Parsing an anti-gay-marriage argument

Gay marriage is legal in California now, though predictably there’s a proposition on the ballot to make it illegal. The ballot language — “Revokes the right of gays to marry” — is under protest from the folks who want to do just that, because representing the proposition’s actual intent on the ballot is deceptive.

Whatever. I am voting no on the proposition. Even in a democracy, you don’t get to vote on who is allowed to have rights. On issues like this, on equal rights and so on, the judiciary has to trump what the people say. Any democracy where the rights of one group are up to majority vote is no democracy, just a parody. Democracy gone wild, really.

But there is one argument against gay marriage that has always fascinated me, just because of its sheer weirdness. These are the folks who say that allowing gays to marriage somehow cheapens their own straight marriages. It took me quite awhile to parse this argument. After all, my own marriage feels just as strong and sacred as it did before gay marriage was legal anywhere, so I never figured out what I was missing.

But now I think I have it. Marriage is like M&M’s.

See, just as marriage is about a relationship between a man and a woman, M&M chocolate candies are all about the little “M” on the outside of the candy. Now M&M’s allows you to customize your M&M’s if you want; when I went to my friend J’s 40th birthday party last year, his wife had ordered some of these custom M&M’s, with messages like “Over the Hill” and “J’s 40!”. With the little M, M&M candies used to be special; no other candy had just that combination of shape, flavor, and lettering. But now that you can have your own message on your M&M’s, the whole M&M experience is cheapened. It’s less notable now. The whole meaning of what M&M’s are has been tossed out the window. So by allowing gays to marry you essentially give people the right to have their own messages on their M&M’s, thereby cheapening the whole experience for everyone.

Ludicrous? Well, so is the original argument.

Anyway, the takeaway message here is that I’m voting No on Proposition 8, and so should you.

0 thoughts on “Parsing an anti-gay-marriage argument”

  1. It’s just like old-school gamers not wanted new editions of rules being published, or players of mmorpg’g not wanting the level cap risen. Arguments like “but I’ve put so much time into this game, why should new players get it easier” abound. My counter-argument had always been “the publishers need money, doing it this way will make them money…you may not like it, but it’s business”

    To apply that to this issue: As far as I’m concerned marriage is marriage; it’s a bond and promise between two people and the deity/force/power of their choice. The conservative folk don’t like people having sex out of wedlock. Well, gee…if you make it easier or more appealing to get married…then that might solve some of that. Granted that doesn’t solve the other “arguments” of promiscuity, and that whole bible verse thing.

    Ok, it’s a weak analogy…but point being, if I lived in California, I’d be voting with you.

    1. I can’t remember who it was, but someone very succinctly summed up the whole right-wing “family values” viewpoint as essentially a bunch of fluff around “get the fags”. Sad, but true.

      I don’t play MMORPG’s myself (I was involved in Second Life for awhile but that’s hardly the same thing), but with regards to publishing new editions of table-top RPG’s, there are some considerations besides just the publishers needing money that can be taken into account. Third edition D&D, for example, was cleaner, more polished, and easier to play than second edition, which was much more advanced than first edition. It’s not just about making the game easier or more accessible, or about making more money, it’s also about improving the game.

      Well, obviously, viewpoints will differ on that. Heh.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting. 🙂

  2. 🙂 I don’t dispute that really…I was simplifying the argument for..well simplicity’s sake. I’m actually not much of a table-top gamer but I’m married to one. Seems most of the complaints are about 4th edition…but I think I’m getting off topic.


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