Despite living on the other side of the world, I have to be living under a rock if I haven’t heard of Manny Pacquiao’s comments on LGBT issues during an interview, where he said:
“Woman was made for man, man was made for woman. It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish, male or female.”
My initial reaction was to simply ignore the comment and move along. I have too many things going on in my mind. However, there have been countless discussions (both pro and contra) going on among my friends on my Facebook news feed. Most of these comments either used misguided facts or were outright fallacious, that I’ve been tempted to join in several times (since I also love a good discussion 😉 ). I realized that a Facebook post or a comment wouldn’t do justice. So I decided to pool my efforts into writing this blog post in order to express my opinion as clearly and structured as possible.
Before I proceed, I should provide a little bit of background on myself:
I was born and raised in a christian family and still consider myself as one. That goes without saying that I was raised believing that marrying someone of the same sex is wrong (and still personally believe it to some extent).
Hence, I wouldn’t see myself going gay for two reasons: my personal principle as mentioned above, and the fact that I’m simply not attracted to the same sex. But I also believe that it is not my prerogative to tell other people what they should, shouldn’t do, feel, or believe in. In other words, I see gay marriage the same way a (rational) vegetarian sees people digging in on a juicy steak; “I don’t eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna let other people enjoy their poor sentient animal carcass.“
Note that my blog post is based on my personal opinion and perspective. You may or may not totally agree with it, but I ask that you objectively read the entire post in order to see the big picture and see where I’m coming from.
Now, on to debunking myths and fallacies!
Allowing gay marriage will desecrate the sanctity of marriage and churches will have to marry gay couples.
OPINION: This one is open for discussion. If only religious concerns are addressed, then this would be true. In an ideal world, we would live under a christian totalitarian society where laws are governed by what is right and wrong in the Bible agreed upon by everyone. It then makes sense that same-sex marriage is not legal. But in reality laws are passed and repealed through a democratic process.
FACT: Society has come up with a civil aspect of legally binding two natural persons together in order to protect their shared interests. Entering this contractual bond has legal and financial ramifications. If a same sex couple chose to spend the rest of their life together, they would effectively be treated as second-class citizens if they weren’t given the protection and rights a civil marriage can provide. This undermines the basic principles of democracy that we have come to know.
People come from different backgrounds, cultures and religious beliefs with different moral systems. From a cultural perspective, most criticisms I’ve seen come from ethnocentric perspectives (my values are better than yours mentality). That’s why we have the ‘secularization of the government’ to protect the rights and dignity of those who may not share our beliefs.
Legalizing gay marriage does not mean that churches will have to conduct gay ceremonies. Religious institutions will still have the right to provide or deny their own wedding services at their discretion. It only applies to the government entity (which is irreligious by constitution). That means it guarantees gay couples the right to a civil union with all the legal aspects associated with it, completely detached from any religious element. Depriving them of that basic right could possibly deprive their ‘significant other’ of the rights granted by the family law. That means his/her partner cannot recognized as the ‘next-of-kin’ if something were to happen to the him/her. For them, they might be the only family they’ve got.
As the old saying goes: “My rights end where yours begin.” So yes, while we say “we have to stand up for God and our faith”, they should be given the basic right to be happy. Your marriage will not fail if gays suddenly start getting married. Let them start their own family in peace.
Manny’s comment: Will you see any animals [sic] where male is to male and female is to female?
FACT: Yes you will. In fact, a Dutch biologist Kees Moeliker has observed cases of “homosexual necrophilia” in mallard ducks among others. So what Manny should have said instead, is that “Animals are just as bad as humans..”. Some argue gays are born that way, others say it’s a lifestyle choice, or even a disorder. But at the end of the day, whether it’s a disorder or not, their choice or otherwise, is completely irrelevant and doesn’t really change anything in the discussion.
Freedom of speech! Manny has the right to voice his own opinions. So stop criticizing him!
FACT: Indeed he does! But free speech is not absolute. Free speech only lets you voice your opinion without fear of being arrested or prosecuted. It does not protect you from public backlash (they are also entitled to free speech). On the other hand his comments were on the verge of being considered hate-speech (which he could definitely be sued for). While I do not share Manny’s opinions, I do support his right to say it. But I also support other people’s rights to criticize him.
Does he get my vote? Manny Pacquiao may be a great boxer, but he’s obviously not fit for office. Aside from being a critical thinker, a good public servant should should put his/her personal beliefs and opinions aside in order represent the people regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation within the confines of the constitution. Manny is neither of those. He should stick to boxing. Maybe he could still give Mayweather his first KO once and for all.