You have heard this argument before, but I want to phrase it several other ways, just to help clarify it.
- Little Julio likes pulling little Emily’s ponytail at recess. How does that hurt you?
- Greg and Henry each enjoy the sight of blood, along with the thrill of dismemberment. They aren’t planning on cutting off your index finger, so how does that hurt you?
- Habib thinks it’s perfectly fine to beat his wife to a pulp when she disappoints him, and she believes he has every right to do so, because he’s her husband. Their marriage may not be healthy in your eyes, but they think it’s OK. The are happy and in love, so how does that hurt you?
- Mary, Bob, Sue, Helen, and Marty all live in a communal relationship and want to marry each other, spend the rest of their lives with each other, and ultimately die together so at a predetermined time, so as not to leave one behind to grieve without the others. They love each other, have no children, and are all orphans with no debt to any creditors. What they want to do is mutually agreed upon out of love for each other, but you aren’t invited to the going away party. How does that hurt you?
Honestly, in the most immediate of terms, I am not hurt by any of the above hypotheticals. Similarly, I am not hurt by the murder of a homeless man in Thailand, either. But just because it doesn’t hurt me doesn’t make it right. Of course, when it comes to whether or not same-sex marriage itself will hurt me is one thing; making it a Constitutional right and forcing me to go along with it is something totally different.
The justification for same-sex or multiple-partner marriage cannot be based on what is felt by others. A victim-less crime is still a crime, even if no one ever feels the effects.