Sunday, March 2, 2014

22 myths about gay and gay marriage

The fight in this country regarding gay marriage is based on misinformation both on the right and on the left.  The purpose of this post is to clear up some of these myths so we can make informed decisions, kiss, make up, and get on with our lives.  

1.  The liberal argument is to champion for gay rights. The truth is, all people are born with natural rights, and these natural rights are protected by the Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  

One natural right, for instance, is the right to choose who we spend our time with. 
These founding documents were written for "We the People," meaning all the people.  No laws can be written to deny this right, and no laws have.  Two straight people can spend time together, and two gay people can spend time together.  No natural rights are violated.  

2.  The liberal argument is that gay people should get the same benefits from marriage that straight people get.   Sure, if marriage has benefits, gay people should have the opportunity to get these same benefits.  

On the other hand, if the only reason gay people want to marry is benefits, then that sort of deflates the purpose of marriage.  Marriage is a union or a commitment between two people based out of love and respect and the promise to take care of each other regardless of the hardships that will come on the road ahead.  If people are marrying just for benefits, then perhaps the benefits should be taken out of marriage. 

That said, if the people of a state are adamantly opposed to "scarring" the institution of marriage, then civil unions are an option.  Yet this path seems to have been rejected by the ignorant on the right who have no tolerance for their gay brethren.   

3.  The gay fight should be on the federal level. Again, there is no need to fight for change on the federal level.  The U.S. clearly already protects the natural rights of gay people.  The tenth amendment reserves the right to make any laws regarding gay marriage to the states or to the people.  So the fight should be on the state level and not on the federal level.  

4.  An argument on the right is that God prohibits the gay life.  This is perhaps one of the biggest myths of all time.  The Hebrews were very concerned with the spread of disease, and were the first to prescribe to the idea of disease prevention.

Since they observed that the transmission of disease was rampant among gay men, they discouraged the behavior and encouraged only monogamous relationships. When Moses gave his people laws, it was not because he hated his "gay" brethren, but because he wanted to prevent the spread of disease among his people.

Of course this was taken out of context by later generations who were ignorant of what the situation was at the time the Bible was written.  The truth is, God loves gay people just as much as he loves straight people.  

5.  An argument of the right is that if gay marriage is legal, there will be a bunch of gay men walking around holding hands, something they want to avoid discussing with their kids.  The truth is there will be no more exposure to this after a law is made than what is already occurring.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the present time just over 2% of Americans comprise the homosexual population.  There's no reason to believe that a law making gay marriage legal would increase this population. 

6.  People who oppose gay marriage hate gay people. This is a generalization that is more than likely false.  Most people who oppose gay marriage don't hate gay people, they hate that people want to risk hurting the institution of marriage. They hate the thing, the idea, not the people. This is not to say that there are a few people in the majority who are intolerant to the homosexual population.  Yet to say that the few represent the view of the majority is poppycock.

7. A liberal argument says the gay fight is the same as the fight for black civil rights.  People who believe this think that those who oppose gay marriage are no better than racists who denied black people the right to vote.  This could not be further from the truth, yet it's been repeated so many times that some people simply start to believe it as fact.

To understand this we must understand the difference between natural rights and civil rights.  Natural rights are those rights that we are born with that cannot be taken away by government.  Natural rights include the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  They include the right to breathe air, the right to eat, the right to search for food, and the right to defend yourself.  They also include the right to enter into a contract.  Civil rights means the right to have all the laws enforced equally among all the people.

Black people were denied their natural rights.  For instance, while white people were allowed to ride on buses, black people were not; white people were allowed to live free, and black people were not.  Since the laws were not enforced equally, black people had their civil rights violated: They had to fight for their civil rights.

The fight for gay marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. All people are born with a natural right to enter into a contract, and marriage is a contract.  The constitution protects the right to enter into a contract, although it does not define contract. This means that the definition of contract, by the 10th amendment, is reserved to the states to define.

It is not a violation of civil rights for a state to act in the public interest by regulating through state law under what conditions a marriage contract can be entered into.  So, by the laws of most states, marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.  Any man can marry any woman, and no man can marry another man.

Civil rights are not violated so long as this law is enforced equally.  However, it would be a violation of civil rights to tell someone, "You cannot get married to anyone."  It would be a violation of civil rights to tell this gay couple they can get married, but this gay couple cannot.  If this were the case, then gay marriage would be a civil rights issue.  But this is not the case.

So the right that gay marriage proponents claim exists really does not. The right of all men and all women to marry is not denied by state laws. The ability for a person to marry someone of the same sex is equally denied to everyone.  Therefore, this is not a violation of civil rights. 

8.  The term gay means homosexual.  False, but not completely false.  The truth is, the term gay means happy or full of mirth or care free.  It comes from the Old French term gai, which in turn comes from a Germantic word that is not completely known.  In fact, you can hear the word used in the tune for the Flintstones: "You'll have a gay old time."  So you can see that as of the 1960s the term gay, in the mainstream anyway, still meant happy, mirth, or carefree.

However, there were times throughout history where the term "gay" was used as a slang term in reference for lifestyles that were not traditionally acceptable.  For instance, in the 17th century the definition was twisted to mean "of loose and immoral life."  This was a twist on the original meaning "care free."

In the 19th century the term was used as slang to refer to a woman who was a prostitute, or a man who slept with a lot of women, sort of the opposite of today's use of the term. There was also a phrase "gaying it up" which referred to having sex.

The modern use of the term "gay" as slang for "homosexual" was started in in the 1920s and 1930s.  It was from this point on that gay people referred to themselves as gay.

In 1955 the homosexual crowd took the term "gay" national, starting a public relations campaign to make the term popular.  The reason was because they thought "gay" shed a positive light, as opposed to the offensive sounding "homosexual" or "homo."  The goal was to shed better light on homosexual behavior.  The PR campaign was a huge success.  This is a perfect example of how perceptions can change over time by spreading information as opposed to forcing change by laws.

9.  Marriage is about love:  This is one of the main arguments by the left.  They say if two people love each other, whether gay or straight, they should be able to create a union and share each other fully. However, if marriage were about love, then it would be easy for a couple to make the selfish decision to separate when they fall out of love.  If it were about love, then there would be no need to stay married when love was no more.  The truth is that marriage was created to create a stable environment for the children.  It is about the welfare of children.

This was explained best by Mona Charen in her October 14, 2014, article at nationalreview.com, "Answering Ted Olson: Changing Marriage is not the way to secure dignity and respect for gay couples." She said:
The idea of endorsing same sex marriage implies that mothers and fathers don't matter.   If two men who love each other or two women who love each other are equally good for children’s welfare, then the argument that men and women should marry and remain faithful to the partner with whom they conceived children loses its force.
The “being with someone you love” case fits nicely on a greeting card, but it also contributes to the divorce culture, because the implicit message is that when you no longer love someone, the purpose of the marriage is over. Adults’ feelings will trump all, as they too often do already.
The move for same-sex marriage was never about marriage. It was about social acceptance. We should give the social acceptance, but not undermine marriage.
So marriage is not about love, it is a union between a man and a woman in order to create a favorable environment for creating and raising children. At least this is how it has been defined traditionally, and how it is still defined by most states.

10.  Gay couples should not be allowed to raise children:  Poppycock!  Gay couples who can create the stable environment required for the raising of children are just as capable of raising children as anyone else.  There are many children in this world in need of a good home, and if this home can be created by a gay couple than this should be an acceptable part of our society.

11.  Gay marriage would result in no harmful societal effects.  Not necessarily true.  If you tamper with the definition of marriage, where does it stop.  It doesn't just stop with people of the same sex getting married. People in UK want to marry their dogs and everybody's saying, "Well, it's okay. We've changed the definition," and the same-sex marriage crowd says, "No, no, no, no, no. You can't!" Why not? You're the ones that wanted the definition changed. Where does it end?  Justice Samuel Alito recently tackled this topic during a Supreme Court Debate, saying, "Why not let four lawyers marry one another?" There's a reason traditional American marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman, and it is to prevent such a slippery slope from occurring.  When such occurs, the definition of marriage may become so watered down that it no longer has any viable meaning.

12.  The old view of marriage is now considered bigotry. Some people are now considered inconsiderate bigots for supporting traditional marriage. To understand why this is not true let us further differentiate between the old, traditional definition of marriage, and the new definition of marriage.
  • Traditional. Marriage is between a man and a woman.  It's needed to shape sexual behavior and promote the well-being of children.  It is a long-term commitment and not a convenience. It is about children and raising them properly.  It is about creating families and holding them together, promoting culture, and keeping it solid and together. It is about something specific. It is a solid structure that is good for all eternity, despite its faults. It has long-term value. It is a commitment. It is an unchanging, solid foundation to hold societies together regardless of the changing desires of that society.  It is an institution.  Ideally, originally, marriage was defined as a union between a man and a woman, and under God.  It is about advancing the human race and creating culture. 
  • New. Marriage is about love and convenience. It's an emotional union between another person or a thing.  There is no specific goal other than to show love or to obtain some convenience, such as benefits or some other specious desire.  There is no long-term commitment, and no long term goals. When you fall out of love, you just get divorced and move on.  It does nothing to hold families, society together.  It does not promote culture in any way.  It is not about something specific. It is not a solid structure. It has no institutional long-term value. It is not a commitment. It is not a solid foundation for holding societies together, and therefore has no societal benefits.  It is an institution. It has nothing to do with a man and a woman, and nothing whatsoever to do with God. It has nothing to do with advancing the human race and nothing to do with culture. 
So, traditional marriage is not about bigotry, although liberal teachers and the media (such as every one on the Today Show) have done an excellent job of marketing new marriage so that people who even consider holding on to traditional views are often considered bigots and homophobes.  This is not true, as traditionalists do not hate gay people; they (most of them anyway) respect them as any of their other brethren.  Yet because they don't want tradition messed with, they are frequently called names.

