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I Have A Theory...

I have given the whole gay marriage thing a lot of thought and I have an idea as to why so many people are against it.
Well, two ideas, actually.

There are a lot of folks out there that don't know any gay people. Or if they do know them they don't know they are gay. The only images that they have are the media interpretations of the gay lifestyle. Movies from the 80's about the AIDS epidemic, Will & Grace reruns, and coverage from rallies and parades in San Francisco.
They have impressions of public and promiscuous sex. These people shouldn't have the right to marriage. Marriage is not public and promiscuous sex!!!! They have little exposure to long-term, committed relationships.

Then there are those that don't want to set a precedent.
If you allow same-gender marriage, then the polygamists will start in and ghod knows what all will want it next. Spousal benefits will get so complicated that employers won't want to offer them at all.

So, what do we do?
Educate, not hate.

I was a bit surprised (and pleased)at how matter-of-factly same-gender couples show up on the home improvement and real estate shows on HGTV.
No comment, no big deal, just "Jim and Ted bought this 1895 Victorian for a B&B and spent 12 years restoring it. Our expert appraiser will tell them if them made the right choices." That kind of thing.

It was within my life time that the first interracial kiss was broadcast on TV. Now, we are going to have an interracial president.
Change happens.
Sometimes it's slow.
But it happens.

GHR

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
jrittenhouse
Nov. 8th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
Nicely put!
poltr1
Nov. 8th, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
Well said!

I'd add a third theory: Folks who believe in and have absolute faith in that line from the book of Leviticus.
daisy_knotwise
Nov. 8th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
There aren't enough of them to make a difference to a vote. They are loud, but they are not really many.

GHR
qnofhrt
Nov. 8th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
I would add an additional reason that I have seen far too often and that is firm belief by many people that homosexuality = pedophilia. In that case, education might help although I have my doubts.

Unfortunately a lot of the anti-gay sentiment is rooted in religious beliefs. There is some xenophobia there, as you suggest. But many people just plain believe the bible says this is wrong. Apparently the Mormon church poured ginormous amounts of money into the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. Why it matters to the folks in Utah what those crazy neighbors next door do in CA, I don't know.

I have never understood why straight people should view their marriage as "threatened" by gay marriage. Mine sure isn't.
billroper
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I've seen one report that suggests that the Mormons got involved because they have problems with breakaway polygamous sects and see gay marriage as a step on a continuum leading to polygamy.
geekymary
Nov. 8th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
I'm quite sure that you will be proven right.

What's so frustrating about this is that I just can't understand their point of view. I can see where the pro-life lobby comes from - they truly believe that babies are being killed. A lot of (true) conservative view is just small government vs. large government, and I can see that's a valid point of view.

But this just seems like prejudice, and that's what drives me crazy.
judifilksign
Nov. 8th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
At work, I am often startled by some of my Christian coworkers who will comment wistfully how it's sad that that gay client x is going to hell, because he's such a nice boy other than being homosexual.

And sadly, many of my gay teens have had their first experience with older guys looking for youth and beauty. Very Greek, but by law pedophelia, however consensual it may have been. This perpeptuates and strengthens horrible stereotypes that make people cringe away.

I think Gretchen is absolutely right that most people are unaware that people they like and are casually aquainted with are gay, and associate terrible acts with being gay.
madfilkentist
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
That interracial kiss was, of course, on Star Trek.

It's been pointed out that if people are against homosexual promiscuity, they should be for marriage. It will take a while for the argument to sink in.
drawshad
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Movies from the 80's about the AIDS epidemic, Will & Grace reruns, and coverage from rallies and parades in San Francisco.

Reminds me of why I swore I was never going to be geeky enough to go to sci-fi conventions. My experience was always Galaxy Quest and tv/movie portrayals of Star Trek media conventions.

Those people were weird. I was not weird, just slightly eccentric :)
joecoustic
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Well put.

I think waiting for change gets so much harder when it is right around the corner. But that's when so many people get so scared and start freaking out.

Education is everything. I've always had people in my life who were different from the norm (as I am too in some ways) and never really appreciated it as so important until I was going for my M.S.W. and was shocked by how many in my class had never had experiences with people who were not like them. They used to blame my pesky devil's advocacy on this :).
mia_mcdavid
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree; it's hard for our young friends to be patient, and they're right, they *shouldn't* have to be. But we remember when homosexuality was classed as a psychiatric disorder. In our lifetimes we have seen gays come out of the closet and live and love openly, and it's getting stupider and stupider to pretend that they are different from the rest of us.

Also, remember that in Leviticus, homosexuality is just as evil and wrong as eating lobster and wearing blended fiber. If you can't buy that whole package, then forget it!
pheltzer
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Then there are those that don't want to set a precedent.
If you allow same-gender marriage, then the polygamists will start in and ghod knows what all will want it next. Spousal benefits will get so complicated that employers won't want to offer them at all.


Maybe it's the cynic in me but I think for this reason alone comapnies would back same sex marriage... start down that slippery slope, so they can then say... okay enough... we're out of the benefits game altogether.
sourceoftrouble
Nov. 9th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
I concur about the not knowing (or think they don't know) anyone that is gay/lesbian. It reminds me of the 50s when the company I worked for (retail, in northern Ohio - not the south) had separate break areas for whites and blacks. One of the cashiers, who was black, lived in the general area I did. I commented that she and her husband were going to the movies with my husband and I. You should have heard the uproar. But, when they realized who it really was - and they all knew and liked her - then I was told that was *different*. So, I do have hope this, too, shall become acceptable.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )