Same sex marriage in the eyes of a teenage student

By Kert

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Last week I came across the news publication of the high school where I used to study and now where I teach (I’m teaching in high school and college this semester). There was an article entitled “Same Sex Marriage” in the editorial page. Naturally, I was very interested to read it — “naturally” because I am interested in LGBTQ issues being a lesbian myself. I wanted to know what the younger generation thinks about the issue of same sex marriage. I had all hopes that their perceptions have moved away from discrimination and bigotry since our country is becoming more globalized and exposed to the different realities in this world.

The things I read  though, came as  a full shock to me.

The writer, a third year high school student probably around 14 or 15 years old, starts the article by explicitly stating that she is vehemently against gay marriage. What follows is a set of tirades posted as “arguments” as to why gay marriage is wrong and should therefore not be allowed.

Argument #1: God only created Man and Woman. He did not create gays and lesbians.

Argument #2: God created Eve to be with Adam only

Argument #3: Gays have sex, which leads to AIDS

Argument #4: Same sex marriage damages the sanctity of marriage because there’s no assurance that their relationship will last forever. A corollary to this is: Gay relationships don’t and can’t last because gays can’t have children with the same DNA as theirs.

Argument #5: Gays don’t have moral values and respect for religion.

Argument #6: Because gay relationship is against morality, it may lead to the deluge of the world as the youth will be “pushed” to do bad things.

Argument #7: Acceptance of gay marriage is a step towards the crumbling of moral values.

There are so many fallacies in her arguments that I just want to facepalm (for a lack of a better word) so hard. I don’t have to explain to those who are in their right mind why the arguments above are just completely wrong. But for those uninitiated, I will give a response to each argument.

Response #1: I don’t see why Christianity or any religion should matter when it comes to a person’s sexual orientation. But for the sake of argument, I would point out that there’s nothing written in the bible saying that the “Man” or the “Woman” can’t be gay or bi or trans or queer.

Response #2: Again, there’s nothing in the bible stating that a person cannot love whoever s/he wants. But wait! There’s Leviticus saying “You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman”. Well, it’s not about loving someone of the same gender. Also, we’re forgetting the context of this passage. There are many things in the bible that are no longer considered right and may be considered downright oppressive in today’s standards. For one, the bible says that women should be subordinate to men or that rape victims should marry their rapists. Remember that the bible was written hundreds of years ago in a very patriarchal society. More than the voice of God, the bible is the voice of the culture, the social environment and the time in which it was written. We have to be careful not to take it too literally. Oh and a little trivia, there are relationships in the bible that can be considered almost romantic, i.e. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi.

Response #3: Almost everyone has sex, even straight people. Sex between gays don’t result to AIDS all the time. Also, straight people can have AIDS too, not just gays. Being gay is not the root cause of AIDS, unprotected sex is (and transfer of blood from unknown sources or in the case of Kenshin the Battousai, getting yourself cut while slashing another samurai who has AIDS)

Response #4: There’s no evidence that gay relationships don’t last for a long time. A lot of gays have monogamous relationships that last for a lifetime. Also, having children isn’t the only reason that couples stay together. It’s love and trust. When those two things break, people usually end up separating. This is also the case for heterosexual couples.

Response #5: Seriously, this is ridiculous. For one, religion doesn’t have the monopoly on morality. Also being gay, doesn’t mean that a person has no moral values. Just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m going to run around performing the most heinous crimes and the worst debauchery. I usually just sit on my chair, read, check my facebook, or check my students’ requirements. I am as boring as any heterosexual person out there. I wish I have a more exciting life, but that is how it is.

Response #6: Why should LGBTQs be blamed for the actions of miscreant kids? In my opinion, out LGBTQs are actually good role models for showing people that they can be themselves. Also, I cannot see the bad message in loving another person. What’s so bad about love?

Response #7: Accepting gay marriage doesn’t mean the entire world should run amok. It’s just giving the same rights that heterosexuals have to the LGBTQs who are also citizens of this country. Why must we treat LGBTQs as second rate citizens? We pay our taxes too and we’re serving the country no matter how oppressive it is to us.

To be honest, I was appalled with what I read. I can’t believe how much misinformed people are where I’m from. And a teenager having such bigotry at a young age, it’s just beyond me. A friend said it’s “learned bigotry”. It makes me wonder, what the hell are we teaching our children? Why would we teach them how to hate? It’s funny how Spain brought us medieval dogmas hundreds of years ago through Catholicism, but they don’t even take them seriously anymore. Now we’re stuck with them.

With the current state of the country and its adherence to religious dogma and traditions, the fight of the LGBTQs has a long way to go. I still hope though, that our social environment will change one day; that we will be accepted in this society no longer as deviants but just like any other human beings who feel and love.

