This article addresses the question: “Why do some same-sex marriage (SSM) advocates mention the hateful motivations of their opponents so much?” Of course there are many who oppose SSM because of their hateful motivations, but this article addresses why some might say that any and all opposition to SSM is motivated by hate. The focus will also be specifically in regard to Christians who oppose SSM. Christians have opposed all aspects of the sexual revolution to one degree or another: contraception, pre-marital sex, no-fault divorce, abortion, co-habitation, alternative sexual relationships of all stripes. But opposition to SSM has warranted the label of ‘hateful’ no matter how civil one is about it. Why might the advocates of SSM refer to their opponents as hateful so much?
The format lists a reason and why to consider a change of mind.
Argument from Ignorance
There is more than one motivation to oppose the SSM besides hate, such as moral and/or religious convictions. To claim one knows something without facts or evidence is a fallacy called an argument from ignorance.
- You don’t know if it’s true.
- If it’s false it is slanderous.
- You don’t want others doing this to you.
The Race Analogy
The thinking of many is that homosexuality is an inborn trait, just like race. Many people are motivated by hate when they discriminate against black people, therefore, peoples motivation must be the same towards gay people.
- It’s a disanalogy. See here and here.
- There are non-hateful reasons to oppose SSM, such as morality.
- It’s an argument from ignorance, claiming to know others motives without actual evidence.
Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin
This phrase, a favorite of Christians, is meant to communicate love yet actually communicates hate to gay people. While for most straight people their sexuality is an afterthought, for gays it’s a primary thought – an identity. As one gay person put it, “To say you love me but hate my sin is like saying to a black person you love them but hate their blackness.” There is little to no separation of sin and sinner in this regard in the mind of many gay people.
- It communicates the opposite of what is intended to gays.
- It’s not really effective with anyone.
- It’s not from the Bible – there is no imperative to use it.
Gays see marriage and the acceptance it brings as having many benefits. If one does not affirm SSM, they must want to deny gays these benefits, and conclude others motivation must be hatred.
- It’s self-condemning. There are others in America, i.e., incestuous, polygamist, who want the benefits of marriage yet SSM supporters oppose them. This would condemn SSM supporters as hateful.
- It assumes what first needs to be proved – that SSM is morally good. If one first determines SSM is immoral, the ‘hurt’ point is mute. Nobody wants to promote immoral relationships. (Marriage is a promotion of certain sexual relationships).
- Morality is a paramount concept. It supersedes other arguments. No matter how well incestuous couples argue for benefits, morality will override them all.
Psychological projection occurs when people defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.
- It leads to false views of others.
- You don’t want others to do it to you.
- The hatred within will harm you more than anyone else.
Some SSM supporters will use whatever tactics available to achieve their goals. Calling others names like ‘hater, homophobe, and bigot’ is an effective means in the absence of valid arguments of bullying some people into submission.
- Bullying is hateful.
- In light of the fact that most gay people have been terribly bullied, they and their advocates should not do the same.
- By your actions you are teaching others to bully.
It’s always easier to stereotype someone or a group of people than to actually get to know them and represent them accurately in the face of strong disagreement.
- Stereotypes are not true of everyone in a given group, therefore they are slanderous.
- Gay and lesbian people have been terrible stereotyped. SSM advocates should not do the same to others.
- It teaches others to stereotype.
Loaded language attempts to influence others with manipulative wording instead of a valid arguments. Campaigning politicians are the most prevalent users of this kind of rhetoric, demonizing their opponents instead of providing valid reasons why anyone should vote for them.
- It’s unkind to hateful, depending on the severity of the language.
- It gives the impression, and sometimes the truth, that your position is too weak to argue fairly.
- You don’t want others doing it to you.
Some SSM advocates use loaded language not only to demonize their opposition but also to portray their superiority. While opponents are portrayed as haters, SSM advocates are portrayed as champions of love and compassion. It is obviously better to be a loving than hateful, therefore SSM advocates can think of themselves as better people.
- It creates excessive pride.
- Reveals a character problem that one would needs to put others down in order to prop themselves up.
- You don’t want others doing it to you.
SSM activists encourage the thought of any opposition as hateful.
- This is stereotyping.
- This is bullying.
- This is arguing from ignorance.
- This is using loaded language.
Many SSM supporters feel that the loving thing for Christians to do is affirm SSM even if it contradicts their beliefs. But this represents a serious lack of understanding of most conservative Christians. There is a saying in out culture: “go to hell.” Now this is not meant for a person to go burn in a literal place but to simply go away. It’s a hateful thing to say. Now for the conservative Christian, asking them to be in favor of SSM in contradiction to their beliefs is like asking them to literally wish gay and lesbian people to go to hell. That is the most hateful thing imaginable to such a Christian.
Luke 13:3,5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
1 Corinthians 13:6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.