U.K. Group: Marriage Equality Means More Abortions

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, an anti-abortion group based in the U.K., says legalizing marriage equality will lead to a rise in the abortion rate.

Say what?

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children issued this flyer listing higher abortion rates as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage.

In light of the recent push for marriage equality in the U.K., SPUC has been circulating the flyer above. Among other outrageous (and unfortunately common) claims about same-sex marriage, the flyer makes the following argument:

“We must protect real marriage because it protects children in the womb. Statistics show that unborn babies are four or five times more likely to be aborted outside real marriage.”

Note the vague use of the word “statistics.” The U.K. gay news site PinkNews was quick to jump on this logical fallacy:

SPUC’s claim that same-sex marriages – if legalised – were more likely to lead to the abortion of unborn babies within those very marriages, was not fully explained.

A married male couple cannot abort an unborn baby because neither party can carry one. A married female couple would only find themselves with child after a long and carefully considered process, making it highly unlikely they would ever seek an abortion; far less likely than a heterosexual woman in a traditional marriage who had gotten pregnant by accident.

A reporter from Vice contacted a representative from SPUC for clarification, and to tell the group some good news: in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and South Africa, where marriage equality has been legal for a little while, the abortion rate did not actually rise at all. Unsurprisingly, a comical failure to communicate ensued.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • jdm8

    The last paragraph is really the clincher. This has been done before. For example: allowing gays in the military has been done in several countries, and without negative repercussions, but opponents in the US refused to consider it, they repeated their dire warnings without any evidence for their statements whatsoever, and with sufficient countering evidence. I’m not surprised this same tactic has taken a different form. Allowing women in combat: again, been done, and without the dire negative consequences.

  • Foster

    Why don’t we forget the whole “marriage” title anyway?  Historically, governments had nothing to do with marriage because it was a religious issue.  I think governments should get out of the marriage business and get into the “civil union” business, not just for gays but for everyone.

    This would solve a lot of problems.  I can think of four off the bat.
    1. Many conservatives would be happy because their precious vocabulary word “marriage” would not be defined by the government as applying to homosexual unions.  I realize many wouldn’t because these Bismarck-style ones are unable to imagine a world (which existed for much of human history) where the government left people alone in these matters.
    2. The gays would (I think) be happy, because they would be treated just like everyone else by the government.
    3. Religiously minded Widows and widowers who fall in love again would not have to make a choice between “living in sin” and losing their insurance benefits.  They could just marry them in a church/mosque/wherever and forego the civil union.
    4. We would gain more consistency as a nation.  As an increasingly secular society we should stop using a word for an economic arrangement that has traditionally been associated with religion and has historically religious significance.

    Legally speaking, given the pluralistic nature of our society, we need to move on from “marriage” (which, by modern secularist standards, was historically an unequal and submissive-dominant relationship.  Just ask St. Paul).  “Marriage” should become a private matter between people and their churches and/or wedding planners.  Agree, secularly-minded friends?  

    Full disclosure:  I am a devout Roman Catholic, who believes in justice and fair-handedness to everyone.  I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but I don’t believe that the law should or can change people’s hearts, and we shouldn’t try to make it do that to the misery of our fellow human beings.

    • lellipses

      Historically?  You mean in the recent history of Western civilizations. In reality, marriage  has been a part of human cultures all over the world since time immemorial.  It’s not unique to any religion.  It is not a religious issue.  Religious groups don’t have some special authority on marriage.
      “‘Marriage’ should become a private matter between people and their churches and/or wedding planners.”
      The marriage or the ceremony? 
        If people want to have their wedding ceremonies without the government, they can already do so.  Being legally married is optional.  The reasons you list don’t sound like legitimate enough reasons to switch everyone over to “civil unions”.

