On the Morality of: Gay Marriage

The second installment in my “On the Morality Of” series will focus on another issue that has sharply divided society in recent years, the issue of whether gay couples should be legally permitted to obtain marriage. Although American polls consistently find that majorities are opposed to this idea, substantial minorities support it, and the opposition seems to be declining in strength year by year. Is the majority right in this case? If gays are not permitted to marry, should they receive at least some of the benefits of marriage under another name, such as civil unions? Or is this another insidious case of “separate but equal” discrimination?

Most divisive moral issues do not have simple resolutions, but in this case I feel there’s only one rational response. We should immediately grant gay couples the full and equal right to marry, the same as heterosexual couples receive. It’s an open question whether this institution should be called “marriage”, or whether the state should withdraw from the socially charged issue of how to define marriage and instead call all legally recognized partnerships civil unions. But in either case, there can be no rational justification for denying people the full protection of the laws based on their gender or sexual orientation.

We can arrive at this conclusion in a straightforward way by applying the principles of universal utilitarianism. Gay people, no less than straight people, have the ability to love and the desire to live together in peace and security with their partners. Denying them the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples – insurance and pension benefits, the right to make medical decisions, hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, tax benefits, adoption benefits, and more – is unconscionable discrimination. Not only does it cause tremendous suffering to the gay couples who are actually harmed by this unequal treatment, it causes great potential suffering for gay couples who know that all they have could be taken from them in the case of a tragedy or emergency. It also causes suffering for the children of gay couples by denying them a stable and secure family.

By contrast, granting them these rights causes no harm to anyone. No church would be forbidden from voicing its own views on homosexuality; no heterosexual couple would be prevented from getting married and spending their own lives together just because gays can do it too. The only repercussion would be that people opposed to gay marriage would be upset that they did not get their own way, but this is not the kind of harm that is cognizable under universal utilitarianism. The best way to maximize the happiness of everyone is to give all people the freedom to live their own lives as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on others’ equal right to do the same. Gay people seek the same freedom as everyone else; they do not seek to reach into heterosexuals’ lives to control them, to deny them equal protection or take away any freedom that they already have. The same cannot be said of the religious right.

The supposed negative effects of legalizing gay marriage are unsupported by reason or evidence. The idea that God will punish countries which allow this is a superstitious and irrational fear, given that gay marriage and civil unions have already been legalized in some places for years and those nations have suffered no divine wrath.

Nor would gay marriage lead to an increase in STDs or other consequences of unsafe sex. As any rational person would recognize, it could only have the opposite effect. Ironically, many religious fundamentalists cite the supposed rampant promiscuity of gays as reason to oppose their goals, while at the same time they furiously resist the idea of giving gay people access to the one institution that would give them the greatest incentive towards monogamy!

The last fear cited by opponents of gay marriage is that it would put us on a slippery slope towards polygamy, incest, bestiality, and other aberrant sexual practices. But this claim is absurd. In essence, it’s saying that there is no better argument against incest or bestiality other than “We never used to do it that way”. These people are in effect saying that their rules are arbitrary and reasonless, and that if any one of them changes, there is no reason not to change all the others as well.

This position is ridiculous. Every moral issue should be decided on its own merits. If there are good, independent reasons not to permit these other practices, as I believe there are, then those reasons will remain good ones regardless of whether gay marriage is legalized. On the other hand, if there are no good reasons to outlaw a particular sexual practice, then why should it be outlawed?

Other posts in this series:

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stuart Coleman

    I like the way it’s stated here.

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stuart Coleman

    I like the way it’s stated here.

  • boxofbirds

    That catch-22 of lambasting gay men for being promiscuous while at the same time denying us the incentive and protection of legally protected monogamous relationship has always irked me. I’m glad to see that reasonable people can also see this hypocrisy for what it is.

  • boxofbirds

    That catch-22 of lambasting gay men for being promiscuous while at the same time denying us the incentive and protection of legally protected monogamous relationship has always irked me. I’m glad to see that reasonable people can also see this hypocrisy for what it is.

  • andrea

    heh. with the cases of Craig, Haggard, et al, one would think that the only reason to keep gay men “promiscuous” and not allow marriage is so that religious Republican men can get their jollies in bathrooms or with meth addicts.

  • andrea

    heh. with the cases of Craig, Haggard, et al, one would think that the only reason to keep gay men “promiscuous” and not allow marriage is so that religious Republican men can get their jollies in bathrooms or with meth addicts.

  • http://www.patmuchmore.com P4limpsest

    I very much agree with this post, and I think it’s simply too late for the religious to take the term marriage back from the civil institution it has clearly become. It’s interesting that you mention the possibility of re-terming ALL marriages civil unions, I hadn’t thought of that possibility. I’d happily trade my heterosexual marriage for a heterosexual civil union.

    Slippery slopes again! I agree with your general point here, although I’m curious why polygamy should be banned just like incest and bestiality. Obviously anything involving family members or underage children (which sometimes get lumped under the same term) should be illegal. But I don’t see what’s wrong with several consenting adults joining together. Am I missing something more insidious here?

  • http://www.anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    As a happily married straight guy, I never understood why I should consider gay marriage to be a threat to my marriage.

    As for the slippery slope, animals and children are incapable of giving informed consent.

    Regarding polygamy, it is simply impractical on a large scale, because it would result in a shortage of available partners for single people. Put it this way, if you had a 50/50 ratio of men and women, and 25% of the men had two wives, then you would end up with far fewer single women available in comparison to single men.

    And as for how well polygamous marriages work out, watch the Chinese film Raise the Red Lantern.

  • boxofbirds

    I would say polygamy could be unrecognized for two reasons. For one, it doesn’t follow that allowing recognized marriage or civil union for two adults for very specific social and economic reasons would naturally extend to a group of three or more adults. And the other reason is that polygamy is often thought of as a tool for the oppression of women. It seems that if you look at this from the criteria expressed above, which I agree with, that polygamy can do actual harm to the women in these types of marriages.

  • boxofbirds

    I would say polygamy could be unrecognized for two reasons. For one, it doesn’t follow that allowing recognized marriage or civil union for two adults for very specific social and economic reasons would naturally extend to a group of three or more adults. And the other reason is that polygamy is often thought of as a tool for the oppression of women. It seems that if you look at this from the criteria expressed above, which I agree with, that polygamy can do actual harm to the women in these types of marriages.

  • Dave W.

    Regarding polygamy, it is simply impractical on a large scale, because it would result in a shortage of available partners for single people. Put it this way, if you had a 50/50 ratio of men and women, and 25% of the men had two wives, then you would end up with far fewer single women available in comparison to single men.

    Your logic suffers 3 flaws:
    1. It assumes that the ratio of single marriage eligible adults is 50/50 (a pretty big assumption)
    2. That’s the same logic I’ve heard fundamentalists use i.e if men marry each other there will be women left with no husbands. Clearly you can see the flaw with line of thought
    3. Last time I checked, marriage doesn’t exist to ensure that all adults are equally divided in some sort of union, it exists to allow people that love each other, to share the lives, period.

    For one, it doesn’t follow that allowing recognized marriage or civil union for two adults for very specific social and economic reasons would naturally extend to a group of three or more adults.

    My question is why doesn’t it extend to polygamy/polyandry. You specifying that it should be two adults without any logical reasoning behind it, is as bad as the religious right specifying that it should be a man and woman, with no concrete reason behind it.

    And the other reason is that polygamy is often thought of as a tool for the oppression of women.

    This again is a fallacious argument. The fact that polygamy has been present in societies that oppress women, doesn’t make it the driving force behind said oppression. It’s plain to see that in societies without polygamy, the oppression of women can and DOES take place. And what about polyandry??

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    The most common rationale for outlawing polygamy is that it’s often used by religious cults as a tool in the oppression of women – and that is a good reason, but not sufficient reason. (I think better enforcement of age-of-consent laws could prevent a lot of that harm.)

    Instead, I think, the legal protection of polygamous unions would simply be impractical. The rights that come with marriage are significant, and just because they can be extended to two people, it doesn’t follow that they can fairly be extended to any number of people. Allowing one person to marry an arbitrary number of people, and extending the same legal rights to every member of that union as would normally be extended to one partner, would create a horrendous number of legal problems. Just to name a few:

    * If businesses and other employers are obliged to extend health insurance, pensions and other benefits to an employee’s partner, what happens if an employee has an arbitrarily large number of partners? Does the employer have to pay for all of them?
    * If I’m married to two people who both have the right to make medical decisions for me, and I end up unconscious in the hospital, which one’s wishes have priority?
    * Do all members of a polygamous marriage have to consent for any one of them to marry someone new? Do all members have to consent to a divorce? What happens if one member of such a union wishes to divorce one partner but not the other and those two want to stay together?
    * If a partnership of many people adopts or bears children and then dissolves, how can visitation rights be fairly parceled out?

    This is not to say that several people, if they really all love each other and want to live together, should be forbidden from doing so. I just don’t think the civil benefits we rightly grant to two people in a committed partnership can be straightforwardly expanded to encompass a union with an arbitrary number of people.

  • Polly

    Are there any studies or valid arguments against expanding marriage/civil unions that anyone has ever heard?

    I’ve only heard the fundy argument that gay marriage would weaken hetero marriage. I can’t see how that’s even possible.

    I can’t think of any good arguments against polygamy/polyandry beyond possbible negative effects on children. But, I confess, I know nothing about children’s parental needs beyond the basics – food, shelter, and love. All the sex-identity, freudian stuff is beyond me.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    Excellent post. I feel no need for any god or government to sanctify my love; and here in California, most companies will extend benefits outside of marriage anyway. But those who wish to marry should be able to do so, with whomever they wish.

    This ridiculous ban is just one more example of the religious right’s hypocrisy: in some social issues, such as aiding the poor, they’ll argue for a small government (“that government is best which governs least” is a quote you’ll often hear); but on sexual issues, they are as big-gov’t as LBJ.

  • boxofbirds

    Dave,

    I didn’t mean to argue that it should be only between two people because that is how it is currently defined and with out any other reasoning, I was trying to say that there are, in my opinion, no arguments for gay marriage that could naturally be used to argue for a polygamous marriage. Basically I am saying that they are totally separate issues that must be argued for using different criteria, as in the original post. This would also be true for any other combination of a plural marriage.

    As for the oppression of women, I am not arguing that polygamy should not be allowed because it is associated with cultures or religions that oppress women. I believe it should not be allowed specifically because it does, or is highly likely to, oppress the women involved in such relationships. Rather than a marriage of two equal people, it is an unequal contract between a man/master and his wives/property. Similar to what “traditional” marriage was in our not so distant past and how it still exists today in some countries.

    Another way to look at this is what happens when the man dies? Are his seven wives still legally married to each other? Probably not, they were bound only to him. Forget cultural baggage and the tradition of polygamy; multiple wives, legally bound only to the husband, and not to each other, would automatically place a majority of the power in his hands. Whether he abuses it or not is up to him alone. So I guess the real argument may be: Is it worth the risk of this potential abuse of power to legally recognize polygamy? Could it be allowed in such a way that the women are protected? I would say no, but that is just my opinion.

    As for polyandry, I don’t know enough about real world examples of this to venture into this territory. Though, I assume that the previous argument might be made against it (swapping men for women) if such relationships are anything like polygamy in practice.

  • Alex Weaver

    I agree about gay marriage, and the pitfalls of legally recognized polygamy. I also agree about informed consent as relates to underage children, and am inclined to agree with regards to animals (though logically, it’s worth noting that the inability of animals to give informed consent is not generally considered an issue when it comes to euthanizing them, breeding them, slaughtering them for food, etc.). However, it is not at all obvious to me (per P4limpsest’s post) why sexual relations between family members who are not underage should be prohibited; the only arguments I’ve ever heard in favor of this consist of apparently exaggerated concerns about the risk of birth defects, and arguments about it being “sick” and “perverted” that are indistinguishable (aside from being far more prevalent) from those deployed against gay relationships. Is there something I’m missing here?

  • Stephen

    Do all members of a polygamous marriage have to consent for any one of them to marry someone new?

    Well, that’s easily dealt with – the answer is obviously yes. But your other points on the subject carry more weight.

    As for the people who oppose homosexual marriage – there are a few of them who I’ve engaged in discussion or have seen others engage in discussion. Most run away from any attempt to justify their views; debating the others is a surreal experience. Their arguments waft around somewhere just outside the reach of reality.

  • Dave W.

    * If businesses and other employers are obliged to extend health insurance, pensions and other benefits to an employee’s partner, what happens if an employee has an arbitrarily large number of partners? Does the employer have to pay for all of them?

    Considering that a benefit is just that, and not a legal right, I don’t think this is much of an issue, and can be easily sorted by the cooperate world.

    * If I’m married to two people who both have the right to make medical decisions for me, and I end up unconscious in the hospital, which one’s wishes have priority?

    I wouldn’t say that this is much of an argument against polygamy/polyandry, mainly because this is by no means an unfamiliar situation in society today. It can be handled in much the same way that people would deal with a situation whereby a parent with multiple children is in hospital…which one of their child’s wishes gets priority?

    * If a partnership of many people adopts or bears children and then dissolves, how can visitation rights be fairly parceled out?

    Again, I think this case, though currently unfamiliar is far from being a significant stumbling block.

  • Dave W.

    boxofbirds,

    I believe power differentials, and ultimately abuse, exist solely because of laws (or the lack thereof), rather than the number of people in a marriage. As long as the laws of a nation protect the rights of all its citizens, I believe the number of people married wouldn’t be an issue.

  • OMGF

    http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/255572.html

    Gay marriage ban struck down in Iowa. Good for them.

  • KShep

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a second. Fundies say that gays already HAVE the same rights as everyone else—they are free to marry members of the opposite sex if they want to. Fundies think homosexuality is a choice one makes, and simply don’t understand what homosexuality actually is (They can’t explain how one makes that choice, but insist it is indeed a choice. I’ve had that circular argument with my nut-job in-laws a few times, to no avail—they are unable to think logically).

    I’ve noticed that the large opposition to gay marriage, or gay rights at all, seems to be directed at gay MEN, not so much lesbians. I think these people just have a severe aversion to anal sex, but anything else is tolerable. I think it should be obvious, but aren’t there a lot of gay men who DON’T like that sort of thing?

    One time on the Hannity program, Dobson claimed that after The Netherlands (I’m pretty sure that’s where it was) legalized gay marriage, there was a spike in out-of-wedlock births. Colmes asked the obvious question:

    “What does gay marriage have to do with that?”

    After nearly choking on his own saliva, Dobson sputtered, “It just does!!!”

    It. Just. Does.

    Spoken like a true believer.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a second. Fundies say that gays already HAVE the same rights as everyone else—they are free to marry members of the opposite sex if they want to.

    I believe the same argument was used to defend antimiscegenation laws. Under those laws, blacks had the same rights as everyone else – they were free to marry members of the same race.

  • Robert Madewell

    Many fundies claim that they are against gay marriage because marriage is a Gawd given institution. That being the case, wouldn’t that mean that an atheist doesn’t have the right to marry, because if he/she doesn’t believe in Gawd then Gawd won’t approve of his/her marriage? I saw a poll about this issue a few months ago. Most of the pollers said atheists have the right to marry, but there was a 10% or so that said atheists marriages are null. This has some horrible implications. If some religious nut liked my wife enough to try to have sex with her, then to him it would not be adultery because she is not “technically” married to me (an atheist). It would make something immoral to most christians not so immoral as long as it was done to an atheist.

