Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, December 21, 2008
There are no non-bigoted reasons for disapproving marriage equity for samesex couples. There are surely plenty of reasons to disapprove marriage as an historical or presently sanctioned institution more generally (I am highly sympathetic to many of these arguments myself), but none of these reasons provide a right rationale for the prohibition to samesex couples in particular of access to marriage as it actually exists. If state-sanctioned marriage is something you believe loving competent couples should be able to make recourse to, then citizens in samesex couples clearly must have equal access to the same unless you believe their love less real for its queerness (which makes you a bigot), or you believe their queerness renders them incompetent somehow (which makes you a bigot), or you believe marriage is intended to protect only families and offspring (which makes you confused, not least because many gay couples have children and many non-gay couples do not, but likely also makes you a bigot, against at least some gay people and possibly many others who are not), or you believe that "separate but equal" domestic or civic partnerships should suffice samesex couples as certainly they do not so seem to satisfy straight couples (which, you guessed it, makes you a bigot). Certainly the planetary historical record of mandated marital forms provides a more diverse spectacle of reprosexual, slaveholding, polygamous, incestuous, and queer forms than one would expect to find were one to listen only to the righteous invocations of monotonous millennia of Ozzies and Harriets, presumably now somehow imperiled by the occasional Ozzie and Harry, always attested to with such smug certainty by fundamentalist know nothings. So if you disapprove marriage equity for samesex couples in particular, well, then I'm afraid on this issue at any rate, whatever else you might be in other areas of your life (including the likely possibility that you are a perfectly nice person who is appalled by quite a lot of bigotry otherwise), you're a bigot. Everybody reading these words already knows every one of these arguments already, and it is hard not to suspect that there must be something else afoot if you are still holding stubbornly on to this benighted bigotry at this point. If you don't want to be a bigot under these circumstances, and of course you know you don't, not really, then the thing to do is not to protest the priorities or the anger or the pain of those who are calling a spade a spade where your bigotry in this matter is concerned, but to stop being a bigot.