Same Sex Marriage: What’s the big freaking deal?

The issue of same sex marriage is in the news again, both here and abroad. Locally we’re going through the public hearing process of a new Civil Union Bill that will make same sex ‘unions’ legal, although not define them as marriage (which the homosexual community is rightly calling a weak cop-out). In the US, the argument is rearing its head again as the midterm elections draw near and the Republicans desperately search for an issue that will draw attention away from the subject of kiddie-fiddling.

So far the protests against same-sex marriage have been nothing short of retarded. They generally take one of two forms: It’s against our personal tradition/religion and we think you should be forced to conform to our narrow minded thinking; or, children have to be brought up by a mother and a father or they will become sociopaths.

Let’s look at the first argument, being a question of religion or tradition. Many homophobes… i mean, conservative traditionalists … think that a broadening of the marriage laws to include same sex marriage somehow undermines their marital traditions. Seriously, how is saying that gay people can get married going to undermine the rights of straight people to get married? In South Africa polygamy is legal for Zulus, but you don’t hear the Christians screaming blue bloody murder about that infringing on their marital rights. How is same sex marriage any more against their religion than polygamy? Also, just because two gay men can get married doesn’t mean that all straight men must now only be allowed to marry other men. That would be as crazy as forcing gay men to only be allowed to marry women…. oh, wait, that’s what the law does right now. In fact, a law that prevents same sex marriage is no more in keeping with the constitution than a law that prevents inter-racial marriage, and we’ve already been through that one in this country.

And religion aside, just because heterosexual marriage is traditional doesn’t make it right. Past marital traditions that have fallen by the wayside in civilized countries include marrying girls off the moment they menstruate and marrying girls off to the highest bidder. Just because some South Africas still have to pay lobola for their brides doesn’t mean that they have a right to make it the law for all South Africans. Similarly, just because some South Africans still think that only men can marry women, doesn’t mean they have a right to make it law for all South Africans. It’s a simple case of not forcing your culture or religion or viewpoint on anyone else. Which is exactly why lobola and polygamy are still legal here, but are not compulsory. Big difference, that.

Secondly, if people honestly think that a child needs a mother and a father to become a functioning member of society, then why don’t they campaign to make divorce illegal instead? Or, if the religious really believe it, why don’t they protest when their god kills a parent? I’m sure more children are without a mother or father due to death or divorce than due to their parent being gay, so if people really really believe that trite bullshit, then they need to look at the big culprits first. Frankly a child is probably better off with two dads or two moms who are happy and stable, than with any combination of parents who are unhappy, unstable or underground.

The people who try to argue against same sex marriage are morons who are so immersed in the narcissistic idea that their beliefs are the only valid ones, that they cannot see past their own bloated egos. You have no right to force your way of life on anyone else, legally or otherwise. Why the hell do you give a shit if two men or two women want to get married? Unless you’re one of them, it doesn’t affect your life in any way, shape or form. Get over yourself, get over your pastoral fucking traditions, and get a god damn life.

Update: and a little more information on the Civil Unions Bill: it’s not a proposed replacement of the Marriage Act, but a creation of a separate law and separate register for civil unions i.e. straights can be married, gays have to have a civil union. It’s just another way of discriminating, this time explicitly rather than by omission. Add to that the fact that the Civil Union Bill has provisions that allow marriage officers (of the court, not just religious officials) to refuse to perform civil unions on the grounds of ‘conscience’, and what you have is a bill no more constitutional than the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. No wonder the SA Human Rights Commission has denounced it. 

Anyway, according to the 2005 Constitutional Court ruling, if the government doesn’t put a new law in place that allows same sex marriage by December 1, 2006, then the existing law will automatically be read as including same sex marriage from that day forward. So one way or another, homophobes lose.

10 Responses to “Same Sex Marriage: What’s the big freaking deal?”

  1. unhappy, unstable or underground

    damn right!

  2. I must say, I’ve been quietly enjoying some of the rants on your site, but for some reason I need to comment here.

    Firstly, I don’t believe in marriage in general. It’s an outdated custom. Why not stop bullshitting and call it a “legally binding cohabitation contract” so you can see it for what it is; a bloody legal contract.

    Why on earth gay’s would like to “get married” is beyond me. It *IS* unarguably something that happens between men and women. It’s been like that for hundreds of years. Sure it may not be “right”, but in the same way, the whole concept of marriage is not “right”.

