There is a rather beautiful story that emerged from Chinese State of Chu during the Zhou dynasty, in which a wonderful male writer named Pan Zhang meets and falls in love with another male named Wang Zhongxian. The people of the town in which they lived adored the two. A contemporary writer writes that the two are:
“affectionate as husband and wife, sharing the same coverlet and pillow with unbounded intimacy for one another”
The story continues, that the two die on the same day, holding each other, and when they’re buried, a tree grew from their grave spot, and the twigs entwined.
It has only been since Western progressions into China, that homosexuality has been considered wrong.
No horrendous Church or vicious Mosque owns the definition of marriage. They appropriated the institution, and created their own definition. This is absolutely not a definition we must all consider unquestionable. Every argument I have yet come across, has a religious element. And it’s easy to understand why;
The only reason gay people have been oppressed so viciously over the years, is because of religion. Absolutely no other reason. How absurd that a bronze aged book of fairy tales about a paranoid sky dictator has that sort of power to stigmatise an entire group of people that otherwise would not have to suffer such stigma, and bullying, and fear. For that alone, I think it’s vital to utterly despise religion and speak out against it at every possible opportunity.
We must not be led to believe that the Church has a rightful monopoly on what constitutes marriage.
The House of Commons today is alive with bigoted and homophobic Tory MPs insisting that they aren’t bigoted nor homophobic, whilst presenting arguments against gay marriage that curiously follow rather bigoted strands of ‘reasoning’ (and I use that term in its loosest possible form). The Supreme Court of the United States is working to decide whether to uphold the Christian fundamentalist “Defence of Marriage Act”, that has no basis in reasonable discussion, and is entirely the realm of mystical fairy tales. If the Supreme Court upholds DOMA, Secularism takes another battering from the unconstitutional, Christian Far Right. I will try to briefly address a few of the ludicrous arguments being put forth by the regressive homophobes in the Tory Party and the Republican Party.
This argument relies solely on the idea that the institution of marriage has absolutely always followed the same defining route. It simply hasn’t. We know that marriage has changed radically over the years, and has different meanings to different cultures. We know that the old noble families of Europe insisted on marriage in order to cement or strengthen social and economic status. Rarely was marriage anything to do with love.
For much of human history, we have had marriage. Granted, it hasn’t always been called marriage, but the naming is irrelevant, the coming together of two people in a shared bond has always existed; the name simply evolved alongside the institution. Stone aged marriage is now referred to as ‘pair bonding’. It was used to provide a stable social structure, though it seems love may have played a part given that social status was not yet a defining feature of human society.
Hebrew society engaged in polygamy much of the time, it certainly wasn’t frowned upon. Monogamy in a marriage is a pretty new development. We know that the Islamic Prophet Mohamad married Aisha when she was 6 years old. In Ancient Rome, marriage was civil, it was not overtly religious. In India, if the bride was born when Mars and Saturn are “under the 7th house”, she is considered cursed and could end up murdering her husband. And so to break the curse, the bride must first marry a tree, the tree is then destroyed, and the bride is free from the curse forever. In the Tidong community in Northern Borneo, after marriage, the couple must not urinate for three days. Marriage is not official within the Neur tribe in Sudan, until the bride has had two children.
In 1061, Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz were married in Rairiz de Veiga in Spain, by a Priest.
It was only in 1967, that the US allowed interracial marriage. By 1910, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah had all banned interracial marriage. And what was used to justify anti-miscegenation laws in the US? You wont be surprised to hear that it was the Bible. Christian groups opposed to interracial marriage would often cite the story of Phinehas and the Curse of Ham.
The Judge presiding over the case of the Loving’s; an interracial couple that this Judge sentenced to jail for marrying, stated:
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
– Religion. Specifically, Christianity… has always been used to justify control over whom should be allowed to love who. The Conservatives in the Commons today are doing the same thing. They wish to control love.
As suggested with the story of Pan Zhang, Same-sex unions have always existed. They are not a new thing. They have only recently come to be demonised, and that is down purely to the Church. The great cancer on the face of society.
