Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Views & Voices

If equality for same-sex couples harms your straight marriage, it’s your own fault

Monday, January 27, 2014

broken-marriage

For years, in thousands of same-sex marriage debates which I have participated, those opposing marriage equality have claimed that if it was made legal, harm would be done to opposite sex marriages.

There was nothing about their argument that seemed the least bit logical, so I fought back vehemently with all the rational thought I could muster against, what to me, was a purely irrational concept.

I missed something. I should have seen it. It parallels another argument anti-gays have made for years, long before the marriage equality issue was even on the table.

They would argue that “homosexuality was unhealthy.”

They would point to the fact that LGBT people seemed to suffer from higher levels of depression, suicide, and alcoholism. LGBT people were likely to die younger. Their observations were not a fallacies. LGBT people were, and are, susceptible to those problems. It was the premise that homosexuality itself caused those problems that was erroneous.

Clearly, the life threatening issues LGBT people face have everything to do with how they are treated by society, and the people they know. It is the overt external pressure for people to be what they aren’t, and it is the deep seated pervasive beliefs of inferiority that bombard LGBT people every day.

It is homophobia, that not only erodes the self esteem of LGBT people, it prevents participation in the societal structures that have proven healthy for heteronormative people: Marriage, families and support by intimates, that have societal acceptance and honor, create mentally and emotionally healthy environments in which modern humans thrive.

It is not the “homosexuality” that kills. It is the homophobia.

It is not a coincidence that the same people who argue against homosexuality are also the source of that homophobia which causes the effect they triumph. Their argument is true because they make it true.

Now, they are trying to make their perceived harm from marriage equality true as well.

In Oklahoma, state lawmaker Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond), is proposing a bill to cease marriage all together in the state. He maintains that he is staying within the principle of equality and follows the will of the people to prevent same-sex marriages from happening in Oklahoma while living up to principles in the U.S. Constitution.

He’s right. It would maintain those criteria.

I have come to attempt to understand the impulses of the anti-gay crowd by observing knee-jerk reactions of my young sons. When Trestin Meacham decided to starve himself in protest of same sex marriages in Utah, I saw a parallel. I see a similar impetus here.

My son, Jesse has what can be called “a short fuse.” It is characteristic of many in his biological family, and it is made even more pronounced in Jesse due to his exposure to methamphetamine in the womb.

When he has a conflict with someone, he often wants to take what he perceives as justice into his own hands. Of all the calls I have gotten to deal with a problem at school, the vast majority started in a situation where he was potentially the wronged party.

I have conversations with him:

“Ok, Pal, you have to think this out? What would have happened if you took this to a teacher and a reasonable answer could have been worked out?”

“I wouldn’t have acted out and gotten in trouble.”

“Right. Who would have had the tougher time?”

“They would have.”

“Who was the one in trouble by doing it your way?”

“Me.”

“What do you think of that?”

“It’s warped.”

So I need to ask Mr. Turner: “Who will be the one in trouble by doing it your way?”

Answer: You.

You are doing what my grandmother would call “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Ignoring the bureaucratic mess that will ensue, it boggles my mind how completely gutting a state’s family law and protections for children will help anyone. It also calls into question the “traditional marriage” advocates claims to care about the importance of marriage in society.

This action says that its importance is expendable before the need to win.

To all the anti-gays I have argued with over the years, here is my message: Yes, I was wrong in all those arguments. I am not sorry for arguing for marriage equality. I was then, and still am, right about that. I am still right about its justice and that it holds the highest of ethics and moral principles to support it.

What I am sorry for is missing the obvious.

I am sorry that I did not point out that there is a factor that WOULD cause harm to your marriages should same sex marriage become legal: you. To my credit, I honestly did not believe that you would take, or consider taking, actions that make your concerns a self-fulfilling prophesy. I thought better of you than you appear now to be.

Mr. Turner is saying on your behalf, “If we can’t have it exclusively, then we will see to it that no one has it.” I did not see that coming.

It won’t be the same-sex couples, our families, our loves, our lives or our legal protections that will harm your marriages, it will be your destructive initiatives like this one.

The possible silver lining here would be the possibility that opposite sex couples affected may stop and reflect on what being prevented from marrying feels like.

Be that as it may, it is apparent that you intend to “win”, no matter who actually loses, even if that includes families like your own.

