marriage equality won’t go away

marriage equality won't go away cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

(click on the image to go to nakedpastor’s online art shop)

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases regarding same-sex marriage… one concerning California’s Proposition 8 and the other the Defense of Marriage Act. Significant!

Marriage equality is not going away. I’m hopeful, even convinced, that it is coming. Soon. I’m speaking from Canada so for some of you I live in the future.

Some would see this advancement as a terrible regression. They would think of the Noah and the flood. They would believe that the earth is getting so bad, so sinful, that it’s only hope would be complete annihilation. A deluge of divine justice. Well, that’s how they explain catastrophes already, don’t they?!

Like the cartoon… some would try to stamp it out. Others ignore it hoping it will just go away.

Nope.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Chris Adkins

    I have been reading your stuff on LinkedIn for quite a while. I generally find it thought provoking whether I agree or not. Your inklings about the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision concerning Gay Marriage I find rather “random”. Maybe I don’t know enough about you and need to explore a bit further however here is the common consensus among legal analysts about what will happen in terms of the US Supreme Court’s decision-

    1. Prop 8 will be overturned. However they will inform other states the consitutional ammendment itself is fine and binding provided you are not taking away previously held “rights”. A major piece of this court is giving power back to individual states and it generally felt they will ensure states know they can make similar laws if they haven’t given gays the right to marry first. In California’s case the opportunity for gays to marry preceded the law.

    2. The Defense of Marriage Act will be upheld. Furthermore the pending Respect for Marriage and and the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act will most likely suffer great legislative harm as a result.

    There is an inherent danger emerging from the imposition of the will of a few against the will of the majority- revolution! Over the years history has often regarded revolution as a positive actions against oppression. Oppression can come in many forms, and yes one of them can be empowered legislation that benefits only a few and simultaneously negates the desires of a significant majority. News media outlets are keen to point out times are changing and the American population is shifting toward acceptance of gay marriage. What they fail to point out is the majority of major polls especially those inclusive of rural and Southern voters are consistently around 80% against gay marriage. What polled movement there is comes from younger adults in urban areas- this does not represent the majority of the US.

    My simple point here is this be careful. Don’t awaken a sleeping giant and create a new super majority in the US that will have political power for years to come. When little bees keep buzzing they sometimes get squashed.

  • Gary

    @Chris,

    In the 1950′s and even perhaps into the early 60′s the support for civil rights also represented a minority opinion. (Though I question your 80% stat) Discrimination is always the result of the “majority” opinion…and it is ALWAYS wrong.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    This is good. It’s about the Universalist Church wanting their proponents of ‘polyamory’, to keep quiet.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/unitarian-universalists-would-prefer-their-polyamory-activists-keep-quiet/2013/03/22/f3d14eaa-9333-11e2-8ea1-956c94b6b5b9_story.html

    I found it interesting and in line with the post here.

  • Gary

    No Steve (the Old Adam) it is not in any way in line with this post. Homosexuals are denied a right heterosexuals take for granted. The only way this would be the same is if one group already had the right to marry multiple spouses and another group was denied that same right.

    Nice attempt to sneak the slippery slope argument in there. But it is still a straw man argument no matter how you present it.

  • http://thought-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Gary, I understand your argument and heard it made quite convincingly by Andrew Sullivan, but we do wonder, how do you answer the calls for other “forms of marriage”?

    “Poly folks are strong believers that each of us should choose our own path in forming our families, forming relationships, and being authentic in our sexuality.”

    Over coffee last week, a friend of mine who is studying to become a Unitarian minister wondered aloud how she would feel if folks in a future congregation asked her to perform a polyamorous commitment ceremony. She is a traditionalist; she’s glad, she says, that the issue hasn’t come up.

    What principle should hold someone to two partners in a permanent marriage? Recently, there was a survey publicized in Canada, and it said that 25% of people have experimented with a three-some. You have to admit that that is quite a lot.

