peculiar position for a pro-marriage movement to take. I would think a pro-marriage movement would want as many people as possible to marry.

I think I don’t understand the opposition. It looks for all the world as though they are simply trying to get secular laws to fit with their religious convictions, thus forcing people who don’t share those religious beliefs to obey them anyway. That is not a good idea, as has been amply demonstrated throughout human history. Religion and the state should be separate.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 March 2013 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Daily life, Religion

5 Responses

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  1. Actual arguments against marriage between opposite sex partners seem pretty rare. There are occasionally (across the centuries) groups who do speak out against marriage. Ironically, one of the favorite sources used by people against gay marriage (letters attributed to Paul of Tarsus) has at best a mixed view of marriage. See 1 Corinthians 7:8-16 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=230811540 and 1 Corinthians 7:25-38 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=230811495

  2. It’s just so odd to see a group fervently defending something that’s not being attacked. Literally no one is trying to take away opposite-sex marriages, and yet these people act as though they are defending the last redoubt. Yet they are the ones eager deny rights of others to live their chosen lives. Same thing with abortion foes: they act as if they are fighting opponents who want abortion mandatory—but their obvious aim is to deny people the right to lead their own private lives and make their own choices, even painful ones. Both abortion foes and same-sex marriage foes hold the same position: based on their own religious beliefs, they want to deny, by using secular law, others the right to choose not to follow the religion’s particular dictates. You see the same thing in those who would pass laws against contraceptives.

    LeisureGuy

    20 March 2013 at 3:08 pm

  3. The Eldest

    20 March 2013 at 6:49 pm

  4. It’s just a typical conservative knee-jerk reaction: resist any expansion of enfranchisement to include people who were previously excluded. It just seems really important to them that someone not be invited to the in-group. Ethnic minorities, women, gays, whatever. The whole “defending marriage” thing is just a way to tell themselves that they aren’t appalling bigots while still fighting against the expansion of rights.

    scott

    21 March 2013 at 7:53 am

  5. Interesting way of looking at it, Scott. That rule—oppose any expansion of enfranchisement—makes sense if one believes that, if other people get as many rights as you have, you will in effect find your own rights to be less exclusive: as if you lost power wrt to those newly empowered. In fact, of course, you have as much power as you’ve ever had, it’s just that others also now have the same power. I guess we could call that the “Dog in the Manger” rule.

    LeisureGuy

    21 March 2013 at 8:39 am


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