The idea that marriage is the foundation of society, that everything we don't like is caused by the "institution of marriage" failing, is a right-wing frame that will always work against queer people. It's factually incorrect, prejudiced, and distracts us from real solutions to real problems.
People who oppose same-sex marriage generally don't just care about us; their goals have always been broader. The goal is to put all of America's diversity through a sausage machine and turn out families with a man who works, a woman who stays at home, and children who are raised to do the same.
This takes the form of opposing women in the workplace, opposing abortion and contraception, and, yes, opposing same-sex marriage.
To that end, they blame all of society's problems on the failing of that family structure. Black people make less money than white people? That can't be even partly about discrimination! It's because of the "breakdown of the Black family." What caused the current economic crisis? People aren't getting married enough. (What, did you think it had something to do with deregulation?) Crime, idleness, drug use, rape, and incest? Breakdown of the family structure.
It's a great way to blame all of society's problems on people's "moral failings" instead of the people who actually caused them, so that makes it attractive in conservative circles.
When conservatives talk about how same-sex marriage will change society, usually the gay rights movement rolls its collective eyes and wonders what in the world those folks are talking about. While they're completely wrong, they're also completely transparent: they see the question of same-sex marriage as a way to express their vision of family interactions.
Marriage, for them, is about forcing people into families that all look the same because it's simply the best thing to do. But for Americans in general, marriage is about choosing with whom we associate and build a life with.
For us, it's two equal people who love each other trying to share a life together. For them, it's a man getting a slave.
And there's no compromise. Their entire argument is the slippery slope: change one aspect of that family structure and all of society goes to hell. We can laugh at that, since so much of that institution has changed over the last half-century that a slippery slope argument just sounds ridiculous.
But in the conservative mind, we need to legally enforce gender roles and a definition of "family" that excludes anyone other than the Cleavers, or else everything in America will continue to be as shitty as it is today.
That mentality will always work against LGBT people. Always. Consider this press release from the Christian News Wire, from today:
Child prostitution in America is a major component of human Trafficking. One root is the break up of the central family of mother, father and children.
Many young girls fall victim to domestic trafficking by not having a loving father and mother and a secure family structure.
Prop 8 Marriage Protection Amendment will help hinder human trafficking of children by reinforcing the social structure of the traditional, nuclear family.
Human trafficking occurs right here in America. Every year nearly 800,000 children are reported missing. Child prostitution is exponentially growing.
Most hear of trafficking overseas. Now there is "reverse trafficking". Predators come to the United States to have sex with children.
Prop 8 Impact: Child prostitutes predominantly come from broken homes where girls do not have a stable two parent family. Instead they are either thrown away, run away or lured. If these children had the balance of a mother and a father the chances of them falling into the hands of the predator are drastically reduced.
Reinforcing the natural, traditional family of a mother and father by Prop 8 will help build and maintain sound families protecting children. Much more will need to be done i.e. bringing moral integrity to the culture.
They consider this the intellectual defense of marriage, even though it's "ZOMG!!!1! Teh gayz MOLEST childrn!1" repackaged.
No, we can't join in their defense of marriage, because each side has a fundamentally different vision of what marriage is. And their vision is a sham. That's the message we need to get out.
Forgot to link to this more elegantly, but here's the first post about marriage not solving all our problems. There I was talking about how the movement for same-sex marriage thinks it'll solve all the community's problems, and it won't. It's basically the same argument, though, that marriage is a cure-all.