Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Give me a valid reason

Gay marriage is in the air... Matt has had two recent blog entries about gay marriage and gay rights. It is interesting that the conservatives that showed up in the comments to oppose both these issues never really make a solid argument. There's a lot of vagueness, but never anything based in a solid, rational argument.

In this week's Advocate, there's an article about the scientific research studies going on about gay marriage now that it's been legalized in several countries, and in Massachusetts. From the article:

[Two researchers] found that legal recognition of same-sex marriage has an impact on public health. Countries the recognize same-sex couples have had lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. "When we asked couples how being married has affected their lives, a common answer was that it made them monogamous."

About another journal article, published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy, a peer-reviewed journal the Advocate article says:

It shows that in spite of their ability to create alternative family structures, gays and lesbians suffer hindered mental health and well-being as a result of being denied the right to marry.

So here we have actual evidence that denying gays their right to marry has actual and tangible harmful effect on their health and mental well-being. This is no longer an abstract argument about "values" and "lifestyles." This is about Republicans pushing policies that will actually harm people's health.

In light of this, the standard conservative anti-gay arguments are no longer adequate. I have never heard a Republican argument against gay rights that had a solid, logical, and rational basis. They're always vague and handwaving about "values" (thank you, but I'm a moral person in my own right) and "protecting marriage" (are we going to run out of it?).

So I'm asking for one. Tell me exactly what is so important that it is more important to deny gays the right to marry that is has to come at the expense of their physical well-being. No emotional arguments. No appeals to the Bible. No handwaving arguments. Spell it out for me, and use small words if you have to. Show me in specific and tangible ways that heterosexual marriage has actually been damaged in Massachusetts and Canada.

This is not just about gay marriage. Remember, that the Republican Party doesn't just want to restrict marriage rights to men and women (and only how they define the terms, mind you). The current state of affairs is only a temporary cease fire. Once they defeat gay marriage, they will start working to criminalize just being gay. Criminalizing sodomy was part of the Texas Republican party platform in 2004.

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