Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you think that most people who are against gay marriage don't know many if any gay people?

Asked by JLeslie (47631 points ) January 31st, 2010

I was just thinking that people seem to hate, distrust, or lack empathy for people they don’t know. I’m betting that many people who are against gay marriage have an idea in their mind of what gay people are like, but have never spent time with gay people (or at least they are unaware that they have). I think this about almost all people who are racist or hateful, they have some sort of fear in them, about certain groups, that is completely unfounded. The fear comes from lack of interaction with said group in my opinion.

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70 Answers

FlutherMe's avatar

I had a gay roommate (randomly assinged) and have known some gay people. Not bad people at all.

I still don’t think they should get married and adopt kids!! Natural selection will take them out eventually (for obvious reasons)

qashqai's avatar

Yes I think so.
Ignorance makes people say no too easily.

Darwin's avatar

They may know some gay people but they don’t realize that they do. And in many cases, people do indeed fear what they don’t understand or know first hand.

In a few cases, however, someone may have run up against a person who was both gay and unwilling to keep it or their hands to themselves. In that case, gay-bashers would be reacting to something they knew, but expanding it to cover everyone in the group.

@FlutherMe – And why shouldn’t gay couples marry and adopt children? Would you prefer the children to remain in the foster system until they are dumped out on their own at age 18? Would you doom two people to remain single and lonely their entire lives?

DominicX's avatar

Either that or they’ll go “I have gay friends, but…bullshit crap meaningless”.

But I completely agree with what you said, especially about fear.

@FlutherMe So you think they shouldn’t get married and adopt kids because natural selection will take them out? That has to be one of the worst reasons I’ve ever heard. In fact, “God sez its rong lol” is a better reason than that.

Fyrius's avatar

@FlutherMe
“Natural selection will take them out eventually (for obvious reasons)”
If natural selection could eliminate homosexuality, don’t you think it would have done so millions of years ago?

Your_Majesty's avatar

I agree with that. But even if they’ve known,they’ll still do that (consider some religion and culture that against this).

FlutherMe's avatar

@Darwin
Arg. I explained before. I’ll let southpark explain. It sums my arguement up about why gays shoulden’t adopt.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155040

@Fyrius
Gay people can not reproduce, and if gay tendencies are innate and not learned natural selection will eventaully take out the population

DominicX's avatar

@FlutherMe

Uh…South Park is satire…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I think that is mostly the case. I know many gay people and can’t understand why they are denied the same benefits of marriage. It also makes no sense to me why marriage should be limited to two people. Leave it to the individuals involved to define what marriage is.

FlutherMe's avatar

@DominicX

and satire is never used to explain everyday life….

I guess you missed the point. If a kid had gay parents do you know how bad he would be ripped on in school (American)? In my school people messed with the disabled, ohh god I can only imagine if the kid had two daddies. If he was the type of kid who can not take verbal abuse, he’d isolate himself and become a loner (maybe hang with the emos or other wierd kids). That is suicide material, sadly.

absalom's avatar

@FlutherMe

Your trolling has put a smile on my face.

But come on. Obvious troll is etc. Try to make a better effort next time.

belakyre's avatar

Uh…well in my opinion, gay people are still people, and I remembered that there was a kid that won’t say the pledge of allegiance because the line “liberty and justice for all”.

Ah. His name is Will Phillips. He’s ten and a brief article about him is here.

FlutherMe's avatar

@absalom

How is that trolling. I have always felt this way about the subject and I hate these neo-progressive left-wing liberals who think they are so “open minded” and everyone should just “go with the flow.”

God damnit get real. Kids are fucking mean. If I grew up with 2 fucking dads I would HATE school.

OP asked a question. I gave an answer, even though it isin’t the liberal answer he was looking for.

jonsblond's avatar

@FlutherMe My sister is a lesbian. Her SO has three children ages 6, 12 and 14. My sister and her SO provide a loving home for them. Unfortunately the children must live with their father most of the time. Their father is verbally abusive and the children are quite often ignored. Please tell me you don’t think they are better off with their father.

nikipedia's avatar

@FlutherMe I almost don’t see the point in writing this since I see @Fyrius is composing and will do a better job than I can.

