Monday, October 3, 2011

Reason is on the Side of Full Marriage Equality

Some of the most common arguments against full marriage equality, or any freedom to marry or freedom to have a relationship, boil down to:

“It’s disgusting!”
“I don’t want to do it.”
“Not a lot of people want to do that.”
“It goes against tradition.”
“My religion is against it.”

Those may be reasons a person doesn’t want an interracial, same-sex, polygamous, or consanguineous marriage, but they are not reasons someone else shouldn’t have the freedom to marry and marriage equality.

If someone doesn’t like the idea of same-sex marriage, they don’t have to have one. But they shouldn’t be able to stop other consenting adults from having the relationships in which they function best; the relationships they want.

I find hate disgusting. I find denial of full marriage equality disgusting. But my disgust does not make something law.

True, most people don’t want a consanguineous or polygamous or same-sex marriage, but we don’t deny minorities rights based on majority vote.

If someone appeals to tradition, they should be made aware that interracial marriages, same-sex marriages, polygamous marriages, and consanguineous marriages are nothing new. Some of these were entered into by prominent religious leaders and historical royalty. Regardless, a recent tradition of inequality is not a justification for continuing to deny equality. It used to be legal in the US to discriminate against people with darker skin. That was a tradition, one that is now against the law.

Appealing to a religion as a reason to deny others the freedom to marry falls flat once people keep in mind that not everyone shares their religion; some religions support various forms of marriage that go against the “heterosexual monogamous only” rules. And in the US, we have separation of church and state and the freedom of religion.

Intellectually, the arguments used against full marriage equality crumble in light of the rights of consenting adults to privacy, equal protection, association, and marriage that we have seen established in numerous Supreme Court cases.

Emotionally, when someone meets or hears from someone who has been denied the freedom to marry or even be together, they are very likely to switch from opposing equality to supporting equality. Sometimes, they don't even need to meet someone who is out of the closet. They just need to be asked for a good reason to deny equality, and when they can't think of one, they change their minds.

These thoughts were adapted from my page debunking arguments against full marriage equality.
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