We know for example, that at least 13 Roman Emperors were either bi-sexual or exclusively homosexual. We know that Nero married a male in a very public ceremony. We know that the Ancient American Indians practiced a form of same-sex union known as ‘Two Spirit’ relationships, in which anthropologist Brian Gilley said:
In many tribes, individuals who entered into same-sex relationships were considered holy and treated with utmost respect and acceptance
So the ‘definition’ of marriage varies widely, from culture, and history. What the modern Church and its Tory bigots actually mean is, it wishes complete control over what marriage SHOULD mean, according to their very narrow doctrines. That, only their World view is acceptable. That, rights should be approved by them first.
This is used against homosexuality in general. It is based solely on sexual and biological ignorance, promoted by faith. Since a review by Canadian researcher and biologist Bruce Bagemihl in 1999, it has been widely understood that at least 1,500 species have been shown to exhibit homosexual tendencies. At least 10% of the population of domesticated sheep, are exclusively homosexual. A study in London by M.J Cole noted that homosexual behaviour in Giraffes tends to be more common than heterosexual behaviour. The African Lion has been noted to have homosexual tendencies.
Dr. Jerome Goldstein, Director of the San Francisco Clinical Research Center, says:
“Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, it is primarily neurobiological at birth”
“Using volumetric studies, there have been findings of significant cerebral amygdala size differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects. Sex dimorphic connections were found among homosexual participants in these studies.”
In fact, there is not one reputable scientific source that will in any way, suggest that sexuality is merely a choice. There is not one reputable scientific source that will say: “You know, turns out Leviticus was right”. None. This includes:
The American Psychiatric Association,
The World Health Organisation,
The American Psychological Association,
The American Medical Association,
The Academy of Pediatrics,
The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists
Council on Child and Adolescent Health,
The British Psychological Society,
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy…..
…. all of these intensely reputable sources, with a wealth of research and evidence, will all tell you that sexuality, is part of a natural spectrum. There is no debate here. The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists released a statement to:
“clarify that homsexuality is not a psychiatric disorder. There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish.”
Now, there is only one species that has Gods. There is only one species that has homophobic tendencies. And there is only one species that has marriage. So which is the more unnatural?
Sexuality is a spectrum. It is not simply “gay and straight” with one being “right” and the other being “unnatural”. Sexuality therefore is not a choice. Building on that idea, Alfred Kinsey, the great biologist noted:
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.”
– To deny this fundamental fact of nature, i’m afraid, is not just very uneducated, it is unnatural.
A wonderful in-depth study by Binbin Wang et al, found that allele types differed greatly between homosexual men and heterosexual men. A further study by Sven Bocklandt et al, found that mothers of gay sons, have higher rates of extreme skewing of X-Chromosome inactivation, than those without gay sons. All the evidence points to genetics playing a role in sexuality. Therefore, it is very very natural. Christianity on the other hand….. a social construct. Absolutely nothing to do with genetics. Completely man made. Unnatural.
And let us also not forget that whilst being told by the religious that “Homosexuality is unnatural”, they spend Easter Sunday celebrating the coming back to life of a dead man, who sacrificed himself to himself, to atone for the sins that he himself created. Nature is the best!
Charles Cooper, the Attorney defending California’s ban on gay marriage stated:
“the central purpose of marriage in virtually all societies and at all times has been to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring stable unions to increase the likelihood that any offspring will be raised by the man and woman who brought them into the world.”
– Curiously, Cooper hasn’t yet called for infertile couples to be banned from marriage, or couples that don’t want children, or the elderly. By his logic, we should ban all of those groups from marriage. But we don’t. We don’t because we believe marriage is about love, and the right to express that love. It is not simply a means to create offspring. If you believe your marriage is purely about reproduction, then your mechanical relationship is rather miserable in itself. “I married this woman, purely to reproduce”. How romantic.
Wedding vows would certainly be interesting if those who claim marriage is purely for procreation have their way: “To have, and to hold, and to fuck, and NOTHING else! Get fucking! WE NEED TO POPULATE THE EARTH BECAUSE OF THE GAYS!”
Cooper went on to say that legalising gay marriage, would result in the human race dying out. This guy is an ACTUAL Attorney. A guy who presumes, apparently, that in legalising same sex marriage, the entire human race will all at once decide that they are gay, and stop reproducing. A guy who believes that by banning same sex marriage, homosexual people will happily marry someone of the opposite sex and have lots of babies. The anti-same sex marriage lobby, are a parody.
