Should Religion Be Used to Deny Gay Marriage?

Rev. Reggie Longcrier poses this question to John Edwards for CNN’s YouTube Presidential debate:

Sen. Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage has [been] influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation and denying women the right to vote. So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?

Edwards’ wife, of course, has said she supports gay marriage.

(via Pam’s House Blend)


[tags]atheist, atheism, homosexuality, gay, lesbian, Reggie Longcrier, John Edwards, YouTube Presidential debate, Southern Baptist[/tags]

  • Gadren

    I like Obama’s stance on this (not sure how the other candidates are in sharing this). Basically he says that he opposes some things on religious grounds, but that religion is not a sufficient justification when it comes to government. For example, while he doesn’t like abortions (then again, I don’t know of anyone who cheers for them), he feels that religion cannot be the justification for banning it. If logical secular arguments can be made, and religion happens to agree with it, then it can be justified.

  • http://theplainestguygmail.com theplainestguy

    Hear, hear.

    I get this a lot from my religious friends and family who live in the Midwest. Why should my religious beliefs be discounted in debates of public policy? Don’t I have a right to be heard? To which I respond: Of course you do, but in a pluralistic society, “cuz the Bible says so” just doesn’t cut it for the rest of us. We got to speak in a language we can all understand.

  • http://fivepublicopinions.blogspot.com AV

    We got to speak in a language we can all understand.

    Exactly. And reason is a language we can all understand. This point is very gemane to the continuing debate with Lee the Theist in this thread.

  • http://groundedinreality.blogspot.com Bruce

    I guess the Dems are going to have to learn the hard way that pandering to religion is going to come back to bit them in the ass. Using religion as a justification for government sanctioned discrimination is just wrong. In a country with a secular constitution, all legislation should be based on secular reasoning. So if you have a reason to oppose gay marriage, then let’s hear your “reason”. But stating that your religious values cause you to oppose gay marriage is not a permissible reason for making law in this country. Seriously John, if you have some good reasons for opposing gay marriage, let’s hear them. Don’t hide behind your religion to shield yourself from valid criticism.

  • http://balanceandparadox.blogspot.com Arnold

    #1) So are we saying that opposition to gay marriage is only OK if it’s NOT motivated by religious reasons?

    #2) Why should religion be excluded as a reason for having a political view? What makes it less valid than any other reason? Says who?

    #4) If we’re going to exlude religious conviction from the public square, then what if the reason given for a political position is 30% religious and 70% “secular” – is that OK? If not, then what if it’s 5% religious and 95% secular? What if we disagree on how religiously motivated my position is? Then who gets to be umpire?

    #3) What good is a religion that doesn’t have any effect (“influence”) on how I think about life issues?

  • http://balanceandparadox.blogspot.com Arnold

    (Sorry about the numbering in my previous post . . . user error.)

    I guess I should add: If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify slavery, was it also wrong for Wilberforce to cite religious reasons in his fight for its abolition? If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify segregation, was it wrong for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to cite his religious beliefs in his fight for civil rights?

  • Richard Wade

    Rev. Longcrier has great courage. This is disappointing to hear about Edwards. I was thinking he would be a good choice, but now I’m not at all so sure. What other issues will he decide on based on his “Southern Baptist background,” including war? Good for his wife, but she’s not running and not well.

    So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?

    Because it’s still okay with most Americans to openly hate them. Because the sophistry “love the sinner, hate the sin” is disingenuous bullshit. Because when people think God says it’s okay to do it, they do it. Because bigots who put down a group just because of what they are, are doing so because they can’t otherwise feel good about themselves. Because politicians are whores. (My apologies to non-politician whores everywhere.)

  • Stephan

    I spoke to a Christian group at the University of Minnesota about 5 years ago and said essentially the same thing Obama said. It’s fine to allow your faith to influence your public policy, but you have to have non-religious reasons to back it up. If all you have is “God said so” then it is bad public policy.

    I think this is where the religious right fails on gay marriage. They have fallen all over themselves trying to come up with reasons why gay marriage is bad for society, and they have not found anything that rings true. That is why they are losing the debate.

    What many of them fear (and I am with them here) is that, if gay marriage is legalized, what does that mean for pastors and churches that oppose gay marriage? Will they be forced to perform ceremonies that are against their religious views? If gay marriage is seen as as civil right, then would they be violating someone’s civil rights if they refuse to perform a wedding between two men? It’s that intersection of opposing rights that causes friction, and that will need to be addressed before many more religious people are comfortable with the idea of gay marriage.

  • Joseph R.

    I am not a native North Carolinian, however I have lived in NC for the past 10 years. I had lost hope that there was another reasonable voice within NC(this is an extremely religiously fundamental state). And the resonable voice happens to be a xtian one. That makes my day. (yes, I know there are other non-religious people in NC, they are just few and far between)

  • monkeymind

    Will they be forced to perform ceremonies that are against their religious views? If gay marriage is seen as as civil right, then would they be violating someone’s civil rights if they refuse to perform a wedding between two men?

    I think this fear is not very well-founded. There’s a lot of precedent that churches can set their own rules about performing marriages. I think the Catholic church still has the policy that divorced people can’t remarry in the Church without getting their first marriage annulled. That’s not a violation of divorced catholics’ civil rights because they can still go to city hall and get married legally.

  • http://theplainestguygmail.com theplainestguy

    If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify slavery, was it also wrong for Wilberforce to cite religious reasons in his fight for its abolition? If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify segregation, was it wrong for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to cite his religious beliefs in his fight for civil rights?

    It’s important to separate argumentation and motivation. Personally, I think it’s unreasonable to ask any religious person to rid themselves of all religious motivation when talking about something as emotionally rilling as gay marriage. All I ask is that when religious people with a religious agenda propelled by religious motivations please make an argument I can understand and buy into when they debate in the public square and attempt to convince their fellow citizens. As Stephen pointed out rightly, “If all you have is “God said so” then it is bad public policy. And if you are in the business of convincing minds, that’s not enough to build the kind of consensus which movements are made of, unless of course your constituency consists entirely of individuals of your religious persuasion.

    #4) If we’re going to exlude religious conviction from the public square, then what if the reason given for a political position is 30% religious and 70% “secular” – is that OK? If not, then what if it’s 5% religious and 95% secular? What if we disagree on how religiously motivated my position is? Then who gets to be umpire?

    I’m actually interested in hearing an actual example of a 30:70 case or 5:95 case.

  • http://www.ThePresidentialCandidates.us The Presidential Candidates

    Religion has no place in the laws of America.

    All people should be treated the same regardless of their personal life. We must move forward as a society. It’s time to leave old religions behind.

  • Jen

    #1) So are we saying that opposition to gay marriage is only OK if it’s NOT motivated by religious reasons?

    I have no idea what secular reason there could be opposing gay marriage. “It makes me uncomfortable” is not a reason. “It’s bad for kids” is not reason, because all the studies have shown that children of gay parents are no different than the kids of hetero parents. However, if someone can come up with a good reason that isn’t about religion, let me know, and let’s debate it.

    #3) What good is a religion that doesn’t have any effect (”influence”) on how I think about life issues?

    Are we sure that the influence it has on your worldview is good? I don’t know how your religion changes you, but I suppose a religion that makes you a better person is alright and one that makes you a worse person is bad. If you don’t need a religion to make you a better person, you are a nice atheist.

    If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify slavery, was it also wrong for Wilberforce to cite religious reasons in his fight for its abolition? If it was wrong for some to use religion to justify segregation, was it wrong for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to cite his religious beliefs in his fight for civil rights?

    The fights over slavery and civil rights should have been kept entirely in the secular debate. Using the Bible to support a position on anything is pretty difficult- there are so many passages that can be left up to personal interpretation or taken out of context.

  • Stephan

    I don’t think it’s a matter of percentages. My reasons for being anti-abortion are 100% religious and 100% pragmatic. I could make the argument without appealing to religion at all, but my religion makes my conviction stronger.

  • Brendon

    Gay marriage, I believe has never been proven to be a good base for a familly.
    If you say it’s ok for gays to legally marry, then you are saying they can have children, by adoption or other means.

    Since you have a basis for a familly that I believe is more in the direction of disfunction, what are the chances for healthy familly life, and can we in good conscience subject children to such an environment that is unlikely to cater for a healthy upbringing? Is that not trampling on their rights?

    I think a lot more study needs to go into this before anyone should agree to the legitamizing of gay marriage.

  • Gadren

    http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html

    The American Psychological Association has released a study showing that:

    In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.

  • http://theplainestguygmail.com theplainestguy

    Then let it be read into the record that such studies have been made and no harm, no foul can be shown. Brendon, are you ready to change your mind or switch to another line of argument?

  • Jen

    Brendon- There are all sorts of lifestyles parents impose on their children that we haven’t proven to be good for them. There are tons of variables-

    education (the Amish take their children out of school after 8th grade, many people home school),
    health care (some refuse or can’t afford it for their kids)
    where they live (moving around often, never moving, apartments, mansions, shelters, or being homeless)
    what they eat (vegan, meat and potatos, junk food, organic)
    family size
    etc, etc.

    Are you going to demand all these variables are studied before straight people have more babies?

    And you know that gay people have been having babies for years, even without gay marriage? Absolutely, the lack of marriage makes adoption difficult (as it does for single straight women) and the gay couples have a much harder time with obtaining parental rights, but its been going on for years! Hell, some gay people even marry straight people and have babies, like Oscar Wilde.

  • Brendon

    I don’t see anything online about pros and cons of gay parenting, heck, we all know only too well that famillies no matter how good all have their problems. What I’m reading online seems to make Gay adoption look like a fairy tale.

    Call me whatever you like but I think the picture is looking a bit too perfect. I’ve read a survey which says differently.

    Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents

    rather a broad statement I think

  • Gadren

    @Brendon:

    It’s not saying that gay families are fairy tales. These are comparative studies. It’s showing that there’s no significant difference between gay and straight parents.

    Please give us the source for this survey you’re mentioning. And we shouldn’t take the attitude that this survey needs to be “balanced” with a negative study, any more than we balance astronomy and astrology.

    And “a broad statement?” I’d say that your condemnation of gay families is broad.

  • Susan

    Can you provide a link or reference to that survey? It’s more helpful if we can actually read it.

    Also, it’s not correct to say that

    If you say it’s ok for gays to legally marry, then you are saying they can have children, by adoption or other means.

    I’d say that both are perfectly fine, but that doesn’t mean the two should be equated.

  • Brendon

    I’d like to know what norm they are comparing these studies to.
    I read about the study I mentioned in a book which I borrowed from a friend so admittedly I can’t produce the data.

    From what I’ve seen online, looks like these ‘experts’ want to make everyone wish they grew up in a gay familly..

  • Gadren

    How about you actually read the study I’ve given you?

    Back things up with FACTS, not whispered allegations that are raised and never explained. Show us your proof of this gay agenda.

  • Brendon

    Yeah, I checked out the link and saw it echoed all around the web.

    I do find this quote very interesting:

    Information from more than 15 studies involving more than 500 children shows that raising children in a same-sex household did not affect the children’s self-esteem, gender identity, or risk of psychological problems. In fact, the studies found that children of single parents often have higher stress levels, more discipline problems, and more trouble with social adjustment when compared to children raised by lesbian couples.

    from this site http://www.temenos.net/articles/051025.shtml

    I hardly think the comparison is fair, single parenting without someone else to share the load is extremely difficult.

  • http://theplainestguygmail.com theplainestguy

    References directing you to peer-reviewed research papers can be found here

    @Brendon: Peer-reviewed research passes through a far more stringent standard than books. I know because my father is a university professor. From what I understand, the reviewers go through the submitted research trying to find something wrong with it. My father tears into stuff he’s asked to review with maniacal glee. What does get published is the best of the best. Books lack this process. Does your book cite peer reviewed studies? What is your book anyway?

    And Yes, the studies do compare samples of heterosexual parents and homosexual parents along side on another. Some also include single parent homes. Of course, comparing homosexual parents exclusively with single parent families is unfair. It’s a lie to insinuate that they did in these studies.

  • Brendon

    would it be too much to suggest that it’s too soon to see the affects of gay ‘marriage’ on familly life.
    I think most flaws in familly life are visible over generations.
    It’s easier to observe the flaws in regullar heterosexual famillies because they have been around so much longer.

  • Gadren

    Hmm… so the only way to know if gay families work are to wait for several generations… and we shouldn’t allow gay families until then.

