Gay rights have become the subject of intense debate this year. North Carolina recently passed a law banning gay marriage, and it is now one of a whopping 29 states to have such a restriction. Personally, I am disgusted. I want to take this time to combat a few of the main reasons that “validate” such a viewpoint. This is merely my opinion, and it is not my place to tell someone that his or her personal views are right or wrong. I simply want people to see that there are two sides to every controversial issue, and whether or not my views are widely shared is beside the point. Although I am not gay, I do have many homosexual friends. They struggle every day in an attempt to understand why they are discriminated against in such an extreme way.
Reason #1: “The Bible considers homosexuality a sin.”
Most people are referring to book of Leviticus when making this argument. Leviticus 18:22 states “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” First off, let me premise this by saying that I am Catholic. That being said, I believe that the Catholic Church teaches many valuable lessons such as treating others with respect and living a life of humility. However, I am not afraid to say that there are some aspects of Catholicism that I don’t agree with. The book of Leviticus also condemns having long hair (Leviticus 19:27), so why are we picking and choosing which verses are relevant in today’s culture? How does it make sense that homosexuality is still a sin after all of these years, but trimming your hair or beard is somehow now deemed acceptable? This seems extremely hypocritical. I often hear that it is okay to “be gay” but not to “do gay.” Is this something we actually plan to hold people to? Let’s be realistic. Do we expect two people who are in love to not consummate such intense feelings? And would a God who is so loving and forgiving really condemn people to hell over something so small? I would sure hope not.
Reason #2: “Homosexual couples don’t deserve the monetary benefits that married heterosexual couples receive.”
Religion aside, there is a plethora of tax deductions and other benefits that traditional, hetero-normative couples receive. These same benefits are denied to homosexual couples. A prime example of this can be seen in Proposition 8, a law passed in California in 2008. Why in the world did we spend millions of dollars (roughly 40 million), when the US federal government is in such insurmountable debt, to deny fundamental rights to citizens? Is this really where the money should be going? I laughed when I first saw this statistic because I honestly thought it was a joke. People are so opposed to gay marriage that they spent around 40 million dollars to make sure that some people, who are composed of flesh and blood just like everyone else, don’t receive their rights. Anyone who has ever been in love can attest to the fact that it defies all logic. Love is love, and the gender of the couple shouldn’t be a factor in the expression of these feelings.
Reason #3: “Public schools will be forced to teach tolerance.
…Oh darn? I fail to see why this is a negative reality of gay marriage. Isn’t teaching tolerance something that should be regarded as progressive? If we didn’t teach tolerance, there is no way that we would have taken so many steps in eliminating racism. Obviously racism still exists to some extent, but no one can deny the fact that it is improving as each year passes. Years ago, we would have never seen African American children playing with white children. Today, it’s hardly given a second glance. This is because most people eventually realized that something as miniscule as the color of a person’s skin is no basis for hatred. Why can’t people realize that someone’s sexual preference is insignificant in the grand scheme of things? Schools shouldn’t have to teach tolerance, it is something that should be ingrained in us as it is. However, the sad truth is that our generation is too stubborn to see the other side of the issue. If we want to see any type of improvement regarding hate crimes in our country, teaching tolerance seems to be absolutely critical.
Reason #4: “A child should be raised by a mother and father.”
While I understand this viewpoint, I would just like to point out that, as is the case with many things, it makes a lot more sense in theory than it does in practice. If a child is raised by two fathers or by two mothers, don’t you think that this child will be much more understanding and accepting of others? Wouldn’t this make for an increasing number of children who are blessed with a wider perspective that most people won’t ever be able to experience? Heterosexuality is something that most children are taught immediately through experience and everyday interactions. You can’t avoid it – it is the norm. These children who have experienced life through the lens of having gay parents will be able to contribute valuable insights to a wide variety of situations. I know people who were raised by homosexual parents, and I notice no difference except for the fact that these people are generally more polite and less likely to judge those around them. If you don’t know any people who have been raised in such a way, you don’t really have the right to say that the outcome will have a negative impact on society. If you are simply reading out of a textbook or going by what has been spoon-fed to you since childhood, that is hardly enough information to form a legitimate opinion. Times are changing and pretty soon such narrow views will be disregarded. Don’t go around talking about something you know nothing about. It will make you appear ignorant if you can’t back up your claims with examples that resonate with experience. We have known this since we were young, and I am not quite sure why it is such a difficult concept for some people to grasp.
As I said earlier, this is merely my opinion. I personally find it incredibly closed-minded to look down on others simply because of whom they fall in love with. Until someone can prove to me that homosexuality is a choice (and out of all of the gay people I know, not one of them has ever said that he or she would choose a lifestyle that is so fiercely opposed) then I am not budging on where I stand. In this upcoming election, I challenge you to choose a candidate who is not simply reading statistics and shallow facts from the podium. Choose someone who takes the time to care about people’s feelings and contemplates how his decisions will affect everyone, including the gay community. It will be hard to do, especially if that community has no effect on your life. But this can go two ways – if gay marriage doesn’t affect your heterosexual marriage, then why do you care what they do? It is time to change the way we view people. It is wrong to deny anyone basic human rights, and I don’t think that any argument will ever be convincing enough to validate the obstacles that homosexual couples have to overcome just to live happy, full lives. Period.