      • Foster

        I’ll answer your paragraphs one by one.
        1. I do not dispute that there are cultures that have secularized marriage.  But a large part of the American electorate is *apparently* still influenced by the “recent” 500 years and more of Western Civilization, judging by the political currency of a Definition of Marriage Amendment, the Anti-gay Marriage Proposition that passed in California and the societal wrangling that has been going on in general over the definition of the word.  Whether or not religious groups have special authority or not, if their representatives are able to democratically outvote you, (as they were in California of all places) your position is in trouble.  I recognize the injustice to monogamous gay couples this could cause and propose a compromise that allows gays and straights to have equal recognition under the law, while not even getting into as metaphysically loaded a question as “What is marriage?”
        2. Yes. Both would be completely private matters that would have no legal significance, completely separate from the civil union issue.

        3. “If people want to have their wedding ceremonies without the government, they can already do so.” The claim here is simply not true.  It is illegal to marry without a marriage license in most places in the US (I had believed everywhere in the US and most industrialized nations, but I am open to being proved wrong with a citation).  

        http://usmarriagelaws.com/ny_new_york/marriage_licenses/

        For example (found in link), after obtaining a marriage license in New York, a couple is only permitted to marry within 60 days of obtaining the license and 24 hours after obtaining it.  A priest or other religious person who marries a couple without a license is subject to prosecution.  It has not always been thus, as I was saying above.  My proposal would eliminate these requirements and surrounding problems of conscience and freedom of religion.  

        Perhaps this clarification and new information changes your mind. 

        • lellipses

          For point 3, you’re wrong.  If people want to have a wedding ceremony without the government (ie without getting a license), it’s not illegal to do so.  It won’t be recognized by the state, they won’t be able to obtain the many legal benefits of a state recognized marriage, and whether or not a religious body recognizes it is up to that religious body, but they have the freedom to do so.  Just like having a Bar Mitzvah doesn’t mean you can go out and vote, but people are free to have one.

          Your proposal takes away marriage, a cultural universal, from everyone just to appease a select few.  Why not keep marriage in the U.S. a civil matter, and the religious groups can have “holy unions” if they so choose?  No less ridiculous, but more inclusive.

    • SphericalBunny

      Why not ban religions from having anything to do with marriage instead? As you point out, historically marriage has to do with civil matters of property and inheritance; essentially everything to do with the physical realm and not much to do with the ‘spiritual’. Realistically in recent history, this has been compounded by the fact that couples can get married with narry a mention of god/s (and your argument, unlike mine, would involve already married couples losing their legally recognised status if they didn’t get hitched with a religious component; why should they be forced to do this?). My solution would not change a thing for those already married, since the religiously inclined would presumably have included it in their ceremonies, and such ceremonies as well as those involving no religion are already only legally recognised if they were licensed by the government. Religious couples could then have all the ‘blessings’ or whatever they chose to call it they wanted, but the status quo of marriage being a civil contract would continue. Here’s 4 quick rebuttals;

      1. Many conservatives could continue their smug bigotry by asking ‘but is it BLESSED?’
      2. Everyone would have equal rights, with the option still existing for the religious of being ‘extra-equal’ in a way none of the rest of us cared about.
      3. Religious people on a second (etc.) marriage would get equal rights in the eyes of the law, and could argue the rest out with their denomination of choice.
      4. We would gain more equality as a nation, and no-one would have to feel like they were losing anything – both gay people, and the religious with their ‘blessings’ would actually gain something.

      Quick aside; I have no idea what you mean by the ‘homosexual lifestyle’; there is no way of telling by someone’s lifestyle choices what their colour, gender, sexuality etc. is unless you rely on gross stereotypes. ‘Gay sex’ is also a misnomer, since there is nothing gay people do sexually that straight people don’t. I presume you meant homosexuality, since that is a sexual orientation. I’m glad that you find your personal aversion to homosexuality does not mean that you should try to cause hardship/suffering/legal obstacles to those that do not share your orientation.

      • Foster

        Yes, SphericalBunny, I see where you’re coming from, though I don’t think you ever explicitly stated what “my solution” is, although I assume it is marriage for homosexuals as well.  

