Our Biggest Weakness: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue

blogalogue_bar.jpgRod,

Happy New Year!  I’m glad that we’ve decided to get back into our blogalogue this month.  I know that lots and lots of readers want us to tackle the biblical evidence one way or another regarding same sex marriage.  And I know you’d like to return to Lisa Miller’s essay in Newsweek.  I also want to defend myself against the constant stream of criticism that I’m on the “slippery slope.”  Let’s be sure to get to all of that.

But to begin the new year, I thought we could admit something to one another, and to our readers: what, for each of us, do we consider the biggest weakness of our side’s argument regarding same sex marriage?  I’ll go first.

It seems to me that for those of us who favor SSM, the biggest weakness tends to be an avoidance of taking seriously the six verses of the Old and New Testaments that deal explicitly with homosexual behavior.  I know that some liberals will excoriate me for this, for there is a phalanx of books by liberal scholars that deals with the biblical passages in which homosexuality is mentioned.

But I’m not so much talking about the academic version of pro-SSM Christians, but the more popular level.  In fact, I think that Miller’s essay and Jon Meacham’s editorial preface to the same issue of Newsweek are cases-in-point.  While I arrive at the same destination as Meacham on this issue, I cannot agree with him that those who marshall biblical evidence against SSM are guilty of “the worst kind of fundamentalism.”

So there it is.  I think that pro-SSM Christians too often avoid the biblical passages that deal explicitly with homosexuality.

I will endeavor to avoid that weakness as we continue our blogalogue this month.
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  • Larry

    Of course it could also be argued that the anti-SSM side assigns way too much weight to those 6 verses, which are difficult to translate in some instances, part of the Levitical law in others, and almost always difficult to determine what meaning they should have in our culture. These verses are in the Bible, but they are only 6 verses, there are far more covering love of neighbor, social justice and other items that also bear on the SSM discussion.

  • Bill

    Of course, if you “take seriously” the myth of Sodom as evidence that god hates homosexuality, you must also “take seriously” the never-discussed ending of that story as evidence that god approves of drunken sex between fathers and daughters (the same daughters, by the way, that Lot so generously offered to a dangerous mob to be gang-raped).

  • Your Name

    Leonard Sweet once said that he will not dispute with someone until he was able to articulate their opposing argument to that person’s satisfaction. This is also an effective mediation tool. To be able to argue from the other side demonstrates undestanding and that you are actually listening. This is how we are to interpret scripture, in my view. We debate and we argue and we exegete. We try hard to get it right, though we see in the mirror dimly. Sometimes we get it wrong, but we honor God by the attempt, and are forgiven in our errors. Diologue is what Christians need, not visceral reaction to views we find unattractive. Remember, when we decide that a person is causing damage to the Body of Christ by theri actions, we are to treat them as outsiders, which means we seek to bring them back into the Body.

  • Stephen

    I don’t see how this can be considered a weakness, because I don’t see how it’s at all relevant to the discussion. I would consider it a weakness to rely on the biblical passages, but not to ignore them: that’s just being smart!

  • Don R.

    I wish more Christians thought about, discussed, debated, and took to heart the spirit of the word of the Bible, and fewer of us fixated only on the precise words. The words are translated (always an imprecise endeavor) and come from a context far, far away.
    Guided by the spirit of the Bible, I think a very strong argument indeed can be made that as Christians we should encourage all people to embrace their gift of being able to experience and share love with a special partner in a supportive and nurturing manner of intimacy. That should go for gay couples just as much as straight couples, and I believe the spirit of the Bible backs me up on that.
    Yet some Christians are so extreme they tell me to my face that the God-based, love-based belief I just described will send me straight to hell. I will never understand that. It doesn’t make sense to me that wanting to expand love could be against God’s wishes.

  • http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com James McGrath

    My own view is that the key difference is the weight given to passages vs. principles in approaching the Bible.
    See my piece on the subject at Religion Dispatches: http://www.religiondispatches.org/blog/sexandgender/859/a_response_to_the_newsweek_flap:_passages_vs._principles/

  • Alan K

    I appreciate this blogalogue very much. As a pastor in a mainline denomination that has been wrestling with this issue for several years, our conversation amongst one another (in my denomination) has been downright poor and not productive in the least.
    It would be helpful if you guys discussed the following: how reality and cosmology is construed by the scriptures (you know, Barth’s “Strange new world”); the relationship between phenomena and divine intent (is erotic desire constitutive of identity for the Christian?); was the apostle Paul a biologist, psychologist, or theologian?; to what extent is there continuity and/or discontinuity with Genesis 1 in light of Galatians 3:28? Was there marriage in the Johannine community?; In what manner does God exercise authority?
    These are a few of the questions that never seem to come up. The discussion in my denomination is always stated to be theological, but in reality it is political (meaning truth is secondary to winning and losing, or, even worse, truth is winning and losing).

  • bob pearson

    Tony,
    I like this approach but disagree on your selection.
    I actually think that the most compelling weakness of the SSM argument to be found in the Bible are the Genesis passages of creating Man and Woman in God’s (OUR!) image, that in joining them they can fulfill creation and the basic biology of creating life for the multiplication of the species.
    But just to be fair, I believe also that just because this is the mostest, bestest and preferred way, nothing says that it should be the ONLY and exclusive way either…

  • Greg

    I would agree. I’d love to accept SSM, but don’t feel I can until I come across something that explains how to read the Bible in such a way that takes into account every passage and the broader narrative and makes SSM seem biblical. I’ve read various attempts, but haven’t been convinced yet. I think Newsweek missed a huge opportunity by referring to those verses as “throwaway” verses in the Bible. I don’t think there are “throwaway” verses. There are verses that have more or less relevance than others, verses that were for a particular time which has passed, and even verses I wish weren’t there, but not verses we can just throw away and dismiss because we don’t like them.

  • Your Name

    In examining the “6″ scriptures, isn’t it true that during Biblical time homosexuality was used strictly as a way to conquer an enemy? This was done to humiliate and destroy diginity. The idea of comitted same sex relationships was not the homosexuality referred to. Anyone have any further info on this?

  • http://godandmethismoment.blogspot.com/ Cathy

    I didn’t mean the previous post to appear anonymous…just messed up.

  • Your Name

    Why is Romans 1:26-27 being ignored? Just curious….

  • Jake Dockter

    I also think that a big weakness of the pro SSM is the intellectualization of the subject.
    In the same way I think the biggest weakness of the anti-SSM side is their lack of connection with actual gay and lesbian people. On both sides you hear intellectual arguments, debates, verses, support …but rarely hear real stories of real people.
    All the intellectual arguments seem disconnected, and seem so separate from the real lives of homosexual couples.
    we can debate all we want but real couples are seeking to get married and can’t and the vast majority of people out there have no idea about our debates and ideas and never read the arguments on either side.
    we are mostly straight intellectuals arguing on the sidelines, while the rest of the world has to deal with it.

  • A Walker

    The life-long responsibilities of raising a family are extremely challenging. Without strict child-focused marriage laws, heterosexuals abandon their commitments to spouses and children en masse, and the result is economic destitution for heterosexual women and children. Traditional marriage law protects women and children from chronic desertion, fraud, and breach of contract by weak and/or selfish spouses.
    Case in point: a mass abandonment of the family took place immediately after no-fault divorce redefined marriage as a temporal contract that any adult could breach at any time without personal penalty. Divorce spiraled out of control, leaving kids everywhere without parents, stable care, or an economic future.
    SSM, by further redefining marriage away from its core definition as a permanent family-oriented partnership, will bring a comprehensive legal end to the old norm of stable heterosexual families. And the breakdown of the nuclear family is the root cause of nearly all the social ills we are facing.
    A good and civil society is built upon the stable heterosexual family. As the permanent family dissolves, the state, which is made up of those family cells, will dissolve with it.

  • James T.

    If you think homosexuality is not a sin than you are just kidding yourself. We all agree on issues that are a lot less clear than this. This is scripture twisting/ignoring/changing to the extreme. I’d find the defence of this sin to be humorous if there wasn’t the sad fact that people are being lead astray.
    A lot of you like to make this issue so much more complicated than it really is. Professing yourselves wise you’ve become fools.

  • http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible Rob the Rev

    At the http://www.soulforce.org website get a free download of the booklet by the Rev. Dr. Mel White, “What the Bible Says – and Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality.”
    A Biblical response to the question people often ask… “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you are also gay?”
    In this 24-page booklet, Mel White puts forward these eight premises:
    1. Most people have not carefully and prayerfully researched the Biblical texts used by some people to condemn God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.
    2. Historically, people’s misinterpretation of the Bible has left a trail of suffering, bloodshed, and death.
    3. We should be open to new truth from Scripture. Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various Biblical texts.
    4. The Bible is a book about God. The Bible is not a book about human sexuality.
    5. We miss what these passages say about God when we spend so much time debating what they say about sex.
    6. The Biblical authors are silent about homosexual orientation as we know it today. They neither approve it nor condemn it.
    7. The prophets, Jesus, and the Biblical authors say nothing about homosexual orientation as we understand it today. But, they are clear about this one thing. As we search for truth, we are to “Love one another.”
    8. Whatever some people believe the Bible seems to say about homosexuality, they must not use that belief to deny homosexuals their basic civil rights. To discriminate against sexual or gender minorities is unjust and un-American.

  • Rob the Rev

    I failed to note and give credit in my previous post that the eight summary points of the booklet, “What the Bible Says – and Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality,” were quoted from the Soulforce website.