  • Gary

    Brigitte…my point has nothing to do with what I consider appropriate forms of marriage (i.e. 2 or 4 or pet or houseplant) and I do not plan to be drawn into such a dialogue.

    This is about discrimination.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    I’m not one to say the world is immediately going to end if same sex relationships are soon defined as equivalent to opposite sex relationships, but its still a stupid thing to do. Calling two things equivalent when they are not equivalent is always a mistake. Same sex relationships should not be defined as equivalent to opposite sex relationships because, first and foremost, there is not a “unitive act” – marital act – that the couple can perform. Sodomy is simply not unitive, no matter which end of the digestive system is being used.

    Sodomy is not unitive because a unitive act must be 1) a single act in which 2) both parties give of themselves and receive the other. In this sense, the equal dignity of each participant is respected. Acts of sodomy do not reflect the equal dignity of the participants. Only one participant gives and only one receives. One person is dominant while the other is submissive. These acts fail to be unitive whether or not both participants are of the same sex or of the opposite sex (so spare me any talk of being discriminatory).

    Furthermore, opposite sex couples can do something amazing which is have babies. The life giving relationship of a man and woman deserves to be enshrined by every society, culture and nation because it is the very institution which allows these societies to continue through time. Even same sex couples with children should enshrine the life giving relationship between a man and a woman because they remain dependent on this relationship for their children. To equivocate same sex and opposite sex relationships is basically to tell opposite sex couples that the gift of new life they bring forth is not special – when in fact it is very special. At the very least, the stable and life giving relationship between a man and a woman deserves its own name.

    Anything that we do to divorce the diminish the procreative effect of intercourse – whether it be abortion, contraception, homosexuality, or in vitro fertilization – will effect children negatively. Children become – and have already become – objects which others have the right to as opposed to subjects with rights themselves. (“Who are you to tell me I can’t have a baby!”)

    In conclusion, defining as equivalent relationships that are not equivalent is a huge mistake. Its one I pray our country doesn’t make.

  • Gary

    “Anything that we do to divorce the diminish the procreative effect of intercourse – whether it be abortion, contraception, homosexuality, or in vitro fertilization – will effect children negatively. Children become – and have already become – objects which others have the right to as opposed to subjects with rights themselves. ”

    This is a pure nonsensical statement. There is absolutely no basis for such a declaration.

  • Seamus

    Yes, not all relationships are not equivalent and not love is equal. That’s why black people can’t marry white people.

    And if it’s really all about children, we better quit letting senior citizens get married and force infertile couples to divorce.

    1. Why does the bible say Sodom and Gomorrah burned?
    2. Your opinions of “sodomy” show a complete lack of understanding of human sexuality. Spare us your speech about “unitive” and “not unitive” intercourse. If man on top “missionary position” isn’t male dominant to you, you have no position within reality.

    Not all marriages just come down to “sex.” And if two heterosexual people can get married, or a gay man can get married to a straight woman, or a gay woman can get married to a straight man, and they never have sex, and society or law do not forbid it, there’s no basis in reality for your argument.

  • Gary

    “Acts of sodomy do not reflect the equal dignity of the participants. Only one participant gives and only one receives. One person is dominant while the other is submissive. These acts fail to be unitive whether or not both participants are of the same sex or of the opposite sex (so spare me any talk of being discriminatory).”

    Beyond the obvious reality that to seek to reduce a relationship to it’s purely sexual element whether hetero or homo is insulting…This comment is particularly silly since the same description of dominant verses submissive, giving verses receiving, applies equally well to heterosexual sex.

    Duh!

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Just observations people. Take it or leave it, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    Oh come on Andrew! That old scare tactic won’t work on us. We’re beyond that apocalyptic boogie-man maneuver.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    David – I admit I cringed before I used the word warned because of the “scariness” of it all. But what if what I say turns out to be true? What word should I use?

