Sunday, November 14, 2004

Gay Marriage Arguments

In light of my previous post, I'm now wondering: are there any reasonable arguments against gay marriage? I'm not aware of any, but I'd certainly be curious to hear one - so if anyone reading this disagrees, please do leave a comment and let me know why.

Probably the most common argument is that homosexuality is 'unnatural', and thus immoral. Of course, the same could be said of heart transplants and automobiles, so this seems a pretty bad argument to make (as I've pointed out previously; see also No Right Turn).

As for appeals to tradition, if they weren't fallacious enough already, Carl Zimmer informs us that there's some scientific evidence that our ancestors were moderately polygynous, which makes things "a little sticky for the 'one-man-one-woman-is-traditional-and-natural' camp", as he puts it. (And then of course there's all the polygamy in the Old Testament!)

Some people say they're not opposed to gay marriage as such, but think it needs to be approved democratically, rather than imposed through the courts. (Anal-"Philosopher" made some comments to this effect, if you follow the link in my previous post.) I could understand this if it were merely practical advice to gay-rights advocates, suggesting they'd have more success if they pursued other methods. But I don't see how anyone could use this to justify actively opposing gay marriage in the meantime. If others are unjustly having their freedom restricted, then this is wrong no matter what the mob thinks. Liberty trumps democracy. Besides, as legal scholar Steve Sanders points out, so-called "judicial activism" to ensure the constitution is upheld is precisely how the separation of powers is supposed to work. The judges are supposed to protect the civil rights of minorities from being trampled on by 'majority rule'. That's what they're there for.

Another common argument is that "children should be raised by a mum and a dad". There are several problems with this. The first is that there's no evidence to suggest being raised by same-sex parents actually harms children (see NewScientist). Secondly, even if it did slightly, that would not justify imposing a greater harm on adults. Thirdly, even if that were justified, prohibiting gay marriage has little effect on gay parenting, as pointed out at Alas, a Blog:
All over the country, and (outside of Massachusetts) without legal marriage, same-sex couples are raising children. They are not waiting for legal marriage, nor will banning legal marriage give the government a new right to take children away from same-sex couples. The policy marriage-equality opponents propose - banning same-sex marriage - does not in any way solve the problem they claim to be responding to, which is children growing up in homes without two biological parents.

They go on to point out that to overcome this gap in their argument, some object that "we can't allow marriage equality because that sends a message that moms and dads are unnecessary":
One problem is that it's factually wrong; equal, neutral treatment sends no message. [The full argument for this is given earlier in the post.] The second problem is that the anti-equality logic treats the lives and rights of lesbians, gays and their children as tools to be used to benefit heterosexuals.

The lives of same-sex families aren't post-it notes! If marriage equality opponents wish to send a message, they should by all means write opinion pieces, or agitate for more healthy heterosexual families on TV. But don't use lesbian and gay lives for your op-ed statement. Same-sex families are human beings, as precious as any heterosexual family; injustice to them cannot be justified by saying injustice sends a valuable message.


So far as I can tell, that only leaves the generic "gays will destroy the institution of marriage and all of society too!" objection. Such doomsday predictions have an unconvincing history, of course - similar fears were raised about women voting, women in the workforce, gays in the military, etc, but society adapted and is the better for it. What good does it do to 'protect' marriage from people who want to get married? Shouldn't those with genuine family values (as opposed to simple bigotry) be pleased that these couples are wanting to settle down in a life-long monogamous relationship?

Perhaps the best response I've seen to this objection is that of Amanda Doerty:
You have to have pretty much no belief in individual freedom to make these kinds of arguments against same-sex marriage. If same-sex marriage did have any actual connection to increases in crime, poverty, and the like, and that connection was enough reason for same-sex marriage to be outlawed, then the same reason could serve to outlaw just about anything. Divorce? That's obvious. In fact, it's almost absurd to think that someone would speak out against same-sex marriage on these grounds instead of divorce. Actually supporting divorce would be flat out hypocritical for someone making these arguments.

Besides, I would expect that legalising gay marriage could only be good for society in the long term, as with all the other progress that has been made in the past century to extend civil rights and create a more tolerant and liberal society. If you really doubt the utility of a more liberal society, go have a read of Ed Brayton's comparison of red vs blue states. It appears that those who preach about 'family values' aren't so good at living by them:
The lowest rate of divorce in the nation? That would be none other than that haven of liberal political correctness, and beacon of gay marriage to the world, Massachusetts. Must just be an anomoly, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, 9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are in blue states, especially in the Northeast, allegedly the hotbed of pagan immorality. And the 10 highest divorce rates in the nation, with averages nearly 3 times higher than the 10 lowest? 8 of them are red states. And let's not forget that these are led primarily by what is referred to as the Bible Belt. As a recent National Center for Policy Analysis noted, "Nearly half of all marriages break up, but the divorce rates in these southern states are roughly 50 percent above the national average." Boy, I'm sure glad we've got these people to lecture us on family values, but one wonders how they get the time in between breaking up their own families!

So... are there any other (rational) arguments I've missed?

If there's anyone reading this who opposes gay marriage, I ask you: how do you justify your position? (And how do you sleep at night?)

Update: I added some more detail to the 'children' argument. (See also my new post on marriage and childrearing.) Several other arguments (including 'slippery slopes', 'opposing all state-sanctioned marriage', and the ever-present 'but I find it icky!' objection) are addressed in the comments section. The silly "marriage is defined as man + woman, so gay marriage is a contradiction" objection was discussed in my previous post.

Is there anything else?

52 comments:

  1. Perhaps a better question to ask is, Why marriage? How does the institution of marriage serve society? If there is nothing in the institution itself which entails that it be limited to heterosexual relationships, then it should be extended to homosexual ones as well.

    Although I feel that I understand the conservative's view that heterosexual marriage has worked pretty well for thousands of years, I would ask that this view be made more explicit: (1) Worked pretty well for what exactly? (2) And if it "works" with heterosexuals why exactly shouldn't it "work" with homosexuals? Answers to these, I believe, lead to the glaring contradictions made by those who feel that homosexuality will destroy marriage while they plan their third or fourth wedding, or those who believe marriage is for procreation though they do not limit marriage to women under 60. As you said, "Shouldn't those with genuine family values ... be pleased that these couples are wanting to settle down in a life-long monogamous relationship?"

    By this same line, however, if there is nothing in marriage that implies that "partnerships" need be limited to two members engaged in a sexual relationship, we should also question that. Why can't I share my life (and tax benefits...) with two people rather than one? Why can't someone be "married" to their brother if they live together and support each other (No sexual relationship or attraction is implied)?
     

    Posted by Xavier Botero

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  2. Here are my best arguments against ( you could say I am being a devils advocate a bit here - but I dont think personal oppinion needs to be a part of a philosophy or logic debate)
    1) marriage is man+woman - to make it also refer to man+man is rather like saying the word "woman" includes men also - You could redefine the word but to do so all the time would remove meaning from language. (Thus I am sympathetic to gay marriage getting a slightly different name).

