The time for gay marriage as a universally accepted idea has yet to come, at least in the ole U.S. of A. No state has passed a referendum on the matter; not many legislatures have worked it through. It will happen. It’s just a matter of when. Demographics and civil rights seem to be going in that direction.
I still do not understand how anyone thinks that gay people marrying will do anything to harm straight people marrying. I personally believe that the State should have no part in religious ceremonies and that all ‘marriages’ should in fact be ‘civil unions’, as the former word carries such weight. I think a lot more people would be converted (pardon the use of the word) if the word ‘marriage’ was taken out of the equation.
In terms of the arguments against, I don’t believe in slippery slope, in this case. Animals don’t have the ability to consent. And as for polygamy, I don’t see why such an arrangement could be made contractually. The government cannot control who can and cannot commit to one another. In the end, marriage is simply a contract. The government allows for certain rights based on that contract.
The idea that gay people are something that we will societally overcome is an absurd notion, based on simply going out and meeting people. Gay people abound. As for the fact that it isn’t natural, just look to the wide variety of animals that have any number of mating and pairing rituals that would not be societally accepted.
Regarding the fear-mongering on how this information will be disseminated to kids, I think the idea that love takes many forms is something that kids see out in the world anyway. Parents can choose to teach their children whatever they would like. I sincerely cannot picture gay marriage becoming a topic that competes with history and math. However little it might be discussed in schools, non-tolerant parents can remedy at home.
One argument that I entirely reject is that gay marriage should not be done in the Legislature or Judiciary, because the public at large will not accept it. While I prefer the populace at large to accept the idea, this is a minority rights issue, which cannot always be handled successfully by the electorate.
Look over to Switzerland, where they just passed a law banning minarets, a referendum which should be rejected by the Swiss federal courts as it flagrantly violates their constitution. Would such a measure pass in the United States? Perhaps, perhaps not. Would it have passed immediately after 9/11? Chances are probably better.
And of course, how well would any black rights referendums have succeeded in the 1960’s or before? Or even now, in some areas.
There’s a bit of a Catch-22. Whether or not a decision is left up to the Legislature, the public still can punish those that approve of such a measure by voting them out the next time. So for those that are in favor of partnership equality, it looks like the only current hopes are brave politicians or minority-rights respecting judges. The only reasonably strategy is to just keep pushing, with referendums and public awareness of the matter.
Society is better when off when it has happier people. The negative feelings that this issue causes for gay couples and their supporters cannot possibly be less than the minimal effect this inevitable, eventual right will have on anyone on the outside.