"Gay people already have the right to marry, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex like heterosexuals have to."
By this logic, miscegenation laws were totally fair because everyone could marry, they just had to pick someone of their own race. See? Equality! Pay no attention to the emotional and social costs paid by lovers made strangers under law, or the societal costs of the racism and heterosexism these unequal marriage laws engender, and let's not question the compelling state interest in keeping a civil contract of mutual obligation between consenting adults gender-dependent, because we've got our Constitutional mint and rue nicely weighed out.
I always want to ask people who use this argument if they want to be the straight guy married to a lesbian, or the straight woman married to a gay man (assuming the lost cause straight guy in question doesn't retort "Hur hur, I'd marry a lesbian if I could watch!"). A variation on this one for the married heteros is "did you marry your husband/wife because they had a penis/vagina, or because you loved them and wanted to spend your life with them?"
Of course, this is rarely if ever a real argument. It's a "gotcha" argument made by people who are so entranced by their own cleverness that they can't be arsed to actually address the issues, like the "you're intolerant of my intolerance LOL!" schtick. And it can be logically countered with "Yes, and after sex-irrelevant marriage is law you'll have the right to marry someone you are constitutionally incapable of being sexually attracted to, just like I do now. Congratulations."
"Oh noes, bad timing! This is going to hurt more important political causes!"
Like there's ever a GOOD time. There will always be some bigger issue or more important thing that gays, or women, or transfolk, or people of color will have to take a back burner to.
The women's suffrage movement grew out of women in abolition movements who were angry at being barred from speaking at conferences about issues they were giving their hard work and money to. The second-wave feminist movement likewise grew out of women in antiwar and antiracist groups being relegated to making coffee and getting no credit for the work they did do.
For that matter, why are we trying to get progressive politicians elected in the first place? So we can DO something about this shit. If we can get it done sooner rather than later, then that's a GOOD thing. Bitching about how Middle America "isn't ready" isn't going to help anyone.
Amen and Amen.
Hey, nobody ever said it was fair or right, only that it was true.
I'm never sure how the comparison to miscegenation laws plays out, though, particularly in the case of people of mixed heritage. I remember hearing just a few years back of a story of a high school principal who declared that students could only attend prom with a date of the same race. A mixed-race girl in the auditorium raised her hand and asked, "So who am I supposed to go to the prom with?" The principal actually responded (although the audactiy is probably not that surprising since he had already essentially gone there) that the reason he was making the rule was so that "more accidents like you" could be avoided. The principal was fired, I believe.
Anyway, my personal opinion as to the real problem is, whether prejudiced or not, marriage laws don't really make much sense to me.