- Jan 12, 2005
I understand that you're trying to be principled here, but the logic you're using as an example would much more lead to the conclusion that in order for a couple to be allowed to marry, they should be required to demonstrate a threshold level of dedication, commitment, and maturity. For example, allowing two eighteen-year-olds who've known each other exactly one month and are "in love" to marry is clearly a much greater "lowering of standards" than allowing two thirty-something gay men who've been together five years to marry.Originally posted by: Craig234
We need to be fair to the anti-gay marriage arguments, as we debunk them.
There's more of a point to their argument than the pro-gay-marriage usually recognizes.Originally posted by: shira
First, they argued that they wanted to "defend marriage." But exactly how same-sex marriages threaten heterosexual marriages is conveniently left out.
Let's take the Medal of Honor. Say the President decided to keep awarding it for what it's awarded for now - but to add, say, big political donors, or soldiers who find ways to save the government a lot of money. Nothing changed for those who get it for the usual reason, but most of us would say it was diluted, and you could describe opponents as 'defending' the traditional Medal of Honor.
So, they have more of a point than just 'there's no difference'; they see the same sort of dilution.
Arguing to them that there's no difference doesn't persuade them, because to them there is, just as arguing there's no difference with the Medal of Honor wouldn't be convincing.
The "principle" that "allowing just anyone to marry cheapens the institution of marriage" is very, very imprecise, and leads rapidly to logical conclusions that the anti-gay-marriage crowd doesn't intend. Just as the "child rearing" argument leads to ridiculous conclusions.
Even beyond this, what you have to realize is that for someone to honestly "feel" that allowing gays to marry is a "reduction in standards" they have to be operating under the assumption that there's something inherently wrong with being gay. Now, where do you suppose THAT sentiment comes from? Damn right, religion. Gays are viewed as debased sinners, and allowing gays to marry is viewed as condoning sin. THAT's what this is really all about. But anti-gay leaders (not hoi polloi who can easily be swayed by demagoguery) know that's a non-starter that would be thrown out by the courts. So rather than argue what they really feel, we have what amount to fake arguments and scare tactics to win over the public and sustain majorities at the voting booth.
This is done because most people don't have the intellecutal sophistication to really think through their assumptions. So, for example, you hit them with the child-rearing argument and to the masses it makes sense. The fact that it's all "surface" - that can't stand any degree of scrutiny - is irrelevant. For the typically shallow thinkers among us, it's served its purpose: it reinforces their gut feeings, and they're convinced (at least for the short term).
Bigotry persists because bigots cannot allow themselves to question their strongly-held beliefs. If every one of their so-called arguments were convincingly countered, they would remain unswayed, because they would still hold the the same fundamental beliefs. For them, their beliefs and their sense of self-worth are joined together so tightly that defending their beliefs amounts to defending their very existence. They are lost causes - unreachable.The problem they have is, that the difference rests on bigotry. In the case of the Medal of Honor, there is a qualitative difference between the traditional standard and the new standard, so there is justification for saying it cheapens it. On gay marriage, the diffference they think there is is caused by *their bigotry* to see gays as less deserving, as not having 'real' marriages - so to them it's rea. But they're wrong about gays.
In fact, there areguments generally rest on just that bigotry - including the 'marry your car' type arguments they make.
I don't think they know their arguments are without merit. They're generally just bigots grasping for justification, and thinking they have it with these bogus arguments.The anti-same-sex-marriage crowd knows that its arguments are without merit. They see the momentum building in support of same-sex marriage. All they have left is scare tactics.
As long as they can feel they're part of a community united 'for principles' to 'oppose the wrongful gay marriage advocates', it's easy for them to kep 'fighting the good fight'.
I think we should all look from time to time at the photos of white mobs who gathered to menacingly threaten the admission of black students in the early 60's. Look at the 'Leave it to Beaver' appearance middle class white people - and the twisted hate on their faces for such a misguided cause, to 'defend' their state honor or whatever the catch phrase was.
Bigots grasping for justification.
Fortunately, only a small minority are true bigots. The rest ("quasi-bigots"?) ARE reachable. They see that same-sex marriage isn't hurting anyone. They don't see anyone arguing for legalization of polygamy or beastiality. Their own marriages feel the same. That gay couple two blocks over has a daughter, too. And she's adorable and normal. When they meet at the PTA meeting, the gay couple is just as worried about their child's education as they are. Everything seems okay. There are no alarm bells. Eventually, they too see the bigots and their arguments for what they really are: BS.