To quote my son Jesse, “That’s warped.”

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , ,

Filed under: Views & Voices, [ Trending ]

53 more reader comments:

  1. You know why, one of the two is wanting the same gender, that’s what they are afraid of!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:54am
  2. Amen

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:54am
  3. People should stop blaming same sex marriage and start solving their own issues

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:55am
  4. and with a 50% divorce rate for straight couples for many years, how can same-sex marriage be the culprit?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:57am
  5. When you have a number of heterosexual people cheating on their spouses, they have the need to scapegoat gays for their marriage falling apart. No, not their fault you couldn't keep your pants on you old loon. Same goes for you lady. You're both cheaters, you have no one to blame but yourselves for your marriages falling into divorce.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:36am
  6. It isn't just cheating. Seems they don't want to make things work. They're just not committed

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:39am
  7. Gay marriage legal in Massachusetts and has the lowest divorce rate in the nation while gay marriage is ban threw out the bible belt and has the highest divorce rates. So yes how the hell could gay marriage be the culprit?

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:53am
  8. of course, if your mere existence is shunned who wouldn’t be depressed. just more of the idiotic, ignorant and hypocritical trying to justify their hatred and discrimination

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:58am
  9. My thoughts exactly!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:58am
  10. Again who cares? It’s about insuring the same Benefits, being, if one is in a coma, the other can pull the plug, that’s whats important, not Hoopla, Fashionista Camera moments; the Big day? it’s about the Fucking commitment! Isn’t it?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:01am
  11. I agree, Rob. I've seen horrible things done to surviving partners by their partner's family members. Even one time when their father passed the day before. Cleaned out the house. No tears, no empathy. Of course, these guys should have put it all on paper before that day.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:58am
  12. I don’t understand the hate. Doesn’t two guys pairing up mean less competition among the straight males for the remaining females? Yet men see the existence of homosexual men as somehow hurting them while at the same time they like the idea of lesbians? It just feels so counter-intuitive.

    Same-sex marriage does not damage opposite-sex marriage in any real form other than possibly driving up the price of weddings because, you know, supply and demand.

    The only thing I am willing to agree with the bigots on is that religious institutions should not be forced to bless a union that they are not in support of and that goes for all marriages not just same-gender. Where that becomes a problem is when churches actively market their place of worship as a wedding venue. At that point they become more of a business than a religious institution at which point they should not be allowed to discriminate. I suppose they could claim to be a private club or something and say it is for members only…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:01am
  13. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Finally, someone else who thinks the same thing as I do!

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:06am
  14. Right on!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:02am
  15. So people blame marriage equality today for the problems that have plagued marriage for centuries?

    *beats head against desk*

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:03am
  16. I am 100% in favor of traditional divorce.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:05am
  17. Same love.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:11am
  18. Same sex marriage does not affect straight people, so why do they care so much? Even those with religious hang up don’t even go to church on a regular basis.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:19am
  19. If someone elses marriage hurts your marriage, your marriage is in trouble…. Nobody else’s marriage is going to mess with my commitment to Will..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:21am
  20. LIES! Stop blaming same sex marriage!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:21am
  21. It’s so stupid. Blaming outside influences when u should be looking in the mirror.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:28am
  22. …for marrying a woman.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:36am
  23. badoom changgggggggg

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:36am
  24. I’m sexist all night folks!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:36am
  25. That’s like saying that the romance in someone else’s relationship is ruining yours.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:37am
  26. In the fundamentalist Bible belt, a lot of it is having someone to look down upon, someone you can regard as “less than”. Take that away from some people, and they don’t have much left. Aside from all the practical problems of failing to recognize any marriage, it is very likely to be unconstitutional. I fully expect some states to carry on like this, but in the long run, they will all comply. Some more loudly than others, but they will all fall into line.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:38am
  27. Wait, you mean that I WASN’T supposed to divorce my wife when IL decided to allow gay marriage???? SHOOT!!!

    /endsnark, still a very happily married straight man….

