Reason 3: Equality already exists.
“Same-sex couples already have equality. All the legal rights of marriage are already available to same-sex couples through civil partnerships. Equality doesn’t mean bland uniformity or state-imposed sameness. If
the Government genuinely wants to pursue equality, why is it banning heterosexual couples from entering a civil partnership? Same-sex couples have equal rights through civil partnerships, but they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.”
Can any two consenting adults get married? No? Then equality does not already exist, Q. E. D. Need I say more? If you insist. Same-sex civil partnerships, while they do offer the same legal advantages as a marriage, are not legally recognised as being married, meaning that there is a clear difference being drawn between couples of one variety and couples of another. Additionally, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 specifically states that a civil partnership cannot take place in a religious building, meaning that same-sex people who are religious are denied the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. This difference being unjustly drawn is all the evidence needed to show that equality does not already exist. Imagine another minority group being subjected to the same treatment. Say, black people cannot get married, but are able to enter a civil partnership with their partner that has all of the same legal rights. Are you honestly going to argue that this is not a form of implicit and explicit discrimination?.
Admittedly, Scotland for Marriage do make a good point – why are civil partnerships not available to heterosexual couples? However, this does not help their point much, as the solution is simple; we either allow everyone to get married or enter a civil partnership, or we do away with civil partnership and let everyone get married who desires to. That’s what equality looks like. Point 3: YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD. I DON’T THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.
Reason 4: Impact on schools.
“Education guidance from the Scottish Government says schools should teach about the importance of marriage. If marriage is given a new definition, schools will be under huge pressure to teach about same-sex marriage. According to expert legal advice, any teacher who fails to endorse same-sex marriage in the classroom could be dismissed. Parents will have no legal right to withdraw their children from lessons which endorse same-sex marriage across the curriculum. Already supporters of gay marriage are recommending books for use in schools which undermine traditional marriage, and call on schools to get children to act out gay weddings. The effect on schools will be polarising and divisive.”
I’m certain that education guidance from the Scottish Government says that schools should teach about the importance of the origins of our universe – and if new evidence regarding this arises, schools will be under huge pressure to teach about this new information. This is what we in the real world call progress. You keep harping on about this new definition of marriage, when the actuality is that you are simply removing either the word “man” or “woman” and replacing it with “woman” or “man”. Some redefinition.
Should teachers have the right to teach whatever they want in their classes? Let’s take the example of creationism – should a biology teacher who teaches this demonstrably wrong and laughably ignorant view of life be allowed to keep their job? No, because they are failing to perform their job properly. In exactly the same way, a social education teacher should be obligated to teach an evidence-based curriculum, not a narrow and bigoted view of human relationships. I have never heard an argument against homosexuality that was evidence-based, and didn’t ultimately boil down to either religious dogma, or an infantile “ick” reaction.
I genuinely find it amusing that bringing about greater equality among people is feared by its opponents to cause “polarising and divisive” consequences. You are either doing precisely the opposite – breaking down barriers that separate people and allow the same rights and respect to all – or you are dividing people into those who are willing to accept and love their fellow humans as they are, and those who value their personal bigotry over the happiness of their fellows. And frankly, I’m both happy and proud to be divided from such people.
An aside: The previous point warned about the dangers of “bland uniformity” as a result of equality, and now about the horror of things being “polarising and divisive”. Mixed messages? Point 4: CLICHED “WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN” BULLSHIT.
Reason 5: Thin end of the wedge.
“If we redefine marriage once, what’s to stop marriage being redefined yet further? If marriage is solely about love and commitment between consenting adults, what’s to say we shouldn’t recognise three-way relationships? It’s already happened in nations that redefined marriage. In Brazil, a three-way relationship was given marriage-like recognition under civil partnership laws. A similar situation has existed in the Netherlands for several years. In Canada after marriage was redefined, a polygamist argued in court that his relationship should be recognised in law. When politicians meddle with marriage it all starts to unravel.”
A very good point – if marriage is solely about love and commitment between consenting adults, what’s to say we shouldn’t recognise three-way relationships? Really, the only problem with recognising polygamous marriages is the additional legal complication when more people are involved. But if two, or three, or ten consenting adults want to commit themselves to one another, who the hell am I to say that they can’t do it? This entire paragraphs seems to be panicking about exactly nothing, relying upon outdated notions of what is expected of people in order to stir up either disgust or disapproval. If people want to be with more than one partner, and everyone involved is cool with that, then any reason to ban or scorn such relationships has disappeared into snobbery and prejudice.
I will credit that this argument used by Scotland for Marriage has not devolved to the truly despicable level that this form of argument often takes – namely that, “If we legalise same-sex marriage, what’s to stop people from wanting to marry family/dogs/children?” The stupidity of that kind of argument should be obvious to anyone with a functional brain-stem, and I commend Scotland for Marriage for not stooping that low. Point 5: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.