Five Arguments Against Gay Marriage

June 24th, 2011

By Seth Forman

Gay MarriageSociety must brace for corrosive change. Putting gay unions on a legal par with heterosexual ones may radically alter our culture.

New York State, the media report with poorly disguised elation, is set to legally redefine marriage to include relationships between two same-sex adults.

Before this happens, people of good conscience, supporters and opponents both, should at least be given the opportunity to consider the possible consequences.

1. Religious freedom
. Proponents of gay marriage think their view is the latest expression of enlightened humanitarianism. That means people who believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage may soon wind up on the wrong side of “enlightened” bigotry.

A recent Newsday editorial said opponents “will be seen by future generations in much the same light as those who opposed school desegregation.” Devout Catholics, Orthodox Jews and, ironically, the 70% of African-Americans who oppose gay marriage have become the new Ku Klux Klan?

Proponents of gay marriage insist that a “religious exemption” will be sufficient to protect the rights of faith-based traditionalists. Maybe, maybe not.

2. Rights of children. Legal equality for gay marriage will mean there can be no discrimination in favor of heterosexual couples in any sphere, including adoption, custody and reproductive services. Social workers showing preference to heterosexual couples in foster care or adoption placement will lose their jobs or face lawsuits.

More children living in gay homes means more children living lives absent a relationship with at least one biological parent. One needn’t deny the existence of many wonderful gay or adoptive parents to acknowledge that this will result in some emotional pain and confusion.

3. Whither traditional marriage? Gay marriage may, as its proponents insist, strengthen the ideal of marriage by offering the highest public acceptance only to those in committed relationships.

But even gay activists admit they are seeking to change the marriage ideal. Eliminating the complementarity of the sexes in marriage changes its essence. It may be old-fashioned to believe women are still necessary to domesticate sexually predatory men. But most social arrangements in which men operate without attachment to women are deeply dysfunctional. Many gay advocates tacitly admit as much.

Andrew Sullivan, in his book “Virtually Normal,” writes that the need for “extramarital outlets” should be recognized by partners in a same-sex marriage, and that gays should not be constrained by a “single, moralistic model.”

4. Education. It is possible the social impact of gay marriage on heterosexual marriage will be negligible. But the changes it will bring to our schools make this unlikely. A California task force appointed in 2001 recommended all curriculums there be changed to include alternative sexual lifestyles. In 2006, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled that schools have a duty to teach children that there’s moral equivalency between homosexual and heterosexual relationships – and have no obligation to let parents opt their children out of such instruction.

5. Husbands. Federal Judge Vaughn Walker‘s ruling in August on California’s Proposition 8 – that “gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage” – confirmed the view that marriage is foremost about sexual choice, not reproduction. Think there are too few marriageable males now?

Ask sociologist Orlando Patterson what happens when men are no longer tied to marriage through child rearing. He attributes high out-of-wedlock birthrates among African-Americans to the history of slavery, job discrimination and the welfare state, all of which separated black men from the expectation of secure paternity.

These are just a few examples of how putting gay unions on a legal par with heterosexual ones may radically alter our culture. We should not be deluded into believing that nothing will change.

(This article was first published at

Seth Forman is the author of the new book American Obsession: Race and Conflict in the Age of Obama (Booklocker 2011).

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6 Responses to “Five Arguments Against Gay Marriage”

  1. Tom Carter |

    Seth, I think your arguments are somewhat overdrawn. As long as gay marriage is voluntary and doesn’t impinge on the rights of others, I don’t see a reasonable basis for objecting. It’s like a lot of other things about which people want to require others to conform to their own beliefs. The correct approach, the one most consistent with freedom, is this: If you don’t like it, then don’t do it.

    The question is often raised as to whether the government should be involved in marriage at all; whether it should remain as a religious or civil arrangement of some sort between individuals. That, of course, wouldn’t help those who oppose gay marriage. They want government to dictate who can marry whom — at least in cases where they don’t personally approve. The fact is, government has to be involved because of legal and property issues, including children.

    Finally, I also have a bit of trouble with the idea of children being raised by same-sex parents, adoptive or otherwise. I do think that a child benefits in many ways from having a mother and a father at home. However, when I look at the number of broken homes these days, with children most often being raised by only a mother, and the number of abusive homes regardless of the number of parents present, I have to wonder how much difference it could make. A child raised in a home with two male or two female parents in a loving, positive environment is better off than many other children otherwise situated. At bottom, this argument is a wash.

  2. D. Dixon McClure |

    Sorry to tell you this but you are pretty much wrong on every point. First off our government can’t legislate Marriage. It is a religious RITE even if not a legal RIGHT at this time. I am a legally Ordained Minister and can and will marry any two people who wish to, before God, present themselves to commit to each other. Whether or not our government, you or anyone else recognizes it is totally beside to point as far as the validity of the commitment and joining.

    Secondly, as far as the kids are concerned you are VERY confused at least as far a lesbian marriage is concerned and probably a male union. People get pregnant all the time without being married. A lesbian can do it easily and a gay man can find a willing person to bear him a child as well. A child raised in a gay household is no more likely to BE gay than any other. They are more likely to express that though if they are rather than hide it. If being raised in a gay family insured that a kid would be gay then a kid raised in a regular house hold should be insured to be hetro. It doesn’t work that way.

    Thirdly…Do you actually KNOW any Gay people????? They want to have their unions recognized for perfectly regular reasons! They want their partners to have the same access to rights as anyone else’s partner. If they work for a company that provides insurance for them and their families then they want that. If one of them dies they want their surviving partner to have the same access to survivor’s benefits as anyone else. They don’t like being second class citizens any more than the blacks did or the women. We live in a land of idiots. First we had to have a legal announcement to declare that blacks were men (people) under the eyes of the constitution. Then we had to do the same for women. When do we figure out that “All men are created equal” means all people should be treated equally under the law. All men are NOT created equal (meaning the same) I assure you.

    Fourthly I have to say that you must have gone to some sort of private, probably religion based school because the school that I went to and my kids went to didn’t spend any time talking about morals. We learned about math, History and English usage and such but the teachers pretty much left the morals up to the parents as they should. This is like the crud about teaching religion in school. We were taught a LOT about Greek and Roman religions in school when I went. I don’t know of a single person that became a pagan follower of Zeus because of it. Admitting that there may be a God doesn’t mean that evolution is not a possibility. Believing in the evolutionary THEORY does not preclude a belief in God. Being told that people have the right to be different in their sexual reference will change nothing…kids already have their own opinions; usually from parents. Are you trying to say that it is good to allow kids to beat gays up and treat them as less than human rather than tell them that it is their right to live. Bet you like the KKK too then.

    The fifth point sort of misses me. Sorry Cochise, many, many, many kids are already living in homes without a male influence. Check out the number of one parent families and realize that very few of these are men raising their kids alone. It takes more than one person to take care of kids. A single parent has to constantly struggle to provide financially and still have a little time to spend WITH their kid. It is a TOUGH road! Two people, regardless of their sex or sexual inclination are better able than one to provide for the kids.

    Truthfully, unless someone is a very sick puppy, sexual activity isn’t something that mixes well with kids. I can’t remember a single time when my wife and I felt the urge to include our kids into our bedroom activities. We kissed and hugged in front of them but that just teaches them how to express love because they got the same. Sexual preferences just don’t mix or have much to do with kids.

    The fact of the matter IS that the face of marriage needs to change. It isn’t working as it is any more because it has ALREADY changed. Used to be, a kid had a Mama that stayed at home and took care of them and probably Grandparents involved. Now in our greed, nobody stays home to raise and care for the children now!

    What a family is has changed several times in the last hundred years and it is past time for it to change again because what we have is NOT working. Grandparents are not there and involved like they were in the preWW2 era. Now Mama isn’t there either and our kids are being raised, if you want to call it that, in daycare which is mostly just warehousing with little love or affection. People are primates and even an ape knows that if you don’t offer an infant physical contact and loving personalized care that they will not make good members of their society.

    By the way, I live my beliefs and even though my wife and I owned and ran daycare, neither my daughter nor my granddaughter has ever been institutionalized. I am here writing this now because my Grandbaby is napping. I’m the Nanny you see. LOL. I don’t see our family as bad just because it is different. OUR kids will always have someone that thinks enough of them to stay home and look out for them and love them. With this one it just turned out that her Grandpa was the one best able to stop working and care for her. It ain’t traditional but it works.

  3. Seth Forman |

    Tom, why is it that nobody in support of gay marriage ever addresses directly the issues I raise. “If you don’t like it, don’t do it?” Really? Isn’t the issue about people making other people “like” it”? As far as I can see society has no public stake in these relationships and therefore shouldn’t give it special status. We only give “special status” to heterosexual unions because they may result in children. Otherwise, the much more numerous mother/daughter adult child/older parent households, in my view, are just as worthy of “special status.” Dr. Neil Clark Warren is the born again Christian owner of e-harmony dating service. He settled a law suit brought by a gay man against the company for not serving gays by starting a gay matching service. That’s a direct restriction on religious liberty in my view. That’s where I think the concern should be in terms of liberty.

    D. Dixon McClure is simply a dishonest man (woman?).You don’t address a single issue raised by homosexual marriage. So I won’t address any of yours.

  4. D. Dixon McClure |

    I am male, 57, 6’2″ 250lbs married for 35 years, monogamous, heterosexual and own my own business. There ain’t nothing limp about my wrist.

    That said, I don’t believe that you have to be productive by YOUR definition to deserve to be treated like a real human being. By the way bozo two lesbians can make twice as many kids as a regular couple so by your definition they should be even more encouraged than a hetro-couple. I’m Texas raised and bred 6th generation we run cattle and I understand breading practices. We don’t NEED all these men to just get the babies made fool. Let’s thin out the ranks of the unmarried males. They are only producing bastard kids anyway so they shouldn’t be covered by te constitution either I guess.

    Gays, Blacks, Jews or any other non white group that you wish to name deserve the same rights as anyone else as long as they contribute to our society.

    I was raised near a little town called Vidor Texas and have dealt with Crackers and Kluckers all my life. They hated anyone that wasn’t white, protestant and just like them. At their weddings everyone sat on one side of the church. When I was a kid I fought them more than once because I had long hair and to them THAT made me less than human.

    Turn lose of your fear and hatred of people that aren’t just like you. You didn’t address any of my points because you can’t.

    Gays should have the right to be free and equal under the law for the same reason that Catholics, Jews, Blacks, Orientals and dumb ass Micks like me are. My family has fought in every war that the US has fought. We have earned the right with BLOOD for our kids whether they are gay or not to be free recognized American citizens.

    Just to make myself clear, my daughter is gay. She and her partner are BOTH well educated and successful tax paying members of this country. Their daughter is well cared for and will enjoy all of the blessings that me and mine have fought and died to protect.

    I believe in freedom and the right of all people to live as they wish. My family has paid well for their rights. We all work and pay a LOT of taxes. The right to marry isn’t what is at stake. I can and will marry them. What is not right is that they work just like anyone else but can’t get the same rights. Hell a woman and man until a couple of years ago could shack up and get on their partners insurance! Then he would split and we get to support her and her bastard kids.

    Talk facts bozo. Make a coherent point for a change.

  5. D. Dixon McClure |

    By the way my Granddaughter was conceived via invitrofertilization. The sperm donor is doctoral candidate at Berkley. (Should have his PHD by now.) Since her Mother has a 140 IQ and the Father has a 156 IQ her pedigree should be pretty good. You don’t really NEED a man on site anymore to have a baby. You also don’t have to pick some Cracker to do it for you for free.

  6. Reggie Jackson |

    It’s funny how religion is associated with marriage. Because marriage originally had nothing to do with religion, so to say it goes against god is basically saying I don’t like it. And if it is a religious rite our government cannot support it meaning filing your taxes together wouldn’t be allowed.

    Second you bringing up children not living with their biological parents? Are homosexuals kidnapping children or something? Cause it’s safe to say that a majority of them don’t kidnap children and tryand raise them as their own. The children they WOULD BE ADOPTING wouldnt be having contact with their biological families any way.

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