Saturday, 16 September 2017

Why The Church's Arguments About Marriage Equality Are Bogus

I read a comment on the wall of a friend on Facebook. My friend expressed support for the "Yes" vote on the coming plebiscite on marriage equality in Australia. This gentleman opposed it, and in support of his position, made a number of arguments. I'm grateful to him for marking his position so explicitly, since I could then address each of his points and show that they were essentially baseless.

I've quoted each of his statements below and added my response under it.

1. "Unfortunately a lot of people think changing the law that has been around for more than 100 years is justified."

Laws are not sacrosanct merely because they've been around a long time. There was a time when inter-marriage between whites and non-whites was illegal. As society progresses, backward laws have to be removed from the law books.

2. "We will see more [homosexuality] on the streets."

Yes, so? How is that a problem? Homosexuals are among us already. They form 7%-10% of the population. You want to keep them invisible and ashamed of who they are. Too bad the world is progressing and leaving your kind behind. Yes, you will see more homosexuality on the streets, in the sense that you will see same-sex couples holding hands or kissing in public. I think it would be good for your kind to get used to it.

3. "Churches will be sued for not allowing gay marriage" Right now, churches are exempt from the laws that force the rest of society to behave with decency. That will change. Churches will pay taxes like every other organisation, and they will stop demonising and discriminating against a group of people because an outdated book written centuries ago by semi-educated, bigoted men says so. It will be a welcome development when the church is finally civilised.

4. "The bible could be burned as its against homosexuality as is God as mentioned throughout the Bible."

The bible can be burned even today. It's perfectly legal. Any book that preaches discrimination against human beings for their sexuality deserves to be.

5. "People against lgbtq+ will be persecuted"

As they should be. If you discriminate against people of another race today, you can be prosecuted. Same principle.

6. "There is a hidden agenda here have a look at what the green party are proposing once the law gets passed. There will be no freedom of [speech] they will get rid of the title father and mother as its discrimination against the lgbtq+ people"

Nonsense. Nobody will take away anyone's freedom of speech. More people will start to use neutral terms like "caregiver", that's all. It's just like you can continue to use gender-specific terms in your speech today, such as "he", but more people have started to use gender-neutral terms like "they".

7. "Our kids will be taught they can wear a dress if they want [to]. Toilets will be unisex boys who wear a dress can go into a girls toilet area at school ....it will just open a can of worms"

That's what gender identity means, and you'll just have to get used to it. Yes, changing attitudes is uncomfortable and feels like opening a can of worms, but that's how society progresses. I'm sure it felt like opening a can of worms to your grandparents' or great-grandparents' generation when the laws against racial inter-marriage were repealed.

8. "People will then have rights to marry [their] sex doll or dogs etc."

Nonsense. There is no slippery slope. The principle applies to adults and informed consent, and does not apply where those conditions do not exist. Yes, this will open the door to the legal recognition of polyamorous relationships, but that will be the extent of it. Paedophilia will not become legal (children cannot consent), people cannot marry their pets (animals cannot consent), people cannot marry sex dolls (dolls are inanimate and cannot consent), people cannot marry robots (well, maybe they can, when artificial intelligence progresses to the point when a robot's consent is legally recognised).

9. "There are 85+ types of lgbtq [categories] and soon there will be more."

Why is this a problem for you?

Remember:

If you are straight, no one is forcing you to marry someone of the same sex.

If you are cisgendered, no one is forcing you to wear clothes associated with the other gender or to use toilets associated with the other gender.

Your children will not "turn gay" or "turn transgender" if exposed to the idea that LGBTQ+ people are normal. If they are straight to begin with, they will remain straight. If they are cisgendered to begin with, they will remain cisgendered. But this is the important part. If they are gay or transgender to begin with, they will gain the courage to accept this and society will accept them too. It will be a far more humane society than what we have today, where gay people have to hide their sexual orientation, and transgender people have to hide their gender identity, because of the unnecessary shame, guilt and menace that society forces upon them.

Your opposition comes from unfamiliarity, and the solution is simply to get used to the change that is underway. Your religion is not based on the word of a "god". Your "holy" book was written by human beings with their own prejudices and biases.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not choices. People are born that way. (Even if it *were* a choice, it should not be a crime to choose.)

Crimes only occur when consent is violated. I suggest you look within the churches you care so much about, and set your house in order. A lot of sexual abuse has taken place within churches, and the facts have been coming out for a few years now. The full extent of the damage is yet to be recognised, but the churches will pay the price. There's no doubt about that.

Churches and churchgoers must stop imposing their mediaeval and harmful ideas on the rest of society. This ends here.
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