So, again, last Tuesday we spoke to a class about the family up at the U. We've done this a number of times, about once a year since our boys were born.
Gayle Ruzicka of Utah's Eagle Forum, Paul Mero of the Sutherlan Institute, and a couple other anti-marriage equality activists had already spoken to the same class. We were there to make the case for marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
I don't think there's much point in going over the arguments. I've got all my arguments for marriage up in detail and with many referees here and here, and my counter arguments to people like Mrs. Ruzicka and Mr. Mero here. So I'll just go over what stuck out to my mind then:
--I thought Senator McCoy made a good closing remark. Something to the tune of "If you pay attention to their arguments, you'll see all they have is fear. Don't buy into their fear." They have predictions of the family crumbling, church's being forced to close, and such, and those do sell. They have scared a lot of people (Look at Beck's experience, with a S.I. follower for a great example). No, we can't in good concious make similar threats, even if they work. But I have to think, especially when their predictions are so demonstrably false is places with equal rights, that hope for equality and facts will win the day.
--We were talking about how legal marriage helps give gay men and women a path and structure on which to build strong relationships, as it does for many heterosexuals. The topic of gay promiscuity came up and was related to the fact that most all gay men are not guided into dating or responsible relationships, like straight men often are, by their parents, church, or society. I brought up the fact that, when I came out, my parents expected nothing different of me, and I feel that's one of the biggest reasons I've only ever had one sexual partner. Out of the audience then came the observation that Gayle Ruzicka has had more sexual partners than I have, that she's been divorced! If true, I wish, the next time we're in the same room, I could muster the sort of "I love you all but you're so-called family is a civilization-destroying abomination" thing she puts off. Ah, but who am I kidding? I may have thought that way about divorce when I was a young Chrstian and took the Bible's word on it (That's Mat 5:32, and Mal 2:16, Gayle ;-)), but, even if divorced, I'm sure she has a good reason for her family choices, reasons for which I'll even want to give her the sort of rights and responcibilities she'd not return.
--That other team must be losing it. They must see that long arc of history doesn't have much further to go for the gay community (For example, Iowa!). It came up a couple times how the students felt the anti-marriage equality group came there ranting, angry, and were even belligerent on some questions. They were relieved we weren't the same way. Heck, I always go to these things and encourage the students to ask the tough questions, those they're afraid to ask right up front; I told them to feel free to "rough us up a bit". One student observed that the other side really didn't even present anything like a cogent argument as much as fear mongering, which made me feel good to be there with the research under my belt collected for isocrat.org.
--Lastly, we've got some great folks in our local gay community; there were about 4 other people on the pannel with me and they all brought something unique and important to the table. Thank goodness, because they don't teach us scientists how to do speaking or politics particularly well :-).