Help Me Understand: Why is Same-Sex Marriage a Threat to My Marriage?

HELP ME UNDERSTAND – This is a series of posts where I invite those who disagree with me about a great many things political, theological and social to speak their minds. My aim is not to incite comment wars, but to encourage genuine interaction between those who truly want to understand from where the other is coming. Please pass these posts onto folks who might be willing to engage and if you have a good question for the series, feel free to fill out this brief survey.

In light of the recent New York State decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the first question in the series will be on same-sex marriage.   I have been clear where I stand on the question of same-sex marriage, I currently sit on the Board of CA Faith for Equality and I have blessed same-sex commitments in the past. My question has to do with one of the major arguments that is raised against legal recognition of same-sex marriage namely that, “Same sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage.” I do not assume that everyone who is against same-sex marriage uses this argument, but I think it is fair to say that this is one of the mostly widely used arguments heard in the public discourse.

So if you hold this position about same-sex marriage, and feel up to putting your words out there for interaction, please answer me this question,

How is same-sex marriage a threat to my traditional “one man and one women” 20+ year marriage or to the possible traditional marriage that any of my daughters may choose to enter into in the future?

So there you have it. I know that there is likely to be some feisty interaction about this here, but I hope I have laid down an invitation that will encourage passionate, yet gracious responses.

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  • Rbutsrwarm

    Why is it important to establish “roles”?  I believe a couple should strike its own balance about who does what.  Assigning roles using old gender models reflects one’s unwillingness to accept the total package of same-sex marriage.

  • Laura Garwood Meehan

    All I can say is that we often laugh about how our own marriage is clearly so “endangered” by gay people getting married. Huh? How in the world could it affect our marriage? Sorry, doesn’t really help you in terms of helpful comments, but…

  • Anonymous

    Translation:   You can’t answer the question.  I didn’t think you could. 

  • Frank

    Fiona I could care less what you do. You have no credibility. You were dismissed long ago when you started the infantile name calling.

    So have at and enjoy yourself!

  • Anonymous

    Frank, I asked you to cite one specific way that you or I are affected.  You haven’t.  Nor have you cited one general way in which the general populace will be affected.  You just keep on with your fearmongering, though — which is the very definition of emotionalism.

    I’ve posted logic and science and you’ve ignored it in favor of religious bigotry.  My challenge stands.  Name ONE way in which ‘all of society’ is affected by the marriage of some couple they don’t even know, Frank.  Just one.

    I will not leave this alone until you do it, Frank — or admit that you can’t.

  • Anonymous

    You keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep better at night, Frankie.  Congratulations on being so entrenched in dogma, though; that takes some doing in today’s better educated populace.  You’re a rare and vanishing (thank god) breed.

    The good news is that discerning people with critical thinking skills — who may be reading but not commenting — can see your fearmongering for just what it is.

  • Frank

    Fiona I don’t know if you are being dense on purpose, just being disagreeable, truly ignorant or just so ensconced that you are unable to see the forest through the trees.

    The point is that this issue goes beyond any one person or any one couple. I am not so selfish as to frame this issue to make it about me, unlike most of the SSM supporters who only think about an individuals “happiness”, “acceptance” and “approval.” 

    Using emotionalism as a tactic works on a short term level with the populace but thankfully emotionalism does not trump logic and science.

  • Frank

    Fiona I love you because its people like you that actually help my position. Good job! 

  • Anonymous

    So, same-sex couples you don’t even know — who want to make a public, legal commitment — are poisonous?  How is this not bigotry, again?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you can explain how you, personally, are affected, Frank.  Or how I am affected. If it affects everyone, surely you can cite specifics of how this is so, instead of using fearmongering bumpersticker slogans lifted straight from NOM …

  • Anonymous

    Then how come you haven’t been able to show any?

  • Anonymous

    Frank, let me give you a clue or two here, from LifeSiteNews’ own “about” page;  2. LifeSiteNews.com emphasizes the social worth of traditional
    Judeo-Christian principles but is also respectful of all authentic
    religions and cultures that esteem life, family and universal norms of
    morality.

    There’s the evidence of bias, right there.  The minute you have an organization saying that one particular set of ethics (which does not represent the entire population, BTW) constitutes “universal norms of morality,” you’re looking at a problematic source. 

    You can pretend to yourself that this is not an indication of bias if it makes you feel better, Frank.  However, I would look at the number of times in these comments that you’ve waved your hand and said “Pfft” at actual, peer-reviewed, verifiable science  before you accuse me of discrediting things that disagree with my position. 

    Your homophobia is palpable, Frank — as is the religious zealotry by which you excuse it.  I genuinely pity you.

  • Frank

    I know that SSM will affect everyone in some way. Poison is not what I would say although I understand why you might say that based on my imperfect analogy above.

    It not fear of homosexuals, its legitimate concern for culture, society, our families and our children.

  • Frank

    I am trying to do just that. Thankfully there are a couple people like yourself and all who are doing just that. Unfortunately there are many that are so biased that they are unable to do that intelligently.

  • Frank

    kloomis the discourse is already open. So let’s discourse. It’s illogical to move forward and then say lets discuss it after the fact.

    Discuss, research, study and then decide. Right now there is ample evidence to not change marriage and zero evidence telling us why its a good idea for our society and culture at large.

  • Frank

    That depends on which way they are evolving. The point of the post is that SSM does affect everyone even though one side keeps trying to convince everyone it will not. I mean even the question that started this discussion assumes this false premise.

  • Frank

    Funny how that anyone who has information against what you believe is right is immediately discredited. Thanks again for showing us all who you are.

  • Frank

    Thanks Kloomis that is a better analogy although no analogy is perfect. My point was that a low percentage does not correlate to a minimum effect, at least in this case. Therefore even a small percentage can affect the whole greatly. Nothing more was meant by my imperfect analogy.

  • Fiona64

     You are such a tool, Frank.  You wouldn’t know science if it slapped you in the face.

  • Fiona64

    You really have no idea how to evaluate sites for bias, do you?  Why don’t you just get a citation from the National Enquirer?  LifeSiteNews is on about the same par.

  • Fiona64

    Frank, this is officially the most ridiculous thing I have seen you write — and that’s saying something.

  • Keloomis

    But to the issue of small changes having large effects: absolutely. But change happens. Allowing servicepeople to bring home war brides after WWII affected their children, the baby boomer generation — we as a society did it anyhow, and we dealt with it. (And I cite that because I personally dealt with it, and now I observe children of non-English-speaking moms dealing with it the same way I did–makes me smile, and sometimes feel sorry for them). But if there are specific problems that you (or others) anticipate, we should start talking about them!

  • kloomis

    The water/cyanide analogy really isn’t apt if you subscribe to the idea that sexuality is fluid (Ceci n’est pas un pun), because water cannot become cyanide and vice-versa. Maybe more a large pen of 100 puppies, with 3-5 of them being wolf pups, and maybe some dog-wolf mix puppies? Then the question is more to the point, I think–do we allow the wolf pups to continue to be wolf pups, or do we consider them a danger to the dog pups and train all of the pups to make sure they don’t act wild?

    Besides, water doesn’t drink itself, so the cyanide doesn’t endanger the water. Are you thinking of people figuratively being a “drink” for God?

  • Allforfunnplay

    in the context of my post, that doesn’t make sense. my point is that heteros marry which account for 95%+ of the population so of course it effects everyone in society.  HOW DOES THAT APPLY TO SSM (which would probably account for less that 3% of the population?).  in your other post you drew a comparison of cyanide and 1% being poisonous in a 99% water solution.  so HOW does such a small minute percentage of homosexuals getting married effect everyone else?

  • Allforfunnplay

    so to be clear, you believe that SSM that would probably account for something like less that 3% of the population could poison the rest of society?  well, you answered my question, I’ll give you that….it sounds completely absurd to me….you must really fear homosexuals.  but you answered my question so I will end this part of the discussion.  

  • kloomis

    Another way of looking at this societal problem (our 50% divorce rate) could be that we HAVE to change something about marriage, and soon. Get rid of no-fault divorce? Maybe, but you’ll find lots of people who will give you earfuls about the problems of the old system–which were many. Tinker with it? Maybe. I suggested somewhere up above a government tax credit for people who do couples counseling. Maybe we can come up with other ideas. And as far as affecting all society–my sense is that allowing g/l marriage can open up a discourse about what is ethical marriage, why we need it, and how to accomplish it. This country NEEDS that discussion given the Britney Spears, bridezillas, and, most recently, the 3-marines-faking-heterosexual-marriages scandal.

  • kloomis

    If we are at 50+% now, and we were at 20-25% (or 37-40% — I’m not sure how to interpret the sttistic you quote) before, we were still in trouble. And the pre-no-fault history (early 20th century) of divorce still looks pretty awful. We should have a goal of less than 5% maybe?, but forbidding g/l marriages is not going to get us there. Allowing g/l marriages, and re-focussing our efforts as a society to strengthen ALL marriage, will get us there.

  • kloomis

    Are you saying that moral norms should not evolve? Then we would still have slavery, anti-miscegenation laws, bearbaiting, gifting smallpox-infected blankets to people we don’t like, or watching syphilitic men die while researchers make medical notes and lie to them, lynchings (which used to be civil picnic days), torturing people to death by boiling them in oil, or tearing them into 4 pieces, or stretching them on a rack, or throwing a supposed witch in the water to see if she drowned, etc.

    Of course moral norms evolve–often due, in the West, to concerned Christians who said, enough!

  • kloomis

    I think allfor has brought up a very important point: if our divorce rate is over 50%, and the number of LGBT who hope to marry is 1.5% (so little! I feel more insignificant by the minute!) the divorce rate is by far the bigger threat to heterosexual marriages, and the problem that we need to attack first. In fact, as I think allfor is saying, the 1.5% getting married is really just a gnat compared to the elephant in the room… Another point that I would like to make: lesbians are FAMOUS for doing therapy and couples counseling. If our marriages are longer lasting, more personally fulfilling, and produce healthier (measured in whatever ways) and more successful children (you’re all thinking of Garrison Keillor now, aren’t you)– societally, it would make sense to let us do it, and study why we’re so good at it.

  • Frank

    No the point is that divorce affects everyone even if you are not married. As will SSM.

  • Frank

    This is becoming pointless but I’ll try to say it again another way…

    Changing marriage changes culture and society which affects everyone. This statement is clear and straightforward and if you don’t get it I give up. Now if you simply don’t agree that’s another matter.

    Your percentage argument is flawed.

    Try drinking a mixture of 99% water and 1% cyanide and see what happens. Of course don’t do it because it will kill you!

  • kloomis

    It seems to me any ethical researcher will give caveats in presenting their theories in a field which is so poorly documented at this point (and she discusses these problems). What we are given is an array of possible alternative explanations to the traditional ones which we have been beating LGBT people up with — sin!, mental illness!, negative impact on the wellbeing of society! And these explanations, though not ready to cement down yet, nonetheless explain the data that we have.

  • kloomis

    Thanks for the Current Antropology article; haven’t finished it yet, but it is fascinating. Better than a rich dessert.


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