Strangely, this subject is also hugely important to... homophobic religious heterosexuals. In the words of Craig Furguson: I know! Ordinarily, I would expect "gay marriage" to be a "So what? Live and let live" thing, right? Wrong. Here in California, where the months leading up to the Nov. 8th elections produced more letters-to-the-editor of the local newspaper about gay marriage than just about anything else. I would have expected more letters about things like the war(s), or the economy, but nooo. Gay marriage was the big deal of the day with local voters.
Particularly annoying was how those who wanted to ban gay marriage said that gays were forcing their lifestyle on them. Of course, when rebutted with a request to cite an example, they didn't (or couldn't). Their meaning was obvious: simply knowing that homosexuals exist was how it was being forced on them.
I usually added comments to those letters, especially to the smug religious zealots/closet theocrats who are a real pet peeve of mine. They probably thought I was the local gay advocate or something. The truth is, I am the local advocate of keeping government the hell out of my personal life.
It's weird: most people whose opinion I have heard are not opposed to gays having the same marriage rights as anyone else. Yet, the vote results say otherwise. There is a lot of speculation about why that is, but none of it matters to me. I haven't given my opinion on it much, but here it is (itemized for clarity):
It is a civil rights issue. So-called conservatives are now on record as saying they want the government to dictate whom they may marry. That is a dangerous position to take, I think. See, I believe that consenting adults who are legally able to enter into other civil contracts are legally entitled to enter into a marriage contract. By the way, this is why conservatives' ridiculous claim that marriage equality would lead to legalized beastiality, pedophelia, etc., is wrong: We're talking about a legal issue between consenting adults. They are citizens and (usually) taxpayers. Many are even veterans (take that, righty-tighties!). No animal or has the right to vote; nor are they mentally competant to enter into a contract. Human adults, unless found mentally incompetant to understand the meaning of the action, can do so. Incidentally, I couldn't care less about plural marriage. If three or more consenting adults want to form a committed lifelong relationship; an extended family wherein they all benefit, that's fine with me. It's not a choice I would make, but it's not my place to prevent their making that choice, either. Again, I am not talking about something like fundamentalist Mormon arranged plural marriages to child brides. They're a bunch of sick bastards. Consenting Adults, that's the key phrase here.
It is a great vehicle to demonstrate conservative hypocrisy. They claim that one of their most cherished values is freedom from government intervention in their lives. Yet, they always insist that government's role is to dictate the behavior of peoples' most intimate relationships, like marriage. The truth is, conservatives do want government intervention in peoples' lives. They just don't want to pay taxes, obey labor laws or environmental regulations, etc. They claim to be God's chosen, but the god they worship is the almighty dollar.
Last, here is the main distinction between me and the ban-gay-marriage crowd: I draw a distinct difference between religious marriage and legal marriage. I beleive they are two completely separate things. Churches can impose whatever rules upon their members they want, but those rules are only valid for those church members. Legal marriage, on the other hand, is for all citizens, whatever their religion or lack thereof; it is required to accomodate everyone to whom all other laws apply.
For a group of religious zealots to deny civil rights to other citizens, based on religious values, is completely anti-American and just plain wrong.
Maybe someday those who would deny others' civil rights will find themselves on the other side of an issue of equal importance to them, where they are denied their civil rights because they don't conform to the majority mold. Maybe then they'll understand what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote:
"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."He also is attributed with this one:
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."In other words, Majority rule does not give the majority the right to oppress the minority. So, the protesters are correct in fighting for their civil rights. Hopefully, for all our sakes, equal rights will prevail.