I had a conversation with my little brother this afternoon that I have to write about. Now I want to say that I absolutely love my brother to the very depth of my being but I was really shocked by what he said and how strongly he believes his position.
Remember, we were raised Republicans. We were discussing political candidates and he expressed that he didn't like Giuliani because he considers him to be a closet Democrat. He brought up that Guiliani supports gay marriage; and then he said the following. He said that if gay marriage was legalized that it would open the door for pedophiles being able to marry children and people marrying animals. He was dead serious that this is where it would go and I was floored. I'd heard people say this but I didn't give it any thought because I think they are nuts. When I heard my brother say it, I didn't know what to think. I'm passed it though, like I said, I love him. But I've been tossing this thing around in my head all day.
I really began to consider everything his statement implied. What was he saying when he made this claim?
First, like others who hold this position, he doesn't see homosexuals as complete people. It is implied in his argument that he sees homosexuality as just sex. And since it isn't between a man and a woman, it's unnatural sex. Immediately he relates it to other "unnatural" sexual activity: Bestiality and pedophilia. Both are examples of activity where one party is not consenting.
But what I realized is how he and others who make this claim view marriage. People don't get married so that they can have sex "legally". But they do get married so they can have sex morally. And that, I think, is where it gets confusing because people who marry for moral reasons cannot get their head around gays being married because, according to their moral code, homosexual intimacy is not moral. What an interesting dilemma.
Then I began to think about the sanctity of marriage and what I thought would protect it. I think that the sanctity of marriage could be protected if the people getting married understood the law regarding marriage before saying "I Do". If people knew going into marriage how property was divided, credit was allocated, homestead issues applied, custody issues, inheritance issues etc. etc. maybe they would reconsider marriage. Maybe it would discourage young people from just jumping in.
Encouraging young people to wait before marriage would then force them into immoral sexual activity. Ah another dilemma.
The sanctity of marriage isn't threatened by the sexual preference of the people seeking the union; I think that the sanctity of marriage is threatened by the lack of forethought of those who go into it. The legal aspect of marriage as a binding contract isn't romantic but that's the heart of the issue. My brother doesn't understand that aspect of marriage. Neither minors nor animals can be bound to a contract. And allowing same sex consenting adults to enter into the contract of marriage isn't going to make it possible for animals and minors to enter into any contract, much less a marriage contract.
I think the reason marriage is looked at mostly as a moral issue is because the ceremony takes place in a church. I think if the majority of individuals had their marriages in front of the JP that there would be very little debate regarding homosexuals being allowed to marry. Because then most people would understand more clearly the legal implications of their union.
Anyway, that's my take on it.