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    Andrew: That’s kind of like Pascal’s ancient wager… It doesn’t hurt to believe in it, so believe in it just in case it’s true. I would hope we’d have a reasoned discussion rather than throw in the scare tactic of eternal whatevers. It doesn’t help the discussion but in fact attempts to end it… of course in your favor. You know?

  • Andrew O’Brien

    David – Ok. There was no intent to scare and, truthfully, that isn’t me. I just didn’t appreciate my perspective being brushed aside by other commentors. I too would like a reasoned discussion on the subject, but it is difficult to have considering the nature of the subject. Like or not, there are many good-hearted people in the world who are opposed to “Marriage Equality” yet we are always lumped in with racists and bigots.

    Are there any arguments opposed to marriage equality that you find persuasive? Or are they being written off because of the conclusions their reasoning draws? If “yes” is the case, then a reasoned discussion is not possible.

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    Thanks Andrew. This in my mind is the problem: to rely on the bible for support no longer works. That’s my opinion. As long as our equality is chained to a book we will never be free. This is where the trouble lies.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    And thank you, David. Neither do I wish to rely on the Bible for any sort of ethical paradigm. I hope that wasn’t how my post came off. As an opponent of marriage equality, I find arguments from the Bible to be very embarrassing and unpersuasive. I think there are, however, good arguments to be made from the natural sciences, which I believe can help us discern unintended consequences of our decisions including the decision at hand.

  • Gary

    Andrew your perspective was not “brushed aside”, it was challenged because it made absolutely no sense. When you draw a conclusion which does not make sense within your point you should expect it to be challenged. And I would really like for you to demonstrate how the “natural sciences” leads to the conclusion that children become objects and lose their own rights, or how gay sex implies dominance/submission and hetero sex does not. These are merely opinions (not scientific conclusions) which do not follow logically from the statements that preceded them.

  • http://thought-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Children become – and have already become – objects which others have the right to as opposed to subjects with rights themselves.

    This is really the most weighty point of all. What about the children?

    The moment some raises the point that children ideally are raised in a home with their own biological mothers and fathers, the cry goes up that this hardly ever happens. There is so much divorce, etc. Yes, we know there is divorce and we know divorce is traumatic for children. But this goes way beyond the difficulties involved in changing your living arrangements. A person needs to know where he or she comes from. This is not trivial. A person needs to know her mother and her father. In Germany, the supreme court just ruled that someone conceived via insemination has the right to know the father, the sperm-donor. Why does is always matter so much to people? Why are their lives consumed with finding a birth mother or a birthfather? Why are these teary stories always in the media? Because we need to know. We need to know so that we can know ourselves. A part of a person is incomplete when the relationship with the biological parent is missing. It is a human right to know your parents. And if you cannot live with your parent, you need to have a good reason to feel satisfied. Why did my mother place me for adoption… ? What were the reasons? Does it make sense? Did she care about me? Or I am I just trivia. People become obsessed with this.

    Yes, yes, there are reasons why some of these relationships are not wise or feasible or sustainable… but again, the undesirable results don’t allow us to abandon all efforts at reaching the best outcomes. In Australia, just last week, the prime minister apologized to a conference center full of women for the decades of pressure put on single moms to release their children for adoption. A child is not a puppy. I don’t want or get a child just to complete the picture of a nice, little home. A child is a brand-new human person, created out of the love of a man and a woman. This is the bed-rock of existence.

    Adoptees are the only party to an adoption without a voice. While adults make (and are expected to make) many decisions on behalf of their children, adoption is the only decision made for children that displaces them permanently. This isn’t to say that adoptive placements can’t be positive, growth-enhancing, and give adoptees a loving, supportive environment, but it can never negate the fact that there is another family out there with whom the adoptee is intimately connected. How adoptees acknowledge (or don’t) and come to terms (or don’t) with this dual ‘belonging’ is a question each adoptee has to answer for her/himself.