    Now another argument is the collectivist (socialist authoritarian) one - that is that there will be a certain benefit in having a male and female parent - that is an article of faith as far as I know but it is not unreasonable to think that thee would be a difference. If thee is one could say that the inferior method should be discouraged. (My political alignment has me sympathetic to that) but I would have to see the proof and the disincentive must cause less harm than the problem it is supposed to solve.
    This is a bit similar to the democratic argument since both assume society has a right to get involved in such issues presumably for a greater social good.

    I find your argument against the democratic point a bit confused - after all one has to stand up for the apparent choice of democracy otherwise what is the point in making that choice in the first place? But since democracy is only a method and not an end result to me I’m not so concerned.

    > Then the same reason could serve to outlaw just about anything.

    Not really it could only outlaw those things that seemed to make things worst it would encourage those that seemed to make things better. Also one has to consider the cost of making a law - one can’t have a law for everything - it is just impractical.

    > Divorce? That's obvious.

    If you could prove it - I suggest you can’t prove that outlawing divorce would increase the net utility - since the opposite is probably true.

    >Actually supporting divorce would be flat out hypocritical for someone making these arguments.

    Not for those of us (like me) who oppose the state sanctioning of marriage. We could encourage divorce discourage gay marriage and discourage straight marriage (at least in a legal sense). But of course you were talking about a specific subset of the community and in that case I guess you are right.
     

    Posted by geniusnz

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  3. Ah, yes, I forgot about the "slippery slope" arguments. I don't think much of them though. If there's a good reason to restrict marriage to 2 people only, then allowing gay marriage will not nullify that reason. And if there's no good reason, then we shouldn't be restricting that either!

    Another argument I missed is that of those who "oppose the state sanctioning of marriage". While I can sympathise with that general view, I don't think it can be used to oppose gay marriage. For so long as the state is in the business of marriage at all, it should - as a matter of simple fairness - be equally open to all couples.

    As an analogy: suppose you're opposed to free public health care. Nevertheless, you would surely consider it racist and wrong for the state to offer this benefit to white people only. You may prefer they offer it to nobody; but if they're going to offer it at all, then they should offer it to everyone. Surely no libertarian would oppose black-rights advocates who asked for equal treatment here. But how is opposing gay marriage any different?

    As for the other comments: I see mention of the 'tradition' argument and the 'won't somebody think of the children!' bait-and-switch, both of which were already covered in the main post. Also, the 'incoherent by definition' argument (mentioned by Genius) was discussed and discarded in my previous post.

    Is there anything else? (Or flaws in the counterarguments presented?)

    "one has to stand up for the apparent choice of democracy"
    Not if the choice is unjust. I discuss this more in the various linked-to posts. See especially that "liberty trumps democracy" one. 

    Posted by Richard

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  4. > And if there's no good reason, then we shouldn't be restricting that either!

    I am with you on that one! But I think we might scare some people.

    > And the 'won't somebody think of the children!' bait-and-switch, both of which were already covered in the main post.

    but but... the childreeeeeennnnn!!!!
    but enough humor...
    Surely you accept it is possible however to have a negitive enough effect attributed to gay parents to warrent discouraging it? (I doubt seriously if that is the case but it is concievable)

    > Not if the choice is unjust.

    Once again devil advocating - The problem is that everyone thinks all the decisions of democracy besides those that match their moral view are unjust. Right? (Ok maybe there are ways around that but it is at least superficially reasonable).
    Democracy exists to avoid us just acting incoherently or using individual force in regard to that.
    If no one obeyed any of those rules (because htey morally disagred then would you not have just negated democracy? A pure democrat should thus oppose your logic I guess.
    Not being a pure democrat and being a moral absolutist (as opposed to relativist) I dont 

    Posted by geniusnz

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  5. KiwiPundit offers an argument from unpleasantness. This one contains the premise that "The government is entitled to use the law to reduce unpleasant behaviour". I think this premise is obviously false. There may be some unpleasant behaviours that can be rightfully prohibited (public nudity might be such an example). But the argument requires a more general principle: that ANY "unpleasant behaviour" can be rightfully restricted.

    That's just plain absurd - it makes a mockery of freedom and liberty. A big problem is who gets to decide what counts as "unpleasant". But, more importantly - and as Mill pointed out - mere unpleasantness is not enough to justify restricting individual freedom.

    This argument implies that it would be legitimate for the government to close all mosques and forcably convert muslims, if enough people found the thought of others worshipping Allah to be 'unpleasant'.

    In effect, it suggests that there are no limits whatsoever to the rightful power of government. I don't think this is an argument that anyone but a totalitarian could consistently endorse. 

    Posted by Richard

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  6. > There may be some unpleasant behaviours that can be rightfully prohibited (public nudity might be such an example).

    Confusing part of your post is - on what grounds can you prohibit public nudity?
    Or for that matter how can one defend seperate male and female toilets? 

    Posted by geniusNZ

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  7. Gay marriages are wrong because being gay is wrong. 

    Posted by tim

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  8. come on Tim you know the next question - "WHY is being gay wrong?"

    Shall I assume "there are a couple of lines [reference] in the bible that say so"?

    There are no excuses for lazy arguments on either side. 

    Posted by geniusNZ

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  9. Because the motives are wrong. 

    Posted by tim

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  10. nice one tim. what motives are those? if you mean the pursuit of happiness, love, or even simple physical attraction played out, then how are these motives different to straights?
    I can only assume that you mean cos they arent having sex to produce offspring. If this is the case than you must believe that it is wrong for couples to have sex anytime for pleasure, unless they are deliberately tring to get pregnant. any other time their motives are wrong?
    maybe thats not your argument, you will need to right more than one line to express your view coherantly

     

    Posted by razamitaz

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  11. Hmm

    Firstly, I don't have a problem with gay marriage, although I believe (perhaps dogmatically) that it is preferable to have a male and a female rolemodel in the home for any child (this has nothing to do with sexuality, just gender)

    Assuming that I am actually right about that second point, what does it entail?

    Should gay couples be allowed children? There are two feasible options that I can think of at the moment: adoption, and getting a friend to concieve/provide genetic material.

    Adoption: if its better to have a male and female rolemodel then perhaps when the adoption agencies decide who gets children then that should be taken into account. This does NOT mean that no homosexual couples should get children. Surely its better to have two parents than one, regardless of them being the same gender. But all things being equal, perhaps the straight couple would win over the gay one. But there are other factors - if the gay couple were better off in other respects (I'm not saying that its 'worse off' to be gay, but rather, as a consequence of that there may not be a rolemodel of one gender) then perhaps they would get the child. Children's interests should always be put first in this regard: after all, an adult can improve their child-readiness by getting more life experience, more income, or whatever is neccessary in order to secure a baby - the child can't change their parents. Although as noted there will be plenty of cases where the gay couple may win out in this regard. Who knows, maybe gay people are on average more responsible or nice than straight people?

    Note that this is assuming that there isnt a rolemodel from both genders - if there is, then there seems no other reason for it to be seen as 'wrong'.

    Getting a friend to help: Well, at this stage the state doesnt interfere. I don't see why it should. Single parents are way worse than gay ones, and we dont interfere with that. Whats more, the fact that presumably this involves three people rather than one suggests that the home may be a very loving one for a child to be born into... also, there is a rolemodel from both genders. Intuitively, I think this would probably be fine for the child (all other things being equal)

    Although this is far from a well-reasoned analysis, it does seem to me to be fine for gay couples to have children, depending on other factors, just like its fine for anybody to have children. I just don't buy into the idea that its morally wrong to be gay, or what have you. 

    Posted by Patrick Kerr

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  12. Yeah, I think I'd agree that the role-model thing is something to take into consideration (though a relatively minor factor I think, compared to other things an adoption agency might consider).

    But that might even count in favour of some gay couples - especially gay males. Our primary schools are packed with female teachers - many boys reach adolescence having never had a male teacher. Now, you've already noted that two parents (of any gender) are surely better than one. But we might go further, and say that two male parents might be better (especially for a male child) than a hetero couple where the man is too busy working all day and so relatively inaccessible to the child. At least the gay couple would still have another male around the house.

    That's a fairly speculative scenario I've outlined. But I think it's enough to at least suggest that it isn't obvious that a hetero couple is always preferable (even with all other things equal) than gay parents. 

    Posted by Richard

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  13. All you need is a study of the performance of children against some arbitrary "welbeing" scale compared acording to whether they had male-male male-female or female-female parents /role models and whether they themselves were male or female.
    You could also throw in single parents to adress the "are gay parents better than single parents" argument.
     

    Posted by genius

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  14. The "NewScientist" article I link to above contains such a study, showing that lesbian parents do just as well on average as hetero parents. I don't know of any similar large-scale study of male-male parents, however.

    One other point worth considering: it seems possible that a child's wellbeing might be impaired simply because of the widespread prejudice & stigma against their gay parents. This, of course, is no fault of the parents. Should gay people be further punished for this, "for the sake of the children"? Doing so (whether by banning gay marriage or restricting gay couples from adopting) would likely just reinforce the widespread prejudice, making things worse for those already in this situation. (And besides it seems highly unjust.)

    Instead, if such a result were found to be the case, I think the best thing to do would be lift all the official restrictions, to show that the state fully recognises gay couples and parents as the equals of heteros. Perhaps then the rest of society might (eventually) follow suit. 

    Posted by Richard

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  15. One other point worth considering: it seems possible that a child's wellbeing might be impaired simply because of the widespread prejudice & stigma against their gay parents. This, of course, is no fault of the parents. Should gay people be further punished for this, "for the sake of the children"? Doing so (whether by banning gay marriage or restricting gay couples from adopting) would likely just reinforce the widespread prejudice, making things worse for those already in this situation. (And besides it seems highly unjust.)It also suggests that [insert disfavored group here] should not be permitted to marry or have children, because the societal prejudice against [insert disfavored group here] is so strong that the children will always suffer. Of course, once [insert disfavored group here] have been sufficiently marginalized so as to have effectively disappeared, the society in question will of course pick a new [insert disfavored group here] which will then not be allowed to marry or have children, and so on ad infinitum. 

    Posted by paperwight

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  16. The point about Old Testament polygamy needs to be extended to point out how radically wrong the "ancient institution" argument really is. In different societies at different periods all kinds of partners have been considered suitable for marriage: multiple members of the opposite sex, members of the same sex (woman-woman marriages, which allow a woman to stand in a position of father to her wife's children, useful in a patrilineal society; John Boswell of course argues for same-sex unions in Christian areas, though his analogy to marriage is a bit strained), dead men (which allows them to father children), housepoles (a variation on a woman's marriage to a dead man), God. That's just off the top of my head. All of the claims about the ancient and invarient institution of marriage are baseless extensions of contemporary prejudice into other places and times. 

    Posted by Steven

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  17. Richard,

    First. Marriage as conventionally understood hasn't included homosexual unions. Whether it is or is not reasonable to extend the definition of marriage in a legal sense to include homosexual relationships is debatable, given. And there are a lot of fallacious arguments against it. Yet because the debate is over a claim that a fairly basic social institutions definition should be changed, the burden of proof resides first on advocates for the change, not opponents. You yourself are merely shifting the burden of proof by asserting your own position is reasonable without first providing a case.

    Shouldn't we begin by agreeing to define our terms and Universe of Discourse? There's an important difference between an argument supporting a homosexual couples adoption of the language of a social institution to describe their relationship, and an argument concluding that that same couple should be afforded the legal status and benefits of the social institution as well. I think it is reasonable to ask why the definition of homo sapiens most basic social institution, upon which all other social associations, including all political and legal structures, are based, should be redefined.

    What exactly defines an individual as homosexual? Is it an aesthetic matter? Psychological? Is there a biological necessity that makes an individual a homosexual? (There could be... I don't know). Is a homosexual defined by the preference for their own gender, or by a decision to have physical relations only with others of their own gender? etc.

    It isn't clear why a union that is sterile by definition should have the same social and legal status as the union required for genetic reproduction. And if it is the case that homosexuality is a matter of individual choice, of aesthetics or psychology rather than biological necessity, is this really grounds for a legal analogy with marriage?

    Personally, I think it's foolish to antagonize an intolerant electorate by making a public issue of something viewed as taboo and only recently decriminalized. Multitudos non ratione ducitur sed impetu.  

    Posted by A Scott Crawford

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  18. Scott, I really couldn't care less about antagonizing a bunch of bigots. I guess that's why I'm into philosophy, rather than the pragmatics of politics.

    Why should one's legal status depend upon one's fertility? Besides, many straight couples are infertile, we allow post-menopausal marriages (which are also "sterile by definition", presumably), and gay couples can have surrogate children or else adopt. So I really don't see the grounds for discrimination here.

    As to the "definition" or causes of homosexuality, I really can't see how that is the slightest bit relevant. The most annoying aspect of this entire issue is when people get hung up over whether homosexuality is a choice or not. What difference does it make? As for your concerns about whether there are "grounds for a legal analogy", I don't see how there couldn't be. Homo- and heterosexuality lie on the same scale: if one is a choice ('aesthetic' or 'psychological') then so is the other - being, of course, precisely the other choice.

    Regarding the positive case for gay marriage: I see it basically in terms of (1) liberty, and (2) non-discrimination.

    1) We should start from a presumption of liberty, and prevent or exclude people from doing something only if there is a reason to impede them so. (The alternative is too absurd: why should I let you breathe air? Let blondes drive cars? Let... you get the idea. The real question is: Why not?)

    2) The State should not benefit one group over another without a good reason for doing so. It should not exclude some members of society from a central institution without a good reason for doing so.

    These two points suggest that the burden of proof rests with the conservatives in this case. Mere tradition is not a good enough reason to perpetuate an injustice. (Frankly, I don't consider tradition to be any sort of a reason at all.) Do you think our predecessors shouldn't have given women the vote? 

    Posted by Richard

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  19. re: "Liberty trumps democracy."

    1 - Generally liberty is more important to me than democracy, but many issues can be phrased as matters of liberty in one way or another and the majority of political decisions should be decided democratically.

    2 - Same sex marriage really isn't an issue of liberty. If you ask for legalization of same sex marriage you are not asking for people to be free to do any action or make any statement that they can not do or make now, you are asking for the government and society to recognize and support a relationship. An argument could be made that it is a matter of fairness and equal treatment under the law for the government to provide such recognition and support but even if you accept that argument it doesn't term the issue of equal treatment in to an issue of liberty. 

    Posted by Tim Fowler

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  20. Richard,

    Without agreeing, however casually, on the definitions of common terms and subjects under discussion, how do you propose we could then have a logical exchange? For example, there are plenty of people who describe themselves as bi-sexual, rather than homosexual or heterosexual. This suggests that heterosexual (A) doesn't necessarily negate into homosexual (~A) in all cases as you seem to propose. Another example would be the distinction between a form of unnecessary contractual union, and a necessary biological function.

    If our definition of terms isn't of the slightest bit of relevance in your opinion, why do you then use the same terms in an axiomatic manner in your argument? In 2)a you write: "The State should not benefit one group over another without a good reason for doing so." The question of what constitutes a "good reason" requires a definition of both the "group" and the "benefit". Likewise, in the second sentence you evoke an "institution" you previously found no reason to define, yet which has any number of characteristics that distinguish it as a species within the genus of individual relations.

    How can anyone provide you with reasoning related to groups and unions and institutions which you think it irrelevant to define? 

    Posted by A Scott Crawford

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  21. Scott, it's pretty clear what this debate is about. Okay, fine, let us define gay marriage as being "a marriage between two people of the same sex". That is the issue under discussion. I would like to avoid further pedantry, unless you can suggest a reason why motivations etc. are relevant here?

    Tim - "An argument could be made that it is a matter of fairness and equal treatment under the law for the government to provide such recognition and support but even if you accept that argument it doesn't term the issue of equal treatment in to an issue of liberty."

    Yeah, fair enough, except that I prefer a more expansive understanding of freedom which goes beyond mere non-interference, to actually allowing people to have greater opportunities and choices in their lives. By this understanding, it does make sense to frame gay marriage in terms of freedom. 

    Posted by Richard

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  22. We all want our government to act for the moral good. We disagree about is good, and what is bad. You say that we should "prevent or exclude people from doing something only if there is a reason to impede them so." This is a fair point, and the Christian believer has an answer for you: "it's immoral."


    You might argue that separation of Chruch and State makes that an irrelevant point. But consider the problem a Christian, especially one who believes in Divine Command Theory will have. All of their moral beliefs hangs on the commandments of God. It's the only reason things are good and bad. How do they even reconcile a seperation of Church and State? It's not possible to demand government to act morally, separate Church and State, while also believing in Divine Command Theory.

    Is any of this reasonable? It's certainly consistant! But it rests on the truth of the Bible to work. I'll leave the rest to you. 

    Posted by Kupad

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. The anonymous comment deleted above merely copied and pasted this article in its entirety, without attribution. Such intellectual dishonesty will not be tolerated on this blog, hence the deletion. Any readers interested in the arguments themselves are welcome to follow the provided link and read them from the genuine authors.

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  25. ok you know what. i hate how everyone is against gay marriages. What is sooo wrong about it? I mean really? Most of you men out there think that two women are so "hot" together, but if men do it it's wrong? well you know what, gay marriage is both. Why is it soo bad that a human can be attracted to the same sex? I am straight, but i have alot of friends who are gay, including my own brother. I dont think it is anyones buisness to tell people what to do with their life. I mean if someone wants to be gay they should be allowed to be. It is a free country, if some of you have forgotten. I hate how the government says that we are free. but in reality we really arent. i mean think of how many things we can't do.
    I really believe that you all need to let it be. If you are saying that gay marriage is wrong because of "the big bad bible" then there is something really wrong here. I am christian, i will say. And i can tell you this. God made people the way they are. Isn't that what you people always preach about? God made us the way we are, and we cant fight it. people dont learn to be gay, they always are. It's just like people are born straight as well. You don't choose to be, it just is.

    So i say. let it be as is.

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  26. i was thinking that maybe marriage is like a sport .OK so you create the sport and come up with a set of rules etc. Now anyone wanting to particpate has to follow them. Like basketball. An NBA player feels like kicking tha ball, he can not. He feels descriminated. Maybe he should come up with a new sport similar to basketball but where people can use their feet too. MAybe the argument of tradition or the argument of marriage being between a man and a woman really mean that this is a sport with a set of rules. If you wanna follow them , you can participate and if not you can create your own game. Does my argument make any sense? not sure!! by Pedro

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  27. Pedro,

    The question of letting gays married to receive the same benefits should be based on,
    1. Why did civil society adopt certain jurisdiction over and set laws over the human act of men and woman selecting one another and having children?

    As many have posted there has been many fringe forms of recognized family situations but the most consistent and long lasting and most observed was one of a man with one woman or a man with many woman.

    The societies through the ages have chosen this union to be the best to establish stable uniform communities that prospered and was sustainable. Mostly the children of those unions were deemed legitamate and part of the organized manner in which a stable community was based and settled. Though homosexuallity has been around for a long time no society ever deemed it as the productive way to establish and settle communities. Gifts and rewards were given all down through the ages to not just celabrate the future continuance of a society with male and female these unions but as incentives to do so. Ceasar ordered his top soldiers to marry and have many more Roman citizens even though many of them had other male partners. In contrary many a society through out history have deemed homosexual unions a negative on society. Socrates a non religious philosepher taught against this type of union between men. Many a secular society still saw no value in promoting or supporting homosexual unions.

    So I see it as Scott has said. Since we as a society have seen fit to continue to support/reward the male and female couple for the continuance of our society as we have it. Therefore, the homosexual couple has to prove they have the same abilities to do the same then petition for the same benefits. Even male and female couples who can not have children still play a vital role in the promoting of this relationship we consider ideal to carry out the task of establishing our chosen form of society. We still as a society want sex in marriage to be the choice and the image of a man and woman married promotes that even if they are infertal or choose not to have children. It supports the basic concept we have established. Like wise the argument about divorce is not an issue. The existance of divorce is not a force against marriage. Contrary, it is known that most men and woman of divorce remarry or maintain the desire to do so. There by still supporting the notion that to be married is best.
    Most individuals ideal is to have their children with in marriage. That shows the basic foundation of our society is still the married intitution to have children and establish stability and a society.

