Gay Marriage: Creating “Equal” Rights out of Thin Air?
One of the most mindlessly used terms these days is “equality.”
Every word has a range of meaning, but we never hear this term defined. It’s usually thrown around as a way to shut up opposition. “There should be equality, so X should be supported.” “Those who don’t agree with X are perpetuating inequality.”
Mostly we hear this in the same-sex marriage debate and, more recently, in regards to the economy.
I was watching a debate between Dennis Prager and Perez Hilton when Prager said that men and women were equal but not the same. Hilton reacted as if Prager had uttered nonsense which tells me that “sameness” and “equality” are synonyms in Hiton’s mind. But the question is sameness in what regard? Equal in what?
There may be equality among individuals, but that does not mean that all relationships between those individuals are equal. And the marriage debate is about relationships, not primarily individuals, even though individuals are involved.
So when a man and a woman are in a lifelong committed relationship, they are not in an identical relationship as two men or two women in a same-sex committed relationship. How do I know? I know because:
- 1)The natural outcomes are not the same* (heterosexual relationships naturally produce the next generation of society, as a rule)
- 2) There are innate differences between men and women.
Though many would contest #2, the fact is a man can never truly know what it’s like to be a woman and vice versa. That innate distance creates a dynamic between heterosexual couples that does not exist between same sex couples.
Individuals may be equal in terms of basic human rights, but that does not mean individuals have a right to everything. I do not have the right to engage in certain things just because others do. And incidentally, every American citizen currently has the same rights. Everyone (straight and gay) can engage in, through marriage, the type of relationship that results in the next generation of society and is with someone of the opposite sex. No one (straight nor gay) can engage, through marriage, the type of relationship through marriage that does not result in that end, and is with someone of the identical sex.
Everyone currently has the same rights. No one has ever been able to legally engage in the relationship they are trying to legitimize through legislation. Those who champion gay marriage as a right that has been denied are simply wrong.
*Obviously not all heterosexual relationships are able to result in children. But those are exceptions. I am talking here about categories as a whole. Childless heterosexual couples are still not the same as same-sex couples because #2 still holds.