Same sex marriage. It seems like something that should never have been prevented in the first place and yet it was
Religious groups are lobbying against it. Conservative politicians and ex-politicians are speaking against it. Ignorant bigots are speaking against it. The government, if re-elected, wants to spend millions (somewhere between $160- $525 million dollars, depending on who you believe) on a pointless, non-binding plebiscite over it. There are pamphlets being prepared in the hope of perpetuating the bigotry and fear-mongering around something that is actually completely innocuous- couples who just want to get married.
There is not one good reason to prevent same sex couples from marrying if they want to. Not one. They’re so easily poked full of holes that it’s hard not to laugh at them.
Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?
Those against same sex marriage argue that children will be adversely impacted by having same sex parents, however, there’s the small matter of decades of research showing this is, to coin the scientific term, utter bullshit. Plenty of same sex couples are already raising children and the research says they are actually doing a pretty great job. In fact, there is some evidence that they are doing better than their heterosexual parenting counterparts, with Australian research showing the kids of same sex couples are happier and healthier and that being raised in a household with less gender stereotyping is more harmonious. There is even evidence that not allowing same sex couples to marry causes significant family stress. Taking on board the available evidence, such as this roundup of research and scholarly articles, it would seem that if you do care about children, you should be pro-legalisation.
The Bible Says…
The Bible says a great many things. Whether or not same sex couples are allowed to marry isn’t expressly mentioned. Some people quote arguably obscure parts of the Old Testament in defense of their views that homosexuality is wrong but it doesn’t even rate a mention in the 10 Commandments. We could all have a lovely debate about what the Bible says, what it doesn’t say, why we interpret certain parts one way and not another, why some Christians adhere to some ideas (“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus: Chapter 18, verse 22) but not others (“Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard” Leviticus Chapter 19, verse 27) but what it boils down to is that we are a secular democracy. Religion has no place in legislation. Marriage does not have to take place in a church or have anything to do with a religion at all, so that argument doesn’t fly when trying to justify withholding the right to marry from same sex couples.
It’s a Slippery Slope!
This is a favourite among the homophobic community, from all the (appalling) websites I’ve visited while writing this. If we legalise same sex marriage, we are just a hop, skip and jump away from having people marry children, pets, farm animals and toasters. Next thing, those (us) so called progressives will want to legalise incest, too, right? Wrong! Wrong on many levels! Without getting into the ridiculously flawed logic in this argument, let’s just stop at the one thing these all have in common. Children, animals, kitchen appliances and whatever other inanimate objects you can think of all have one thing in common: the inability to give legal consent. No one is campaigning for that to be changed. And incest? There’s some pretty good medical reasoning behind that being illegal- unlike same sex marriage.
This one falls down in a few places. Firstly, “natural” doesn’t mean better. Anyone who has ever had surgery, used a car, worn synthetic material or used the internet has done something “unnatural”. However, from what I understand, this argument is usually referring to what animals do. Because animals don’t do same sex relationships- that apparent level of depravity is reserved for us humans. I can’t say for sure whether or not they do have relationships with fellow animals of the same sex, but they sure do have same sex relations, if you get my drift. The first ever time scientist got some footage from the depths of the Pacific involving a couple of randy deep-sea octopuses, they were able to identify that while the two weren’t the same species of octopus, they were both males! The fact is, hundreds of different species get busy with others of the same sex. Lions and chimps and dolphins, oh my!
I’m sure I could list more of these ridonkulous reasons (I say “ridonkulous” because these arguments aren’t even rational enough to deserve a real adjective) but I don’t want to waste further space on them. The point is simple. Love is love and everyone should have the same right to formalise it if they wish to, regardless of sex.
If you personally oppose same sex marriage, don’t have one. What others do won’t impact you; accept it and move on.
The Plebiscite is a Shitty Idea.
PM Turnbull has already promised that if the plebiscite shows that Australia supports same sex marriage (like the polls already do) then it will be legislated by parliament, even though some MPs have already said they’ll vote ‘no’ or abstain, regardless of the results. If he’s so sure, why muck around? Put it on the table and get the legislation through, already! We already know that most Australians support marriage equality. The potential lead-up to this plebiscite is what is truly concerning. Imagine the active campaigns, no doubt using the shitty reasons I’ve listed above (and those I haven’t), to try to influence Australians to vote against marriage equality- horrifying.
The government essentially wants to spend a shitload of cash to reiterate what the polls already show and to grant a platform to people who want to voice non-factual, harmful and homophobic rhetoric. Research has already shown that the LGBTI community are disproportionately effected by mental health issues like depression, anxiety and psychological distress as well as significantly higher rates of suicide. These mental health issues are not caused by gender identity or sexual orientation in themselves; rather, discrimination and exclusion are the key causes. Why are we even risking a further negative impact on an already potentially vulnerable community and their families?
Why are we even entertaining the notion of allowing people to campaign against what is widely regarded as a basic human right?
#FYBF @ With Some Grace.