A Good Reason?

Crowd in support of Gay Marriage
Crowd in support of Gay Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve long said that I’d LOVE to hear a GOOD reason against gay marriage. I don’t necessarily mean that I want to be swayed to the other side — and I don’t even think a reason would have to do that to be “good”. It’s just that — radio ad aside — the reason I’ve heard is always some variant on “It’s an affront to God” — which, well, being an atheist hasn’t ever really flown with me. (And, to be clear — it doesn’t fly with a lot of Christians either. I don’t want to lump everyone together here.) But there’s gotta be a good reason, right? Right?

For me, a good reason is something that at least has a shot of convincing anyone, regardless of their starting set of beliefs. “An affront to God” only works if you’re in that particular culture — which, admittedly, is a high amount of people. In America, 1.6% of people identify as atheist; 15% as agnostic. That’s still 83.4% of the population that would at least not reject a God-based argument out of hand as being wholly irrelevant. And, hey, honestly, if you’re going to take a vote, you can ignore the 16.6% completely, focusing on the 83.4% exclusively and still have a damn good shot at getting a majority in an election.

Of course, I’m not saying that the 83% of Americans who believe in God — however that God is defined — vote as a block. Even if you break it out, Christians don’t vote as a block, Jews don’t vote as a block, Muslims don’t vote as a block, atheists don’t vote as a block. Being wholly fair — this look at demographics is a bit reductive — my point here is that with a God-based argument, you’re only speaking the language of a (significant) portion of the population. And, of course, you can say gibberish in any language, and if that 83% think you’re spouting gibberish, it’s not going to matter that you’re putting the word “God” in there.

Regardless, though — I’d really like to hear an argument that speaks in the language of 100% of the population. Something anyone could hear and not have an easy handle to reject immediately. And, honestly — I don’t know what that is. The semantic argument seems to come closest — that we can’t just redefine a word at will — except as any linguist can tell you, um, as a a society, we kinda can. I’ve also heard that the government just shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all as an argument against gay marriage — I suppose I can buy that, but the fact remains that the government IS, for better or for worse.

So, anti-R71 folks — what do you got? I’d honestly like to hear it. What can you say to try to convince me? And, well, if you don’t have anything — shouldn’t that encourage a reexamining of your own beliefs?

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