    Start an opposing institution like marriage… draw up a legal document… call it “friggling” as opposed to “marriage”… or whatever the hell you want to call it.

    Why fall for this pseudo-religious marriage bullshit in the first place. Signing this stupid contract is not going to make you love someone more. It just makes it more difficult to break up (which happens in an extremely large percentage of cases nowadays).

    Blerrie moffies.

  3. The reasons people want to be married are twofold: the first is legal, because there are legal recourses for married couples that simply do not exist for cohabiting couples, and secondly, for social reasons. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t require the validation of society to be confortable in your relationship, and who doesn’t care about the legal benefits, then fine, go ahead and cohabit away. But at some point you have to admit that for others, those things are important. The majority of society does not see a couple as commited to each other if they are not married. Saying ‘this is my girlfriend’ does not have the social weight of ‘this is my wife’.

    Now, straights are allowed to benefit from both the legal side and the social side. The only reason it’s a cop out to call it something other than marriage, is because it does not acknowledge that what people are looking for is not only a legal contract, but also social validation of their union. And you have to admit that as far as society goes, saying ‘this is my legally binding cohabitation partner’ does NOT have the same weight as ‘this is my wife’.

    And yes, you may not agree that anyone needs that kind of validation… but then again you don’t get to make that decision for them, and neither should the law. As an example, I personally find the concept of lobola a disgusting perpetuation of the concept of women as property… but i’ll still defend the right of people to pay lobola if that is their custom, so long as they don’t force me to do it. Similarly, whether one understands a person’s wish to be married or not, you should at least defend their right to do so if it is their wish.

  4. Similarly, [while you may not agree with peoples want to teach Creationism in the classroom,] you at least defend their right to do s6 if it is their wish.

    After that brief, trolling, aside: my PoV.

    They want to do it. Whether it’s illogical (see roleplaying, see working 9-5, see tattoos etc) is neither here nor there – people aren’t logical. I wish they were, my life would be simpler for it, but they aren’t.

    They may be able to get a legal binding contract that says half of mine is yours and all that, but they want the marriage they dreamed of when they were little girls (aside: lesbians and dreams – they’re always better in the dream than real life), they want the day off. They want to be able to go out in front of their friends (and enemies) and go “we’re together!”.

    I don’t really see how or why the christian right objects against it except in a “I don’t like him so I’ll break his toys” kinda way. Attack the ideal, not the person.

  5. Meh. Typoes 2, Andrew 0.

  6. Re the trolling: I absolutely do defend their right to teach creationism in Philosophy, History, or Comparitive Religious classes. What I do not defend is their assumed right to teach it in Science or Biology classes, as anything other than an example of what a scientific theory isn’t. The latter is not a question of rights, it’s a question of fact. But nice try😉

    Re the actual subject at hand: for the religious i think it’s merely an extension of the thought process inherent in religion: we are the chosen few, and all you infidels, gays and heretics had better think like us or burn in hellfire. And the law should support us, and not you, because we’re right, because the bible says so.

  7. and all i can think of? how andy got from o to 6 (presumably in less than two seconds). they’re not even close!

  8. I work in mysterious ways.

  9. scared4evr Says:

    i want to leave a comment.

    i’ve been watching this debate over same-sex marriages all over the news, and i just got finished watching a whole bunch religious pricks (‘xcuse my language) dismiss passionately the idea of it. i think that even though marriage is kind of a legal binding fraud, it makes people who do want to come out and get married feel like they have NO rights or like me, feel harrassed. do they think that want to marry the same sex is a sin against god? what about the homosexuals that believe passionately in god? i’m just frusttrated that people want to be so closed minded and twaty.

  10. Frankly, the kind of people who think that same sex marriage is a ‘sin’ or somehow ‘wrong’ are the same kinds of people who don’t like to spend too much time thinking about anything, because it hurts. I have not heard a single rational argument against gay marriage, EVER. It all comes down to ‘i don’t like it because it’s against something my parents taught me that i’ve never given a second thought about’ or ‘i don’t like it because my imaginary friend says so in this book he told some people i don’t know to write’, and is generally summarized as ‘i don’t like it because i couldn’t be bothered to actually do any investigation into my own prejudice for the sake of someone else’s happiness’.

    The scary thing is, these are the people who are leading our countries and making our laws. Ain’t democracy grand?

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