A friend of mine (I’ll refer to him as Anonymous Friend, or AF) recently posted this on Facebook:

AF: Saying that people are idiots for thinking that legalizing gay marriage will affect them or the world they live in is naive. It is ludicrous to think that something like that would literally have zero impact on society.

I think he’s right. There will be some kind of effect.

For good or for bad… or for neutral… Something will come of it.

What followed was an explosion of comments and activity that has lasted for the past ten days. The thread is full of accusations, strawman arguments, the accusation of the building of such, and the knocking down of said strawmen.

Let’s look at the first response:

How will it affect your marriage. I’m genuinely interested. If your church does not officiate a gay marriage, then how is your marriage in any way cheapened or affected? It’s not. Prove me wrong sir 🙂

This is the first response. Did AF mention anything about his marriage being cheapened? Was AF seeking to prove that gay marriage is a bad thing? If he was, really, help me out, I can’t find it. If I read the first post correctly, AF was asserting that there would be an impact and that we should not be ignorant of that fact. I don’t think people read the first post though. It seems that there are a lot of people that look for trigger words—gay, guns, health care, religion, politics, democrat, republican, Mormon, gesundheit— and choose to take a fiery extreme stance to defend their ideology, because they believe it has clearly and openly been attacked. If we return to the original post, AF says that it is “ludicrous to think that [insert movement here] would  literally have zero impact on society.” Do people read the words though? Responses continue to include:

Legalizing gay marriage isn’t going to magically change anyone’s sexual orientation or the fact that they can already adopt and raise children. With that being said, as long as men and women keep reproducing, there will continue to be homosexuals, because that’s how they came into this world, right?

Well what negative repercussions are you suggesting?

Oh yes protect your family from the evil gays trying to make your kids gay!!! With an eye roll at the ignorance, I exit this conversation. I have learned quite well that people who put their religion first can usually not be reasoned with because their sights are set only on what they’ve been told. With that being said, I hope someone can help you reach your senses but I will not be the one taking time out to do so (as it surely would be a lengthy, and likely unsuccessful process).

And lest I become part of the imbalance, some right wing responses:

We can agree to disagree, vote our own separate ways and see what happens. However, I will never leave my religion at the door when voting for the way I want my society to be run.

Marriage was not a civil first then religious. Everything the ancients did was based on religion. That’s why Fb is squaller of ignorance. This is why Fb is a terrible forum because people do have possess suspended judgment.

It’s just not how families are supposed to exist which is why men can’t have babies without women and women can’t have babies without men. That’s just how it is.

Fortunately, among the 180+ comments there are a few Facebookers that actually read the words AF posted the first time, and replied that there would indeed be change. These seem to be people who have learned something from history. Everything we do impacts the future. It’s true.

Regardless of what side of the gay marriage debate you may be on. Please remember that not everything anyone says about gay marriage has to be an offense directed at you. Please, do not walk around with boils on your skin, waiting to be bumped. Sometimes people just want to say that 2+2=4. Please don’t interpret this to mean that your math is right or wrong.
If we do anything in society at all, there will be an impact, for better, for worse… or for neutral.