In this one video from Preserve Marriage Washington, you can find all five of the most common garbage arguments that opponents of marriage equality have been putting forward this election season. Let's go through them! (With a lot of assistance from marriagefactcheck.com.)
GARBAGE ARGUMENT #1:What's the problem? Washington State already treats everyone equally. Remember back in 2009, when voters approved "Everything but Marriage"? That law gives same-sex couples every single right of marriage, so the gays already have full equality here and there's really no need to redefine marriage.
ACTUALLY, in a number of states that have had "Everything but Marriage" laws for longer than we have, studies have shown that this kind of separate but equal arrangement is—wait for it—not equal. It's confusing to have two different ways of referring to marriage, and that has real consequences for real people. In emergencies, same-sex couples in these states have had trouble getting to see their partners in hospital rooms. (Want a Washington State example of this? Read Charlene Strong's account right here.) And, children of gay and lesbian couples, as well as the couples themselves, experience psychological harm from living with an inferior, not-quite-marriage. (Don't believe it? Ask Harvard.) Gay and lesbian couples are not treated equally under the law in Washington State right now, and that's why we need to offer them the same rights and responsibilities straight couples already enjoy—nothing more, nothing less.
GARBAGE ARGUMENT #2:Think about the children! Because really, the best place for kids is with a mother and a father. Studies show!
ACTUALLY, if you were to go and read through just about every serious study ever done on gay parenting—and hey, look, these two masochists did exactly that in 2010—you would find, as they did, that "current claims that children need both a mother and father are spurious… At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being.” Yes, yes, it's possible to find "studies" that say gay parents are terrible parents—but, um.
GARBAGE ARGUMENT #3:This thing is gonna force Washington State elementary school teachers to start telling my children about gay marriage in schools. I heard this happened in Massachusetts, and that courts there said parents don't have to be notified about these publicly-subsidized gay marriage teach-ins, and aren't allowed to opt their kids out. Scary!
ACTUALLY, when people talk about what happened in Massachusetts, they're talking about just two instances of parents getting upset about goings on at school. Yes, both instances involved kids being exposed to books that explore non-traditional families. But, setting this marriage issue aside, it's well established in American law that you can't force a school to stop teaching things you feel are contrary to your religious beliefs. Also, we don't live in the theocracy. Also, Washington's same-sex marriage law doesn't say anything about anyone having to teach anything in public schools.
GARBAGE ARGUMENT #4:I heard that in Boston and Washington, D.C., Catholic Charities were forced to stop offering adoption services after same-sex marriage was legalized—just because they didn't want to have to give babies to the gays. That's crazy.
ACTUALLY, that is crazy, because Catholic Charities in Boston were giving babies to the gays well before that state ever legalized same-sex marriage. Chatholic Charities, at the urging of the Vatican, later stopped offering adoptions altogether in Boston and D.C.—which is a great example of how religious groups have the freedom to do (or not do) whatever it is they want to do (or not do). One caveat to this: If you're a religious group that's living off government money, you may be forced by the government to comply with certain anti-discrimination laws as a condition of using that government money. Thems the rules. Don't like the rules? Get off the government dole.
GARBAGE ARGUMENT #5:Think of the florists! Our beloved florists and other small businesses in the great State of Washington are going to be forced to do things they don't want to do—just like those inkeepers in Vermont who had to pay $30,000 for turning away a couple that wanted to get gay married.
ACTUALLY, the punitive damages originally sought by that couple amounted to $1. Later, the innkeepers decided to pay $30,000 to settle the matter. But that was their choice. In any case, you already aren't allowed to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples in Washington State. Here's the law. Also, weren't you just arguing (see GARBAGE ARGUMENT #1) that you want gay and lesbian couples to be treated equally under the law, and that it's so great that gays and lesbians already have totally equal rights in Washington State? So why do you want florists to be able to discriminate against gay couples? Maybe get back to me on that one?