Yes, Gay Marriage Is a Civil Right Issue
“Black people are bad neighbors. They all live in the ghetto downtown, and look how crappy it is. I can’t let them live in my neighborhood, because then it would become just as bad as those areas.”
Ha, what a bad argument that was. It perpetuated racial divisions, and consigned a large part of American society to poor and socially-immobile areas. And it was based on horrible logic that 30 seconds with a Venn diagram will break.
“Gay people are bad family members. They all have relationships outside marriage. I can’t let them become part of my definition of marriage, because then marriage would just become like the relationships they have.”
Letting gays marry will bring a currently socially-outcast group move from a ghetto of assumed-promiscuity to normal society. And marriage matters a lot more than some financial rights; being in an unsanctioned relationship prevents people from jobs such as: teacher, minister, politician, family doctor or other community leaders.
The consequentialist argument for gay-marriage is so easy to make that I encourage my friends to use it more than the deontic argument (that we shouldn’t be judging other people’s relationships, or religious people who feel government needs to get out of the business of marriage altogether).
If you think the average American voter is going to be convinced by an ethic of moral-libertarianism, remember that bigamy itself (not just when it’s fraudulent or child-abuse) is illegal.