Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Don't Understand

I don't understand this gay marriage debate.

In most civil rights debates, both sides have a stake. The people who are seeking some right or equality have an obvious stake, but so do their foes.

In the American Revolution, the enemy had power and wanted to keep that power.
Slavery? The slaves wanted to not be slaves, the slave owners wanted to continue to have slaves. The conflict between them is obvious.
Expansion of voting rights? Well, if there's only one vote we call that "Being in charge." For every additional vote, the power of each voter is reduced. In our current system, a much much greater percentage of people have the right to vote than did originally in our nation--and every person who would have been able to anyway has a weaker vote than he would have had if voting rights had never been extended to more people.

In all of these cases, there's an obvious right side, but I can at least understand the bad guys. They have a motivation that makes sense, usually power (desiring to keep power you already have is a lot more understandable than the desire to acquire new power over others, too).
In the gay marriage debate, though? On the one hand we have gay people who want to get married, and on the other side we have... er, people who don't want us to? They have no stake at all! When we win, they lose nothing except the argument.. which is why they've lost the argument.
It's one side versus... nothing at all.

Obviously some of these people make good money working to hurt me and others like me. That's their motivation, I guess. And fame, of a sort. Infamy, and maybe even becoming historical figures (although, I certainly wouldn't want to go down in history as a villain... but maybe for some people that's better than being forgotten).
But see, they only get money and fame because their movement exists. Why does it exist? It's irrelevant to them. What was the motivation for getting that started?

I can understand letting your own interests override your empathy for others. I can understand ignoring your empathy for others because you don't want to care.
I just can't understand working against people for no reason other than to harm them.
And even more, I can't understand why they're taken as serious opponents. Giving them credibility is bad enough, but why did anybody even notice they exist to listen?