Reason 6: Marginalises the majority.
“Calling opponents “bigots” is meant to shut down debate and stop people thinking for themselves. Nick Clegg landed in hot water over a draft speech which called opponents of redefining marriage “bigots”. He later retracted the word, but there’s no doubt that many who support this radical agenda think anyone who disagrees is not worthy of respect. Cardinal Keith O’Brien was labelled “bigot of the year” by gay rights activists, Stonewall. However, support for traditional marriage has come from many respected academics, lawyers, politicians from across the political spectrum, and religious leaders. They all know that redefining marriage would have a profound impact.”
So much wrong in so few words. Firstly, calling someone a bigot is not meant to shut down debate – it is meant to show that the person you are currently debating with is a bigot. Opposition to LGBTQ rights has had its time to show rational arguments for its position, and has entirely failed to do so (this asinine countdown is proof enough of that). Those respected academics, lawyers, politicians and religious leaders are bigots because there is no good reason to oppose LGBTQ rights that does not boil down to personal discomfort or baseless religious dogma. These are the same things that bigots of other stripes rely upon, and those who do rely on these to deny rights to their fellow humans can only be called bigots. This appeal to those who think that “traditional marriage” should be supported is a clear argument from authority, and is transparently ridiculous. David Hume was a racist, Aristotle wrote in support of slavery and Isaac Newton believed in alchemy. Does this diminish their achievements in other areas? One can be a terrible bigot, and yet still skilled at what they do.
Secondly, marginalising the majority? Not according to numerous UK and Scottish polls about attitudes to gay marriage. According to a 2012 YouGov poll, 55% of Britons support same-sex marriage, as opposed to 36% against. An Observer poll found 55% in favour of same-sex marriage. The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found that 61% of people support same-sex marriage – somewhat torpedoing Marriage for Scotland’s specific claim of a put-upon majority. Yet another YouGov poll found an even greater support for same-sex marriage, 71% for.
However, the last part of the last sentence is absolutely true: Redefining marriage will have a profound impact, insofar as it will inevitably lead to same-sex marriage. What’s your point? Verdict: FALLACIOUS FUCKWITTERY.
Reason 7: Many gay people don’t want it.
“Just four in ten members of the gay community see same-sex marriage as a priority, with only a quarter saying they would enter a same-sex marriage. A number of gay celebrities and journalists are themselves opposed to gay marriage. Latest official data shows that only 0.5 per cent of UK households are headed by a same-sex couple. Not all of them want, or will enter, a same-sex marriage. So why is such a monumental change being imposed throughout society?”
Easy: because a quarter of the gay community want to get married and legally cannot. This fantasy that this will constitute a “monumental change” is simply without basis – there will be no forty years of darkness, no cats and dogs living together, and no mass hysteria. All that will happen is that we’ll all be a little more equal, no matter what kind of junk gets our motor running. What if a majority of heterosexuals decided that marriage was outdated, and the statistics clearly showed that only a quarter of heterosexuals intend to get married – ought we abolish marriage altogether? Verdict: NOT ACTUALLY AN ARGUMENT.
Reason 8: The public don’t want it.
“Most people in Scotland want marriage to stay as it is. In the Scottish Government’s consultation on the issue 64 per cent who responded said they opposed the plans. When an honest poll is taken, a majority, 55 per cent, agree that “marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. Only 38 per cent disagree. And half of all Scots want the matter to be decided by referendum, only 39 per cent want to leave it to MSPs. Ordinary people want the Scottish Government to concentrate on reviving the economy and providing better public services, not meddling with marriage.”
I have been unable to access the sources that Scotland for Marriage cite in their list, so I have no idea if they’re accurate. But I’ll gladly give them the benefit of the doubt, and simply cite the percentages I have already shown that show that the public, in actual fact, do want same-sex marriage to be legalised. All I can really do in this section is raise an eyebrow at the implication that all polls which disagree with them are dishonest, and make the emphatic point that human rights should not be subject to vote. I understand that they are, but this fact makes it clear that there ought to be only one outcome to that vote, and that is the full extension of human rights to all humans, including the right to marry whoever you love, wherever you please (within reason, obviously – no child marriages in abbatoirs).It’s fine that same-sex marriage is not a priority for most people, but since it is under consideration already, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be dealt with while it is on the table. Verdict: WRONG, AND ODDLY IRRELEVANT.
Reason 9: A huge change to society.
“Since we already have civil partnerships, isn’t same-sex marriage just a small logical next step? No. Rewriting the meaning of marriage will have a far-reaching impact on society. Over 3,000 UK laws make reference to marriage. The UK Government has already admitted that official documents will need to be rewritten to remove words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. In France the Government is eradicating the words ‘father’ and ‘mother’ from all official documents.”
Ahh, I see, so the huge change to society is simply a matter of proper wording? Shame on me for assuming that your implication was that this would cause terrible stress and strife to the poor populace. But really, what’s the problem? Yes, a lot of documents will need to be rewritten, and a lot of terminology will need to be changed – this is the case with any change in law. Same-sex marriage is no different than any other legal proceeding in this. The point that over 3,000 UK laws make reference to marriage is a huge red herring, as these laws will now simply apply to a greater number of couples, requiring no change at all unless they use gendered language. Verdict: JUST… WHAT?
Reason 10: Freedom of conscience will be eroded.
“The civil liberty of people who believe in traditional marriage is already being eroded. The former leader of the SNP, Gordon Wilson, was ousted from the Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau because of his support for traditional marriage. South of the border, a housing manager from Manchester was demoted and lost 40 per cent of his salary for stating, outside work time, that gay weddings in churches were “an equality too far”. And all this has taken place before any change to the law has taken place. What will it be like if the law does change? A leading human rights lawyer has outlined the devastating impact of redefining marriage on civil liberties in Scotland.”
Now let’s take a closer look at these sob stories. In the case of Gordon Wilson, he was not fired from his job, but rather failed to gain re-election to his position with the Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau. This was due to his position on same-sex marriage, but I fail to see how this is an erosion of his civil liberties. He has the right to oppose same-sex marriage, but he doesn’t have the right to be automatically re-elected if those who vote do not wish to vote for him. As for the case of Adrian Smith, the housing manager from Manchester, this indeed seems to be a case of wrongful dismissal for comments made in private – and he eventually had his dismissal overturned in court. It should never have happened in the first place, and his victory is a victory for free speech too. So, you have one example where no civil rights were affected, and another in which civil rights absolutely were, but that was eventually righted by legal action. Not great evidence for the widespread erosion of civil rights.
The final point about the “devastating impact” of legalising same-sex marriage is based on a report by Aidan O’Neill that shows how various scenarios would play out if same-sex marriage were legalised, generally showing that opponents would lack the “civil right” to break equality laws in the course of expressing their opinions in an official capacity. One need only appeal to interracial marriage to show that this is generally a reasonable outcome. If a racist teacher refused to endorse or teach about interracial marriage, they would be fired for contravening equality laws. If a racist church advertised that it would only perform marriage ceremonies for whites, they should expect to lose their right to use council-owned facilities for contravening equality laws. There is precisely no argument that can be used to oppose same-sex marriage that cannot, and has not, been used to oppose interracial marriage, and neither position deserves any more respect than the other. Verdict: STUPID CLAIMS BASED ON NO EVIDENCE.