Equal rights for everybody, except people we don’t like

gay marriageSeveral arguments are used to explain why homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry.  The most repeated are variations of the following:

 

 

 

  • There is the “Only a man and a woman can raise a child” argument which insults every single parent out there doing a spectacular job of raising their children.
  • There is the “Marriage is for Procreation” argument which insults every heterosexual couple who can’t or choose not to have children.
  • Then there’s my favourite: the “Slippery Slope” argument which goes that if we allow this redefinition now, then what’s to stop further redefinition of marriage between a woman and her pitbull or a cowboy and his horse—am betting that last will happen.

    The next step in animal rights?
    The next step in animal rights?

But when we allow these blatantly silly arguments to crumble, the one argument left standing is the religious one.

 

 

It’s in the bible as an abomination

Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lesbian loop-hole anyone?) lesbian marriage

This one verse is the anti-gay establishment’s ultimate fall back position as to why gays and lesbians should not be allowed to marry.

That’s the church’s position

The church as the final arbiter of God’s word maintains this position and believers are taught since childhood not to question church teachings.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people’s right to believe in and follow the church, but the church doesn’t exactly have a stellar record on moral issues.

The Roman Catholic church has gotten it wrong on slavery, science, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and let’s not forget … drum roll please: accountability—for priests sexually abusing little boys.

A truly great Pope (John Paul) apologised for many of the church’s mistakes over the centuries including the burning of heretics, the church’s involvement with the slave trade, the treatment of Galileo and the plunder, murder, etc of the Crusades.  (Here is the Vatican transcript of the sweeping apology he made on March 12th 2000 from St. Peter’s)

The church will follow us

One day (soon) the church will also apologise for its treatment of homosexuals, but we don’t have to wait for the church to wake up.

The American Supreme Court will set things right for one of the last legally oppressed groups in America and America will follow the example already set by progressive countries like Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands.  (Hopefully it won’t weasel out and duck the issue.)

In the meantime …

  1. We can support legislation that gives equal rights to all citizens regardless of gender, colour of skin, or sexual preference.
  2. We can confront our prejudices and challenge cherished beliefs.  Not everything we were taught is true, and it is normal to evolve and change our positions i.e. if we value growth.
  3. We can acknowledge that we’re wrong about things … at least some of the time.

Oh, and if we’re uncomfortable seeing public ‘gaiety’, we can imagine how the racists in the American South must have felt whenever they saw a black man with a white woman.

Some people are still uncomfortable with this
Some people are still uncomfortable with this

I suspect the world won’t come to an end, and we’ll get used to it.

 

One Response to Equal rights for everybody, except people we don’t like

  1. I have a friend who teaches at UWI and, as reflected in the rest of the society no doubt, the students feel human rights are a good thing… but not everyone should have them…. go figure. Why are we even having this conversation in 2013! We should be ashamed.

Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.