Play fair

Article by: James A Garrison

Talks about gay rights and equality have blown up recently due to some of the things going on in The Supreme Court discussing and defining marriage; to me it’s a no brainer.

At the forefront of the discussions that I have listened to lately spawning from the court’s discussion is the idea that marriage is somehow a Christian institution and that by changing the accepted meaning of marriage as being between a man and a woman would somehow violate their rights.

The second high-ground that they inevitably fall back to under pressure is that marriage is defined the way that it is to provide both benefits and incentives to have children in a home with both parents present. Basically that bearing children is the core reason for marriage and government benefits to those who are married.

The problem with the religious approach is that it is flat wrong. People were getting married far before Christianity started muddling around in it and it was for a far simpler reason; power and money. Parents would arrange their children’s marriages, often times without them ever having met one-another, simply to advance their family’s social standing or political position or sometimes just to get a few more acres or a couple of good milking-cows. The precedent for marriage was created before Christians and they were actually one of the first groups to modify its meaning to suit their own agenda.

The benefits that are even being discussed that result from marriage come from the government, and last time I checked anyway… keep your religion out of our government.

If we want to follow the second argument to its logical final conclusion things would get a little ridiculous. If we propose that homosexual individuals should not be able to legally tie-the-knot simply because marriage and the resulting government benefits are in place for those capable of making children imagine what other groups of individuals who could not marry anymore because of sterility.

People over the age of say 50 couldn’t marry; can’t have children, well can’t get married because they no longer deserve the benefits. People with hysterectomies; people who decide not to have children; people who become sterile from disease or procedure; I think the point is made but I could continue. To claim that marriage is based on ability to make a baby is ridiculous.

I ventured a listen to a pretty famous hard-core right-winger’s radio program, as I sometimes do, just to hear what the “buzz” was from that camp on the issue. He was going on about how when he was talking to the “let the gays marry” crowd he always put them off by saying “well if the gays can marry legally then anyone will be able to marry! Polygamists even,” he said. Supposedly that would “put em in their place”, I say who cares!

As long as it is consenting adults, and no harm to anyone is occurring, let people do what they want to do.

One other point he was trying to make is that if gays can get married the government will step in and force preachers who believe that homosexuality is a violation of their religion marry two men or two women in their churches. That can’t happen and is just stupid. They have all the rights everyone else possesses including freedom of religion and the right to just say no; nothing changes there.

Most of the people I have heard argue against gay marriage argue against it from a religious standpoint and call homosexuality a “life-style-choice” and not a natural state of being. I disagree with all of that, however, even if that were true, religions are themselves “life-style-choices”, so what in their tiny minds makes them think that because of their choice they have the right to tell anyone else with an opposing “life-style-choice” what they can and can’t do.

Either offer the benefits of marriage to everyone who is a consenting adult and wants to marry or offer it to no one. They can’t pick and choose based on things that shouldn’t be governing our laws in the first place. Play fair, it’s that freaking simple.


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