Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Thoughts on Gay Marriage and Homosexuality


I am not gay. I am also not a scientist. For these reasons, I cannot definitively know for certain whether being homosexual is a choice or a birth trait. With that said, I highly suspect that it is a birth trait, because so many people are gay that it seems far too pervasive to be a product of social pressures. Why would anybody choose to be gay when there is such a negative social whiplash for being so? Also, I sure as hell never made a choice; I knew from as soon as I hit puberty that I definitely liked girls, and was repulsed by the thought of sexual relations with a man. Those urges were not a consequence of my environment, or my parents, or any other factor than my DNA. If everybody was straight at birth and simply chose to do otherwise, wouldn’t every other male feel the same urges (and the same repulsion to homosexuality) that I did? Since not everybody is repulsed by this, I'm forced to assume not everybody shares my inherent sexuality. Besides, every gay person I’ve ever met assures me that they were born this way, that they never made a “decision”, that it was just part of who they are. Who the hell am I to tell them otherwise? So while I don’t know how it is that some people are gay, I strongly suspect they are gay from birth.

However, from a government perspective, however, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a choice or not: gay people must get full and equal treatment under the law as any other person. Period. End of discussion. Homosexuality harms nobody. That it is against some people's religion is fine; those people may practice their religion and don't have to engage in it. But they must have absolutely zero say in how other people live their lives. Equal treatment for all means equal treatment for all. For this reason, I would prefer a system with legalized gay marriage in addition to legalized straight marriage to a system that only legalizes straight marriage. 

However, in the current government definition, I do not support gay marriage. This is because, by this definition, I do not support straight marriage either. I don't think the government should have anything to do with the marriage industry. It should be entirely none of it's concern to determine who is or isn't allowed to wed. If a private religious body wants to pronounce you "married", that's fine. If you want to call yourselves "married" that's fine. If you aren't religious and don't care what you're called, but you and 4 other guys wanna live together and have crazy, kinky sex, that's fine too. I don't care. That's not my business. And it's not the government's business either. Economically, if two people would like to enter into a contractual agreement regarding the unification of their finances, they may do so, and they may structure the framework of such a contract however they see fit. But the government shouldn't be crafting a one-size fits all arrangement and then giving the people who qualify for that arrangement special privileges, for just the same reason they shouldn't be discriminating against gays: equality under the law.

The reason many people balk at my suggestion is that currently, "familes" or "households" recieve certain tax breaks, engineered largely by republicans in an effort to promote stronger families. Personally, I think that's a wonderful objective. But not everybody agrees, especially those who don't fit the mold of what constitutes a family. If you give special perks to families, you have to define what is a family and what is not, and that's not right. What is a family? What about two people of the same sex living together? Or transgender people? What if you grandparents live with you, are they part of your family? It is common for Latino or South Asian families to live with dozens of extended family members in the same home. Are they all the same family? What of polygamous families? Some cultures believe a man may have several wives, and they're all part of the same loving family. Who are we to tell them they're not allowed to do that? That would be a violation of the freedom of religion, would it not? When the government tries to give special perks to any one group over another, whether that group is a racial minority, an economic class, or a family, problems happen. Once again, equality under the law means equality under the law, and any tax law that treats "families" or "married" couples differently than others breaks from that principle.

Today, homosexuals rightly complain that domestic unions do not offer the same government benefits as do marriages. And until my option becomes a politically viable alternative, I'll support their quest for gay marriage legalization. But the best solution is not to legalize gay marriage, it's to abandon the practice of government licensed marriage in the first place, and allow people to decide for themselves who is or isn't married. This is the ultimate compromise, because everybody wins. Gays couples receive full equality under the law as straight couples, and can easily find a local church which will marry them. Anti-gay marriage folks needn't recognize them as married if they don't want to, they're entitled to their own opinion. The government stays neutral on the matter. Freedom means people oughta be able to do as they please, without needing the government’s permission. And like most other licenses, marriage licenses are an impediment to that freedom.

2 comments:

  1. What a concept, wouldn't that be fantastic. So simple, so right!

    ReplyDelete