        My point, as I tried to explain to Ibis3, is that under the current terms of the debate, homosexuals are suffering from a lack of a legal apparatus to conduct their medical, financial and other legal affairs.  While one might believe that a society without conservatives who believe marriage is between a man and a woman only (and they believe this because of historical religious reasons), would be a better society, that’s not our society.  They exist, and you have to deal with them somehow.  The best way I can see is to abandon the loaded term “marriage” for a drier legal term “civil union,” for everyone, so that homosexuals (and other minorities like widows) will not be legally sanctioned for their life choices.  So,1. Conservatives will do that anyway.  The question is whether homosexuals will have a legal representation of their relationship at all, and under my plan we might be able to come to some agreement.2. I don’t see how this is relevant, if you don’t care about it.  Legally, everyone would be the same with a “civil union”.3. I’m not sure what your solution involves since you never explicitly stated it, so I cannot respond.
        4. Perhaps, but in the meantime, people are suffering over the definition of a word.  So use a different word.

        When I used the term “Homosexual lifestyle,” I meant men who have anal, oral and any other kind of sex with each other, and in this context, live together otherwise as a man and wife would live together.  Their feelings or aversions do not enter into my thought in this matter.

        • SphericalBunny

          Foster;

          They [bigots] exist, and you have to deal with them somehow. 

          You do not deal with racists by pandering to them.
          You do not deal with sexists by pandering to them.
          You do not deal with bigots by pandering to them.

          1. You’ve given no reason why your plan would work, and certainly no reason why mine isn’t better. Conservatives that do not want gay people to get married generally do not want them to have any legal recognition whatsoever – see above for how they are willing to lie through their teeth about unrelated subjects in order to make gay people sound sub-human. Your plan would also mean a change in status for many existing marriages – legal nightmare aside, there would likely be a bigger outcry from the rest of society (including the small majority who support gay marriage) about the perceived loss of status for all those heterosexual marriages – which could also have the knock on effect of greater resentment towards gay people.2. Those that did care would have some recourse that wouldn’t effect the rest of us in the way the current pleading for special privilege does. Legally, everyone would be the same with marriage.3. My solution is to keep religion out of the civil contract that is marriage, with the option for religious couples to have any ceremony called whatever they like as a separate, non-legal, entity. Y’know, pretty much the same as it is now.
          4. People are not suffering over the definition of a word, they are suffering because of homophobia from bigots. Treating bigots with kid gloves, ceding to their demands, and pretending they have a point when they don’t is more likely to cement their prejudice than get anyone treated equally. 

          When I used the term “Homosexual lifestyle,” I meant men…

          Not only is it a bad phrase for the reasons I gave, but also…lesbians?

          • Foster

            Yeah, yeah okay: *obviously* mutatis mutandis for lesbians. 

            Actually, you do compromise with the “bigots,” people who disagree with you, that is if you want to get things done.  The founders of the Constitution had to compromise with racists in order to pass the Constitution (hence the infamous 2/3 of a person clause).  Should they not have compromised if it meant no Constitution?  Abraham Lincoln offered slave states that joined the Union the ability to keep their slaves.  If it meant keeping the Union together and freeing most of the slaves, was he wrong to offer this?  I’m actually curious what you think, not just being rhetorical.

            You are incorrect when you say that “People are not suffering over the definition of a word,” because they are, as I explained above, not to deny other forms of suffering you mention (but you can’t order people to think someone’s homosexuality is nice, this isn’t Orwell’s 1984, so conservatives’ “homophobia” is something we just have to live with, short of taking them out and doing away with them (also unacceptable)).  Living in a pluralistic society means learning to coexist with those who differ from you in opinion, and labeling them as bigots will not win hearts and minds to your cause.    I disagree that all will be fine “pretty much the same as it is now” but if you are satisfied with the status quo today, good luck with that.  I think most gay rights advocates would disagree, but perhaps I’m wrong.

