More on Gay Marriage

Hispanic Pundit said my Kurtz debunking didn’t get at his core argument which is:

A. Many people believe homosexuality issues to be equal to race issues.

B. If gay marriage is allowed, this number will rise significantly.

C. These very same people will logically follow those conclusions.

D. Religions that teach against homosexuality and gay marriage will been seen like racists today.

Conclusion: Religious freedom is reduced, and threatened.

I really don’t see the connection here and commented:

I just don’t see how seeing anti-gay marriage proponents in the same view as racists inhibits religious freedom.

Everyone is perfectly allowed to be as close-minded as they want or adhere to whichever sacred text they find sacred. It is when these religions views enter the public sphere and legislation that they are harmful to equality and civil rights.

I don’t see what the risk is… What future are we scared of? What are actual tangible events that would indicate that this is happening?

Why do you not approve of gay marriage? Do you feel that I am not capable of maintaining a relationship? Do you feel that I am not capable of raising a child with another man?

I’m wanting to understand where you draw your beliefs.

I want to drop my offense stance and take a step back and try to understand where he is drawing his conclusions. Scripture? Catechism? Hunch? I want to understand what terrible future awaits us if gay marriage happens – and further, does he propose any strengthening of straight marriage like harsher penaties for adultery? We hear so much about how gay marriage is threatening straight marriage but little on how to strengthen straight marriage on its own two (four?) feet.

I want to slice the prejudice into slivers and see what is really at play… is it 2 men raising children that is the problem? Is it 2 men having a sexual relationship? 2 women? What is the real ‘disgust’ at work? Is it that the love that 2 men or 2 women have for eachother could never possibly equal the love that a man and a woman have and to equate them degrades the man/woman relationship? Does he think that I’m just mentally ill because I have a boyfriend? Are gay people just not well in the head?

And what is my course of action: should I try therapy, an ex-gay program…? If I had children would I need to give them up to relatives…? To the state?

Is there any sort of research that would need to be done that would prove to him that gay marriage is not harmful and he would change his mind?

Is it a notion of some mythical ‘gay lifestyle’ where I’m constantly out hunting butt sex and crystal?

Update: HP has responded:

Lets say that there were two politicians, one who believed that blacks were inferior to whites and the other who believed gay marriage should not be allowed.

Given your premise, that gay issues are equal to race issues, how would you say these politicians should be treated? The same right? In other words, gay marriage will push religious people, especially those religious people that believe gay marriage should not be legal, into the corners of society.

I believe both are bigots, yes. But there are bigots who are hardly in the corners of society. This won’t push all religious people into the corners – just the ones that hold these views. Plenty of religious people support same-sex marriage – it is not either/or. To not allow gay marriage in your church is fine and dandy – that is your private right as a religious institution – but to not allow it recognized at the state level – that is a different matter. I think it is a frequent scare tactic used (I’m not saying HP is using it) to mobilize anti-marriage rights Christians – that the government will force them to have men kissing in their church. Not so. I don’t want to go to that narrow-minded church. I’ll find my own place of worship.

As far as my views on gay marriage, they are all natural based related. In other words, to summarize what I said in more detail here, it all basically boils down to children. Marriage has always been tied to children, and the proper upbringing of children.

In other words, I am against gay marriage for the same reason that our society currently is against first-cousin marriages, because they are inherently ordered against the procreation of children.

The U.S. is virtually alone among developed nations in outlawing marriage among first cousins.

The loving commitment of a heterosexual union, by its very nature, has the potential for children. It is the core of all families, and something that is cross cultural, it is unique, makes its mark on everyone, and is the basic building block of all societies. It has something that all other unions fall short of, whether they be first cousin unions, polygamous unions, platonic unions, and yes, even homosexual unions.

What about marriage where one of the spouses is sterile/infertile?

Or single parent families?

If the possibility for children is at the core of marriage – is a childless marriage a failed one?

And couldn’t a lesbian couple have children?

The original intent of marriage was hardly about loving – it was about property rights and children.

And any argument any other union gives to being established into law, the loving heterosexual union has that claim, and more. And therefore should always be seen separate and above all other unions.

So I think it boils down the old Adam and Eve (not Steve) argument. Tabs and slots. Even after studies have confirmed that same gender parents and their relationships with their children have no discernible difference between that of a heterosexual relationship.

Sidenote, I think what is also missing is my deep respect for heterosexual marriage – but further – a deep respect for parenting. Most of us are the product of a heterosexual marriage. I was raised by two wonderful, fantastic, absolutely loving people – why shouldn’t I be able to extend that legacy by having my own children?

To base things on ‘nature’ and anatomy presents challenges because every day humans do things that they aren’t anatomically supposed to do.

I have a heart. I can love. I should be able to see that love to another generation.

Anyway, thank you, Hispanic Pundit – for helping me understand your views. I need to engage disagreement more often.

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About Andy

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11 thoughts on “More on Gay Marriage

  1. mark

    4 countries (now) and a few more years should (fingers crossed) shut down alot of the arguements…

    We’ve had 2 years of same sex marriages and no doom has befallen us.

    It’s safe to say “anything” is evil when it’s not out in the light of day to show otherwise, consistently.

    Did you know in 2 BC the Roman Empire first wrote into law “marriage contracts” for only the richest of their folk. They included those rights to same sex couples in 1 BC. It was only in 1536 (close to it) that “the church” got involved….

    As far as “our culture”, how can we feel good about ourselves 24/7 (and act accordingly) when we are constantly being bombarded with stupidity and lies?…..we are only human, too.

    (Do I think letting “the bastards” win be acceptable….NO but I have alot more pissiness in me than “fuck it, life’s too hard”….but that is another speech…Our culture is up to us to define, not those who hate/fear us..and the ramifiacations if the truth were to shine)

    Imagine a church having to advertise that they descriminate……cause that is how this will play out.

    I have to say…..being “equal” is abit strange but something I can get used to.

  2. Sam

    I know it’s all been said, but these are the same people (or same type of them) that used to believe interracial marriage threatened the ‘sanctity’ of marriage. Now that the sky hasn’t fallen and all the rivers haven’t turned into blood, there are just a lot fewer people who believe that (although plenty still do).

    It will probably take another generation before the majority of anti-gay hate is muted. So long as we make the right personal and political decisions today, that is.

  3. Andy

    One more thought… as more and more evidence amounts that homosexual behaviors and desires in humans are naturally occuring – doesn’t that make two men in union or two women just as natural as a man and a woman?

  4. HispanicPundit

    Hey Andy,

    First off, I want to also thank you for fairly representing my views, and engaging this, often heated topic, in a civil and constructive way. In this fashion we can all learn from these exchanges, as is evident from this recent post where I learned something new, namely that the USA is the only country to outlaw first cousin marriages (I didn’t know that).

    Allow me to address some of the points you have made, but before I do that, I would like to mention that I am a full time employee and currently taking a Physics summer course at the University, so because of time constraints I may have to bow out of this discussion early if it gets to time consuming.

    With regard to religious freedom, let us restrict the topic to those religions that do, and will continue, to teach that gay marriage should not happen and homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.

    Those who view gay issues equal to race issues will have no logical choice but to press for societies to push these religions out of public life, out of public discourse. In other words, I currently don’t think racists should have a say in our political system, I am also fine with the government removing tax exempt status from racist institutions, and will try as hard as I can to get any racist politician kicked out of office.

    In other words, those who view gay issues equal to race issues will logically be required to do the same thing to relgions that teach against homosexuality and gay marriage. In other words, what Mary Ann Glendon said is right, being that,

    Religious freedom, too, is at stake. As much as one may wish to live and let live, the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don’t go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles.

    It is this type of religious freedom that is threatened, and threatened more so if gay marriage is allowed. You may welcome this cost for a (in your view) much needed benefit (gay marriage), but my point here is not to say whether this is a justified cost or not, only that it is a cost.

    Now, onto the broader issue of gay marriage, but before I do, I want to stress something that I don’t feel is stressed enough in these discussions. To me, and I would say most conservatives, the gay marriage debate is not a debate about gays, it is a debate about marriage. What does marriage mean, what are its limitations, and what role does it play in society that are all questions that depending on how you answer them will lead you to one side or the other in the gay marriage debate. With that out of the way, I will address your comments.

    You ask,

    What about marriage where one of the spouses is sterile/infertile?

    Or single parent families?

    If the possibility for children is at the core of marriage – is a childless marriage a failed one?

    And couldn’t a lesbian couple have children?

    The original intent of marriage was hardly about loving – it was about property rights and children.

    These are very fair honest questions, but they are the exception not the rule. In other words, while marriage is tied to children, there are exceptions to the rule that are so small, so insignificant, that the costs associated in banning them outweigh the benefit.

    Think of it this way, lets say that tomorrow the government decides to give tax breaks to owners of hybrids; a vested interest that I know you agree with, lowering air pollution. The state is encouraging environmental considerate driving. You would agree that the majority of people that buy hybrids use them, so the tax break makes sense, in encouraging a legitimate vested interest of the state (lowering air pollution). Yet there may be people who buy the hybrid for other reasons, say to disassemble it and use its parts, never to have driven it once. This group of people would get the same tax break as those who used the car, yet the government is not getting the same return. These people are the exception, in the general norm. But they do not invalidate the norm (there is another purpose marriage solves, it is a quick and dirty way to tie up all the paperwork in one state activity, all the paperwork that would be required of all families down the road, kinda like filing the beginning of a corporation with the state-instead of doing all the legalities separately).

    In fact, the analogy does not equally parallel marriage, because the state is getting some return with families that don’t have children. Married couples with no children still serve as roll models to society; they still encourage the union of male and female united.

    Now, a common objection here is, yes, but in the current case of marriage, there are many many more exceptions than in the hybrid example you gave above. You now have the case where you can easily get divorced (no-fault divorce), and it no longer becomes a lifelong commitment. You now have the case of families getting married older, and therefore unable to have children. etc…etc..

    I agree that these are significant exceptions, and I agree that they are becoming more and more common. Certainly historically, marriage was seen more as a lifelong commitment and happened so early in life that it almost guaranteed children, much like my hybrid example above. But the case of marriage now is so filled with exceptions that we find it hard to imagine it has anything to do with kids.

    My point here is not that marriage is perfect, that it is the great thing that it was before, my point here is that it still has something to do with children. Granted, nothing like before, but it is still connected, and allowing gay marriage will completely sever that link, so much so that it will be a sever nothing like what has happened before. It will take an already battered system, and make it worse.

    Now, you may disagree with the first cousin analogy, but lets take an analogy of two adult brother and sisters, these are unions that are almost universally restricted from marriage. Why? For the same reason gay unions are, because they are inherently ordered against the procreation of children.

    Now, before you answer my statement above, lets for the moment assume that I am wrong, in other words, that my justification for marriage rests on shady ground. If that is the case, than what is your reason to allow gay marriage?

    In other words, what reason for marriage do proponents of gay marriage offer? Whatever reason opponents of gay marriage offer, I see it as much stronger than proponents of gay marriage. If you say that the purpose of marriage is just the love between two couples, than pray tell, what reason would you have for denying polygamous unions? What reasons would you have for denying first cousin unions? Brother and sister unions, or any other union for that matter? In other words, where do you draw the line?

    This is also why conservatives consistently argue that what gay couples want is not equal treatment, but special treatement. In other words, they want something that polygamous unions, first cousin unions, and brother and sister unions do not get, the ability to be seen equal to adult heterosexual unions. This is also why conservatives consistently argue that gay marriage will take away whatever objectivity marriage had left and make marriage a power grab, whatever union wants to be allowed to marry will only be required to build up enough political clout, and there will be no justification in denying them the same privelage.

    What proponents of gay marriage want to reduce marriage to is a system where the government essentially becomes a dispenser of love certificates. Love, if it doesn’t have any societal impact is essentially a religious issue, and therefore you have proponents of gay marriage arguing for marriage based on religious principles in one hand, yet arguing for the seperation of Church and state in the other.

    One more point before I end this, you write,

    So I think it boils down the old Adam and Eve (not Steve) argument. Tabs and slots. Even after studies have confirmed that same gender parents and their relationships with their children have no discernible difference between that of a heterosexual relationship.

    While this is not critical to my argument against gay marriage, I do feel compelled to point out, and I say this with the utmost respect and sensitivity, that it is still to early to tell whether or not gay unions will make good parents.

    In addition, when it comes to children, I tend to err on the side of caution, in other words, if there is a chance that something may be bad for them, I tend to avoid the risk if I can.

    Thanks again for the ability to discuss this and I look forward to your response.

  5. myke

    i don’t think there is very much left that i can add to the argument that i haven’t already said or that others have already said so i’ll try to be brief …

    ^ the argument linking marriage strictly to the need to have a raise children has more holes than swiss cheese. there are so many examples of children successfully raised outside of what is considered ‘traditional marriage’ that it this point is moot. it is also made moot by the fact that the divorce rate is so high among heterosexuals and hetero couples either a) raise children badly or b) don’t have children at all.

    ^ i just can not see the merit of linking gay marriage with the downfall and discrimination of institutional religion (or at least the ones that oppose gays and gay marriage). there are quite a few parts of quite a few religions that are far from being universally accepted and there is no evidence that the religions themselves are being ‘pushed into corners’ for their beliefs. example: it is well known that the catholic church prohibits birth control as part of church doctrine. however, many catholics themselves simply ignore this and there isn’t much in the way of discrimination against the church for their beliefs. the church also forbids pre-marital sex which their own members overwhelmingly routinely ignore. i believe that if gay marriage were to be made legal, any church that still preaches against it will be listened to be their members and those who don’t believe it will simply ignore what is said. funny now that i mention it … i could rattle off a list of church doctrines that are routinely ignored and not explicitly adhered to. gay marriage would simply become another.

  6. HispanicPundit

    Hey Myke,

    Allow me to respond to some of what you said.

    the argument linking marriage strictly to the need to have a raise children has more holes than swiss cheese.

    I don’t mean to imply that marriage is designed towards people to have children, or that it is there to encourage people to have children. My only point here is that marriage is fundamentally tied to children.

    To take a mutually respected pundits definition of marriage, I quote from Andrew Sullivan who writes:

    They make a deeper commitment to one another and to society; in exchange, society extends certain benefits to them. Marriage provides an anchor, if an arbitrary and weak one, in the chaos of sex and relationships to which we are all prone. It provides a mechanism for emotional stability, economic security, and the healthy rearing of the next generation. We rig the law in its favor not because we disparage all forms of relationship other than the nuclear family, but because we recognize that not to promote marriage would be to ask too much of human virtue. In the context of the weakened family’s effect upon the poor, it might also invite social disintegration.

    As far as religious freedom, you write,

    there are quite a few parts of quite a few religions that are far from being universally accepted and there is no evidence that the religions themselves are being ‘pushed into corners’ for their beliefs. example: it is well known that the catholic church prohibits birth control as part of church doctrine.

    The fundamental difference with this and all other religious examples you give are that none of them are seen by opponents as civil rights issues. In other words, nobody compares ‘the right to birth control’ like they do ‘the right to gay marriage’. Once that connection is made, than followers of gay marriage will have no logical alternative than to treat those who have beliefs against gay marriage like those who are racists.

  7. sam

    The fundamental difference with this and all other religious examples you give are that none of them are seen by opponents as civil rights issues. In other words, nobody compares ‘the right to birth control’ like they do ‘the right to gay marriage’.

    You’re kidding, right? You compare gay marriage to hybrid cars and then you say this? The right for women to use birth control, as well as the push for the legalization of various forms of contraception, was a huge civil rights issue. And it is fundamentally tied to a woman’s right to choose, which I’m estimating will be at the forefront of politics more in the future than it ever was in the past thanks to the fact that Bush will be appointing at least one SC Justice.

    Once that connection is made, than followers of gay marriage will have no logical alternative than to treat those who have beliefs against gay marriage like those who are racists.

    I don’t know what your point really is here other than the fact that you seem to have one. There is no other logical alternative. Yes, we call oppressive religions oppressive. We call religions that teach intolerance and hatred bigoted. We call ducks ducks.

  8. HispanicPundit

    Hello Sam,

    The right for women to use birth control, as well as the push for the legalization of various forms of contraception, was a huge civil rights issue.

    Which probably explains why Catholic charity organizations are being forced to provide birth control.

    Currently, I am not arguing in favor or against the claim that religions that teach against homosexuality are equal to religions that teach against race, my only point here is to say that if gay marriage is allowed, it increases the number of people that believe homosexual issues are equal to race issues, therefore they will start to treat religions that teach against homosexuality equal to religions that may teach against race, in other words, they will try to remove tax exempt status, remove politicians that adhere to that religion from public office, etc…etc..etc. and every other thing modern society would do to a religion that teaches racism. Which essentially means, push that religion into the far corners of society.

    You may think that is a good thing, and that is a view you are free to share, my only point here is to show that it is very likely to happen.

  9. cul

    I agree with Hispanic Pundit in the sense it is likely that religions (indeed, any instititutions) which to not adapt to evolving social mores are bound to experience some degree of marginalization and perceived irrelevance. That’s the price paid for pretending permanence in a world where change is the universal constant. But I don’t agree with Hispanic Pundit’s underlying notion that this sort of thing represents a serious problem for society as a whole.

    The SS marriage in regards to religions is not a spiritual problem, but rather a problem with dogma and it has a simple solution which I posted some time ago .

  10. David Armor

    “The term “religious employer” is defined as being an entity for which each of the following is true: (1) the inculcation of religious values is the purpose of the entity; (2) the entity primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the entity; (3) the entity serves primarily persons who share the religious tenets of the entity; and (4) the entity is a nonprofit organization as described in the Internal Revenue Code. The Court found that Catholic Charities did not meet these tests.”

    Catholic Charities fails to meet numbers 1, 2 and 3 here. Catholic Charities is not the Catholic Church, and is in fact not a church at all. As such, it may not be given the protections that a church is granted. A church, however, WOULD be exempt from this mandate, according to California State Law. Booyah:

    “The Court disagreed, holding that the decision does not implicate internal church governance but rather implicates the relationship between a nonprofit public benefit corporation and its employees. It has nothing to do with governing people who elect to belong to a church.”

  11. Tim

    Dear HP,
    I must admit you bring up some valid points regarding religious freedom, but let’s try a Separation-of-Church-and-State approach here and begrudge me a few valid questions. Without using any sort of religious-based morality, please answer the following:
    1. How would the gay couple next door to a heterosexual couple undermine the heterosexual couple’s marriage or ability to raise their children if they were to be married?
    2. Why should I be denied the right to see my partner in the hospital when he is seriously or critically ill?
    3. If my partner were to die, why should I be denied estate benefits and let his assets be handed over to a family that hates him for being gay?
    4. If a lesbian couple raises a child together via artificial insemination, why should one of them be denied the right to continue to raise the child if the biological mother were to die?
    5. All marriages are in essence a civil union in the eyes of the government, while the term “marriage” itself is religious in nature. With that in mind, why should gay couples be denied a civil union?
    6. A closeted gay man/woman marries a heterosexual and they have children together. When they get divorced, why should the gay man/woman be denied parental guardianship or visitation? Why should their children be barred from staying in the same house or having any contact with the gay man/woman’s new partner?
    All of these scenarios happen every year, tearing families apart in unimaginable ways. They are also used by the religious right as reasons to continue to deny gay marriages. Still, these are some of the basic tenets and rights the government bestows upon heterosexual couples. There would be hell to pay if the government were to consider marriage only in terms of children and thus remove some of these rights from heterosexual couples, as well.
    Earlier you replied to a comment regarding sterile/infertile spouses, single parent families, and childless marriages by stating, “they are the exception not the rule. In other words, while marriage is tied to children, there are exceptions to the rule that are so small, so insignificant, that the costs associated in banning them outweigh the benefit.” Let’s just suppose that the 10%-of-the-adult-population-are-homosexuals rule is correct (and some recent studies hint that with tolerance increasing and thus more homosexuals being honest and open, the number is probably closer to 15-20%), wouldn’t that make homosexual unions a small and insugnificant exception to the rule as well? And if factoring in that not even 100% of the heterosexual population gets married, if you estimated that the same percentage of homosexuals would get married, we’re talking an even smaller percentage of the adult, married population. And one could definitely argue that the cost of banning gay marriages would outweigh the benefits.
    I also must admit that as a gay man I am sick of being lumped in with polygamy, beastiality, and incest. The argument that these elements would be allowed if gay marriages were approved is the last card that all religious moralists seem to play. To think that gay couples would be anymore apt to allow these elements to happen than heterosexual couples is preposterous.
    Sincerely,
    Tim
    P.S. While you keep bringing up race in your arguments, it’s surprising that no one has pointed out that most of the major religions in this country that continue to practice were at one time opposed to integration and interracial unions. Maybe not in all portions of the U.S., but it was definitely the case.

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