For starters, the Ethics According to Natural Selection are not a set of rules I’d like to live by. According to natural selection, I should secure a good provider for my offspring, lie to him, and become impregnated by a man who is bigger and stronger. Meanwhile, my chosen partner should try to ensure that I care for his offspring while secretly fathering as many offspring by other females as possible.

And if I choose not to have children, I might as well just kill myself now because what’s the point of it all. Really, I should take out the elderly and infirm with me. Your grandparents have already passed on their genes and are probably just using resources that someone else could use. Can I kill them first?

As for bullies, I would also prefer not to make my life decisions based on what some antisocial, imaginary ten year-olds believe. Wouldn’t you?

belakyre's avatar

@FlutherMe Yes, school would be much more painful as you said if you had two dad’s because of the lack of tolerance and ignorance usually found in children. But @FlutherMe, they’re kids…they are still malleable teachable.

Fyrius's avatar

@FlutherMe
Again, how come it hasn’t done so already? If gay people (or gay animals!) don’t reproduce, a single generation should be enough to make them go extinct.
Still, homosexuality has existed for millions of generations; judging from homosexuality in the animal kingdom, it already existed before the human species evolved away from the rest of the vertebrates.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Maybe it means homosexuality is not a genetic thing after all, or at least not an inherited thing.

(On second thought, I do know where I’m going. Off topic.)

On the more relevant subject of adopted kids getting picked on: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Don’t adapt your decisions to the bullies. Are you in charge of this, or they?
Kids who pick on other kids are little shitheads who need to be taught a lesson. You don’t go granting them what they want just to make them stop being assholes. You don’t give them that power. They have no right to decide what kids are cool and what kids deserve to be pummelled and have their stuff stolen or broken.

FlutherMe's avatar

@belakyre Yes, kids are ignorant and intolerant. That is the way it is. Thats the way it was. Thats the way it always will be. Being a social outcast because of something you cant help would SUCK. I know it’s easy to say “dont listen to the bullies”, but when your the one who has to go to school every day and be abused it is different. It’s not so easy then

There is an obvious reason why two males or two females can not have a kid. It just dosen’t work.

Im done with this topic

EDIT: @jonsblond That is a very dificult situation. I can not answer that.

Fyrius's avatar

@nikipedia
It seems I failed your expectations. :P I went on a rambling tangent instead.

DominicX's avatar

@FlutherMe

Thats the way it always will be

Not true. You have to want to change it. Simply saying “that’s the way it is!” doesn’t get anything changed and is the coward’s and lazy person’s way out.

Fyrius's avatar

@DominicX
Nor is it an excuse not to try to change it.

belakyre's avatar

You may be done with it but I’m not. I agree that the children a gay couple would parent would have to go through many hardships. Being bullied because of something you could not change is in my opinion a perpetration (Of what I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll come back to you when I find out). However, if gay people aren’t allowed to marry, what happened to liberty and justice for all? What happened to “all men were created equal?”. Either way its a perpetration.

Oh and by the way? Why would you have this in your question: “I’m betting that many people who are against gay marriage have an idea in their mind of what gay people are like, but have never spent time with gay people (or at least they are unaware that they have). I think this about almost all people who are racist or hateful, they have some sort of fear in them, about certain groups, that is completely unfounded. The fear comes from lack of interaction with said group in my opinion.”
When you yourself are against gay marriage?

absalom's avatar

@FlutherMe

Okay.

If a kid had gay parents do you know how bad he would be ripped on in school (American)? In my school people messed with the disabled, ohh god I can only imagine if the kid had two daddies.

The person doing the bullying is the only one with the problem. You don’t blame the disabled kids or their parents when those disabled kids are bullied, do you? No, you don’t, because that would be incredibly stupid. Likewise it’s incredibly stupid to say gay people shouldn’t have kids because it could cause bullying. It’s unfortunate but where I come from black kids are bullied, slow kids are bullied, poor kids are bullied. Are you telling me that they shouldn’t be coming to school, or that black parents and poor parents shouldn’t have had kids?

