Wednesday, September 1, 2010
First, the concept of us choosing to be gay. I'm not going to spend much time on this, because it is rather pointless. Those who argue this line of reasoning are just plain stupid, or they have had their head in the sand for the last 30 years. So therefore, moving on to what I really wanted to talk about.
We hear those against marriage equality complain that gay people are wanting "special" rights; that they want the government to approve of a lifestyle choice. No one is forcing these homosexuals to have sex with the same gender...they could always plug their noses and do it with the other sex. To them, LGBT people asking for equal rights is like the following scenario...
Lets say that we all lived in a town where there was a Burger King and a McDonalds. For some reason, most of the town liked BK and so therefore the city government gave to its citizens coupons for half off a Whopper or Buy 1 get 1 Free. I on the other hand, and a pretty decent sized minority, liked McDonalds more....in fact we found BK repulsive. I then petition the city council to give us McDonalds coupons as well. The Burger Kingers complain, saying that though I might not like BK as much, or that it might disgust me, if I really wanted to I could eat at BK and so therefore their is no reason to spend taxpayer dollars on giving me and friends coupons to McDonalds.
The society above, I would like to say has a Burger King normative culture; BK is the accepted norm. But what the Burger Kingers don't realize is that the logic that they use saying that i can "choose to eat at BK rather than McD's" is a logic that can be used against them.
So how does my scenario pertain to marriage equality and LGBT people. Well it boils down to this. Just like my fictitious town had a Burger King normative culture, so does our culture have a heteronormative culture. Because of this heteronormativity, people believe that LGBTs' should conform to said culture, and that if they are not, because of their choice of partner, they should not get any "coupons". This thinking is logically flawed. For if you can choose who you sleep with, then heteros can do the exact same thing. Why then are heteros getting "coupons" for their lifestyle choices?
The answer to that question is obvious. Though opponents of marriage equality want to say that it is because of the pro-creative nature of opposite gender unions, that argument falls flat, as the Prop 8 trial as well as simple logic shows. For example, are barren women automatically not eligible to get married? If you don't have children is your marriage null and void? So therefore what is the true reason why our heteronormative culture believes that we should not give any coupons to same-gender couples? It is because thats just not the way things have ever been done. Tradition is the final argument against marriage-equality, something all of us knew.
So when a friend or collegue argues that gay people make a lifestyle choice and we should not have to reward them for that, ask them "well don't heterosexuals make the same lifestyle choice?" When they say no, ask them how that is...and I guarantee you, the end answer to your logical poking will be...Tradition.