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Recent arguments against gay marriage...

Since there is discussion this week in the Senate about the gay marriage amendment, its been getting news coverage again lately.

From what I can gather, the arguments where gay marriage is opposed come down to one of these.

1) Gay marriage will result in a deterioration of traditional marriage -- that is the way marriage has been for "4000 years" in western society.

The basic premise that marriage has been a union between a man and a woman since the beginning of time is rather flawed. The notion that marriage is for the purpose of procreation alone is almost completely a Christian concept. Many societies in our history have celebrated same-sex relationships, and there is ample evidence of same-sex marriage in history.

Emperor Nero in ancient Rome is reported to have wed, at two seperate ceremonies, two different men. Other emporers and citizens are reported to have done the same and it is presumed, by our lack of records of the time, that because of these instances it was not an illegal nor uncommon practice.

Among the Native American societies, it has taken the form of two-spirit-type relationships, in which some members of the tribe elect to take on female gender with all its responsibilities. They are prized as wives by the other men in the tribe, who enter into formal marriages with these two-spirit men.

In Africa, among the Azande of the Congo, men would marry youths for whom they had to pay a bride-price to the father. These marriages likewise were understood to be of a temporary nature.

Finally, in Europe during Hellenic times, the relationships between Greek men (erastes) and youths (eromenos) who had come of age were analogous to marriage in several aspects. The age of the youth was similar to the age at which women married (the mid-teens), and the relationship could only be undertaken with the consent of the father. This consent, just as in the case of a daughter's marriage, was contingent on the suitor's social standing. The relationship, just like a marriage, consisted of very specific social and religious responsibilities, and also had an erotic component.

Marriage certainly hasn't been clearly between a man and a woman since the beginning of time, nor in the last 4000 years. There are even reports of same-sex marriage in midieval Europe. The only tradition in this regard is Christian tradition.

2) Gay marriage leads to a slippery slope whereby it opens the floodgates for incestous, pedophilic, or beastial marriage to be legalized.

This argument seems to me to be the silliest of them all and is slipping into homophobia. First, opponents imply that homosexuality is on the same level as incest, pedophilia and beastiality. Pedophilia and beastiality do not involve consent. Incest seems to be a purely sexual objection. Are opponents to gay marriage opposing homosexual marriage, or homosexual sex? If I recall correctly, even President Bush believes consensual homosexual sex in the privacy of ones home should not be legislated. It cannot be legitimate to allow marriage in unions where their intercourse is illegal, as is the case of incest. But if homosexual sex is legal, you can't compare it to incest. If you want to argue that consensual, private homosexual sex should be illegal make a new thread.

3) A few liberal judges are subverting the majority will of the people in not only their state but in the entire country because the Defense of Marriage Act will be declared unconstitutional.

This is the argument that I've heard a lot lately and its on very tenuous footing. The US constitution is built so that tyranny of the majority is minimized. That is why there are such steep requirements for an amendment to the constitution, which in turn limits the scope of laws which can be passed by a simple majority.

A valid parallel here is the issue of inter-racial marriage, which came to a head in Virginia in the case of Loving v. Virginia (1967). The Lovings were prosecuted under a statute enacted in 1924 entitled "An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity." The statute said that in Virginia no white person could marry anyone other than a white person. The law made it a crime not only to enter into an interracial marriage in the State of Virginia, but it also criminalized interracial marriages outside the state with the intent of evading Virginia's prohibition. Furthermore the law stated that children born out of such a union were deemed in the eyes of the State to be illegitimate and without the protections and privileges accorded to the children of lawfully wedded parents.

During the course of the proceeding the trial judge asserted that: "Almighty God created the races of White, Black, Yellow, Malay, and Red, and He placed them on separate continents." "And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages." "The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.".

After Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision on the grounds that the Constitution of the United States prohibits states from barring interracial marriages. In so doing, the Supreme Court invalidated similar laws in fifteen States. Sound familiar?

In addition, in 1958 (the only close date I could find a poll), public support for inter-racial marriage was at 4%. Talk about opposing the will of the majority; it wasn't just the south. It was not until 1991, 33 years later, that national public support for interracial marriage was higher than opposition to it (48% to 42%, gallup poll).

Sometimes, decisions have to be made even against the will of the people. The constitution is still the highest authority, and just because peoples prejudices oppose the constitution doesn't mean it should be invalidated. This is exactly why a simple majority wasn't all that was needed to change the constitution, because people were easily swayed to prejudice. If you argue that the will of the people should be represented for gay marriage, do you also agree that interracial marriage should have been illegal until 1991? Do you think public support for interracial marriage would be so high in 1991 if it was still illegal?

4) Children raised without the right to a mother and father will grow up deprived.

So is it agreed then that children with single parents should immediately be seized by the state and sent to foster families with two parents? There are millions of children who live with only one parent in the household. If you argue that this should be illegal, its going to extend beyond simply illegalizing gay marriage.

And speaking of millions of children, do people realize that homosexual partners can already raise children? There are hundreds of thousands of gay or lesbian couples in the country right now raising children, outside the bonds of official marriage. Its perfectly legal for them to adopt children right now, and the same care is given to putting children into a loving family. I'd argue that two loving parents > one loving parent > one abusive parent > two abusive parents. Sexual orientation plays no part in whether one is abusive or loving. If you argue it does, would you rather put a child in the hands of one loving lesbian or in the hands of a father who beats or molests them and an apathetic mother, both of whom are 100% straight?

