We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself: The Debate Over Marriage Equality

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.

3 replies on “We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself: The Debate Over Marriage Equality”

On Dec. 9, 2012, the first day that same gender marriage was legal in Washington State, my husband and I, along with a few other local members of the clergy, stood on our local courthouse steps and ***GASP*** performed wedding ceremonies….

for anyone who wanted to get married….

just because….

we all believed in love….

and just because….

we could.

We’re still waiting for the lightening to strike or the sky to fall. It has yet to happen.

Thus far, all couples are living happily ever after. As are the clergy who participated.

Thanks for your article, Lauren. You made me smile.

Lauren, you’re awesome. I don’t understand the arguments against gay marriage. Or rather, I do understand them, but can’t understand how the people who bark them can be sooooo irrational. Yes, marriage was once (a long time ago) an exclusively religious ritual, but once it became a civil contract in addition to a religious one any opposition based on religion became void. And it seems to me that most, if not all, of the people who oppose gay marriage, oppose it on religiously inspired grounds. But if two people who want to commit their lives to each other go to the courthouse to enter into a marriage contract, it is a civil issue…regardless of their anatomy. Religion plays absolutely NO role in it! Separation of church and state! It just seems so simple to me. Its a legal process, not an exclusively religious one anymore.

Now, any people with similar anatomy wishing to married both civilly and in their chosen place of worship (as should be their right as well) I guess that will be the next hill to climb.

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