A blogger called Don Allan has decided to ‘take aim’ at same-sex marriage. I could have posted a comment on his blog, but this is likely to be long and I doubt he’d publish it anyway.
I thought it would be informative if Allan’s objections to same-sex marriage were reframed as a (circa 1960s) argument against inter-racial marriage. Let’s see how his argument stacks up in this context.
To clarify, I have used Allan’s anti same-sex marriage argument, but replaced ‘homophobic’ with ‘racist’, ‘same sex’ with ‘inter-racial’ etc. To be fair to Allan, who was arguing against same-sex marriage – not mixed race marriage – I have indicated my changes to his text in red:
“Without knowing anything about me some people call me racist because I oppose inter-racial marriage. … I am blind to people’s colour, ethnicity, and sexual make up. So as the name callers now have this information I invite them to create a new name for me.
But …. before they start creating a new name, let [me] advise them that I am agnostic and my opposition to inter-racial marriage is based on historical evidence that, even in pre Judeo Christian societies, marriages were seen as special contracts between people of the same race, that age and circumstance permitting, could create racially pure children. Because of their importance, society called them marriage contracts, a title still observed, even in the world’s least sophisticated societies. And so racially pure children are born.
However, children’ s real racial make up [does not become an issue] until later when sexual attraction[comes into play]. The result: humanity becomes a complicated mix of races. This mixture of races often causes complications in society for the individuals concerned and their families.
One such complication is that some, but not all, people of colour, claim they are being denied their human rights because American law says people of different races cannot marry.
I can only say I have never thought of “Marriage” as a human right although it has become a “rite.” Marriage for me has always been a contract that millenniums ago, came to be recognised as the title created by society for people of the same race joined in unions that would be responsible for racial regeneration.
Speaking as an individual, I believe all human beings are equal, but different – and not just racially. But believing all people are equal canot hide either the differences or the scientific fact that no laws can ever make non–whites genetically the same as white people. By the same token, it was society that created the title marriage, not a God of religion.
Sadly at times, the difference between the different races leads to discrimination that must be eradicated for the benefit of society. To do this I believe that education programmes that help teach people to be blind to the colour, ethnicity and sexual make up, should start as early in childhood as possible.
And also as a means of reducing discrimination, inter-racial couples wishing to contract with each other should rejoice and celebrate their difference with couples of the same race, rather than both groups engage in hostilities that are anything but a tribute to humanity …
[I have omitted the last couple of paragraphs because I could make no sense of them but you can read them here.]
I have used the following quote before, but it bears repeating when we get this kind of ‘I am not a racist’/ ‘I am not homophobic BUT …’ argument. It, too, comes from the 1960s when African Americans were fighting for civil rights in the same way homosexuals are fighting for equality today. Consider this cloying statement signed by eighty ministers from Arkanas explaining the Church’s opposition to integration:
“This statement is not made with any enmity or hatred in our hearts for the Negro race. We have an abiding love for all people . . . [But] [w]e believe that the best interests of all races are served by segregation …We resent the implication by certain liberal ministers that it is un-Christian to oppose integration. We believe that integration is contrary to the will of God … is based on a false theory of the ‘universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.’ We believe that integration is not only un-Christian, but that it violates all sound sociological principles and is not supported by Scripture or by biological facts.”
Does anyone truly believe, despite their earnest protestations to the contrary, those ministers were not hateful, narrow-minded, racist bigots?? Why, then, should we believe anything better of those who use exactly the same kinds of arguments to oppose same-sex marriage?
Allan’s argument simply makes no sense. There are many traditional practices that have changed over time as we have become better, more inclusive societies. There is no need for tradition to tie us to unjust laws once we have realised they do not serve the greater good or unnecessarily harm minorities.
Similarly, marriage has never been confined only to those who can have children – so it is disingenous to argue that homosexuals should not be able to marry because they cannot reproduce. Does Allan also suggest that someone who is infertile should only be allowed a ‘civil union’ and not a marriage?
Finally, Allan’s insistence that he is ‘blind’ to people’s colour, ethnicity or sexual ‘make up’ rings hollow when he uses the old segregationist canard, ‘equal but different’. Remember, that and ‘tradition’ are the same arguments the Catholic church uses to explain away their discrimination against ordaining women. Even most Catholic women don’t buy it as anything other than sexist, misogynistic crap.
Sorry Don, you may not like the epithet, but you have failed to convince me you aren’t just another homophobe hiding behind a rather large pile of paper-thin arguments.