Okay, I'm extremely tired right now but I'm being pestered by a good friend of mine *glares at her* to voice my opinions on this issue. You see, we were having a good long debate on the issue of "gay marriages". No, we weren't on opposite ends regarding whether it should or should not be legal. What we were disagreeing upon was the degree of disdain for those who do not support same sex marriages.
Now, saying that, let me start my little (which will most likely be anything but) discussion by stating how our present society equates sexuality with morality. If you sleep around, you are automatically a slut and ergo have a terrible character. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone for I'm guilty of the same crime. Promiscuity may be practised in western societies but it is still looked upon with a degree of contempt. And let me not even mention the attitudes towards promiscuity in the Eastern cultures.
I am not entirely sure when or how it started but most "organized religions" have certain rules restraining sexuality. That being said, it's mainly our major Abrahamic religions with its Puritannical doctrines that look at sexuality as if it was something dirty, something to not talk about and not be proud about. Sex was no longer a basic human drive but an activity whose only concern was to produce offsprings. Any other use (read: pleasure) for sexuality was considered evil and tainted. Swear words with sexual connotations, the enforced celibacy of religious leaders and the hushed-hushed manner in which a person's sexual life would be discussed, are all offshoots of this new "anti-sexual movement". Strangely enough, this movement started in Europe and spread to the "New World". With the increase in European colonialism and the rapid wildfire of the Islamic and Christian faith, these values spread too. The strong influence of the anti-sexual thoughts brought in people a feeling of embarassment. Sex was a thing to be ashamed of, unless you were procreating. Even then, you didn't need to discuss it at all.
You can very well imagine the status "Homosexuality" enjoyed in this growing mania.
Anyways, enough of the rough history sketch. If you want to know more, the internet is flooded with the influence of the Judeo-Christian faith on opinions about Homosexuality and sexuality in general.
I was baptized when I was too young to even remember. Ever since I know, I've been a Catholic and have attended Catechism lessons in a nun-regulated Catholic school. Being a rebellious soul from childhood, I've always taken the words of the Bible with a pinch of salt. Oh yes, I do believe in God and such but I don't believe in The Bible being His (or Her) words. Those are written by humans and like anything human, is prone to errors and subjective interpretations. But my strong Catholic background has exposed me to the "other" side of the fence. It has made me aware that those people who fight homosexuality on the basis of religion are not cold-hearted, sick, conservative freaks. If ingrained with a certain set of values from childhood by parents and teachers who supposedly know better, it is extremely hard to break past the mind barrier. One of my pride and strengths is my ability to look past the obvious into hidden meanings and multiple perspectives and it's easy for me to see several sides of an argument. At the risk of my modesty, I'm aware that most people DO NOT have this capacity. It is difficult for them to envision a lifestyle unless they haven't experienced it. They judge everything according to what they had previously learned and for the most part, told to believe.
Which brings me to the question, will gay marriage ever truly be accepted in the world or will it always be a subject of much controversy and political debates? Statistics differ radically on the true percentage of gay/lesbians/bisexuals in the human population. However, going by Kinsey's stats, which also happens to be the largest percentage I've seen, 10% of all people on earth have some (weak/fair/strong) sexual feelings for the same sex. Now even if that was true, it makes 10% of the world's population gay and that's a substantial amount. However, the fact remains that the other 90% of the world's population haven't experienced such feelings towards their own sex. Of that 90%, I can safely say that half of them would probably consider same sex relationships "uncomfortable", "unnatural" or outright "gross" due to cultural and religious reasons. Culture and religion, once again, being social doctrines impounded into us from childhood.
The sad thing is, of those who are opposed to same sex marriage, not all are the villains the homosexual population would like to believe. Life would be so much easier if they actually were. But the truth is, most of them just DON'T GET how such feelings could arise. Add to that the fact that you've grown up learning that "You will go to Hell for being gay" and one can easily see how mild-to-heavy homophobia arises in society. We humans are extremely subjective and emotional creatures even though we would LOVE to call ourselves rational, scientific beings. We judge everything around us accordng to how we feel about them. If you are Cain and you've never been attracted to John, you just don't understand how Abel has such feelings (ignore the Biblical implications, those names just POPPED into me). That inevitably brings in arguments like "gays are not born gay" and "homosexuality is just a trendy evil of the western culture".
Of course, there is a proportion of people who have the special and wonderful ability to empathize deeply and therefore can understand how gays feel. Those are the "straight" population who are all for same sex marriages. But they are usually all those who have personally interacted with homosexuals and have been personally convinced that they haven't met some Spawn from Inferno.
In the homosexual population, it is easy for people to be extremely angered and agitated at the slightest bit of criticism. After all, life isn't easy for them. They have to suffer discrimination every step, sometimes from the very people who are their flesh and blood and are supposed to support them. They are more than likely to be victims of unrequited love. They cannot celebrate their "marriages" publicly. In some countries, they would be skinned alive in the Holy name of the gods. But irrationality cannot be battled with even more irrationality. By being defensive and bristling like a kitten under attack all the time, one just strengthens the negative stereotypes. They usually put people as "homofriendly" or "homophobic" with nothing in between. And yet, they shout for the world to understand that sexuality is fluid and cannot be categorized or worse restricted.
So, therefore, what I'm trying to say is this: Sex is a natural thing, not a moral thing. If two consenting adults want to rope in a third person for a threesome, hey it's their life. If watching adult porn is your neighbor's idea of entertainment, so be it. If two people are in love and want to get married, then go ahead. Love, in all its wonder, is in short supply in this world and now we need to set boundaries and definitions for it too? Even love should be scrutinized under a moral code and partitioned under "right love" and "wrong love"? What does it matter if the love is between two men, two women or one of each? Does it make love any less of a love? Sex is a sin when it is enforced or used to harm someone else (i.e. rape) or conducted with an individual who isn't aware of its consequences or even its meaning (read: pedophilia) and can have destructive results. Same way, eating preferences aren't a sin. I like apples you like bananas, well, no argument there. But if I like chicken and you like humans, now that's a problem. But otherwise, how, why or with who someone else chooses to make love to shouldn't rattle anyone's morality.
I don't understand certain fetishes. I don't understand pornography. I don't understand polygyny. But if someone finds those a healthy form of expressing their sexuality and it's not harming/hurting me or any other human individual, then I have absolutely no problem with that.
You, the rest of humanity should learn from me