  • Robert Madewell

    Also, if a christian stopped beleiveing in Gawd, then will his/her marriage be automatically anulled? This is a serious concern to me. Warren Jeffs in arizona would anull his followers marriages (most of them polygynous marriages) if they ever came into disagreement with the FLDS church. Could the far right ever get enough control to anull atheist or other religions marriages? I think they would probably like to.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Alex,

    the only arguments I’ve ever heard in favor of this consist of apparently exaggerated concerns about the risk of birth defects, and arguments about it being “sick” and “perverted” that are indistinguishable (aside from being far more prevalent) from those deployed against gay relationships. Is there something I’m missing here?

    The concerns of birth defects aren’t exaggerated. There is a great risk in inbreeding in regards to the children’s health. The most common reason for this is that unhealthly recessive traits, normally masked by a dominate gene, are far more likely to be matched with another harmful recessive gene in inbreeding. The short version is that incest can create very real harm to children produced by it.

  • http://acriticalmass.wordpress.com Darren

    Another aspect of polygamy, specifically polygyny, is that it leads to a lot of young men without wives and without any prospect of mating. This leads to a lot of angry young men; we can look east to see the effect of this. It’s been argued that the eagerness of young Muslim men to be suicide bombers, with no prospect of marriage and the promise of 72 virgins in the afterlife, is linked to the practice of polygamy in those cultures. This is an extreme example, of course, but it’s easy to see how a polygamous society could be less stable.

  • Alex Weaver

    The concerns of birth defects aren’t exaggerated. There is a great risk in inbreeding in regards to the children’s health. The most common reason for this is that unhealthly recessive traits, normally masked by a dominate gene, are far more likely to be matched with another harmful recessive gene in inbreeding. The short version is that incest can create very real harm to children produced by it.

    My human sexuality professor quoted what I believe was a metastudy statistic to the effect that the risk of birth defects from the children of first cousins (I believe; it may have been siblings) in their late teens to early twenties was comparable to the risk of birth defects when the mother is over 35; however, he didn’t cite the specific study. Clearly the risk of rare, recessive genes being expressed is considerably greater in children conceived between close family members. However, most sex is nonprocreative, and contraception is readily available, as is information (both accurate and cultural-hyperbolic) about the risk of birth defects if a pregnancy does occur. For closely related couples who did feel the need to procreate, genetic counseling is available. And in any case, if we as a society prohibit sex between consenting adult family members because of fears of birth defects, shouldn’t we also be prohibiting women who smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs from having sex?

  • Alex Weaver

    (As an interesting side note, one of my friends mentioned research in a technique that allows two women to conceive together by transferring nuclear material from the egg of one to the egg of another, a technique which also tends to result in birth defects…I’ll have to see if she has a reference, next she’s on. But, should we be prohibiting that as well?)

  • MJJP

    I believe the term marriage implies a recognized union in which the intent was to procreate. Yes I know that there are childless heterosexual marriages but when the term and practice originated the eventual outcome was not possible. Having said that since we know that procreation is not possible with a homosexual relationship I think the term marriage should not apply but a recognized civil union contract should.A bigger question might be should we then allow them to adopt. I am not so sure I would approve that level of acceptance.The reason being is that the majority of relationships are never going to be mainstream and a minority raising children intentionally to be out of the norm may be a problem. I also feel that many same sex couples have not really recognized the obligations of such a relationship as they would have not only have the benefits but the obligations and restrictions as such. They would also be held accountable for any medical expenses incurred by the other, see other people sexually would be grounds for divorce, they would be taxed the same as married couple etc. This would be a field day for lawyers.
    As for polygamy and polyandry etc those practices and customs also were held legally binding with certain enforcable laws and obligations dictated by their particular culture.

  • Pi Guy

    I fully support any relationship arrangement that is arrived upon by mutual, informed consent. Isn’t that what you should expect in the “Land of the Free”?

    For the record: ALL marriages are simply civil unions (society simply chooses to recognize some – one, actually – of them ). Here’s how I know…

    I best manned at a wedding in PA. Groom’s parents were an ex-priest and an ex-nun. They decided that an old family friend, Fr. Tom in NY, should perform the ceremony. However, it turns out that Fr. Tom didn’t have standing to perform a marriage in PA because his position with respect to God does not supersede his position with respect to the state.

    So Fr. Tom presided over the ceremony in the yard but, right before pics, the local Justice of the Peace, another family friend, made it official when he had us sign the paperwork in the dining room. Only THEN they were “married”, that is, legally recognized as having a civil union by an agent of the government. We call them “married”, some might say because of the presence of Fr. Tom. But not so fast my friends…

    My sister-in-law’s Ceremony took place at the Court House by the JoP without any religious representation on-scene. So, while they clearly have a civil union, most would recognize their relationship as being a “marriage” as well. Why? Because she’s a woman and he’s a man.

    My take: If you don’t need God’s endorsement, as apparently you don’t, and the law can not oppose it – And on what grounds can they reasonably object if affairs of the state are truly distinct from affairs of the church, as they’re supposed to be? – then gay marriage is at least reasonable and prohibiting it would seem to be unconstitutional. Too bad people have to fight so hard for what’s already supposed to be guaranteed (see Woman’s and Civil Rights) in a free society.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    A further reply to Dave W:

    It can be handled in much the same way that people would deal with a situation whereby a parent with multiple children is in hospital…which one of their child’s wishes gets priority?

    You’re right; this wasn’t a particularly strong example. However, I think some of my other points have more weight than you’ve acknowledged, particularly the extending of insurance and medical benefits to spouses. Many of these benefits are, and should be, required by law, especially in public service jobs.

    My larger point here is that there’s no straightforward anti-discrimination argument for recognition of polygamous unions, the way there is for gay marriage. It’s not about removing discriminatory bounds on a legal arrangement that already exists, but rather creating a truly new kind of arrangement. And given that this arrangement often has been and still is used to justify the most horrible oppression of women, I think we need to be very careful in how we approach it.

    Also, on another topic:

    However, it is not at all obvious to me (per P4limpsest’s post) why sexual relations between family members who are not underage should be prohibited…

    Beyond the procreative problems, I can think of one reason: the power dynamics within a family raise a serious question of whether such a relationship could truly be entered into with full consent. It’s similar to the way a company might have policies forbidding an employee from dating a direct superior. Even in the rare cases where an employee might date their manager without coercion, the potential for that to happen is so high that it’s much better to have a blanket policy disallowing it, and I think the same could be said of incest.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Alex,

    If we’re willing to draw a line, I would agree with you. If the sex is between two consenting adults of the same family who do not wish to have a child come of the relationship (up to some degree of relatedness), then I don’t see the problem with it.
    I would, however, still argue that damage to an infant due to genetic issues should warrant those relationships from bringing children into the world. Not to mention there is another factor that should be considered in that relationships of those nature can also hold a large unbalance of power and trust, but I won’t worry about that now. I would say so long as it’s truly consentual sex between two adults, it’s ok. Sex / Procreation are not the same in this case though.

    shouldn’t we also be prohibiting women who smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs from having sex?

    No, not from having sex, but perhaps from doing such things while pregnant. Personally, I would not approve of a pregnant woman doing any such of the above before her child is born if she plans on giving birth to it. Would you?

    Also, you are correct in saying that the risks of birth defeats or death to child or mother increase substantially as the woman ages. An area that I would need to look into more before I were to make a judgment on it

  • Mrnaglfar

    Alex,

    I thought I had posted a response, but I guess it didn’t take, so here goes again.

    Ebonmuse covered the issue of power dynamics within a family that make incest a tricky matter. I could be convinced to go as far as to stay there’s nothing inherently wrong with SEX between truly consenting adults in the matter of incest. However, I wouldn’t condone such relationships producing children because of the very real risks of inbreeding depression.

    As for this

    And in any case, if we as a society prohibit sex between consenting adult family members because of fears of birth defects, shouldn’t we also be prohibiting women who smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs from having sex?

    No, I would not prohibit women doing such things from having sex, but I would prohibit them from doing such things while pregnant. If they plan on giving birth, such activities during pregnancy can very easily complicate the pregnancy and harm the fetus in very real ways. I don’t suppose you would condone such behavior would you?

    As for the age of the mother, yes, that certainly comes into question when thinking about birth defeats or death to the child/mother. The risk spikes dramatically as the mother reaches the age of menopause. My suggestion would be that mothers who want to have a healthy infant have one before it gets to that point, otherwise they begin to run similiar risks to the child and themselves as a mother engaging in behaviors mentioned above.

  • http://www.blacksunjournal.com BlackSun

    Ironically, many religious fundamentalists cite the supposed rampant promiscuity of gays as reason to oppose their goals, while at the same time they furiously resist the idea of giving gay people access to the one institution that would give them the greatest incentive towards monogamy!

    Of course, this presupposes that promiscuity is something to be avoided. I’d argue that it still comes down to consensuality, and it doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 100 sexual partners as long as everyone consents. In terms of morality of marriage, I agree 100% with Ebonmuse. My full statement is here. I’m with Alex Weaver in terms of familial sex. I may find it unsavory, but as long as people are consenting adults, it’s not my business. In terms of power imbalance, that potentially exists in all relationships. And obviously, there’s been plenty of incest in the gene pool for millions of years.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    Dave, the 50/50 ratio I merely used for convenience. Actually, it should probably have been 100:100.

    But I stand by may argument that polygamy on a large scale is simply impractical because it will result in a shortage of prospective mates for single people. Unless society adopted radical measures so that there would be 200 women for every 100 men, it would be impossible to have polygamous marriages as the norm.

    As to whether it should be allowed in principle, that of course is a separate issue. I guess, though that all depends on whether two women really want to share a husband together, or for the sake of gender equality, two men really want to share a wife together. I would imagine that in polygamous marriages, you are going to have a lot of scheming going on with each wife trying to jockey for favor with the husband at the expense of the other wife or wives. Again, I suggest you watch the movie Raise the Red Lantern to see what can go in polygamous marriages.

  • Alex Weaver

    A bigger question might be should we then allow them to adopt. I am not so sure I would approve that level of acceptance.The reason being is that the majority of relationships are never going to be mainstream and a minority raising children intentionally to be out of the norm may be a problem.

    So, to paraphrase…you don’t endorse mainstream acceptance of homosexual families because you don’t think homosexual families will ever gain mainstream acceptance. I…don’t really think there’s much I can add to this. O.o

    (You *do* realize that this argument would apply equally to Atheist families, don’t you?)

    I also feel that many same sex couples have not really recognized the obligations of such a relationship as they would have not only have the benefits but the obligations and restrictions as such. They would also be held accountable for any medical expenses incurred by the other, see other people sexually would be grounds for divorce, they would be taxed the same as married couple etc. This would be a field day for lawyers.

    How many same-sex couples have you known?

  • MJJP

    Yes Alex you seem to understand my point very well. However I would disagree with your premise on atheism. Whether one is atheist or not matters little in the societal obligation to procreate.This would however be an impossibility in a theist society in which society, religion,rule of law and politics are one. Furthermore, virtually the entire worlds cultures are based on heterosexual marriage and the day to day business of running the culture or society is based on this simple fact. To include gay and lesbian relationships as equals surly puts a strain on definitions and legalities on how law is implemented. If we also include children to this equation we further muddy the waters as to the rule of law. For example a heterosexual couple with children getting divorced the children more often than not will have custody given to the mother as history has shown that this is usually the best course of action. However should a gay couple with adopted children get divorced how do you then decide? Whether you want to admit it or not there are genetically different roles in both female and male which you cannot ignore. The female of the species whether it be man, dog, lion etc is the more nurturing of the genders.

  • Mrnaglfar

    MJJP,

    This almost seems like a strawman, but I’ll take a swing at it.

    Furthermore, virtually the entire worlds cultures are based on heterosexual marriage and the day to day business of running the culture or society is based on this simple fact. To include gay and lesbian relationships as equals surly puts a strain on definitions and legalities on how law is implemented.

    Just because things have normally been done a certain way doesn’t mean they should continue to be done in such a way if they lack real evidence or substance. Ignoring for a moment that homosexuality is not a new thing that has just recently emerged, nor that it’s not unique to humans, to say that to give homosexuals equal rights would be a strain on the legal system is pretty poor arguing. To point to a small minority just clamoring for equal rights and say “you’d be a problem” is just bullshit, especially when they are hurting no one else. More to the point, when you say it’s a simple fact that societies run on heterosexual marriage (which it isn’t), how would allowing homosexuals to marry change that? Society wouldn’t grind to a halt, the world would not be thrown out of balance; things would continue as they normally did with one less group being discriminated against. Remember, heterosexual marriages end in divorce roughly 50% of the time, and it’s heterosexuals who lead the way in non-traditional families; if society is based around heterosexual marriage one would think that those, not homosexual marriage, would be a greater threat to society. However, since that statement is flat out wrong, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

    For example a heterosexual couple with children getting divorced the children more often than not will have custody given to the mother as history has shown that this is usually the best course of action.

    I’m skeptical that it’s the best course of action to give the child to the mother, let alone that history backs that up; in each case of divorce, custody should be based around real issues, like parental care and support, well-being and wishes of the child(ren) involved, along with the personal record of the parents, not just handing the child over to mother. If this is the case however that custody tends to be granted more to the mother, it has more to do with a genetic line of reasoning, in that the mother is guaranteed to be the child’s real mother, while paternity is always the uncertain. How could we possibly work out custody issues in the case of homosexuals? Look into their current providing means, past and current behaviors, inquire as to the wishes of the child (depending on age), and see to it that both members still have access to the child and are going to still be supporting it. Doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to make really; a simple look into which parent would be most likely successful in supporting while allowing the other adopted parent chances to see the child and support it as well.

    Whether you want to admit it or not there are genetically different roles in both female and male which you cannot ignore. The female of the species whether it be man, dog, lion etc is the more nurturing of the genders.

    There are genetic differences, yes, but they do not determine morals. I’ll also ignore your blanket statement at the end, being that it’s not true, and has little, if anything, to do with the matter at hand. I don’t see what genetic differences in males and females have to do with allowing male or female homosexual couples to adopt children who otherwise would not have a home. Studies have shown that homosexuals raise children just fine, and may even tend to be more devoted parents being that they don’t have accidental or otherwise unwanted children. Likewise, those children are no more or less likely to turn out with a different sexual orientation then the population at large. Not to mention there is no one quality females have that males do not share, and vica versa. Both traits that are typically considered to be ‘male traits’ and ‘female traits’ are found in both sexes, personality wise at least (physically there is a difference, but none that I could see having any bearing on the issue whatsoever).

  • konrad_arflane

    Tommykey: Your argument presupposes that all, or most, polygamous marriages would be of the one man, two (or more) women variety. This may be true, but the reverse is at least possible, as are scenarios with for instance two of each gender.

    Quite apart from that, I think the most important concern about polygamous marriages should be to ensure that all partners in such a relationship enter into it freely and willingly. This is, of course, a lot harder than it sounds, especially if you take into consideration the gender differences in earning power. But if it were possible to make absolutely sure that polygamous marriages were entirely uncoerced, I would see no reason to prohibit them, at least for moral reasons (though some of our host’s practical concerns are quite valid). I think the very simple fact is that, though men may dream of having several wives, and women may dream of several husbands, very few people dream of being one of those several wives or husbands. IOW, if no coercion were involved, I think the scale of any problems arising from polygamous marriages would be vanishingly small.

  • MJJP

    Just because things have normally been done a certain way doesn’t mean they should continue to be done in such a way if they lack real evidence or substance.
    mrnag
    ======
    The key word here is “normal”. The word natural can also be used. It is the way most things settle out. Homosexuality is not new as you suggest but it is not the norm. Just like it is not normal to be born without limbs etc it is not the norm to be attracted to the same sex. The best society can do is tolerate the reality and avoid discrimination but to suggest that homosexuality be encouraged as a lifestyle is beyond me.Where are the societies that practice non heterosexual relationships as the norm as you suggest? I never said that homosexuals should not enter into marriage. What I said is that when the idea and understanding of marriage came into being it was done so with the understanding that they would procreate. A homosexual couple will never be able to procreate and that is understood at the beginning. The act would defy the intent. A civil union accomplishes the same goal with all the same rights as a marriage. You are correct that that traditional marriages are ending at the rate of 50% or so and are leading the way in non traditional relationships. History has not been written yet on the final outcome of this scenario but a quick look ar the children of today and their outlook for the future and the fact that many are confused , deluded, delinquent and living in poverty due to an unstable family life one cannot help but be concerned as to the final outcome.History does provide ample evidence that strong heterosexual family relationships leads to a more stable society for all concerned.

    ===========
    I’m skeptical that it’s the best course of action to give the child to the mother, let alone that history backs that up; in each case of divorce, custody should be based around real issues, like parental care and support, well-being and wishes of the child(ren) involved, along with the personal record of the parents, not just handing the child over to mother.
    mrnag
    =======================
    You want to live in a perfect world but that doesn’t exist. In order for that to take place the judge would have to micro manage every case that came to him. That is not necessary nor possible as I said in that we have natural evidence that the female of the species has genetic predispostion to nurturing their young. We see it displayed time and time again in most living species.
    Morals are what society has decided works best for all concerned. Whether it be heterosexual, polygamy etc. No society has ever endorsed homosexual conduct although some may have tolerated it. I explained my rational for not extending adoption rights to homosexual unions.First off you don’t do it just because you can. We don’t know what the net result we be. It just muddies the water for the legal system and rights , and no doubt confuses the child as to what his role in society should be as our culture and most cultures exist. You may not like the cultures as they are but that is reality. Men are men and women are women. They are made differently and for years society has tried to diminish or even eliminate this idea but more and more we find out the differences are real. Men think differently than women and that is a fact.Men reason differently than women and solve problems differently than each other. We know this not by society rules or morals but in the lab when we observe which part of the brain is working is solving problems etc.
    =============

    Studies have shown that homosexuals raise children just fine, and may even tend to be more devoted parents being that they don’t have accidental or otherwise unwanted children. mrnag
    ===============
    To my understanding their is no evidence supporting this claim as the numbers are so small as to be considered insignificant.
    ==========

    Both traits that are typically considered to be ‘male traits’ and ‘female traits’ are found in both sexes, personality wise at least (physically there is a difference, but none that I could see having any bearing on the issue whatsoever).
    mrnag
    ======================

    Perhaps true but typically one trait normally manifests itself in one or the other. As I said men are men and women are women for a reason. I will stand by my last statement unless you can show me where the norm exists for most species to have the male as nurturer.

  • Mrnaglfar

    MJJP

    The best society can do is tolerate the reality and avoid discrimination but to suggest that homosexuality be encouraged as a lifestyle is beyond me

    Just curious, how would allowing homosexuals to marry encourage a homosexual lifestyle in more people then in whom it would naturally come to exist in? Would the idea of it being ok to marry another homosexual drive straight men gay? I’m not sure I follow your idea there of exactly the connection between the two. No one is saying “what we need are more homosexuals/heterosexuals” just that homosexuals should be given the same rights allowed to heterosexuals.

    Where are the societies that practice non heterosexual relationships as the norm as you suggest?

    I never suggested this wasn’t the norm, but I fail to see what this being the norm has to do with extending equal rights to others for whom it is not the norm.

    A civil union accomplishes the same goal with all the same rights as a marriage

    Except that they don’t. Marriage comes with quite the list of addition benefits that civil unions do not. If you do not wish to grant the homosexuals marriage because marriage was meant to be a religious thing – fine. We can do away with all marriages and just make everything a civil union, and then if people want to get their civil union recognized by whatever religion they choose, that’s their business, but doing so would entail no extra legal benefits. I honestly think that’s a better idea than the way we currently do it. And if you want to even begin to talk about marriage being for reproduction then similiarly, the right to marry shouldn’t be granted to those too old to have children, infertile people, or people who do not wish to have children. As for original intent, marriage was basically a proclamation that a man owned a woman as property, and was normally about strengthening bonds between families and securing power and land.

    History has not been written yet on the final outcome of this scenario but a quick look ar the children of today and their outlook for the future and the fact that many are confused , deluded, delinquent and living in poverty due to an unstable family life one cannot help but be concerned as to the final outcome.History does provide ample evidence that strong heterosexual family relationships leads to a more stable society for all concerned.

    Well if you want to make comments about how screwed up kids get, since a vast majority of relationships are heterosexual, made even more salient by the fact that homosexuals do have children, then I find it silly to even consider trying to blame them for that at all. Unstable family life is a problem, but homosexuals gaining the right to marry and all the benefits that come along with it is not going to impact the heterosexual relationships that are so messed up at the moment. And even if many children are confused, deluded (of what?), and living in poverty I still don’t see what that has to do with the argument at hand. Are you assuming that homosexuals adopting would make matters worse? Or are you assuming that only strong heterosexual families lead to positive outcomes? Either way, both assumptions would be wrong. The most powerful predictors of children’s future success is typically hinged on two things: The economic status of the parents and having a loving and supporting upbringing. I don’t understand how homosexuality would be an issue in either case.

    In order for that to take place the judge would have to micro manage every case that came to him. That is not necessary nor possible as I said in that we have natural evidence that the female of the species has genetic predispostion to nurturing their young. We see it displayed time and time again in most living species.

    So you suggest instead of having to fill out a form or two and talk for a few minutes over the future of child we should always just blindly hand it over to the mother because they tend to be more of a nurturing parent, or else the judge and parties involved would need to spend some time deciding the best outcome for their children? Who’s got the time to be figuring out what situation would lead to the best possible outcome for the child? For one who seems so into a stable family life, you’d think you’d be more in favor of things that would support that. They’re going to be spending enough time trying to divide up their material possessions, so why not spend at least sometime deciding about the future of a living child? Suppose a mother is unfit to raise a child for either personal or economic reasons, has a drug problem, is abusive towards the child, or doesn’t have a house that can comfortably support her and her child, after all, these things do happen. And you still have yet to explain why this has anything to do with homosexuals being able to adopt. Are you really suggesting that a child would be better off with no parents then homosexual parents, or that to somehow extend the same benefits to homosexual couples would make our society fall apart? How about having a child adopted by two lesbians, after all, mothers are more nurturing right, so what’s more nurturing than two mothers?

    no doubt confuses the child as to what his role in society should be as our culture and most cultures exist.

    Do you have any evidence for this? Have you studied, or even looked into what studies have been done on children raised by homosexual couples? I assume the answer to both is a resounding ‘no’ given you said: “To my understanding their is no evidence supporting this claim as the numbers are so small as to be considered insignificant.

    Men think differently than women and that is a fact.Men reason differently than women and solve problems differently than each other. We know this not by society rules or morals but in the lab when we observe which part of the brain is working is solving problems etc.

    So then in your expert opinion, would you mind explaining to me what this differences are and why they say that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children (Female and male homosexuals)?

    Perhaps true but typically one trait normally manifests itself in one or the other. As I said men are men and women are women for a reason. I will stand by my last statement unless you can show me where the norm exists for most species to have the male as nurturer.

    What trait manifests itself in men and not in women (this includes homosexual men and women as well)? Part two, why does the first answer give reason that homosexual couples should not adopt. Go.
    I’ll even ignore that second part because we’re not concerned with every other species, we’re concerned with ours.

  • OMGF

    Mrnaglfar

    If this is the case however that custody tends to be granted more to the mother, it has more to do with a genetic line of reasoning, in that the mother is guaranteed to be the child’s real mother, while paternity is always the uncertain.

    It also has to do with passe ideas about the mother’s role of raising the children while the father is the breadwinner.
    MJJP,
    Making the argument that we should do things the way they’ve always been done is a rather poor argument. From that argument, we never should have outlawed slavery or given women the vote.

    Also, you should note that one culture certainly did encourage homosexual relationships, and that was ancient Greece, IIRC.

    Lastly, if you want to talk about what is normal, is atheism “normal” in your book? Why or why not? It seems that the vast majority of people in the world have been theists for all of recorded history. That would seem to say that atheists are not normal, right?

  • OMGF

    Mrnaglfar

    If this is the case however that custody tends to be granted more to the mother, it has more to do with a genetic line of reasoning, in that the mother is guaranteed to be the child’s real mother, while paternity is always the uncertain.

    It also has to do with passe ideas about the mother’s role of raising the children while the father is the breadwinner.
    MJJP,
    Making the argument that we should do things the way they’ve always been done is a rather poor argument. From that argument, we never should have outlawed slavery or given women the vote.

    Also, you should note that one culture certainly did encourage homosexual relationships, and that was ancient Greece, IIRC.

    Lastly, if you want to talk about what is normal, is atheism “normal” in your book? Why or why not? It seems that the vast majority of people in the world have been theists for all of recorded history. That would seem to say that atheists are not normal, right?

  • Alex Weaver

    This would however be an impossibility in a theist society in which society, religion,rule of law and politics are one. Furthermore, virtually the entire worlds cultures are based on heterosexual marriage and the day to day business of running the culture or society is based on this simple fact. To include gay and lesbian relationships as equals surly puts a strain on definitions and legalities on how law is implemented.

    Yes, it would require some rethinking of our cultural assumptions, restructuring of our institutions, and in particular radical revision of our laws–much as the in-progress inclusion of women and brown people as the equals of white males in western society has; much as the eradication of legally sanctioned slavery, the feudal system, divine right monarchy, and military dictatorships within the developed world have. What’s your point? There is no logical or ethical reason why a society cannot exist without the oppression and marginalization of part of its citizens, and if the present order cannot be maintained without such, then let it fall!

    More later. x.x

  • Alex Weaver

    This would however be an impossibility in a theist society in which society, religion,rule of law and politics are one. Furthermore, virtually the entire worlds cultures are based on heterosexual marriage and the day to day business of running the culture or society is based on this simple fact. To include gay and lesbian relationships as equals surly puts a strain on definitions and legalities on how law is implemented.

    Yes, it would require some rethinking of our cultural assumptions, restructuring of our institutions, and in particular radical revision of our laws–much as the in-progress inclusion of women and brown people as the equals of white males in western society has; much as the eradication of legally sanctioned slavery, the feudal system, divine right monarchy, and military dictatorships within the developed world have. What’s your point? There is no logical or ethical reason why a society cannot exist without the oppression and marginalization of part of its citizens, and if the present order cannot be maintained without such, then let it fall!

    More later. x.x

  • windy

    Whether you want to admit it or not there are genetically different roles in both female and male which you cannot ignore. The female of the species whether it be man, dog, lion etc is the more nurturing of the genders.

    So if a man is widowed with children, should those children be taken away from the father, since he couldn’t possibly nurture them properly?

    As for your examples from the natural kingdom, dogs are promiscuous and don’t have pair bonds to speak of, while lions have polygynous “harems”, the females bring in the bacon, and the males often practice infanticide. Which of these systems should a human society emulate?

  • OMGF

    MJJP,

    History does provide ample evidence that strong heterosexual family relationships leads to a more stable society for all concerned….

    ….
    =============

    [from Mrnaglfar]Studies have shown that homosexuals raise children just fine, and may even tend to be more devoted parents being that they don’t have accidental or otherwise unwanted children. mrnag
    ===============
    To my understanding their is no evidence supporting this claim as the numbers are so small as to be considered insignificant.

    It seems that you want to claim that hetero families are better for raising children, but also that we can’t make a determination on homosexual parentage because there isn’t enough evidence. Nevermind the fact that numerous studies have shown the larger difference lies between having one parent vs. no parents with homosexual parents being no different (statistically speaking) from heterosexual parents. What you are doing here is saying that hetero parents are better for the children than homosexual parents while admitting that you really don’t have evidence to support your view.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,

    History does provide ample evidence that strong heterosexual family relationships leads to a more stable society for all concerned….

    ….
    =============

    [from Mrnaglfar]Studies have shown that homosexuals raise children just fine, and may even tend to be more devoted parents being that they don’t have accidental or otherwise unwanted children. mrnag
    ===============
    To my understanding their is no evidence supporting this claim as the numbers are so small as to be considered insignificant.

    It seems that you want to claim that hetero families are better for raising children, but also that we can’t make a determination on homosexual parentage because there isn’t enough evidence. Nevermind the fact that numerous studies have shown the larger difference lies between having one parent vs. no parents with homosexual parents being no different (statistically speaking) from heterosexual parents. What you are doing here is saying that hetero parents are better for the children than homosexual parents while admitting that you really don’t have evidence to support your view.

  • MJJP

    There is simply way to many comments to respond to each individually but most seem to center around parenting so I will address the evidence as I found it and the source. In regards to the claim the childrene of homosexual relationships not being harmed here is what the American Pediatricians have to say on the matter.

    “children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle may be at increased risk for emotional mental and even physical harm.”
    http://www.acpeds.org/?CONTEXT=art&cat=22&art=50

    For those of you that claim studies prove that no harm come to these relationships were is why you are in error. In their words long term studies are very limited and
    and those that exist are “cooked” in that they do not take into account all the necessary data and ignore other data.
    Violence is reported at two or three times the rate for children in homosexual homes.
    Homosexual relationships are MORE prone to break up than heterosexual unions.Let me kjust put the one paragraph on children here to save time. If you are really interested you can go to the link. So far no one has given any good reason to do this other than we can. There are many negatives ano no positives to change the status quo.

    Violence among homosexual partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples. 10,11,12,13,14 Homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years. 15,16,17 Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.” 18,19,20,21,22 Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness,23,24,25 substance abuse,26 suicidal tendencies,27,28 and shortened life spans.29 Although some would claim that these dysfunctions are a result of societal pressures in America, the same dysfunctions exist at inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures were the practice is more widely accepted.30 Children reared in homosexual households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, practice homosexual behavior, and engage in sexual experimentation. 31,32,33,34,35 Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, like their adult counterparts, are at increased risk of mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.36

    Conclusion

    The research literature on childrearing by homosexual parents is limited. The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.

    January 22, 2004

    http://www.acpeds.org/?CONTEXT=art&cat=22&art=50

  • MJJP

    I hope you all caught the last sentence of the artical.
    “This position is rooted in the best available science.”

  • MJJP

    I hope you all caught the last sentence of the artical.
    “This position is rooted in the best available science.”

  • KShep

    I caught this sentence:

    Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, like their adult counterparts, are at increased risk of mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m pretty sure no one “adopts” the homosexual “lifestyle.” This sentence seems to indicate that the author believes homosexuality is a choice, something at odds with other studies.

    Whenever I see something like that I immediately get suspicious.

  • MJJP

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m pretty sure no one “adopts” the homosexual “lifestyle.” This sentence seems to indicate that the author believes homosexuality is a choice, something at odds with other studies.

    Whenever I see something like that I immediately get suspicious.
    Comment by: KShep
    ===========================
    There are many examples of “adopting” the homosexual lifestyle even if only by experimenting. Several actors and actresses including other entertainers of recent memory have openly stated that they are bisexual indicating that what ever is available if fine. This is a contradiction in claims of being hetero or homosexual. They openly chose to engage in homosexual activity to see how it was. As to your concern about the “author” and the opinion I remind you the author is not using a personal opinion but is rather stating what the conclusions are based on the available data and I refer you again to the last sentence.

    “This position is rooted in the best available science.”

  • MJJP

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m pretty sure no one “adopts” the homosexual “lifestyle.” This sentence seems to indicate that the author believes homosexuality is a choice, something at odds with other studies.

    Whenever I see something like that I immediately get suspicious.
    Comment by: KShep
    ===========================
    There are many examples of “adopting” the homosexual lifestyle even if only by experimenting. Several actors and actresses including other entertainers of recent memory have openly stated that they are bisexual indicating that what ever is available if fine. This is a contradiction in claims of being hetero or homosexual. They openly chose to engage in homosexual activity to see how it was. As to your concern about the “author” and the opinion I remind you the author is not using a personal opinion but is rather stating what the conclusions are based on the available data and I refer you again to the last sentence.

    “This position is rooted in the best available science.”

  • KShep

    There are many examples of “adopting” the homosexual lifestyle even if only by experimenting. Several actors and actresses including other entertainers of recent memory have openly stated that they are bisexual indicating that what ever is available if fine. This is a contradiction in claims of being hetero or homosexual. They openly chose to engage in homosexual activity to see how it was.

    There is no contradiction. You made a giant leap from homosexuality to bisexuality—two very different things.

    Also, it’s another giant leap to say that experimenting by an actor or anyone else is “adopting” a homosexual or bisexual “lifestyle.” Sexuality is not a “lifestyle” any more than “African-American” is. People do not “convert” to or “adopt” either one.

    I stand by my earlier statement—-the author appears to default to the position of homosexuality as a choice.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    Just because they say that it “is rooted in the best available science” doesn’t make it so. Did you look at the “core values” of this group that you are quoting?

    http://www.acpeds.org/?CONTEXT=art&cat=10002&art=8&BISKIT=3656822618

    In particular, check out numbers 2, 3, and 6.

    2. Recognizes that good medical science cannot exist in a moral vacuum and pledges to promote such science.

    3. Recognizes the fundamental mother-father family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for the development and nurturing of children and pledges to promote this unit.

    6. Recognizes the physical and emotional benefits of sexual abstinence until marriage and pledges to promote this behavior as the ideal for adolescence.

    This hardly sounds the non-biased organization.

    Here’s an actual study, not a position paper:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/109/2/341?ijkey=9308ba1df40bda77291a8811c85eb82e888b91dd

    Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A10691-2003Jul31&notFound=true

    Schmitt’s study, which was published in the July issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, involved 16,288 volunteers from 50 countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as Australia. Asked how many partners they desired over the next month, men on average said 1.87, while women said 0.78…

    More than a quarter of heterosexual men wanted more than one partner in the next month, as did 29.1 percent of gay men and 30.1 percent of bisexual men, the study said. Just 4.4 percent of heterosexual women, 5.5 percent of lesbians and 15.6 percent of bisexual women sought more than one partner.

    …and shortened life spans.29

    Ref. 29 is a study on HIV. HIV affects both homosexuals and heterosexuals, so I hardly find that appropriate to cite for shortened life spans of gays.

    Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, like their adult counterparts…

    No, it is not a lifestyle, and the study I quoted above dispells this myth.

    There are many examples of “adopting” the homosexual lifestyle even if only by experimenting. Several actors and actresses including other entertainers of recent memory have openly stated that they are bisexual indicating that what ever is available if fine.

    No, that is not what being bi-sexual means.

    Also, I’ll note that this link of yours has the same problem that you do. It wants to claim that the evidence shows that gay parenting is not as good, while simultaneously claiming that there’s not enough evidence. Please clarify for me how that can be the case.

  • Alex Weaver

    I hope you all caught the last sentence of the artical.
    “This position is rooted in the best available science.”

    Creationists and global warming deniers say the same thing. I’ve only skimmed your article since I’m on the road, but from the comments it has about as much evidence. What’s your point?

  • Alex Weaver

    PS: The fact that a society calls itself “the American Association of something or other” does not actually indicate that it authoritatively speaks for the majority of something or other in America. Especially when it provides limited and badly flawed supporting evidence.

    You seem to have a real problem with being extremely credulous towards claims which agree with your pre-existing prejudices. I hope I don’t have to explain why this is a bad thing.

    Also, on your claims about divorce, the practice of automatically, or strongly preferentially, automatically giving custody to mothers can and should be immediately ended. Custody of children should be assigned on the basis of factors like demonstrated responsibility, financial security, and mental stability, not “everyone knows” canards, so that tragedies like the predictable results of the custody of my wife and her sisters being assigned to their mother–whose combination of suboptimal examples of child-raising by her own parents, untreated mental health issues, and massive self-medication for said mental health issues has left her with the emotional maturity and judgement of a 12 year old–can be avoided. Or would you, on the basis of your prejudices about women being more “nurturing,” actually agree with my wife’s deeply-in-denial maternal grandparents that despite the fact that my wife and her sisters lived in horrible poverty, were subjected to extensive physical and mental abuse (sexual abuse we’re not sure about) by their mother’s drug-buddies, were frequently left alone for days at a time with little or no food or supplies, would have been on the streets if their mother’s parents hadn’t insisted on paying for house after house, and all suffer from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder, that their mother was a better choice to parent them?

  • MJJP

    Population figures for “same-sex” households issued by the U.S. CensusBureau in the summer of 2001 havebeen exploited by homosexual activists for political purposes. They openly ad-mit this fact”
    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:egRKo8nEXNQJ:www.traditionalvalues.org/pdf_files/TVCSpecialReportHomosexualCensus.pdf+homosexual+parents+evidence+statistics+latest&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us
    Experts agree that studies in support of homosexual parenting are hopelessly flawed.
    The key words here are “hopelessly flawed”
    http://www.traditionalvalues.org/pdf_files/TVCSpecialReportHomosexualCensus.pdf
    http://www.valuesadvocacycouncil.org/download/EvidenceIsClear.pdf
    The Bureau of Justice Statistics (U.S. Department of Justice) reports that married women in traditional families experience the lowest rate of violence compared with women in other types of relationships.
    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:nEGGD3nD_CQJ:www.namb.net/site/apps/nl/content2.asp%3Fc%3D9qKILUOzEpH%26b%3D1648583%26ct%3D3045585+homosexual+parents+evidence+statistics+latest&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us
    We can go at this all day long if you would like but the overwhelming evidence is that parenting and homosexuals is a bad idea. The first reference I used is far more recent than anything presented thus far. There is absolutely no good reason to change the status quo other than we can and a whole lot of observable evidence that points to it not being a good idea. I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause. Since this is a board devoted to atheism may I suggest using a more appropriate forum. Considering the amount of noted, recent and respected references I don’t feel I need to further respond on this subject.

  • KShep

    The reason people on this forum respond so strongly to homophobia is because it’s rooted in religion, something everyone on this forum supposedly opposes.

    There is absolutely no good reason to change the status quo other than we can…..

    No one is trying to change the status quo—-just trying to get the same rights as everyone else.

    I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause.

    Well, there you have it—-backed into a corner, you resort to the old “promoting the gay agenda” argument. Congratulations, you’ve just aligned yourself with Bill O’Reilly.

  • KShep

    The reason people on this forum respond so strongly to homophobia is because it’s rooted in religion, something everyone on this forum supposedly opposes.

    There is absolutely no good reason to change the status quo other than we can…..

    No one is trying to change the status quo—-just trying to get the same rights as everyone else.

    I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause.

    Well, there you have it—-backed into a corner, you resort to the old “promoting the gay agenda” argument. Congratulations, you’ve just aligned yourself with Bill O’Reilly.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    Holy crap. Are you for real?
    Your first two links above are the same thing, and come to nothing more than conspiracy theories about the liberal media and the gay agenda.
    Your second link suffers from the same problem that I’ve pointed out three times now, that they complain that the evidence is against same sex parents while simultaneously claiming that there’s not enough evidence. Further, it’s sponsored by the Values Advocacy Council who claim:

    The Values Advocacy Council was formed in 2003 to be a voice for Christian values in public policy matters in Silicon Valley.

    Surely they are not biased.
    Your last link is from the Family Research Council, a group that is associated with Paul Cameron and repeats his “studies” that have been widely discredited. I suggest you look up Paul Cameron to see what this guy is like. FRC is also a religious right organization that is surely biased.

    We can go at this all day long if you would like but the overwhelming evidence is that parenting and homosexuals is a bad idea.

    If that is the case, then you would do well to actually present something that doesn’t have tons of problems.

    The first reference I used is far more recent than anything presented thus far.

    Being more recent doesn’t guarantee it is better, and you’ve yet to answer the criticisms that have come from that link, like why they have a value statement that makes such weird statements about following moral science, being committed to a mother-father household (shouldn’t they wait until all the facts are in before taking a stand?) and pushing abstinence only pledges.

    There is absolutely no good reason to change the status quo other than we can and a whole lot of observable evidence that points to it not being a good idea.

    If a theist argued that there is no good reason to change the status quo about atheists’ standing in society, would you consider that a good argument? Besides, there is a good reason, and it is called equal rights and protections under the law for all. This isn’t just a good reason, it is perhaps the very best reason to do something.

    I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause.

    Ooooo, you got us. Yes, we are all a bunch of gays that parade around atheist blogs just hoping that the atheist who runs it will post something about gay marriage so that we can pounce. Do you know how ridiculous you sound? I’ll also point out that this is an example of ad hominem.

    Considering the amount of noted, recent and respected references I don’t feel I need to further respond on this subject.

    Please reconsider the links that you’ve been linking to. Look at the sources, see if they make sense. Use the critical thinking that led you to atheism. I suggest going and doing a detailed study on the actual state of the science, and now what the creationists present as the actual science. I’d start with the American Psychiatric Society. Check out their journals, check out the Pediatrics journal. Do some research on this and keep an open mind. I know that you might have personal feelings of “ick” about the prospect of gays having sex, but remember that no one would be forcing you into that, and that gay men and women didn’t choose to be attracted to the same sex anymore than you chose to be attracted to the opposite sex.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    Holy crap. Are you for real?
    Your first two links above are the same thing, and come to nothing more than conspiracy theories about the liberal media and the gay agenda.
    Your second link suffers from the same problem that I’ve pointed out three times now, that they complain that the evidence is against same sex parents while simultaneously claiming that there’s not enough evidence. Further, it’s sponsored by the Values Advocacy Council who claim:

    The Values Advocacy Council was formed in 2003 to be a voice for Christian values in public policy matters in Silicon Valley.

    Surely they are not biased.
    Your last link is from the Family Research Council, a group that is associated with Paul Cameron and repeats his “studies” that have been widely discredited. I suggest you look up Paul Cameron to see what this guy is like. FRC is also a religious right organization that is surely biased.

    We can go at this all day long if you would like but the overwhelming evidence is that parenting and homosexuals is a bad idea.

    If that is the case, then you would do well to actually present something that doesn’t have tons of problems.

    The first reference I used is far more recent than anything presented thus far.

    Being more recent doesn’t guarantee it is better, and you’ve yet to answer the criticisms that have come from that link, like why they have a value statement that makes such weird statements about following moral science, being committed to a mother-father household (shouldn’t they wait until all the facts are in before taking a stand?) and pushing abstinence only pledges.

    There is absolutely no good reason to change the status quo other than we can and a whole lot of observable evidence that points to it not being a good idea.

    If a theist argued that there is no good reason to change the status quo about atheists’ standing in society, would you consider that a good argument? Besides, there is a good reason, and it is called equal rights and protections under the law for all. This isn’t just a good reason, it is perhaps the very best reason to do something.

    I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause.

    Ooooo, you got us. Yes, we are all a bunch of gays that parade around atheist blogs just hoping that the atheist who runs it will post something about gay marriage so that we can pounce. Do you know how ridiculous you sound? I’ll also point out that this is an example of ad hominem.

    Considering the amount of noted, recent and respected references I don’t feel I need to further respond on this subject.

    Please reconsider the links that you’ve been linking to. Look at the sources, see if they make sense. Use the critical thinking that led you to atheism. I suggest going and doing a detailed study on the actual state of the science, and now what the creationists present as the actual science. I’d start with the American Psychiatric Society. Check out their journals, check out the Pediatrics journal. Do some research on this and keep an open mind. I know that you might have personal feelings of “ick” about the prospect of gays having sex, but remember that no one would be forcing you into that, and that gay men and women didn’t choose to be attracted to the same sex anymore than you chose to be attracted to the opposite sex.

  • Alex Weaver

    I strongly suspect that those who are advocating this change are themselves gay and promoting their cause.

    Oh dear. I guess I’d better have a talk with my wife when I get home. Especially since, by your “logic,” I’m also a woman, given that I support equal rights for women (this raises a lot of questions about how we came to have a natural child together, though). Fortunately, my being black, which by your “logic” I must be since I support racial equality, wouldn’t be an issue to her. However, my also being white, hispanic, asian, and Native American might be a bit confusing for the census-takers.

    Idiot.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I see we have a live one here…

    I note that MJJP ducked into the punch regarding my comment on promiscuity:

    Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.”

    To which I simply reply, as I did in my previous article: Do you think the fact that homosexuals are legally prohibited from seeking a recognized monogamous relationship might have something to do with that? What do you think would be the effect on sexual activity among heterosexuals if they were suddenly prohibited from getting married?

    MJJP also – a disgustingly common tactic among right-wingers – blames the suffering among homosexuals caused by his own bigotry as evidence justifying that bigotry. I don’t doubt that gay people have higher-than-normal rates of drug abuse and suicide; and I’m quite certain that this is due to the appalling, sickening prejudice and bigotry they still encounter from many quarters of society, especially from the religious right.

    As far as the science goes, let’s set aside for the moment the venom spewed by right-wing hate groups and see what some real scientific organizations have to say:

    Gay and lesbian parenting enjoys broad support from medical experts. Organizations that have officially supported adoption by same-sex couples include the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Bar Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    Here’s an excerpt from the American Psychological Association position statement:

    Although exposure to prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation may cause acute distress (Mays & Cochran, 2001; Meyer, 2003), there is no reliable evidence that homosexual orientation per se impairs psychological functioning. Second, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation… The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation (Armesto, 2002; Patterson, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I see we have a live one here…

    I note that MJJP ducked into the punch regarding my comment on promiscuity:

    Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.”

    To which I simply reply, as I did in my previous article: Do you think the fact that homosexuals are legally prohibited from seeking a recognized monogamous relationship might have something to do with that? What do you think would be the effect on sexual activity among heterosexuals if they were suddenly prohibited from getting married?

    MJJP also – a disgustingly common tactic among right-wingers – blames the suffering among homosexuals caused by his own bigotry as evidence justifying that bigotry. I don’t doubt that gay people have higher-than-normal rates of drug abuse and suicide; and I’m quite certain that this is due to the appalling, sickening prejudice and bigotry they still encounter from many quarters of society, especially from the religious right.

    As far as the science goes, let’s set aside for the moment the venom spewed by right-wing hate groups and see what some real scientific organizations have to say:

    Gay and lesbian parenting enjoys broad support from medical experts. Organizations that have officially supported adoption by same-sex couples include the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Bar Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    Here’s an excerpt from the American Psychological Association position statement:

    Although exposure to prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation may cause acute distress (Mays & Cochran, 2001; Meyer, 2003), there is no reliable evidence that homosexual orientation per se impairs psychological functioning. Second, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation… The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation (Armesto, 2002; Patterson, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.

  • Mrnaglfar

    MJJP,

    Just thought I’d hit on one myth in two parts you keep bringing up.

    Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.”

    There lies within this two false assumptions. First is that female homosexuals are “inordinately promiscuous”. Studies do not bear this out. Not to mention I love that little zinger they threw in there about what they would only “loosely-term committed relationships”. That just drips with judgment and bias; two things that tend to make an argument less credible.

    Second, there lies within this the idea that promiscuoity is a bad thing; another moral relic of our past.

    If you want to quote real science, it helps if you don’t get information from websites claiming anything along the lines of Traditional Christian Family Values.

    Childrearing studies have consistently indicated that children are more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically in a home with two heterosexual parents versus a home with a single parent. 5,6,7,8,9 Therefore, the burden is on the proponents of homosexual parenting to prove that moving further away from the heterosexual parenting model is appropriate and safe for children.

    It seems here they are saying that having only 1 parent is a diversion from the heterosexual model of a family they hold. And yet having two homosexual parents is an even farther deviation from that. Not only that, but it puts the burden of proof on those clamoring for equal rights – sorry, but try again. If you want to deny someone civil rights, regardless of who they are, it’s up to the state to show there’s good reason to do so.

    the same dysfunctions exist at inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures were the practice is more widely accepted.

    It mentions cultures in which it’s more widely accepted without telling you which cultures they mean. In this case, after I looked into it, they mean culture (singular) and it happens to be 120 people in the Netherlands (82 men and 42 women respectively), compared with the almost 6000 heterosexuals. The support for same sex marriage in 2006 was polled at 82%, meaning about 20% or 1 out of every 5 people in the country, still didn’t support same sex marriage. Likewise, though there are laws against discrimination practices, these have all come about in the past 13 years or so (some rights coming even later than that), and just because there is a law against it doesn’t mean discrimination has ended. So ask yourself before you start jumping into “they have mental problems because they’re gay”, what pressure do you think you’d feel if 20% of society didn’t approve of you (at least), and up until 13 years ago it was ok to discriminate, and that people still see you as less then human for being who you are?

    The study says similiar things as well:

    -The effects of social factors on the mental health status of homosexual men and women have been well documented in studies, which found a relationship between experiences of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination and mental health status.

    -Because of the study’s cross-sectional design, it is not possible to adequately address the question of the causes of the observed differences. Differences observed in the preceding year might be a consequence of earlier differences, since ever having had a specific disorder might predispose people to subsequent disorders

    -he mediating role of relationship status suggests that higher prevalence rates of some disorders in homosexual people compared with heterosexual people could also be caused by loneliness.

    And now, some other fun quotes from your website links:

    -These estimates may be based on homosexual sources and should be suspect

    -The absence of children in the vast majority of gay households … do have more discrestionary income, that is [money not earmarked for kids] (which kind of makes sense you know; no kids, not saving money for those no kids)

    -…Of those, only 5,712 were same-sex partnerships. There were 3,162 who identified themselves as male homosexual couples; 2,550 identified themselves as female homosexual couples. The researchers found that male homosexuals rarely had children in their homes. In fact, 95% did not have children living with them and 81% had never been married. The researchers were not concerned about how many children lived in lesbian households. (not sure what this really has to do with anything, but it’s pretty funny)

    -..The secondary message was that because these households are skyrocketing, homosexuals deserve special rights to protect them from “discrimination” in housing, jobs, etc. (By special rights here, they of course mean “equal”)

    -One should not be surprised by these findings. The homosexual agenda does not accommodate the natural purpose and parameters of marriage but instead seeks to redefine it and ultimately eliminate it. Natural marriage stands as the one witness to the illegitimacy of their relationships.

    -Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and
    Education Fund, has stated, “Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so…. Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society.”

  • RiddleOfSteel

    No, I would not prohibit women doing such things [smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs] from having sex, but I would prohibit them from doing such things while pregnant. If they plan on giving birth, such activities during pregnancy can very easily complicate the pregnancy and harm the fetus in very real ways.

    Should not a woman have control over her own body? If she wants to drink heavily, smoke or engage in other risky activities when she is pregnant, that should be her choice. For example, consider that an expectant mother might choose to binge drink every day during the first month of the pregnancy. As some people have previously stated on this site – the thing growing in her womb is just a bunch of cells. I recall someone here claiming the developing human was just like a tumor and could be treated as such. If it’s just like a tumor , then what is the big deal if the woman binge drinks? The woman is just harming a tumor. Tumors don’t have rights. What happened to pro-choice?

  • RiddleOfSteel

    No, I would not prohibit women doing such things [smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs] from having sex, but I would prohibit them from doing such things while pregnant. If they plan on giving birth, such activities during pregnancy can very easily complicate the pregnancy and harm the fetus in very real ways.

    Should not a woman have control over her own body? If she wants to drink heavily, smoke or engage in other risky activities when she is pregnant, that should be her choice. For example, consider that an expectant mother might choose to binge drink every day during the first month of the pregnancy. As some people have previously stated on this site – the thing growing in her womb is just a bunch of cells. I recall someone here claiming the developing human was just like a tumor and could be treated as such. If it’s just like a tumor , then what is the big deal if the woman binge drinks? The woman is just harming a tumor. Tumors don’t have rights. What happened to pro-choice?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    The woman is just harming a tumor. Tumors don’t have rights.

    But children do have rights, including the right to be free from harm; and if a woman who drinks during pregnancy brings that pregnancy to term, she is responsible for whatever harm is suffered by the child she brings into being.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Riddleofsteel,

    Admittedly, that period between pregnant and If should be a comma. So I suppose you got me on a typo there; let me rephrase.

    I would not prohibit women doing such things [smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs] from having sex, but I would prohibit them from doing such things while pregnant, if they plan on giving birth, since such activities during pregnancy can very easily complicate the pregnancy and harm the fetus in very real ways.

    There we go. All better

  • KShep

    Like most religious nuts, MJJP apparently ran and hid when his nonsense was exposed.

    Too bad, it was just getting interesting!

  • KShep

    Like most religious nuts, MJJP apparently ran and hid when his nonsense was exposed.

    Too bad, it was just getting interesting!

  • http://gdgd.wordpress.com/ uhclem

    I received a brochure from Focus on the Family earlier this week, advertising a series of conferences which have been going on for nearly ten years, whose sole purpose is to convince gay people of the error of their ways. They have quite a few juicy quotes, which I’ve taken the liberty of posting on my new web site. When you look at the scale of this type of operation, now the size of a small (maybe not-so small) university in my home town, it is pretty frightening… Check it out. GD

  • MJJP

    Like most religious nuts, MJJP apparently ran and hid when his nonsense was exposed.

    Too bad, it was just getting interesting!

    Comment by: KShep
    ===============================
    Not really. I stand by last post and so far as I originally stated the jury is still out on whether same sex couples should be allowed to parent. The evidence is still not there and whatever evidence there is points to a resounding no. Just because we can does not mean that we should. Whatever studies anyone has pointed to are older than anything I have posted and are considered flawed by any serious person interested in taking an unbiased view. Lastly parenting by same sex couples as an issue is a fringe position in society and seeing how vehemently it was argued here is reason that atheists will continue to have a problem gaining acceptance in mainstream society. It seems that the majority not only view atheists as godless but we also encompass every trait that mainstream society deems innappropriate. For the most part the founding fathers of this country were deists which meant they did not live their lives based on religious fear but I seriously doubt they would have embraced and fought for the ideas being posted here. I have agreed that discrimination should be ended against gays and even agreed to civil unions but I will never agree that parenting or encourageing gays as parents should be considered an option nor encouraged nor that the term marriage in such practices is deemed appropriate.

  • Alex Weaver

    Our founding fathers didn’t embrace racial equality either, and didn’t even think about women’s rights. Incidentally, I hear they weren’t strongly opposed to nuclear proliferation, and weren’t in favor of taking steps to curb global warning. I’m not sure how they felt about electronic surveillance or the content of movies or the internet, either. So what? They’ve been dead for at least 8 times as long as I’ve been alive. They had some good ideas for their time, but the country has moved on. We aren’t a church of Americanism, enslaved to the dogma of our prophets as the world moves on around us, and we conduct ourselves as such at our own peril.

    As for “unbiased sources,” you’ve cited links from organizations whose explicit goal is the promotion of Right-Wing Christian values and policies that force those values on society as a whole, many of whom have specific statements about what conclusions the evidence they consider must point to in order for them to accept it. They’ve already made up their minds and don’t want to be confused by the facts, and they have an extensive track record of Lying For Jesus. Their positions aren’t even logically coherent. And you promote them as “unbiased” sources indicating a “resounding no?” It’s like you learned everything you know about reasoning and argument from the Discovery Institute.

    Here’s a hint: “unbiased” doesn’t mean “confirms my prejudices.” Have we cleared that up yet?

    Finally:

    I have agreed that discrimination should be ended against gays and even agreed to civil unions but I will never agree that parenting or encourageing gays as parents should be considered an option nor encouraged nor that the term marriage in such practices is deemed appropriate.

    Make up your mind.

  • Alex Weaver

    And a quick note on the incest thing: First, companies generally have those sorts of policies due to concerns that relationship tension or conflicts of interest may impede the employees in question in their duties, to the detriment of the company, rather than out of any ethical concerns about relationship inequality. Families have fewer options than companies for enforcing similar policies, but they can just as readily disown members who are engaged in an incestuous relationship as a company can fire a manager who is dating his or her subordinate. Also, to the best of my knowledge, there is no law directly and uniformly punishing relations between managers and employees, though companies are entitled to fire them or seek other sanctions if their behavior in fact proves damaging. This is as it should be.

    As for the point about power dynamics, there would certainly be a potential concern there, but I don’t think a blanket legal solution would be helpful or warranted. First, the potential for inequality of power exists in any relationship, and is potentially guaranteed in some; IE relationships between people of very different social or financial status, or even between adults of different age groups. This is to say nothing of religious views that teach that the female should be submissive and allow herself to be led–while we certainly should speak out against that attitude, are we actually to prohibit people who hold it, and live by it in their private lives, from engaging in sexual relationships? I really think that setting a precedent of outlawing certain types of consensual (per the commonly understood meaning of the word) relationships between adults on the basis of perceived potential for manipulation would be a mistake. These are adults we’re talking about, FFS; if they need their hands held like that at such a point in their lives, they bloody well shouldn’t.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I have agreed that discrimination should be ended against gays and even agreed to civil unions but I will never agree that parenting or encourageing gays as parents should be considered an option nor encouraged nor that the term marriage in such practices is deemed appropriate.

    In other words, “I don’t think we should discriminate against gays, I just don’t think they should have the same rights as everyone else.”

  • OMGF

    MJJP,

    The evidence is still not there and whatever evidence there is points to a resounding no.

    Again, for the fourth time I ask, how can you assert there is not enough evidence on gay parentage and also assert that it is a bad thing? I really don’t understand this? When supportive studies are brought up, you dismiss them as not enough evidence. When religious right BS is used, then it proves gays shouldn’t be parents? Please explain.

    Whatever studies anyone has pointed to are older than anything I have posted and are considered flawed by any serious person interested in taking an unbiased view.

    Really? The peers reviewing the paper I linked to certainly thought it was all right. As a fellow peer myself (not for psychiatric research admittedly) I happen to know that papers are well scrutinized for just these problems that you seem to think all these papers have. Perhaps you could point out some methodological flaws with the paper I cited?

    Oh, and I went back and looked at your original cite. It is from 2004, but it presents no new research. Going into the bibliography, the most recent paper cited is in 2003. This means that it is not more recent than anything cited here. Sorry, but you are factually incorrect here.

    Lastly parenting by same sex couples as an issue is a fringe position in society and seeing how vehemently it was argued here is reason that atheists will continue to have a problem gaining acceptance in mainstream society. It seems that the majority not only view atheists as godless but we also encompass every trait that mainstream society deems innappropriate.

    Sorry, but I refuse to sacrifice my morality and my integrity for acceptance. I would not feel right if atheists were accepted at the expense of the civil rights of others.

    For the most part the founding fathers of this country were deists which meant they did not live their lives based on religious fear but I seriously doubt they would have embraced and fought for the ideas being posted here.

    I can’t decide if this is a red herring, a non sequitor, or both.

    Look, like I said, go back and look at your sources. When they start with “The Bible says gays are bad, so…” then you’ve got problems. This is where Creationists start, and they also make arguments such as the ones you’ve presented. In fact, they can sound real sciency if you don’t know any better. I fear that you have fallen for the same thing. Do you really think that all the secular, professional organizations that Ebon listed are part of the gay agenda and are lying to you out of some ulterior motive? (It should be noted that the organizations you have listed are not secular nor professional.) C’mon. Conspiracy theories don’t work for reasons like this. How do you keep all those people in on the conspiracy? You’d have to believe that all the professionals that are part of those organizations are either lying, crazy, delusional, wicked, or some combination of those. Are you really asserting that?

  • RiddleOfSteel

    Admittedly, that period between pregnant and If should be a comma. So I suppose you got me on a typo there; let me rephrase.

    I would not prohibit women doing such things [smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs] from having sex, but I would prohibit them from doing such things while pregnant, if they plan on giving birth, since such activities during pregnancy can very easily complicate the pregnancy and harm the fetus in very real ways.

    There we go. All better

    No worries, Mrnaglfar. I took your original comment to mean what you have clarified above. Namely that by your accounting, a woman can damage the developing human all she wants, as long as she does not intend to bring to term; else you would prohibit the woman’s freedom of choice to control her own reproductive system.

    So my original reply remains. I would ask again, what happened to pro-choice? Are we now to start regulating what a woman chooses to do with her body based on something that might happen with it in the future? The tumor now takes precedence over a woman’s freedom of choice. What kind of method will there be to determine future intent, so that you can prohibit current actions? What if a woman changes her mind? It’s interesting that when we start to consider consequences, suddenly the developing human is really not at all the same as a tumor. And with your prohibitions, freedom of choice seems not so free.

  • RiddleOfSteel

    But children do have rights, including the right to be free from harm; and if a woman who drinks during pregnancy brings that pregnancy to term, she is responsible for whatever harm is suffered by the child she brings into being.

    Ebonmuse, children may have that right, but a tumor, blob of cells, or one of the other terms pro-choice supporters use to de-humanize a developing human do not have that right. The drinking is harming a “tumor”. As pro-choice supporters are at pains to point out – this is not a child. But are you now arguing that because something may be a child one day, freedom of choice should be restricted by prohibiting certain actions of pregnant women?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I stand by last post and so far as I originally stated the jury is still out on whether same sex couples should be allowed to parent. The evidence is still not there and whatever evidence there is points to a resounding no.

    Absolutely and emphatically false, on both counts. You’ve steadfastly ignored the extensive evidence I pointed out showing that a large number of mainstream, non-partisan medical and scientific organizations support equal rights for gays and deny that they are unfit to be parents or to marry.

    You’ve also failed to address my point that many social ills which do exist among gays, such as suicide and drug abuse, almost certainly exist in large part because of the intense prejudice and hatred still directed at them. You’re using the effects of bigotry to justify continued bigotry.

    Whatever studies anyone has pointed to are older than anything I have posted and are considered flawed by any serious person interested in taking an unbiased view.

    If we want to talk about flawed studies, let’s talk about Paul Cameron, the well-known anti-gay polemicist whom one of your sources cites. Cameron is a darling of the religious right for his numerous studies allegedly proving that gays suffer from every social problem under the sun. He’s also been expelled from two scientific organizations for breaches of professional ethics, denounced by many more for shoddy methodology and misrepresentation of data, and cited by a federal judge for misleading testimony. Here are some additional exposes of Cameron’s bad science: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    Lastly parenting by same sex couples as an issue is a fringe position in society and seeing how vehemently it was argued here is reason that atheists will continue to have a problem gaining acceptance in mainstream society.

    This may be the first thing you’ve said on this topic that’s true, and you know what? I don’t care in the slightest. I do not choose my positions based on what I think will be most popular. This is a human rights issue. Gay people are human beings; they deserve the same rights as all other human beings. I will continue to advance that position, and if society in general doesn’t agree, then I’ll wait for them to catch up.

  • KShep

    I stand by last post and so far as I originally stated the jury is still out…..*snip*

    Exactly what are you standing by? You have made some pretty strong assertions and even provided “evidence” to back it up, but your “evidence” has been, to put it charitably, challenged (actually debunked entirely) by at least four people here and you haven’t made a single rebuttal to any of those challenges, you just keep presenting the same old worn-out religious dogma (apparently without even reading it yourself) as science and leaving it at that.

    How about it? Do you have anything else?

    Links to Answers in Genesis don’t count.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Riddleofsteel

    So my original reply remains. I would ask again, what happened to pro-choice? Are we now to start regulating what a woman chooses to do with her body based on something that might happen with it in the future? The tumor now takes precedence over a woman’s freedom of choice. What kind of method will there be to determine future intent, so that you can prohibit current actions? What if a woman changes her mind? It’s interesting that when we start to consider consequences, suddenly the developing human is really not at all the same as a tumor. And with your prohibitions, freedom of choice seems not so free.

    Here’s the distinction I will make. When a woman gets pregnant (which is a choice, provided she wasn’t raped or something along those lines) she now has to deal with that pregnancy. The two methods of dealing with said pregnancy are to either carry it to term and give birth to it or to abort it. Both have certain consequences; as a result of carrying the pregnancy to term the woman is now responsible for the upbringing of that child (at least in a very large part, other parties may also be involved), which included in that upbringing is the health of the would-be child. If, however, the woman chooses to have an abortion, she is no longer weighed down with having to look out for the health and raising of said could-be infant.

    I believe this falls in line perfectly with the idea of freedom of choice. Having freedom of choice does not mean having the ability to do whatever we want at all times we want without expecting consequences. If a woman is planning on carrying the pregnancy (or tumor as you want to put it, we can use whatever language you want) to full term, she has accepted the responsibilities of caring for the health and development of a future child; however, in the case of drug use, those can cause real developmental harms that would effect the child and leave lasting harm for the rest of it’s life, however short or long that may be. Whereas in the case the woman does not wish to carry the pregnancy and has an abortion, the drug use wouldn’t much make a difference, since there’s no future health to consider.

    As for what kind of methods would determine future intent, I imagine the woman would figure that out for herself. I don’t currently know of any means of looking into the future, but if you do those could be helpful.
    What if she changes her mind? If she already had the abortion it’s a bit late for that. If she hasn’t had the abortion and continued to take the drugs that later ended up harming the child she may give birth too then she should be held legally accountable.

    It’s the women’s body. If she chooses to bring an infant into the world with it (read; give birth to) then she is responsible for the well-being of that child. If she doesn’t wish to give birth and have a child, she has the right to choose not to.

  • MJJP

    “Exactly what are you standing by? You have made some pretty strong assertions and even provided “evidence” to back it up, but your “evidence” has been, to put it charitably, challenged…”
    posted by kshep
    ============
    http://www.narth.com/

    Dr. Robert Spitzer, a NARTH associate, was one of the main forces behind the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality as a mental illness from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

    Dr. Spitzer is now convinced that men and women who have a homosexual orientation can change through therapy. His most recent findings were published in Archives of Sexual Behavior (Vol. 32, No. 5, October 2003, pp. 403-417).

    There is a lot for you to read.

  • MJJP

    http://www.narth.com/menus/cstudies.html
    http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html
    Let me also dismiss any critism of the reference material because some involved here are also involved in pastoral or religous studies. Lets get to the facts people. The source that were used against my position are also heavily influenced by the gay community.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    MJJP: We’re now wading into irrelevancies. The question of whether gay people can “change” their sexual orientation has no bearing on whether they’re fit to marry or be parents. Please stay on topic. I also suggest you make some effort to address the evidence presented by myself and others rather than ignoring it.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “a minority raising children intentionally to be out of the norm may be a problem.” — MJJB

    You assume that the child will have no other role models outside of its parents. I am skeptical of that assumption. You also seem to have an overly strong attachment to conformity. The “norm” is very overrated in many cases.

  • KShep

    Dr. Robert Spitzer, a NARTH associate…..*snip*

    Well, I couldn’t find Spitzer’s name among either narth’s officers or its scientific advisors, so you’re going to have to try harder.

    There is a lot for you to read.

    I read quite a bit on that site. It’s full of the same old religion-based biases that we’ve heard before. It’s just been given a scientific-looking makeover. Might as well be a site dedicated to Intelligent Design.

    Let me also dismiss any critism of the reference material because some involved here are also involved in pastoral or religous studies

    You’ve got to be kidding. You respond to criticism of your previous religion-based citations by presenting MORE religion-based citations? And you’re pre-dismissing any criticism of your new citation? Idiot.

    You’ve still failed to respond to the many challenges to your assertions.

    I give up. This isn’t even an argument anymore—it’s like that legendary Monty Python skit, where John Cleese just keeps saying “no, it isn’t” to everything thrown at him.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    If you stood by your previous links, then why are new ones necessary? Anyway, let’s look at Spitzer’s latest work, shall we?
    http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html

    The statistical and demographic details of the respondents include the following:

    The study did not seek a random sample of reorientation therapy clients; the subjects chosen were volunteers.

    Average ages: men, 42, women, 44.

    Marital status at time of interview: 76% men were married as were 47% of the female respondents. 21% of the males and 18% of the females were married before beginning therapy.

    95% were Caucasian and 76% were college graduates.

    84% resided in the United States, the remaining 16% lived in Europe.

    97% were of a Christian background, 3% were Jewish, with an overwhelming 93% of all participants stating that religion was either “extremely” or “very” important in their lives.

    19% of the participants were mental health professionals or directors of ex-gay ministries.

    41% reported that they had, at some time prior to the therapy, been “openly gay.” Over a third of the participants (males 37%, females 35%) reported that at one time, they had had seriously contemplated suicide due to dissatisfaction with their unwanted attractions. 78% had publicly spoken in favor of efforts to change homosexual orientation.

    Wow, a bunch of born-again respondents who are self-reporting their own “feelings” and highly motivated to want to change their sexual orientation – because it’s a sin, ya know? – and that’s good research? I doubt very much the outcome of this research, and the methodology is pretty bad. Further, even if some gays want to be straight, it doesn’t mean that gay is bad/wrong and that gay parents are bad/wrong.

    Let me also dismiss any critism of the reference material because some involved here are also involved in pastoral or religous studies. Lets get to the facts people. The source that were used against my position are also heavily influenced by the gay community.

    Sorry, but linking to Focus on the Family and Paul Cameron’s work is not something you can simply dismiss criticism of. Paul Cameron’s work, which you are using heavily, has been descredited and debunked numerous times, to the point where he even had to be thrown out of his professional society and have his license revoked (not sure about the second one). (Note: One of the founders for Narth also works for Focus on the Family, and another one was tossed from the American Psychoanalytic Assoc.) Then, you have the gall to uncritically extend your conspiracy theory again? Yes, I’m sure that the peer-reviewed paper that I posted is part of the “gay agenda” just as I’m sure that all the professional societies are part of the gay agenda and it’s one big conspiracy to wreck America. Pull your head out, will ya?

  • OMGF

    KShep

    I give up. This isn’t even an argument anymore—it’s like that legendary Monty Python skit, where John Cleese just keeps saying “no, it isn’t” to everything thrown at him.

    Ah, the famous argument skit. That’s one of my all-time favorites.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y05EmK66Gsk

  • Thumpalumpacus

    KShep –

    Actually, I’m reminded of “Merely a flesh wound.”

  • KShep

    OMGF—
    Nice link—no matter how many times I see it, it’s still so damn funny.

    Thump—–
    No kidding! Makes you wonder if any of the Monty Python guys had to deal with someone like MJJP.

  • Erika

    MJJP,

    Let’s go way back for a second:

    If we also include children to this equation we further muddy the waters as to the rule of law. For example a heterosexual couple with children getting divorced the children more often than not will have custody given to the mother as history has shown that this is usually the best course of action.

    Yes, it is true that currently children are more often given to the mother. However, in the US, this has only been true for the last 50 years. Before that, courts were legally obligated to give children to the father. Think about that, courts were legally obliged to give children to the father at the same time that society believed, perhaps more strongly than it ever did and certainly more strongly than it does now, in the mystique of the mother as a caring nurturing soul.

    If what has been done in the past is what we should do in the future, as you seem to claim, which do we do: give the children to the mother or the father?

  • http://wildphilosophy.blogspot.com Mat Wilder

    It seems to me that gay marriage is a simple 14th Amendment issue – it’s about equal provision. It is unconstitutional to offer rights and benefits to some people and not to others.

  • Alex Weaver

    Incidentally…

    The source that were used against my position are also heavily influenced by the gay community.

    -MJJP

    Yes, the studies which conclude that gays and lesbians are not unsuited to parental roles are influenced by the gay community. Incidentally, studies that find that African-Americans are not born with subhuman intellects and strong criminal tendencies are “heavily influenced by the black community.” In a similar vein, studies that demonstrate speciation in salamanders are “heavily influenced by the amphibian community,” the entirety of modern evolutionary biology is “heavily influenced by the fossil record,” and those that claim to find that the earth is not the center of the universe are “heavily influenced by the solar system.” Clearly we should reject all of these, due to the flaws and biases inherent in reckless, unscientific methods like actually doing sound research rather than the well-established and respected practice of fabricating, distorting, and cherry-picking facts to reinforce one’s prejudices.

    Idiot.

    -Alex Weaver

  • MJJP

    Yes, the studies which conclude that gays and lesbians are not unsuited to parental roles are influenced by the gay community. Incidentally, studies that find that African-Americans are not born with subhuman intellects and strong criminal tendencies are “heavily influenced by the black community.” In a similar vein, studies that demonstrate speciation in salamanders are “heavily influenced by the amphibian community,” the entirety of modern evolutionary biology is “heavily influenced by the fossil record,” and those that claim to find that the earth is not the center of the universe are “heavily influenced by the solar system.” Clearly we should reject all of these, due to the flaws and biases inherent in reckless, unscientific methods like actually doing sound research rather than the well-established and respected practice of fabricating, distorting, and cherry-picking facts to reinforce one’s prejudices.
    Posted by Alex Weaver
    ======================
    Can I ask are you gay Alex? Where does your anger come from? Your response up front may seem valid but let me ask you another question. Do you know what the term “normal ” means? Let me save you some time and answer it for you. Normal is what we find to be the norm. It is what we find the most of in any given criteria. In so far as relationships and marriage are concerned the overwhelming “norm” is a male father and female mother. Now when we discuss children who no longer have a father and mother which is surly traumatic to the child WHY would we place a child in an atmospere that is clearly NOT the norm? If anything I think the emphasis should be to bring that child up as unscarred as possible. I really don’t care what you think you should be allowed to do because you can.Whether you want to admit it or not there is a negative to the gay lifestyle and again I don’t see any reason to expose a child to this probable negativity. Yes things can go awry for any number of reasons in the bringing up of a child but when something probably will occur that is a different story.
    Your response to me also failed to address the issue I pointed out in which gays which had been instrumental in pushing gay parenting were changing their mind.
    Lastly in direct response to your paragraph above let me ask would you buy a car from a saleman wearing a lapel pin that said ” Hi I am an honest saleman.” I don’t know what you were trying to accomplish with your analogies above but any conclusions arrived at were done so with evidence gathered. As I said before and I will tell you again that their is not enough data to draw a strong conclusion that would be accepted and workable all over the US. Yes you may present success stories but from where? Having gay parents in San Francisco or in some other big city may not be a big deal. That reality is not a fact in many other areas of the country and I see no reason to subject a child to this potential and probable discrimination. Here is the reason why marriage should not be extended to same sex couples. Marriage is a different relationship because it involves one male and one female or more of one or the other. The goal is to procreate and if one family unit is unable to procreate adoption is an option and is accepted as normal throughout the world. There is no stigma to be concerned about. Why don’t you argue to ban marriage instead and just use civil unions? What is it about the term marriage that makes your mouth water when a “civil union” accomplishes everything a marriage does.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Now when we discuss children who no longer have a father and mother which is surly traumatic to the child…

    This is the Stephen Colbert method of argument: “I don’t have any facts, but deep down inside I feel it to be true.”

    Having gay parents in San Francisco or in some other big city may not be a big deal. That reality is not a fact in many other areas of the country and I see no reason to subject a child to this potential and probable discrimination.

    What this boils down to is: “We should discriminate against gays because there’s discrimination against gays.” Rarely have I seen the circular nature of irrational bigotry stated in such explicit detail.

  • Alex Weaver

    Can I ask are you gay Alex?

    I had suspected you weren’t actually reading my arguments, but this pretty much cinches it. I referred to a wife and child in a previous post. Figure it out yourself, genius.

    Where does your anger come from?

    I am not gay. I have personally suffered, at great length, due to the actions of people who believed that enforcing a “norm” in other regards justifies injustice and cruelty. I have personally suffered, at great length, due to the actions of people who believed that it is acceptable to respond to an evil by blaming the victim and refusing to take effective action to stop or prevent such evil. I have personally watched those I love suffer in a similar fashion, or heard about it after the fact. And I am personally not a psychopath, therefore I feel this thing called empathy, therefore I do not have to be personally affected by an evil to both oppose it and be angered by it.

    Does this answer your question?

  • Alex Weaver

    And my point stands. You reject out of hand studies with sound methodology that have actually studied the demographic group in question because they disagree with your biases, while accepting as gospel (literally) the studies advocated by groups whose errors, flaws, and biases–up to and including explicit statements that they will not consider evidence or conclusions which does not match their prejudices–have been pointed out at length by other commenters here. So far as I can see, your only argument for dismissing the studies you consider “flawed” is that you do not personally agree with their conclusions. You refuse to respond to others’ counter points, and you repeat the same discredited lines of argument. You actually believe that effectively punishing the victims of discrimination for the occurrence of discrimination is a morally acceptable policy. Why should this sort of argument be treated with anything other than contempt?

  • Mrnaglfar

    MJJP,

    I think I would prefer you to just utter the simple statement “I don’t like gay people” and just be done with it. At least then you’d be being honest.

  • Mrnaglfar

    MJJP,

    I think I would prefer you to just utter the simple statement “I don’t like gay people” and just be done with it. At least then you’d be being honest.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,

    Where does your anger come from?

    Shouldn’t we be asking you that? Why do you hate gays so much?

    Do you know what the term “normal ” means? Let me save you some time and answer it for you. Normal is what we find to be the norm.

    Actually, “normal” has many different meanings. Psychologically, it can mean one who does not suffer from a mental disorder, meaning gays are just as normal as you (presummably you don’t suffer from any mental disorders). In other ways it can mean natural, and since gays don’t choose to be attracted to the same sex and we see homosexual behavior in other animals, it would seem to me that gays are normal in that regard as well.

    In so far as relationships and marriage are concerned the overwhelming “norm” is a male father and female mother.

    So, a “normal” state of affairs for you is a male and female couple with kids? What about couples that don’t want kids? Are they abnormal?

    Now when we discuss children who no longer have a father and mother which is surly traumatic to the child WHY would we place a child in an atmospere that is clearly NOT the norm?

    I think what you mean to say here is that children who lose one or both of their parents surely go through a traumatic time. This, however, does not necessarily mean that those parents must be of opposite sexes.

    Whether you want to admit it or not there is a negative to the gay lifestyle and again I don’t see any reason to expose a child to this probable negativity.

    Apart from the fact that you’ve gone from a definite to something that is only “probable” in the span of less than a sentence, what negative is there to the “gay lifestyle”? Please explain, because it’s not a case of me “not wanting to admit it” but rather a case of me being wholly ignorant of anything inherently negative about it. That is unless you are referring to the bigotry that they face, but I fail to see why it is proper to punish the victim.

    Your response to me also failed to address the issue I pointed out in which gays which had been instrumental in pushing gay parenting were changing their mind.

    I’m sorry but you will have to point me to that evidence again. The only thing I saw was that you linked some guy (who may or may not be gay) to both the position paper by the APA that being gay is not a mental disorder and another paper he has done (that I pointed out was highly flawed) on his position that gays can change their sexual orientation, which seems like apples and oranges to me. IOW, it doesn’t support what you are claiming now.

    Lastly in direct response to your paragraph above let me ask would you buy a car from a saleman wearing a lapel pin that said ” Hi I am an honest saleman.”

    Again, shouldn’t we be asking you that? I mean, c’mon, you’re taking your studies from the religious right; organizations that tell you up front what they believe and then shoehorn the evidence to fit it, just like they do with evolution.

    As I said before and I will tell you again that their is not enough data to draw a strong conclusion that would be accepted and workable all over the US.

    And I ask for the fifth – I think – time, how is it that you can claim that there is not enough evidence to draw a strong conclusion, and then turn around and do just that?

    Here is the reason why marriage should not be extended to same sex couples. Marriage is a different relationship because it involves one male and one female or more of one or the other.

    Aside from you defining marriage by fiat, why is polygamy OK to you? Do you not care how many mommies a kid has as long as it has a daddy too?

    The goal is to procreate and if one family unit is unable to procreate adoption is an option and is accepted as normal throughout the world.

    1. It seems that lesbians may be able to procreate. Are they all right now with you?
    2. Why are gay couples not included under the “one family unit [that] is unable to procreate” banner?

    Why don’t you argue to ban marriage instead and just use civil unions? What is it about the term marriage that makes your mouth water when a “civil union” accomplishes everything a marriage does.

    As Alex pointed out, here is simply more evidence that you aren’t reading the comments directed back towards you. A couple people have pointed out why this is so, and I’ll add my two cents as well. If states handed out civil unions to all, then it would be moot. If two people want to get a religious marriage that confers no added benefits over civil unions other than their church’s blessing, then so be it. But, if states are going to grant marriage licenses, then it is discriminatory to not give them to gay couples. It’s called equal rights. When rights are equal for all, then we will be satisfied.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,

    Where does your anger come from?

    Shouldn’t we be asking you that? Why do you hate gays so much?

    Do you know what the term “normal ” means? Let me save you some time and answer it for you. Normal is what we find to be the norm.

    Actually, “normal” has many different meanings. Psychologically, it can mean one who does not suffer from a mental disorder, meaning gays are just as normal as you (presummably you don’t suffer from any mental disorders). In other ways it can mean natural, and since gays don’t choose to be attracted to the same sex and we see homosexual behavior in other animals, it would seem to me that gays are normal in that regard as well.

    In so far as relationships and marriage are concerned the overwhelming “norm” is a male father and female mother.

    So, a “normal” state of affairs for you is a male and female couple with kids? What about couples that don’t want kids? Are they abnormal?

    Now when we discuss children who no longer have a father and mother which is surly traumatic to the child WHY would we place a child in an atmospere that is clearly NOT the norm?

    I think what you mean to say here is that children who lose one or both of their parents surely go through a traumatic time. This, however, does not necessarily mean that those parents must be of opposite sexes.

    Whether you want to admit it or not there is a negative to the gay lifestyle and again I don’t see any reason to expose a child to this probable negativity.

    Apart from the fact that you’ve gone from a definite to something that is only “probable” in the span of less than a sentence, what negative is there to the “gay lifestyle”? Please explain, because it’s not a case of me “not wanting to admit it” but rather a case of me being wholly ignorant of anything inherently negative about it. That is unless you are referring to the bigotry that they face, but I fail to see why it is proper to punish the victim.

    Your response to me also failed to address the issue I pointed out in which gays which had been instrumental in pushing gay parenting were changing their mind.

    I’m sorry but you will have to point me to that evidence again. The only thing I saw was that you linked some guy (who may or may not be gay) to both the position paper by the APA that being gay is not a mental disorder and another paper he has done (that I pointed out was highly flawed) on his position that gays can change their sexual orientation, which seems like apples and oranges to me. IOW, it doesn’t support what you are claiming now.

    Lastly in direct response to your paragraph above let me ask would you buy a car from a saleman wearing a lapel pin that said ” Hi I am an honest saleman.”

    Again, shouldn’t we be asking you that? I mean, c’mon, you’re taking your studies from the religious right; organizations that tell you up front what they believe and then shoehorn the evidence to fit it, just like they do with evolution.

    As I said before and I will tell you again that their is not enough data to draw a strong conclusion that would be accepted and workable all over the US.

    And I ask for the fifth – I think – time, how is it that you can claim that there is not enough evidence to draw a strong conclusion, and then turn around and do just that?

    Here is the reason why marriage should not be extended to same sex couples. Marriage is a different relationship because it involves one male and one female or more of one or the other.

    Aside from you defining marriage by fiat, why is polygamy OK to you? Do you not care how many mommies a kid has as long as it has a daddy too?

    The goal is to procreate and if one family unit is unable to procreate adoption is an option and is accepted as normal throughout the world.

    1. It seems that lesbians may be able to procreate. Are they all right now with you?
    2. Why are gay couples not included under the “one family unit [that] is unable to procreate” banner?

    Why don’t you argue to ban marriage instead and just use civil unions? What is it about the term marriage that makes your mouth water when a “civil union” accomplishes everything a marriage does.

    As Alex pointed out, here is simply more evidence that you aren’t reading the comments directed back towards you. A couple people have pointed out why this is so, and I’ll add my two cents as well. If states handed out civil unions to all, then it would be moot. If two people want to get a religious marriage that confers no added benefits over civil unions other than their church’s blessing, then so be it. But, if states are going to grant marriage licenses, then it is discriminatory to not give them to gay couples. It’s called equal rights. When rights are equal for all, then we will be satisfied.

  • KShep

    Here we go again…….

    Whether you want to admit it or not there is a negative to the gay lifestyle and again I don’t see any reason to expose a child to this probable negativity.

    As I said before and I will tell you again that their is not enough data to draw a strong conclusion that would be accepted and workable……*snip*

    So, there isn’t enough data to support your claims, but your claims are valid anyway? You have had this discrepancy repeatedly pointed out to you and you have yet to address it.

    You must be thoroughly stupid. I can think of no other way to explain the repeated use of this argument.

  • Alex Weaver

    And I ask for the fifth – I think – time, how is it that you can claim that there is not enough evidence to draw a strong conclusion, and then turn around and do just that?

    I suppose the same way that others with antiscientific mindsets insist that the evidence of science is valid when it supports a god’s existence, but that when the evidence casts doubt on a god’s existence, it doesn’t count because the existence of god is not a scientific question.

  • MJJP

    And I ask for the fifth – I think – time, how is it that you can claim that there is not enough evidence to draw a strong conclusion, and then turn around and do just that?
    ==========
    Here is your evidence and it is not from the right wing or some religous fanatics.

    “MARRIAGE IS SLOWLY DYING IN SCANDINAVIA. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents. Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more. Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood. The Nordic family pattern–including gay marriage–is spreading across Europe. And by looking closely at it we can answer the key empirical question underlying the gay marriage debate. Will same-sex marriage undermine the institution of marriage? It already has.”
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp

    “However, to ignore evidential correlation is even more foolish. “[G]ay marriage is both an effect and a cause of the increasing separation between marriage and parenthood . . . . It follows that once marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, that change cannot help but lock in and reinforce the very cultural separation between marriage and parenthood that makes gay marriage conceivable to begin with” (italics mine).”

    http://www.ryanstreet.com/gay_marriage/
    If you take the time to read the info at the links you will discover what this “experiment” has wrought. The results are in and it does not do what the proponants of gay marriage have been trumpeting.

  • Alex Weaver

    1) Your post doesn’t answer the question you quoted at the top.
    2) Do I even need to ask whether your links are from reputable or objective sources, as opposed to right-wing sectarian organizations or spokespeople? Didn’t think so.
    3) Once again, do you have any grounds for rejecting the studies we have cited and accepting the ones you cite other than the fact that the latter claim to confirm your personal prejudices?

  • KShep

    Here is your evidence and it is not from the right wing or some religous fanatics.

    The Weekly Standard, published by right-wing idiot William Kristol, ISN’T a right-wing mouthpiece? Jeez, you are stupid.

    Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood.

    The key word here is “existing.” Marriage rates are declining everywhere, that isn’t news. The WS is making a giant leap, without providing any evidence (Dobson: “It just does!”) that this is caused by same-sex marriage.

    You need to go away.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    Your article does not answer the question, nor does it provide compelling evidence. I probably don’t need to remind you that correlation does not prove causation, but what is really insidious about this is that the authors have no evidence that gay marriage is to blame for this. Maybe if they had a study where all these co-habitating parents that split up said, “Well, those gays made me feel like marriage was devalued, so we didn’t get married and we split up because we weren’t married,” then you might have a case. As it is, however, you are saying that because gays want to get married and raise kids in a two parent household, then allowing that to happen is somehow leading to less two parent households? This is ridiculous and needs to be backed with objective evidence, not the opinions of the right wing.

    You missed this gem maybe?

    A related cultural-ideological agent of marital decline is secularism. Sweden is probably the most secular country in the world. Secular social scientists (most of them quite radical) have largely replaced clerics as arbiters of public morality. Swedes themselves link the decline of marriage to secularism. And many studies confirm that, throughout the West, religiosity is associated with institutionally strong marriage, while heightened secularism is correlated with a weakening of marriage. Scholars have long suggested that the relatively thin Christianization of the Nordic countries explains a lot about why the decline of marriage in Scandinavia is a decade ahead of the rest of the West.

    Perhaps you should also be advocating that only religious couples should be allowed to marry, right? I mean, your own authors point out that non-religion leads to children being in broken families, so therefore your arguments against gay marriage also work against atheist marriage, because you simultaneously argue that marriage is only for procreation. If atheists can’t stay together in marriage as your link asserts, then atheists should not be allowed to have children and get married, right?

    Once again, think about your sources before you post them. Please.

  • OMGF

    MJJP,
    Your article does not answer the question, nor does it provide compelling evidence. I probably don’t need to remind you that correlation does not prove causation, but what is really insidious about this is that the authors have no evidence that gay marriage is to blame for this. Maybe if they had a study where all these co-habitating parents that split up said, “Well, those gays made me feel like marriage was devalued, so we didn’t get married and we split up because we weren’t married,” then you might have a case. As it is, however, you are saying that because gays want to get married and raise kids in a two parent household, then allowing that to happen is somehow leading to less two parent households? This is ridiculous and needs to be backed with objective evidence, not the opinions of the right wing.

    You missed this gem maybe?

    A related cultural-ideological agent of marital decline is secularism. Sweden is probably the most secular country in the world. Secular social scientists (most of them quite radical) have largely replaced clerics as arbiters of public morality. Swedes themselves link the decline of marriage to secularism. And many studies confirm that, throughout the West, religiosity is associated with institutionally strong marriage, while heightened secularism is correlated with a weakening of marriage. Scholars have long suggested that the relatively thin Christianization of the Nordic countries explains a lot about why the decline of marriage in Scandinavia is a decade ahead of the rest of the West.

    Perhaps you should also be advocating that only religious couples should be allowed to marry, right? I mean, your own authors point out that non-religion leads to children being in broken families, so therefore your arguments against gay marriage also work against atheist marriage, because you simultaneously argue that marriage is only for procreation. If atheists can’t stay together in marriage as your link asserts, then atheists should not be allowed to have children and get married, right?

    Once again, think about your sources before you post them. Please.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Here and here are some statistics debunking the ridiculous claim that gay marriage has somehow harmed straight marriage in Scandinavia. In fact, straight marriage rates increased after gay marriage was legalized. The frantic claims about out-of-wedlock births, meanwhile, overlook that these countries have domestic “registered partnership” agreements (which, of course, right-wingers don’t count as “marriage”), as well as the fact that most couples there do marry, just after they have children.

    Seriously, what is the causal mechanism MJJP is proposing for this? Straight people decide to stop getting married because gays can do it now? This is the most laughable, ignorant sort of fallacious correlation-implies-causation thinking. If these ridiculous hysterics are the best that opponents of gay marriage can offer to explain why millions of people should be denied civil rights, it’s no wonder that their cause is on the decline.

  • http://www.auniversenamedbob.com Matt R

    Hello all,

    I am interested in a frank exchange of ideas on the facts about homosexuality, specifically whether it actually does cause problems for homosexuals. I recognize this is peripheral to whether it should be legalized or not because there are many things which are demonstrably harmful to people which are nonetheless legal. I am just curious about getting some facts which do not have a slant either way. Any sources would be helpful.

    matt

  • OMGF

    Matt,
    I would try the professional organizations that Ebonmuse spoke of above – all of whom say that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. These organizations are made up of professional doctors, scientists, etc. and are your best bet for an unbiased view.

  • Alex Weaver

    MattR:

    Additionally, you might ask some homosexuals, unless one Drinks the Kool-Aid when it comes to accusations like MJJP’s that a Vast Sinister Conspiracy controls all the gays and lesbians (or all the “uppity” gays and lesbians, anyway) in America and has them feed misinformation to unsuspecting straight people. I forwarded your question to a lesbian friend via instant messaging; the conversation went as follows:

    *** (9/17/2007 00:01:16): :| wait…so, this guy wants to know if the ‘condition’ of being a homosexual causes problems for homosexuals??
    *** (9/17/2007 00:01:46): am I reading this right
    Alex Weaver (9/17/2007 00:02:34): Whether it results in problems. It’s a pretty open-ended question as regards what kind of problems, though x.x
    *** (9/17/2007 00:03:11): erm…I’m guessing it would be the same problems that a heterosexual would have…except you know, the outbursts against them
    *** (9/17/2007 00:04:27): heheheh the only problems I’ve ever had because of my “condition” has been the inability to openly share my ‘condition’ with others due to various reasons
    *** (9/17/2007 00:08:42): That seems to be the consensus.
    *** (9/17/2007 00:09:03): other than that he may experience some dry mouth and upset stomach
    *** (9/17/2007 00:09:13): :P
    Alex Weaver (9/17/2007 00:09:13): LOL

  • heliobates

    This is the most laughable, ignorant sort of fallacious correlation-implies-causation thinking.

    Folks, you do realize you’re arguing with someone who offers NARTH studies as supporting evidence, and does so with a straight face?

    That told me all I needed to know.

    And Matt: It’s exceedingly difficult to separate “harm caused by homosexuality” from the entire social dynamic which gives rise to the harm caused to homosexuals in the first place.

    Look at Gregory Hecks’ writings for links to some serious sociology.

  • A.L

    ====================================================================================
    “children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle may be at increased risk for emotional mental and even physical harm.”

    The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation.

    Now when we discuss children who no longer have a father and mother which is surly traumatic to the child WHY would we place a child in an atmosphere that is clearly NOT the norm? If anything I think the emphasis should be to bring that child up as unscarred as possible. I really don’t care what you think you should be allowed to do because you can. Whether you want to admit it or not there is a negative to the gay lifestyle and again I don’t see any reason to expose a child to this probable negativity.
    ==================================================================================

    I absolutely agree with these above points by MJJP, however he isn’t addressing the biggest problem. Overweight people. Their kids are likely to be overweight either through passing of genes or passing of bad food habits, a prime case of ‘adopting the lifestyle’ therefore most likely to have physical harm. There is in my experience being overweight is almost certainly going to expose you to negativity and potential mental harm. Also even more so than children of gays, overweight parents will have decreased lifespan and reduced health as will their children and are most likely to have mental problems from lifelong bullying and jokes so there is nothing more hazardous to children than overweight parents. A point that was acknowledged in Britain when an overweight person was denied the right to adopt due to their weight.

    “Having gay parents in San Francisco or in some other big city may not be a big deal. That reality is not a fact in many other areas of the country and I see no reason to subject a child to this potential and probable discrimination.”

    Again point well made but needs to be wider implemented. Ethnic minorities should not be allowed to have children in areas were they are the minority as their children will not be the norm and most likely experience discrimination. In particular those ethnic minorities that have a negative lifestyle for example the black community. In fact as their average life expectancy is much lower than the norm, liable to listen to gangsta rap, be overweight, lack two parent families. Black children in total face overwhelming negativity. It is exceedingly irresponsible to subject your potential offspring to this. Also people in strife ridden areas shouldn’t have children. What hope does a kid in gaza strip, Iraq or Congo face?

    I practice what I preach and intend to have no children as my potential child would deviate from the norm being bookish, have obscure taste in music and would be reading a non normal paper and so suffer significant mental scarring and negativity while growing up as I did. Like MJJP I’m appalled by the fact that others are not so considerate to their potential offspring and as a result discussion of legislation for criteria on having children, fostering, adoption should be started. To summarise this posting, overweight, certain ethnic minorities, above/below average intelligence, enjoyment of speciality pursuits, dwelling in a strife ridden area and ideas that aren’t possessed by the norm should be the top of the list.

  • heliobates

    Very Swiftian A.L. A modest proposal indeed.

  • heliobates

    Very Swiftian A.L. A modest proposal indeed.

  • A.L

    ………and based on today’s article (see below), I’m reminded that I forgot poverty. I don’t know where to start with the data on this group, the volcabulary gap, nutrition, behavior etc. So to use MJJP’s terminology, as based on the best available science things are much more probably going to go awry for a child born into most of the groups I have mentioned than to gays, we should concentrate on them before focusing on gays.

    However a better method than just crudely outlawing groups from procreating, is creating measure of suitability for procreation based on a variety of indices. For the UK I suggest these indices be based on data from the census (for how close to the norm your ethnic group, religious group etc is), index of multiple deprivation (for the suitability of your current and past geographical location), statement of annual income, education records, criminal records, health records and a t test using data from a standarised national questionairre to see how close your views are to the norm. At the international level I suggest start with the Human Development Index and Failed States Index. Also I agree with MJJP about the importance of womens’ nuturing role. However researchers have shown that some women can have ‘male brains’ and vice versa. These women, like men, need to be disallowed from child rearing with another man (unless he is identified as having a women’s brain) by taking test such as a this one. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/add_user.shtml

    This is much fairer and much more logical than MJJP’s original suggestion as it takes account the many different factors involved in a child going awry and how they interact with each other. This may seem strict, but so are (quite rightly) the current laws for adoption. As MJJP said ‘The best society can do is tolerate the reality and avoid discrimination’. Hopefully in the future, we can use genetic engineering to eliminate these deviations from the norm and those potential traits that could go awry and no child will be subject to discrimination.

    I’m sorry for putting up such long posts, but as MJJP put so much time and effort into their posting, if I am to support and refine their arguments it would be respectful to do the same.
    ==========================================================================
    “The latest contribution comes from the Joseph Rowntree foundation. Its report, Experiences of Poverty and Educational Disadvantage, which pulls together eight research studies, shows that children from poor homes are nearly a year behind when they start school, and two years behind by 14.

    Most never catch up. Only a quarter of students eligible for free school meals gain five good GCSEs or their equivalent, compared with over half the overall population in England. What is more, the achievement gap between disadvantaged and affluent children is wider here than in most similar countries. The report showed that disadvantage is not just material: children from poorer homes tend to have a far less positive view of learning, of school and of themselves.”

  • A.L

    ………and based on today’s article (see below), I’m reminded that I forgot poverty. I don’t know where to start with the data on this group, the volcabulary gap, nutrition, behavior etc. So to use MJJP’s terminology, as based on the best available science things are much more probably going to go awry for a child born into most of the groups I have mentioned than to gays, we should concentrate on them before focusing on gays.

    However a better method than just crudely outlawing groups from procreating, is creating measure of suitability for procreation based on a variety of indices. For the UK I suggest these indices be based on data from the census (for how close to the norm your ethnic group, religious group etc is), index of multiple deprivation (for the suitability of your current and past geographical location), statement of annual income, education records, criminal records, health records and a t test using data from a standarised national questionairre to see how close your views are to the norm. At the international level I suggest start with the Human Development Index and Failed States Index. Also I agree with MJJP about the importance of womens’ nuturing role. However researchers have shown that some women can have ‘male brains’ and vice versa. These women, like men, need to be disallowed from child rearing with another man (unless he is identified as having a women’s brain) by taking test such as a this one. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/add_user.shtml

    This is much fairer and much more logical than MJJP’s original suggestion as it takes account the many different factors involved in a child going awry and how they interact with each other. This may seem strict, but so are (quite rightly) the current laws for adoption. As MJJP said ‘The best society can do is tolerate the reality and avoid discrimination’. Hopefully in the future, we can use genetic engineering to eliminate these deviations from the norm and those potential traits that could go awry and no child will be subject to discrimination.

    I’m sorry for putting up such long posts, but as MJJP put so much time and effort into their posting, if I am to support and refine their arguments it would be respectful to do the same.
    ==========================================================================
    “The latest contribution comes from the Joseph Rowntree foundation. Its report, Experiences of Poverty and Educational Disadvantage, which pulls together eight research studies, shows that children from poor homes are nearly a year behind when they start school, and two years behind by 14.

    Most never catch up. Only a quarter of students eligible for free school meals gain five good GCSEs or their equivalent, compared with over half the overall population in England. What is more, the achievement gap between disadvantaged and affluent children is wider here than in most similar countries. The report showed that disadvantage is not just material: children from poorer homes tend to have a far less positive view of learning, of school and of themselves.”

  • http://www.auniversenamedbob.com Matt R

    Alex,

    I wish you would not have used the word “condition” it makes it sound like I think people who are homosexual have a disease or something.

    Matt

  • http://www.auniversenamedbob.com Matt R

    Heliobates,

    It’s exceedingly difficult to separate “harm caused by homosexuality” from the entire social dynamic which gives rise to the harm caused to homosexuals in the first place.

    First off, I am not approaching this from a “morality” aspect. Whether homosexuality is “right”, “wrong”, or “neither”, it still has real consequences. Are they good, are they bad? I have no clue because I was raised religious and the moral side of things always ended the argument. Please take it easy on me as I try to expand my mind.

    Right or wrong, that is a fact of the reality we live in. A very small percentage of people are homosexual. It is likely that it will always be that way especially if homosexuality is genetic, unless there becomes an economically feasible way for a large percentage of homosexual couples to reproduce biologically.

    So it is very likely that the minority issue will always challenge homosexuals. It is a valid aspect to look at when determining the impact of homosexuality on a person.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  • A.L

    Matt,

    As mentioned in my policy proposal, there are a lot of other groups who suffer from the minority issue to a greater degree than the homosexuality group. There are also many other factors aside from homosexuality that have real consequences. Of course we should look at the impact of any factor that has an consequences on a human being, but why concentrate on a factor that if it does create harm, won’t create as much as say being overweight or poor.
    You have said that homosexuality is the fact of the reality we live in, so why spend time determining its direct impact on a person when you can’t change it. The harm that comes to a person in a minority, comes mostly not from being a minority but the interactions with society and that is where studies are carried out and that is where can occur. Which what Heliobates was saying.
    If you are concerned about the effect of demonostrable harm on being born a certain minority, then you should concentrate on the differences between ethnicity, such as why blacks in America have higher rates of kidney discease. This is because the greatest differences in ‘inbuilt’ differences in ‘harm’ will come from genetics and there would be greater variance between ethnicities and between sexes than there would be between those of difference sexual orientatation.
    Or how about spending your energy on the policy issues of overweight people. There is quite rightly a lot of discussion spent on this because, it, unlike homosexuality, has significant stastically proven effects on people and society and will become an increasingly more serious issue as time passes. It, unlike homosexuality is something that we can technically do something about (whether we should of course is the key.)
    So while your question is valid, your concern is misplaced as there are a lot more useful questions that can be asked. For example try swapping the word homosexuality in your question to any of the other words I have listed and you will get many more useful and relevant questions. “Whether homosexuality is “right”, “wrong”, or “neither”, it still has real consequences. Are they good, are they bad?”

  • heliobates

    First off, I am not approaching this from a “morality” aspect. Whether homosexuality is “right”, “wrong”, or “neither”, it still has real consequences. Are they good, are they bad? I have no clue because I was raised religious and the moral side of things always ended the argument. Please take it easy on me as I try to expand my mind.

    You kinda missed my point. “Harm” and “consequences” are subjective, unless you’re talking about very strict medical or scientific definitions. Specifically, I challenge you to come up with one example of a “consequence” of homosexuality in society that doesn’t arise as a result of the interactions between society as a whole with the homosexual minority. They can’t be disentangled and examined “objectively” from their surrounding contexts.

    Right or wrong, that is a fact of the reality we live in. A very small percentage of people are homosexual. It is likely that it will always be that way especially if homosexuality is genetic, unless there becomes an economically feasible way for a large percentage of homosexual couples to reproduce biologically.

    Same-sex couples already can reproduce biologically. Gay men can and do find women willing to bear children for them or, more often, have children from previous “straight” relationships. Lesbians only need to visit a fertility clinic, find a sperm “donor” or, like gay men, already have children from previous relationships.

    What we’re talking about here is access to legal rights, entitlements and protections. Any argument, as A.L. is pointing out, which can be mustered to deny rights to this minority can easily apply to any others. If the ability to concieve children is a hallmark of marriage then millions of heterosexual, childless couples are no longer entitled to call themselves married. Let’s talk about the impact they have on society, since they’re probably a larger “minority” than gays or lesbians. I haven’t seen an argument against extending societal rights to homosexuals which wasn’t similarly riddled with holes.

    Furthermore, this isn’t a slippery slope, but an issue of basic fairness and moral equivalency. Given the fluidity of sexual expression, “minority” is a social construct. What’s meant by “homosexual”? Someone with an exclusive attraction to men? Someone who would prefer to be with men but is in a “straight” relationship? Someone who would never admit his attraction to the same sex, even on an anonymous survey? How many “homosexuals” are there, really? Any line you draw will be an arbitrary one.

    So it is very likely that the minority issue will always challenge homosexuals. It is a valid aspect to look at when determining the impact of homosexuality on a person.

    I find that kind of analysis pointless. For me the most important issue is: what kind of society do we want to create? This is important for every citizen because an inclusive, permissive society makes room for almost everyone*. I want to live in religously- and socially-tolerant society because I can belong there. Opponents of extending basic societal rights to minorities need to be aware that their own entitlements only last as long as they’re not the minority.

    Now in Canada, the issue was laughably simple. Discrimination against people because of sexual orientation violated their Charter rights and freedoms. End of story.

    I do understand that in the United States, your different system of laws, constitutional framework and history may make the issue more complicated, though the question still remains as pertinent.

    The acid test is this: take any argument against extending rights to people who are same-sex oriented. Replace any reference to homosexual/lesbian/gay with the name of any other minority (Jews, Muslims, Japanese, Iroquois…). Did the argument just get more or less repellent?

    Why or why not?

    * Peanut Gallery: please no stupid red herrings about polygamy, bestality, child molestation, terrorists…

  • heliobates

    As an additional point: if societal rights should not be granted to same-sex couples because they are a minority and therefore would cause more trouble than they’re worth, then how can one, with a straight face, assume that the 6% or whatever in this minority are going to cause sweeping changes in society? Not directed at you, Matt, but it does seem to be a strange hypocricy.

    I mean, if same-sex couples are allowed the same rights as “straight” couples, how exactly is this going to turn society on its ear, given that there’s so few of them in the first place?

    I suspect that opponents of same sex legislation will have to come out in the open and admit that they believe that anyone can catch Teh Gay[TM].

  • Pippa

    To all the people who say that they ohmigosh like totally cannot IMAGINE how gay marriage would possibly threaten hetero marriage, grow up. Are you seriously saying that you are completely unable to see how gay marriage makes a grotesque mockery of marriage?

    “Fundy” Christianity has nothing to do with it. (By the way, if you use the term “fundy,” I hope you’re aware that you are being every bit as closed-minded and bigoted as the Christian fundamentalists that you love to mock.

    To all pro-gay marriage armchair philosophers that love to voice their opinions without any facts, read this article:
    The End of Marriage in Scandinavia
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp?page=1

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    To all the people who say that they ohmigosh like totally cannot IMAGINE how gay marriage would possibly threaten hetero marriage, grow up. Are you seriously saying that you are completely unable to see how gay marriage makes a grotesque mockery of marriage?

    Yes, I’m completely serious when I say that I don’t see how gays wanting to get married somehow undermines and mocks the institution of marriage. I don’t see how more people wanting to be involved in the institution of marriage somehow threatens the people who are already privileged with the ability to be in it.

    “Fundy” Christianity has nothing to do with it.

    That’s a surprise as the most vocal opponents seem to be that way due to their religious “convictions.”

    (By the way, if you use the term “fundy,” I hope you’re aware that you are being every bit as closed-minded and bigoted as the Christian fundamentalists that you love to mock.

    Yes, I can see how using a shortened version of the term, “Fundamentalist,” is every bit as bigoted as those who demonize atheists and gays and do all in their power to usurp our rights and keep us as second class citizens.

    To all pro-gay marriage armchair philosophers that love to voice their opinions without any facts, read this article:…

    To which you linked to an opinion piece. Good job with that one.


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