            • SphericalBunny

              I’m not sure if you’re being purposefully disingenuous, cannot comprehend what I have written, or are just unable to formulate a reply to my points. 

              Should they not have compromised if it meant no Constitution?

              That’s the ‘compromise’ you’ve suggested – no legally recognised marriage for anyone, plus the retroactive removal of that title from those already married. Your 1984 shit (you may not like bad language, but I don’t like hyperbole) and suggestion that I might find it acceptable – or presume that you would – to see people ‘done away with’ is not only off topic, but pulled straight out of your nether regions. You might also want to pull the placatory pluralistic stuff on the people trying to deny others rights, because I am well aware that bigots exist in my society, thanks. 

              I disagree that all will be fine “pretty much the same as it is now” but if you are satisfied with the status quo today, good luck with that. 

              See my point about reading comprehension. The status quo is that religion is an add on feature to a civil contract sanctioned by the government. Marriage is already not a religious matter. Gay people getting married would also not be a religious matter. Religious people do not own the word marriage. That you and other religious people fail to grasp that is disappointing, but unsurprising. The status quo of marriage does not need to be changed, the legal rights of those who can enter into to it does.

      • Foster

        Oh, and also, I didn’t say this above so thanks for bringing it up, but the law making civil unions universal would automatically convert all existing marriages to civil unions in the eyes of the law, which addresses one of your concerns.

    • Ibis3

       

      Historically, governments had nothing to do with marriage because it was a religious issue…As an increasingly secular society we should stop using a word for an
      economic arrangement that has traditionally been associated with
      religion and has historically religious significance.

      This is just so much bullshit. Historically, religious institutions had nothing to do with marriage. Marriages in traditional tribal societies are familial arrangements; in societies with civil governments they are civil, secular legal arrangements. Your Church’s role in trying to control it was a late development. Read a fucking history book.

      Here’s another hint for you: wedding rituals ≠ marriage. A particular religion sacralizing marriage does not make marriage a possession of their church.

      Marriage should remain an official secular legal institution, recognised and regulated (to the degree that it must be) by the civil government and, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, open to all consenting adults with equal rights and privileges attending thereto. Whatever religious hooha people want to throw on top of it or dogma they voluntarily want to burden it with, that’s fine as long as no one is coerced into it or denied a way out of it.

      Your answer to the problem of people wanting to force their religious doctrines about marriage onto everyone else is to let priests and shamans decide who is actually married and the rest of us (atheists and people that the priests and shamans don’t like e.g. queers) have to be satisfied with just being unionized. Can I call my spouse my husband or wife, or do I need some ordained revelator’s sanction for that too?

      • Foster

        I’m sorry if you disagree, but there’s really no reason to
        use foul language.  And I do read
        them, by the way.  : – )

         

        Anyway, judging from your last paragraph, I take it you
        think I’m suggesting that we allow priests to legally declare people married or
        not and the civil authorities legally declare “civil unions.”  That’s not what I’m saying.  Rather,  I’d like for everyone to be able to call their legally recognized
        “civil union” whatever they want with no legal ramifications.

         

        Aside from our society’s endless discussion over what “marriage”
        is, there are homosexuals seeking the legal rights to conduct their financial,
        medical and other legal affairs. 
        Whatever your views of the Catholic Church, the fact is that it has had
        a significant impact on our (American society’s) social consciousness of what “marriage”
        is.  Historically, it DID control
        marriage apart from the state (See King Henry VIII, marriage to Catherine of
        Aragon), and this point is not minimized by the fact that historically there
        have been societies that disposed “marriage” apart from religion.  But it’s not ours. While a segment of
        our society feels that way, the controversy above illustrates that there is not
        enough concensus to decide this issue under the current terms of the debate (surprisingly,
        no matter how much you swear at them). 
        So I propose abandoning the terms for new ones in order to resolve the
        real problems involved.  Not
        bullshit, but history, logic, pragmatism, and a desire to see immediate
        improvement in the real situation of homosexuals and all people.

