With the Ashers case continuing to circle the media drain, it got me thinking about the nature of what has become the Western world’s fastest-growing dogma – same-sex marriage. In fact, it’s so fast-growing that the thought of two people of the same sex getting married has gone from bizarro world to infallible orthodoxy in about the same amount of time – roughly five to ten years – that it takes the DOE to fill a pothole.
And it boasts many impassioned and powerful proponents, too – from A-list celebrities and US presidents, to huge corporations like Apple, Starbucks, and Google – all backed by a tireless media-driven campaign that has successfully turned same-sex marriage into the biggest cause célèbre of our day, where those who accept it are righteous and holy, and those who oppose it are nasty homophobic scumbags akin to slave traders or Nazis, deserving of being dragged through the courts and hounded from their jobs.
As a homophobic scumbag watching all of this unfold, then, it has given me cause to provide my fellow bigots, and others who are interested, with some thoughtful answers and insights on the subject. So here they are. Careful where you share them.
Is it “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage”?
It’s important, as Voltaire once said, to define our terms. Good idea. First, this is about same-sex marriage, not gay marriage. This might sound pedantic, but it’s actually an important distinction. The government does not care one iota about sexual preference; it only cares about gender.
Every person of age in Northern Ireland – gay or straight (or other) – can get married. A gay man could marry a lesbian tomorrow and not a single pastor, priest or politician would bat an eyelid. Calling it “gay marriage” incorrectly gives the impression that this is about sexual preference. It’s not. It’s about gender.
And the reason why it’s about gender is simple: opposite-sex unions serve a very specific and unique role in sustaining the human species, therefore the government is uniquely interested in them. The state has no obligation to give every human coupling (of which there are many) recognition.
For example, under current NI marriage law, if I, a heterosexual male, wanted to marry my equally heterosexual male best friend (like these two dudes) and express our love for each other by eating pizza and playing Call of Duty till death do us part, the state wouldn’t recognise that union either. Why? Because bro-unions™, although meaningful to the people involved, are not conducive to populating society. Marriage, as traditionally endorsed by the state, is about opposite-sex couples giving society the next generation of people; it is not a government registry of friendships.
Secondly, the battle for same-sex marriage is not about rights, it’s about recognition. No personal liberty is being denied to gay people. Same-sex couples within a civil partnership are already free to do everything – literally everything – that opposite-sex couples can do; buy a house, commit for life, express their sexuality, receive every applicable benefit, adopt, browse Netflix for an hour before giving up and going to bed, etc., etc. These rights and restrictions apply to all people, equally.
You may also not marry a close blood relative, a child, or someone who is already married – despite the disappointment this brings to the incest, pedophile, and polygamy communities. It’s not about discrimination, it’s about the nature of marriage.
What proponents of same-sex marriage really want, then, is an exception, not a right. They want full acknowledgement and validation of their particular lifestyle. Of course, they’re absolutely free to pursue these things, and, for the sake of argument, they could be correct, but validation is not a right, and opposing it or raising objections does not a homophobe make.
Love is love! Isn’t that what marriage is all about?
Love doesn’t define marriage. If it did, then billions of people in the world today would not be married. In fact, most of the world’s marriages are arranged. They are still marriages. The term “loveless marriage” exists for a reason.
Consider this: when was the last time you filled in a benefits / mortgage / insurance form and had to tick a box that asked: “Do you love your spouse?” Never. The government doesn’t care. No proof of passion is ever required when filling in a joint Jobseeker’s application (mercifully). Love may motivate two individuals to get married – and that’s a good thing – but it’s not the reason why cultures sanction marriage. Cultures sanction marriage because opposite-sex sex makes babies. And cultures need babies.
Of course, it’s true that not all marriages – either by choice or circumstance – produce children. But this proves nothing. Pointing to exceptional cases doesn’t negate the general rule.
“Gay couples can’t marry just like interracial couples once couldn’t marry.”
I’ve heard this a few times. It’s powerful and emotive rhetoric; if you don’t support same-sex marriage, you’re basically a racist. But it doesn’t withstand scrutiny. Two things are only comparable if the circumstances are the same. They aren’t. Same-sex marriage and interracial marriage have nothing in common. Different skin colours are irrelevant to marriage, different genders are relevant to creating and raising the next generation of people.
And where does this objection go when proponents of marriage equality – and I’m talking here about proper, consistent marriage equality – start arguing for polygamous, polyamorous, polyandrous, or incestuous marriage? What racial struggles from history are these types of marriage analogous with?
Where does it go from here?
In the blink of an eye, largely in part to the media elites – like our very own BBC Radio Ulster presenters, who excel at imposing new narratives, – the idea of same-sex marriage has become normal. In the UK and America, it went from being the brainchild of a few activists to law in under a decade. So it’ll eventually come to NI, whether society wants it or not.
And when it does, anyone who continues to disagree with it, or attempts to make any sort of gender distinction as dictated by biology and reality, will fall foul of the law. As Ashers and others were quick to find out, the gay lobby is a litigation ninja; nobody has mastered the art of whispering in the ear of power to silence and punish opponents better than they. Gay agenda? What gay agenda?
Family and parenthood will be redefined, too. We already have third-party procreation, whereby a child’s natural right to a biological mother and a father is intentionally violated to satisfy the emotional desires of adults. (A process that differs radically from adoption, a virtuous enterprise that seeks to make good by replacing a broken heterosexual union with one that works. Conversely, third-party procreation brings a child into the world with the sole purpose of giving it away.)
It’s a big social experiment. And it’ll backfire, because – after decades of research – it just so happens that, quelle surprise, children do best with one mother and one father. Who would’ve thought that nature and reality could be so homophobic, eh?
Finally, with the collapse of each remaining societal taboo, the definition of marriage will expand. This is happening already with certain liberal outlets campaigning for an even broader definition of marriage, and giving a sympathetic platform to paedophiles. After all, if marriage can be redefined to mean one thing, why not redefine it to mean something else? Who says words have to have meaning anyway?
So perhaps society needs to spend more than five fabulous minutes thinking about this. The rapid approval of same-sex marriage, with literally everyone falling in line behind it, has nothing to do with tolerance, but rather the polar opposite: a radical form of intolerance dressed up in civil rights language that demands nothing less than complete submission and the icing of cakes – or else.