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.