        • Ibis3

          there’s really no reason to use foul language

          I figured you were a big boy/girl and could handle someone using The F Word. Sorry for overestimating your maturity.

          Rather,  I’d like for everyone to be able to call their legally recognized “civil union” whatever they want with no legal ramifications.

          But nobody calls or would call their coupling “a union” or refer to themselves as “unionized” or call their counterpart “this person who has joined in a civil union with me”. They would say “marriage”, “married” and “husband/wife/spouse”. So what exactly are you advocating? Why would we invent a different term that everyone can use when there’s already a term that everyone can  and will use? Especially since, under your proposal, gay people can go to the Metropolitan Community Church or atheists to the UU Church and get “really” married anyway? And for what? How would that resolve anything?

          Whatever your views of the Catholic Church, the fact is that it has had a significant impact on our (American society’s) social consciousness of what “marriage”
          is.

          So? So has English common law and Roman law.

          Until the 1990s that included the notion that women had no right to refuse to have sex if her husband wanted it. It also included the notion that one of the parties had to be proved at fault in order for a legal divorce. It was also the case that if a man wanted to go live somewhere else a wife had to follow or she could be charged with abandonment.

          Historically, it DID control marriage apart from the state

          It may have controlled marriage as a sacrament of it’s own members, but Henry VIII’s request for a papal dispensation to divorce is no different that an Orthodox Jewish wife in New York City petitioning the rabbis for a get. He couldn’t obtain one from the Pope, but he still divorced and remarried. The fact that Elizabeth was recognised as his legitimate heir only proves the point that marriage is a secular institution. Even back in the 16th century at the height of the Church’s power.

          You already have the freedom to have your own rules governing marriage and divorce and dietary restrictions and working on the Sabbath and whatever else. Your church authorities don’t have to marry divorcees or grant religious divorces. But the secular government shouldn’t have to pick a different word for “divorce” in order to placate you.

          And as for “our society,” I guess I’m not part of it, because where I live this issue has been resolved for over a decade. Lack of consensus will never happen on any social justice issue. There’s always going to be someone who wishes slavery was still allowed or that women were still legally chattel or that sodomy was still a capital offence.
           

          • Foster

            I’m correspondingly sorry you apparently think that using foul language is a prerequisite for maturity. 

            I think you are right in pointing out that there are historical influences towards secularizing the term “marriage,” but that does not negate the influence of the religion on our current debate. If American law is to be consistently secular, it must defend the equal rights of all people.  Politically speaking, this is not where we (I’m speaking of the US, not your particular region, to clarify) are, and while in your region, the issue may be “settled” the fact still remains that a potential Marriage Definition Amendment to the Constitution (which I’m not supporting, but merely saying it could happen), like the anti-gay marriage Proposition in California of all places passed recently, is a real possibility, or a gay couple moving to a state that does not recognize their relationship as a marriage, presenting real legal problems.  You’re kidding yourself if you think the rights of gays to legally conduct their affairs as they see fit are adequately recognized, and you may pull an ostrich and hide your head in the sand, but these are real problems that could be solved if we abandoned the wrangling over the term “marriage” in the legal sphere. They are unlikely to be solved if we stick to the current vocabulary because of the religious significance attached to the word “marriage” by a large part of the electorate and their representatives in government.  Whether I think that that significance *should* be attached is beside the point.  I’m seeking immediate improvement in people’s lives and bypassing the contentious issue of what “marriage” is, is the most expedient way to do so.

            • Stev84

              That Americans think that marriage is a religious thing is because of the unfortunate entanglement of churches in legal matters. Specially their ability to notarize the only document that matters: the marriage license.

              But strictly legally, it has always been a civil matter from the early Colonial days on. The Puritans were theocrats, but they were also Calvinists and as such recognized the distinction between legal and religious marriage.

