I’m in a social work graduate program at a public city state university. Today in my policy class, we had to do presentations on different policies or laws that we chose to research. One of the groups in my class covered the Defense of Marriage Act. I suppose it was too much for me to expect the group would cover all the arguments, instead of just the pro- gay marriage side. Throughout the presentation, they kept referring to all the discrimination gay and lesbians received as a result of banning gay marriage. One point was that gay persons are much more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis because of all the stress from not having equal rights in our society. They kept saying it wasn’t fair to deny gay people basic civil rights, and those who thought otherwise were “untolerant”. Several times it was said that our country was “the worst” in the world as far as discrimination because gay couples are not allowed to be married.
I just felt so frustrated during this presentation. Not all Christians are intolerant, and I don’t think being against gay marriage makes me untolerant. I’m very tolerant of all people, but that doesn’t mean I always agree with what they do. The point that as social workers we need to be accepting and provide quality services to all people I of course agreed with. I would never say that people with a homosexual orientation are bad or evil, like the presenters said many people consider them. As Christians we’re called to treat our neighbors as ourselves and I wouldn’t think twice about doing that. But does that mean I’m not tolerant if I don’t agree with homosexual marriage?
Also, any advice on how to defend my opinion from a rational thought point of view. I can defend marriage from a Christian point of view, but of course that cannot be used in a secular class with people who think Christians are bigoted.
The only think I could think of off the top of my head was the errors in some of their arguments:
Presenters said that people don’t choose to be gay. Last I checked, there’s still no conclusive research to suggest that homosexuality is either ingrained or learned.
Presenters also said that Sweden and the Netherlands were much more tolerant cultures that legalized gay marriage. What I know about these cultures sociologically suggests they’ve become cultures of death, allowing euthanasia, legal drugs, abortion, small families, etc. etc. So I don’t necessarily think those cultures are doing good things or having good results with being “tolerant”
Any help or advice would be great. I’ll be dealing with this for two more years, so I need to learn how to handle secular viewpoints and if it’s better to offer a defense or just stay silent.