Hi guys. I’m seeing a TON of information about Prop 8 and DOMA on social media. Like, it’s seriously blowing up my feed. Which is good, that there is dialogue, but many people have pointed out that the marriage equality bit is really just the tip of the iceberg. Civil rights, specifically those pertaining to people who identify as LGBTQI, is still an enormous issue, and I personally happen to believe that legalizing marriage for consenting adults, regardless of gender identification, is not going to solve everything. In the same way that requiring desegregation of public schools didn’t solve everything during those civil rights movements. This is a start, a public start, and I think that’s fantastic. I would just caution against believing that once the darn government loosens up, people will.
Because people are stubborn. And misguided. And have been taught different ways for so many years that this is still an uphill battle for civil rights for all human beings.
(Clarification about who am I in this dialogue: I identify as Christian and hetero, and believe in a God, who I find particularly awesome, kind, and loving. AND I happen to think there are a lot bigger issues at stake in the world that Christians should be making a big racket about – Armenian genocide, anyone? Lack of clean water in developing nations? – than whether people who identify as LGBTQI can marry. Way bigger. I think you love who you love, don’t personally know what God really thinks about the situation, and truly believe that gay marriage should be legal because I find all previously-heard arguments against it invalid, poorly constructed, and/or narrow-minded.)
So there’s that.
Anyway, that wasn’t exactly the direction I planned on going with this. What got me all riled up about this tonight were several statements made by a prominent Christian rapper, Lecrae, via Facebook. I don’t listen to him (rap is NOT my thing), but these statements had been posted by some of my more conservative Christian friends and, for the sake of openness, they are as follows:
“Religion aside. What are we basing equality on? The right to be with whoever you love? What if I love my sister? A 13 year old? An animal? Does the basis for equality still work? I’m Not[sic] spewing hate, I’m asking honestly about consistency? Again I’m leaving religion out of this.”
“What equality are we asking for? The equal right to marry who you love right? So the logic follows “if we love each other we should have the right to marry.” If that’s the case should polygamy and incest should be fought for as well? If they love each other should they have equal rights? If two 13 year olds think they are mature enough for a consensual marriage, should they fight for their rights?”
These comments – and they are not the only ones he posted today – immediately sparked a large dialogue which, from what I can see, is much more an attack on people who identify as gay than anything else. There were some words of support for marriage equality but they were definitely in the minority (not a surprise, as Lecrae is a very obviously Christian rapper).
Aside from the the grammatical errors and my personal belief that this musical artist really ought to hire someone to do his PR and marketing…just, WHAT? Can we just talk about how absolutely ridiculous these arguments are? These questions, meant to spark dialogue are just…I can’t even. (In the man’s defense, I think he genuinely thinks he’s trying to start a non-hateful conversation, it’s just not working out too well. And an intelligent 12-year-old could pick apart his platform.)
So, broken down simply, here are the points from Lecrae’s questions and the flaws I find in this line of thinking.
1. In asking if we base equality on who we love: what about loving siblings?
Siblings, first of all, are siblings! That is a different kind of love. If that is romantic…I’m not really sure what goes on there, but I feel like romantic love for one’s siblings is decidedly not right. The logical answer to this “what about loving siblings” bit is to simply point out the huge genetic issues that can crop up with that kind of intermarriage. Not good for the gene pool. Not good for babies. Generally when you make a baby you don’t want to, you know, breed an insane one. Historically insanity does kind of go hand in hand with incest (if you doubt me, check out the European royal families).
2. In asking if we base equality on who we love: what about loving a minor?
Minors CAN’T get married. The laws vary from state to state about the age of consent, but generally it’s somewhere between sixteen and eighteen years of age. And, in most cases, if you’re over eighteen then it’s not legal for you to sleep with a minor. Which kind of rules out marriage, don’t you think? The logical, moral nail in this argument hinges on the fact that we, as a society, don’t consider minors capable of making huge life decisions. Marriage is a huge life decision. Their brains haven’t fully developed (technically your brain doesn’t fully develop until 25, anyway), but people under the age of eighteen are still in very formative years. As such, they aren’t allowed to be responsible for making decisions about marrying and, if someone who was, say 30, wanted to marry a minor, then it wouldn’t be considered consensual because that person is too young to make that kind of decision.
3. In asking if we base equality on who we love: what about loving animals?
Oh dear goodness. I never understand why people try to use this argument, as if legalizing marriage between two men or two women will somehow degenerate the legal system in such a way that we see it as acceptable to marry a horse. The OBVIOUS difference here is that the legalizing of marriage between two adult men or two adult women would be legalization of the marriage of two consenting adults. Why do we have a problem with the marriage of two consenting adults? A horse/dog/cat/insert-animal-here is not a consenting adult! It is not human. They may be sweet, cute, fluffy, etc, but animals are not consenting adults. It’s pretty much idiotic to act like marriage between same sex couples can degenerate into the legalization of marital bestiality.
4. The polygamy issue.
I already covered incest and minors, so we’re just going to address this last thing and call it a night. Honestly, maybe there will be a day when this is acceptable. I don’t know. My gut doesn’t immediately see any huge logical arguments against this; just the emotional, moral sense that something is not quite right with polygamy. Like life can’t be equal when you share it three or four ways. Like how most cases of polygamy that come up are not equal relationships, but relationship in which the male is the definitive head of the house and the women are lesser citizens. Polygamy typically, historically, does not depict relationships in which every person shares an equal part of that relationship. (Perhaps there are some functional polyamorous relationships, but I haven’t personally seen any go particularly splendidly.) On the other hand monogamous homosexual couples can, you know, love each other and equally participate in their relationship and doing life together.
This whole marriage equality thing…some Christians act like legalizing gay marriages is taking something away from the church. I honestly don’t think it is. If Kim Kardashian can be married for 72 days, and Brittany Spears can stay married for a matter of HOURS, I think it’s safe to say that the whole sanctity of marriage thing is sort of kaput. This is not about desecrating a holy sacrament: it’s about allowing all adults to make their own decisions about how to live their lives, and allowing all adults the same civil liberty opportunities.
Marriage is what you and your partner put into it. If you want it to be sacred, for ever and ever amen, holy and beautiful, then it will be (or at least you’ll have a better shot and making it mean something). If you do it because you’re stupid, for publicity, because you’re pregnant but don’t love each other…I’m not saying any of these scenarios have a definite outcome, but I am saying this: if you approach marriage as a permanent state of being with someone you love, gender completely aside, then it’s going to be something beautiful. If you approach it cavalierly and divorce at the first sign of rocks on the highway…not very sacred.