    The adoptee or the child of sperm-donation has no choice in the matter. The impact of this needs to be fully considered, but one rarely hears about it.

  • Gary

    And what of the children Brigitte? If you are going to attempt to make the case that homosexual marriage deprives adopted children of the knowledge of their biological parents…then you must be prepared to follow the argument to its conclusion. ALL adoption should be outlawed, including by heterosexual couples. Your point is irrelevant to homosexual marriage because it is not exclusive to homosexual marriage.

    Most of the arguments against homosexual marriage actually have nothing to do with it.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Gary – I’ve gotta go do stuff, so I don’t have a ton of time, but I’ll try to explain the point about children. Everything I say is based on my own observations of the world and are thus “natural.” It is my opinion that much of the “progress” we have made has formed our collective conscience falsely and that defending the “classic” definition of marriage will help to form our collective conscience more towards a true conception of the human person and the rights that belong to them.

    First, it all starts with what I believe is the worst decision the country has ever made: legal abortion. I realize bringing that up might immediately cause some to ignore this, but its crucial because of what it did to change the nature of the parent child relationship. Before abortion was an option for women who were pregnant there were wanted children and unwanted children. But whether a child was wanted or unwanted didn’t matter; the child got to live. The availability of abortion changed that. Now whether or not a child was wanted determined whether or not the child even existed. Rather than being seen as a subject with its own set of rights, the child has become an object whose parents get to determine which set of rights it has.

    This problem has been cemented by other developments of “progress” regarding sexuality. Contraception, for example, furthered the divorce of sex and procreation. (note: It is not my opinion that sex is *only* for procreation. It is, however, my opinion that procreation should be an expected outcome of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Conception shouldn’t be seen as a surprise or an accident.) Now that men and women received greater control over whether or not they conceived children further objectified them, and their wanted-ness became even more pronounced. Conception is a less and less expected outcome of intercourse.

    In Vitro fertilization has also been a means of objectifying children. Now don’t get me wrong , I know couples who are infertile and I’m not blind to their suffering and frustration. I feel terrible for them and pray that God will bless them with children. But In Vitro fertilization turns a child into a possession. A child conceived In Vitro is something that a couple has purchased. Literally. They bought their baby with money, and subjects with rights in and of themselves can not be purchased for money. Genetic selection is compounding this problem. Parents are selecting children based on their sex which further objectifies the child, and there are already “fertility clinics” who are allowing parents to select more specific genes, like eye color and hair color.

    Now how does sodomy relate to this? How might “gay marriage” effect a child’s rights? Because sodomy confirms society in its error that conception and sexuality are not intrinsically related. “Gay marriage” cements into our public conscience the false idea that conception the old fashioned way is not an expected outcome of intercourse, since it equivocates the two. Calling both relationships the same thing renders the differences between the two types of relationships meaningless including an opposite sex couple’s ability to create new life.

    In conclusion, marriage equality is a mirage. The two relationships are not equal, even if there might be good things (friendship, for example) present in both types of relationships. Supporting marriage equality is to perpetuate the error that sex and procreation are not intrinsically related, and this error will continue to be detrimental to the rights of a child as their dignity (worth) will be determined by their wantedness.

    Wow. That took longer to type than I thought and I’m late. Sorry I didn’t proofread. I hope it makes sense. If anything isn’t clear, please ask. I’ll hopefully be able to check back later tonight.

  • Bobbye

    And thank you, David. Neither do I wish to rely on the Bible for any sort of ethical paradigm. I hope that wasn’t how my post came off. As an opponent of marriage equality, I find arguments from the Bible to be very embarrassing and unpersuasive

    The view from the Bible is this: in the garden of Eden a choice was made about who gets to decide what is good or evil, what is right and wrong. God ‘s view is that He decides. Adam (male and female created He them) decided he would decide. For God or the Bible to have any influence a person must be persuaded that God actually is real. Christians basicly believe that God is real. Science ( modern science) states that God absolutely does not exist. Thus the debate. Christians are called to participate with God in the ministry of reconcilliation of lost people to fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. Nothing that exist on earth can prevent the ministry of reconciliation.
    I have a note on my computer ” God does not compel to obey”. God persuades. Christians should be like God.

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    no bobbye i wasn’t addressing you directly. just throwing in another spin. thanks.

  • Chris Adkins

    Completely agree Christians should be engaged in the ministry of reconciliation. However to reconcile something means to bring it back in harmony with the former in this case God. Thus our ministry is to help bring people back in harmony with God. I wonder what God’s desires are for us maybe that our love for Him would compel us to obey Him.

    There is nothing new about people not wanting to be compelled against their own desires it has been going since creation. We have called this compelling different things over the years more recently the buzz word is discrimination. Persepective is always a relevant matter in terms of determing what is oppressive or discriminatory and to what extent they are wrong. My son by technicality discrimates against certain friends because he choose not to “hang out”. This may seem a silly example but it is valid. We (all of us) make choices about who we befriend, help, or what we eat or drive and in each of these instances there is some form of discrimination going on. By definition discrimination is the recognition of differences not whether we agree or believe they are just (this is a modern definition). So discrimination is a point of view based on a given individuals, communities, etc. subjective opinions.

  • Gary

    @Chris

    Interesting (but not surprising) how you totally sidestepped my point of the discrimination pertaining to the civil rights movement. Do you also believe that racial prejudice, which resulted in a denial of equal rights, is merely a matter of who we choose to “hang out with”?

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

    Superb! How the heck do you keep comin’ up with stuff?

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    i’m like a storm

  • Bobbye

    Completely agree Christians should be engaged in the ministry of reconciliation. However to reconcile something means to bring it back in harmony with the former in this case God. Thus our ministry is to help bring people back in harmony with God. I wonder what God’s desires are for us maybe that our love for Him would compel us to obey Him.
    Chris,
    I see reconciliation as literal. When God created man in God’s own image, man was body soul (psyche) and spirit (pnuema). When man “fell” , he fell from the image of God. The spirit of man no longer had a direct connection to God. It was ,from God’s point of view, dead. When Adam had a son ,Seth, Seth was born in the image of Adam, his father. Seth had no connection to God. Thus men began to “call on the name of the Lord”. Jesus came to restore the direct connection to God. Yes , I know that God is Father , Son and Holy Spirit. Our salvation is our becoming a new creation by our spirit coming alive to God by our being persuaded by the Word of God that Jesus is God and died in our place and rose again from the dead as evidence that He pleased the Father. Thus we are literally reconcilled to God by being restored to the image of God. Behavior follows belief. We now agree that God and God alone gets to decide good and evil. If that is what you mean by harmony, I agree. Again, though , I stress, no one has the “right ” to tell another citizen what to do or think. Persuation, by the Word of God in love ( benevolence or affection) is what we should do. What the secular society does is of little importance. O’kay, be involved , but always with kindness( kindness is not the same as being nice).

  • Carol

    The point of civil marriage is to legally bind people to the responsibilities of PERSONAL committments that could produce negative social effects such as a spouse and children becoming dependent on the State should those committments not prove to be sustainable.

    Jesus makes it quite clear that divorce is not “God’s Will”, but no one I know is advocating the abolition of our divorce laws. In fact, God [through Moses] granted the Jewish males, because of the hardness of their hearts, the legal right to divorce their wives, with certain conditions made for her future provision.

    I doubt that wars are “God’s Will” but soldiers do not incur God’s wrath for serving in the military, since, in this “less than perfect world”, nationalistic aggression must be kept in check. The fact that we had a conscientious objector law supports the speculation that war was not the most virtuous way to settle conflicts.

