Pardon the length of this posting, but I should mention here that I have researched this topic in excruciating detail, and am writing an article for submission to publish in a major middle-of-the-road American periodical. And this forum is after all the free-fer-all forum where anything goes, presumably including long postings!
I believe in a *uniform right to legal monogamy* for *all* consenting adult couples, including gays. Monogamy is better for society than promiscuity or adultery. Regardless of sexual orientation, legally monogamous couples are more likely to adhere to other social norms of comportment, than couples who don't have access to the legal right to marry (or who choose to "live together" or take up some other vaguely-defined status).
The opponents of gay marriage say that they are protecting marriage, but they have never spelled out, and cannot spell out because it's not possible, exactly *how* it protects marriage to prevent gay people from marrying. All of their arguements use the Clintonian "is," as in "marriage *is* (this and that)," but they don't and can't make causal arguements because there are none to be made. (As Clinton said, it depends on what your definition of IS
is.) Their position is almost identical, including all of its rationales, to the position of segregationists who outlawed marriage between people of different races. I thought we'd gotten over that kind of bigotry years ago.
If we really want to protect marriage, we would also uniformly outlaw adultery as a form of criminal fraud. The adulterer defrauds the spouse by secretly acting outside of their legal marriage contract i.e. lying, in a manner that is clearly detrimental to the spouse's interest, and may expose the spouse to direct personal injury and death from STDs including AIDS. Adultery destroys marriages, the proof is in the broken families and divorce statistics. The gay neighbors across the street do not destroy the marriage of the heterosexual couple next door. Enacting segregationist laws does not protect one segregated class from the other; it merely panders to the feel-good righteousness of those who get pleasure out of scapegoating others.
Responding to various:
Marriage as "more of a religious union." (Specop, Marek, Madpaddy)
If society defines marriage as a religious institution and allows the state to define it, then we have just injected the state into religion in a manner that would make the Founding Fathers spin in their graves.
If we agree that marriage is a religious institution, and we don't want to live in a theocracy, then this is what necessarily follows: Governments cannot grant marriage licenses, they can only grant civil unions to both gay and straight couples. The term "marriage" would then be defined as a religious ritual/sacrament, reserved exclusively for use by religious institutions in the manner defined by their respective traditions. Frankly I think this is the best solution overall, because it removes the loaded word from the issue, provides a uniform right to legal monogamy, and respects the wishes of every religion to define marriage according to its own traditions.
Nowhere else in Western society is a set of legal rights and responsibilites defined by a term denoting a religious sacrament. The threshold of legal adulthood is not called "Mitzvah" or "Confirmation," it's called (in the USA at least) "the age of majority." The right to vote does not depend upon achieving God's grace or a state of Enlightenment, or certification of either of these from a religious authority.
When we mix church and state, BOTH suffer.
Re. gay couples adopting children:
There is a huge amount of research on this, and kids who grow up in gay families are **no more or less likely to end up gay** than kids who grow up in heterosexual families. The prevalence of gay/lesbian people in society holds steady at 5 - 10% regardless of social variables; it is basically genetic or congenital, in a manner similar to writing-handedness.
You oppose multiculturalism and predict a decline & fall involving tribalism. You oppose equal rights for gay people and predict a decline & fall involving intolerance. Either you contradict yourself, or you look forward to feudalism, and the latter would make you a barbarian akin to Osama Bin Laden (key symptom of barbarianism: favors stagnation or regression of a society's accumulated knowledge; feudalism would fit the definition of regression followed by stagnation).
Re. your mention of homosexuality in prison: Rapists and their victims do not constitute consenting adult couples, and criminals do not set a standard by which the actions of law-abiding citizens can be judged.
Re. your mention of gay rights being suppressed in Tehran: What else about Western society would you like to replace with Iranian practices? How about stoning to death for the crime of apostasy? Perhaps we should get some clarification here: where are you from? Are you an Iranian cleric arguing for Islamic fundamentalism?
Where you imply that civilization is brittle, in fact you're right: order is always more brittle than chaos. Barbarians have an advantage because they've got entropy on their side. Civilization keeps barbarians at bay by having better weaponry than the barbarians. So far we're winning.
I'm also in favor of anything that reduces population, but the fact is that uniform legal monogamy does not lead to an increase in the number of gay people, therefore does not lead to a decrease in birth rate.
How do you define a "man" and a "woman"...? Chromosomes? What about the genetics of sexual orientation (or do you deny science as well?)? External genitalia? Since when is a person's soul identical with their penis or vagina? Do you know about the hundred-thousand or so babies born each year in the USA who have genitalia that don't match their chromosomes? Do you think God made a mistake with *them*?
Substitute "Negro" for "homosexual" in your posting and see how you sound. Who else do you want to suppress? How'bout you try living in Saudi for a while and then let us know how you like medievalist theocracy.
