While doing research for another article, I came across this list of "ten reasons why homosexual marriage is harmful and must be opposed". Predictably, most of it is preposterous bullshit, but one point struck me as interesting if not particularily original:
Legalizing gay marriage validates the homosexual lifestyle
For the sake of argument, let's pretend the author isn't a raging homophobe writing for other raging homophobes who think the "homosexual lifestyle" involves bi-weekly orgies, masturbating in the street, and infecting strangers with AIDS for fun. Since the real "homosexual lifestyle" is similar to the "heterosexual lifestyle" in all aspects but gender preference for sexual partners, this "validation" is arguably the most valuable goal of legalizing gay marriage.
Some of my liberal friends here in Europe have decidedly mixed feelings about marriage in general, and often express surprise when gays push for marriage equality. Couple stability rests in practice on personal commitment to each other and each other's children, not on religious or state recognition for their union, so why would progressivist gays cling to this quaint and outdated institution?
It's not that gays are desperate to get married. It's that denying them the right to marry is society's way of telling them that their union isn't as good as that of heterosexuals. As long as marriage is the sole prerogative of heterosexual couples, homosexuals will remain second-class citizens, reduced in the eyes of society to perpetual bachelors, who may very well engage in long-term relationships, but yet can never grow up to become adults and start "real" families.
This is a profound disgrace. We know now that homosexual love is similar to heterosexual love in all respects but the sex of the desired person. We also know that same-sex partners can raise a child just as well as heterosexual couples. This wasn't always obvious, and it's a shame that as a society it took us so long to discover this moral truth. Remember though that we humans are kinda slow at morals generally: it wasn't that long ago that white people had a broad consensus against blacks being fully humans. Today we know better, both about blacks and about homosexuals, and it is time our laws reflect this relatively newfound knowledge.
So our homophobic nutjob friend is entirely right about this: legalizing gay marriage does, in fact, validate the homosexual lifestyle. It's bloody well time.