Smoking out the red herrings from same-sex marriage debate

Smoke them out: The same-sex marriage debate is mired in red herrings. But this column is here to help.
Smoke them out: The same-sex marriage debate is mired in red herrings. But this column is here to help.

OPINION

Usually I don’t mind if the gummnt asks what we think before making major policy changes.

Sure, we get an election every four years or so. And some gummnts actually tell you their plans before going to the polls. Those politicians though, they’re crafty, with surprises up their sleeve, which they just go ahead and legislate.

But since we have to have another debate, and then do a postal survey, about same-sex marriage, let’s toss out three fallacious arguments that are creeping around.

First: it’s all about the children

Progressive people usually believe any combination of parent/parents/carers is good for children as long as there is love. Conservative folks are more likely to favour “a mum and a dad is best”. These days, families come in many different shapes.

But that’s actually irrelevant.

Same-sex couples (and single parents) already birth kids, adopt kids, raise kids. Many heterosexual couples are not married. Queer people will continue having kids whether this law on marriage changes or not. So it’s not about the children.

Second: same-sex marriage is an affront to “freedom of religion” and faith.

Religion and marriage are already separate. Churches might rule their flock but religions don’t own marriage. Many people get married outside church – and different religions do it differently. No religion forces their marrying style onto other religions.

Same-sex couples being able to marry won’t change Christian, Muslim or Mormon weddings that take place as per usual. Religion would be no less free. Same-sex marriage would be legal – not mandatory.

Third: It’s a matter of tradition.

Homosexuality used to be illegal. Interracial marriages used to be banned. That was traditional. We’ll need more than “tradition”.

With these red herrings smoked, perhaps we can see clearer what this is really about. It’s about discrimination – and ending it.