Gay Marriage

December 22nd, 2008

Against gay marriage, are you?  Why?  Is it because of your religious beliefs?  Because you think marriage is supposed to be the union of a man and a woman for the primary purpose of having children?  Because you think same-sex marriage will fundamentally alter our society for the worse?  Because you personally object to legally recognizing a lifestyle that you find objectionable?  Because you object to children being raised by two parents of the same gender?  Or is it all of the above?

An interesting summary of numerous recent polls shows that about one-third of Americans support gay marriage.  Almost two-thirds oppose it, with about half of that group agreeable to legal civil unions that give gay couples rights equivalent to married couples.  So, according to the polls, if you’re against gay marriage you’re clearly in the majority.

And, in my opinion, you’re wrong.  Let’s look at the objections you might have.

If you oppose gay marriage because of your religious beliefs, then you most likely consider homosexuals to be sinful people.  Whatever your religion, I’m sure you can find ample basis for your position in religious doctrine.  But I’m sure you also know that many other religious people who share your belief system accept gays as fellow human beings loved by the same God who loves you.  They embrace gays as members of their congregations, and in some cases as ministers and church officials.  Given that you share the same basic beliefs, how is it that they are wrong and you are right?  If you’re going to risk error, then take that risk on the side of accepting and loving everyone.  Isn’t that what your religion teaches you?

But let’s say that religious belief isn’t your reason for opposing gay marriage.  Is it because you think marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman in order to produce children?  Well, you’re right, to the extent that societies throughout history have recognized that the union of a man and a woman (or several women) is necessary to perpetuate our species.  Moreover, encouraging the continuation of that union under law and custom ensures that children are protected and reared to adulthood.  That’s fine, but so what?  Do you think that permitting gay marriage will prevent other people from getting married and having children?  Or do you harbor the idea that if we prevent same-sex marriage, then gay people will decide to marry people of the opposite sex?  Nonsense.

If it isn’t religion, and you understand that gay marriage doesn’t interfere with marriage between people of opposite genders, is your opposition based on a conviction that same-sex marriage will alter our society for the worse?  That begs the question, compared to what?  With all the ills that infect our society, the presence of a relatively few married couples who are of the same gender is inconsequential.  Better you should spend your time worrying about the threat of terrorism, drug abuse, violent crime, economic collapse–in other words, things that have an impact on your life and the lives of those you love.

Perhaps you oppose gay marriage simply because you object to legalizing a lifestyle you find objectionable.  Well, if you find it objectionable, then don’t live that way.  But by what right do you presume to prescribe how other people must live, given that their lifestyle doesn’t harm you or others and doesn’t prevent you from living as you wish?  This is the weakest of all arguments against gay marriage.

Finally, there’s the issue of children being raised by two parents of the same gender.  I confess to having a few concerns about this myself.  In general, two women don’t equal a father, and two men don’t equal a mother.  I think the healthiest environment for a child is a stable, loving family consisting of a mother, a father, and maybe some siblings.  Unfortunately, the Nelsons and Cleavers were never real.  Again the question, compared to what?  Most families are broken today in one way or another.  Unmarried teen mothers trying to raise children, divorced parents raising children alone, children suffering in abusive families that are far from stable.  Compared to that, a child being raised in a loving and stable same-sex marriage is fortunate.  The bottom line is it’s not the gender of the parents that matters as much as the environment the child lives in.

Gay marriage isn’t an issue of rights, at least in a constitutional sense.  In my opinion, there’s nothing in the Constitution that confers a right of marriage, including the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.  In fact, states can and do restrict and control marriage in many ways.  However, others disagree.  For a good discussion, go to A Stitch in Haste and read the opinion of a lawyer.  Regardless of the question of rights in some formal sense, it’s really a question of humanity. 

You can find a very wide variety of opinion on how many gay people there are in the U.S.  The high is about 10 percent for men and maybe half that for women.  This comes from the old Kinsey research, long discredited because of the survey samples and criteria used.  Different research can be used to support different numbers, depending on the point you’re trying to prove.  Realistically, most research with probability samples suggests that at least 3-6% of the US adult male population is homosexual, with somewhat fewer females.  You can spend a long time looking for an answer, and you can find almost anything you want.  Just accept that it’s a pretty small slice of our population.

I support gay marriage, and so should you.  You don’t have anything to lose, and you’ll help a small number of our fellow citizens live happier and more fulfilled lives.

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8 Responses to “Gay Marriage”

  1. Kevin |

    I’m inclined to agree with your argument viz the Constitution.

    I neither support nor oppose gay marriage as I believe it is within the purview of religious institutions and I’m not in favor of dictating to religous institutions what they can hold near and dear. And it is my considered opinion that religious conservatives who oppose gay marriage would be very wise to adopt a similiar perspective as it is, IMHO, the ONLY way that they’re going to be able to hold onto their exclusivity (akin to baptism and how each sect can, and usually does, insist on an adherent being baptized into that sect in order for said baptism to be considered valid) over the long-term. Sooner or later gay marriage will become the law of the land and they are fighting for a doomed position.

    The most that I believe any government ought to be able to recognize is Civil Union contracts since it is within the legit purview of government entities to regulate legal contracts.

    Lastly, I would just point to Brittney Spears and Kevin Federline as the ultimate example of why heterosexuals allegedly being more fit to be married is ludicrous on it’s face.

  2. Kevin |

    PS., that would be Civil Unions for everyone regardless of orientation.

  3. Tom |

    Kevin, I agree with the ideas behind your argument. But the status quo is that government licenses and legitimates marriage, religious and civil, within limitations. That isn’t going to change, and I don’t think that laws against same-sex marriage serve any useful purpose. Those who don’t like the idea, for whatever reason, are perfectly free to speak against it, teach against it, and not engage in it. To me, that seems fair and, most important, supports the concept of freedom of speech, thought, and action as long as you don’t harm anyone else.

  4. doris |

    I agree with Tom,completely-wow-that’s a first. The people who are so adamently against gay marriage,must feel threatened or afraid that they will catch it.Sorry to inform them,but it’s not contagious and will not rub off on children,it is something they are born with or without.Not a choice but a error in genetics of some sort.Although,homosexuality exists in all animal life,and all males ,almost would turn gay if all women dissappeared,don’t you think? also,what about all the male-female couples who can’t or don’t want children,are they not gonna be allowed to marry?

  5. Pat |

    I will have to respectfully disagree with you. The real reason behind the demand for “gay marriage” for most homosexuals is that they want to undermine the institution of marriage, and they want to adopt children. It’s not in the best interests of children to have two parents of the same gender, as you noted. And children who have been raised in a homosexual household speak of experiencing gender confusion. In some cases the desire to adopt is because a man wants sex but doesn’t want to take a risk of catching disease. Presumably, the child will be disease-free. Some men even believe that children will welcome sex with adults and should be taught to accept it. It just depends on the motivation of many of the homosexuals. Considering that even their marriages don’t last, there is obviously some vital glue missing. From the perspective of the rest of the population, what most people don’t realize is that one of the reasons for pushing “gay marriage” is to force the rest of us to accept their lifestyle. Why do I say that? Well, for one thing, if two people are “married”, then there are people who will be forced to cater to their “spouses”. For example, people who hire workers and provide health insurance that costs them will then have to cover the “spouse” and that will mean extra expense, not to mention that AIDS and other such diseases are horribly expensive. And a person who rents property would have a hard time refusing to rent to a “married couple”. That’s a freedom of association issue, protected by the First Amendment. And then there is the issue of people who want to speak out against the homosexual lifestyle. Will they be put into prison? They are in Canada. Again, this is a First Amendment issue. I could give you more examples, but you get the idea.

    Marriage is something veruy specific. People cannot be validly married unless they have the proper sexual equipment, because the bonding occurs when the proper sexual act is practiced. Using other orifices of the body doesn’t produce this same bonding. The fact that so many “bonded homosexual partners” have sex, on average, with 8 other people a year, it’s clear that in most cases, such a marriage would be a sham anyway.

    What we’re really talking about is societal decadence. We shouldn’t be catering to that. I see no evidence that allowing homosexuals to “marry” stabilizes their relationship, especially since these marriages break up after a very few years anyway. A study in Denmark showed that homosexuals who are partnered are more likely to get HIV, presumably because they use less protection.

    Then there is the issue that homosexuals are being allowed to go into public schools and indoctrinate very young children that their lifestyle is normal. This is in spite of the fact that it consists of such medically risky behavior that it shaves a good 20 years off the life expectancy of the practitioners. It isn’t right to present falsehoods to children, and they’re doing it behind parents’ backs. My chief objection to the lifestyle is the way it spreads disease.

    So really, the ultimate issue is the First Amendment rights of the rest of us. That’s what homosexual “marriage” undermines. That’s why I can’t support it.

  6. Johnny Carson |

    Pam I hate to break it to you but you are completely WRONG an all of your points are unvalidated. Gay marriage has no affect whatsoever on anyone first ammendment rights.

    It’s a Red Herring. A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic.

    As for “The fact that so many “bonded homosexual partners” have sex, on average, with 8 other people a year, it’s clear that in most cases, such a marriage would be a sham anyway.” Would you please explain to me why this same argument is not used for hetro couples?

    What do I mean by this? are you really that in the dark? Yes maybe a small percentage of hetero couples may be involved with swing clubs and wife swapping. BUT as you say “The fact that so many “bonded homosexual partners” have sex, on average, with 8 other people a year.” that percentage is no larger than that of hetero couples that engage in risky behavior.

    I could go on to point out other falsehoods in you argument but why should I have too? It’s not like a bigot like you could ever be reasoned with. Sorry try again but thanks for playing the game.

  7. Lillie |

    At the risk of being called a “bigot,” of which I do not envisualize myself, I feel compelled to voice my 100% disagreement with my brother and sister on this issue. Wow, that might be a first, too! I believe that gay marriage is wrong, not because I think they are trying to undermine the institution of marriage (in which case I could call them “mean” spirited or even stupid, which they are NOT), but because they honestly feel it is the best for their relationships to become better or “more normal” or “more accepted” by society and others in general. But I believe gay marriage is wrong because in my religious belief, as you mentioned there is ample basis for this to be called “wrong.” It can be quoted in the Bible that homosexual activity is an “abomination” to God, so that is why I believe it is a sin. I do not believe that a person is “born” gay, but that it is a behavior choice, whether by one’s nurturing environment or influencing experiences. I believe a person can obtain medical/psychological counselling to make changes in their mental attitudes and behavior, if they choose that route, to want to change their behavior. Some people do not make that choice, and I believe in “live and let live,” so far as they are not harming others with their behavior. I don’t believe allowing sins (such as murder or rape) to go without intervention from responsible citizens, but I do not believe I should do anything more about homosexuality than try to help those individuals that I know personally, if they would accept that help or guidance or advice. Other than that, they will have to accept whatever consequences their behavior invites, from a higher power than I. I also have a problem with children being raised by parents of the same sex, only because I believe a mother and father (and possibly siblings) is the most healthy environment for any child, since I believe the family is the most important institution created by God, to be cherished above all else on earth. I will pray for those without families. I will not attack any other person, such as those wanting gay marriages, and I certainly love them, each and every one, including those that are my friends, but I do not love their behavior. Of course, I am not so silly as to think many of my behaviors are not disliked by others. I have always believed in the “golden rule” in that each of us should treat the other as we would want to be treated, so I will continue my life in this mode.

  8. TABBI |

    Love is a many splendored thing..I am sure it is not for me to judge two persons who love eachother and want to commit themselves to eachother for the rest of their days regardless of their sexual orientation. As far as same sex parents go, I would much prefer to see a kid with two parents of any sex as opposed to a kid with just one parent or no parents. Look at it this way, if they want to get married so they can take care of a child that has been abandoned, or orphaned, how can that be wrong? If they get married so that if someday one or the other of them becomes sick and is dying in a hospital somewhere and they want to spend those last precious days with them, how is that wrong? For society to dictate to us who we should and should not love or marry is preposterous…and as far as God goes, I heard there is a man who died for our sins, and if murderous pedophiles can go to heaven, then I am quite certain we will see loving homosexuals in heaven also.

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