13.  Traditional marriage is inferior to the new view of marriage.  The writers of National Review Online answer this one:  "We think the older view is not only unbigoted, but rationally superior to the newer one. Supporters of the older view [of marriage] have often said that it offers a sure ground for resisting polygamy while the newer one does not (offer that resistance). But perhaps the more telling point is that the newer view does not offer any strong rationale for having a social institution of marriage in the first place, let alone a government-backed one."

14.  Gay marriage is a Constitutional Issue for the Supreme Court to Rule on.  Wrong. Again, and I probably sound like I'm being redundant here, but the Constitution does not even mention gay marriage, and therefore, as per the 10 Amendment, it is up to the States to decide. The Constitution neither commands states to adopt one of these two understandings of marriage (the old nor the new definition) nor forbids them to.

Since it is not an Enumerated power, Congress cannot act on it -- but states can.  This is called Federalism. In this sense, some states may make laws granting gay marriage is legal, while others may choose not to.  So, when the issue of gay marriage comes to the Supreme Court, the Court should declare that this is not a matter for the Court to decide.

On this issue, Justice Kennedy said, "This definition has been with us for millennia, and it's very difficult for the court to say, 'Oh, well. We know better.'"  In other words, it's not up to the courts to decide the old view of marriage is bigoted, and that the new view is superior.  Of course Kennedy also said it's not up to the courts to decide that only "opposite-sex couples, uh, can have a bonding with the child. That was a very interesting... That's just a wrong premise."

So true.  So, the Constitution does not allow the Supreme Court to decide this issue: it  an issue that should be decided either on a state, local, or individual basis.  Worded another way: there is no Constitutional right to marry, and there is no constitutional right for two men or two women to marry either.  So the issue is not for the courts to decide.  If the courts somehow find that there is, it is wrong.  However, while there is no constitutional right, that hasn't stopped the courts from finding one (as was the case in Rowe -vs- Wade).

15. If gay marriage is found constitutional, it will not affect churches.  Wrong.  If the Supreme Court finds that the same sex marriage is a constitutional right, then this may force Catholic churches to marry same sex couples.  If churches refuse to do this, they may lose their tax-exempt status. This will eliminate many churches.  For some people on the left, this is the ultimate goal: to eliminate churches.  That's what happened in Communist Russia.  It Was the goal of fascism.  So you can see that such a decision will cause further conflict, and further divide our nation the same way the Rowe- vs- Wade decision did.

16.  Twenty-Five percent of Americans are gay?  It's true, a recent Gallup Poll showed that American adults believe 25% of Americans are gay.  The estimated population of the gay and lesbian population is thought to be 2%.  So why do people think the percentage is so high.  The answer may be because this number is beefed up by a liberal press and Hollywood.  According to Gay and Lesbian Against Defamation (GLAD), out of 813 scripted regulars, 32 are gay or lesbian. This means that 40% of characters on TV are gay or lesbian.  So, with the gay and lesbian population inflated in Hollywood, the warped view of the gay and lesbian population makes sense.  The truth is that the gay and lesbian population is 6 million, with only about half of them (about 3 million) championing for gay marriage.  Still, this small minority has had significant success in the U.S. in their efforts to change the traditional institution that has been the glue and fabric of traditional families in America.

17.  The high divorce rate shows traditional marriage doesn't work anyway.  Wrong.  Just because some people enter into the institution of marriage and fail doesn't mean it's the fault of the institution.  Not everyone is going to obey the rules of marriage.  Not everyone is going to succeed.  An institution is what it is; it is not defined by who enters into it. The problem with marriage is not the institution, it's certain groups of people who, based on their desires at that moment, leave people to think it is unfair that they cannot enter into it.  Certain people are the problem, it's not marriage. The problem is that certain people have been convinced that, based on the whims and wishes of the modern world, marriage is unfair and that everyone should be included.  They are the problem, not the institution of marriage.  Ideas change and people change, but marriage is unchanging.  However, if you change the definition to suit modern desires, then marriage has no meaning. Those who inculcate such change, they are the problem with marriage.  The institution of marriage, when left alone, has worked to hold societies together for over a thousand years. So, while certain marriages fail, marriage itself does not fail, so long as it's traditional nature, it's traditional definition as being between a man and a woman, holds true.

