Oh, my. The same-sex marriage debate has surfaced again in Utah, but I think I've identified part of the problem. Definitions. Each side uses terms that the other cannot or does not want to understand. Hopefully, what follows will at least help us better comprehend one another. For brevity, I've labeled the two sides as Same-Sexers (same-sex marriage advocates) and Trads (marriage traditionalists).
Homophobia. Same-Sexers think this word means "any opinion which, even to the slightest degree, challenges any homosexual philosophical or political arguments." Trads, on the other hand, think homophobia means an irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals. This happens to also be the dictionary definition. While Trads certainly acknowledge that homo-phobia does exist, most deplore violence and other crimes committed against homosexuals.Tolerance. I really don't think there's a disagreement over the meaning of this word. It's just that Same-Sexers spend a lot more time demanding tolerance than they do exercising it. You can't blame them for adopting this ploy. It's all part of petulant, modern American political tactics. Of course, the central argument is really over . . .
Marriage. For most of human history (except in the later stages of decline of some societies), marriage has been a contract between men and women that establishes the environment in which sexual relations are sanctioned and families are created. Trads prefer the dictionary meaning, but Same-Sexers want to warp the definition.
There are other terms in this controversy that seem to have developed variable meanings such as "deviancy, normalcy, lifestyle choices, rights, responsibilities, democracy," etc., but space doesn't allow a discussion here. Let's just not forget as we engage in the debate that, at times, we're almost speaking two different languages.