Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The 5 Most Common Arguments Used By Anti-Gay Marriage Campaigners and Why They're Wrong.

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So, in my nation (Australia), we're currently running a national survey on whether people think Same Sex Marriage (SSM) should be allowed or not. A simple yes or no vote (it cost us $122 million by the way, and is non binding, in addition to $10million or so given directly to religious organisations to push a no campaign). It's stirred up much debate in our nation. People are fuming. Fake news is flying rampant, mostly from the No side.
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.   

It's been interesting watching our quite liberal and supportive Prime Minister push this survey through while managing his conservative party to say the least. 

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?

(concerningly, a family member who knows where farms are cited the goat argument)

The last 2 will never occur. It should be obvious but just to make it clear, why won't it? Because animals and children can't consent to relationships. It's why pedophilia and beastiality are crimes. Simple as that. Period. 

The first won't either. Incest is a crime for a reason. You can produce offspring with an autosomal recessive disease at a 2-2.5x higher rate if you marry first cousins. Much higher for direct family. And also I think we've gotten enough exposure to that from Game of Thrones... eww.

Gay people can't help who they are and how they were born. Homosexuality is not only seen in nature, it was considered normal in many cultures til British colonialism and the spread of evangelicals who have since, in their mission to "save the world," (as this guy is trying to in his mind, I'm sure), created a society which puts homosexuals (and the 3-4% who identify as lgbtqi) at a 9x higher risk of suicide attempts and 21x higher risk of suffering serious mental health issues. The stats are much higher for some . 

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.

Argument 2:
"How is equal marriage gonna fix that? How will it reduce these rates? How will it change expectations?"

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.

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). 

Surely we can make that tiny little sacrifice of ignoring things that aren't even in our face for the benefit of 3 or 4% of the population. 

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.

Smile? Check.

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. 

Unfortunately though, fake news is fake news.

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?"

There's a common misconception held by many that being transgender means you have a pyschological disorder... 
While not conforming to gender norms does cause distress in many, being transgender itself is definitely not.  

What causes gender dysphoria - the condition of being severely distressed by not fitting to gender roles - is the expectation held by society to match their standards. It's caused by many things... personal experiences and abuse at the hands of others (which happens at staggeringly high rates as you'll see below), peoples' responses to those of those who've taken steps to come out, the constant fear of people turning their nose ups or thinking they're weird. Us. Me in the past... I found it weird. It's confronting when you've come from a different background where you've never been exposed to it before.
But even with a background of people who'd traditionally disapproved of such things, I can still see them as just ordinary people. I never have and never would mock them. I can still respect their right to do what they want and wear what they want if it didn't hurt anyone. I empathized with them not just for the fact that 40% (FORTY PERCENT, WTF! In some nations and studies, SIXTY FIVE PERCENT is the number!) have attempted suicide, but because of how hard it must be to be likely ostracized and judged by so many. For again, things they can't control - genetics, a misbalancing of hormones as a result of congenital defects, and various other factors. I've faced enough of that through my battle with cancer... It sucks. 


But yeah, as we were chatting, the No campaigner and I, someone pretty much charged and stared down the gentleman. That didn't really help. 

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.
But don't let the majority, often oppressors or fascists/racists ('cause this applies to them too), play the victim. I make the parallel here not to say those who vote no are in the same camp, but because similar patterns of portrayals are seen in how they're being covered by the media, which only hurts the case for peace and love. 

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):  
Rosenstreich, G., LGBTI people health and suicide, revised second edition, National LGBtI Health Alliance, 2013
Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., Tanis, J., Harrison, J., Herman, J. L., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. http://www.thetaskforce.org/…/downloads/reports/reports/ntd…
Russell ST, Ryan C, Toomey RB, Diaz RM, Sanchez J. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent school victimization: implications for young adult health and adjustment. Journal of School Health. 2011;81(5):223-30.

CDC Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12 – United States and Selected Sites, 2015 MMWR 2015;65(SS-9).


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It's your turn!
What are your thoughts? Any similar experiences? Want to talk about something?