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12 responses to “Same sex marriage in the eyes of a teenage student

  1. It is learned. At that age even a small influence to a hateful direction can turn one into a zealot. Believe me, I used to be one. I enjoyed your post very much.

    • Hi! Thank you so much!

      The only fear I have actually is that kids would continue having this kind of thinking until their adulthood. I guess I can’t blame the student. You and my friend are right, it is learned. I was also indoctrinated by religion at a young age until I had the chance to be enlightened in the university (where I was able to be who I really am). However, most people won’t be able to break away from what they have learned, no matter how bigoted, illogical and narrow-minded it is. I am afraid for this kid because she’s been caged to this system of thinking which teaches people to hate things that they don’t even understand, and I fear that she might not be able to escape that cage.

  2. WOW it was like reading something from 50 years ago! Shocking really but I agree that this is likely learned knowledge from bigoted family, religion and/or education system. It is a shame that we mostly don’t teach children to think and write critically from a younger age rather than hoping that at some point in their late teens or adult life they will access a wider perspective on the world. You would also hope that the editor of this article or magazine might insist on a more balanced view at some point to encourage some discussion. Or maybe they should just read your post!
    Thanks for your post

    • Thanks! I actually would love to have a discussion with the student but I might get fired if I do so. People constantly remind me that the cultural environment of the university where I graduated is different. The things I learned there aren’t applicable here. But the question is, why isn’t it applicable? Why should we continue the norms even when it is wrong? It reminds me of a psychological experiment where they found out that people tend to be obedient even when they think what they’re doing isn’t right.

  3. Well I think it’d be a good idea to create a space for more critical or discussion based writing and thinking, I am sure all the more open minded and in this case LBGT kids would be thankful for it! It is important to challenge these things in a creative and sensitive way, that’s why as has been said already we understand that the young person who wrote this is to some extent just a product of his/her environment. But the cultural environment outside of what we know is relevant to us especially in a developing, globalised world…otherwise why do we learn or teach History, Political or Social Sciences?

    • I was actually planning to talk about it in class — at least talk about hate speech and being critical towards established traditions. My mother (the dean who oversees the high school) though thinks that I should just give it a rest because she’s just a kid. But then again, that’s how ignorance proliferates — because we leave them as it is. There’s a lot of gay (boys, especially) in the school, actually, and I hope they didn’t feel hurt because of the article. I could just imagine since I had all this guilt and hate for myself in high school for liking another girl.

      • I think you could address this without even mentioning the article it’s more important to address the wider issue with all the kids you can. Maybe talking about equality issues generally? Seeing things from other people’s perspective when we are forming our opinions is important too…good luck with it! I am sure that your efforts will inspire some and make some others just think twice!

      • Thank you so much for the replies! It’s one of my dreams to impart something more useful and more profound to these children than the things they learn by rote in school. I hope it pans out well and I won’t get my butt kicked. I am helping my mom in setting up programs about gender in the university and maybe it can be a good platform to educate students. Again, thanks! It really makes me happy to know there are lots of open-minded and accepting people in the world.

      • Hello again! I wanted to link you to my post this Monday, I thought you might like it…http://thedaysmoon.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/a-day-of-gay/

      • Hey! Sorry for the late reply. Thank you so much for the link. Reading it right now. 🙂

  4. When I first read the “arguments” I couldn’t help but laugh. They’re all ridiculous and completely stupid. It’s really difficult for me to imagine that people actually believe those things. Being gay was never an issue to anyone I knew, so I grew up really sheltered from homophobia. The teachers at my catholic high school were all young and open-minded, so homosexuality was never discussed negatively. Throughout my whole life it’s never been an issue and so when I read things like this, it just blows my mind. The things people say are said in complete ignorance, and in this case, probably simply repeating what they’ve been told. Sigh.

    • True. The church has the power in controlling the minds and opinions here in my country. It was even a long time before we got a bill forwarded about protecting women’s reproductive health. Many people in the senate and the congress are still against it because it is “against” the church (or at least against what the bishops say).

      It’s difficult to be gay here. Gays are tolerated as much as in Thailand for example. But they are not really accepted. Okay they’re there, most of them are effeminate but that’s all they should ever do. They can’t have relationships. They’re discriminated against by the people and the church. It’s harder still for lesbians and transsexuals — especially in places far from the city.

      There are a few spaces though that are safe for us LGBTs. The university where I used to study in college is very open and people there are open-minded and forward-thinking. We even have an LGBT org! If I’m correct, only our university has an LGBT org.

      Anyway, I’m hoping that other communities would be as open as my university.

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