Beat Takeshi Explains His Controversial Gay Marriage Remark

Illustration for article titled Beat Takeshi Explains His Controversial Gay Marriage Remark
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Last week, entertainer and filmmaker Beat Takeshi came under fire due to comments he made on Japanese television about gay marriage.

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When shown footage of people celebrating President Obama's support of gay marriage, Takeshi said, "Obama supports gay marriage. You would support a marriage to an animal eventually, then."

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and that seems to be his. But recently, Takeshi explained or walked back his remarks, telling AFP, "I was only talking about people who love their pets so much that they may think of marrying them."

"There is no way I look at gay people the same as animals," added Takeshi, "let alone implying sexual relations with animals."

It's not his clarification that's the problem (that's muddled enough as it is), but the original comparison.

In many countries and cultures, not consummating a marriage is grounds for annulment. Some religions dictate that marriages must be consummated. Not taking this into consideration not only shows tremendous cultural and religious insensitivity, but insensitivity towards gay people.

If Beat Takeshi doesn't think gay people should get married, that's his opinion. He is entitled to it—Japan has freedom of speech. But he should simply say he doesn't believe in gay marriage and not draw oblique comparisons to people marrying their pets. These are two separate issues.

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'Beat' Takeshi rejects anti-gay accusation [Japan Today]

(Top photo: 血と骨)

DISCUSSION

I really don't understand why the 'Gay Marriage' topic has become so prevalent as of late.

I'm going to be extremely careful not to come across as bigoted or homophobic, because I am not. I'm just honestly confused about the topic.

In my personal opinion, 'Civil Partnership/Unions' should be enough. I know some people think otherwise, but I think that 'equal treatment' sometimes goes to far. (I understand how bigoted an opinion that sounds as I type it, but bear with me). I have always had the image of marriage being the point at which the procreation of children happens, in most circumstances. i.e. Marriage > Children > Family. The fact that a homosexual couple cannot 'have children' means to be that much of the purpose of marriage is nullified. So, as a legal procedure, marriage is easily replaced by a 'civil partnership'.

I know a lot of people reply "Well if there is no difference, why should they be called different things?" and I agree, there is no difference. This is why I find people clamouring for gay marriage to be slightly petty (ah, there it is again. As I said, I don't want to sound bigoted but it's really difficult). Almost like pushing the goverment as far as they can go, just to see what they can get out of it (yeah, 'they', sorry about the umbrella term). Sometimes I feel like the best approach is "Chill, you have what you need. Laws do not need to be changed for a minority of the population".

Anyway, those are my opinions. I'm interested in how other people see it. On Kotaku there is always someone who manages to 'put me in my place', so to speak.