And recently, I had an interaction with a "No"campaigner who was handing out pamphlets on how marriage equality will affect children, particularly how education on this will corrupt our children and take choice away from parents.
My opinion on it - I'm all for SSM, even though I'm straight, even though I came from a background where homosexuality and anything of that nature was taboo. I'm all for equality. And for education. Many of the reasons for which I'll explain further below. But the main one? It's a health issue.
LGBTQI people have a 5 - 11 times higher rate of attempted suicide compared to the usual population. 1/6 gay or lesbian have attempted suicide. 40% of transgender people (TWO IN FIVE!) have. Similar rates (15% and 41%) are thinking about it right now. And depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental illnesses/consequences of that? They're 21x more likely to suffer from those.
What's heartbreaking is that children in SCHOOL face things ranging from bullying, violent assault WITH A KNIFE and RAPE at rates of 34%, 10% and 18% respectively. These effects last a lifetime. And that's only Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual children.... I can only imagine what the numbers are for trans kids... Moonlight, an amazing movie, was a hard watch to say the least.
So here they are. The 5 most common arguments made by Anti-SSM (Gay Marriage) Campaigners. Other than the religious "God and Jesus would say no" (which I content too - did an interview on it on national radio actually. I'm at 6 minutes or so)
Argument #1 :
Where will it stop? Will I be able to marry my mother (no campaign slip spreader), my goat, children?
I'm sorry if that seems like I'm offending you or attacking you for being you for saying this, but it's the truth. The minority have been facing what you have been just confronted with by more for centuries now.
Personally I think religions do create more good than bad I've written about that in the past. (despite some catholic priests hypocritically coming out against SSM leading to pedophilia when low end estimates put 4% of priests as pedophiles - 1/25)... but that goes to the next argument.
Well. It won't. Not right away. The civil rights movement and the repealing the White Australia policy in my country, and suffrage hasn't eliminated systemic racism or sexism.
"How is equal marriage gonna fix that? How will it reduce these rates? How will it change expectations?"
What giving them the same rights as anyone else does though is it removes their sub human status. When you're denied something that everyone else has, I'm sure you can understand how that can make you feel that way.
But there are legal elements to marriage which people should have rights to that they aren't getting now.
For instance, a lesbian couple who'd lived their lives together, 30 years and been in a defacto arrangement (which supposedly gives them the same rights) had, at the end, not been allowed to be with one another as one died of cancer. The lady's parents did. And they had rights when it came to the will and distribution of assets too. Despite the couple working and living their whole lives together to make that happen.
Similar legal hurdles and beurocracy come into play for same sex couples even after they've gotten rights to adopt.
It's why they march with such zest. It's why we march with them (straight people like myself, and even doctors - they had a supportive march recently in my city in fact).
Argument #3: "But what about the effect it'll have on the children?"Studies consistently show that children aren't negatively affected by same sex couples. If anything, they're positively impacted, with adolescents and children alike reporting not just feeling normaility, but displaying higher resiliance and many other positive traits. Gay parents seem to cherish this privilege more it could be argued it seems. This is a series of government funded, almost completely unbiased series of studies. Check em out yourself.
Argument #4"But what about the effects of normalising it, and the education that comes with that, on MY kids!"Well, the safe schools program may seem daunting to you. But considering right now a huge chunk of kids are made to feel shit and physically, and sexually abused (18% OF LGB KIDS ARE RAPED!!! 10% STABBED WITH A KNIFE), it might be a good thing to have people more educated about how it is normal in general... If you're concerned, you may be more concerned by the idea that your child may be suffering all of this, and may be thinking of killing themselves without telling you because of your own views on this...
But education won't make your child more likely to be gay. Even if it does, you still have your own complete right as a parent to exert your own influence on them to try and influence them to (sometimes inadvertently torturing them emotionally in the process) follow your view and perception of life, without having to torture everyone elses' kids (which leads to their suffering and self harm) in the process.
The various arguments they make against education policies such as the Safe Schools program in their pamphlets and campaigns are misleading to say the least. Isolated incidents where 11 year olds are asked to wonder how it would be to be a same sex couple? A review took away such questions so early on. Parents having to fight huge court battles to get their children out of school in other nations where SSM was allowed? They forget to mention that parents in Canada always had the right to withdraw kids from the program. The ridiculous claim that a parent's son was made to wear a dress by school? It never happened.
Argument #5 "But telling kids it's okay to be boys or girls is gonna lead to them wanting to be one or the other, that's screwed up right?"
While not conforming to gender norms does cause distress in many, being transgender itself is definitely not.
I was feeling that frustration myself. You can't help but let it out sometimes. And you should. Echo chambers are great places to do so I guess.
Equal coverage is given to "the militant left" Who weild banners at most to the far right (let's call them what they are) extremists who have hammers, guns and cars (all stuff that's gone on in the States and here). Let's not let them get the upper hand, and avoid that wherever we can.
Here's a great video that explains Alt-Right tactics. Tactics being used by No Campaigners, and how we've gotta counter that.
So what are your thoughts? Are there any arguments I missed? Let me know! And share this if you agree. Let's get some REAL news out there.
And by the way - if you wanna know more about me, I highly recommend you check out some of my other posts. I hope my first one in particular can inspire some of you. Whether you're dealing with something crap like I did (getting told you had a 10 or 20% chance of living 5 years at 17 ain't easy), or if you need motivation.
And also follow me here, and on Social Media (Facebook link, Twitter Link, YouTube for my talks) to follow some pretty cool work I'm doing that could make millions for charity, including designing a hospital bed that costs half as much for hospitals, will save lives, can be deployed to the poorest nations, and features a chunk which can make even YOUR life more comfortable, for under $100 (www.gettosleepeasy.org for more info), and a company that is going to make millions off of memes (incredible, I know).
Resources (other than those linked in the article):