The sky isn’t falling, and that was never the question (thoughts on the origin of opposition to equal marriage)
“Arguments” against equal marriage, concepts that have already been proven wrong, are frustrating, because they seem so ridiculous no matter from which angle we look at them. The countries and states who have decided for marriage equality don’t suffer from any of the consequences the opponents have warned about. It’s not the end of the world, except…wait. While equal marriage doesn’t redefine marriage, at least not for most of us, it does shine a spotlight on the ideas that we, LGBT or straight, have about marriage in the first place.
Do we think of it as a loving and lifelong commitment between two adult and consenting people? Or is it at its core a contract where a woman is traded from one patriarch to another?
Trying to enable people to change hearts and minds requires an open conversation. Not everyone will agree to have that conversation, and when you look at those who cling to the idea that equal rights for the LGBT community are detrimental to society, you’ll find a certain pattern, the perception of the world through the lenses of patriarchy. From that point of view, equal marriage, between women and men, and two people of the same gender, really means the end of the world, because change is seen and sold as dangerous.
For a long time, it baffled me that some refuse to question privilege and prejudice, no matter how many happy healthy LGBT couples and families you show them, until I made the connection. We might not be able to convince everyone with facts, science or faith, but on the bright side, fighting homophobia and transphobia means to fight an antiquated system that has been harming people, but especially women and minorities for centuries.
As humans, we’re overdue for a change.
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