TwitterFacebook

Why Do Conservatives Fear Gay Marriage?

I’m just asking…
Opinion • Views: 29,900

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
nines09
Canadian Punchs Racism In The Face
A group of Ontario university students trying to prove that not all Canadians were Islamophobic following the shooting death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo appear to have made their point, after one of them was attacked while pretending to harass a ...

6 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 98 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Vicious Piebola
Funny or Die: 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a White Man
FunnyOrDie Video View video at link

6 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 123 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Randall Gross
Chinese Drivers Welcome Our New Robocar Overlords
A poll released today suggests that driverless cars appeal most in China and India and least in Japan, with English-speaking countries--the only comparison group--taking the middle ground. The Japanese position at the bottom and India's near the top are ...

12 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 105 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Lumberhead
That Time When Michael Grimm and His Opponent Couldn’t Name a Single Book They Had Read
For a candidate, being able to name a good, safe book when asking about reading habits should be as knee-jerk as enjoying a small-town slice of apple pie. Or kissing a baby. Or being in an ad with puppies ...

19 hours, 48 minutes ago
Views: 184 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
lockjawcanbefun
A perfectly rational reaction to the Ford defeat in Toronto
Don't give up after the first 10 seconds, you'll miss the fun. You can see the story behind this little piece of video here, but clicking on that will spoil the surprise.

2 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 395 • Comments: 5
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 4
FemNaziBitch
Fighting Human Trafficking in Supply Chains: What You Can Do | Madina Jarbussynova
As more and more stories of human trafficking appear in newspapers and on television, consumers are increasingly asking what they can do to fight this problem. Many are frustrated, and feel disconnected from the people who make the clothes ...

2 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 223 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
blah blah ad hominem mumbo jumbo.
Astronomical!: A Visual Of The Distance Between The Earth And The Moon.
This really demonstrates how amazing our journey to the moon really was. Pic and story

4 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 458 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
The War TARDIS
Preview to Doctor Who, Series 8 Finale -SPOILERS- Updated x2
It appears Clara may have gone bad, if the latest trailer is anything to go by: Lines and Pictures to go with them: Clara: Do I have your attention? You will never step inside your TARDIS again Ok... Clara seems ...

5 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 614 • Comments: 9
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
MichaelJ
Jordy Smith + Impossibly Long Sand Bottom Tubes
More: Jordy Smith + Impossibly Long Sand Bottom Tubes 47701

6 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 356 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
EiMitch
Cracked: 6 Halloween Pranks for Sociopaths With Unlimited Budgets
cracked.com America's No. 1 holiday celebrating violence and candy is just around the corner, and this year it looks to be better than ever, as the glorious union of art and technology has given us several exciting new ways to ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 689 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

On a personal level, Freaking Out is a process whereby an individual casts off outmoded and restricting standards of thinking, dress, and social etiquette in order to express CREATIVELY his relationship to his immediate environment and the social structure as a whole. -- from the liner notes of Freak Out.