Your argument that kids are always intolerant and ignorant is also refuted by the boy in the video @belakyre posted. (That kid’s my hero.) Bullying is learned behavior for the most part, but so is acceptance.

rawrgrr's avatar

@FlutherMe Wow, I can’t believe you actually think gay/lesbian people shouldn’t adopt because of what other people will think? I can’t believe we’re not passed this. They’re still people who wan’t to care for a neglected child. Even if they can’t make babies on their own who cares? We’re having a population crisis and there are many, many babies without a family. It’s better for them to be alone than in a family? That’s just silly.

belakyre's avatar

I’m with @absalom , everyone deserves as fair of a chance they could have as possible. So instead of condemning, why not accepting and changing so that everyone can fit in?

belakyre's avatar

Heck, the only thing I got out of this is a bad start to the day (its 6:55 in the morning for me) and a Exhibitionist award. Still, can’t complain. I like having a new “badge” on the page.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

slightly off topic: the best way to deal with bullies is to teach kids to defend themselves. Bullies are cowards and won’t persist if fought back against. I learned this as an autistic kid. My father assigned a Marine Gunnery Sergeant to teach me self defense and I never had bully trouble thereafter

SeventhSense's avatar

Probably… like most things people avoid that which they judge or fear.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I guess you missed the point. If a kid had gay parents do you know how bad he would be ripped on in school (American)? In my school people messed with the disabled, ohh god I can only imagine if the kid had two daddies. If he was the type of kid who can not take verbal abuse, he’d isolate himself and become a loner (maybe hang with the emos or other wierd kids).

Oh my, the same reason that people gave against interracial dating, dating someone of a different faith, dating someone that spoke a different language, dating someone whose father had a manual labor job when yours had a profession, dating someone who had a child out of wedlock… all “valid” reasons for discrimination prior to the civil rights movement. “We want to protect someone from what others might say” is not a valid reason for discrimination.

Factotum's avatar

Honestly most people do know someone who is gay. Even at ~3% of the population that’s a lot of gay people.

That said, I think it is likely that there are more people who don’t know any gay people and are anti-gay marriage than there are who are pro-gay marriage.

faye's avatar

This thread seems to be meandering about in an interesting way. I have two lesbian friends who had to leave their home in a small town in Quebec about 30 yrs ago so they could live together and they would love to get married. It doesn’t affect anyone else what two people do in their bedroom or if they get married or if they give love to a child. Would these big mouth flappers adopt all the children?

laureth's avatar

@FlutherMe – re:“Gay people can’t reproduce.”

Don’t make me go into how my mom was a lesbian again. I swear, all of Fluther must be sick to death of my rants on that by now.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I work with someone that on the very first day she started, she walked around to everyone in the department with a family photo of her, her partner and their two children. One is her biological son from a marriage, the other is adopted from a third world country. She introduced herself, showed everyone the photo, and said “This is my family, I am a lesbian, and I love my family. I don’t want to hide the picture, or have people talking behind my back. If you have a problem with that, say it now, to my face.” I know a gay man who hired a surrogate mother to have a child for him, because he was an only child, and wanted his parents to have a grandchild, because that was so important to them. That’s working out well; the boy is quite well adjusted.

I can’t imagine that saying “you have two dads” is worse than saying “your mother drinks because your father’s sleeping with someone he works with” or “your father left your mother because she’s fat.”

andrew's avatar

Slightly off-topic—the one thing that cheered me up last week was a phenomenal essay in Newsweek by George Bush’s lawyer (in Gore v. Bush) outlining that there is absolutely no compelling legal argument against gay marriage. None.

Symbeline's avatar

I would tend to agree. The definitions of a gay individual as suggested by fundies and so forth never seem to reflect what I’ve seen with actual gays and lesbians.

It’s like they make up all this vile shit, which most certainly says a whole lot of them. :/

SeventhSense's avatar

First off I support gay union in the eyes of the state.
The religious are entitled to recognize whatever they want. And please understand I have no social, religious or political reason to have any opinion and I’m a heterosexual male.
@FlutherMe said:
Gay people can not reproduce, and if gay tendencies are innate and not learned natural selection will eventually take out the population

This seems perfectly logical and appears to make sense but the evidence yet seen does not point to the extinction of the trait. This would have to mean that there is something illogical about the premise. Attraction to the same sex may have a genetic component because it does seem to appear in the gene pool. Although there has not been anything truly conclusive found as of yet in the genetic code.

