Before I went to university, same-sex marriage wasn't something that I really thought much about. I wasn't against it, and thought that people who were against it were essentially morons, but it didn't really cross my mind all that often.
For someone reason, however, it's an issue that now keeps cropping up in my mind. Maybe it's because I'm becoming more aware of the world. Maybe it's because the number of gay people and, more notably, gay couples in my life has risen in the last few years. Maybe it's because of the stream of "inevitable lesbian" jokes that accompanied my first year of university. I don't know and, frankly, it doesn't matter. I shouldn't need any reason to care about this issue other than it's really damn important.
I just don't understand why this is even an issue anymore. Have we not advanced enough as a tolerant and multi-cultural society to realise that gay people have just as much of a right to marriage as any straight couple? What do people think that legalising gay marriage is going to do to offend them? There seems to be some stupid notion that it "promotes" homosexuality, which is stupid for so many reasons. For a start, there's nothing wrong with being gay, so I don't see how "promoting" it is a bad thing.
Secondly, it's not something that can be promoted. It's not as if a straight woman would see a poster that says "Tired of sucking cock? Try vagina; it's delicious" and think "You know what? Maybe I'll try lesbianism." No. It doesn't work like that. It's not a choice; it's who you are, and the sooner people stop thinking that people can just choose their sexual orientation, the sooner we can all stop wasting time over what should be a non-issue.
And thirdly, legalising gay marriage isn't going to suddenly make gay couples appear everywhere. Gay couples will still be together, whether they can marry or not. They will still live together; they will still hold hands in public; they will still exist in our society, so what difference does it make if we afford them this basic right? Even if you are, for whatever reason, against homosexuality, refusing to legalise gay marriage isn't going to make gay people go away. Allowing these people to get married isn't going to change anyone's life, other than improving the lives of the people who just want to be able to get married like everyone else.
The gay people in my life are some of the best people that I know. They are kind, sweet, honest and loving. And do you know why that is? Because they are human, just like every straight person. And the love that I see between these people is just as pure, strong and true as that of any of the straight couples that I know, if not more so.
From a purely utilitarian perspective, you have no reason to not let gay people marry, because it will make a lot of people happy, and will hurt absolutely no-one.
But more importantly, try to think about this from a human perspective. All we want to do, as human beings, is to love and be loved. It's a cliche, but it's true. And traditionally, we express this love by marrying, and having a family, and growing old together. This is a path of life that we, as straight people, take for granted, but imagine being told that you can't? On top of worrying about whether or not you'll be able to find someone to love, you find out that you're not allowed to express that love in the most socially accepted and traditional of ways. That doesn't seem fair to me. Why can't we just let people be in love and show it? Why must we make it political? Because that's all it comes down to: love. And frankly, if we agree on nothing else, we can all agree that love is a wonderful thing. So just shutup and let them get married.
And this blog post, as per usual, has become a long and nonsensical ramble, and all of my points have been raised a million times by people who are far more articulate that I am, but this matters to me, and it should matter to you, too.
And I know that most of my readers are the tolerant and liberal-minded people with which I like to surround myself, but sometimes it's just nice to write things that mean something, rather than my usual vacuous ranting.
So watch Alex's video, read my words, and maybe record/write some of your own. There are probably so many people who, like my 16-year-old self, have no objections to gay marriage but don't really think about it either, but if more of those people thought about it and spoke about it, then maybe this wouldn't still be an issue.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.