  • http://tanstaaflblog.wordpress.com Jeff Moulton

    A Walker wrote – “SSM, by further redefining marriage away from its core definition as a permanent family-oriented partnership, will bring a comprehensive legal end to the old norm of stable heterosexual families. And the breakdown of the nuclear family is the root cause of nearly all the social ills we are facing.”
    I would ask you to consider the possibility that you have a logical disconnect in your argument. By opening up the institution of marriage to a whole new group of people, are we not actually creating a larger base of family units, ones that obviously cannot procreate without help, but who certainly can provide a stable home-life to children whom otherwise would have to grow up without.
    You also state – “SSM, by further redefining marriage away from its core definition as a permanent family-oriented partnership, will bring a comprehensive legal end to the old norm of stable heterosexual families.” I would also ask you to address the historical changes in how governments (the US and our legal predecessors in the English and Latin legal codes) have viewed marriage, specifically in relation to equality between partners in marriage. If you think that the “old norm” of marriage is all that old, you’re going to be unpleasantly surprised.

  • Python

    Ok, I told you I was mad before and I questioned your motives. A bad foot to get started on. Sorry about that.
    Tony, what do you do with people who say they are “healed” of homosexuality? I personally know three men who lived over 20 years in same-sex relationships, then began following Jesus and left the lifestyle. Now they give testimonies that they are “healed”. 2 of them are married and 1 is engaged – to women. What do you do with that? Are they not real homosexuals? Were they faking? Are they something else we need a category for?
    Python

  • A Walker

    Jeff M.,
    Just as no-fault divorce radically changed marriage from a permanent family contract to a temporary family contract (with devastating consequences for kids), SSM changes marriage from a temporary family contract to a mere cohabitation or romance contract, with no stipulation for kids or family whatsoever. (And yet a billion babies are on the way who cannot raise themselves and *need* their parents under contract to raise them.)
    Needless to say, the new “temporary romance/cohabitation contract” will be utterly useless to people who, by Nature’s design, are conscripted into a child-raising enterprise by their own biology, and who need a legal framework to stay committed to their children decades after the orgasm has ended.
    The well being of literally billions of children (and women) are at stake in this debate. If marriage is redefined for all citizens as a mere temporary cohabitation/adult attractions contract, heterosexuals not be compelled by law to care for the babies they conceive during sex.
    From the standpoint of the heterosexual marriage experience, no-fault divorce stripped children of the legal right/expectation to have parents care for them for life; SSM will now strip them of the legal right/expectation to have parents care for them at all.
    What will the state do with all the abandoned babies no longer under any contract to be cared for by their biological parents?

  • Panthera

    A Walker,
    Why do you persist in insulting us with your absurd comparisons and claims?
    Living in Europe, I have the freedom to marry my husband. This marriage is just as real and legally binding as any “heterosexual” marriage. There is no time limit or implied temporary structure to the contract – just the opposite.
    My partner is legally a member of my family, as am I of his. Were he or I to have brought children into our marriage or should we adopt, our commitment to such child or children would be lifelong.
    Should, heaven forbid, we ever divorce, he would retain my family name and title, would retain limited inheritance rights, etc.
    You are postulating a change in heterosexual marriage through ceasing oppression against American homosexuals which is just not given.
    Instead of attacking us and pretending that we are somehow a threat, why not focus on the appalling condition of many heterosexual marriages and the consequences for women, men and children? It is absurd to suggest that providing my partner and me with the same legal protections and recognition as you gladly extend to Brittany Speers and her two-day marriages, you are destroying Western Civilization.
    Always, when we as Christians align ourselves against natural laws, we end up making fools of ourselves, driving others away and doing great harm.
    I’ve been informed by revisionists on this website over the last weeks that Christians never mis-used the Bible to oppress blacks. That the Inquisition didn’t really torture. That no Christians insisted on the geocentric view of the solar system, much less that the earth was flat.
    The age of the earth, ‘creationism’, rejection of evolutionary theory, the inferiority of women…the list goes on and on.
    This is absurd. I can read Latin well enough to read the Vulgate, no mention of the word ‘homosexuality’. Dito Luther’s Bibel, which I can read fluently. King James? Nope, no mention. Yet when I point this out, some people here scream that I am a revisionist for criticizing the translations in the fundamentalist Bibles.
    If we mention that all serious medical bodies see homosexuality as a normal, healthy variant and not an illness, people pretend that this is only a few gay psychologists, or, worse, that we have somehow pressured these scientific bodies.
    Should we show documented evidence of homosexuality in all high order mammals, people scoff that the animals were drunk or trained…
    When solid evidence is presented that homosexuality is not a choice but is innate, the same folks who scream murderers! over IVF plead for genetic screening to eliminate us…
    My personal ‘favorite’ on the faux-science list is the de-based claim that the ‘homosexual act’ was proved to cause incontinence. That study suffered from many flaws; not least that the lead on the study was so hell-bent on proving his claims, when he couldn’t establish harm, he made his numbers up by counting the passing of wind as incontinence…
    You can’t cherry pick the Bible. If we were to pretend that the single referent in the NT which might refer to gay sex is valid, then we must observe all the other verses with equal strictness. Like that is going to happen, especially all that nonsense which dear old what’s-his-name, you know, that long-haired Jewish Rabi who was always running around offering forgiveness and love kept spouting off about. Dear me, such a minor character, nowhere near as important as Paul.

  • cx

    Python, we already have a category for people who are sexually interested in both males and females – bisexuals.
    Sexuality isn’t an A/B switch. The inherent interest in other people runs the gamut from interested in only males to interested in only females with varying levels of interest in both along the line.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz

    This is a tough question for me because I am not completely sure what side of the argument I am on – I am a person who doesn’t feel that I have enough evidence to firmly plant myself on one side at this time. I guess that leaves me more pro because without sufficient evidence I have trouble prohibiting SSM. I will share that I do struggle with the idea that sex was created for procreation … or not. I know the arguments against that(infertile couples being sexually active etc.) and for it – but I wonder if we may be brushing this off too quickly.
    The thing that I find the most frustrating is that I have trouble finding people that will really struggle through this topic with me. It seems that most people I try to talk to have set themselves up in one camp or the other and have a set answer and use that answer to try and prove their position. Is there anyone out there who can say “I believe this way or that but I am not really that comfortable with my understanding of God’s intentions for sex?”

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz

    And to A Walker I would like to say that the argument about the legalization of SSM putting children and women at risk does not resonate with me at all. How does allowing two people of the same sex to legalize their commitment to one another make marriage commitment less sincere? The people that I know that are in same sex relationships are just as capable (or incapable) as heterosexuals at making sincere commitments and can stick to their commitments (or not)just like heterosexuals. And I can’t agree that the no fault divorce law changed marriage from a permenent family contract to a temporary one. I don’t know if the no fault divorce law was the perfect solution but I don’t think what we had before was better. IMHO the problem with marriage/divorce/broken commitments/parents shirking their responsibilities is not the fault of any law or lack of some law – the problem is a heart issue. That doesn’t mean that I believe there should be no laws regarding marriage/divorce/parental responsibilities etc – but I believe that we can cross lines when it comes to making laws.

  • Jeff

    I posted this at the “best comment site” but thought I would do so here, too. Sorry to clog the comments.
    Jesus tells us that we are to love each other. Jesus does not say how that love is to be expressed and does not himself say that any expressions are prohibited. Why can it not be expressed in a manner that gives physical and emotional pleasure to the people involved? There are two commandments. We are to love God and to love each other. How we express our love to each other seems irrelevant.
    What is sexual conduct? Is it different from loving conduct? Does the fact we are stimulated in some manner by the demonstration of that love make that love a sin? If love becomes “sex” when there is a physical component, what is the purpose of the physical component? Is sex as designed by God solely to produce children? If so, any other “sexual” contact which cannot produce children, or is not intended to produce children, must then be sinful. What of those who use birth control? What of those who have had surgical procedures done to prevent childbirth? What of those who have been rendered sterile by some illness or physical distortion. Is sex always sinful to them because it has a physical component that cannot produce children? Sex for fun is without love and seems to be a sin, and as such promiscuity is sinful.
    The term “homosexual” is nowhere found in Scripture, though I agree some descriptions of sinful behavior can be interpreted as a type of homosexual behavior. I am simply not convinced that the descriptions are directed against all loving physical relationships between two people of the same sex. I think the difference is whether the conduct constitutes a demonstration of “love”. Sexual addiction and promiscuity are certainly sinful whether homosexual or heterosexual. Pedophilia and incest are not demonstrations of “love” in any respect. Such conduct is abusive and oppressive to oneself and others.
    By my reading, Paul, in Romans, simply says that abusive and deceitful behavior is sinful. Paul goes on to say that the saving act of Jesus Christ changed things and that even these abusive and deceitful sinful behaviors are covered by Jesus’ sacrifice. I would not say that this passage makes those deceitful and abusive actions no longer sinful. Such actions are to be abandoned. However, it does not say that such conduct is unforgivable or bars these people from the Kingdom if they continue to struggle. They are forgiven! If they do it again, they are forgiven again! Was Jesus’ death insufficient in some way? But if the behavior is in fact a mutual and equal loving relationship, I do not read Paul as calling such demonstration of love sinful. It just seems to me that God might not condemn a relationship based on commitment and love just because the manner by which the love is expressed is unattractive or unappealing to some.
    If we find that sexual orientation is genetic, such that it is not the choice of the individual, what do we do with the theology that rejects the homosexual community for their un-chosen actions? If sexual orientation is genetic, these people were created that way. If they were created that way, how can they be condemned? Gays might be described as similar to people with other genetic differences. Many deaf people have no problem being deaf. There is a culture for them where they are not only happy, but also thriving. This culture has its own rich language, history, songs, traditions and a strong close-knit feeling. That Jesus healed the deaf does not make deafness sinful, nor does it require the deaf to get Cochlear Implants so they can hear.
    I think that these people are welcome in the Kingdom regardless of their genetic circumstances. God looks at the heart to find faith in the saving action of Jesus Christ, and does so with all people of all varying genetic makeup.
    I also recognize that Jesus stated that marriage, as he defined it, is between a man and a woman. It appears that two people of the same sex cannot be married as that institution is defined in scripture, but it does not say some other covenantal relationship is not possible. Why would we preclude a legal relationship between consenting adults that allows for health care benefits and inheritance?
    I am not so bold as to say that I am certain of my views. These are discussions we need to have. As I said yesterday, (Your Name – oops) we must try to find God’s will for us by discussing these issues prayerfully and with openness to the actions of the Spirit. God is merciful to all those who seek him. Christians need to keep talking and praying about this issue so at least we can stand before God and tell him we did our best to get it right, even if in the end we are wrong.

