FreeThought Fort Wayne

        Be Reasonable

I now pronounce you chuck and larry

Posted by dystressed on June 15, 2008

There’s a lot of talk lately about gay marriage. I find marriage kind of an interesting topic, mainly because as a kid I never thought I’d be able to marry the man of my dreams, seeing how I was and still am a man. Yep, that makes yours truly a gay.

I have been politically active and active in the local gay community, but I’ve never been too sure about the gay movement. As I get older, I realize that there is something to this whole equality thing. Marriage has been a main goal of the gay groups for decades, and I’ve come to agree that it is a worthwhile cause.

In school, I learned all about the role religion plays in civil rights, specifically the 60s civil rights movement. Because religion is such an ingrained thing, both sides were using it to further their platforms on either side of the argument. Historians have pretty much concluded that African Americans and their advocates would not have been as successful if they hadn’t successfully engineered more rational and scriptural stances for their cause.

That’s what is strange about the gay movement. Along with the Women’s movement, the Bible specifically (depending on your interpretation of course) condemns gays and subjugates women to their husbands. The vague references against blacks (i.e. the ‘curse of Ham’) were abandoned because they were so faulty.

Though religion may have been one of the most or the most successful tactic of the civil rights movement, women and gays aren’t really able to use the same arguments without throwing out the parts that denigrate them.

Gays owe a lot to the sciences and skeptical thought. It was the APA who finally removed homosexuality from the DSM4 list of mental disorders: people thinking critically and challenging long-standing notions and fears. Other research continues to break down barriers for gays.

Sexism, Racism and Homophobia are still largely practiced openly thanks to the patriarchal religious systems to which the world still clings.

I would argue that women’s and gay rights movements could benefit from aligning themselves more assertively with freethought and skepticism. I found a great link that seems to agree with me.

First of all, the institution of marriage is largely based in religion. The problem is that the religious people irrevocobaly tied marriage to state licensing centuries ago, which clearly contradicts the modern secularist notion of separation of church and state.

The problem with many religious people is that they believe homosexuality is a sin, and sin cannot be love. Marriage is the ultimate social, public expression of love, so why should two sinners be allowed to express their sin? It is more offensive because society welcomes marriage. Society is largely based on it, both with traditional families and because marriages are essentially partnerships that create a more productive population. Marriages create stability on all fronts, economically, socially, politically, and emotionally.

I think civil unions are a great alternative in the battle for equality, because they are based on the legal benefits of marriage. They take away all of the religious overtones that are ingrained in the word “marriage” and replace it with a simple, legalese term for the bond that two people share.

But then, that’s the problem. It goes back to a matter of semantics. The state should not simply have the power to write-off homosexual couples with a politically correct term. The state should recognize that love between any two people, regardless of the sexes, should be allowed to be recognized with a marriage.

Equal marriage should be allowed because it is the best system our society has for maintaining stability. Equal marriage should also be allowed because there is simply no reason for religion to have a monopoly on the term.

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10 Responses to “I now pronounce you chuck and larry”

  1. anandabart said

    good post. the more of us that agree and write about it the better. i live in california and opponents now want a ballot measure for the fall. we need to vote our interests. we need liberal-minded sensible judges on the bench and those holding elected office as well. you can read what i wrote here:
    http://thebruceblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/gays-guess-what-your-vote-matters-for-your-rights/

  2. andyscathouse said

    Good post. You are awesome just the way you are. You know as God made you? Oh leave that last bit off…. I meant 3.5 half billion years of evolution.

    I heard Michael Shermer in a debate with neo-con Denish deSousa say that the church is just plain wrong on homosexual rights. We can already see churches realizing this. (I read Christian Century at my parents and it was full of debate on both sides….) Michael predicts, and he is totally right, that the church will correct itself (and evolve) and accept homosexuality in about 10-15 years. Then it will pat itself on the back and say look how great and accepting Christianity is! Just like it did with slavery and women’s rights. I still welcome that day when it arrives. Hopefully no legislation will block the CA marriage. Maybe it will be sooner.

    I don’t know if we will see the day when mainstream Christianity accepts a natural worldview. There is already some very liberal theology like Tilich…. so maybe? another billion years if we don’t kill each other?

  3. theodoersing said

    As an institution, marriage has always been overrated IMO. I understand the societal benefits and legal perks you get from marriage. I also know several couples who have been together for several years and have goods relationships and haven’t married ( a few have gotten married recently).

    There were a lot of hoops I remembering jumping through to be married in my wife’s Catholic church. I was cool with a civil union in a park but granted her the “traditional” wedding she always wanted. It’s almost as difficult to be an atheist married in some churches as it is for gays, but I suppose not a lot of atheists are banging down the church doors for this privilege.

    I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality. To each their own.
    I take a more analytical approach to homosexuality, although I think we still haven’t pinned down what I think is a very complex subject, it appears neurobiology is on the right track:
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=49673

    This is more subjective, but I think Mr. Murphy is on the right path concerning homosexuality and religiousity. This is not meant as a slight to homosexuals or the religious. It simply draws a possible (and ironic) connection to priesthood and homosexuality, among other things:

    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/gaybrain.htm

    Dr. Michael Persinger and Matthew Alper are a couple more names worthy of googling for more cool info.

  4. dystressed said

    Wow, thanks for the great extra references! I was literally doing this kind of on the fly on my lunch hour Friday and then I reworked it a little today. The NIH paper seems like a fascinating read.

  5. I actually missed my allotted post for Sunday 😉 Too much Father’s Day stuff and I ended up crashing on the couch at 10 and fell asleep.

    I will fill in the empty Thursday slot however. My post will also be on teh gays, as well. As a heterosexual male I feel like I’m an expert on what it is to be gay in America. hee hee. Just kidding, my post will actually be on why I feel that using the “homosexuality is natural” argument is seriously flawed.

  6. theodoersing said

    Uh, Skeptigator, I’ve got Thursdays for posts. According to dystressed’s meeting minutes you’ve got Mondays. Wednesday is empty I believe.

    Dystressed, you’re welcome for the info. Anytime I can be of assistance…

  7. mightymjolnir said

    First the bad news – did you really have to use such an abomination of a Sandler movie in your title? You’re on notice, sir – any titles involving Mr. Deeds or Little Nicky will precipitate a swift rebuke.

    Now that the important stuff is out of the way, I appreciate your ideas on linking the gay rights movement to the freethought movement in the same way that the women’s rights movement was – one need look no further than some selected quotes from Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

    Though I need to look into the subject more deeply, it seems like the religious right has some sort of claim over at least the word “marriage.” It is absolutely despicable that Indiana has not only introduce legislation to define marriage as between one man and one women, but included language therein to deny any similar rights to any other mixture of couple. I do hope that our generation will pave the way for gay Americans to legally commemorate their relationships.

    m

  8. dystressed said

    Sorry about the title. For one thing, I just couldn’t think of a good title. Secondly, I thought maybe it would show up in a google search better if I used a movie title, albeit an abominable one.

  9. Damn you dystressed and your mad note taking skills. I’m taking my ball and going home, screw you guys…

    kidding. Monday actually works for me, I’m glad I picked it (doh!)

  10. I got this quote from Opine Editorials over on Kingfisher Column:

    “Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship. Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children. What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don’t confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.”

    Walter Fauntroy-Former DC Delegate to CongressFounding member of the Congressional Black CaucusCoordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on DC

    I thought it was very applicable.

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