Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Isn't Being Heterosexual Just as Much a Lifestyle Choice as Being Gay?

As promised, here is my post on the theory of "choice" when it comes to gay rights. Over and over again we hear from those who rally against us one of two things. Either 1. That we choose to be gay (a viewpoint rapidly going out of style) or 2. That we choose our lifestyle choices, that we might not choose our sexual orientation but we choose our sexual partner. Thus, because of either of these two choices, we should not be given the same rights of heterosexual Americans.

First, the concept of us choosing to be gay. I'm not going to spend much time on this, because it is rather pointless. Those who argue this line of reasoning are just plain stupid, or they have had their head in the sand for the last 30 years. So therefore, moving on to what I really wanted to talk about.

We hear those against marriage equality complain that gay people are wanting "special" rights; that they want the government to approve of a lifestyle choice. No one is forcing these homosexuals to have sex with the same gender...they could always plug their noses and do it with the other sex. To them, LGBT people asking for equal rights is like the following scenario...

Lets say that we all lived in a town where there was a Burger King and a McDonalds. For some reason, most of the town liked BK and so therefore the city government gave to its citizens coupons for half off a Whopper or Buy 1 get 1 Free. I on the other hand, and a pretty decent sized minority, liked McDonalds fact we found BK repulsive. I then petition the city council to give us McDonalds coupons as well. The Burger Kingers complain, saying that though I might not like BK as much, or that it might disgust me, if I really wanted to I could eat at BK and so therefore their is no reason to spend taxpayer dollars on giving me and friends coupons to McDonalds.

The society above, I would like to say has a Burger King normative culture; BK is the accepted norm. But what the Burger Kingers don't realize is that the logic that they use saying that i can "choose to eat at BK rather than McD's" is a logic that can be used against them.

So how does my scenario pertain to marriage equality and LGBT people. Well it boils down to this. Just like my fictitious town had a Burger King normative culture, so does our culture have a heteronormative culture. Because of this heteronormativity, people believe that LGBTs' should conform to said culture, and that if they are not, because of their choice of partner, they should not get any "coupons". This thinking is logically flawed. For if you can choose who you sleep with, then heteros can do the exact same thing. Why then are heteros getting "coupons" for their lifestyle choices?

The answer to that question is obvious. Though opponents of marriage equality want to say that it is because of the pro-creative nature of opposite gender unions, that argument falls flat, as the Prop 8 trial as well as simple logic shows. For example, are barren women automatically not eligible to get married? If you don't have children is your marriage null and void? So therefore what is the true reason why our heteronormative culture believes that we should not give any coupons to same-gender couples? It is because thats just not the way things have ever been done. Tradition is the final argument against marriage-equality, something all of us knew.

So when a friend or collegue argues that gay people make a lifestyle choice and we should not have to reward them for that, ask them "well don't heterosexuals make the same lifestyle choice?" When they say no, ask them how that is...and I guarantee you, the end answer to your logical poking will be...Tradition.

1 comment:

  1. "Tradition is the final argument against marriage-equality, something all of us knew."

    This has the resonance of the sad, worn bell of truth that is often lost in the cacophony of the rabid naysayers.

    For too long this country has operated on the assumption that those who have "gone before us" knew what was best for today's standards and practice. "That is the way it has ALWAYS been done." But even that idea falls flat when compared to human history and even their Bible.

    Good food for thought and I really like the analogy of the coupon. Heterosexuals receive tax subsidies and government sponsorship for their partnerships due to what again? Their ability to procreate? And the more they procreate, the more subsidies they receive?

    And this is just one of the 1138 basic rights that homosexuals are denied in this country. Staggering! And we want "special" rights? For our "lifestyle choice"?

    The idea and concept that has been thrown around is that this is how "marriage" has always been, but there are many traditions that have been cast aside as education and enlightenment slowly poured through the cracks of tradition. How many different kinds of marriage do they find in history? How many different marriages do they find in their Bible? Only their own tunneled version of truth, since this is all they look for.

    What about the "rule of thumb"? Consider women's suffrage, or the 3/5ths rule, slavery, Prohibition, blue laws, inter racial relationships and a whole host of other traditional practices that were bolstered by their skewed interpretations of their holy books.

    The history books of Western culture are full of dogmas and ideology that has been cast aside as the years pass. Sadly, I lay the blame directly at he feet of the Protestants and all the other religious groups that have exerted such an influence on the ways and practices our Western and American culture operates under. And I do say under, because it has been oppression.

    They missed the entire message.

    They forget that we are humans.

    They always have to have someone to scorn, hate, deride and demonize. It is how their belief in duality thrives. Someone has to be the sinner. The "they" that they preach about. Unfortunately this bigotry and prejudice has been handed down to their children like a poisonous inheritance. Children must be taught to hate. Let us teach them hate no more.

    As they bemoan the "breakdown of the family" and the "loss of christian values" I can quietly cheer inside my head, as I see the next generation of people...our generation...waking up to the fact that we are all together in this. We all are seeking love. Fair is fair and right is right.

    Love one another. Peace,



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