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    The problem continues to be that we interpret the social norms in Scripture as somehow immutable and law creating with immutable laws of social organization and conduct. The fact is that they are not immutable and undergo often radical transformations in the bible and since the canon was officially closed. This arbitrary and inconsistent application of biblical social structures to any one of our various cultures is sociologically anemic, if not totally ignorant, and simply misinformed at how social transformations take effect within religious communities – this includes those communities through which the biblical passages have been produced and transmitted through the centuries.
    I think the root is a social disgust with male/male sexual relationships that becomes legitimized through social norms and structures. Inside of those “plausibility structures”, to use Berger’s term, the boundaries between pure and impure are codified and reified with the flawed assumption that the Bible told us to do exactly that. If this is not so, then all decisions to excise or dilute certain portions of those same social structures are fundamentally wrong and should be reincorporated into how we behave in the Body. Examples of these are not the treatment of slaves (Paul and Jesus’ issue) but the existence of slaves in contexts with beneficent owners, marriage as an economic contract between two families, punishments of stoning for adulterers and homosexuals caught in the act, and numerous other strictures that have been excised from western norms gradually since the Enlightmenment.
    Further thoughts in this argument are here (I am linking only because Tony used the term “blogalogue”): http://notes-from-offcenter.com/2008/12/15/stoning-same-gender-love/
    Peace,
    Drew

  • A Walker

    Liz asks: How does allowing two people of the same sex to legalize their commitment to one another make marriage commitment less sincere?
    A Walker: In order for society to “allow two people of the same sex to legalize their commitment,” it must first rewrite the stipulations of the heterosexual marriage contract to make such possible. And once society rewrites the rules of the institution, those are the rules for all.
    Redefining an enterprise or institution *changes* the enterprise/institution. For example, when we redefine baseball as a sport with horses and mallets, it’s no longer baseball, and it no longer does what baseball does. When we redefine marriage without the stipulations of (1) legal permanence and (2) family-orientation (as SSM law would do), it’s no longer the “marriage contract” that heterosexuals have relied on for centuries and millennia to keep their families together.
    Here’s why this is a grave matter for heterosexuals: a sexually active woman who cannot legally compel or expect the daddy to stick around to raise their children after the orgasm has ended is doomed to economic destitution, along with her children—for her partners will leave her routinely and without serious penalty. The woman is now screwed, for raising kids is a difficult, costly, and long-range enterprise, and it has to be permanently contracted to ensure that one of the partners can’t just bail out whenever the going gets tough.
    The redefining of the contract away from being permanent and child-focused will especially devastate children. Children of divorced parents suffer far more emotional and behavioral problems than do children from intact families. They are more likely to attempt suicide and to suffer poor health. They perform more poorly in school and are more inclined to become involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, and crime. These problems continue into adulthood, when children of divorce have more trouble forming and keeping stable relationships of their own. Through divorce, they in turn pass these traits to their own children.
    Liz says: I don’t know if the no fault divorce law was the perfect solution but I don’t think what we had before was better.
    A Walker: You are wrong on that. Prior to no-fault divorce law, marriages were compelled by law to remain intact. After no-fault divorce laws redefined marriage as an easily dissolvable temporary partnership, heterosexuals began abandoning their partners and kids at least 50% of the time. Laws and penalties matter. The absence of laws and penalties matters.

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    @A Walker:
    Nice set of propositions, but there is no evidence to support them. The evidence that the family contract keeps families together is quite paltry at best (between a 50 and 60 % success rate). Nor do we have evidence that two people in a legally recognized union have less likelihood of maintaining less of said function of families. we do, however, know that couples that cohabitate before marriage have a strong likelihood of getting married and staying married. This is good support for same gender marriage should the variable hold with a different cohort and there is no reason to believe that it will not.
    I am not sure you addressed the question of legitimation that was posed. The question might be re-phrased as this: How are two people of the same gender who raise a child in the context of a legally recognized bond of commitment less likely to raise that child in a consistent family social structure than a heterosexual couple of the same relationship?
    What happens is that a question of substance becomes conflated with one of function. Legally, the issue is a functional one and should stay that way. Marriage is what it does. Since it is no longer for the purpose of pro-creation alone, it serves different purposes that creates more stable contexts for relationships and variables for social success and harmony such as life-expectancy and participation in religious organizations which produce greater measures of happiness in people and in societies overall.
    Again, the issue with your propositions is that you are making far-reaching assertions that are counter-factual to the evidence we can bring to bear on what variables are in play with regard to family structures especially with regard to child-rearing. To that, the assertions you pose seem to be non-sequitur.

  • A Walker

    Panthera says: Instead of attacking us and pretending that we are somehow a threat…
    A Walker: I could care less what gays do in their bedrooms. I’m not attacking that. However, I do care greatly what happens to the only contract we heterosexuals have in place to legally compel our partners to stick around to raise our babies after orgasm. Sadly, SSM attempts to rewrite the stipulations of our contract, and the revisions to the law will devastate heterosexuals and their children.
    Panthera: why not focus on the appalling condition of many heterosexual marriages and the consequences for women, men and children?
    A Walker: The current appalling condition of heterosexual marriages is the direct result of the changed contract stipulations, which took place in 1970. When heterosexual marriage law formerly mandated permanence (i.e., prior to the “no-fault” divorce laws introduced in 1970), heterosexuals rarely divorced. Indeed, it was legally prohibited and costly for any party to abandon the contract. But changing the permanence stipulation in 1970 allowed heteros to exit the contract as soon as the romance died or the child-rearing got difficult (which happens to every couple). And the result was a 50% abandonment rate.
    Heterosexuals require a marriage contract that compels, under penalty of law, (1) permanence and (2) family orientation. Heterosexuals need marriage law to levy stiff penalties against any deserting party, so as to protect the remaining dependents from long-ranging victimization and economic destitution.
    This is not hard to comprehend. The economic and material well being of billions of women and children are at stake here.

  • A Walker

    Drew T,
    You are right that marriage, after “no-fault” divorce law was introduced in the 1970s, no longer legally compels heterosexuals to stay together. That’s the problem. What’s a heterosexual woman to do when her sex acts produce babies but she can’t expect or compel her lover to stick around to help raise those babies for decades after the orgasm has ended??? Moreover, SSM proposes to further rewrite the stipulations of heterosexual marriage law to have no expectation of reproduction at all.
    Next, I said nothing about adopting babies.
    Finally, you said said that marriage “is no longer for the purpose of procreation.” You are simply factually wrong on this. Heterosexuals are at this very moment busy producing a billion new humans at present, and we can’t stop it. Our biology conscripts us into that enterprise involuntarily, and we heterosexuals are forced by our Nature to figure out how to raise the billion new infants that result from our sexual activity.
    Gays simply have no such concerns or worries or long-range enterprise to be contracted.

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    @a Walker
    “What’s a heterosexual woman to do when her sex acts produce babies but she can’t expect or compel her lover to stick around to help raise those babies for decades after the orgasm has ended?”
    This has absolutely nothing to do with same gender marriage and you have simply failed to make that connection. Forcing people who fall out of love does not solve anything nor is it any guarantor of stable family structures. Rather, it may create the opposite effect of de-stabilizing children’s ability to bond if it maintains a closed-door unstable family. Even Ireland got the point.
    “Heterosexuals are at this very moment busy producing a billion new humans at present, and we can’t stop it.”
    I am not asking people to stop having sex and making babies. I made two of them with my wife and am glad I did. However, this says absolutely nothing of those not doing this at all. Are non-reproducing couples somehow less valuable? If so, then we should force all married couples to have babies. If so, how many do you suggest? IVF should be supported for barren couples then right? Biologically that is better for evolutionary fitness since we need to reproduce at an average of about 2.1 babies per couple. This can’t also happen with a lesbian couple? And I said nothing about adoption either, but since you mention it, gay men can adopt a lot of babies. Then there is the surrogate mother business. Again, this is an assertion without evidence. Moreover, its logical outcome is familial coercion which is like China reversed! Divorce is a horrible scourge on societies. But coercing marriage is not a solution. Better marriage counseling absolutely is.
    You are asking for a social structure that is not tenable in a western culture and it has far reaching negative outcomes that you are missing in favor of an ideological commitment, or so it seems. And all based on not one shred of evidence that you even could be right. You have to do better in finding evidence somewhere to convince anyone that your picture of a stable society is a good one.

  • Drew Tatusko

    @A Walker
    “Gays simply have no such concerns or worries or long-range enterprise to be contracted.”
    This is patently wrong. If it were so, why would people in same gender loving relationships desire to be committed to each other in a legitimate bond of matrimony? The evidence will show you that fidelity is not a gender issue at all. By the way, more people cheat on their spouses than is ever reported in the data. Just go to any conference. Prostitution and conferences are friendly partners. So let’s not be dishonest at the same time that assertions have no evidence to support them.

