Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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Interracial Marriage/Same-Sex Marriage Analogy

I am so sick of seeing this ridiculous misinterpretation of a perfectly wonderful analogy! Here is a typical example of it. In the article "Gay Marriage Isn't a Civil Rights Issue," creepy homophobe Dean R. Broyles writes:
Equal protection does not apply here. Interracial marriage, which I strongly support, is very different from same-sex "marriage." Race is an immutable characteristic. Unless you are Michael Jackson, you can't change the color of your skin. Homosexuality is very different. There is no gay gene. There is no accepted scientific evidence that homosexuality is immutable.
Uh, hello.The two members of an interracial couple are indeed born with their races (with a possible exception if Michael Jackson were to date a black person, but I don't think any of us wants to contemplate the possibility of Michael Jackson dating anybody), but they are not born as an "interracial couple." They choose to date each other and get married. They choose to form an interracial couple. Back when racists deprived them of the right to marry each other, those racists were able to state, perfectly accurately, that they were not depriving those individuals of the right to marry; those individuals were perfectly free to marry - they just weren't free to marry each other. But the immutable nature of their races was sufficient to make their status as an interracial couple considered immutable too, simply because it is totally nuts to imagine that any two people who love each other and want to marry each other would feel free to just dump each other and go find new partners of more politically advantageous races to marry instead.

In exactly the same way, the two members of a same-sex couple are born with their genders (with the rare exception of an occasional transsexual). Gender is every bit as immutable as race is. And yes, they choose to date each other and get married. Whether they also choose the actual emotion of falling in love with each other (which I believe I did, but I don't believe that everyone does) or are predestined to it by their genes (which I do not believe anybody is) is absolutely irrelevant. The immutable nature of their genders should be sufficient to make their status as a same-sex couple considered immutable too, simply because, again, it is totally nuts to imagine that any two people who love each other and want to marry each other would feel free to just dump each other and go find new partners of more politically advantageous races genders to marry instead.

This should be so obvious that I can't believe that in the year 2008 I'm still encountering this fallacy daily. And it seems like more than half the time, when someone ridiculously misinterprets the analogy the way Dean R. Broyles did, the responses from the people on "our" side fall right into the completely irrelevant trap of trying to argue that yes, there is too a gay gene. THIS IS STUPID. Even if you are completely convinced there is a gay gene (whereas I'm completely convinced there isn't), there is only one trait you need to prove is immutable to defend our rights, and that's gender. Convincing homophobic right-wing Christian fundamentalists that gender is immutable is . . . so laughably easy, you'd have more of a challenge trying to convince queer left-wing atheist postmodernists that gender is immutable. (Luckily, queer left-wing atheist postmodernists are already on our side anyway, so there's no need to try to convince them.)
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