I think that a lot of Americans feel some compulsion to accept same-sex marriage out of a sense of fairness. I also think that sense of fairness is misplaced in this case, and is actually being used inappropriately as a leverage to persuade people to approve of something they shouldn't. And absent some careful thinking to see through this, fair-minded people succumb to the pressure to (supposedly) be tolerant. Frank Turek makes the accurate and important point that same-sex marriage isn't about tolerance. It's actually traditional marriage, which Californians will vote on next Tuesday, that is the truly tolerant position for society to take. He begins by making a list of what same-sex marriage is not about despite a lot of the red herrings offered in the public debate:
It is not about discrimination against a class of people.
It is not about denying homosexuals the ability to commit to one another.
It is not about love or private relationships.
It is not about bigotry or homophobia.
It is not about sexual orientation or being born a certain way.
It is not about race or the civil rights struggle.
It is not about interracial marriage.
It is not about heterosexuals and divorce.
It is not about the separation of church and state.
It is not even about religion....
What they want is government endorsement for their relationships. They know that such endorsement will make homosexuality and their behavior appear just as normal as heterosexuality. That’s why the same-sex marriage movement has more to do with respect than rights....
Since most homosexuals don’t want to get married or stay married, then why are homosexual activists so adamant about government recognition of same-sex marriage? Because same-sex marriage will win them what they really want—validation and normalization. In other words, the activists want same-sex marriage because they understand that government-backed same-sex marriage will validate and normalize homosexuality throughout society.
The key point here is “government-backed.” Homosexuals already can “marry” one another privately. There is just no government version of it. Nothing is stopping homosexuals from pledging themselves to one another in private same-sex marriage ceremonies. In fact, it is done all the time—there is an entire cottage industry for “gay” weddings.
But that’s not enough for homosexual activists. What they want is government endorsement for their relationships. They know that such endorsement will make homosexuality and their behavior appear just as normal as heterosexuality. That’s why the same-sex marriage movement has more to do with respect than rights.
...Andrew Sullivan understands this. He writes, “Including homosexuals within marriage would be a means of conferring the highest form of social approval imaginable.”
This is the real reason homosexual activists are relentlessly pushing to get the government to endorse same-sex marriage. Most don’t want to get “married,” but they do want the social approval that same-sex marriage will win them.
Once they get that legal and social approval, no one disagreeing with them will be safe. Schools, businesses, churches, and charities will be bludgeoned with threats and lawsuits until they abandon their convictions and agree to promote what is pleasantly called “diversity.” Ironically, the only view allowed by the coming diversity police is the narrow view that you must celebrate homosexuality. No other view will be tolerated.
In fact, this intolerance is already happening and will get worse if same-sex marriage spreads. A federal court recently denied parents the right to know when homosexuality was being discussed in their Massachusetts schools because gay marriage is now legal there. Also in Massachusetts, a Catholic adoption agency was forced to close its doors rather than provide children to homosexual couples as the state now demands. In New Jersey, a Christian ministry was investigated for refusing to conduct a same-sex ceremony. In California, a doctor was sued for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian. Several other examples of gay intolerance can be found here, and the unbelievable forced normalization of homosexuality in businesses, schools and charities throughout Massachusetts can be found here.
The fact is that, in California, where voters must make this choice next week, government-sanctioned same-sex marriage won't add any more or new rights that homosexual partners don't have now under state law apart from marriage. Same-sex partners are already tolerated under the law. It's the respect that marriage will confer that is the point of same-sex marriage. It's also the government-compelled approval that same-sex marriage is about. It's already possible to respect individuals without respecting their behavior or choices. And it's that second step that is the point of same-sex marriage. Not tolerance. Approval.