              • Foster

                If you concede that many Americans consider “marriage” a religious thing (rightly or wrongly), Stev84, as you have done above in your first sentence, then I do not need you to admit anything else .  That fact alone makes “marriage” a religiously and metaphysically loaded term.  We could improve the real conditions  of homosexuals more quickly by abandoning it and pushing for universal civil unions under the law.

                All I am trying to say is that religion has been an intimately involved aspect of most marriages in Western Civilization, and I will now say also, Colonial America, as this little study should readily indicate.  
                http://www.genealogymagazine.com/coloandma.html
                Exceptions may abound, notably the Congregationalists, but that does not minimize the connection between marriage and religion that influences American society, as you conceded above.

                • Ibis3

                   

                  That fact alone makes “marriage” a religiously and metaphysically loaded term.

                  No one is arguing that it isn’t religiously loaded. The Church did a very good job of co-opting civil marriage for its own ends and has left its bootprints all over it. So what? We don’t live in a theocracy.

                  Divorce. Adultery. Chastity. All of these are “religiously loaded terms”, but we don’t let Christians or Muslims or Hindus codify their religious doctrines on these things into law.

                • Stev84

                  I don’t agree with anything you said here. The idea that all things could be solved if everyone just got “civil union” is some of the most insane bullshit I’ve heard. It’s also hopeless naive. Religious fanatics pretend to only care about the word “marriage”. In reality they oppose any kind of relationship recognition and also flip out when a parallel legal construct is created.

                  The simple fact of the matter is that marriage has been an entirely secular legal contract for a while and religion doesn’t have a right to it. They stole it and then they gave it back.

            • Ibis3

               You still refuse to address the point.

              these are real problems that could be solved if we abandoned the
              wrangling over the term “marriage” in the legal sphere.

              How? Why would you expect that the title of a law would make any difference? Anyone getting a so-called-in-the-legislation “civil union” will still call it marriage. When Jane and Linda show up at the hospital Jane will still say “I’m Linda’s wife” just as she would say “Bob’s wife” if she were married to civil unioned to Bob. The definition of marriage will still include same-sex couples in speech and in the dictionary. Not only that, but I think you’d have a bunch of straight couples getting mad that their unions will no longer be considered a real marriage in the eyes of the law.

              They are
              unlikely to be solved if we stick to the current vocabulary because of
              the religious significance attached to the word “marriage” by a large
              part of the electorate and their representatives in government.

              You’re wrong. The tide is turning. You have marriage equality in several states now. New egalitarian laws will be passed and old bigoted ones will be overturned in the courts. Just like DADT has gone away, so will DOMA.

              The churches want to own marriage, but they’ve never owned it (no matter how much you want to talk about Western Civilization, cos as I’ve pointed out, and as Stev84 has pointed out, you’re wrong on the history). Instead of confirming their revisionist delusions, you should be educating them about the truth of the matter.

              • Foster

                Regarding “the tide is turning,” there are significant religious forces arrayed specifically against “gay marriage” and organizations devoted to saving the “sacredness of marriage.”  If you feel that the future is already certain, then I wish you good luck, but changing the terms might take some wind out of their sails as far as granting rights is concerned.  

                I mean are you concerned with equality and actual civil rights, or with a particular word on an official piece of government paper?  

                I’m sorry you feel I “still” haven’t addressed “the” point. I’ll give it another shot: The difference would be that the civil law would give no validation to anyone or invalidation as to their opinions on what marriage means.  If you need the law to tell you that something is true in order to believe it is true, then something is wrong.  The law would remain neutral on what “marriage” is, and allow people to think and say what they like and argue over it, which is what I think they’ll do anyway.  (I realize, you believe that the tide is turning, etc., in which case you could have your pie and eat it too, but I’m not so convinced the deadlock is so easily broken, particularly with the poor economy and other factors that will likely lead to social conservatives in high office) But this way, even while people argue, homosexual couples in places other than your and similar regions would not lack a legal construct to run their lives with.  

                It’s not a revisionist delusion to think that marriage is a term full of religious significance for many people today, and was at many points in History a religiously (sometimes totally religiously, as in the Renaissance or theocracies) controlled arrangement.

                In the end, Ibis3, I think we disagree on what appears politically possible. You think universally recognized gay marriage is almost almost here.  I’m not so convinced, so I suggest a compromise.  

        • Ibis3

          So? So has English common law and Roman law.

          I forgot to mention that there are a whole lot of other influences on “American society’s social consciousness of what “marriage”
          is” as well. Like Enlightenment values of individual human rights and freedoms. Like feminist values of gender equality. 

        • Stev84

          Christianity got involved in the marriage business very late. The Catholic Church kept it largely secular for centuries. They simply took existing Roman laws and changed a bit in minor matters. A priest wasn’t required for a valid marriage until around the 13th century. There wasn’t an even an official wedding liturgy until that. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. But they fully realized that they would invalidate most people’s marriages if they tightened the rules too much.

          Then with the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century things began to reverse again. The Protestants saw marriage a government matter and wasn’t the church to stay away from any legal entanglement. That was finally fulfilled in the 18th and 19th centuries with the widespread introduction of pure civil marriage.

          • Foster

            13th Century, let’s see, that’s 1200s, which makes a mere 800 years that a priest has been required in the Church, and much of which no civil license was required in addition to ecclesiastical recognition (according to written documents we still have, the absence of which does not necessarily indicate that there weren’t established norms before that (if you are aware of documents that explicitly deny the involvement of the Church in marriage before that, I’d be interested in a citation.)).  

            But the fact that you think any of that is relevant to my point, I think means you’re misunderstanding me.  When I say “historically,” I don’t mean “for all of history in all places.” (using it that way would prevent just about any generalization from being made) I mean rather in various times and places which are relevant to the way we think as a society.I don’t think most reasonable people would regard (at least) 800 years ago as “very late” as far as the effect of religion on our cultural idea of “marriage,” to say nothing of our culture’s religious texts on the subject which date back to the first century, and many centuries B.C., none of which even address the issue of “gay marriage” because it would be so outlandish to them.I agree with you that consistency-wise, a “pure civil marriage” *should* permit gays to marry.  But what we have to realize is that what might appear to some to be a “pure civil marriage” on government documents carried with it the cultural baggage of what marriage had historically been, and still does for many people as a result of our cultural history.  Whether rightly or wrongly, I am not here concerned with, but the wrangling over the word “marriage” is not only unproductive, it is unnecessary.   We can effect real change faster by adopting new terms over the religiously loaded ones.

            • allein

              Or people could just realize that sometimes a word means more than one thing and get on with their lives…

              How much is it gonna cost to change all the forms and laws and paperwork from “marriage” to “civil union”? Don’t we have better things to spend our money on?

              • Foster

                If a politically viable solution to homosexual human rights in America is not worth the paperwork to you, then I suggest something is wrong.

                I mean, criticize its viability and the history like Ibis and Eric above, but what kind of lame argument is “too much paperwork”?

                • Foster

                  Correction: Ibis and Stev

                • allein

                  I think they’ve done a pretty good job already, why should I repeat them? For the record, I do not agree that it’s a politically viable solution for reasons that have already been brought up. In addition, I think it’s a waste of time and money. Conservatives like to complain about government spending, too, but apparently they don’t mind spending whatever it takes to keep those immoral gays from using “their” word.

                  Though the outcry might be fun to watch when they get told their marriages will be converted to civil unions. You really think they’re gonna go for that?

  • Michael

    I’ve seen those stats before. They show that pregnant women are more likely to abort if they’re single, mostly because it’s less likely they intended to get pregnant. They then start making entirely illogical leaps, starting with the assumption that unmarried women are just as likely to get pregnant as married women and it gets worse.

    I tried to type down the whole progression but it hurt my brain.

  • Anon

    This is so stupid I can’t even think up a witty comment about it.