    I am not at all convinced that same-sex spousal relationships are high on God’s list of concerns; but even if they were there are plenty of examples of God meeting us where we are at and leaving it to us to work out our own social means of dealing with behavior that does not conform to the statistical norm.
    There was a time when marriage was polygamous– one man, many women–without incurring Divine disapproval. What does seem to be of concern to God is selfish predatory behavior. Civil marriage laws offers some protection against that which contributes to social stability; but have no power to affect a healthy spousal relationship.

    Same-sex marriages are no more a threat to the institution of marriage than heterosexual “open marriages” where both partners consent to mutual adulterous behavior.

    The greatest threat to traditional marriage came with the Industrial Revolution which made the collective workplace rather than the family farm or cottage industry the means of economic support. The father (and now mother) is taken from the home and it is decades before the children can contribute in a meaningful way to the family’s welfare in our contemporary hi-tech economy.

    We should be looking for ways to make our economy more family-friendly rather than getting our knickers in a wad over same-sex spousal relationships if we are really concerned about strengthening the emotional bonds necessary to bind family members together so that the family may once again become the primary building block for a healthy society.

    Of course, that would mean putting some legal restrictions on the predatory business practices of large multinational public corporations where workers are considered “human resources” to be used to maximize profits regardless of the social costs, which I believe many, perhaps most, Conservatives–both religious and secular–oppose. Much easier to just keep scape-goating gays for threatening the “traditional” marriage.

  • Gary

    Andrew, your views pertaining to sexuality are…interesting. Your conclusions, which you may believe make perfect sense, are not shared with the majority of society. You have thrown pretty much everything and the kitchen sink (abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization,etc.) into your discussion pertaining to homosexual marriage…yet none of it actually has anything to do with the issue at all. And I flatly disagree with your view that separating sexuality from procreation results in children losing their rights and becoming objects. Family planning is actually a positive thing in most couples lives, allowing them to better prepare to create a healthy, safe, and loving home environment. The same can be true for same sex couples. Your notion that pregnancy should always be a risk associated with sex is, well quite frankly, a dangerous and naive view. You seem to wish to drag us all back into the dark ages.

    At the end of the day it still comes down to one thing. You wish to deny others rights you presently possess based on your personal views.

  • Carol

    There was a time in human history when our species was endangered by plagues and famines and an arguement could be made that avoiding the responsibilities of parenthood was a “sin” against the common good, but contemporary circumstances no longer validate a mandate to procreate.

    The procreative function is common to both the human and non-human species. Perhaps the time has come to give more consideration to the unitive emotional/spiritual function of sexuality that distinguishes human sexuality from that of other species.

    Although I in no position to speak authoritatively for God, my own belief [based on my reading of the OT Prophets] is that God is probably a lot more concerned with what goes on in America’s [and the rest of the First World's] boardrooms than S/He is with what takes place by non-coercive assent in our Nations’ bedrooms.

  • Gary

    Update on the percentage of Americans who support legalizing gay marriage. This is in response to the following statement made by Chris Adkins…

    “News media outlets are keen to point out times are changing and the American population is shifting toward acceptance of gay marriage. What they fail to point out is the majority of major polls especially those inclusive of rural and Southern voters are consistently around 80% against gay marriage. What polled movement there is comes from younger adults in urban areas- this does not represent the majority of the US.”

    The following Wikipedia article does a great job of breaking down the various polling data and reflects a very clear shift towards support for gay marriage. The last 3-5 years have been remarkable and the majority of Americans now support same sex marriage. In fact the only age group with a majority view against is 65 and older. I found the following chart breakdown by religion to be particularly fascinating.

    Support for same-sex marriage in the U.S.
    byReligion % of U.S. population
    No religion 81
    White non-evangelical Protestant 70
    Roman Catholic 59
    White Catholic 58
    Other Christian 52
    Protestant 49
    White evangelical Protestant 31
    All Adults 58

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion_of_same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States#By_Age

    As I have previously pointed out…majority does not make something ethically right. But misinformation like that presented by Chris (80% oppose gay marriage) is constantly being promoted by the religious right. Fortunately the dark ages mentality so prevalent in evangelical Protestantism is finally showing signs of losing it’s grip on the American people.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Gary – There are ways to plan families without separating the procreative purpose and unitive purpose. I realize that my views on sexuality aren’t mainstream, and I consider this a good thing.

  • Gary

    Andrew…they may be a “good thing” for you. And in this you clearly demonstrate my point. You acknowledge that your views are in the minority and you consider it good…therefor you argue for your right to pursue what you believe is appropriate for YOU. You desire to keep procreative and unitive purposes (whatever the hell you think that means) locked together. Great…don’t use birth control…YOU have that right. Homosexual couples are pursueing the right to marry their partners, most of which do not have that right.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Gary said, “Homosexual couples are pursueing the right to marry their partners, most of which do not have that right.”

    Gary, I think you’ve missed my point all along. Let me try one last time. In our form of government rights aren’t “given” by the state. They are present in our nature and “protected” by the state. Homosexuals have no “right” to marry because there is nothing to protect. Stable relationships in which couples do not unite themselves bodily are called friendships. Friendships can exist in different degrees. People have friends, good friends, and even REALLY GOOD friends. Friendships are not called marriages. Homosexual couples simply cannot perform a unitive act (which I defined in a previous comment). No matter how creative they get with there bodies, a homosexual couple can’t unite. They can be friends – and there may even be some benefit to them being friends that the state can reward, such as sharing resources by living together – but they can’t be married. The term marriage should be reserved for a certain, unique type of relationship that goes beyond mere friendship. Calling homosexual relationships marriages is to insert ambiguity into our language and our law, neither of which is a good thing.

    Our conceptions of human sexuality, procreation, and parenting greatly effects society. The effects of divorce on the culture are clearly great and clearly negative. Single parent households (in which the father sees no responsibility to father his children) are increasing poverty and creating a lot of problems that society has to clean up. People are so addicted to their licentious sex lives that they want the taxpayers to pay for them to maintain it (hellow, Sandra Fluke!). All of these problems (go ahead and say none of these are problems) stem from a conception of sexuality in which having children is a choice as opposed to an expected effect of the sexual act.

    In order for us to address these problems (and others not listed) we must move the culture in a direction that sees the procreation of children as a good thing and as an expected outcome of the act – even if it does not occur as a result of each and every act. Defining homosexual relationships as equivalent to heterosexual marriages will strengthen our belief that children are a choice because it defines that the purpose of marriage is exclusively for the pleasure of the spouses – any child they have is for the parents own benefit – a “thing” they have the right to if they want one, rather than a person that has rights the moment it is conceived. Hence, the child is objectified. How can you not see that this is dehumanizing to children?

    Let me be clear about one more thing. I don’t view “gay marriage” as an attack on marriage. I believe that this debate we are having is an expected outcome of earlier mistakes we have made about marriage and sexuality. Thus, I harbor no ill feelings towards people who support same sex marriage. I just think they are wrong. This debate is giving us all a good opportunity to ask more fundamental questions about human sexuality and to stay the course, or change trajectory. I’m hoping we move in a different direction because I don’t like where things are headed.

  • Chris Adkins

    Gary,

    First I didn’t side step your example of racism in the 60-70′s it just didn’t merit a response. They are different. There is research emerging that suggests (hold on) homosexuality is not biological but rather choice or environment enabled. Before you get into a tirade I will say the big part again “emerging”. This means the current research trends which are so popular right now are being replaced with new data that negates the current thinking

    Second and probably more critical is your own reference suggests problems with your positions. Consider the final paragraph of the Wiki you mentioned-

