So in Australia our government is doing this splendidly clever thing and holding a plebiscite to determine whether we should legalise gay marriage.
Translation for the non-Aussies: The Australian government is going to spend $120 million on a postal vote to put the morality of homosexuality under the spotlight, i.e., to legitimise and give a platform to Australia’s sweet-smelling underbelly of homophobia.
In the comment sections of articles addressing the plebiscite – and indeed in some articles themselves – there have been a few common arguments people have used to justify a ‘no’ vote.
Here is (in no particular order) a list of those arguments, and why they are stupid.
- I’m entitled to my own opinion. Free speech!
If you’re thinking, ‘That’s not an argument’, hats off to you.
It isn’t an argument.
Alas, it’s on the list because people seem to think that barking free speech and that’s just my opinion does actually constitute an argument against gay marriage.
Which again, it doesn’t.
Indeed, you are entitled to your opinion and, indeed, you are entitled to vote no. The great thing about freedom of speech is that expressing stupid or offensive ideas won’t land you in prison.
That’s about it though, hey. It’s still not an argument. It’s just a concepty thingy majigy that’s essentially unrelated to the question of gay marriage.
- Marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman.
This statement is true. Marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman.
Not sure why people keep using this as an argument against the legalisation of gay marriage though. It’s a terrible, terrible argument – if you would call it an argument at all.
Tradition doesn’t equate with moral goodness. (Thank heavens!) Claiming that something shouldn’t change because tradition doesn’t bear any logical significance.
We can see how that use of logic collapses if we apply it to, say, female genital mutilation.
I’m guessing most people reading this would agree that FGM is a despicable practise that shouldn’t happen, ever. It is, however, a practise that has happened for centuries, throughout various cultures, one that continues to happen to this day. It is, in other words, a tradition.
Mutilating a woman’s reproductive organ is tradition.
See where I’m going with this?
Just because something is a tradition doesn’t automatically justify its existence. If anything, traditions should be the first things we put under the scalpel for analytical dissection, because the things we take for granted, like long-standing traditions, are often the things that need change the most.
Traditions should be analysed, discussed, and weighed up on the value of their merits.
Simply stating It’s tradition is meaningless.
It’s not an argument. It’s a ‘moo’ point.
- The tradition is built around procreation and the family unit. Man + woman marriage is good for society.
All righty. Where to start on this one?
So first off – spreading your seed isn’t mandated by marriage. Not everyone who wants to get married also wants to have kids. We didn’t make bread to justify butter’s existence. Y’know?
Plenty of heteros get married because, well, because they’re in love and want to spend the rest of their lives with the person they’re marrying. Weird thing about marriage is that people get married for all different types of reasons. Claiming that this is strictly about the family unit invalidates people who get married purely because of the ol’ love thing. Which is a probably a tad silly.
Second – there’s are plenty of solid ways to argue that having kids is selfish and not doing society any favours at all. Why? Well, the world’s hideously overpopulated. Resources are limited. Believe it or not, the world doesn’t need another mini-you running around, bumping into shit for the first eight years of its life, throwing tantrums, yelling on crowded busses, being a general little cunt. The world will be perfectly fine, probably better off, if you decided to not have kids.
Third – there’s an argument that kids who are brought up with either two mums or two dads have a rougher ride through life than those brought up in a more ‘traditional’ home. While there may be some truth to that claim, the big kicker her is that the main reason it’s true is because we’re still having this conversation about whether homosexuals are just regular people and not the immoral goat fucking pedos that they’re so often seen as. If homosexuality wasn’t made such a big deal of, this argument would dissolve as quickly as a Barroca in a glass of hot water.
It’s people who are so hell bent on keeping marriage an exclusive little hetero club that are the reason children with same-sex parents are at a disadvantage.
This is long-term change we’re after, a generational thing, not a click-of-the-fingers-everybody’s-now-suddently-not-a-homophobic-twat thing.
- There are more important issues to worry about.
Agreed. There are more important issues to worry about. So just step aside and feel the rainbow.
But on another note, while there may be more pressing issues for you to not worry about (unless those issues pop up in your Facebook feed or on your nightly news program while you chow down on an animal that lived suffered and died because you’ve traditionally eaten meat your whole life [yes, that was a backhand]), the only reason it’s not an important issue for you is because it doesn’t affect you directly.
Imagine wanting to marry someone but not being allowed to because that person’s name is Sue. Imagine being denied the right to marry someone you love because of some arbirtrary thing like the person’s gender.