  • Joyce Mc.

    A Walker, I have to say, you’re tossing out some pretty hefty assertions and I don’t think they bear much semblance to reality. Certainly not the degree you are asserting.
    For example, you wrote, “SSM attempts to rewrite the stipulations of our contract, and the revisions to the law will devastate heterosexuals and their children.” That is offensive and precisely the kind of unproductive, unfounded bluster that perpetuates this debate unnecessarily. Including gay couples in civil marriage need not in any way affect heterosexuals. You said, “SSM proposes to further rewrite the stipulations of heterosexual marriage law to have no expectation of reproduction at all.” More inflammatory bluster. Whatever ‘expectation’ of procreation any individual has, straight or gay, it will not change simply by including more people in the institution (people who will be couples whether allowed to marry or not).
    You have repeated this assertion several times and I find it wildly unsubstantiated. I feel the burden of proof is on you with such claims of gloom and doom threatening every woman, child, and heterosexual couple. You’re happy to lay blame on gay couples marrying, so I’d be happy to see some proof before I accept that. As a gay person, I’m not keen to take the responsibility for all failed heterosexual marriages or deadbeat parents, particularly not when heterosexuals are not only the ones laying the blame but also the ones barring me from the institution based on that claim.
    You also wrote that once SSM is allowed “it’s no longer the marriage contract that heterosexuals have relied on for centuries and millennia to keep their families together.” Again, an assertion that’s overreaching and underproven. A mere 150 years ago women were chattel in a marriage, baby machines lucky to be consulted at all before being promised in a business deal. Please, don’t make it sound as if heterosexual marriage has been a harmonious union of bliss and equality for all of time and now gays are ruining it. That’s baloney and I refuse to accept your laying the blame at the doorstep of gays.
    Lastly, I recommend you not profess to know the aspirations or concerns of gay people related to child rearing. Many of us want the same family structure heterosexuals want. Of course we must rely on adoption, surrogacy, or invitro to make it happen but I submit that such reliance only makes the children raised by gay parents even more loved and appreciated.
    The root of your assertions seems to be concern for child welfare. Bravo. But we can all advocate for greater parental responsibility without using our well-intentioned concern for children as a weapon against gays in their quest for civil equality. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    @Joyce Mc.
    Well stated.
    “Of course we must rely on adoption, surrogacy, or invitro to make it happen.”
    And this is a widespread institution in married heterosexual couples as well lest another anemic assertion come forth that it is a “gay” thing and thus “unnatural”.

  • A Walker

    Drew: Forcing people who fall out of love does not solve anything nor is it any guarantor of stable family structures.
    A Walker: Incorrect. The traditional heterosexual marriage contract stipulates “for better or worse until death,” and it worked fine until “no-fault” divorce changed marriage law in the 1970s. All couples fall out of love, and it is for this precise reason that traditional marriage law stipulates that falling out of love is *not* permitted as a basis to renege on the signed family agreement–heterosexuals have children involved.
    For heterosexuals, allowing partners to exit the contract for any reason leaves one partner raising the kids alone at great economic and personal cost. This breach of contract is victimization, and thus requires stiff legal contractual penalties. Remember: when a woman’s sex acts produce babies, and yet that same woman cannot contractually compel her lover to stick around long enough to help raise the children they sired, that women will quickly find herself economically destitute.
    Drew: I am not asking people to stop having sex and making babies.
    A Walker: Heterosexuals have no choice but to keep making babies, which is why heterosexuals require a contract law (marriage law) that compels the parties to remain together for decades to raise their babies. SSM-revised marriage law does not compel heterosexual partners to remain together or even think about the children issue. As a result, women and kids have no legal protections against breach of contract, if SSM revisions are passed.
    Drew: should we force all married couples to have babies?
    A Walker: Nature already does force heterosexuals to have babies, and it is for this reason that a marital contract law becomes necessary (for nature does not compel the adult partners to raise their babies; social contracts do that part, if we write the contract stipulations as such).
    Drew: Divorce is a horrible scourge on societies. But coercing marriage is not a solution.
    A Walker: Heterosexuals have signed on to “better or worse until death” for centuries, even millennia. And in fact, the reality of babies requires it, for it is unjust and evil to sire babies and then stick someone else with the costly and decades-long of raising them.
    Drew: If it were so [that gays have nothing to contract], why would people in same gender loving relationships desire to be committed to each other in a legitimate bond of matrimony?
    A Walker: Contracts are for partnerships that involve grave economic risk. In marriage, heterosexuals are contracting their sex acts due to the fact that their sex acts incur the long-range economic risk of child-rearing. What are gays contracting, and why?

  • A Walker

    Joyce says: That is offensive and precisely the kind of unproductive, unfounded bluster that perpetuates this debate unnecessarily. Including gay couples in civil marriage need not in any way affect heterosexuals.
    A Walker: To re-write marriage law in a way that excludes the stipulation of permanence and the expectation of child-rearing (as SSM does) is to strip heterosexual women of the legal ability to compel their lovers to stick around after orgasm to raise the babies they produced during orgasm. And that leaves women stuck with the decades-long task, at great personal and economic cost.
    It’s the re-writing of the law that will hurt heterosexuals, Joyce. Even if there was not one gay person on the planet, defining marriage law in a way that *excluded* the stipulation of “permanence” and the expectation of child-rearing would produce harsh economic consequences for heterosexual women and their kids. Follow?
    Finally, women were never “chattel” which a husband could sell off or kill. So, you’re simply wrong about that. As for baby machines, heterosexuals are indeed baby machines, which is what the marriage contract aims to accommodate, due to the long-range economic burden children rightly place upon parents.
    The only blame I’ll place on gays is that they are seeking to take the heterosexual contract and re-write it in a way that harms heterosexual women and children. I don’t care at all what gays do in their bedrooms. But when they begin experimenting with revisions to the one social contract women and children have that protects them from abandonment and economic destitution, you’re damn right I have much to say about it. (And if you’re a good person, you should oppose changing the laws as well.)
    Joyce says: The root of your assertions seems to be concern for child welfare.
    A Walker: Indeed it is. Traditional marriage law is a child-raising contract that entitles the adult partners to exchange sex acts exclusively with each other while also compelling them under penalty of law to remain together long-term to raise the infants produced by their sex acts–”for better or worse.”
    Joyce: But we can all advocate for greater parental responsibility without using our well-intentioned concern for children as a weapon against gays in their quest for civil equality. Wouldn’t you agree?
    A Walker: I would not agree. Gays are advocating a universal “marriage” contract law that does not stipulate permanence or even the expectation of children. So, how could you ever label such a useless contract “advocating for greater parental responsibility” when applied to heterosexual couples?

  • Panthera

    A Walker,
    You are conflating two separate issues. Since I live in a country which recognizes gay marriages, I have the standing to respond to your allegation that “gays” are trying to change the marriage contract.
    This is wrong. Utterly.
    The only thing we are asking is that this absurd persecution of us end.
    Were you to take a look at the countries which have instituted civil marriage for gays, you would see that in no case has heterosexual marriage been in any way, shape or form been lessened.
    Your allegation that we are not seeking permanent relationships is wrong. If all I wanted were someone to have sex with as long as I find him convenient, I would not have married him. Marriage is for life. It is a commitment before God and the community.
    Now, your concern about women is valid. You won’t resolve it by harassing me. Interestingly enough, were (heaven forbid) my marriage to come undone, in my country it would be impossible to stick my partner with the kids, take the money and run. Even without kids, should the unthinkable occur, he would be protected.
    Now, maybe you should be focusing your efforts on bringing American divorce laws up to the minimum standard gays enjoy in my country.

  • Joyce Mc.

    To A Walker: Repeating many of the same words and phrases does not make them more true. Ms. Walker, I respectfully submit that you are sounding like a scorned woman who is bitter toward someone who left her to raise children solo in a burdensome situation. That’s real. It happens, and I do not discount it. But your arguments are way over the top. Keeping gays from marrying will not make better fathers out of deadbeats. You’re making a connection with huge consequences, with no proof that there even is a connection at all. Likewise, on the flip side of that coin, many marriages which end in divorce lead to far happier parents and children who are perfectly well-adjusted in every way.
    Opponents of divorce have valid claims pertaining to its negative effects on families. But to see only that, even to the exclusion of recognizing that sometimes when parents stay together it leads to disaster, is shortsighted.
    How about the couple with an abusive husband, teaching by example his daughters that they deserve nothing better and his sons that they have the right? Horrible! Or the couple who stays together even when they can barely stand the sight of each other; what will that teach their children? Or a mother who lies, cheats and steals every chance she gets, teaching her children that if you can get away with something then it’s ok? I submit that many children in these situations would be better off post-divorce than in forced continuation of marriage.
    I understand your lamenting of the erosion of the ideal ‘Leave It To Beaver’ household but making the assertion that allowing gay couples to marry would exacerbate that erosion is nothing but conjecture. And I do not believe it. It’s simply not fair to place that blame on gays without giving them a chance. We certainly didn’t cause the erosion of marriage–we haven’t been allowed to even try!
    MOre to the point, though, SSM would not, in fact, “exclude the stipulation of permanence and the expectation of child-rearing” from marriage. I will not let you pass off that lie. Permanence is already gone since no-fault divorce and the common acceptance that fundamental personal happiness is now higher on the totem pole than permanence. You can like or dislike that, but the reality is heterosexuals have given up permanence with no help from gays. So don’t lay that on us. As for child rearing, no heterosexual couple faces any more expectation of procreation than that which they willingly place on themselves, and possibly that of overeager grandparents-to-be. Don’t lay that one on gays either; it’s already not there with no help from us.
    And enough already with the “harsh economic consequences” talk–another weapon you’re inexplicably using as an excuse to exclude gay couples from marriage. For every child on this planet, whoever is responsible for that child (biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, legal guardians, etc.) bears the responsibility, period. If one of two responsible parties bails out, they are at fault, period. We can legislate harsher punishments, easier access to things like garnishing wages, we can do whatever we want. But barring gay couples from getting a marriage license at city hall is not going to make that problem go away. No matter how many times you say it.
    Why are you not out campaigning for the end of legal divorce? That sounds like what you really want. SSM is your scapegoat. If you want to get your way you’d better come up with a more fact-based and logical argument, and leave the scapegoating behind.
    You also slipped in: “And if you’re a good person, you should oppose changing the laws as well.” Cheap shot, Ms. Walker. I AM a good person and I still think even though your motives are good you’re making a completely false argument, by which gays suffer discrimination, having offered no proof whatsoever for your assertions (which makes them merely your personal opinion).
    What would you say to families with gay couples who are raising children? I went to a wedding in October and met three gay male couples all raising adopted chidlren. I personally know two lesbian couples who are close friends and raising children one of the women bore. Since you are so monumentally concerned with child welfare, which I wholeheartedly applaud, how can you justify not extending marriage protections and responsibilities equally to these families?

