Same-sex marriage advocates gain a lot of support for their position by painting the opposing side as anti-gay homophobes. Nobody wants to be thought of as anti-gay, a homophobe, or discriminatory. To avoid such labels and associations, they acquiesce to the cause of same-sex marriage. Much could be said in response to this tactic, but I will limit my response to four related points.
First, as Dennis Prager recently observed, opposition to same-sex marriage is no more anti-gay than opposition to incestual marriage is anti-family. What one thinks about the union of parts cannot be extrapolated to reflect their thoughts on each component of that union when considered apart from the union. In the same way that opposition to incestual marriages does not mean one hates brothers and sisters, opposition to same-sex marriage does not mean one hates gays. One can be opposed to social recognition of same-sex relationships as “marriage,” while fully supportive of gay individuals.
Secondly, this claim ignores the fact that an argument can be made against same-sex marriage independent of any moral assessment of homosex or sexual orientation. I have made such a case in “I Now Pronounce You Man and Husband?”: An Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage.
Thirdly, some homosexuals have publicly argued for homosexual rights, but oppose same-sex marriage because they believe it would be bad for society. This proves that opposition to same-sex marriage cannot be equated with opposition to homosexuality.
Finally, few people who oppose homosexuality, yet alone same-sex marriage, are homophobic. A homophobe is someone who fears homosexuals. I have never met such an individual. I have met a multitude of people, however, who object to homosex on moral and social grounds. So the next time someone wants to equate your opposition to same-sex marriage with being anti-gay, challenge them on it.