|Same-sex marriage in the United States|
|in December 2004||in March 2012|
I read Rich Dunbar’s first blog post about people who compain about those who “cram their beliefs down my throat” and reacted very negatively to it. Looking back, I realize that I wasn’t really being fair (sorry Rich!), but what my mind jumped to was the topic of same-sex marriage.
Some days I’m amazed at what progress the movement has made (see the maps above). This is not one of those days.
I think we have a legitimate case here of “belief cramming” here, and it has to do with something that Rich doesn’t talk about: asymmetry. The impact of gays not being able to get married on the gay community is a reasonably big deal – not comparable to segregation or anything, but the denial of ~1138 federal benefits and some number of state ones is a real harm done to us.
What’s the impact on those who oppose same-sex marriage? (I’m going to generalize and just talk about organized religion) Well…I’m not sure. No same-sex marriage bill in the country would force churches to marry same-sex couples, as no church is forced to marry any couple they don’t want to for whatever reason. (e.g. non-Catholic couples can’t be married in a Catholic churc, etc.) The arguments these groups tend to make are extremely vague and hand-wavy – “it will weaken the family” or “it would hurt children” with little to no evidence to back these claims up. Another argument (albeit one I don’t hear very often) is that they don’t want their tax dollars going to support same-sex couples, but this is pretty weak because you don’t necessarily have a right to say what your tax dollars go towards.
Even though historically a strong majority of people have been opposed to same-sex marriage (although this is changing!), this is a case where “tyranny of the majority” applies, and when they are successfully cramming their beliefs down our throat.