  • A Walker

    Panthera says: The only thing we are asking is that this absurd persecution of us end.
    A Walker: I’m not sure what country you live in, but in the United States we don’t persecute gays. We leave them alone to do whatever sex acts they want in the privacy of their own bedrooms. But lately, gays have begun tampering with the heterosexual contract law that exists to preserve hetero women and children from economic destitution, and so we heterosexuals are on the defensive and are pushing back to protect our women and children. They are leaving us with no choice but to defend ourselves. I don’t think gays are intentionally trying to harm heterosexual women and children, but that’s the unintended consequence of writing bad law.
    Panthera: In no case has heterosexual marriage been in any way, shape or form been lessened.
    A Walker: it’s impossible to re-define a contracted enterprise and not change that enterprise dramatically, often with negative consequences. As I have said repeatedly, when the U.S. redefined marriage law in the 1970s from being an permanent indissoluble contract to a temporal easily dissoluble contract, it resulted in skyrocketing abandonment of the contract between U.S. spouses. I repeat: it resulted in skyrocketing abandonment of the contract between spouses. Women and children were the ones to suffer most, as they were economic dependents now abandoned by one of the two family principals. So, don’t tell me that redefining the goals and stipulations of a contractual partnership doesn’t harm the institution/enterprise being contracted. If we redefine American baseball to include horses and mallets, it radically harms American baseball. So it goes with marriage.
    Panthera: If all I wanted were someone to have sex with as long as I find him convenient, I would not have married him. Marriage is for life.
    A Walker: Nice that you gays have the luxury to have “convenient sex.” Unlike gays, heterosexual sex acts incur long-range economic risk, as they are wildly procreative. As a result, heterosexuals try to have a marriage contract in place *prior to sex acts* so as to provide insurance for the woman and children sired during orgasm, should the man grow bored within weeks or months or even a few years.
    Panthera: Now, your concern about women is valid. You won’t resolve it by harassing me.
    A Walker: Of course my concern about women and children is valid–we have millions of single women trying to raise multiple infants in the U.S.A., and all the men have deserted those women and children. And, I’m not resolving it by harassing you; I’m resolving it by defending the traditional marriage contract against further erosion away from its original PERMANENCE and FAMILY stipulations, which preserve the enterprise and compel the adult partners to fulfill their commitments to their kids sired during sex acts.
    Panthera: in my country it would be impossible to stick my partner with the kids, take the money and run…he would be protected.
    A Walker: your partner would be at a massive disadvantage trying to raise the children alone, even if he had access to your bank account. He still would have lost your daily labor and planning. Moreover, as you moved on to start another “marriage,” you would now be burdened with trying to give full economic support for TWO families, which the vast majority of humans can’t do. So, either your new kids and spouse would suffer neglect, or your former kids and spouse would suffer neglect.
    I’ve seen it all. I know what I’m talking about.

  • Panthera

    A Walker,
    It’s kind of hard to have a dialog with someone who sees everything as a personal attack.
    There was no change in the contractual commitment of marriage, as I mentioned. Yes, my country places more emphasis on protecting partners and divorce is not as easy as in the US. None of that changed or was weakened when we were permitted to marry.
    Your argument is not valid, it has been shown to be invalid. Unless, of course, you wish to argue that the US is so radically different from all the other countries in Western Culture which have begun treating us as humans.
    Why not abandon this red herring and tell us why you really are so opposed to my being treated as a human being?

  • A Walker

    Panthera: There was no change in the contractual commitment of marriage, as I mentioned.
    A Walker: What are grounds for divorce in your country, with regards to heterosexuals?
    Panthera: Yes, my country places more emphasis on protecting partners and divorce is not as easy as in the US. None of that changed or was weakened when we were permitted to marry.
    A Walker: I don’t know what your laws have been in the recent past, but when marriage law goes from being heterosexual only to “heterosexual or homosexual,” the contract has ceased to enlist the adult parties into a long-range family-raising enterprise, and instead becomes a mere romance or cohabitation agreement (for gays can’t procreate, so the expectation of procreation is legally erased from the concept–which is fatal to heterosexual women and their many children.)
    If you believe that any contractual partnership that is (a) temporal, (b) easily-dissoluble, and (c) based around romance can legally compel heterosexuals to remain together permanently to carry on the difficult and long-range enterprise of raising a family, you are deluded.
    Panthera: why you really are so opposed to my being treated as a human being?
    A Walker: Who said anything about your humanity or lack thereof? The issue here is heterosexuals’ need to have contract law that compels the adult parties to fulfill the long term project of raising the children they sired during their sexual interactions. For without those legal stipulations, parents will abandon their legal obligations without penalty, and the women and children will suffer.

  • Panthera

    A Walker: What are grounds for divorce in your country, with regards to heterosexuals?
    Panthera: We recognize the same basic rationale as does everyone else, however there is no concept of the financially stronger partner simply packing up and abandoning the other. The children must be provided for, and custody is joint – nobody who sires or bears a child or has adopted a child may walk away from this responsibility.
    In cases such as “mutual incompatibility”, the divorce is not granted until both partners have lived apart for one year, the court monitors the childrens’ welfare until they are adults. The parents remain responsible for providing the children with assistance in learning a trade or going to college.
    Interestingly enough, the legal responsibilities of siring or bearing a child are totally decoupled from marital status. If you are a single man and sire a child with a woman whom you have only met on that one occasion, your responsibilities to the resulting child are the same as if you were legally married. In my country, children come first, the wishes of the parents second.
    The same applies to gays,by the way – and since we are permitted to adopt kids, as well as the simple fact that a large number of us have biological children (your assumption we don’t have or want children is based on your limited experience, it is incorrect for a very large number of gays.)
    A Walker: I don’t know what your laws have been in the recent past, but when marriage law goes from being heterosexual only to “heterosexual or homosexual,” the contract has ceased to enlist the adult parties into a long-range family-raising enterprise, and instead becomes a mere romance or cohabitation agreement (for gays can’t procreate, so the expectation of procreation is legally erased from the concept–which is fatal to heterosexual women and their many children.)
    Panthera: Wrong, wrong, thrice wrong. First, in a society in which discrimination against simply living together is nowhere as intense as in the US, the only reason for marriage, regardless of gender, is to enter a lifelong commitment before God and the world. A Walker, I must say, you give the very strong impression that you see marriage exclusively in terms of child rearing. Since gays are permitted to adopt in my country, and as such familial bonds can not be sundered, I may therefor presume your objection to gay marriage would cease if gays contractually agreed to raise children as a pre-condition of marriage? Why aren’t you railing against the infertile or intentionally non-reproductive heterosexual marriages?
    Sadly, in far too many cases, heterosexual marriage in the US has not achieved your goal of creating solid families. We now have sufficient experience with civil unions and gay marriage in Europe to know that heterosexuals continue to divorce at exactly the same rates as before, not more and not less. Gay marriages and civil unions, for now, are slightly more stable, but this may well be a first generation phenomena.
    A Walker: If you believe that any contractual partnership that is (a) temporal, (b) easily-dissoluble, and (c) based around romance can legally compel heterosexuals to remain together permanently to carry on the difficult and long-range enterprise of raising a family, you are deluded.
    Panthera: I am appalled at your negativity and am to the conclusion come, you have been horribly used at some point. I have already explained that in my country, the responsibility for children is non-negotiable, divorce does not end it. Nor is marriage a pre-condition for a man to have clear responsibility for any child he sires.
    Practically, marriage is the same institution, whether the couple are gay or hetero – at least in my country. Entering into this bond is not to be taken lightly, dissolution is neither easy nor cheap. Having been raised by loving parents, I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to lose this family structure. But my marriage has nothing to do with whether heterosexual couples stay together or not. That is a matter of statistical fact in Europe.
    A Walker: Who said anything about your humanity or lack thereof? The issue here is heterosexuals’ need to have contract law that compels the adult parties to fulfill the long term project of raising the children they sired during their sexual interactions. For without those legal stipulations, parents will abandon their legal obligations without penalty, and the women and children will suffer.
    Panthera: By denying me such a basic human right, you are relegating me to sub-human status.
    Now, we both are in complete agreement that the care of children and the protection of parents is mandatory. My culture is doing an enormously better job of it than yours, and the existence of gay marriages – many raising children – has changed nothing in this regard. Personally, I didn’t even get my first pet as an adult living away from home until I knew I would be in one place long enough to provide the animal with a stable life. I had a steady income, three friends who were willing to dog-sit and was signed up for obedience school before I found her. I knew and embraced the fact that for the next 12-18 years, my life would revolve around my dog’s care. If so terribly many heterosexual men don’t think that way, well, that needs to be changed. You won’t achieve this by conflating their lack of paternal support with marriage based on making a lifelong commitment, regardless of gender or sexuality.
    I am not your enemy, gays wanting to embrace lifelong commitments are ideologically far closer to you than those folks whose net investment in being fathers is two minutes and goodbye.