    Yes Homosexuals want in on it. Because it is best. That does not mean they qualify for its statis and benefits of this society in aa homosexual relationship. Until they can proove they can give to society the same as a male and female couple then they have no right to the privileges and benefits that are given. It is through our democracy these priveledges and benifits were established and decided why. Male and female couples in marriage are the core group and foundation. Homosexual couples are a fringe of a society neither vital or needed. They cannot sustain a society in and of them selves. They can only piggybacking of of a Hetorsexual community, black or white. The race and interrational argument does not support the heterosexual argument because interracial unions were around since the beginning and were excepted universally. Only a small part of a very local community set a law in a blink of a time in history. That law was based in economics and could not hold up under the idea that the races were actually different. Those laws banned people from something they were just as equal to fullfill as the non-interracial couples could do. They could and did for society in every way the same in marriage. Interracial societies can succeed and prosper and survive in an of themselves. Hommosexual must co-op children from the heterosexual society in order to even claim they have rights as married parents.

    Statistcs show that even with divorce and couple living together and no marriage, children from these unions still are the bulwork of our society. Children of single parents with no father are are severely disadvantaged. If divorce is an automatic negative then think of the double negative of a child from a divorced homosexual couple.

    The benefits were not given based on whether you love someone, pay taxes, or could be a good parent. Any single none involved person can do the same. It comes down to society long ago choose the male female model to continue society. Until we revisit that issue and vote to change our support of what we consider the means in which we will continue our society than and only than should it change.
    Look at Russia, Pres Putin has just anounced the plan to provide insentives and support to people whom get married so more families can start and the society continues to grow and become stable.

    2. Why homosexual marriage would deteriate traditional marriage?

    It is known that it takes one but no more than two generation for a skill or concept to be lost. Setting of a false image that a homosexual marriage is no different than a heterosexual marriage can lead to several outcomes.

    1. The break down in societies desire for children to be concieved with in a recognised legal marriage. Most people in the world still want that as the ideal, and it is proven to be the most stable situation, for the conception and rearing of children.
    example.
    Adulterers have continued to try and achieve legitamacy in our society. It has been destroying marriages. Its not Heterosexual marriages that destroy marriage.
    And yes gays can be just as unfaithful and abusive as heterosexuals. It is their firm claim that they are just like anyone else so they can not be left out in those area's.
    Therefore, we do not want to change our basic value that fidelity is the ideal behavior for marriage, now do we.
    The only way Homosexuals can get children is out side of the marriage.

    2. The majority of peoples in the world want to maintain the concept that a Father has a role and a Mother and should be represented as a male father a nd a female mother.

    In order to support homosexual marriages then society would have to abandone this and support the blurred concept required that it does not matter whether you have a mother or father.

    This could have a huge impact on Hetorosexual couples who do end up in divorce and custody and visitation issues are being decided. Divorce exist and we as society democratically allowed it. If to support a small minority of fringe negatively impacts a greater of the majority than you have to revisit more than just the fringe request.
    Also in the cases of Heterosexual couples divorcing because on has declared there homosexuality and are remarring a gay partner this suported attitude of the blurred gender a need for that other biological parent could be trampled in court when they are forced to used other criterier for custody.

    There are many things in our civil laws refernceing marriage and the specific responsibilities of the father and the mother which speak in no uncerttain terms as gender specific issues. None of these things have been adressed and would greatly impact the male and female marriage of today.

    3. There are several benefits and responsiblities gender specific in our laws reference marriage and family. When male homosexual couple or female homosexual couple don't like the way those laws apply to them then what will they do? Any attempt to change them would negatively impact males amd females in the Heterosexual marriage.

    The desires of the few should not negatively trample the many with out the total of societies say so. Will they want special treatment with divorce laws, insurance rates, custody rights,?
    Will they be willing to except gender specific criterier built into the certain benifits for married people. Changes could greatly disenfranchise woman who are still not economically equal to men to this day.
    I see a potential devaluing of woman in the lives of children.

    4. As in the effect adultery has on marriage the idea that a person can leave their heterosexual marriage and take the children with them to start a homosexual marriage and family is a threat to heterosexual marriage.

    Such a change in manner in which this society excepts marriage can not be decided on the unsupported view that homosexual s rights are being denied. They have yet to show a true right.

    Just as the supreme court goes back to the original reason for why a law was established in order to determine if it is violated so must the original reasons for our support socially and economically of marriage be evaluated before we start opening it up to more beneficirys. Just like our social security situation. Loading it up with more and more beneficiary's have placed the whole system in jeporady of collaspe.

    In England a man wanted to get a sex change. No one cared and he did it. Then he changed his name. They let him. Them he wanted to change his birthcertificate to reflecty his new gender. It was denied. It was than explained that the social security system was established to give woman thier retirement 5 years earlier them men. That is what the society supported. Though he desired to have it changed and felt he had a right to be a woman there was a reason why society had established a specific benefit and only a change in the attitude of society toward woman could prevail to allow others the same benefit. He did not qualify.

    Finally, men are different than woman and I have yet to hear an explantion of the gay relationship and then how a child learns either gender to reeinforce their natural self and their understanding of the opposite gender as the roles of parents. The arguement of the generic idea of love and being cared for does not hold. We learn alot about how to love the opposite sex from our parents interaction with each other and our interaction with those parents. I can not except that having a teacher or aunt or uncle of the opposite sex is all you need. So as far as whether or not children fair well or not there has been very little information to this. I have not seen a huge pouring out of testimonies of children being brought up in these situations with glowing positive reports to give. That community seems very quiet.

    To be honest it seems to me given the difference of the make up of men and woman Homosexual love is like being in love with your self. Therefore, not a completed love relationship because the true contrast of natures are not there to enhance the relationship. No gay has ever been able to explain otherwise and I have asked.

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  28. I find it funny how you seem to think that people need incentives to ensure they enter a straight rather than gay union. Really, the idea that straight guys everywhere will "leave their heterosexual marriage and take the children with them to start a homosexual marriage and family" is simply laughable. What threatens marriage more, I would've thought, is the idea of closeted gays being socially pressured into insincere hetero marriages. (Cf. Brokeback Mountain: would you really want your daughter to end up married to a secretly gay man? That couldn't be good for anyone involved.)

    Also, your comment betrays some disturbingly communitarian assumptions, e.g. that the purpose of individuals is to help "society" (whoever that is!). In this post-communistic era I'd expect most people to instead hold that the purpose of the state is to benefit its citizens. If granting gay marriage would benefit some people and harm none, then it ought to be done. It's that simple.

    You speculate that children would be harmed by being raised by gay parents. But there is no evidence to support that claim. On the contrary, the evidence suggests the very opposite: gay parents do just as well as straight ones. See the links in my main post.

    As for the suggestion that gay marriage send the message "that it does not matter whether you have a mother or father", that silly claim is also addressed in my main post. I won't repeat myself here, since you said nothing which rebuts my earlier arguments.

    And your concluding paragraph is ludicrous. Do you also think that same-gender friendship "is like being friends with yourself"? Uh, gender isn't the only characteristic of a person, you know. Different people are different. (Duh.)

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  29. Another "slippery slope" or "thin end of the wedge" argument via my Dad: "if same sex marriage is made legal, churches will be compelled to marry gay couples against their wishes (because to deny them could be challenged in court as discriminatory). This will be a slippery slope towards the erosion of the separation of church and state as law will essentially inform what a church is allowed to do." I'm sure I don't agree with this (seldom heard) argument. Seems to me churches turn people away all the time for one thing or another, but maybe it just hasn't been tested. Does anyone know of any case law on churches knocking people back (denying them service based on sexual orientation)?

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  30. Richard,

    It seems that you refuse to except cetain facts. The fact is that gays are seeking marriage for money benefits. And yes the state does encourage marriage with money incentives. Many a persons have married rather than just live together because of the better economic benifits offered. Check out the BBC report and you will find the report from Russia. It is specific to encourage people to marry and have child. That can not be directly intended for gays for they cannot really do that.
    And the state happens to be the people so the people must agree to support certain things for the general good of the state.

    I did state that there was a lack if info as to the possibility of harm for children or not. To assume there would be none with no evidence is nieve and simply choosing to be blind to the fact that gays are not generally excepted and like it or not in this century it could very well be overwhemingly negative for a child. Being raised by gay parents is still mostly undocumented fully as to the true statistcs and results. There is however much documentation on many other family situations that still shows the basic family of the Male father and a female mother as being the center of the ideal results in children. Then growing better through extended blood relatives to the lesser ideal of a single parent with little to no extended family. So any thing outside of that has a great potential to not provide the optimum if not greater negative effects. Being accepted in the society you live is important.
    There are nore homosexuals than you may want to believe wo do live and remain with in their heterosexual relationships for the sake of having children and raising them. You may find it hard to believe but a parent can sacrifice much for their children and it not harm the child. Its called giving up oneself for another. The child most likely would benefit from such devoted love. History and studies and phylosophies are filled with the acknowledgement of the difference between a man and a woman and the uniqueness of the relationship that arises between them. The love between a mother and child has been constantly studied and the fact that men and woman relate to children differently. Many of this goes beyond just the social consticts. And yes the relationships between friends are more apt to be one between people who are more alike and a constant reaffirming of onesself. Especially, samesex friendships. However long homosexuallity has been around and no matter how common it was I have not seen you post a link to the writings or studies to discribe it as other than a preferntial type relationship based off physical. If you know of any historical studies or writings showing it can be the same and as intrinsically unique as that between a man and a woman than offer them up. Love between a man and a woman is more than just "people are different" T there are even the studies that cover the importance of a son's relatonship to his mother and a daughter to her father. Along with the effects of what happens when that relationship was not fullfilled. These facts can not be dismissed and you can't just say well I'll have a male friend play with the child sometime or a female friend over to give that same experience to a child.
    Homosexuals do not need to have the "marriage" right that provide certain finacial benefits. They don't qualify. Its no different than wanting a certain scholorship, or attending a private school. You must meet certain criteria to get certain scholorships. Private schools don't meet the criteria to get certain state and federal benefits. Homosexuals can still raise children, live together, care for the person thay say they love, provide for whom ever they please. Single people do it and heterosexual couple do it without getting married.

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  31. Katlyn...

    Ok, so we should have fertility tests and child-producing requirements for marriage. Otherwise, why are we giving people benefits for having children without making sure we get something in return?

    Then, if raising children requires a mother and father, why are you not clamoring for banning divorce? Which is worse.. being raised by gay parents, or having your parents divorce and start handing you off between each other, or even worse, one of them just abandoning you by leaving the family entirely?

    I don't think any of your arguments hold any water, as they contradict other logical extensions that you surely would be against.

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  32. I did state that there was a lack if info as to the possibility of harm for children or not. To assume there would be none with no evidence is nieve and simply choosing to be blind to the fact that gays are not generally excepted and like it or not in this century it could very well be overwhemingly negative for a child. Being raised by gay parents is still mostly undocumented fully as to the true statistcs and results.

    So you are saying then, that gays should not have children because of the negative image many members of society have painted of them? By the same principal you could argue that fundamentalist Christians should not be allowed to have children because they can be viewed by society as hateful and bigoted. Avoiding and not confronting the inequalities of society can only be detrimental.

    The parents of a child are not necessarily the ONLY role models he/she will ever have, and any parent of a teenager would know that children do not always follow in their guardian's footsteps.

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  33. Why Marriage?

    What I find interesting is that marriage is part of Christianity. Christianity is strictly opposed to homosexual activity. So two men or two women getting married is a contradiction with respect to Christianity. By getting married they want the blessings and recognition that a heterosexual couple gets but their way of life is forbiden according to the bible. I believe that deep down inside what homosexuals want is to feel accepted. By both society and God. I don't blame them, but they need to know that you cannot change God's will and you cannot change the rules of Christianity. You can Take them or leave them. I believe that homosexual couples should be allowed to live free of persecution and have the same tax benefits as married couples, but marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. Marriage is an exclusive club for heterosexual couples. That is what the bible tells us and we can't change the rules. Homosexuals have to create or find another religion that gives a different title to their union. Again marriage is exclusively part of christianity, Christianity forbids homosexuality, therefore gay marriage creates a contradiction.

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  34. May I direct you to Dispatches from the Culture Wars, where Ed posts an article from the Wall Street Journal, summarizing studies from Scandinavia which demonstrate that gay marriage doesn't harm straight marriage. A key point:

    A decade after Denmark, Norway and Sweden passed their respective partnership laws, heterosexual marriage rates had risen 10.7% in Denmark; 12.7% in Norway; and a whopping 28.8% in Sweden. In Denmark over the last few years, marriage rates are the highest they've been since the early 1970s. Divorce rates among heterosexual couples, on the other hand, have fallen. A decade after each country passed its partnership law, divorce rates had dropped 13.9% in Denmark; 6% in Norway; and 13.7% in Sweden. On average, divorce rates among heterosexuals remain lower now than in the years before same-sex partnerships were legalized.

    Now, the authors are careful to say "It would be difficult, and suspect, to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between these trends in heterosexual marriage and marriage rights for gays and lesbians."

    But their conclusion, "the facts demonstrate that there is no proof that same-sex marriage will harm the institution of marriage, or children", seems pretty plain.

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  35. Excuse me?

    "Again marriage is exclusively part of christianity, Christianity forbids homosexuality, therefore gay marriage creates a contradiction."

    Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, atheists, and everybody else who gets married will be stunned to hear this.

