It stands to reason that all voices and opinions about issues such as marriage equality should be heard, even those we disagree with, in a respectful and supportive environment.
It seems that in the current discourse about equal rights, and in particular marriage equality, only one view is being heard. The view of those who support it and want it to happen. I happen to be of that view myself. My concern though is that there’s a lack of other views being raised and discussed.
One of the strongest arguments for marriage equality is that it ‘normalises’ gays and gay relationships. With access to the institution of marriage, we receive the same the legal protections and are afforded the same cultural status as straight people entering into marriage. Personally, I think this is a great thing.
But I also know that there are gay men who don’t want to become ‘normalised’ or ‘heterosexualised’ (in their words). For them (and their identity), it’s not what being gay is about. I personally don’t agree with this argument, or the logic behind it, but I respect their right to hold and express their views. These views have a right to be expressed, and at the moment, they’re not.
Mainstream gay media isn’t really presenting differing views and opinions on equal rights and marriage equality. Surely as a community, we are mature enough to have a nuanced discussion that embraces differing points of view? Why is this not happening? It is ultimately a disservice to members of our own community that we aren’t creating a space and platform for ALL opinions to be heard.
Expressing a range of opinions would help the general discourse, not harm it. It would allow people to express a range of opinions, as well as become exposed to other people’s opinions. Being presented with a broader range of ideas to consider, we would then be able to make more informed, and well thought out decisions in our own lives.
In our fight for one type of equal rights (the freedom to marry), are we ignoring and limiting people’s freedom to hold and express differing points of view? Are we, in essence, limiting people’s right to be gay – however they may perceive that to be for themselves?