  • A Walker

    Panthera: there is no concept of the financially stronger partner simply packing up and abandoning the other. The children must be provided for, and custody is joint
    A Walker: If your law allows one partner to exit the contracted partnership at will for any reason (as in the U.S.), this automatically favors the financially stronger partner and harms the dependents (normally the women and children). “Joint custody” of the first family rarely works, as the adult partners move on and away and start new families with new spouses and kids–so at least one spouse abandons the children.
    While the deserting partner *may* have to pay child-care payments to the other, the remaining partner has lost the day-to-day help of the spouse and is now greatly disadvantaged trying to raise the children on her own. And the children are deprived of their parent. This is an unjust system.
    And by the way, prior to the 1970s in the U.S., the concept of “mutual incompatibility” was *not* grounds for divorce. After all, children are involved here, and their interests in the contract have to be taken into account, which “mutual incompatibility” does not do. It is never just to allow a parent to abandon his child-rearing vow without grave penalty. The faithful spouse and children are victimized by such weak laws that fail to compel the deserting adult to fulfill his duty by raising the children he sired with the woman.
    Panthera: the only reason for marriage, regardless of gender, is to enter a lifelong commitment before God and the world.
    A Walker: ???
    Panthera: you give the very strong impression that you see marriage exclusively in terms of child rearing
    A Walker: Marriage is a contract, and contracts are for partnerships involving grave economic risk. For heterosexuals, marriage contracts the exclusive right to sexual acts that automatically incur the long-range high-cost economic risk of child-rearing. (Sex is economically risky for heterosexuals.) Since sexuality conscripts heterosexuals into the life-long enterprise of raising children, and since this duty is difficult, a contract must be in place to compel the adult partners to carry out their long-range project they implicitly entered during sex. (Obviously, gays don’t have any such risk or child-rearing project attached to their sex acts.)
    Panthera: would your objection to gay marriage would cease if gays contractually agreed to raise children as a pre-condition of marriage?
    A Walker: That sort of law would be moving in the right direction, as it concedes that heterosexual partners are in fact contracting to raise the children they will inevitably produce (as traditional marriage law admits). Even so, you’re talking adoption there, which is somewhat different, and wouldn’t be called “marriage.” We don’t call orphanage operators “married” just because they adopt kids. We don’t call a mother and daughter who raise a child together “married” simply because they adopt kids. Likewise we wouldn’t call gays “married” simply because they adopt kids.
    Panthera: Why aren’t you railing against the infertile or intentionally non-reproductive heterosexual marriages?
    A Walker: We don’t rail against people with medical defects.
    Panthera: in far too many cases, heterosexual marriage in the US has not achieved your goal of creating solid families.
    A Walker: Wrong. Prior to 1970, divorce was *rare* indeed in the U.S., for it was largely prohibited. It was the 1970 change in the law that destroyed families, for it radically altered marriage from being a permanent family-raising enterprise to a temporal easily-dissolvable romance enterprise. Compare the two different contracted enterprises closely:
    (a) permanent family-raising enterprise
    (b) temporal easily-dissolvable romance enterprise
    As you can see, option “b” cannot and does not compel heterosexuals to stay together once romance dies down. (And where does that leave the kids??? The contract doesn’t even consider their interests, but rather abuses them.)
    Panthera: Practically, marriage is the same institution, whether the couple are gay or hetero – at least in my country.
    A Walker: That’s the problem, for the heterosexual contract arises from the fact that sex acts exchanged between heteros launch a long-term high-cost project of raising a family, and gay sex does nothing of the sort. The outcomes of gay sex and heterosexual sex are entirely different, and only in the case of heterosexuals is long-range economic risk tied to sex. They are radically different things, and billions of children are at stake here for heterosexual partners.
    Panthera: By denying me such a basic human right, you are relegating me to sub-human status.
    A Walker: Absurd. The issue isn’t “human v. subhuman.” The difference is that gay sex acts don’t incur long-range economic risks requiring contractual protections, whereas hetero sex acts do. Again, for heteros, marriage is the contracting of exclusive rights to sex acts that incur the long-range economic risk of child-rearing. Heterosexuals would not need to draw up any “marriage contract” at all if not for this economic risk.
    Panthera: the care of children and the protection of parents is mandatory. My culture is doing an enormously better job of it than yours
    A Walker: Legal divorce is institutionalized legally protected child abandonment. What is the divorce rate in your country?

  • A Walker

    Joyce says: you are sounding like a scorned woman who is bitter toward someone who left her to raise children solo in a burdensome situation. That’s real. It happens, and I do not discount it.
    A Walker: You just admitted that spousal and child abandonment is “real” and that “it happens.” Given your admission, how can you then be so cold as to impugn a victim of being “bitter” about it? Should not victimized people feel victimized? Should they not seek justice in the law? (Note: I am not one such victim, but am an advocate for such victims of bad marriage law.)
    Joyce says: Keeping gays from marrying will not make better fathers out of deadbeats.
    A Walker: Again, if the contract of marriage stipulates both permanence and the necessity of keeping family commitments tacitly agreed upon during sex, it will make better fathers and mothers, as it did prior to the introduction of “no-fault” divorce law in 1970. As I said to Panthera, compare the two radically different enterprises we are discussing:
    (a) permanent, indissoluble family-raising enterprise (traditional marriage enterprise being contracted)
    (b) temporal, easily-dissolvable romance enterprise (proposed SSM marriage enterprise being contracted)
    Which one of these two legal contracts addresses, codifies, and protects the long-range project of raising children? The answer is “a”. Therefore, contract “a” alone must be applied to heterosexuals. When we force heterosexuals to use contract “b,” as SSM will do, we institutionally expose women and children to chronic economic destitution.
    Joyce says: many marriages which end in divorce lead to far happier parents and children who are perfectly well-adjusted in every way.
    A Walker: All the studies prove the opposite: Children of divorced parents suffer far more emotional and behavioral problems than do children from intact families. They are more likely to attempt suicide and to suffer poor health. They perform more poorly in school and are more inclined to become involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, and crime. These problems continue into adulthood, when children of divorce have more trouble forming and keeping stable relationships of their own. Through divorce, they in turn pass these traits to their own children.
    Joyce says: Opponents of divorce have valid claims pertaining to its negative effects on families.
    A Walker: Thank you again for your admission here. Your admissions continue to support the gravity of this issue, as I have framed it. Serious real consequences are involved in how we define marriage law. If heterosexual women and children are to be protected, they must be able to enter a contract with partners that is (a) permanent and indissoluble (b) oriented towards the project of raising children sired during sex acts. Sadly, the SSM contract, when applied to women and kids, institutionally strips them of their legal protections, and exposes them to economic disadvantage and destitution.
    Joyce says: the assertion that allowing gay couples to marry would exacerbate that erosion is nothing but conjecture. And I do not believe it.
    A Walker: Pay close attention: ANY MARRIAGE LAW THAT DOES NOT STIPULATE “a” and “b” listed in my last comment will cause material harm to heterosexuals, for it does not compel the parties to remain together for any duration to raise the families they produced during sex. Such a contract PERMITS one party to dissolve the contract at will for any reason and leave the other spouse stuck with the long-range, 24/7, high-cost task of raising children. This is institutionalized victimization. Therefore, the legal stipulations of SSM must not ever be applied to heterosexual couples. Those stipulations are inherently unjust when applied to heterosexuals, whose sex acts conscript them into the long-term project of raising families.
    Joyce says: SSM would not, in fact, “exclude the stipulation of permanence and the expectation of child-rearing” from marriage.
    A Walker: You are factually wrong on this, and this is the crux of the matter. SSM law definitely excludes the stipulation of permanence and the expectation of children. And for heterosexuals, such a “marriage contract” is economic suicide, for heterosexuals are producing a billion infants at present worldwide.
    Joyce says: Permanence is already gone since no-fault divorce and the common acceptance that fundamental personal happiness is now higher on the totem pole than permanence.
    A Walker: It is unjust and evil for parents to be permitted to abandon their child-raising commitments on the grounds that they have a right to find “personal happiness.” Marriage must never devolve into something as vague and elusive as a “personal happiness” contract.
    Joyce says: You can like or dislike that, but the reality is heterosexuals have given up permanence
    A Walker: I will choose to HATE the institutionalized legal abandonment of children and families based on some vague right of adults to chase after their own “personal happiness.” What about the “personal happiness” of the abandoned spouse and kids, whose lives are thrown into chaos and long-range economic disadvantage? What about THEIR personal happiness? Sorry, Joyce, but contract law never allows parties to victimize each other without grave penalty, and marriage law should be no different, despite your protestations.
    Joyce says: As for child rearing, no heterosexual couple faces any more expectation of procreation than that which they willingly place on themselves
    A Walker: Wrong. Nature has predetermined that active heterosexuals be conscripted into the long-range enterprise of child-rearing at a high rate of incidence. It is for this reason that a contract becomes necessary between heterosexuals.
    Joyce says: enough already with the “harsh economic consequences” talk–another weapon you’re inexplicably using as an excuse
    A Walker: you already admitted that divorce has harsh economic consequences for dependents. So, you can’t now call this “an excuse.”
    Joyce: If one of two responsible parties bails out, they are at fault, period. We can legislate harsher punishments, easier access to things like garnishing wages
    A Walker: We “legislate harsh punishments” for bailing out via the traditional marriage law. You cannot “legislate harsher punishments” for bailing out of marriage by creating a universal marriage law that contains neither the stipulation of permanence or the expectation of children. Sorry. If you REALLY want to “legislate harsher punishments to protect women and children, your proposed marriage law must stipulate (a) permanence and (b) commitment to the project of children. Anything less is the legislation of no punishments for bailing out.
    Joyce: Why are you not out campaigning for the end of legal divorce?
    A Walker: I am. Legal divorce is institutionalized child abuse among heterosexuals.
    Joyce says: leave the scapegoating behind.
    A Walker: It is not “scapegoating” to correctly identify the people who are trying to redefine heterosexual marriage stipulations in a way that will materially harm heterosexual women and their children.
    Joyce: What would you say to gay couples who are raising children?
    A Walker: This is an adoption issue, and I’m pretty sure adoption laws already cover the obligations and duties for legal guardians/adoptive persons.

