Opponents of same sex marriage argue largely based on fear. You can get a general idea here on my blog, or at Queers United here. One frequently heard argument is that it will somehow subvert or weaken the institution of marriage. I've never quite heard a sound basis for this reasoning. I truly have not a clue how two same sex adults marrying has any impact on anyone else considering marriage. When you're in love, you're in love.
Fighting fire with fire, I offer an argument in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage based on an idea I haven't heard proponents use. I predict that gay marriage can strengthen traditional heterosexual marriage, at least indirectly.
The right to marry is one large step toward acceptance. Eventually this increased tolerance will lead to more gays and lesbians coming out earlier, which will in turn lead to fewer deceptive marriages. Hetero brides and grooms can feel more confident when they tie the knot that they are marrying a bonified straight person rather than a closeted gay person who is using marriage:
a. to go straight,
b. to hide deeper in the closet, or
c. to convince themselves that their homosexual inclinations are insignificant.
Or some combination thereof.
Legal same sex marriage may mean, then, that hetero-wanna-bes, hetero-fakers, or those who have unwittingly stifled their true sexual identities will be less likely to carry out the facade of a man-woman marriage. Instead they will live authentic lives pursuing the partner of their true desire.
Fewer sham marriages equals fewer divorces equals fewer disillusioned spouses and shattered children coping with the fallout.
One such sham marriage happened to a friend. Many years and tears later, they divorced. She is still in shock. He is still in denial. Or more accurately, he continues to deny. Fortunately, in this case, no children were involved.
I want to underscore that I believe in gays having the same rights and priviledges granted to all adults because its the ethical, moral, and constitutionally guaranteed thing to do. Period. But I do hope a few hold outs might be swayed by the pragmatics involved in my argument.
I have reservations about posting this for fear I will offend. I know that in many cases, sham marriages occur out of a lack of self knowledge, out of fear and out of well intentioned hopes to live a normal life, to avoid hurting family members, or to avoid shame. Who can't understand these motives? The culture of intolerance carries the larger blame.
I am hopeful that legalizing gay marriage is one step toward tolerance which is another step toward gays being free to live exactly as they are instead of trying to fit into a one-size-fits-all, narrow minded view of love and marriage.
So on Tuesday, November 4th, think about it, give the arguments some sound reasoning, and ....
Arizonians: Vote NO on Proposition 102 which bans same-sex marriage
Californians: Vote NO on Proposition 8 which eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry
Connecticutians: Vote NO on initiative 1 which brings into session a constitutional convention.
Floridians: Vote NO on Proposition 2 which eliminates same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships (even for heterosexual couples).
In other words, vote NO on ALL Propositions on same sex marriage.
You can read a lawyerly argument defending same sex marriage as a constitutional right, here.