We all have our own irrational fears, based on an emotional response rather than facts. Kids are afraid of monsters in the closet, phobics are afraid of spiders or the color red, single men are afraid of commitment, I’m afraid of cheerleaders — none of these things actually pose a threat, and we eventually either grow up, learn to move past our fears, or in the case of my husband, realize that being married is way more fun than he’d thought.
So with the Supreme Court preparing to hear cases related to gay marriage, it’s time to apply that same standard of rationality to the objections raised by opponents. Gay marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2004 (as well as in many progressive states and countries, and frankly, we in California should be ashamed of ourselves for being less progressive than Iowa and Canada!). Therefore, instead of vague fears, we can look at the actual effects on society in those locations — and guess what, absolutely nothing bad has happened. The predictions of societal catastrophe, public fornication, gender confusion, and children behaving terribly have not come true; in fact, the divorce rate has declined in Massachusetts, and experts predict we’ll see the same effect in other states once more data is in. So one could argue that gay marriage is GOOD for society as a whole, not just for all those committed couples who are denied the legal protections we take for granted. (Note: the way I convinced my previously commitment-phobic husband that we needed “just a piece of paper” was to point out that our gay friends have to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to get a fraction of the protection we could get for $50 and a quick trip to City Hall.) (Although now I let him think the whole thing was his idea!)
There are so many real things in this world of which to be afraid — financial collapse, global warming, more Kardashian reality shows — so I believe it’s time for opponents of gay marriage to recognize that there is nothing to fear, and to go find something that actually justifies worrying. And to help them along, here’s a song examining the evidence.