Well, then, let’s be consistent. 2 Cor. 6:14 tells me that a non-Christian is not allowed to marry a Christian (this is far more defining, than what the Bible says about gay marriage). Genesis 20:1-14 tells me it’s perfectly acceptable in God’s eyes, to marry your sister. Deut. 21:11-13 tells me it’s perfectly acceptable, when taking people hostage, to search out a hostage you find attractive, and marry her, as long as I shave her head first (she has no choice in this, obviously). I Corinthians 14:34-35 tells me that a husband should not allow his wife to have any opinions. Deut. 22:28 tells me that if I pay some silver to my rape victim, I am legally entitled to marry her. Again, she has no choice in this. Judges 21:7-23 tells me I can take the female children of families that i’ve slaughtered, and keep them for myself to marry. WHOOP! Leviticus 12:5 tells me that if my wife gives birth to a girl, she must spend two weeks in isolation because she’s a dirty bitch. Exodus 21:10 tells me that it’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one wife (Polygamous, and chauvinistic all at once)
So…… marry your sister, marry your hostage, marry several women, marry your rape victim, beat your wife if she offers an opinion, and marry the children of families you’ve just slaughtered. But NEVER let a gay couple marry.The Bible says very little on the subject of homosexuality. But if we are to condemn homosexual relationships based on the Bible, we must be consistent and reflect on absolutely every precedent the Bible sets out in relation to marriage. To do otherwise, would be widely hypocritical.
I have honestly never heard anyone describe how letting two people in love marry, will destroy their right to believe in whatever God they choose. So it’s pretty difficult to answer this, given that it’s an empty and meaningless question. This victim mentality, expressed against a victimless backdrop, is worthy of absolutely no respect.
Giving a group of people rights that you yourself have always had, does not take anything away from you. It is absurd to suggest it does. I am almost convinced that those who spout the “you’re taking away my religious freedoms” argument are under the rather odd impression that allowing gay people to marry, would mean they themselves are forced to marry a gay person.
Please feel free to enlighten me, as to which religious freedoms you will lose, if a gay couple that you’ve never met, and will never meet, get married without your knowledge?
– This is perhaps the most ridiculous of all arguments. A slippery slope fallacy of the worst kind. If homosexual marriage leads to marrying your dog, or your daughter, then we must accept that heterosexual marriage lead to homosexual marriage, and so in fact the very institution of marriage itself, starts the ball rolling down the slippery slope. It is a silly argument. It is the equivalent of insisting that eating pork, will eventually lead to eating humans. Why let gay people vote? We may as well let your dog vote, right? It is a disgusting argument, to suggest that a loving relationship between two men, or between two women is morally equivalent to incest. And yet, this intense logical fallacy is being used constantly by our Parliamentary representatives in the House of Commons today. How shameful. Canada legalised same-sex marriage in 2005, and in the eight years that has passed, no one is marrying their goat.
For a Conservative Party and a Republican, who base their entire existence on ‘freedom’, and getting government out of people’s lives, the 100+ British Conservative MPs willing to withhold the right to love, and a Republican Party willing to use government to tell an individual he or she is not allowed to marry the person that they love, has to be the most vicious form of government oppression that exists in a liberal secular democracy.
The choice to become Christian is just that; a choice. Sexuality is a spectrum based on genetic and hormonal differences, that is not in any way about choice. Therefore, sexuality, like skin colour, comes with inalienable rights, that choosing to be Christian, simply doesn’t. A choice is entirely different from genetic traits.
Your choice to become a Christian does not bestow upon you a right to inhibit the rights of others.
There is no debate here. It isn’t two rational sides conflicting. It is the side of rationality and sensible, evidence based point of view, against homophobes. Their arguments are so very weak, their points are useless, and so the conclusion we can come to is that they simply do not like homosexuality. To oppose the right for two people in love to get married, based solely on their sexuality, is bigoted and nothing else. The suggestion of ‘separate but equal’ is the cry of the regressives. It is a nice little sound bite that masks the intent; segregation. Segregation is, and always will be wrong.