Exactly. Those who promote a segregationist marriage agenda cannot spell out how non-segregated marriage laws will hurt anyone, or how gay people marrying will hurt heterosexual married couples. They have no causal arguement, only a bunch of arbitrary definitions of "is" that would do credit to Bill Clinton's obfuscation of what "is" is.
Re. "who owns the word *marriage*?" Very well stated. Excellent.
exactly does homosexuality threaten your family? Do you fear your wife would run off and marry a woman, or that you would wake up one day wanting to marry a man?
Your three planets hypothetical is absurd. Take one planet with Aryans, one with Negroes, and one with Asiatics, and see where you get. Diversity is strength. Monoculture is the breeding ground for pandemic.
As far as void of population is concerned, didn't you notice that we're presently breeding ourselves to death?
And as far as the Cathollic church is concerned: The Pope is the captain of the ship, whose word is law. And here we have an enormous scandal of child molestation and systemic organizational cover-up of same. In an organization with such completely hierarchic control, the leader bears full responsiblity for the actions of subordinates. The Catholic Church has, by its own actions, forfeited ANY and ALL
right to say ANYTHING about sexual morality. The Church should enter a lengthy period of humble repentance, perhaps two or three generations' worth.
The honest truth about the Catholic Church and sexual morality: Pedophiles against abortion. Child molesters against gay monogamy. Kiddie-porn enthusiasts against contraception. Your church has committed enough mortal sins to last more than a few eternities. I dare you to argue your way out of that one.
Strictly speaking, bigots don't need to slander God with responsibilty for their bigotry. Simple primitive tribalism will do fine, and arguements about nature ("It's Not Natural" despite the fact that same-sex behaviors occur in over 200 animal species we know of) can be used when convenient.
In fact, Jesus' supreme commandments were: "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind; and love thy neighbor as thyself." The first leaves no room whatsoever for hatred, and the second leaves no room whatsoever for discrimination.
If the point of marriage is to reproduce and raise the offspring, then how do you justify granting marital rights to childless couples? Something to do with "the potential" to have children? But then we're legislating rights (and the denial of rights) on the basis of "potential," which is a slippery slope to the worst kind of despotism. Shall we imprison all African American males because 30% of them eventually end up in prison anyway, so they clearly have "potential" to become criminals...? See where that leads?
Clearly the fact that the law does not penalize childless couples demonstrates that the ability to reproduce is not a precondition for legal rights in Western societies. There is no legal obligation to reproduce.
And in any case, as I said above, overpopulation is what's killing the planet. There will never be a risk that we will cease attempting to breed. A little neurological anomaly called the orgasm will take care of that contingency for as long as humans have human bodies.
Your definition of couple is tautological, therefore is merely an arbitrary assertion with no logical basis. And your insistence on genetic propagation as a standard for legal rights reminds me of doctrines about racial purity. Blech. And children shouldn't be exposed to whatever it is that their parents do in the bedroom: don't you have any standard of common decency? "Hey son, did you hear all that bumping and moaning noise last night? Mom and I were just having penis-vagina intercourse and that's *normal*. Want to watch the video tape?" Blech, again!
Children of parents who are not subjected to bigotry, always do better than children of parents who are subjected to bigotry. You can be sure that a lot more southern black kids grew up with anxiety disorders and depression back in the days of Jim Crow. Your arguement is equivalent to condemning black kids' parents and justifying Jim Crow. Blech again.
As for morals, try this: "Love of money is the root of all evil." ALL
. The Apostle Paul was not making exceptions there. Love of money, not love of someone of your own gender.
Separate but equal. Exactly. And the bigots have figured this out, along with the fact that there is no way under the present Constitution that segregationist marriage laws of any kind can be sustained. Thus they try to tamper with the Constitution. They may as well be trying to bring back slavery.
BTW, you & I agree about the line between civil union (legal status: state) and marriage (religious sacrament: church).
Excellent point, the list of logical fallacies! It's darn good to see someone standing up for intellectual rigor!
Last but not least:
Yep, I'm gay (and single, and in the San Francisco Bay Area; anyone else out there?), and yes, my parents stayed married until my father died, and yes, I believe in God though perhaps in a somewhat unconventional way. Commitment counts. Liberty and justice for ALL
Relevance to peak oil? This might be the solution to peak oil! Connect the Founding Fathers to generators, and make them spin in their graves. First pass a segregationist marriage amendment, then pass a firearms ban, and those Founding Fathers will spin so fast you'll have at least a gigawatt on the grid!
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Joined: Jun 25, 2004
Posted: 2004-12-01, 06:27:12 Post subject:
Excellent post gg3. I was also intersted to note your point about gay couples adopting having no bearing on the orientation of the child.
Many of the points bought up by the opus dei brigade on the forum were well refuted.
BTW, I am a practicing Catholic with 2 children and to blindly follow all the teachings of the church would be tantamount to lunacy IMO. As a previous poster pointed out, centuries ago you would be burned