We’re looking at popular arguments against same-sex marriage (and a few that are just anti-gay). Conservative Christian radio host Frank Turek provides most of the arguments. (Part 1 here.)
12. It’s a slippery slope!
Today same-sex marriage; tomorrow, who knows what?! Frank demands:
Why are [homosexual activists] so “bigoted” to rule out groups and other arrangements they disapprove of? The same logic that seeks to justify same sex marriage—“I should be able to marry whomever I love”—can be used to justify any preferred arrangement.
We don’t need to worry about what would happen if the definition of marriage changed since it already has changed—for example, in the cases of mixed-race marriage, no-fault divorce, and laws against marital rape. Frank makes clear that he’s glad that it changed to allow mixed-race marriage. With no concern about change, where’s the problem?
Frank says that everyone puts limits on the definition of marriage, and again we agree. No definition of marriage would make sense if it weren’t clear what things were not included in that definition. Since the conservative and liberal positions are now symmetrical—both limit the definition and both accept that the definition changes—how does he imagine that the slippery slope problem applies only to liberals? When there is a critical mass demanding another change to the definition, let’s consider it. Until then, this is just an irrelevant red herring.
The slippery slope hypothetical put forward by conservatives usually involves incest, pedophilia, or other relationships that cause harm. Yeah, I get it—things that cause harm are bad. Let’s continue to prohibit harmful relationships. Since consensual homosexual sex or romance cause no more problems than the heterosexual kind, this objection fails. (More here and here.)
13. The gay argument defeats itself!
Frank opens a can of logical whoop-ass on same-sex marriage proponents. So there’s no difference between homosexual and heterosexual relationships, you say? Then consider this:
If men and women were really the same, the activists would simply marry someone of the opposite sex—which according to them is the same as someone of the same sex—and be done with it. The very reason they are demanding same-sex marriage is precisely because they know men and women are drastically different.
Yes, men and women are different, and homosexuals are romantically attracted to one and not the other, just like you.
14. Don’t like divorce? Same-sex marriage will make it worse!
Before no-fault divorce, one party in a marriage had to show that the other had committed adultery, abandonment, a felony, or a similar offense to get a divorce. Frank prefers those good old days.
[No-fault divorce] laws make dissolving a family too easy and should be repealed. They also help teach people that marriage is only about the desires of adults, not the needs of children. If marriage is all about my happiness and not the needs of children, then I should get divorced if I’m not “happy.” . . . Making marriage genderless through same sex marriage will further hurt children by annihilating their connection to marriage completely.
Marriage is about a lot more than children, as we discovered in argument 5. Sometimes a bad marriage should be endured for the sake of the children, and sometimes it’s best for everyone if the marriage ends. I’m surprised to hear a conservative like Frank advocate for a nanny state solution, where laws tell people how to live their lives, rather than encourage them to be responsible adults and decide for themselves what’s best.
Divorce laws aren’t the reason why marriages suck. They’re a symptom, not a cause. And at last we’ve stumbled across something that actually is an attack on marriage. Why not focus on the social conditions that injure marriage rather than on homosexuals, a category of people trying to embrace marriage?Same-sex marriage is a celebration of marriage, not an attack. It’s divorce (actually, the poor conditions that bring on divorce) that is the attack on marriage. Go worry about that.
15. Homosexuality causes health problems!
Frank doesn’t want to hear that homosexual sex is about love.
What’s loving about sexual activity that creates numerous health problems, increases medical costs to everyone, and reduces the lifespan of homosexuals by 8–20 years? . . . If the sex act is medically dangerous, the best way to love the other person is not to have sex with him. In fact, most of our loving relationships are non-sexual.
Presumably the issue Frank vaguely alludes to is AIDS, but he seems to imagine that AIDS is a gay men’s disease. No, it’s a sexually transmitted disease. Worldwide, almost as many women as men are HIV positive.
But let’s find the silver lining here. Frank is encouraging everyone to practice safe sex, and that’s good advice. There you go, Frank—problem solved.
But what’s that last line, the one about “most of our loving relationships are non-sexual”? When Frank’s “marriage is all about screwing and making babies!” argument is inconvenient, he suddenly becomes reasonable. That’s right, Frank—the relationship between two loving adults is important and should be supported by society.
16. There goes free speech!
According to [homosexual activists], same sex marriage is now not only a “right,” no one has the right to oppose it. This new right is so powerful it has completely wiped out the old rights that our founding fathers enshrined in our Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association.
I suppose Frank’s breathless anxiety helps wind up his supporters, but Constitutional freedoms are still firmly in place. Frank frets that the right of free speech is gone and same-sex marriage can’t be criticized . . . while he’s speaking freely and criticizing same-sex marriage.
Tell you what, Frank: you show me any instances where your free speech on this subject has been prohibited, and I’m on your side. When your free speech rights are curtailed, impositions on mine are likely to follow. Note, however, that public critique of your position doesn’t count, getting your feelings hurt doesn’t count, and not being able to impose your will on others by law doesn’t count.
Liberals can’t justify why same-sex marriage is right. Nevertheless, they want to legislate it as a right and will convict you of heresy if you fail to bow to it.
It’s amusing how Frank is all a-flutter with fears that he will be imposed upon. In fact, legalized same-sex marriage does nothing to him. He won’t be forced to have gay sex or get gay married. The only risk of imposition is his eagerness to impose his views on others and constrain others with his definition of marriage.
Concluded in part 6.
which is why so many people agree with it
without knowing why.
— seen on /r/atheism
(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 1/19/15.)
Image credit: Wikipedia