March 27, 2013

Opponents of Gay Marriage: Cry Me a River

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We all know the facts about marriage equality, but this issue is more than just facts. It’s about emotion and respecting others the way you would want to be respected. People against marriage equality absolutely sicken me to the point of anger. This is really one of the few issues where I unequivocally refuse to hold any respect for the viewpoints of the other side.

An issue like abortion, for example, hardly elicits the same feelings. I’m pro-choice, but I can still like and respect a pro-lifer as a person. While I feel that their position is anachronistic and misogynistic, pro-lifers have a genuine conviction that they’re preventing babies from being murdered. I see this as delusional, but at least pro-lifers genuinely believe they are helping someone else in most cases.

But no such parallel exists within opposition to marriage equality. Two people of the same gender getting married doesn’t detract from anybody else’s happiness. It doesn’t harm anybody or compromise the integrity or validity of anybody else’s marriage. The fight against marriage equality is about intolerance — it’s about denying others the right you have just because they don’t adhere to your preconceived (and arguably bigoted) norms and values.

It’s about taking pride in seeing others deprived of a basic and fundamental civil right. It’s about watching others suffer and self-righteously patting yourself on the back for “defending” a pointless social construct. It’s about letting innocent kids rot in orphanages rather than be taken into a supportive family, just because that family might consist of two dads and two moms instead of either a dad or a mom or both.

For the past five or six years, I’ve had a basic benchmark test to instantly determine whether or not someone is a jerk. I ask them what their position on gay marriage is  — if they oppose it, then I subsequently deem them a lost cause and unworthy of my time. Based on my anticipated future unavoidable contact with them, they either summarily receive a “Please don’t talk to me anymore” or subtle sarcasm and condescension from that point on — obviously the latter is if I have to, regrettably, interact with them in some capacity.

I’m wholly repulsed by anyone who would willfully take part in the degradation of other human beings for no reason other than their sexual orientations. These people are the type who perpetuate social injustice and inequity just because they can. They are dangerous to the structure of society and lack the compassion and empathy inherent in actual human beings.

And yet, through all of this oppression, hatred, dehumanization, they claim to to be the victims, often making ridiculous analogies and comparing LGBT marriage to bestiality and polygamy. They lament that their “religious freedoms” are being infringed upon, that the homosexuals seek to undermine their values and beliefs. They are offended by the very existence of an LGBT individual, because it contradicts their shallow and ignorant perceptions of the world, their beliefs in unbridled heteronormativity.

And they continue to use this absolutely asinine justification for their intolerance — they aren’t victimizing the LGBT community, the LGBT community is victimizing them, so they say.

These irredeemable nutjobs may as well be Salafis. One of the principal freedoms innate in the United States is that freedom of religion, and this extends to everyone, not just them. They can’t understand that not everybody follows their hollow beliefs. They believe this is a theocracy.

They constantly point to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and, yet again, they fail to recognize that the open-minded among us do not care and have no legal obligation to adhere to their religious beliefs. They fail to notice that the Bible also lists eating shrimp and lobster as a sin, among a myriad of other, in my opinion, patently ridiculous regulations.

Conversely, they are under no obligation to accept LGBT individuals. Nobody is asking them to be tolerant  — perhaps one of the most memorable quotes I’ve heard has been “It’s not that I’m tolerant  — I just don’t care.”

It is okay to be intolerant, though obviously not preferable  — We’re all prejudiced to some extent.

But it is not okay to force feed your beliefs (notice how I didn’t say facts) down other people’s throats and deny them their civil rights. Haven’t we learned that “separate but equal is inherently unequal?”

A minority of bigoted Americans continues to dictate the rights of others. Rights aren’t supposed to be voted on — that’s why they’re called rights — yet a large percentage of conservatives of America (who I refer to as the American Taliban) fail to grasp this simple concept. Interracial marriages used to be prohibited, too. Look at how imbecilic opponents of that appear now.

I am clueless as to why these sanctimonious marriage protectors don’t instead focus on combating adultery and divorce — in fact, over one third of marriages will end in divorce. Wouldn’t the sanctity of marriage be better preserved by providing counseling services to couples to help prevent divorce, instead of preventing individuals who love each other dearly from being able to wed?

Being gay is not a choice, nor does having gay parents turn a child gay. This has been scientifically proven. Did you choose to be straight, or were you born that way? Exactly.

Recently, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio announced his support of marriage equality after discovering that his own son is gay. At least 4% of the population is openly gay, and almost all of us know someone who is either a closeted or open LGBT individual. Sooner or later, we’re going to realize that we can’t continue to deny rights to these people we like and respect.

If the idea of marriage equality disgusts people like Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito so much, then they should go to a country where their bigotry

will be tolerated, like Jamaica or Iran. In my opinion, we would all be better off without them.

Original Author: Michael Sun