Additionally, the scientific community has repeatedly shown that the prejudices about children with homosexual parents are unfounded. It doesn't even prejudice the children to homosexuality. Cite for these claims:

And even if it did, you can still grow up a rabid anti-homosexual gay person, as Matt Drudge is ample evidence of. Cite:

5) Various religious reasons.

This country is not founded upon imposing the will of one religion on the masses. I hope I don't have to detail why the fact that Christianity forbids homosexuality is a good reason for the Constitution of the United States to forbid homosexuality.

As for the solution to this controversy, I believe one of two things should happen. One is that gay marriage should be recognized. There is precedent in other countries, including our neighbors to the north, and their society has yet to crumble. This will piss off many ardent Christian conservatives who believe it would be infringing upon their religion. I certainly don't believe churches should be forced to perform gay marriages, but nevertheless, they believe its infringing upon their religion.

The second solution is to take the word "marriage" out of legal definitions and completely replace it with "civil union". The word "marriage" can be left to churches to administer on their own accord, and then the only disagreements will be between churches, which do not have authority over each other.

I believe any solution involving leaving "marriage" for heterosexuals and "civil unions" for homosexuals is going to be a violation of the precedent that "seperate" is not equal.

Yes, yes, tl;dr I know, but I had some time to kill and I believe our civil liberties are one of the most important things we have and what sets us apart from other highly religious or authoritarian nations. We certainly aren't liberal in general, but our constitution has remarkably prevented us from the extremism that embroils other countries and keeps them from success.

So, hit me with arguments. Or call me a fag or a stupid liberal (I'm not), your perogative.
Old 07-13-2004, 06:19 PM sybil is offline  
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Well done.
Old 07-13-2004, 07:06 PM terrabyte is offline  
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Who gives a fuck? If they want to get married, let them get married. I don't see what the big fuss is about. -_-
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:22 PM ATP is offline  
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Originally Posted by ATP
Who gives a fuck? If they want to get married, let them get married. I don't see what the big fuss is about. -_-

pretty much the way I see it
Old 07-13-2004, 07:23 PM siriusnova is offline  
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seems logical enough but people are morons
Old 07-13-2004, 08:30 PM sybil is offline  
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I don't understand why the fuck it should matter. Then again, this nation's a predominately Christian nation, so basically...The Christian way, or the highway!

It's so fucking stupid that both parties are using this issue in the presidency race. Just let them have it. The way I see it, we're just dividing this nation again, like we did with the women's right to vote and racism against blacks of years before.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:46 PM [+Duracell-] is offline  
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As pervasive as all the moral arguments are over gay marriage, I still think it boils down to an economic issue. I am sure that moral obligations play a large part, it just doesn't seem likely that the government wants to give marriage tax breaks to what seems to be a somewhat substantial gay community. I tend to think everything is an economic issue though, so maybe I am reading to much into it.
Old 07-13-2004, 08:51 PM iyox is offline  
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i pray the supreme court is unbiased enough to make the right decision
Old 07-13-2004, 08:58 PM Allnighte is offline  
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well you live in america where the old people are the ones who do the research and vote in these public officials so do your job as a citizen and vote and get these guys out of congress


complain about it on a messageboard

either way the old people win

Old 07-13-2004, 08:59 PM lonmoer is offline  
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Originally Posted by iyox
As pervasive as all the moral arguments are over gay marriage, I still think it boils down to an economic issue. I am sure that moral obligations play a large part, it just doesn't seem likely that the government wants to give marriage tax breaks to what seems to be a somewhat substantial gay community. I tend to think everything is an economic issue though, so maybe I am reading to much into it.

haha, substantial?

It would be a small drop in a very big bucket.
Old 07-13-2004, 09:27 PM mathlete is offline  
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Well let's just put it this way gay couple's enjoy none of the benefits a married couple does. For instance say a spouse in a recognized marriage dies. The spouse left behind get's social security benefits and inherits the property of the spouse if no will expressly sets the division of property. A gay couple has none of those benefits. I should have said I am assuming substantial, however I believe it is substantial enough for the government to be worried.
Old 07-13-2004, 09:38 PM iyox is offline  
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excellent thread, i agree completely.
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Old 07-13-2004, 09:41 PM homer1300 is offline  
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No one against gay marriage wants to refute? owned by default, I guess.
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Old 07-14-2004, 07:22 AM brouski is offline  
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Economic arguments? You want to deny marriage to a couple because they will then get the same tax benefits that heterosexuals have? Maybe they should have thought about that before they gave married couples tax benefits in the first place, because if an increase of 5% in the number of marriages is going to devastate our tax income, we're done for when the soldiers in Iraq come back home to their sweethearts and get married.

Its heartening to see that the amendment is not even getting a majority in the Senate, even if it is under the guise of states rights. Now for some organization to get a test case going to invalidate the DOMA.
Old 07-14-2004, 11:38 AM sybil is offline  
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That's "Doctor Vendetta" to you
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Very nicely written
Old 07-14-2004, 12:32 PM Vendetta is offline  
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