    The problem is that we're using the same word for the religious rite and the civil contract. Plenty of people get married that churches would have nothing to do with, and if you want your Christian (or whatever) religious rite to carry any legal weight, you have to have a minister who's licensed by the state - or get a second civil ceremony. The religious aspect is secondary, irrelevant in fact, to the state. So why should religion get a veto?

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  36. I was speaking with my firend tonight and I told him that two men and two women should have the right to marriage as any two consenting adults should. He asked, then why not brothers and sister if they agree as adults. any ideas on this topic?

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  37. Indeed, why not? So long as they're infertile, or take appropriate steps to ensure that they don't have an inbred child, I can't see any good reason to object.

    I can't imagine the issue would come up in practice very often -- nature's done a pretty solid job of equipping us with an aversion to such inbreeding. But if there's couple of rare exceptions somewhere, why force our arbitrary prejudices on them? Our aversion is a product of evolution, not reason; it serves to protect against inbred children, but if that end can be assured by other means, then the aversion would seem to have no real weight left at all. It can influence our personal preferences, of course, but there's no justification for imposing them on others. It'd be like banning deformed people from marrying -- if bystanders find the idea "gross", that's their problem. Live and let live.

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  38. Marriage as conventionally understood hasn't included homosexual unions

    Maybe. Put the emphasis on "understood". Because there haven't been any tests, either. You have to prove you don't have syphilis but you don't have to prove your sex. If the only requirement is that one person be the husband and the other be the wife, I see no reason why gay or lesbians couples shouldn't be able to marry by assuming those designations.

    The religious argument doesn't apply. The state simply does not require any religious community to perform weddings, and many do have limitations about who they will marry.

    I disagree with the caveat re: sibling marriages. Since the state is not otherwise imposing limitatiuons to prevent genetic defects in otherwise acceptable marriages (say to prevent the reproduction of sickle cell or Tay-Sachs or whatever), why should it impose unusual conditions on close relatives? Currently a brother and sister could marry and no one would ever know, unless they decided to wed and live in a community where both had always lived. But again, there's no test of any sort.

    There are numerous legal advantages to marriages, more than a thousand, I believe. At the simplest level, there is no good reason why any two adults should not be able to share these rights. Two UK sisters in their 80s are suing for these rights. They are trying to save their shared home from being sold for inheritence taxes when one dies.

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  39. anyone who supports equality should, instead of supporting the sharing of benefits with gay people, support the elimination of benefits.

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  40. hi! in my philosophy class, we are discussing gay marriage, and i am one out of three people who support it. tonight i am supposed to answer a few questions for the debate tomorrow with my professor (obviously, against it)...

    1) is sex needed to consummate marriage (from a religious standpoint)
    2) what is true love?
    3) can homosexuals take part in that true love?

    ..and why??? any thoughts would be very appreciated. thanks!

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  41. Hi. Well for one i don't think it's wrong for two people who really truely love each other to not get married even if their homosexuals. I'm was a homosexual and i didn't think anything was wrong with it. People shouldn't say that it's going to ruin the tradition of marriage, because heterosexuals who get married still get divorced, so it doesn't make any sense for them to say that, because they can't even keep their marriage together. We've all over come and adapted to a lot of things we don't like, because that just the way of life. i also think that religious belief is not a good enough reason for heterosexuals not to get married. God created everything, including heterosexuals, so why can't religious people realize that the God the worship created them. I think the world would be uneven if their were no heterosexuals in it. Heterosexuals aren't hurting anyone by wanting to get married and probably spend the rest of their life with each other. Religious people, along with other people who are offended by heterosexual marriage, need to get a FUCKING life, because heterosexuals aren't going to give up the fight for them to get married.

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  42. I am 'one of those' who is perplexed by the social conditioning of the homosexual movement. It is apparent, by all the philosophical and political debate, that this issue will create a dramatic shift in the humanities, as we have known them.
    The media is using this platform to help create a footing for homosexuality and is improperly pursuing the transformation of social perceptions. The 'evolution crisis' incurred by the adaptation of these perceptions convinces me that is an industry slanted to create acceptance at the cost of morality, challenging the concept of right and wrong. Homosexuality can only exist through the reproduction of heterosexual practices, insuring that a percentage will become offspring for tomorrow’s gays. The world could never be a world if we were all homosexual. Someone would have to engage with the opposite sex to prolong the humanity of gays. It is obvious to me, the filtration of the species, will create an adjunct that will dispose of traditions and timeless contributions. If a people are prejudiced against, because of their color or race, there is a flight or fight response that is inherent in all people. Adaptation, to a people whose sexual orientation is the decisive point to their discussion, cannot be shared with people that oppose homosexuality. There is no approval, when the public at large is silently offended. Finding support will have to be created through education, the kind that changes the practices of long held beliefs. We all must be responsible for the choices we make. If the homosexual community hopes to create a tsunami of change, the many dead will fill the beaches with those adverse to social reorder. Straight people need to change the way they think, to make room for the homo-Reich.

    Anonymous - Titan

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6642011&postID=110044024059788945&isPopup=true

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  43. Something that most people do not bring up is the sheer mechanics of a gay relationship. i.e (without being to graphic) you can't plug the male end of a lamp plug into another lamp plug and get light..."structure dictates function."

    And how about the consequences of the typically promiscuous lifestyles of homosexuals. Will that suddenly slow or end if they are allowed to be married. The spread of disease may spread more because even less gay man will wear condoms.

    And i refuse to accept that raising a child without a mother/father will not affect it. More than 80% of kids in juvenile facilities either have no father or mother...now how can you say there is no affect.

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  44. Anonymous, compare three parental situations:

    1) solo parent family
    2) two-parent (hetero) family
    3) two-parent (same-sex) family

    I think #3 is more similar to #2 than #1. So your "80%" statistic is irrelevant. Sure, there's plenty of evidence that kids do worse in single-parent households. But there is no evidence that they do any worse when raised by two parents of the same sex. (Indeed, adoptive parents may even do a better job than normal.)

    Re: mechanics -- some straight couples also do everything gay ones do, of course. Frankly, it just isn't anybody else's business. ("Most people" have the decency to recognize this.)

    And the "gay marriage would spread disease" argument is too ludicrous to even warrant response.

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  45. 1) the mechanics of it are not brought up because gay people don't have sex by rubbing their sexual parts against eachother (usually). they way they do it is fairly plug and socket.

    2) a) no it won't - but that is a bit like saying fat people will continue eating macdonalds if you let them get married. (ie 'so what?')

    b) If your concerned by the spread of diseases the better solution is to take action agaisnt diseased people rather than against gay people.

    c) marriage seems to imply having less partners to those that are sexually active anyway (and I take it you consider gay people to fall under this catagory). so effect might well be the opposite to what you think.

    3) Im inclinedto think biological parents tend to do better than adoptive parents (there is some evidence for this) but there are other factors that are even more influential (eg educated main care givers tend to do better than uneducated ones or to take it to a silly extreme - parents who are not murderers do better than ones that are). bottom line is that some gay parents would be better than some straight ones - even straight biological parents.