Of course it is true that a strictly homogeneous gay world has no future. So this poses a problem and begs a hypothesis. Perhaps the fringes of heterosexuality/bisexuality are what is passed down or it’s an aberration(meant in a strictly clinical sense). It certainly couldn’t be a strictly homosexual gene since a homosexual person has no desire for the opposite sex and up until recently would have had no options to pass on their genes without direct sex. More appropriate may be that there is no genetic component to it at all but is based on ever changing ideas of gender and gender identification and reaction to that. The Ancient Greeks for example had no problem with sex between adults and youth and the ideal was the male youth. These same men gave birth to children and had sexual relations with their wives. Perhaps in ancient times there was not the type of ideas we ascribe to gender as there is in the modern day and at various points in history.

But whatever the origins, gay men and women deserve to be recognized and respected like anyone else.

HTDC's avatar

99.9% of the time the people who campaign against gay marriage are heterosexual. If all those people were homosexual for just one day we wouldn’t be talking about this issue. These people don’t like what is considered different.

SeventhSense's avatar

@HTDC
Of course that can be said about any issue. Those in support will be those who have something to gain and those opposed will have nothing to gain and/or fear losing something. Conservatives by nature and definition want to go back to a former time.

VanCityKid's avatar

I’m for gay marriage, and I don’t know any gay people.

HTDC's avatar

@SeventhSense I agree very much so.

Nullo's avatar

I can only speak for myself and my immediate family. We have all had gay acquaintances, even friends. But none of us support the notion of gays marrying. It’s a principles thing, and you don’t just change your principles on a whim.
@SeventhSense I like to say that we’re the brakes on this operation.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
Well I support gay marriage but it’s a sensitive issue and apt to step on toes and I mean no offense. But at the same time, I’m not going to fail to discuss something because of fear of offense. No issue is beyond discussion and if it is that’s a problem.

casheroo's avatar

Honestly, I don’t think it has anything to do with it. I hate people who act nice to your face but want to completely deny you basic rights.

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense
I’d say that there’s no point in discussing a matter about which you’ve already made up your mind. That way, it’s harder for someone to pressure you into an undesirable compromise.

Fyrius's avatar

@Nullo
I agree, there’s no point in debating someone who closed his mind and won’t listen to reason any more. When people get so stuck in their intellectual rustiness that there’s no hope they’ll ever be able to be impartial and open-minded again, trying to argue will only remind you of what they’ve lost. It’s so sad when people mentally handicap themselves like that.

Okay, that probably counts as flame bait.
But seriously, if you can at all avoid it, don’t make up your mind. Not conclusively. At least not on issues like this.
Of course the danger of being wrong lurks behind every belief, but the risk is greatest with controversial issues, where there are so many irrational influences that you might not even know are affecting your stance. It’s best always to leave open the option to change your mind, however distant. Always to be prepared to reconsider.
If your beliefs would be threatened by reconsideration, they’re not worthy of their place in your brain.

Nullo's avatar

* roasts Fyrius alive *

I ask you this: would you encourage me to remain open-minded if I supported gay marriage and somebody was trying to get me to change my mind?

Fyrius's avatar

Absolutely.

JLeslie's avatar

@belakyre I am not against gay marriage? Where did you get that from?

JLeslie's avatar

And, after reading this I am thinking sterile men and women should not be able to marry legally either. They can’t make babies after all.

SeventhSense's avatar

@JLeslie
Now that’s flame bait. Shame on you.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense What does that mean?

SeventhSense's avatar

@JLeslie
A little inflammatory…but of course I don’t think you’re intent is such…but considering the question again that itself seems baiting…and if you notice the first response, it struck pay dirt

Nullo's avatar

@FlutherMe
The fact that natural selection hasn’t eradicated homosexuality seems to indicate that it’s not terribly genetic.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

If a kid had gay parents do you know how bad he would be ripped on in school (American)? In my school people messed with the disabled, ohh god I can only imagine if the kid had two daddies

@FlutherMe, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

JLeslie's avatar

Just pointing out that it seems illogical to me that the only reason to marry, or be committed to another person, and have the legal benefits that civil marriage provides has to do with children or whether people are born/genetically gay or not. I don’t see how marriage stops or allows people to have children? Single people do it all of the time. I guess maybe some states only allow married people to adopt? I don’t even know if that is true? So gay people need to be married to be considered maybe? But plenty of states don’t allow gay adoption, but maybe they allow single parent adoption, and how does the state know if you are gay or straight then? It just seems like an argument that has al sorts of holes in it.

