This has been bugging me for a long time now. I get it that most people believe that being gay or homosexual is an abomination, but they should be able to marry whoever they want to. Right? I don't know if it's just me who feels this way, but please share your opinion.
When a theist claims you don't have an open mind, remind them that there's nothing more closed-minded than believing something on faith. In other words, if they are open to changing their mind, then they aren't being faithful.
James Cox posted on another thread about Predator and Prey mentality and I think that is at the root of the matter. I agree with Marc that religious people start with an opinion and then seek support for it in their texts, so I'm not addressing the religious aspect at all. I need to generalise so please forgive those generalisations that don't apply to you as an individual.
Most men would see their initial interaction with a potential female mate as a Predatory one, where the woman is the Prey. Added to that, they also see the initial interaction as a sexual one.
In support of this, a man (let's think of him as a lion) may find the sight of two women having sex (let's think of them as deer) as rather appealing. Here, we have a Predator enjoying the sight of not one, but two or more of his Prey. Threatening? No, of course not. Appealing? Quite possibly, actually almost probable.
But now let's think of the same man/lion, visualising two men having sex. Now we have two more Predators interacting, and the sexual concept (anal penetration) also carries an imaginary personal pain, as well as the 'feces are dirty" knowledge. Threatening? Yes. Predator faces two more Predators - fear is an instinctive reaction. The Predator has to envisage being potential Prey, and that is not acceptable.
There is a lot more surrounding this instinct based image, but I feel that this is where the acceptance problem has its roots.
If public opinion was sought only to legalise lesbian marriages, I'd bet that there would be no real problem, because to the male, it carries no instinctive threat.
It is rather nice to see an idea, original or not, being given some usefulness for insight.
I have not yet seen the idea given mention in other papers, but I think looking into Desmond Morris's 'Naked Ape', could offer some insights. Sadly my reading of that book was from the early 70's, and might have been superceded by other research.
Prison sexual behavior might also offer some insights into closed/confined social systems. The studies into gender abuse and violence also.
As an interesting aside, there is a mathematical model for the simulation of predator/prey called the logistic equation. It can be found in some text books dealing with complex dynamics and fractals. The equation generates, via interation, very wonderful/amazing patterns. Might only offer limited insights, but one never knows where an interesting idea might come from.
Sorry my nerd is showing...;p)
Having worked at a state prison for years I can attest to the Predator/Prey power struggles that exist inside a penal institution. It is probably one of the more dominant social issues convicts must deal with. Homosexuals doing time usually are preyed upon by heterosexuals who have modified their sexual behavior during their incarceration, especially among the black populace. It's interesting that these individuals do not consider themselves homosexual or bisexual when engaging others sexually. It is a temporary solution in their mind. There are some homosexuals who because of their physical stature are able to dominate heterosexuals sexually and emotionally, but they are a small minority.
Strega--I think the Predator/Prey dynamic is a very interesting lense through which to view sexuality. I would only add, or underscore, that predator/male=penetrator and prey/female=penetrated. Another threat to the predator is the potential for feminization/demasculinization (becoming the prey,as you say) through the act of being penetrated. Using this model, it the heirarchy of gender reveals its importance.
I, personally, supoort the Gay Marriage Movement 100% It is absurd, to me, to claim that this is a "free" and "equal" country if we are going to grant certain privileges to some groups of people but not to others. It was wrong to discriminate against women; it was wrong to discriminate against people with slightly darker skin. So why, then, would we think that it is right to discriminate against people with different sexual orientations? Religion.
I find that, nine times out of ten, any opposition to gay marriage (or gayness in general) that I encounter is fueled by religion. "It is an abomination against god", I am told. They are convinced that there is this invisible guy in the sky who gives a "rip" about what us mere bacteria (our relative size & impact as compared to the vastness of the universe) are doing down here. They think that our entire nation - no, our entire race - is going to be punished if we "allow" other people to be gay by accepting who they are without question or without punishing them for being different. It doesn't help that their religious texts are riddled with the ramblings of ancient homophobes and purists hell-bent on populating the earth with followers of their own faith. The religious texts of our world are largely designed (by other men) to control mass populations of people, and if you want more babies born to pad your numbers, the last thing you want are same-sex couples running around that can't procreate. So, the easy solution was to make it forbidden by "god" to use any form of birth control or engage in any relationship that won't result in offspring. Of course, we no longer have a need for more people on our planet, but the religious texts are stll hanging around giving people wrong ideas... ideas that probably made a lot more sense 2000+ years ago.... then again, probably not.
People are just too afraid of their imaginary god. Religion has control over their lives to the point where they are willing to spread lies, hate, and a whole library of outdated, absurd, and backward-thinking ideas. One of the worst points of religion, for me, is what it does to people's minds. It poisons them; gives them wrong ideas. This is one of the main reasons I am an atheist.
"any opposition to gay marriage (or gayness in general) that I encounter is fueled by religion"
I personally think religion is just the "front" people use to make their own bigotry seem righteous. That is, the bigotry doesn't come FROM religion, it comes from within their tainted hearts. Religion is just the scapegoat.
"if you want more babies born to pad your numbers, the last thing you want are same-sex couples running around that can't procreate."
WOW, I thought i was the only person who interpreted it this way... glad to see someone else sees what is going on. It explains so much: the Catholic Church's stance on birth control, abortion, gays, marriage, indoctrination, evangelism, etc.
According to national polling over 50% of Americans now support gay marriage, with 45% opposed, and 5% undecided or refusing to answer. Note how the trend shows public support has risen dramatically in the US since the mid-1990s.
Deniers please note the provider of this research is the same statistician who predicted the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in all fifty US states with 100% accuracy.
I don't know how popular this is, but I think that the government will never be able to control the word/concept of marriage. That is why I think civil unions are the answer. The government can create and manage that concept, which would include all rights that we would normally expect to be assigned to a marriage today and would also include legal definitions of all variations of qualifying couples.
It would also be easily made on a Federal level which would supersede most of these backwards states making same sex "marriage" illegal. As it stands now, if I was in a gay marriage, I would be afraid to travel to one of those states just because if we had to go to the hospital, the state would have the right to enforce family only laws denying access to your lawfully married spouse, but married in another state. Not to mention insurance, and the myriad of other rights given to married couples.
The word "marriage" means so many different things to so many different cultures, even as it stands now it is at least complex.
In my mind, the state would no longer issue marriage licenses to any couples of any kind, only civil unions. The religions can keep their "M" word in any fashion they wish, but the federal, state and local benefits/responsibilities/rights would only come from the CU. Therefore, if you got married (straight or gay) in a church, that would be fine, but you could be denied visitation, insurance and other rights if you did not have your CU license.
Granted this would be a big change, but in my mind, it is the only solution that makes sense. Marriages done prior to the CU law would be grandfathered in as automatic CU's, but after that the government does away with enforcing anything having to do with how religions do their version of this business. Divorce of course would need to be reformed as well.
Instead of getting married again, I'm just going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house.--Rod Stewart
Now that, Melvinotis my friend, is a truly magnificent suggestion.