Feature

The real basis for opposing gay marriage

Is opposition to gay marriage the moral equivalent of racism?

Nathaniel Frank
Slate.com

Is opposition to gay marriage the moral equivalent of racism? asked Nathaniel Frank. Conservatives insist that it’s unfair to compare the current opposition to gay marriage to the 1950s opposition to interracial marriage, and claim their stance is based on a rational, religious view that society must respect. This argument, however, is based on a fallacy. Religious opponents of gay marriage say marriage is a holy sacrament, designed by God so that couples would create and raise children in stable families. Since same-sex couples can’t procreate, the argument goes, it would “change the definition of marriage” to let gays marry. Why, then, do churches gladly marry women in their 50s and beyond, who are also not capable of producing offspring? And why haven’t religious people demanded that states ban the marriages of divorced people, which are expressly condemned in the New Testament as a form of “adultery”? Clearly, the “religious” objection to gay marriage is the same objection racists had to legalizing interracial marriage: They personally find it threatening and strange. As the courts keep finding, that’s simple bigotry, and it does not deserve legal protection.

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