18.  Traditional marriage is unfair.  It is fair.  It is so that any man can marry any woman.  No two men can marry one another.  Every male and every female has an opportunity to enter into it, and all such unions have an equal opportunity to succeed.  It is up to the individuals to make it succeed. Some people, or groups of people, are made to think it is unfair because it doesn't offer them what they want (such as benefits), but that does not mean the institution of marriage in and of itself is unfair.  Fair is that people who cannot enter into it can find some other means to find happiness, benefits, or what have you.  Fair is that any man can marry any woman he wants, and any woman can marry any man she wants.  Fair is that, in most states, no man can marry another man, and no woman can marry another woman.  So long as the law is enforced equally, it is fair.

19.  Marriages do not hold families, cultures together.  Wrong.  Every study ever done on the subject shows that societies where traditional marriage is inculcated, children are 70-80% more likely to become productive members of society.  It has been proven over and over again.  There have been so many studies on this that I don't think it would serve any purpose to list just one here. This is one of the reasons why some people believe the best way to help impoverished people is to encourage marriage between one man and one woman.  This is the time tested best method of helping people and societies rise up out of poverty and to maintain productivity.  Yet once you allow same sex marriage, that changes the whole definition of marriage; it changes the whole meaning of it.  Marriage in this new sense has no meaning, and has no societal value other than to make people happy in the moment. People who worry about the attacks on traditional marriage worry about future implications of such action, such as the eventual breakdown of the society our forefathers worked so hard to build.

20.  Republicans/ conservatives/ Christians need to become more tolerant toward gays to maintain relevancy. The argument here is that we need to soften our image and become more tolerant in order to win future elections.  While homosexuality and transgenderism was once considered weird, they are now considered normal.  So, those who wish to defend old, worn out, conservative/ Christian values in favor of marriage as between a man and a woman are now considered weird. They are considered discriminatory, mean-spirited, bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist, and misogynist.  They are considered deadbeats, dryballs, and sticks in the mud. So in order to stay relevant the republican party must change, or move forward.  This is a myth, because, if republicans caved on every issue like this, they would become democrats and liberals: there would be no difference between the two parties. The truth is that republicans/ conservatives/ Christians ARE tolerant toward all people, especially especially the gay community.  Our gay brothers and sisters need and deserve our prayers.  Rather than cave, republicans/ conservatives/ Christians need to become as good at getting their message out as the the 3 million who want to make gay marriage legal have.  We must explain that we love all our brethren, including our gay brethren. As Pope Francis once said, "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person." We must educate people that the quest to preserve tradition is a quest to preserve culture that is needed for a society to continue to exist, it is not an attack on the gay community. All the reasons to this are explained in my response to myths 1-19 above.

21.  All gays are democrats.  The truth is that many gays are republicans who humbly go about their lives. They do not try to force their views on the majority.

22.  Marriage is not a religious thing, it goes way back further than Christianity.  Wrong. It's not something that some slave owner 200 years ago invented specifically to discriminate against people. The first references to marriage anybody knows of are in Genesis. So you can say that the first references to marriage come from God.  Genesis 2:23-24:  "Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was staken out of Man."   "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."  It's also reaffirmed in the New Testament in Matthew 19:4-6, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so no longer two, they're one. What, therefore, God has joined together, let no man separate."  There was no solid definition of marriage before religion, and that's what the left wants to get back to.  They want there to be a watered down meaning to marriage so that religion has less meaning.  That's their goal.

23.  People are born gay.  Look, I'm no scientist and no doctor, and I don't think I'm any more qualified to know this is true or false than anyone.  And, just to repeat something here, I really don't think it really matters why people are gay.  As the old saying goes: "It is what it is."  We should respect people for what they are, and we should love everyone regardless of who they choose to spend their time with or who they choose to love.  In essence, this is what Jesus would want.  Still, that said, if you look at the logic of it, the idea that people are born gay doesn't make sense.  Look at it this way: The #1 objective of every species, of every one of God's creatures, is to procreate to keep the species alive. Think of it this way, environmentalists are concerned that the north white rhino and the Amur Leopard might go extinct.  Well, imagine if the only two of each of these animals were gay.  The species would go extinct.  Imagine if all white rhinos were gay as of ten years ago.  Then the species would have gone extinct long ago.  The truth to the matter is, you never hear about gay dogs, cats, lions, tigers, bears, rats, mice or cows.  In the same way, God (or nature, or the peanut butter ferry or whatever you believe) does not make gay people. Gay, like love, is a choice.  You choose it.  That's fine.  That's acceptable to me.

Bottom line: Any discussion in the arena of ideas should be made in light of the facts, and, to the best of my ability, I have attempted to allay myths about homosexual marriage using nothing but facts here, compared to "It sounds good" or "It makes me feel good."  Regardless, as a nation of God fearing people, we must love one another as Jesus loves us.  So, if I succeeded in allaying common misconceptions about gay marriage, you are now armed with the wisdom needed to further this discussion in the arena of ideas.

Further Reading: