Yesterday (Tuesday 26th March 2013) the US Supreme Court began their deliberations on whether or not bans on same sex marriage in the US in some states is both legal and constitutional, specifically the case of 'Proposition Eight' or 'Prop 8' as its more widely known. The law in California that denies same sex couples the right to marry. Today (Wednesday 27th March) they will begin to deliberate the Defence of marriage Act. This act denies same sex couples the same rights and mixed sex couples by defining a marriage as between a man and a woman. Neither ruling are expected to be made until sometimes in June, but whilst we wait for these decisions (and very much hope that the right decisions are made) there are still discussions to be had.
My own position on Same sex marriage is very clear. It should be allowed in all cases, in all states, in all countries and for all who want it. Same sex couples should be subject to and benefit from the same benefits and rights as those in marriages who just happen to have two different kinds of genitalia. I can see no good reason why any loving couple should be denied the right to a life together equal to that of heterosexual couples for no reason better than they both happen to be of the same gender.
There are numerous 'arguments' put forth against same sex marriage, a great deal of them religious in basis and quoting the bible as their source for this (Leviticus 20:13 and Genesis 19:1-30 being some of the main stays of the genre), yet this conveniently side steps the fact that even those who are religiously inclined side step parts of the bible that by virtue of being somewhere in the region of 3000 years old in the case of the Old Testament, no longer fit in with life in the 21st century. It is a clear cut case of religion being used as an excuse for very earthly prejudices and intolerance. Its worth remembering that in the past Genesis 9:25-27 was used as justification for Slavery, yet there is no one (or very few) who would seriously suggest that Slavery should be brought back on religious grounds. Opposition to Same sex marriage is a prime example of how religion can be used to promote intolerance and give it a veneer or respectability. Thankfully there are a growing number of individuals of all religious persuasions and in a few cases religious denominations and institutions who do not endorse this kind of bigotry and equality, but unfortunately many of the more powerful and institutionalized religions (I'm looking at you Catholicism and Islam and Judaism) are openly homophobic and other smaller fundamentalist churches share this view point.
And do you know what? I do not understand it. I genuinely do not understand why people have such a problem with the idea of two people who love each other marrying. When you strip it down to its most base points it just seems so ...petty. Because if same sex couples are allowed to marry it does not 'violate natural law'. Homosexuality is not a choice, its just who some people are, a quirk of evolution in the same way that some of us have blue eyes, or red hair or are double jointed, or can run really fast or like Brussels sprouts. Same Sex marriage It does not 'offend God because either like me you don't believe in God in the first place or if you do believe in God you remember that He also told you to 'Love your Neighbour as your self' and that includes your next door neighbour with the same sex partner, or blue eyes or even the one that likes sprouts. But either way lets not pretend that it offends anyone but you.
There is the argument that same sex marriages can't produce children, but a lot of heterosexual marriages (for a variety of reasons) don't either. Plus despite what the likes of Pope Francis might say Same Sex couples adopting does not 'discriminate against children' . It offers children without families the chance to be part of a warm, nurturing and loving domestic unit. A family.
And that is the crux of the same sex marriage debate in my eyes. Why in a world where there is so much hate, so much sadness, so much hardship, would we deny people the rights and equalities of being married to the person they love? Why when we live in a world where children are stolen from their beds and forced to kill or be killed are people so offended that same sex couples might take children who find themselves alone in this world into their families and give them a loving and secure upbringing? And at its most basic level why the hell do we even care? It is an issue that should it become enshrined in law will affect exactly none of those who oppose it. Their lives will not change. The only thing that will change is that marriage equality will be extended to all regardless of their sexual orientation. There will be a bit more love in the world. And surely that cannot be a bad thing.
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