To begin with: I haven't decided my opinion yet on gay marriage. I don't know exactly where I am swayed, because so far I've been able to appreciate the arguments on both sides. I would appreciate more knowledge or better reasons than I have for why we should go one way or the other (or if there are alternatives), but I would appreciate that no bickering or fighting occur. Please, I'm sick of it.
So, today, I started seeing these little goodies pop up on my Facebook friend's profile pictures:
In support of Equal Marriage for hetero- and homosexuals.
In support of keeping a 'traditional' view of marriage defined as between men and women:
Sidenote: If I chose my side based on ingenuity and humor of these little profile pictures, the following wins:
If you don't get it, I'm ashamed.
In any case, I was a little annoyed by people getting very angry and threatening as they were establishing their opinions on Facebook. I'm okay if you have opinions and I approve of you sharing those opinions (for the most part. Some opinions are wrong: like enjoying asparagus. No one likes asparagus. If you do, you are wrong). However, I genuinely do not think you should be attacking the other side and telling them that "God hates fags", "You are stupid", or other baseless arguments that not only are inappropriate, but vary in all sorts of logical fallacies.
Here are some of my thoughts and I would appreciate comments that would help my understanding grow:
* I grew up in a religious household with a relatively strong religious peer group. All my life I had believed that gay marriage was wrong and to some extent morally destructive. I'm not saying that my religion, family, or peers had anything to do with this belief, but I remember having it and arguing it to friends (before I was aware of my gross inabilities to argue and my obvious ignorance). Until I was in high school: gay marriage = bad things.
* When I started my studies in sociology and other social sciences, I first changed my beliefs completely and regarded myself as a strict gay marriage advocate. Who am I to regulate the choices of others and how they are going to live? Isn't that restricting their ability to choose as well?
* Then I read C.S. Lewis' book: Mere Christianity. I understood some more about those who are staking a moral claim in the debate. If you view homosexual behavior as immoral (note I said behavior and not homosexuality), then it makes sense about why you would argue against it. In Mere Christianity, Lewis makes the claim that we cannot allow people to do what they want on the argument that "it doesn't harm other people" because in the end, an immoral person will eventually disrupt society in some way. Ask me for the specific analogy, because I thought it was ingenious.
* Politically speaking, this becomes more complicated. Should religious values play a part in politics? Is it possible to separate religion from politics? Should we? If we do separate it, I remember saying once that I was in favor of civil unions: same benefits, but at least we appease those religions who want to keep the definition of "marriage" as between a man and woman. However, a friend brought up the dilemma: is that just returning to "separate, but equal"?
* My roommate brought up a point that was opposite of gay marriage in general: Should the courts have the right to repeal a decision that was made by the people? If California's state population decided to prohibit gay marriage, why is the Supreme Court have the right to challenge that. THE PEOPLE DECIDED. Shouldn't we allow the people to repeal it? Not a group of non-elected judges?
* In the research that I've done, it seems that the norm-less and moral-less perceptions that have been placed on homosexuals can be explained to some extent to the fact that they have no other option. Why try to have a relationship that is 'healthy' (determined by one's faithfulness to one specific other) when the relationship is not going to be approved politically or socially anyway. Why work towards an un-achievable goal. I would hypothesize, perhaps prematurely, that the establishment of gay marriage would allow for the solidification of more stable dating norms and relationship opportunities for gay people. And that this would tone down the promiscuity that others claim is rampant in gay society.
I think I'm leaning more towards allowing gay marriage because it seems, according to research on homosexual families and countries who have allowed gay marriage, there aren't significant social effects. Gay parents are not more likely to raise gay children. However, I'm not sure. I would appreciate enlightenment on either side. I wish we would talk about it more (civilly) in the open.
My hope for now is that the Lord (whom I do believe exists) would guide the people of the Supreme Court to make an appropriate decision that would benefit mankind. I will not pretend to say that I know the Lord's opinion on the matter, nor that the Court will give a ruling in accordance with His will (although, I would hope so). I think that we can all pray that they make an informed and beneficial decision according to His divine plan (or, if we do not believe in a Supreme Being, that we hope for the best).