    • LesterBallard

      I know. I’m trying, but nothing is coming. Other than what a bunch of fuckwads.

  • CelticWhisper

    “Marriage equality means more abortions!”

    In other news, reports are rampant of good things meaning more of other, totally unrelated things!

    We go live to Chicago where a native citizen is noticing a similar trend between food and technology.

    “Yeah, hi, I’m Jim.  Is…is this thing on?  We’re, oh we’re live?  HI MOM!  So yeah, the pizza place down the street was having a promotion for 2-for-1 pan pizzas, and my PC’s memory upgrade just arrived from UPS.  It’s looking a lot like free pizza means more RAM.  It’s totally weird.”

    A similar report was received from San Diego just yesterday.  Dave, a 19-year-old UCSD student, reported that the university’s campus coffee shop received an accidental surplus of coffee beans due to a mixup in a Venezuelan shipping company.  He and his friends had plans to go surfing this weekend.  “The timing is interesting,” Dave reports.  “It’s as if extra coffee means more surfing.”

    The phenomenon isn’t limited to the US alone.  Jewel, a resident of Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia, has informed us that wombat populations have swelled outside the city, apparently in correspondence with a tax cut on alkaline batteries.  “Cheaper batteries means more wombats,” she mused.  “I’m not certain what the explanation of this is, but it’d be interesting to know.”

    Stay tuned to WCWN News where we’ll provide you with regular updates on this interesting good-things-equaling-more-non-sequiturs phenomenon.

    • bmobius

      I was in mid coffee sip when I read your comment. The subsequent burst of laughter contrasted against the burning sensation of the coffee through my nose was so worth it. One of the funniest comments I’ve ever read. Spot on and brilliant!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joequincy Jon Peterson

    Time to start distributing a leaflet about how religious ignorance about contraception leads to more abortions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

    I’m guessing that they took a real fact, like saying that more abortions happen among unmarried people and just slapped the “real marriage” label on it to confuse people and associate gays with abortion.
    So we have:
    Man + Woman = Real marriage
    Gay marriage, unmarried people = not real marriage
    So their statistic is probably not completely wrong, they just don’t feel like drawing a distinction between heterosexual unmarried relationships and gay marriage, because who cares, it’s all sinful non- Real Marriage anyways.

    • Michael

      You guess right.

      It’s rather like saying that a study shows that non-giraffes are more likely to have wings than giraffes, therefore lions are more likely to have wings than giraffes because they’re non-giraffes.

  • Anthony Ozimic

    See our rebuttal to Pink News here http://spuc-director.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/spuc-rebuts-smears-by-homosexual.html Pink News grossly misrepresent the contents of the flyer. In particular, we have never claimed that gay marriage more likely to lead to abortion “within those very marriages”. Anthony Ozimic, communications manager, SPUC

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Warner/620045191 Nick Warner

    “Put it this way, do you think it’s going to do anything to reverse the abortion rate?
    No. But there are lots of things that won’t reverse the abortion rate that are unrelated. Like if McDonald’s introduced a new type of burger, that’s not going to reverse the abortion rate, but surely you don’t think that should be banned?But beef burgers have nothing to do with babies.
    Two gay people getting married doesn’t either.No, but they are redefining. You change things in a radical way, and where it’s most harmful is the womb.”

    There you have it folks. Redefining words does measurable harm in the womb. All connections between SPUC and reality are finally severed. 

  • Kelly

    The first time I heard this argument was when a Catholic friend of mine said that if gays could marry, it would lead to the destruction of more embryos. Wow.

  • Alinanancy

    Appreciation for great
    content. I’m certainly glad I had taken the time to learn this.
    Sell
    House
     

  • http://www.quietatheist.com/ Slugsie

    I know I’m a little late, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the following obervation:

    Instances of abortion within gay (male) community are startlingly low. Thus, by their logic, two men getting married *must* be way better than any other potential form of union.


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