And, true, in some parts of the country children might be more set up to ridicule, but not everywhere in America, just the parts that want to hate and single people out, who are judgemental. Probably better not to live in those areas if you are raising a child if you are gay, but that is a very sad comment really. @FlutherMe People messed with the disabled? Good God. I had a girl in my class who had a stroke when she was 2. She walked with a limp, one foot kind of dragged, one hand was in a permanent kind of disfigured form, she spoke with a little bit of a speech impediment. I guess maybe she had some children tease her, I don’t know? But, what I remember was that everyone accepted her, at least by high school, which was when I met her. When I was a little girl I used to play with a Downs syndrome boy who was a neighbor of mine. It never occured to me to be mean to someone with a dissability, but I guess I learned that from my parents.

I just think if people spent more energy talking about how we should be accepting of others rather than how people aren’t accepted, we would be better off.

Gay marriage is only about giving gay people the right to have the legal benefits of civil marriage, a committment between two people. It really should have nothing to do with anything else. In America we mush together civil marriage and religious marriage by allowing our clergy to officiate the legal part, in other countries it is completely separate. But, this is actually a different argument than what I stated in my original question. I just had the idea that maybe people can more easily go along with the ideas of religious leaders related to gay marriage if they had an us and them way of thinking about gay peole. Like gay people are different and then less deserving of the rights that all other heterosexual adults are entitled to.

laureth's avatar

@Nullo – perhaps genetic selection somehow selects for homosexuality in some cases?

There was an interesting study a while back that suggested that highly fertile women tend to bear more gay sons. No one can deny that being highly fertile would have been a boon for the species (at least when there weren’t almost seven billion of us), and gay guys seem to sometimes be a by-product of this positive adaptation in their mother’s genetic makeup. Not only would this explain why it hasn’t gone away, but also why it isn’t necessarily a choice.

SeventhSense's avatar

I apologize to anyone I offended. This should never be about a biological discussion because the risks to the gay community are too grave and the cost of misinterpretation through ignorance too high. And yes there are communities where this may be difficult but it should in no way preclude the advancement of furthering the acceptance of gay couples and their families.

Nullo's avatar

@laureth
I don’t see how it could possibly select for homosexuality. Selection is a destructive process; those genes that aren’t passed on are gone.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo They can be recessive.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
another thread perhaps

laureth's avatar

@Nullo – Let me put it this way. Perhaps there are genes that make women extra fertile. That’s great for the women. But their male relatives, who also carry many of the same genes, would turn out gay. The gene would still be passed on with gusto since those extra fertile women are having plenty of babies, even if none of the men pass it on at all. Therefore, gay people are born in these families from time to time, every generation, based on the genes in the family – but mostly because that gene has some other task (making women superfertile). Make sense now?

SeventhSense's avatar

@laureth
Ok if you’re going to push the issue. Another hypothesis maybe that very fertile women giving birth to more gay men is nature’s way of controlling the population by limiting the extended progeny of overly fertile women.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense @laureth very interesting points. I have never really thought deeply about the genetics, or a natural reasoning behind being homosexual.

laureth's avatar

@SeventhSense – I wasn’t “pushing” the issue with you so much as I was answering @Nullo‘s point. I don’t intend to fully debate the genetics issue here, I just don’t like to leave threads hanging.

Carry on.

SeventhSense's avatar

lifts tea cup and passes tray of cookies to the ladies

suzanna28's avatar

People that are against Gay marriage are against it because they were brought up to believe that it is wrong to have a relationship with another man.

Also no religion accepts homosexuality.

They also just don’t understand that lifestyle. T
hey think it is really weird and against the norm.

It is just too weird and strange for them.

Also when people think gay they always think butt sex or women licking each other.

However I am pretty certain that the majority of gay people don’t engage in sexual acts like that.

I think they just prefer the companionship of the same sex

laureth's avatar

I beg to differ with your comment that “no religion accepts homosexuality.” Many do.

JLeslie's avatar

@suzanna28 Huh? Almost every man I know wants to have butt sex, and the majority are heterosexual. And, of course it is ok to be gay in some religions. Your answer and the question you asked recently makes me wonder where you live? What religion you are? And how old you are.

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