    Am I the only one sensing a Catch-22 here?

    Just admit it, you’re trying to stave off “the gays” until after your lifetime. That’s the way it’s worked for inter-racial marriages and everything like it: questioning the data for no apparent reason, and passing the buck onto the next generation.

  • Denis

    As evidence that there are secular arguments (whether one agrees with them or not) against gay marriage, I would point to the report submitted to the French National Assembly in January of 2006. This report did in fact recommend that it was in the best interest of its nation’s children to maintain the traditional definition of marriage (one man & one woman).

    To the best of my knowledge the French legislators involved came to this conclusion without the help of the American Christian Right :)

    Here are a couple excerpts from this report’s executive summary:

    Articles 3, 7, 9, 18, and 21 of the New York U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) set out the rights of children. The commission stresses that “to systematically give preference to adult aspirations over respect for these rights is not possible any more.” The commission deems it essential to enshrine article 3 – “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” – into French law to help guide judges, individuals and other institutions.

    The commission was presented with “research on children raised by same sex couples concluding in the absence of any ill effects on the children. Their scientific nature and the representation of the samples of the populations studied were broadly criticized and contested during the hearings… the lack of objectivity in this area was flagrant.” The commission endorses the statement of an expert witness on adoption: “inasmuch as there is absolutely no reason to doubt the educative and emotional qualities of homosexual parents, we do not yet know all the effects on the construction of the adopted child’s psychological identity. As long as there is uncertainty, however small, is it not in the best interest of the child to apply the precautionary principle, as is done in other domains?”

    The full report can be found here.

  • http://fivepublicopinions.blogspot.com AV

    Hmm… so the only way to know if gay families work are to wait for several generations… and we shouldn’t allow gay families until then.

    Am I the only one sensing a Catch-22 here?

    No, I sense it too.

    Brendon is committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. “We don’t know the effects of gay families, therefore gay families are bad, therefore we shouldn’t allow gay families.”

  • Maria

    It’s so nice to see more religious moderates speaking out. this guy is on my A list. I hope people take more notice of people like him. that’s very disappointing about Edwards. the more liberal xtian churches tend to be more tolerant of gays, and I had thought Edwards was liberal……..

    btw, with the psychological debate going on here…..just wanted to add, before I got sick and had to leave school, I was getting a degree in Psych, and I saw some of the studies on families with same-sex parents (a professor who taught one of my classes was actually doing one)-and what they actually found was that children of gay unions are just as well adjusted in every way as kids of heterosexual unions, and they are no more likely to be gay than their counterparts. Just like the studies cited here. this stuff about it “destroying family” appears to be hogwash from what I saw. I’ll see if I can find the study online…..

  • http://fivepublicopinions.blogspot.com AV

    that’s very disappointing about Edwards. the more liberal xtian churches tend to be more tolerant of gays, and I had thought Edwards was liberal……..

    Pro-gay = political suicide.

    Anti-gay = having “values.”

  • Maria

    Pro-gay = political suicide.

    Anti-gay = having “values.”

    I wish you weren’t right, but you are…….sigh

  • Logos

    I hate to say it but, anyone who wants to be President of the USA will have to say something along the lines of what Edwards did.

  • Darryl

    Should one’s faith influence one’s public policy? This is the central question of our culture right now—perhaps of world culture right now. The fundamentalists have already answered it in the affirmative, or rather, it has been answered for them. This question is avoided by religiously-liberal politicians because it makes them uncomfortable. Why? Because they will either have to pander, as Edwards is doing, bargaining that they’ll get more votes than they’ll lose (there’s more believers than non-believers), or they’ll have to answer the charge from the «values voters» that they aren’t really believers; and we know that only true believers are fit to hold the public trust. The otherwise-rational, moderate/liberal believer inhabits a political no-man’s land: they’re not for a theocracy, or a Nation under God, and they’re not for a logocracy, or a Jeffersonian Democracy. They inhabit a space that might be very populous (I honestly don’t know), but that is completely impotent now because it’s largely ignored in our politics.

    Degrees of dysfunction are found, virtually, in every family. Most children raised here are influenced by many more people than just their gay parents–they are a product of a broad and diverse culture. It makes no sense to deny gays full human rights. Not too far off this entire issue will be removed from the sphere of the demagogues, bigots and religious nuts by science and technology. This century will likely mark the beginning of the end of homosexuality among humans. What fundamentalist would not opt for therapy for their gay fetus; what parent would in good conscience risk a lifetime of discrimination for their child?

  • http://bijanc.wordpress.com Bijan C. Bayne

    Jen:

    “…I have no idea what secular reason there could be opposing gay marriage. “It makes me uncomfortable” is not a reason. “It’s bad for kids” is not reason, because all the studies have shown that children of gay parents are no different than the kids of hetero parents. However, if someone can come up with a good reason that isn’t about religion, let me know, and let’s debate it…”

    the “makes me feel uncomfortable”, “what about the kids?”, and “why are they pushing to change the laws and traditions so fast?” arguments mirror the opposition against Negro rights and interracial relationships only 40 years ago. In “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, the story line made a majority of Americans, not raised to accept the scenario, uncomfortable with Sidney Poitier proposing to a white woman. Science, morality, religion, the fate of children, and “they all want to have sex with us” were cited as the bases for the rationale- the same arguments vs. homosexual marriage.

  • Polly

    What about the slippery slope argument?

    If we allow for gay marriage, why not polygymy(or even beastiality)? Is there any rational reason to believe that a child is worse off with two mothers plus a father? Or vice-versa? Hillary did say “it takes a village”, right?
    I’m talking about “progressive” style polygymy among consenting adults, not the sort of thing that goes on in Utah, or wherever.
    follow-up Q: Is there such a thing as allowing marriage, but not allowing the couple, or in this case the gaggle, to adopt?

    I’d be interested in hearing people’s responses.

  • http://bijanc.wordpress.com Bijan C. Bayne

    Polly:

    Being gay, which while relatively rare, is no moreso than lefthandedness (7% of humans) or redheadedness (3% of Americans), cannot be equated w/ bestiality or pedophilia. Children cannot give consent, animals are not as mentally developed as humans (and not the same species).

    There are a few societies that, for cultural reasons, have allowed some men, if they have the means, to support more than one wife. In war torn nations it provides husbands for those who might otherwise go without- in societies with vast economic gaps (regardless of what we who don’t live there think of it from a moral standpoint), one fourth of a wealthy husband is considered superior by some to no spouse, or an impoverished one.

  • Gadren

    I wouldn’t be opposed to allow polygamy (just as long as everyone consented and it wasn’t an abusive relationship). Bestiality is difficult to justify for the same reason as pedophilia can’t be justified — children are not mature enough to give consent, and animals are unable to communicate consent.

  • Polly

    I don’t equate homosexuality with beastiality, pedophilia, or polygymy. I also don’t think beastiality is the same as pedophilia simply because it seems very certain that children are psychologically traumatized by such “relationships” however, I don’t think the same can be said for animals. Dolphins seem to love it – perv’s that they are…always smiling at everyone, leering…uh er, um …back on topic…just wanted to clear that up and I look forward to more replies.

  • Darryl

    What about the slippery slope argument?

    If we allow for gay marriage, why not polygymy(or even beastiality)? Is there any rational reason to believe that a child is worse off with two mothers plus a father? Or vice-versa? Hillary did say “it takes a village”, right?
    I’m talking about “progressive” style polygymy among consenting adults, not the sort of thing that goes on in Utah, or wherever.
    follow-up Q: Is there such a thing as allowing marriage, but not allowing the couple, or in this case the gaggle, to adopt?

    What business is it of my fellow citizens or the state whether I have one wife or two? It is your business if I am running a scam like the one done by the Mormons in Colorado City, but so long as I am not committing any crimes, who cares? When it comes to plural wives, if any man is strong enough (or stupid enough) to take it on, more power to him. Bestiality? Is this really a problem that requires attention?

  • Jen

    Polygymy is certainly legal in most of the Bible.

    Modern-day polyamory (I think this was the word you were searching for) seems to work for people. Its certainly better than, what, at least 50% of Americans who cheat on their spouses.

    And children? Have certainly been raised in multi-adult households since the dawn of time. I don’t know if studies have been done on this, probably because all the sociologists are all busy trying to prove to wingnuts that the gays aren’t ruining small children with their evil… gayness.

