Could someone please give me ONE compelling and valid argument for the opposition of marriage equality?
I bet you can't.
Last week, Rhode Island became the tenth U.S. State to officially endorse marriage equality following an overwhelming (56-15) State House vote. As of August 1st, Rhode Island's ban on same-sex marriage will be lifted, allowing for full legal rights, licensing and support for same-sex couples.
With this new legislation, all six New England States (plus New York) now legally recognize same-sex marriage, creating the first "Region of Marriage Equality," which seems to have inspired more states to take the measure to a vote. Delaware has since become the 11th state to allow same-sex marriage, and a similar bill Minnesota passed in their State house this week.
With the actions of these state legislatures, as well as the pending Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), we have seen great progress toward civil equality in America. And while there is still much work to be done, the fact that these issues are getting the attention they deserve is encouraging.
Most Americans (55% according to a recent Washington Post poll) support same-sex marriage. However, there are still large assemblies of people who adamantly and vehemently denounce gay marriage, and these groups are quite vocal about the issue. They try to make compelling cases, but as I will convey, their arguments can be easily picked apart, leaving only they base roots of their trepidation: Ignorance and Hate.
Here are some examples of the Ignorance and Hate that many of the dissenters to marriage equality and gay rights have evoked...
While there can be a cross-over between marriage and Christianity, there is no direct correlation. Many wedding ceremonies are done without Christian, or any other denominational affiliation. So, your argument may be based on marriage being a contract with "God" as laid out in the Bible. However, by that logic Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Atheists should not be granted the right to legally marry either.
Priorities of Government
Some have argued that our State and Federal Governments have bigger fish to fry than to decide the fate of Same-Sex Marriage. Here is an example (from Facebook) of one such argument regarding Rhode Island:
"Never knew 250 homosexual couples were more important than the 50,000+ unemployed Rhode Islanders that are still trying to find work. But you know where our politicians' priorities are."
On the surface, that argument almost makes sense. Unemployment is a serious issue in Rhode Island, and should be addressed by our legislature. However, that point must be quickly conceded, as it does not accurately portray what a priority is in actuality.
Unemployment is a multi-faceted and complex issue that cannot be solved by a simple or solitary action. Marriage equality is not. Marriage equality is a civil rights issue, and can be quickly and painlessly resolved. There is nothing to argue, nor a need for debate. So while our elected officials do have other pressing matters to tend to, civil rights issues must ALWAYS be a priority.
So, while those who are opposed to affording a basic civil right to all Americans may hide behind these principles, but these excuses are just thin veils that barely cover their hate, intolerance, and ignorance.
Prove me wrong, and I will buy you a drink!
- Kevin Aherne
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