  • Drew Tatusko

    @A Walker
    1) Marriage is a voluntary association. It is not coerced. Coercing marriage does not work. Will not work in the West.
    2) No heterosexual couple must have babies. That would imply that marriage is a coerced partnership for the sole purpose of having babies.
    3) “Contracts are for partnerships that involve grave economic risk. In marriage, heterosexuals are contracting their sex acts due to the fact that their sex acts incur the long-range economic risk of child-rearing.”
    Marriage is far more than contracting a sex act. If you think that this is the case, you are ignoring most marriages.
    Still have no data to support these frankly bizarre assertions. Meaningless drivel.

  • A Walker

    Drew T: Marriage is a voluntary association. It is not coerced.
    A Walker: Wrong. Marriage is a legal contract, and legal contracts coerce parties to fulfill obligations and duties under penalty of law.
    Drew T: No heterosexual couple must have babies.
    A Walker: Active heterosexuals must and do have babies–it’s nature’s design, and we are stuck with it. So much so that we’re currently producing the next *billion* citizens worldwide, whether we like it or not. Therefore, how we legally commit ourselves to care for those billion people matters greatly. SSM stipulations, when applied to heterosexuals, removes the legal and economic provisions a billion-plus women and children need to survive and thrive.
    Drew T: Marriage is far more than contracting a sex act.
    A Walker: For heterosexuals, marriage is the legal contractual agreement between two partners granting the exclusive right to sex acts and the resulting family project produced via those sex acts.

  • Your Name

    Ms. Walker, you are obviously never going to realize how obsessively over the top you are with this. Over and over you ignore simple truths and breaks in your “logic” that at least three people here are pointing out–instead you charge ahead in your rampage against deadbeat dads, which have nothing to do with gay couples who want the protections of legal marriage. I can’t debate or discuss with someone who is not rational.
    I do admire your tenacity insofar as you want to protect children, but your anti-SSM arguments are so far from reasonable I no longer know where to begin with you.
    Good luck, lady. But know this: with or without your help, gay people WILL get marriage equality under civil law.

  • A Walker

    Your Name (joyce?) writes: “With or without your help, gay people WILL get marriage equality under civil law”
    A Walker: The gay-activist-led revision of heterosexual marriage law, which pledges the removal of the permanence and expectation of long-range child-rearing from the contract, will decimate billions of women and children worldwide. SSM law amounts to legal matricide and child abuse parading under the Orwellian euphemism “marriage equality.”
    In re-writing heterosexual marriage law, gays will have blood on their hands for the mass abandonment of partners and children to follow, just as the feminists have blood on their hands for introducing “no-fault divorce,” which resulted in a 50% or higher divorce rate in the U.S.
    The continued mass unravelling and depopulating of Western society will result in the ascendency of Islamic society, which will prohibit the existence of gay people altogether. Islamic rule is the destiny of the West, should the nuclear family collapse beyond 50%. This overwhelming break-up of the family will hurt everyone, but gays more than anyone, and they will have contributed to their own future genocide at the hands of Islamist nations.
    As the nuclear family goes, so goes Western Civilization. SSM law is the final nail in the coffin.

  • Joyce Mc.

    “decimate billions”
    “legal matricide”
    blah, blah, blah
    What’s next? Gonna blame gays for the Holocaust too? Please.
    All you need to convince yourself are your own words. And you cite no sources for your preposterous assertions and wild accusations, always a suspect characteristic in a debater. It’s as if the more a light is shone on your illogical arguments the louder and wackier they become.
    Keep ‘em coming, Ms. Walker.

  • A Walker

    Joyce, you need to wake up to the real decline that the 50% divorce rate has ushered in. The statistics are unanimously dire, and you can stick your head in the sand if you like, but the breakup of the family is causing grave economic and social consequences for the U.S. and the West in general.
    Moreover, if you don’t think the weakening of American society has *international* ramifications, you’re wrong again. The fastest growing nationalist movement worldwide is Islamic, and European nations are now facing the Islamization of their populations, cultures, governments and institutions. If you didn’t know, Islam’s legal structure is a throwback to a thousand years ago, and there are no rights for women and gays.
    Laugh if you want, but a society that does not have just laws that compel families to remain together for the sake of its children is a society coming apart at the seams. SSM law is the greatest threat to women and children in the modern period. It is the removal of core legal protections formerly granted to women and children, all in the name of “marriage equality.”

  • Your Name

    A Walker: “SSM law is the greatest threat to women and children in the modern period.”
    Me: Baloney.
    How about one shred of evidence? Oh that’s right, you have none. I’ll toss that one in the ‘Wild Assertion’ pile with all the rest.

  • http://www.findingrhythm.com zach

    is rod still aware that he’s still involved in this blogalogue? someone might want to remind him….or maybe you’ve already changed his mind, tony.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz

    I personally do not want to force anyone (by law or otherwise) to stay in a marriage with me. There are also some pros regarding no fault divorce:
    States that adopted no – fault laws saw a decline in the rates of domestic violence.
    These laws empower a man or woman in an abusive marriage and make it easier to leave.
    Means less conflict during divorce, which means less emotional harm to children whose parents, are divorcing.
    Helps reduce the heavy caseloads of family courts.
    Shortens the length of time it takes to obtain a divorce, which, in turn, shortens the amount of time spent in a stressful situation.
    Financial settlements are based on need, ability to pay and contribution to the family finances, rather than on fault.

  • A Walker

    Liz: I personally do not want to force anyone (by law or otherwise) to stay in a marriage with me.
    A Walker: Your kids want their Dad (your spouse) to stay in the marriage with you and them. And, your spouse’s decision to renege on his contract to work alongside you to raise your babies will create severe economic disadvantages to you and the kids once he’s gone. Seen it first hand a thousand times.
    Liz: There are also some pros regarding no fault divorce:
    A Walker: Violence was always legal grounds for AT FAULT divorce. The idea of “no-fault” divorce allowed partners to split for any reason whatsoever, at the wishes of one single partner. No-fault divorce permits a spouse to abandon his/her spouse and children for any reason, with little to no personal cost. It’s completely unjust. No other contract law allows a party this kind of power to victimize and defraud the other parties to the contract. And the kids are thrown under the bus.
    Divorce is the atom bomb that heterosexuals drop upon their children, and the nuclear fallout lasts for decades. There is no greater child abuse. There is no greater hate of one’s own flesh and blood than to abandon one’s first spouse and children for some new spouse and kids, or for any other selfish reason.

  • Chris Severeaux

    Walker: “Divorce is the atom bomb that heterosexuals drop upon their children, and the nuclear fallout lasts for decades.”
    Overstatement, big time. Not every divorce is like that, not by a long shot. Many couples who divorce do so amicably and mutually, and after careful, informed concern for their childrens’ well-being as much or more than their own. It’s really not fair to characterize every divorce as being as destructive as the single very worst one.
    I think most of us know that.

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    @ A Walker
    No evidence. Can you address why you have not offered any to suggest that your assertions have any truth to them?
    (1) “Wrong. Marriage is a legal contract”. Right, that two people consent to hence it is voluntary. Clearly, you have no clue what a legal contract means in a free republic. Moreover, the contract itself has no legal strictures on the nature of the relationship. Nor does it require a couple to “have sex”. Actually, only until recently, states like Pennsylvania allowed a common law marriage which had no contract at all! That was from the communitarian and egalitarian ethos inherited from the Quakers.
    No one coerced me to marry my wife nor she to marry me. Perhaps you are arguing for arranged marriages for the sole purpose of pro-creation. Good luck with that. It is not what the Constitution would allow or any western democracy or any democracy for that matter. Honestly I just think that you have no clue what you are talking about at this point.
    (2) “For heterosexuals, marriage is the legal contractual agreement between two partners granting the exclusive right to sex acts and the resulting family project produced via those sex acts.”
    Where on earth are you getting this definition? It is neither biblical nor legal. And what the hell is a “family project”? Marriage has NEVER been *just* for sex and pro-creation, in ANY culture that I am aware of. Saying it five more times will not make it magically correct as Joyce noted above.
    Unless you cite some kind of source or something to support any of this nonsense, it is rather absurd to continue isn’t it?

