Gay marriage is a complicated and contentious issue. I have given up trying to convince anyone on the internet that my view is the right view. But I would like to try to make one simple point: that it’s lame for gay marriage proponents to say things like this: “I don’t see how gay marriage threatens my marriage.”
Well, duh. The state could go so far as to expand civil marriage to include man/refrigerator relationships without doing any damage to my relationship with my wife (although, depending on what was inside the refrigerator, that might present a slight temptation). But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t care about whether or not the state sanctions man/refrigerator relationships. (For the record: I’m opposed.)
I’ve never seen anyone argue that gay marriage is a threat to their particular marriage. When people talk about protecting marriage, they are talking about the institution of civil marriage. Traditionalists hold that there are a lot of ways in which the institution of marriage can be damaged so that it doesn’t perform the societal role or have the cachet that they would like it to. Indeed, rampant divorce, “starter marriages,” the sexual revolution, and Tom Cruise have already taken their toll. Redefinition of civil marriage to include gay marriage is seen as taking it further down that road, to the detriment of society.
Of course, many people will disagree with that sentiment. But pointing out the obvious fact that one’s own marriage isn’t threatened doesn’t do anything to rebut that line of thinking.
P.S. To throw a bone to my pro-gay marriage friends I’ll criticize something that conservatives sometimes say: it’s lame to say that state sanctioning of gay marriage is a slippery slope that will end in state sanctioning of bestial or incestuous relationships. That will never happen, no matter how the gay marriage issue gets settled. It might open the door to sanctioning of polygamous relationships, or at least decriminalization thereof. But come on, is that really a threat to your marriage?