That’d be a pretty important thing in your life, hey? Weird that, how what’s a pressing issue is only pressing if it relates to you directly.
- Marriage is an archaic institution. Screw marriage, generally. Fight the system. 911 was an inside job. The earth is square and mushrooms will save the planet.
Yeah, fair enough actually. This is probably the one argument I have some sympathy with.
But nevertheless, regardless of how stupid the entire concept of marriage is, it’s important to some people. It’s important that they convince themselves they’ll love one person forever and ever. So let’s open up that delusive load to anyone who wants a lil swallow, ey?
- Men and men, women and women. What’s next!? This is just a slippery slope right into bestiality.
Hold up, mate. No one’s talking about humans marrying goats.
Not now, not ever.
As for the poly argument, I personally don’t see all that much of a problem in expanding the definition of marriage to include more than two people. If everyone in the relationship is a consenting adult, go nuts.
Of course there’d be prejudice against these arrangements to begin with, and of course, largely because of that prejudice, children growing up in those dynamics might struggle more than other children. But prejudices collapse, views change, people relax, minds expand, etc. She’ll be right, eventually. She’ll be right.
(In the meantime, go read Huxley’s The Island. It’s a good read on this issue.)
- Won’t someone think of the children?
Nah. Yeah nah, I mean, nah.
But seriously, yeah, think of the children.
Think of all the children who will continue to get bullied for liking a person the same gender as themselves.
Think of all the children who are offing themselves purely because they’re gay.
Think of all the children who will grow up feeling as though the love they feel towards an SO is bad, immoral, not legitimate.
Yeah, think of the children.
- Boys need strong male role models; girls need to learn how to do the dishes and what not.
In my opinion the whole gender debate has fallen off the deep end. Last time I heard there were like 76 different genders. This is pretty dumb, I reckon. But let’s not throw out the baby with the celery soup.
Like the 794th gender (the 793rd one is totally valid, by the way; but that’s where I draw the line), gender roles are also pretty dumb.
If a dude wants to do the dishes, cook, stay at home and look after the Golden Retriever, wear a tutu, paint his nails, wax his crack, power to him. If the woman wants to learn to box, join the army, become a dude, shave her head – whatever else – power to her.
This is one of those arguments that walks into aspects of other traditional family life that reek of misogyny. (Just because this word gets thrown around a lot and a lot of the sting has been taken out of it because of its flippant use doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place.)
What boys and girls and the in-betweeners need is people to look up to who aren’t closed-minded cuntbags.
- Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman under the eyes of ye ol Mighty Lord.
Yeah, and according to your precious little kids, Santa’s the one stuffing their stockings at Christmas time.
We all have our cute little delusions to which we cling. But those delusions shouldn’t dictate what others can and can’t do with their lives.
- Homosexuality just isn’t natural.
Ah. See how close this is getting to that ol’ homophobia pond?
Pretty close I’d say.
In any case, homosexuality is about as natural as salt water. It occurs in hundreds of species. Homophobia, on the other hand, seems an exclusively human trait.
But besides that, saying something is bad because it’s unnatural is silly Sally.
There are plenty of unnatural things that are great; there are plenty of natural things that are horrible.
Rape is a fairly natural occurrence. Like homosexuality, it’s observable across many, many species. But just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s good, does it? Hurricanes, also natural. Not great. But bad. Hurricanes = bad.
Antibiotics on the other hand – not so natural. There aren’t any antibiotic trees growing in the Amazon. Not natural, but pretty great.
One more thing. Not exactly sure how this homosexing isn’t natural ya know m8 maxim has anything to do with gay marriage. Marriage isn’t natural either. Marriage is a human construct. Hetero marriage – by consequence, not natural.
Silly reasoning, my friends. Silly reasoning. (Forgive my having not defined what natural even means. There’s no simple definition I can see.)
The whole thing about this marriage debate ironically doesn’t even really have much to do with marriage.
It’s about how we as a society are going to treat queer people.
Are we going to keep putting out the message to future generations that queer people are wrong?
That their love isn’t pure?
That their relationships are stained and dirty?
That they are second-tier citizens under the law?
Or are we going to take the first step in a more open, loving, true and fabulous society?
In all honesty, regardless of what the vote results are, the answer is probably the former. We’re at base a shitty species that is sometimes capable of some pretty cool things.
But until robots take over…