    Public opinion on same sex marriage and unions in the United States thus reveals a great deal of change in a short period of time and significant regional disparity. While New England, the Pacific Coast and northern Middle Atlantic states may support full-fledged marriage, comparisons of polling from a decade past to today reveals significant growth in support for same sex marriages and civil unions in those regions. Meanwhile polling from other regions show that while support for same sex marriages or civil unions have increased across the country, the growth of support is not uniform, with a significantly lower level of support occurring in the Deep South compared to the rest of the country.[55] Given the wide diversity of opinions within the US, many supporters of same sex unions believe that the most accurate way to discuss support for same sex unions in the United States is on a state-by-state or region-to-region basis

    It all depends on where you live! Local polls I’ve seen published in the South and Southwest show these areas when inclusive of rural conservatives is 80% against.

  • Gary

    Andrew I did not miss your point at all. In fact I deferred to it in the sense that you have the right to your views and to have your views dictate how you choose to live. The fact that I strongly disagree with so much of what you present as factual in no way means I missed your point. Your notion of a “unitive act” (the ability to conceive) as a requirement for a marriage to be called such is, frankly, extremely disturbing. Your belief that family planning is destructive to society and leads to licentious living and deadbeat dads is naively simplistic. Your statement that homosexuals have “nothing to protect” is profoundly offensive. And your position that sex without the risk of pregnancy objectifies and dehumanizes children is pure bullshit.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years. Our two children are now grown and on their own. We chose to prevent further pregnancy for a host of reasons. At the top of our list of reasons to prevent further childbirth was the lack of financial resources to provide for a large family. It is extremely offensive to me for you to suggest that our decision in any way “objectified” our 2 children. Making the “choice” to not have more children was beneficial for the 2 we have as well as for our marriage. Our sexual relationship is something we celebrate simply for the joy and enrichment it brings us as a couple. And what the hell is the problem with couples who DO choose a marriage exclusively for the benefit of the couple? Who the hell are you to tell them that their choice of a childless marriage is selfish or destructive to society? My question back to you is…How CAN you see this as dehumanizing to children? The notion that choosing to conceive or not to conceive somehow strips the rights away from a child is preposterous. And perhaps if more couples did see marriage worthwhile in and of itself, not merely as a means of bringing a family (children) into the world, we would see stronger marriages.

    You are also wrong about whether rights are given by the state. The right to vote for instance did not exist for women and minorities until granted by the state. There are many freedoms we take for granted that represent rights granted by the state. The legally protected status of marriage is most definitely granted by the state. Without it couples who merely live together are denied many legal benefits and protections granted to married couples.

    Look Andrew, I get that many of your views are right out of the Catholic Church approved talking points. But we are not a nation of Catholics. For that matter latest polls demonstrate that even a majority of Catholics disagree with the official church position on this issue, and an even stronger majority oppose the restrictions on birth control.

    What is ironic in your posts is that you spill much ink attempting to make the case that children are losing their rights (a purely philosophical view not born out by the facts) while arguing for the very real denial of rights for the homosexual community. You seek to marginalize and exclude an entire class of people. Thankfully, you have already lost that battle as public opinion now reflects a more loving and supportive society. (And I believe, more Godly) Nonsensical rationalizations used to justify bigotry no longer rule the day.

  • Gary

    Chris you said “First I didn’t side step your example of racism in the 60-70′s it just didn’t merit a response. They are different.”

    Uhm…yes…that is called sidestepping it. You seek to ignore one of the key issues in the entire debate as “not meriting a response” with a simple statement of denial. But factually you are incorrect in stating they are different. Race AND sexual orientation are both protected from discrimination by the laws in this country.

    I am also quite puzzled by why you believe the final paragraph in the source I cited somehow supports your view. The fact that some pockets of the country are slower to change has no bearing on whether or not this is actual discrimination. Those same pockets you mention have a significantly higher rate of racial discrimination as well. Are you suggesting that the mere presence of discrimination (whether rather racial or sexual orientation) somehow validates it? Because if you are, then it is your view which does not merit a response.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Gary – Ok. Have a nice day.

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