When the bigotry barrel is nearly bare, you will often hear a same-sex marriage opponent heave a sigh of exasperation, and protest that we should be focusing on the real issues. Irony isn’t their strong point.
The argument in a nutshell
Same sex marriage isn’t important to me personally. Not at all. I just fight it tooth and nail because I really enjoy pointless debate about things that don’t concern me.
What they’re really trying to say
Can’t you and your rational arguments just leave us alone?!
Jim and Bob are housemates. They’re quite different, and not particularly good friends, but they manage to live in the same house without too much trouble.
One day, they decide to go for a walk together.
Jim: Nice day, eh Bob?
Bob: Very nice! Did you remember to lock the front door?
Jim: I did indeed.
Bob: Great! Ah bugger… I forgot my coat! I’d better go back and grab it. Can I have the house keys?
Jim: Haha… no, you can’t.
Bob: I’m sorry?
Jim: No need to apologise, Bob. I’m ready to move on if you are.
Bob: Hang on… you’re seriously not going to give me the keys so I can get my coat?
Bob: Why on earth not?
Jim: Well Bob, as you can see I remembered to bring my coat. It’s nice, eh? I think it really suits me. But, your coat, Bob… well… I mean, come on…
Bob: What’s that supposed to mean?
Jim: I really didn’t want to get into this, Bob. But since you asked… Quite frankly, your coat is a bit crappy.
Bob: Firstly, isn’t that a matter of personal taste? And secondly, how is that a reason for not letting me go back and get it?
Jim: Glad you asked, Bob! No, it isn’t a matter of personal taste. You coat is clearly inferior to mine. And if I was to be seen standing next to you, me in my awesome coat and you in your crappy one, mine just wouldn’t look as good.
Bob: Haha, well I don’t particularly want to stand next to you anyway, so that won’t be a problem. Can I just have the keys please?
Jim: Of course not! Have you not been listening?
Bob: Come on, Jim… I really think you’re being a bit silly.
Jim: OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST SHUTUP ABOUT YOUR STUPID FUCKING COAT THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT.
Yes, there are. And we’d like to move on, too. If only you’d let us.