Opponents of marriage equality are afraid, in part, that same-sex relationships and LGBT people will come to be seen and treated as normal by society. This is something most opponents will openly admit (a small example: Al Mohler’s comment that the ruling striking down Prop 8 was “a significant step toward the full normalization of homosexuality within the culture”).
I’ve been struck by the particular horror of gay marriage opponents over the idea that children would be taught that same sex relationships are normal. “Protecting children” comes up as a recurring argument by the Yes on 8 campaign, by the pro Prop 8 lawyers, and many others. And it appears to be a quite effective argument; a recent analysis of polls leading up to the 2008 Prop 8 vote suggests that parents of school-age children – not African Americans as previously reported – were the key demographic in passing Prop 8, probably due to the effectiveness of Yes on 8 ads like the following:
I’ve been trying to figure what’s so frightening about the idea that children might read books that discuss the existence of LGBT couples without casting them as freaks or perverts. Ultimately I think it’s at least a fear of loss of straight privilege, i.e.:
– the unspoken and pervasive assumption that straight people and relationships are the norm and are superior to LGBT people and their relationships, and
– the institutional and societal biases in favor of straightness that are built on and perpetuate those assumptions.
More below the jump: