In what is becoming a kaleidoscope of idiocy and a roller-coaster of misdirection, religious personalities around the world are lately discovering what gay marriage can lead to. These unfounded fears of conservative minds reach from the sociologically succinct (but no less misguided) "gay marriage will sever bonds of traditional society" by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales to the preposterous "gay marriage will lead to children being taught about eating human feces" by an Anglican consultant in the U.K. Robert Mugabe is ludicrously anxious that gay marriage will take away women's rights to be mothers. Rick Santorum thought it would lead down the slippery slope of polygamy, but that may just have been a political ploy to outsmart his Mormon contender. It failed. Racists, and people in North Carolina (at least one lawmaker) believe that it will lead to the extinction of the white race.
In Australia, a group of health professionals has come out claiming that gay marriage will lead to greater health risks (quite the opposite is logically true). It's hard to beat conservative Christians though. Several Christian websites make a link between gay marriage and bestiality (hello?), and a growing number believe that gay marriage is a sign that the end of the world is near.
Enough of the nonsense already! The only thing gay marriage will lead to is, ahem, two dudes or two gals being married, period. The number of homosexuals will not magically increase (although some may come out of the closet if society is more accepting). It will not impact the racial balance (the decline in fertility is a factor of economic success, not moral decline) and we certainly won't all play with our excrement or bugger our dogs. Buy while all this obsession with "the consequences"?
It's not just a religious matter. Biblically speaking, the often quoted Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality--that interpretation was later added by homophobic Jewish scholars and Roman Christians. (In fact, most of the homophobic comments in the Bible come from one homophobic letter writer; aren't the newly converted always the most zealous?) In any case, it's hard to take moral leadership from a book that sanctions selling women as slaves and applauds Lot who let his daughters be raped so he could get a shut eye. We can ignore the religious arguments, because they are based on biased interpretations of irrelevant texts and a centuries-old body of superstitious nonsense.
What's more worrying is the "scientific" perversion argument, and the anal fixation of certain personalities. Reading through the feces argument posted last week, we discover a clear link -- in the mind of the writer -- between homosexual behavior and kinky sex. Is that so wrong? I mean, there is plenty of kink around on gay websites. But have you seen how much straight kink is out there? And how much kinkier it is! Human sexuality is a complicated subject, as are the legal limits of perversion. But the gay marriage argument has nothing to do with it. It's simply not about sex.
The origin for the "gay marriage leads to perversion" argument is not purely religious, it stems from many years of misguided teaching. In the book my parents got 30 years ago for my sex education, Homosexuality was the first paragraph in the chapter on Sexual Perversions. Coprophagia and necrophilia were the last two. A slippery slope? I don't think so. But decades of bad sex education have left us with a white-haired generation for whom homosexuality is simply that: aberrant sexual behavior.
Conservatives intentionally confuse marriage with sex, ignoring the fact that marriage is often the end of sex, even between gay couples. Why do they do that? Because it's easier to argue against perversion than against a union of love. The whole "leads to" reasoning seems to spring from a dearth of convincing arguments against marriage itself. Denying people the right to legally structure their lives around a loving relationship doesn't make good copy. Talking up anal sex and children playing with shit is much more effective in getting heads-in-pews turning in disgust.
So what if children are taught about anal sex and perversion in school? In the right framework, a more open sex education will take much of the mystery out of perversion. Children will grow up knowing that all kinds of sexual behavior exists, and some of it is dangerous and some of it illegal. I see no problem teaching children from a certain age the naked truth. They learn faster than the curriculum can keep up anyway, just by surfing the net.
You can believe what you want about sexual depravity, but the gay marriage argument has no place there. It sanctions the social status of two people, not their bedroom goings-and-comings. It will be hard to win the argument against people who intentionally conflate their beliefs with scientific fact, and don't accept things they don't believe in (just the definition of acceptance is to accept the other side for what it is, isn't it?) For, as straight-as-a-die Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart said to his Constanzerl: believing and shitting are two very different things.
Follow Marten Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/webmarten