Gay marriage. Should it be allowed? Should it be legal, in a Christian country, to allow same-sex couples to marry? I’ve read enough articles to know that the majority of people my age think that YES, same-sex couples SHOULD be allowed to marry. I agree, only I am also aware that I’m never going to win a debate with a fundamental Christian using common sense (“It’s ridiculous that they’re not already allowed to marry!”) alone, and so in this article, I’m going to try and tackle the main arguments against gay marriage made by fundamental Christians.
Now, before I begin, I don’t want to make this into an attack on religion, because it isn’t. There are plenty of moral, good Christians who are perfect examples of what we should all strive to be. After all, in just the same way that Islam is often misunderstood, Christianity is also misunderstood, and is a religion that centres around forgiveness and acceptance, not of hatred and condemnation. I am a Christian myself, and I don’t see anything within my faith that would persuade me to start marching around with banners proclaiming that “God Hates F*gs!” Sadly, though, there will always be people around to start wars or kill in the name of God, and there will always be people spreading lies and hatred in his name that give the entire religion a bad reputation, and it is those people that this article is addressed to.
So, why exactly do such people (and the majority of our politicians) oppose gay marriage? Here are some of the major arguments being raised whenever equal rights crop up:
- Almost all of the arguments against gay marriage rest on the assumption that Christianity prohibits homosexuality, which is something I really must take issue with. The condemnation of homosexuality appears in the Old Testament, under Mosaic Law, which Christians were never under anyway, and appears alongside other laws which have long been forgotten, such as not wearing linen and wool together, sitting on the same seat as a woman menstruating, swearing and not working on the Sabbath. Why have we abandoned these laws but not the ones about homosexuality? As for the New Testament, Jesus never ONCE speaks out about homosexuality. When St. Paul condemns it, the word he uses is ‘arsenokoites’, which can also be translated to male prostitution and sex with men in general. If the phrase IS translated to homosexuality, it actually means ‘sodomy’ or ‘male homosexuality’, therefore making lesbian relationships perfectly fine. The truth of the matter is that the theologists are undecided on the issue of homosexuality within the Bible, and until they decide, should homosexuality really be deemed as evil? You can read more about it here: http://dollyboo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/misquoting-god-homosexuality.html
- We need to protect the sanctity of marriage. Okay, so assuming it IS a sin to practise homosexuality, is it not also a sin to commit infidelity? To be a perpetrator of domestic rape, violence and verbal abuse? Are these not more damaging to the ‘sanctity of marriage’ than homosexuality? Is a homosexual relationship, based on love and mutual respect, more insulting to marriage than a violent, dishonest, unhappy relationship? And let’s not forget, divorce is also prohibited within the Bible. The latest statistics (published in December 2012 on The Office for National Statistics) estimate that 42% of marriages end in divorce. That’s almost half of all marriages. If we’re going to keep gay marriage illegal, perhaps we should consider making divorce illegal too? Also, keeping marriage ‘traditional’ would mean that people of different ethnicities would not be allowed to marry and that people would be allowed to marry minors.
- What’s more, over half of people who marry today are not religious. The Office for National Statistics shows that civil, non-religious marriage made up for 68% of all marriage in the UK during 2010. If most people marrying are not Christians then why should they be forced to comply with Christian norms? Marriage is not exclusive to Christians and it is downright unfair to impose one set of beliefs upon everybody.
- Marriage has always been a bond between one man and one woman. This argument ignores the fact that same-sex couples can legally marry in Canada, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Belgium, Netherlands and South Africa. It also ignores the 48 countries where polygamy is still practised. It also ignores history, such as Mormon polygamy, ancient Egyptians who could marry their sisters, and married gay couples of ancient China and Rome. Just because gay marriage is illegal in this time and in this country does not mean that marriage has always been between one man and one woman.
- Marriage is primarily about raising children. Gay people cannot have children and so should not be allowed to marry. I don’t agree that most couples today marry for the primary purpose of having children. Thousands of children are born outside of marriage, to cohabiting couples or single parents, and thousands or married couples are unable to have children. Does this mean that they should never have been allowed to marry in the first place?
- The minority should not dictate to the majority. So should we abandon all laws designed to reduce prejudice? What about racism laws? Should we take those away? Or laws protecting the mentally ill, what about those? Or the disabled? Minorities need equal rights laws, because unfortunately, hate crime exists. By declaring that the minority should not have a voice, we are effectively promoting discrimination against minority groups. Also, are same-sex couples really dictating anything? From where I’m standing, gay people are not dictating anything to society aside from their wish to be given equal rights and not treated as subhuman because of their sexuality.
- Homosexuality is a stepping stone to sexual deviance. How long will it be before we start accepting bestiality and paedophilia? I HATE this argument. Homosexuality is not harmful to anyone. A gay man having sex with another, consenting gay man is not harming anyone. A fully grown man having sex with a child is setting that child up for a lifetime of mental illness and psychological scarring. How dare anyone compare homosexual activity to incest, rape and paedophilia? They are about as related to one another as the Daily Mail is to fairness and open-mindedness.
- Making gay marriage legal promotes it. Sorry, what? You can’t turn gay. It isn’t something you catch. You don’t just see a gay couple holding hands and think “Hey, I’ll try that!” (Well, some might, but that’s a different story.) For the most part, sexuality is something fixed, and gayness is not something you just decide to adopt because it’s not against the law. If you’re not gay, you’re not gay. The law has nothing to do with it.
- It is bad for children to be raised in a same-sex household. Studies have shown that two-parent families are better for children than single-parent families, but the gender of those people is not mentioned. This argument implies that a person’s sexuality automatically makes them a good or bad parent, and this is simply not the case. What’s more, gay couples wanting to adopt have to undergo a rigorous ‘vetting’ process to make sure that they are suitable parents. I wish the same could be said for irresponsible 15 year old girls who get pregnant and choose to raise a baby when they can’t even look after themselves yet. Then of course there is the argument that gay marriage denies a child a father or a mother. This is true, and I will not try to deny the importance of having both a father and mother, but doesn’t divorce also deny a child one parent? Or having a dad in the army? Or simply having a child with no intention of ever being in a relationship with the father?
- Homosexuality is a choice. Try telling that to any gay person that has ever survived, ever.