27 May 2011

If They're Committed To It, Don't Let Them Do It

"I don't have anything against gay people.  I just don't think they should be allowed to get married."

I'm sure you've heard someone say something like that.  A student of mine wrote it in her paper.

That in itself wouldn't raise my hackles:  I've heard and read all sorts of things.  

However, the student's rationale for her belief is one of the strangest I've ever heard.  Like many who oppose equality, she tries to empower her beliefs with her religious faith and her concern for the daughter she is raising by herself.  

She says that she doesn't want her daughter to grow up believing that a union between two men or two women is "normal" or "moral."  That argument is also nothing new.  But here's where things get weird:  She says the fact that the divorce rate is so high is reason enough not to allow marriage between two men or two women.i

I asked her to explain that.  This is what she said:  "Well, you know, a lot of these gay couples stay together for  a long time.  Actually, I have some friends who are gay and have been 'married' to other gay people for ten, fifteen or even twenty years."

"All right.  How does that relate to the topic of gay marriage and why it shouldn't be allowed?"

"If my daughter sees straight couples getting divorced while gay couples are staying together, it might give kids like my daughter the wrong message."

"Which is...?"

"That gay couples are more commited to each other and stay together longer than straght couples."

"And the problem with that is...?"

She told me that she is "sheltering" her child from all sorts of "evil" influences.  

I never knew that staying married was "evil"--or that it's something kids shouldn't know about.

I must say: It's the first time I ever heard someone's commitment to something as a reason for not allowing him or her to do the very thing to which he or she is committed.  

At the very least, it's the strangest argument Iv'e heard against gay marriage.