Now Playing: Long Live by Taylor Swift (and the cynics were outraged, screaming 'this is absurd', because for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world)
So in the background whilst I'm tearing apart American Beauty (don't hate on me, I do actually like it...but English students do what English students do) I'm listening to a debate between Dan Savage and Brian Brown. Oh, wait...actually, I'm listening to this super awesome, intelligent, witty, crass, somewhat-reminding-me-of-my-best-friend guy totally kick this bigoted douchebag's ass on the topic of marriage equality.
Brian Brown's entire argument was that gay marriage is a threat to 'traditional marriage' because proponents of 'traditional marriage' - bigots - will be actively picked on for being...bigots. It was actually Dan Savage - the son of conservative Catholics who has read the Bible cover to cover and considers himself culturally Catholic (and has admitted to fucking someone in the Vatican, but that's another story) was the one who had the rock solid argument based on Scripture, the law...and fucking human decency.
You are a bigot if you are so devoted to your own beliefs that you incite fear and hatred against a social or ethnic group. That is the definition of bigotry. The only thing you have the right to do if you still buy into that 'traditional marriage' crap is to not marry someone gay. You can't tell other people what to do. And when the time comes - and it will come - that the law recognises the real rights of gay people over the fake rights of bigots, then yeah, you will get picked on for being a bigot. To say that we have to deny people their human rights to protect bigots from being called out as bigots is beyond absurd, and it's really quite sad that that is all you can come up with. If I started saying that Hitler was a fabulous guy with a wonderful world view I'd get picked on too. You fucking deserve it.
A lot of people tell me, when I'm supporting marriage equality and attacking certain confused, misinformed, ignorant perspectives on marriage equality, that I'm being disrespectful towards religion or religious freedom or blah blah. I am not religious. This is a right that has been infringed many times when I have been forced to pray, called derogatory things like 'unsaved' and 'immoral', and constantly had religion shoved in my face when I'm really quite happy being a heathen. I am a gnostic atheist because to the best of my knowledge there is no God and no point in being God-fearing. But I have never every infringed on other peoples rights to think otherwise. I support religious freedom in all places where one particular faith, or type of faith, is imposed. The only time people have been offended by me and accused me of infringing on their right to religious freedom is because my beliefs are incongruous to their own. Differences in opinion does not constitute a violation of religious freedom. Imposing your opinions on others is a violation of religious freedom. I don't really care what religion you are. My rights as a gnostic atheist is not impacted whether you're a gnostic atheist, or a Bible-believing Christian, or a faithful Muslim, Jew, Hindu.
What I do object to is the sex negativity of many of the major religions. Many people ask me why I'm not Buddhist - because somehow 'being Asian' and 'not being Christian' automatically equals Buddhism. I'm not a Buddhist because I reject Buddhist teachings as being incompatible with human nature and incompatible with who I am as a person. Because real people feel anger, and rage, but this can be used proactively. A state of peace achieves next to nothing. But that's another can of worms. One of my primary objections to Buddhism is, behind a facade of tolerance and peace to the extent that Buddhism is referred to by Adam Hills as 'the only religion you can mock without the risk of a bomb exploding' is extreme sex negativity. Celibacy is the ultimate goal and people are considered less worthy if they are unable or unwilling to suppress their sexuality. Homosexuality is condemned in Buddhist texts, something I have a problem with. The Dalai Lama himself has even spoken out against homosexuality, in which he contradicts his stance to prevent discrimination against homosexuality by condemning 'sexual misconduct' - basically any variation from the standard penis-in-vagina thing. People don't realize this whenever Buddhism is trendy. It does have some serious flaws.
Many religions are sex negative - based on the premise that sexuality is sinful, that it is a sin to indulge one's sexual desires and only certain sexual practices between certain people in certain circumstances are 'okay'. I dislike the concept that theology can dictate what goes on behind closed doors. I dislike the slut shaming, the veneration of female virginity, the taboo of female sexuality, the demonization of homosexuality and alternate sexual orientations and gender expressions and the violence against people who fail to conform to hypocritical and oppressive sexual standards that is often part and parcel with the major religions. I reject religion in my life because it ignores the facts - masturbation, for example, is safe, healthy, and pretty much everyone does it, and yet it is shamed and stigmatized by most major religions. So my problem isn't just religious views on homosexuality - my problem is religious views on sexuality in general. I don't pretend to be the most virginal person out there. I'm a teenager. If I were a boy people would have no problem accepting that I'm horny as fuck. And yet I am held to these hypocritical and oppressive standards created out of the premise that sex is sinful, and I reject that. I shouldn't be held to these standards that I don't believe in and didn't create for myself. I shouldn't be a victim of slut shaming when I don't really see anything wrong with, you know, being myself.
Another problem I have is that religious arguments against gay marriage hold no water. Marriage is a legal institution. Marriage was initially an institution in which men paid - through money or monogamy or providing house and home or whatever - for exclusive sexual access to a woman to provide assurance of paternity. Marriage then became a business contract in which a man took possession of another man's daughter. Then marriage became a union between two families. Religion...entered rather late onto the scene, and the Biblical version of marriage only reflects societal attitudes of the time in which the Bible was written - and it's got some pretty fucked up stuff in it, including polygamy, marriages between masters and slaves, a husband's sexual access to a wife's slaves and marriages between a rapist and his victim. To say that the Bible says that marriage is 'only between a man and a woman' is like saying that the Kinsey Report believes that heterosexuality is the only genuine sexual orientation and everyone else is just making shit up. It's a fallacy.
To say that marriage is solely a religious institution, and to hold people to standards set by religion, is a violation of religious freedom. Not adhering to religious standards that you believe in and others don't is not a violation of religious freedom. I eat pork and I love it. I'm a hardcore carnivore. I am not infringing the religious freedom of any Jewish person out there because I eat a bit of dead pig. What would be a violation of religious freedom is if I somehow tricked, coerced or forced a Jew to eat pork if he wasn't inclined to do so. It's really that simple. I have said very clearly that I am going to have a civil marriage, and it'll probably be an interracial marriage - which used to be illegal - given my racist hormones. Someone said that this is only valid because it coincidentally conforms with what the Church currently believes in (and yes, the Church used to be against interracial marriage) and that was frankly insulting. I am not an accidental, coincidental Christian. I am a deliberate atheist. I have the right to marry who I want how I want. By luck I am straight and I have that right. If I were gay I demand those same rights, because either way I'm still a human being.
It blows my mind that people still don't believe that civil marriage is a thing, and scream blasphemy whenever I try to tell them the simple fact that civil marriage existed long before God got involved - before God was even a thing. Gay people aren't trying to get the Pope's blessing - frankly, who would, because he's covering up for pedophiles and preventing the distribution of condoms and thus allowing the spread of AIDS in Africa - they're just trying to get the legal rights that everyone else deserves. Anyone is allowed to get married. Black, white, religious, non religious. Why are gays excluded from something that has nothing to do with you, or me, or religion?
At any rate, believe what you believe. Confine yourself with sex negativity, and force yourself to believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman for the sole purpose of making babies. That is not what the Bible says, at all, but to each his own. You have no right to impose this definition onto other people. At all. I have no right to stop you from marrying whoever you want, and whoever you marry doesn't concern me. So you have no right to stop a gay person from marrying someone of the same sex, and whoever they marry doesn't concern you. Why is this so hard to wrap your head around?