Every child deserves a mother and a father.
God damn, that is one catchy-ass slogan. I mean, it’s no “Adam and Steve”, but when the bigots on parade pass through your town protesting same-sex marriage, it looks great on a sign and tugs at the proverbial heartstrings. And that is about as far as it goes. As a legal argument as to WHY same-sex couples should not be married, it’s a pretty fucking useless argument.
Right now in Australia there is a postal survey winding down that was asking ‘Down Underians’ everywhere to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, because, you know, putting anyone’s civil rights up to a public vote has never gone wrong. That’s how slavery in the U.S. was abolished. One day, all of the slave owners got together and held a vote if everyone currently plowing their fields for free should be set free. Everyone then looked to god for divine inspiration, decided what the decent course of action would be, and ultimately voted ‘yes’ by an overwhelming majority. Then a big party was thrown to celebrate where inter-racial dating was invented which was accepted by everyone in the community without controversy. (cough… sarcasm… cough…)
So, with the same-sex marriage fight being brought to the forefront again in Australia, right on cue, the most religious of the crowd pulled that “children deserve…” used condom of an argument out of the bathroom trash, rinsed it out in the sink, and crossed their fingers hoping you are too drunk to notice they have used it before. The problem is it is a BAD argument, but no one on the god squad seems to recognize that.
In reality, there isn’t a great argument as to why same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry. If there were, we would have heard it by now. I can only assume the right-wingers of Australia are harping on it is because they bought all of the ready made signs left in storage on the cheap after several failed attempts in the United States.
Now as to why that piss-poor excuse of logic was used here in the States, it is because the religious right needed something they could present in a court of law out of sheer desperation. So, to Aussies everywhere, I’ve got a little same-sex marriage history lesson for you, so listen up.
As an American, born and bred, I have no problem admitting that a huge portion of our population are bible-thumping harbingers of doom who love nothing better than to pass laws making it illegal to do anything other than sitting alone in a barely lit room reading our bibles until the day we die. The outside world is a scary place, so, according to them, it is best to avoid it as much as possible. In other words, we can be a bunch of prudes.
Before the “children deserve a mom and dad” argument became the mantra for the snake-handlers, one of the more popular battle cries was “Let The People Vote”. With same-sex marriages being issued in Massachusetts in 2004 as a result of the court case ‘Goodridge v. Department of Public Health’, many hard-core conservative groups realized they needed to do something to head this same-sex marriage problem off at the pass without dipping their toes into legal proceedings. Enter the “L.T.P.V.” initiative.
The core idea behind “people voting” was how the church needed to do ANYTHING to keep gay marriage from being put up to a vote by elected officials AND/OR to keep it from being argued in a court of law.
You see, preachers and pastors have known since the beginning of time it is easy to prey on a person’s fears. All you need to do is stand up in front of a group of people, yell some loud words threatening them with the worst possible outcome, tell them what god WANTS everyone to do, and before you know it, you got yourself a flock of sheep agreeing with you 100% of the time. Enter gay marriage.
Many special-interest groups in the U.S. once tried doing the same thing Australia is doing now: putting the legalization of gay marriage up to public opinion. The difference being, here in the States it was through ‘actual’ voting with direct real-world consequences. Right now in Australia, it is nothing more than a survey with no legal backing. Essentially, the back and forth fighting is to see if the Australian government may one day think about possibly talking about maybe voting to opening up a discussion where they may one day legalize same-sex marriage. In other words, it’s a way for candy-ass politicians to look like they are doing something without actually doing something. (Political stupidity knows no borders.)
As long as you could strut a preacher out in front of a group of people and start waxing poetic with the god-speak, you could always keep the religious implications of what was happening in the mix. For example: gay marriage is wrong because god says it is wrong.
However, once same-sex couples started presenting their cases in an actual court of law, the “god thinks it is icky” excuse no longer had any impact. So, out of sheer desperation, the “children deserve a mom and dad” idea was born. Which, again, is just a really stupid argument.
The idea is that children flourish best when raised in a household with both a mother and a father. And I once tried to play a drinking game while watching a right-wing political forum where I took a shot every time that phrase was spoken. Coincidentally, I don’t remember anything after the twenty minute mark into the first speech. That’s how often people used that fucking expression.
I mean, I personally have never even understood WHY that was an argument? Are Christians saying homosexuals should marry someone of the opposite sex they don’t love JUST to have children? If it is best for children to be raised by a mom and a dad, should it be illegal for a married couple with children to get a divorce? Should marriage laws everywhere be changed to read “Marriage is between one man and one woman FOR LIFE”? You start picking at the fabric of that argument and you are going to start answering questions you maybe don’t want to answer.
Which brings us back to Australia. I’ve been watching the #voteno arguments on the interwebs, and I am amazed how often the “both a mother and father” argument is still being used as if it holds any weight. Spoilers: It doesn’t.
Now I’m not saying the marriage equality crowd is going to come out as the winner in this little survey, either. I’ve learned in my travels to never underestimate the bigotry of people behind closed doors. Right now, there could be thousands of Australians who proclaim their support for that strapping male couple living next door to them when, in private, curse the satisfying doggy-style sex Adam and Steve are having in private. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the religious crowds in Australia were able to eek out a victory. But like I said before, this is really only a survey, so the only thing the winning side is going to be able to take away from this social experiment is bragging rights.
But what I will say is that it is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is brought to Australia. The biggest enemy of bigotry is time. Sooner or later, we as a species make the right call, and if marriage equality can happen in America, where statues honoring slave-owners is STILL a thing, it can happen anywhere.
So to all of my gay friends in Australia: Keep your swords crossed, your scissors sharp, and never stop reaching for that rainbow.
© 2017, Jay Solemn. All rights reserved.