  • http://bijanc.wordpress.com Bijan C. Bayne

    Brendan:

    What inherent trait in homosexuals would make them all poor parents?

    Marriage rights have nothing to do with children anyway. Don’t people over fifty often marry?

  • Denis

    btw, with the psychological debate going on here…..just wanted to add, before I got sick and had to leave school, I was getting a degree in Psych, and I saw some of the studies on families with same-sex parents (a professor who taught one of my classes was actually doing one)-and what they actually found was that children of gay unions are just as well adjusted in every way as kids of heterosexual unions, and they are no more likely to be gay than their counterparts. Just like the studies cited here. this stuff about it “destroying family” appears to be hogwash from what I saw. I’ll see if I can find the study online…..

    I would like to point out that these studies were available to the French commission when they examined this matter and they found the studies to be less than convincing. If a largely secular state can find reasonable grounds to disallow same-sex marriage based on the best interests of the child, I find it rather disingenuous for you to write off the very same arguments as “hogwash” when they come from your political opponents on this side of the pond.

    Here is a relevant quote from the English translation of the report itself:

    During the Mission’s deliberations, it was not formally demonstrated that approving legal filiation with two fathers or two mothers has no effect on the building of the child’s identity. Martine Gross gave the Mission a list of studies on children brought up by persons of the same sex. The conclusion, based on these studies, was that there were no negative effects on children. These studies’ scientific basis and the representativeness of the population samples studied were widely criticized and disputed at the hearings. Few countries allow adoption of a child by two persons of the same sex, and legislation allowing this type of adoption is very recent and has, in fact, led to very few adoptions. The lack of objectivity in this area is blatant. The studies in question deal, rather, with children born of a heterosexual relationship and raised by a biological parent and his or her companion – a situation that is absolutely not comparable with the establishment of a dual same-sex filiation for a child from outside the couple.

    My intent in pointing this out is not to persuade anyone regarding the question of same-sex marriage itself. Rather I hope to reiterate my earlier point that there are reasonable, secular arguments that can be made against SSM whether you agree with them or not.

  • Jen

    Incidently, Denis, I got a copy of your original comment and the first version linked to the site you got it from (http://www.preservemarriage.ca/eng/links.htm#FRANCE-REPORT). The site is called Preserve Marriage and the subtitle is “Protect children’s rights”, and in the case of this site, it appears the only right they are concerned with is that children have the right to straight parents. The summary was typed up in English by a member of the site, not by a government agency. Among the pages on that site, I found a fake child’s testimony about growing up with two fathers: “Emily might ask: “I thought politicians were supposed to protect me. Why did they let two men who are sexually attracted to each other deprive me of my birth right to a mother? Did they ever ask themselves how I might feel?”” Clearly a non-biased site.

    I admit to knowing little about French politics, but google has lead me to believe that the country is being run by a conservative person who was elected despite a majority of the French believing in legalizing gay marriage, meaning they must have voted on other issues.

  • Jen

    Bijan C. Bayne -
    Re: marriage over 50

    I actually went on a date (stress on ONE date) with a guy who told me that he didn’t believe in marriage for gays (not something I hadn’t heard before) or marriage for anyone who couldn’t have babies (something I have never ever heard before or since). Older people, he said, should have to call it something else.

    It was a weird date. Very weird.

  • ash

    in the case of this site, it appears the only right they are concerned with is that children have the right to straight parents.

    further it also suggests that single-parent/new partner households can never be adequate for a childs needs – the continual insistence on a childs right to have access to each biological parent of each sex. maybe the ideal, but certainly not the practise of many. by this reasoning, should a child be removed from a happy home that was begun with a straight couple, but where later one of the parents ‘came out’? should we force straight couples to stay together because of the rights of the child and despite any other relationship problems?

    however, i don’t see the issue of whether a gay couple should have the right to raise children is an absolute consideration in whether to give them equal rights in marriage status. most couples i know (gay or straight) do not base a marriage decision on whether they wish to procreate or not; rather to have their relationship recognised by society and law and to gain financial and legal protection for their relationship in the form of benefits, facilities and rights. for a couple of any sexual persuasion, without the status of marriage, their relationship can still be interferred with by family members who do not approve – ie, in questions of medical treatment and death with a non-existent/disputed will.

    child rearing is already practised by homosexual couples/singles by private arrangement and accident, procreation is not even a straight right as made clear by infertility problems, and the question of whether a gay couple should be allowed to adopt or receive fertility treatment is part of a broader discussion of whether we are willing to treat people as people rather than whether we are willing to acknowledge the status of relationships that already exist.

