For Part One, please click here.
In the interim, I realised that there is actually a seventh reason that some may vote “No” that is worth discussing, and that will be the last one that I cover. Let’s jump right into it.
Prioritising “Natural” Procreation
This argument goes that marriage as an institution is inherently connected to procreation of a natural sort, between a man and a woman, and so should not be extended to those incapable of natural production, i.e. LGBT people.
And it’s not a good argument, because it falls apart very, very quickly. All you have to do is consider the many unions out there today that do not fit this pattern. There are wedded couples who do not have children. For some of them it was by choice, a conscious decision that they did not want to raise children, a decision that is no way illegal even if portions of society will frown upon it. For others, it is not by choice, but down to issues of infertility, and a dislike of surrogacy, IVF or adoption as an alternative, again, something that is not illegal.
So, it is plain to see that it is perfectly possible to have a functioning marriage without children, or without the intention to have children. There are numerous reasons to get married. Moreover, plenty of people choose to raise children outside of the confines of marriage. That a LGBT couple will not be able to create a child in the “natural” manner should be no more a bar to SSM than infertility being considered a bar to “traditional” marriage. Children do not make a marriage.
Other Things Being Labelled “Marriage”
This is where we really do start to get into true insult territory. It’s worse in the States, where I have witnessed, a depressing number of times, the claim that allowing gay marriage will invariably lead to people being legally allowed to marry animals.
But to sort of restrain myself, I’ll limit my thoughts to the idea that, by altering the constitution in the manner established, that we will be opening the door for other potential unions to be entitled to the banner of “marriage”, which the “No” side tend to name as things like incest, or polyamorous relationships.
It’s basically more scaremongering, an attempt to distract the voter from the actual issue by presenting a doomsday scenario where socially unacceptable relationships are able to become legal marriages once the floodgates of liberal progress are opened – and one where a distinct line is drawn between gay marriage and incest, which is where the insulting part of the equation comes from. But it simply will not happen. Incest and (sigh) bestiality are illegal in their own right, dealt with through non-constitutional laws, and rightfully so. Polyamorous relationships are a bit of a different issue, but polygamy is still illegal, and I imagine it will remain illegal for some time to come. This vote is proposing to make legal marriages between people of the same sex. It is not proposing to make marriage legal between people of the same family.
For proof, simply look to the parts of the world, from America and beyond, where SSM is legal. The sky hasn’t fallen in and fathers are not marrying their daughters. Anyone who campaigns for a “No” vote on this basis is badly, badly misinformed, or lying.
This goes simply that, as marriage has “always” been between a man and a woman, and has not proved dysfunctional, then that is the way that it should remain.
The inherent fallacy in this argument should be obvious. Just because something has always been one way, does not mean that it will be damaged or destroyed if it is altered in some manner. You could apply, and people did attempt to, the same logic to all manner of social justice campaigns: slavery, female suffrage, inter-racial marriage, the legalisation of divorce (which also suffered from the fate of children being used as a distracting crux), they could all have been, and were, opposed on the grounds of tradition and “If it ain’t broke”. And, when they were all granted or overturned, the world didn’t come to an end and society did not crumble. Just as will be the case when/if SSM is made legal. It will not alter or affect the sanctity, legal rights or societal hallowing of marriage as an institution for heterosexual couples.
Dislike Of Government
So, here’s the last reason, which bares some discussion. It goes that, due to the unpopularity of the current Fine Gael/Labour government, people should vote “No”, more as a general political message and as a method of trying to destabilise the current political ruling establishment, than as a blow against SSM as an idea.
This line of thinking is so self-destructive as to almost be beyond belief. It is encouraged by a certain part of the hard left, that includes those morons bringing disrepute on the anti-Water Charges movement by getting too confrontational (and that’s the nicest way I could put it). These people, who otherwise actually seem to support SSM as an idea, are content to cut off their nose to spite their face, in a muddled and illogical attempt to give the coalition a black eye.
It should be simply put that this vote, with the wholesale support it has received from all major political parties, should be beyond such pettiness. Part of me does think that is convenient excuse making for those who were always going to vote “No” but don’t want to admit to a prejudice that doesn’t fit with their political stance, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a bad argument, and a bad way of approaching constitutional referendums.
So there you have it. If people have encountered other “No” arguments outside of those seven headings, that aren’t just held by a handful of crazy people, feel free to send them on. And if you are a “No” voter who has happened upon this site, please consider carefully your reasons for voting in the negative, and if they really are all that you think them to be.