Congratulations to both Iowa and Vermont for making justice prevail and granting same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples. Research on relationships has failed to find any negative effects that same-sex marriage might have on the family, on children, on opposite-sex marriages, and on society as a whole—effects that opponents of same-sex marriage claim exist but have never been able to prove. It’s the fallacious argument that Stuart Chase called the Thin Entering Wedge (same-sex marriage will open the doors to all sorts of catastrophes) and perhaps more popularly known as the fallacy of the Slippery Slope (once you allow same-sex marriage, everything else is down hill). The added difficulties that same-sex couples and their families face and ultimately surmount seem attributable to bigotry and discrimination.
With all the money these opponents spend in their advocacy for legalizing discrimination against gay men and lesbians, you’d assume that if there was such evidence, they would have found it. They haven’t. And these folks are very dedicated people; they’re willing, even anxious, to spend a good deal of their money, time, and talent to institutionalize discrimination. And so they resort to creationist beliefs (especially interesting from a rhetorical point of view) in their support of legal discrimination (the utterly stupid Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, the type of argument you’d think would be restricted to the audience attending The Jerry Springer Show)—a belief that even many of the states that still discriminate have rejected, at least as a scientific explanation of our current state.
And, it’s also clear, that legalizing same-sex marriage will have numerous benefits for both gay and straight, something New York and New Jersey need to consider as they prepare to make their decisions. But that’s another post.