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Think for yourself

So, there may be those who think it's irrational or inappropriate to compare interracial marriage with same-sex marriage.  However, if you go back to the time when this was a hot topic in America, you'll find that the things that opponents of same-sex marriage are saying now are exactly the same kinds of arguments that were given in opposition of legalizing interracial marriage back then.  Some people believed that children of interracial couples would be infertile and therefore interracial marriage is immoral, just as today people teach that gay marriages are immoral because gay couples are infertile.  The parallels really are staggering, and I would invite any who have not yet done so to go back and read/watch all of the arguments given against interracial marriage.  It also behooves me at this time to point out that the LDS church and many of its leaders were among those who were most vocal in opposition of interracial marriage, just as they are now in opposition to gay marriage.

But, I don't want that to be the main thrust of this argument.  I want this post to be centered on exposing the weakness of the argument against gay marriage.  Claiming that homosexuality (in any of its manifestations--from mere same-sex attraction to homosexual behavior) is immoral is a matter of belief.  Therefore, you are entitled to feel that way if you like, and I am entitled to disagree with you without any proof whatsoever.  However, opponents of same-sex marriage go one step further and claim that gay marriage will destroy religion, the family, and even society itself.  In our country, the precedent is "innocent until proven guilty", meaning that if you want to make claims like that, the burden of proof lies on you to support those claims, not on gay people to refute them.

That having been said, I would like to offer evidence that all of these claims are not only false but also laughable.  Homosexuality is not bringing about the destruction of religion.  If it were, then it would stand to reason that gay people would be irreligious.  But, quite to the contrary, there have been many gay-friendly and even all-gay churches sprout up in the recent past.  If they were anti-religion, they would not start their own church, they would leave religion altogether.

Next, the claim that gay marriage will destroy the family.  Not one shred of evidence has been brought to my attention, nor have I a found any in all of my research on the matter, to support this claim.  However, there is evidence to support the opposite--namely, that gay marriage strengthens the family.  First of all, legalizing gay marriage allows more people to get married, so there are more people who can start their own family.  It includes gay people instead of only straight people in the population of people able to marry.  Also, there have been studies showing that in places where gay marriage has been legalized for a few years, there is only an increase in the strength of straight marriage (overall).  Another study showed that children raised by lesbian parents (two moms, no dad) were better adjusted to society--better students, better citizens, more kind and compassionate--than their counterparts raised by straight couples.  So, it seems to me that the evidence supports the claim that gay marriage strengthens the family, rather than destroys it.

Finally, the claim that homosexuality will bring about the destruction of society are completely laughable. In many cases, this claim is made entirely incredible--such as, for example, that it will cause calamities that  will destroy the Earth.  In more conservative versions of this claim, it is merely that allowing such immorality will reap the further moral decay of society and therefore bring depravity on us, as has happened with civilizations past.  The only evidence here is speculative--that of mere belief.  There is no real evidence to support this.  In fact, to the contrary, studies have shown that in places where gay marriage is legal, gay people have better psychological health, lower rates of depression, greater integration into and contribution to society.  When we are allowed to be treated the same way everyone else is treated, when we are considered normal rather than freakish, we do better.  We contribute more to society--in the workplace and in the community.  The evidence I have found has only supported claims that legalizing gay marriage will strengthen society rather than destroy it.

I have refuted three of the major claims opposing same-sex marriage, and others in previous posts.  I find the argument against gay marriage very weak, and supported by nothing more than religious belief.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs, but let us not lose sight of where belief ends and fact begins.  You can make claims like "I believe same-sex marriage is immoral" and no one can refute that.  But when you make claims of fact, such as those above, you need to be able to support them with hard evidence and not just "God said so".

Continuing along these lines of weak arguments, and what spawned the idea for this post, is a recent faux pas made by the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, (which, in my opinion, would be more appropriate called the National Organization Against Gay Marriage).  Here is an article exposing them faking the number of people in support of their cause by using a photograph from another gathering other than the one they said the photo was of.  It turns out that the photo they used was actually that of a rally for Barack Obama.  How incredibly ironic is this?  Obama favors same-sex marriage, so it seems that they'd want to avoid any possible association with him and yet they use pictures from his rallies in order to fake the idea that they have lots of people supporting them.  And what did they do when this was pointed out?  Did they make an official statement explaining the discrepancy?  No.  Did they apologize for the mistake?  No.  All they did was quietly take the photograph down and pretend that it never happened, much as the LDS church pretends that it was never racist and that it never performed shock aversion or vomit-inducing ex-gay therapy at BYU and other places.

A situation such as this begs the question--why does NOM feel it necessary to lie about its own support?  Why would they use a photograph that they know is not footage of their own supporters?  It seems to me that the reasonable conclusion is that they know that they don't have that many supporters, but that if they pretend that they do then they might persuade more people to support them.  But, the real question is, can such an organization be trusted?  What does it say about the arguments against gay marriage if they have to resort to falsified photographs and seek to hide the identity of their contributors?  They can't win by telling the truth, so they win by telling lies.  Speaking of lies, here is a wonderful quote found on the LDS-owned site
If Proposition 8 fails, religious liberties and freedom of speech may be curtailed. Included are the rights of religious organizations to speak out against positions they view as harmful and the rights of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.
This is completely false.  They offer no evidence to support the claim, and all of the evidence that exists refutes it.  Interracial marriage has been legal for many decades now and churches are still allowed to be racist, if they choose to be.  There are still churches who teach racism, and they are allowed to do so because of the protection guaranteed by the Constitution.  In some places, gay marriage has been legal for some time now and not one single right of religion has been infringed because of it.  No church has been asked or forced to perform gay marriages.  No parent has been told that they cannot teach their own children whatever values or beliefs they wish to teach them, nor does it even seem reasonable that such a time would ever come.  A claim such as that is so ridiculous as to beg the question, "Can I really trust anything that the church says concerning this matter?"

Think about it.  The best arguments given by opponents of gay marriage are based on lies.  The only leg they have to stand on is the belief that homosexuality is immoral, which is only a belief.  It is based in no fact of which I am aware, nor is there any evidence I have seen to support any of the claims I have heard in opposition of gay marriage.

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