Non-Normal

What is Natural? I think a better way to ask that question is what is normal. What type of marriage do we view as normal? The period of the text we are examining is America during the Civil Rights period. More specifically to the times in which inter-racial marriage was seen as not normal. Being non-normal during that period could have meant death because it was seen as something incredibly bad. You physically were making an act against god marrying someone who was a different race than yours. History is always running in parallels with itself and we can see that to what is going on today in our society.

 

Marriage has taken on a new role today in the 21st century. People are looking at gay marriage as non-normal and also an act against god. People use the Bible just as they did during the civil rights period to push an agenda that people are committing an act against god if they have sex with someone of the same gender. It is interesting that the exact same thing is happening, just change up the words from race to gender. These two things that are incredibly ambiguous socially constructed words. Attached there is an interesting video that deals with the idea of interracial/ gay marriage. A man goes to a town hall meeting to talk about how gay marriage is ruining their town and gay people are destroying religion and god. The video is an interesting look into how history repeats itself. 

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7 Comments

  1. Before I say anything, I want to say that I fully support the rights of gay marriage and gender equality rights as a whole and agree with what you said above. This being said, I’ll give you a counter argument to play devil’s advocate. Race doesn’t exist from an anthropological standpoint, it is a construct of the society that makes claim to it. (For instance, in many African countries there are many different races of different peoples that people within those countries would acknowledge as different races, but if they immigrated to the United States they would likely be seen as only “Africans.”) So race is fundamentally different than gender. The word gender can mean different things to different people though, so for the sake of keeping this counter-point on track, let’s say same-sex marriage. Sex is (relatively) black and white, where as gender is a choice. I think it can be generally agreed upon that there are essentially only two sexes of humans, but many thousands of races. I understand the point you are making though and in the context of modern America it makes sense.

    In regards to the stuff about the Bible:
    Okay, again, I support gay marriage/same-sex marriage but we as a society should at least somewhat understand the gravity of what this process is. For most of recent human history (let’s say the last 10000 years) marriage has existed. This has been a union between a man and a woman. Sometimes, multiple women to one man, and rarely multiple men to one woman. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry) Usually when marriages did occur it was to excange or merge properity between two parties. Only in a very recent time has the act of marriage become a (generally) purely romantic gesture. So if we as a society decide to alter the definition of the term we should do it because we know it is the right thing for all of humanity. It isn’t that the people attempt to follow the Bible are flawed, it is that we just want to continually perfect society as best we can and they don’t understand that quite the same.

    I agree that the Bible is unable to justify making same-sex marriage illegal, but to dig a little deeper, it is because we are aware of the fact that morality is subjective to the society and the time that imposes it. Many people that strictly follow the Bible do it with the mindset that morality is inherently objective and this is the root of the conflict between these two groups. History and humans have shown that morality is subjective, however I definitely understand this is a point of debate for some.

    We can decide what is right and wrong as a society (and we should, that is a GOOD thing) but we need to do it with careful thought always. Same-sex marriage should be legal because it makes people happy and their lives richer, it is good for society, and this is why it should be legal.

  2. I think you’re right to bring some of these questions into today’s debate over same-sex marriage – and the clip dramatically portrays these parallels. If the opponents of same-sex marriage are going to make their case persuasively, they’ll have to ground their argument without reliance on “normal” sexuality and without dependance on a particular religious view (i.e. arguing from a Christian perspective may be persuasive to Christians, but is not relevant to the growing minority of non-Christians in the US and the world).

    However, even as advocates of ‘marriage equality’ seem to be making great strides to create a more exclusive society, I wonder what kinds of norms (assumptions about the normal) they perpetuate. What are the “ambiguous socially constructed words” formed in this discourse. One things I’ve become aware of is how advocates of marriage often reenforce the idea of marriage itself. Marriage is still portrayed as the ideal way to organize sexuality and family, even at a time when more and more people find sexual satisfaction and raise children outside of lifelong monogamy. What would a greater inclusiveness look like?

  3. My mother is a lesbian (which I will admit is ironic) and this video hits home all too well. She grew up a very strict Christian, a religion that I see preaches a lot about loving your fellow humans and the golden rule. So when this group ostracized her for her sexual orientation I thought it was very backwards.
    I think that this clip puts the situation into a perspective that more people can relate to. Most people would agree that the racial discrimination and segregation in our past was a crime. I hope that in the very near future we can say the same thing about the treatment of lgbtq communities.

  4. This topic is an annoying topic to me because of these religious perspective. I am definitely not believing in any religion, so I want to say my opinion is a science way. I think the meaning of “normal”, or “natural” is based on how things go in the nature and what determines our marriage mate. In our society, seen boys holding hand with a girl is normal because this is what occurs mostly in our society. Can we easily determine something that is extraordinary just because something is pretty standing out in our society? This is prejudice. What gender we should be together determines by our gene, being with same gender MIGHT be a type of gene disorder. Everything has an exception. By this chance, I would like to ask why do we consider having different personality normal? Why not consider having same personality as normal? This topic definitely has NOTHING to do with religion.

  5. Wow that video was amazing. The first few minutes I just thought it was another hardcore religious person and then he did a full 180 at the end. It is definitely interesting how he only had to replace a few words and then the argument turns from racial segregation to gay rights. What a good argument.

  6. I remember watching that video you referred to a while back. I was taken aback towards the end of it.
    I’ve always been a tat confounded by some of the religious arguments. The separation of Church and State goes both ways.
    My parents and some of my family (who are evangelical Christians) tend to make the same points this Preacher argues initially.
    I mean, whatever happened to first command Jesus told his disciples -love your neighbor- irrespective of their beliefs, race or orientation.

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