    GNZ

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  46. sorry,
    1,2 and 3 refer to the paragraphs of anonymous's post.

    and looking a little further up I have a suspision that "Anonymous - Titan" is Bi-polar.

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  47. Here is a start of my reasons why "only marriage between a man and a woman [should be] valid or recognized" by the state (CA Prop 8).

    http://wisegoodhonest.blogspot.com/2008/08/persuade-someone-without-reference-to.html

    I would love some feedback.

    Rich

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  48. My questions...

    The comment of, who raised gay children? Were they straight?

    Majority of people who raise gay children/people are actually straight.

    what are the fundamentals of a relationship?

    I would think sex(intimacy), love, commitment, communication and anything else you could think of. I would like to know or if anyone can provide a better answer how this cannot be obtained by a same sex couple?

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  49. Humans have a biological desire to reproduce but we don´t choose just anybody to do so, we choose someone with certain characteristics we like. This is the biological basis of love and attraction. Heterosexual couples prefer to have their own children rather than adopting. Since homosexuals can’t fulfill the desire to reproduce with the person they love and it’s perfectly possible to change sexual attraction, why should someone stay with the sub-optimal option?
    I know there haven't been comments in a long time. I hope you can answer, thanks!

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  50. >>>Heterosexual couples prefer to have their own children rather than adopting.<<<

    This is not an absolute. Many heterosexual couples adopt in addition to, or INSTEAD OF, having their own children.

    The case of heterosexual couples who exclusively adopt shows that the "desire to reproduce with the person you love" can be fulfilled simply by *rearing a child with the person you love*.

    >>>Since homosexuals can’t fulfill the desire to reproduce with the person they love and it’s perfectly possible to change sexual attraction, why should someone stay with the sub-optimal option?<<<

    If their desire to reproduce is fulfilled by *rearing a child*, why should they not stay with the person they love and adopt?

    If that arrangement is "optimal" to them, why should they be forced to choose the now sub-optimal choice of breaking up, changing orientation, etc.?

    Or even more to the point, do we have the right to force someone to live a certain way, just because it's "perfectly possible" to do so?

    Talk about a slippery slope LoL.


    Personally, I have found gay marriage to be justifiable (at the very least arguable) on EVERY VECTOR OF ATTACK that I've ever read. I know that's a big claim LOL, and I can only dream of having the time to prove it.

    In a nutshell, I believe the the only LEGAL way to handle it is for government to end its sponsorship of marriage altogether.

    The first amendment states that government "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    Currently, the government does not prohibit churches to marry gay couples, but it DOES recognize straight marriages from one church (respect an establishment of religion...), while simultaneously neglecting to recognize gay marriages from another church (...to the exclusion of another religious establishment).

    Our government also does not have the authority to DEFINE marriage. It was constituted in 1776 (77? yikes lol). Any definition or idea of marriage was BORROWED from civil society, and when the definitions and ideas change, the law MUST also change.

    This is Key: THE LAW MUST CHANGE if government is to be of service to civil society, and not an oppressive regime OVER IT.

    Because religious establishments defined marriage in the first place, only religious establishments have the right change the definition, and to marry people accordingly.

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  51. Continuing...

    If government recognizes these civil unions at all, they will be called something like "civil unions" and not "marriage". It must define how many people can enter into a civil union (polygamy = can of worms), age of consent, qualifications, and everyone of age who meets criteria/qualifications for a civil union must be granted one, without discrimination.

    On qualifications, I believe if "the point" of protecting marriage as we know it to day is child-rearing, and if you can justify scientifically (instead of merely justifying idealogically) that the nuclear family is invaluable to civil society, then the government should only recognize "civil unions" as partnerships + children.

    It would look something like this:

    If you can find a church/temple/whatever to marry you -- you can get married.

    You qualify for gov't "civil union" if you are:
    married with children
    or
    unmarried (ATHEISTS RIGHTS) with children, living in the same household

    You DO NOT qualify for a "civil union" if:
    you are married without children;
    you are living in the same household, unmarried and without children (dating/engaged);
    or you live alone and without children (single)

    Too many people subconsciously blur the line between morals and ethics, in an attempt to impose their will on others.

    Morals move into the realm of ethics only if/when they become widely adopted by society. It's the consent of the majority that transforms a moral into an ethic. Law should be based on ethics (majority rule), without trampling on the individual's freedom to live by their own moral code (minority rights).

    ***Notice that the gay persons right to marriage, does not trample on a straight individual's freedom to "marry straight" (to live by your morals).

    It only tramples on the straight individual's liberty to force their moral code onto others, AS IT SHOULD, because that's what we call 'tyranny'.

    Seriously, opposing gay marriage? IT'S FOR CONTROL FREAKS.

    Control freaks are people who feel deeply out of control of their own lives.

    "IF ONLY I could force the entire outside world to behave exactly as I say it should [to do my bidding] -- ahhh, THEN I'd be in control."

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  52. "what is the argument against gay marriage?" Why is it wrong? - Because we say it is. (The majority). And yes, a majority shouldn't deny the right of a minority.... but the issue is not, in essence, about rights. It is about morality. And where the line of current morality is drawn, freedoms existing beyond that line cease. That is always the case. A brother does not have the freedom to marry his sister, because that freedom lies beyond the bonds of contemporary morality. It is seen as immoral and hence, outlawed. Those freedoms are removed. The freedom to marry or have sex with a minor, the freedom to watch child pornography, the freedom to have sex in public, the freedom to marry your daughter- All of which, in the popular opinion is perceived as immoral, and thus not free to do.
    One cannot argue about wether it is right or wrong... if one should have rights to do so... that does not matter at all. Because right and wrong, immoral and moral are only relative to current perception. And currently, as a majority or our current society, we still see homosexuality and gay marriage as immoral, thus it is. Of course societies and cultures change over time. Or for example, they leave in order to form another society where they can have those freedoms.

    Ours culture and society is def. swinging in one direction, which is less morals and more freedoms. Or a loosening of our accepted western, christian beliefs. heading towards a time when, not only, gay marriage is accepted or considered moral but possibly prostitution, smoking marijuana. Who knows? It doesn't matter. One can only speculate. But the gay community must understand, that the constitution was designed intentionally to accommodate interpretation of morality and freedoms. We can all understand the constitution differently. That is the beauty of it. And unfortunately, for the gay community, that is how we understand it at the moment. It's right, because, right now, we say it is. And gay marriage is wrong, because that is how the majority wishes to interpret it.
    I also do not like the comparative between blacks and women right, with gay rights. There is a difference. Blacks and women were perceived as inferior. Whereas gays are seen as immoral.
    Though all of them changed when the majority changed. (in the case of the united states, when i say majority, i mean the view of the elected officials, that represent the majority.)

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