This takes a look at the reasons why people do not feel comfortable supporting gay marriage, and while taking these into account I intend to expand and add to your views.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is against the idea of legalising gay marriage in the view that…
“Oppose any effort that would eliminate DOMA and its protections for state marriage laws all across the country.
Please drop the attack on DOMA and instead defend the rights of states to protect marriage yas the union of a husband and wife. Thank you for protecting DOMA!”
(National Organization for Marriage, 2011)
In their petition letter NOM are asking presidents to “protect marriage”. This implies these people view marriage as a commodity or as a possession which belongs only to heterosexuals. This then alludes to the idea that the marriage ritual forms part of the heterosexual identity since they wish for it to remain exclusive to them. However, a flaw in this line of thought is that some heterosexual couples even those who have been together for over a decade choose not to marry and yet they are in a heterosexual relationship and friends and acquaintances would be happy in the acknowledgment of this sexual preference, although this scenario is rather less common as opposed to long term partners who do marry. Thus marriage, for some, must be part of their sexual identity – it is their right as a heterosexual to be permitted to partake in this particular ritual.
What is the reasoning that only they are permitted? Well, the most common reasons people marry are that they choose to, a sign of their love one other, want a sign of their commitment to one another, want to announce their feelings to God (I use this term to refer to all figures of Divinity) or they wish to bring a child into the world and feel this would provide a more secure environment. All of these remain the same in Gay Marriage. However, the penultimate statement is slightly controversial, but this can easily be put to rest. This is because not all married heterosexual couples are religious and thus may not have a religious ceremony; so from this point on religion is not an issue. Moreover marriage is never a prerequisite for a stable family environment. I have heard the Holy Bible being used as an excuse not to tolerate homosexuals – apparently it’s just wrong, period. However marriage is an act – and linguistically speaking it is a ritual consisting of a series of speech acts – which is a sign of commitment and love between two people. Thus as this is a reason for some of the prejudice beliefs against gay marriage, surely then atheists should also not be allowed to legally marry.
More specifically many hold prejudice because they feel that homosexuality is unnatural. This is because the reason males and females are [meant to be] attracted to one another is because it is inherent in all of humanity that the imperative to reproduce, after all that is nature and that is what we are meant to do, supposedly. “We’re meant to have children so homosexuality is not natural” – is the crux of the argument. But sex can/is no longer be scrutinized in terms of functionality. Humans have sex for pleasure which is completely devoid of the function of reproduction. Therefore then gay sex cannot be judged in terms of functionality either. It is possible then that humanity has another function in this world other than to breed. If we did not then surely by now we would be like the male octopus that dies after impregnating a female octopus. Therefore using the “what’s natural” argument, whereby the logical premise would be that of ‘natural selection’ there must be further functions for humanity.
Stewardship is one possibility – which is very fitting with Christendom, being a parental figure to those in need who are already struggling on this planet – whether that be in adoption, bringing up and healing an abused child, saving someone’s life, dedication to charitable work. Example figures include Mother Teresa, Orang-utan Lady. These people helped our world to thrive without adding to the human population – rather they added quality of life to those alive then and now.
Furthermore there are plenty of heterosexual couples out there who do not have children out of choice. In such a situation what is the difference between a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple? Both couples signify two loving married people whom of which have not propagated the species.