  • A Walker

    Drew: Right, that two people consent to hence it is voluntary.
    A Walker: Once the contract is signed, the partners do not have “voluntary” freedom to violate the stipulations of the contract. In contract law, this is fraud and victimization, and incurs tough penalties.
    Drew: Clearly, you have no clue what a legal contract means in a free republic.
    A Walker: You are the one who fails to understand that contracts place legally binding duties and obligations on the parties.
    Drew: the contract itself has no legal strictures on the nature of the relationship.
    A Walker: You’ve lost your mind. Go sit in on a divorce proceeding, where lawyers hash out the consequences for the breach of contract.
    Drew: No one coerced me to marry my wife nor she to marry me.
    A Walker: I never said you were coerced to enter the contract. However, now that you are contracted, you are coerced by law to fulfill certain duties and obligations, under penalty of law, as is just. You can’t just produce babies and dump them upon your spouse and walk away (as countless people attempt to do), for this is a victimization of your spouse.
    Drew: Where on earth are you getting this definition? It is neither biblical nor legal.
    A Walker: It is both biblical and legal. Contracts have to do with partnerships that involve economic risk and a common enterprise. The goods that heterosexuals contract is their exclusive right to sexual acts that produce long-term project of child-rearing. That’s what the family contract has always been about (it’s not about producing Toyotas!)
    Drew: Marriage has NEVER been *just* for sex and pro-creation
    A Walker: Marriage has always been about exclusive right to sex acts that, for heterosexuals, are procreative. Heterosexual biology, by virtue of its robust fertility, creates long-range economic risk for partners that must be legally contracted, so as to guarantee life-long provision for dependents created via sex acts. The partners do NOT have the right to abandon spouses and children to be cared for by others. As a result, society has a contract to prevent such reckless abandonment.

  • Joyce Mc.

    Ms. Walker, we would appreciate some source citations. You throw around sentences starting with, “Studies repeatedly show…” and fling out alleged “facts” that conveniently support your outlandish assertions. Logic doesn’t work that way.
    You appear intelligent and well-intentioned but what you write, no matter how many times you repeat it, has little value in the realm of truth or reality if you can’t back it up with credible, objective sources.

  • A Walker

    Joyce,
    Statistics are everywhere, and you can try arguing that divorce is not harmful if you want, or that stronger marriage laws aren’t needed to help eliminate divorce. Good luck with that losing battle.
    My comments are tied to self-evident, deep-seated, everyday human struggles and experiences and feelings. From the overwhelming economic challenges of single-parenting, to the betrayal from a trusted spouse, to the victimization one feels when the law doesn’t protect one’s vulnerabilities–all my comments tie to emotionally charged realities that evoke rage in women and children, even rage that we women feel in our bones. In contrast, your points are all based on some vague talk about “rights” and such. Who do you think wins that match? I do.

  • Joyce Mc.

    AW: “My comments are tied to self-evident, deep-seated, everyday human struggles and experiences and feelings.”
    So are mine Dear, so are mine.
    By the way, in your version of the world women sure do come out looking like hapless, helpless weaklings who are nothing once their men are gone. For the record, every woman I know is stronger, more resourceful, happier, more positive, and more capably independent than the picture you paint.

  • Joyce Mc.

    AW: by the way, quite a few times now you have attempted the sly little trick of putting words in my mouth. I see right through that.
    For example, I never once said “divorce is not harmful” (from your last post) or anything remotely close to that. And you know it. I very clearly and very specifically said not every divorce is as dire as what you purport. Huge difference.
    Oh and if “statistics are everywhere” then it won’t be hard for you to locate some to back up your preposterous claims.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones tony jones

    A Walker,
    I appreciate your persistence. Try reading this, which points out the real history of marriage:
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/01/the-truth-about.html

  • A Walker

    Joyce: every woman I know is stronger, more resourceful, happier, more positive, and more capably independent than the picture you paint.
    A Walker: How many children have you raised on your own, as a single mom? The idea of a “happier, more positive, more capably independent single parent” is a total myth. Raising kids is serious hard work, and economically and personally draining to accomplish on one’s own. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a complete liar.

  • A Walker

    Tony, thanks for the article.
    My response to the article is that, for heterosexuals, the need for strict marriage law is the same as ever before. Birth control has not stopped heterosexuals from reproducing billions of babies worldwide, and contracepted women average two pregnancies over the course of their lifetimes.
    Next, the fact that people no longer frown upon out-of-wedlock births is not progress, but regress. Single parenting is tough work, and is perhaps the largest single predictor of future troubled kids. Single parenting involves a severely weakened economic environment, disciplinary environment, legal environment, and supervisory environment—and these are the key ingredients of poverty and delinquency. Such a weakened developmental environment hurts both kids and the single parent who has to spend long decades scrambling to raise the children alone.
    While it’s true that people no longer *think* of sex as being linked with procreation, the reality is that heterosexual sexuality continues to be linked with procreation, and so we still need traditional marriage laws to protect the economic dependents (i.e, women and children) created during sex acts.
    Next, the article says: “The only way to strengthen the older form of marriage…would require repealing no-fault divorce laws.” Obviously, I concur. In fact, justice with regards to contract law demands that no party has the right to economically injure another party with no penalty.
    The idea of a single parent who both makes a stable income and raises infants at the same time is a myth. In reality, that single parent either shoves the kids off to grandma and granddad 8 hours a day, or else that parent forks over 1/2 of his or her annual salary to a full time nanny. The loss of the original deserting partner *must* be replaced one way or another, at great personal trouble and cost to the responsible single parent.

  • panthera

    A Walker,
    I think it is time for me to withdraw here for a while. We just aren’t getting anywhere, despite the fact that you and I are closer in our views on marriage than most people.
    The difference between us is, I believe, that I think it is better to accept the fact that some marriages just can’t be saved than to force people, especially the children, to live through them.
    I feel that divorce should be a rare occurrence and would wish for the Americans to raise their standards to ours, especially regarding care of the children.
    Unfortunately, you are basing your arguments on assumptions which make it very hard to see through to the basic good of protecting people. I can’t judge, from what I have seen, heterosexual men are less mature in their teens and well into their 20′s then are gays and women. This doesn’t change the fact that most heterosexual couples who get married in their teens and 20′s are going to divorce. Your totalitarian position on contract law, pacta servanta sunt! is not going to find acceptance. Attacking me isn’t going to win you any points from your natural allies, gays who want to marry.
    Maybe you should consider another approach to achieving our mutual goals of a safe, sane, loving environment for marriage and the children who sometimes result. Guess I should point out that humans are no longer wildly fertile, at least not where contraception is freely available. Much as I dislike the Islamic world, I do not consider their hateful religion to be grounds to run out, dissolve my SSM, find a woman or three and start making babies to protect us from them.
    That argument of yours is virtually identical with my red-neck relations here in the US who are terrified that “the Mexicans are going to take over, ’cause they breed like rabbits.” Racism is racism, and yes, I admit to a strong distaste for the Arabic and Islamic world. Making babies is not the answer, raising their awareness that women and gays are human, might be.

  • A Walker

    Panthera,
    I’ve enjoyed the back and forth, and wish to make this my final post for a while as well.
    I hope gays can appreciate that most arguments for defending traditional marriage law have nothing at all to do with gays, but rather with the unique material and economic needs of heterosexual women and children. Gays and heterosexuals have very different outcomes to their coupling, and thus the contracts are naturally very different in what they need to stipulate and obligate for the partners. I think that civil unions make sense, given that forcing identical contract stipulations for remarkably different enterprises directly harms heterosexual couples and their children. (Different enterprises require different legal stipulations.)
    I’m glad we agree that divorce ought to be rare, but it is laws that shape, inform, and ultimately control behavior in people. So, any marriage law for heterosexuals that permits easy divorce and stipulates nothing with regard to children will logically and inevitably expose heterosexual couples to mass easy desertion. (For sex is easy, but the family obligations that result from heterosexual sex are difficult and life-long—and attraction and romance alone provide only weak and short-lived bonds, thus the need for legal bonds.)
    You said: “maybe you should consider another approach to achieving our mutual goals of a safe, sane, loving environment for marriage and the children who sometimes result.” Well, just as you recognize the importance of law for your cause and agenda, I likewise recognize the importance of law for my cause and agenda. So, I see no reason to “consider another approach,” given that we both agree law matters above all else. We are both seeking LEGAL remedies.
    Finally, heterosexuals are indeed wildly fertile, even if less so than the Islamists, who do not attempt to sterilize themselves. So long as heterosexuals continue to be tasked by nature with the procreation and nurture of the next billion citizens of our planet, those heterosexuals and their kids desperately need good laws that *prohibit* spousal desertion of children and build the long-range expectation of family duties. Sadly, gay marriage law does neither, for gay marriage is a short-range romance contract, not a life-long child-raising contract.
    Finally, although I’ve had nothing to say about the breeding habits of different ethnic groups, and since you mentioned it, I feel the need to say that population equals destination. If one group wildly outbreeds another and migrates towards the same living space, the group with the larger population dominates and obtains the rule of authority over the territory and the other groups. That’s just the way all populations work on this planet we all occupy. So, dwindling populations in the West equate to the impending collapse of the Western peoples by mere attrition. It’s impossible for it to be reversed, given our low birth rates. The West is contracepting itself out of existence and out of a future.

  • Joyce Mc.

    Walker – “gay marriage is a short-range romance contract”
    Baloney. Garbage. BS. Bigoted, idiotic, misinformed, mean-spirited, wretched, asinine. How dare you make judgments like that about gay couples, their intentions or commitment.
    Just goes to show how self-absorbed the author of such a statement must be.

  • Jen

    So, Is thing really gonna happen?
    I admit I feel duped, I began reading then find myself checking each day to see a response.
    Has it been put to death yet as a good idea that just couldn’t do anywhere?


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