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:39am
  28. Nobodies straight marriage has been effected by gay marriage! I have not found one case that gay marriage destroyed a straight couples marriage. It’s a ridiculous argument.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:43am
  29. Some people are heteronormative essentialist and truly believe that homosexuality is not normal. It’s only by exposure and by education that we can teach ignorant people that what they’ve been taught by parents, churches, etc. is a lie. I’ve had so many people go from being anti-LGBT to anti-gay man just from knowing my wife and I, which is just a step away from being accepting. Keep fighting the fight and don’t get discouraged. The more it is talked about, the more the truth comes out to ignorant people like this Turner guy.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:43am
  30. Some people feel that they are being so wonderfully moral by “choosing” to be straight. There was no choice involved. The only choice that ever existed was for gay people to remain closeted and play straight. That just lead to their lives being miserable. No one gets credit for their own orientation–gay, straight, bi, etc. except for God who designed everyone. God does not make mistakes nor does he make garbage. Everyone is a masterpiece created by God.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:44am
  31. people need to grow up and stop blaming others for their faults love is love.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:49am
  32. I feel that if they ban same sex marriage due to religious beliefs that they need to ban divorce, criminalize adultery by jail time and make it illegal to have recreational sex.

    In reality gay marriage doesn’t hurt heterosexuals unless the person they like is gay, at which point they become obnoxious and relentless sometimes to point of harassment. Gay marriage doesn’t affect their sex life but they hate seeing gay people happy, because their sex life is full of spice. The hate everything about gay people because we are happier people and they aren’t happy in their own skin.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:57am
  33. I grew up in Oklahoma, and I have to say that I am not really surprised. There is a reason I no longer live there. I am embarrassed by this proposed legislation. It’s for reasons like this that my partner of 7 years and I have entered the ACLU contest designed to spread knowledge about marriage equality. I am a 10 year combat veteran of the military who served before and during DADT and was injured in the line of duty. If you are interested in supporting us, here is the link to our entry. We really would appreciate the support. You can vote once per day intil February 16th. Thanks very much! https://weddings.aclu.org/entry/178795

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:02am
  34. More correctly “lf others “marriages” ruin your marriage out it’s your fault.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:02am
  35. rick santorum ruined his marriage because of gay marriage kept talking about gay sex to his wife hmmmmm

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:03am
  36. Please tone it down

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:25am
  37. Fuck that shit

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38am
  38. A straight marriage in which both partners are straight has nothing to fear from marriage equality.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:01am
  39. People need to stop being crazy. More marriages means more cake. If you’re against cake, you’re just wrong.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:14am
  40. Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:29am
  41. Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:13am
  42. I will never understand why any person cares so much what someone else is doing. I don’t want to be in the minds of people who hate or even discourage another from doing whatever it is they want to do. Love is love. No matter what form it takes. It’s never bad.
    Keep the words high and the minds will climb higher.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:57am
  43. So rt you are my friend

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:00am
  44. cant thay show proof befor the slander dont see how it is as they say thay but its rong

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:41am
  45. Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 11:45am
  46. Religious beliefs that ban gay Marriages are often based on the King James Bible. This particular translation has errors intended to promote sexism, racism, homophobia, witch burning, slavery, and obedience to the King of England. Yet it persists as the foundation of many American Religious groups.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 11:56am
  47. they’re just jealous.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:15pm
  48. As a Darwinist, I have to say that it’s been interesting watching the moral conservatives and the GLBT communities bloody each other’s nose over this issue. Both sides do more damage than good to their cause with their callous remarks. “Gay marriage is the devil!” and “We don’t care what you think; it’s happening!” It’s interesting and sad to see from both sides.

    As a scientist, I think this issue is even worse. No conclusive, non bias research has been conducted. We have no information due to both sides war on information on what leads an individual to be homosexual. If the GLBT community wants to prove that it’s not a choice, they’re best argument at this point is little more than a parental “because we said so!” We really need to dig into this subject scientifically. Bring a body of evidence forward to prove the real points. Kill negative stereotypes with science.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:21pm
  49. The fact that a democrat is behind this smh

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:52pm
  50. If same-sex marriage somehow damages opposite-sex marriage it was in trouble to begin with. This is one good example of the trouble within.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:19pm
  51. Take care of your own inventory before looking into others.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:48pm
  52. There is no winning when you set out to crush others or keep them down from your level. Whatever you do deliberately to hurt/suppress others erodes the good within you, even if you’re just a nice socially-pleasant person who also happens to be culturally conservative with moderate xenophobia.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:07pm
  53. Straight divorces harms to straight marriage !

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:57pm