TwitterFacebook

Why Do Conservatives Fear Gay Marriage?

I’m just asking…
Opinion • Views: 29,813

Since President Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage, and the ensuing backlash from the Right, a question has been bugging me…

Just why do many people - particularly religious conservatives - fear gay marriage, especially when they seem willing to at least tolerate the legality of gay behavior? I realize that looking for reasons in a case like this is often bound to produce only frustration, but it might be interesting to catalog at least the sorts of explanations those who fear same-sex marriage usually set forth.

A common explanation cites the biblical condemnation of gay behavior as an “abomination”. A problem with this explanation is that, presumably, gay people in our society will engage in gay sex whether they are married or not; there is no reason to think that preventing them from marrying results in less gay sex, and at least some reason to think that it actually results in more gay sex, and hence in more “abomination”. Surely adopting policies that keep gay sex more promiscuous than it might otherwise be isn’t a very effective way of pleasing God!

There are, of course, many other arguments against gay marriage, including an obvious instance of the slippery slope fallacy and various economic concerns, all of which are easy to debunk, as this article by Tom Head rather effortlessly demonstrates: “10 Really Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage…”.

As you can see from that article, theological arguments against same-sex marriage apparently all have countervailing theological arguments, and the empirical arguments - alleging deleterious effects on society, children, or straight marriage - have no evidential support that stands up to even the most cursory scrutiny. This fact, of course, provided the basis of Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s famous decision that California’s Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection clause. If you’ve never read Judge Walker’s decision, you can read it here. Here’s the conclusion, after 135 pages of careful legal reasoning-

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Now, putting aside the technical legal arguments, perhaps the most common argument against legally recognizing same-sex unions is that “normalizing” such unions would result in their becoming more common, and that this would devalue or diminish heterosexual marriage. Such arguments often use analogical reasoning, and the sorts of analogies that come to mind in this context might include devaluation of the dollar (via inflation) by printing more dollars, or diminishing the quality of a wine by diluting it with water. Such analogies are obviously weak: the value of a particular marriage has nothing to do with the overall number of marriages, and producing more wine, even a new category of wine, does not dilute other bottles of wine. This is true even if those new bottles of wine are diluted relative to the others (as conservatives argue gay marriages are less valuable than straight marriages). Of course, if the new category of wine were diluted, then the average quality of all of the wine in the world would be diminished. But surely the value of marriage, in the only sense that has practical consequences, depends on the value of each marriage, and on the additive effects of those marriages on society - not on any merely theoretical average number. So… just how could expanding the category of marriage to include a new “vintage” devalue the other, pre-existing vintage? Well, only if the new vintage were perceived to be better

Could this be the correct explanation of the fear? Could it be that conservatives (subconsciously?) believe that if same-sex marriage were to become more accepted and hence more common, heterosexuals would actually begin converting their sexual orientation? Could conservatives really (subconsciously?) believe that gay sex is so much better than straight sex, or that switching one’s sexual preference is, at least for most people, as easy as switching brands? It sounds silly, but you do often hear conservatives fantasizing about gay folks - especially teachers - “recruiting” children who would otherwise be straight, as if changing or determining someone’s sexual orientation - even a child’s - were as easy as giving them the right sales pitch!

I’m sure that there are plenty considerations I’ve missed, including some that might buck up the conservative case against gay marriage. It is true, for instance, that legally recognizing gay marriage would be a social experiment whose long term consequences are not entirely predictable. What is disappointing is that in the very next breath, conservatives are likely to deny the much more predictable and clearly dire consequences of that other “social experiment” in which we’ve been engaged for a hundred years: dumping millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Since changing marriage law would be a lot easier than repairing the atmosphere, I’d much rather experiment with same-sex marriage than with global warming.

Anyway, I’m just asking the question; I haven’t settled on any answer. So if you feel like venturing an opinion, I’d love to hear it. The comments are open.

More: blogherenow.net

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Lumberhead
KTVA Alaska Reporter Quits on Live TV Fuck It I Quit
A KTVA reporter in Anchorage, Alaska ended a segment on marijuana legalization Sunday evening by announcing herself as the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club and quitting on-air Good for her. More: KTVA Alaska Reporter Quits on Live TV ...

18 minutes ago
Views: 25 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Randall Gross
Why This Tiny Italian Restaurant Gives a Discount for Bad Yelp Reviews
In recent years, Yelp has been publicly accused of extortion--asking for money from businesses that are automatically listed on the site in exchange for preferred placement on the site. There are also accusations of abruptly vanishing positive reviews and ...

20 minutes ago
Views: 33 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Souliren
Cape Breton fiddler Andrea Beaton
Celtic Colours Festival 2010 Everyone seems to be having fun here.

1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 226 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Bubblehead II
LOHAN Coming to the States
Cool. Due to Spain being a jerk, the Registers bringing their LOHAN project to the States. More specifically, New Mexico's Spaceport America Don't let the cheesy writing style and Brit humor of the Registers reporters put you off. There is ...

1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 250 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
FemNaziBitch
‘I Was Really Stressed Out’: Anxiety Rules the Secret Life of Teens - Parents - TODAY.com
When hormones, grades and peer pressure rule your life, turmoil often follows. Yet many families don't realize how crippling the stress can be for their teenagers. TODAY's series on the secret lives of teens began Wednesday with NBC special ...

2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 317 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
theliel
AEI Decides to Weigh in on #GamersGate
So Polygon showcases the AEI's anti-femminist response to #gamergate talking about how games are for dudes and dudes need that space to continue being dudes and bitches should get back in that kitchen where they belong. Link is to Polygon ...

4 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 398 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
CriticalDragon1177
Alternet - Nicholas Wade’s Flawed Book Rewrites the History of Scientific Racism
Jon Phillips takes on Nicholas Wade's claims, and proves once again that so called "scientific" racism is little more than a pseudoscience. This was originally posted in September 2014 edition of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, ( ...

5 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 573 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 5
The War TARDIS
Doctor Who “Listen” Open Thread
I'm back. Last week, I couldn't do this thread, as something more important was going on. One of my best friends, a sweet, and very devout Christian, is going to the UK to help a Christian Group in Oxford, and ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 551 • Comments: 42
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Rightwingconspirator
Are Higher Frame Rates Really a Better Moving Image in Cinema?
As a guy who scratches the surface of this medium with humble indy efforts and some industrial video experience I have to watch carefully. If I commit to the wrong camera or format, it can hurt financially. Once I had ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 754 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 25 • Rating: 7
Slap
For guitar fans…
I suppose one needs to be a guitar freak of a certain age to recognize both of these guys. Gabrels' work might be familiar to fans of Bowie/Tin Machine. Nelson's work? I believe him to be one of the most ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 574 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly 'strange names', but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. -- From the Real Frank Zappa Book - Mr. Dad chapter