  • Denis

    Incidently, Denis, I got a copy of your original comment and the first version linked to the site you got it from (http://www.preservemarriage.ca/eng/links.htm#FRANCE-REPORT). The site is called Preserve Marriage and the subtitle is Protect children’s rights, and in the case of this site, it appears the only right they are concerned with is that children have the right to straight parents. The summary was typed up in English by a member of the site, not by a government agency. Among the pages on that site, I found a fake child’s testimony about growing up with two fathers: Emily might ask: I thought politicians were supposed to protect me. Why did they let two men who are sexually attracted to each other deprive me of my birth right to a mother? Did they ever ask themselves how I might feel? Clearly a non-biased site.

    You seem to be saying that the English translation of the French report provided on protectmarriage.ca has been falsified or is otherwise incorrect? Have you seen any evidence to make you think this? That same site also links to the full report on the National Assembly’s website and, given a cursory look at the text quoted above, the translation seems accurate to me.

    The fact that a group who opposes same-sex marriage referenced the French report has no bearing on the point I am making. Also, other articles or arguments made on that website are totally unrelated to the content of the French report or the fact that it contains secular arguments opposing same-sex marriage.

    I admit to knowing little about French politics, but google has lead me to believe that the country is being run by a conservative person who was elected despite a majority of the French believing in legalizing gay marriage, meaning they must have voted on other issues.

    Whether the government in power was politically right or left has no bearing on my point. The question I was originally addressing was whether secular arguments could be made by those who oppose same-sex marriage. I believe this report provides evidence that such arguments do exist.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    I seem to recall reading that the largest group taking advantage of the French system of what would be called here “civil unions” were single women and their mothers who lived together.

    Religion should have no say in two adults who want to have a contractual marriage under the law. That is an entirely civil matter, a civil right that should be equally available to all adults.

    There are a number of religious groups that either outright perform gay marriages or in some way bless gay unions, even in places where those aren’t legally protected. Not all religions are based in bigotry and prejudice.

  • Liz

    I just don’t understand why people use religion to stop state sanctioned marriage. The state has only ever been able to provide a civil certificate and ceremony. Couples can always have a wedding at the court house, or they can opt for a religious ceremony on top of the civil requirements. If their particular religious denomination had a stricter standard about being eligible for marriage, this is an added layer of complexity where the state is not involved. How many people are divorced and remarry but aren’t allowed to get married in church again, or where their church doesn’t recognize the second marriage??? I don’t hear people complaining that the state sponsors second and third and fourth marriages when some churches do not. This is why I consider the gay marriage controversy absurd.

  • Polly

    I just wanted to thank those who responded to my query.
    I really meant “polygamy”. Sorry for the bad spelling. Polyamory, isn’t illegal anywhere in the West, AFAIK.

  • Mriana

    I really think if two people are happy together no one should keep them from getting married if that is what they want. If we allow people to marry who they want, it could possible cut down the divorce rate a little.

  • Brendon

    In reply to anyone interested:

    Bottom line for me, (say I’m a bigot or whatever) I am a Christian and therefore I cannot agree that being gay is a good thing. That does not mean I hate gays, my best friend in high school is gay and I still consider him a friend.

    The Bible says that being gay is wrong, and whatever the current accepted behaviours, the Bible is my guide to right and wrong so I’m going to side with it. I believe God has a darned good reason for what is in the Bible and we ignore it only to pay the price years down the line. Needless to say I do not believe in a “gay gene”

    What about the slippery slope argument?

    If we allow for gay marriage, why not polygymy(or even beastiality)? Is there any rational reason to believe that a child is worse off with two mothers plus a father? Or vice-versa?

    I’m with you there Polly.

    That’s just me “coming out of the closet,” I know it’s probably not going to convince anyone of anything. Though I say I don’t hate gays, many will probably say I do, but that’s your own opinion.

    • Ekatherineallen

      Okay. You’re a bigot.


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