Last night before going to sleep I read an article about the state of Utah ‘planning’ to spend 2 million dollars to defend it’s law barring same-sex marriage equality which was recently struck down. I, like many others, can think of many different, better ways to spend 2 million dollars than on trying to uphold a law that detracts from fairness and equality to all. Here’s a few things 2 million dollars could do for Utah:
-It’s estimated that with 2 billion dollars you could feed the entire populations of Canada, the United States, and Mexico…so for 10% of that, you could feed 10% of those people, or 10 million people. In January 2012 it was estimated that 633 thousand people in America were homeless. An estimated 16K of those people live in Utah. The state would apparently rather defend a discriminatory law than help its homeless population which it could do many times over with 2 million dollars.
-The average salary for a teacher in Utah is $47,000.00 per year. With 2 million dollars you could hire more than 40 new teachers for one year, 20 for two years, etc. The state would apparently rather prevent same-sex couples from being afforded the same rights and legal recognition as other couples enjoy when entering into marriage than provide for more/better education for its children.
-A 2008 study showed that more than 18,000 teens in Utah use illegal drugs. The average cost of a rehab stay is $15,000.00 per person. With 2 million dollars you could put more than 125 kids in rehab who may not have the financial means or insurance to put themselves in rehab. The state of Utah would, apparently, rather spend 2 million dollars to prevent two consenting adults from pledging their lives to one another, legally, as a celebration of their love and commitment to one another.
Utah is one of 9 states in 2013 that began to legally recognize same-sex marriages. That brought the total up to 18 states in all in the U.S. where it is now legal for same-sex couples to marry. I live in the first state where it was legal to do so. The arguments against allowing same-sex marriage are wide-ranging, and some of them are listed below:
1. Calling something marriage does not make it marriage – Well, that’s true…unless it IS marriage. Making marriage marriage for everyone will make it …..you guessed it…MARRIAGE! Then you can call it marriage, since it’s marriage.
2. It is against ‘natural law’. – The last time I checked, Mother Nature did not hold a license to practice law, nor was she a Supreme Court Justice. She does not hand out marriage licenses, nor preside over wedding ceremonies or divorces.
3. It always denies a child a father or a mother. – I have only ever heard of one case of immaculate conception. Even us homosexuals know how the biology works there. Everyone, no matter how they are raised and in what kind of family construct, has a mother and a father. The level of involvement a mother and a father have in their child’s life varies from situation to situation.
4. It does not create a family, but a naturally sterile union. – Just like elderly people, and naturally sterile people. This is not a prerequisite for people to marry, that they must produce a child from this union. This likely was good news to my grandmother who married for the third time at the age of 62.
5. It offends God. – I suspect, if God exists, those who claim to speak for Him with absolute authority might be a bit more offensive. I know I’m offended by people who think they speak for me without even speaking TO me first.
6. Same-sex marriage will pave the way for the legalization of other types of marriage like polygamy and marrying your dog– I have noticed that no matter how many people use this argument…not one of them that I’ve seen have proposed a constitutional amendment against polygamy. It’s as if gay marriage is the ‘stain fighter’ against all other blemishes on marriage and to ban it, you effectively block all other offensive couplings from occurring. And as for marrying dogs….the lack of an opposable thumb to sign a marriage license and the lack of ability to read seem to dismiss this is not possible for a dog to enter into a binding contract of any kind.
One of the biggest arguments I’ve heard used is that it ‘threatens’ traditional marriage. I’ve been married now for eight years. Roughly 18 months after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, I decided to take the plunge. In that time I’ve been close to just one couple who have divorced, and they have not cited me, my husband, or our marriage as the reason for their divorce. I’ve known several people who have married since I married. They are still married. As of March, 2013, Massachusetts enjoys the lowest divorce rate in the country. Most of the states in the U.S. that have legalized same-sex marriage since Massachusetts paved the way fall below the half-way mark on the state by state list of highest to lowest divorce rates, including Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Michigan, and Iowa.
There is, presently ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE that same-sex marriages harm children, families, or any other married couple in any way, shape or form. There is no credible evidence that children raised by same-sex couples are harmed in any way shape or form or thrive any less than children raised by opposite sex couples. Children’s development is affected by the quality of their relationship with their parents, not by the gender of their parents.
18 of 50 states have now legalized marriage for same-sex couples. None have legalized dog marriages or polygamy. None have also legalized marrying underage children. None have made it a law for anyone to ‘like’ gays and lesbians any more than they did before legal recognition of their unions. None have forced people to turn gay….if they weren’t gay already, they aren’t gay now….which is just how it’s worked in the reverse for years…barring gays and lesbians from legal recognition of their unions did not make anyone turn straight, or decrease the number of gays and lesbians in the world.
Rather than continue to defend a discriminatory law that is falling, state by state, by the wayside Utah has the opportunity to do some good with their apparent windfall of taxpayer dollars if they can afford to spend 2 million dollars to try to overturn the legalization of same-sex marriage. Many other states have shown that the arguments against legalization of same-sex marriage have fallen flat and the doom and gloom predictions of ‘slippery slopes’ and ‘destruction of tradition’ have failed to come to fruition. Same-sex couples do not in any way, shape, or form threaten opposite-sex couples. True, there is a shattering of the stereotype of the ‘roles’ of opposite gender couples in a relationship…..and those stereotypes are often interjected into discussions of same sex relationships as to who ‘plays’ the man and who ‘plays’ the woman….and I often wonder how opposite-sex couples would answer that same question as I’ve known opposite-sex couples where the ‘man’ is more skilled at sewing curtains and decorating and the ‘woman’ is more skilled at changing the oil in the car and doing electrical work in the house.
For anyone reading this blog post, I realize I’m simply regurgitating stuff that’s been written and spoken about time and time again for years to make my case. But then again, so are opponents of same-sex marriage using failed, flawed reasoning and logic to make their case against same-sex marriage.
At least I’ve only spent about 45 minutes to do so.
Not 2 million dollars.