Gay marriage

same-sex-marriage2As I’m posting this, 17 states allow gay marriage, while 33 ban it. In 1967, there were 17 states that still banned interracial marriage, until a Supreme Court ruling that year made those bans unconstitutional.

One day, the current controversy surrounding gay marriage will seem as strange to people as the controversy surrounding interracial marriage back in 1967. Yet as I write this, the controversy remains high, as gay marriage gains momentum, and its opponents dig in their heels.

Throughout this controversy, I have been listening for a convincing argument against gay marriage. So far the only notable ones are non sequiturs about how legalizing gay marriage will open the door to people marrying their sisters or their dogs. I hope the people worried about this are also vegans, for if you allow people to eat meat, and they eat cows and chickens today, what prevents them from eating dogs and cats and people tomorrow?

But here I must stop, lest I spiral down the drain of bad arguments alone. If you think you have a legitimate argument against allowing gay marriage, leave a comment, and we’ll discuss.

Update: Ken has posted a comment that does a good job summarizing common arguments against gay marriage (thanks Ken).  I’ve decided to add it to this post.

The foundational building block of society is the family. The family has been in decline for decades, starting during the 60′s, the era of free love.

I don’t thing we’re going back to marriage as we traditionally remember it. The increase in divorce, remarriage, single parents, and non-traditional adoptive families means the definition of family has changed. Whether or not this is a good thing is another question, but I agree with Ken that having  stable families is an important foundation of society, and good for people in general. But the fact is, gay people have children, whether from a prior marriage or adoption, and families are being built around gay parents. Forbidding the parents of these families from legitimizing their union in the eyes of the law and society, only destabilizes these family units.

Major rips in the fabric of society began to happen as marriage began to be seen as “just a piece of paper”, which meant you can now have sex with whoever you want. Birth control separated the sex act from it’s intended purpose, the creation of children.

It does seem we talk about sex more in the media now than before, so that may make it seem that extra-marital sex is more prevalent today. The numbers, however, may not tell the same story, as suggested by this Washington Post article on cheating, and this 2007 report from the Association of Schools of Public Health about premarital sex statistics over the years (about 90% of women born in 1940 reported having premarital sex). In any event, if the idea is to reduce the number of sex partners people have, including gay people, then forbidding gay people from entering into committed, monogamous relationships seems an odd way to achieve this.

Hence, the single most powerful force a human being has, the creation of another life, was reduced to something we do for fun and pleasure. What was previously seen as profoundly life changing was now trivialized. Marriage plummeted.

I fail to see how forbidding gay marriage will increase the rate of marriage overall. Perhaps what Ken means is that no marriage is better than gay marriage, and gay marriage somehow poaches people away from traditional marriage. But the idea that forbidding gay couples from marrying means they will instead enter into heterosexual unions makes about as much sense as Ken or I settling for a dude if we couldn’t marry a woman.

Because birth control did not guarantee no children, babies were born out of wedlock and some communities began to sink deep into poverty as young girls were left with babies and no means to support them financially.

I agree with Ken that out-of-wedlock children + poverty are bad for a community. How about we support legislation for better sex education, and research into more effective birth control?

Others aborted babies on a grand scale…..since Roe V Wade almost 60 million in the US alone. That’s like 9-11 every single day since this court case was decided….and we consider its Right! So here we sit with women emotionally shredded by having to kill their own unborn children, kids who are juggled like luggage in divorced homes (because the mindset has become, why stay married if the the thrill is gone), and women who put off getting married till they are too old to have kids so the resort to crazy fertility drugs and create embryos (which are human lives) which get frozen like a Swanson TV dinner.

I’m sure that gay male couples contribute zero to the abortion rate, and lesbian couples not much more than that. It is heterosexual unions that lead to abortion. So if reducing abortion is the goal, shouldn’t we promote gay sex instead?

My point is that the family has become completely screwed up because we redefined how it all worked, and the culture is suffering greatly because of it. By diluting it still more by calling 2 men who have sex with each other “married”, will only create more confusion and marriage/families will become a meaningless gesture.

I wonder who’s confusing the issue. If gay marriage were allowed, you could define a family as “a married couple.” I have not seen any gay marriage opponents present a definition that is any less confusing.

It can be anything, with anyone.

Unless you’re a vegetarian, Ken, I’m hiding my pets from you. Come to think of it, I’m hiding my kids too.

Plus, at the end of the day, it just is not normal. Let’s face it. No matter how many times someone says, “it happens in nature…there are gay tigers, horses, whatever…..” That does not make it normal. There are also tigers, horses, etc born with 3 legs once in a while. Because it happens doesn’t make it normal. Any doctor can tell you that your rectum was made to push feces out of your digestive tract. A penis was made to inset into a vagina and dispense sperm. To argue otherwise is simply to pretend that reality does not exist, and you can believe whatever you want. Gay marriage will further the decline of marriage and the family and ultimately the culture. I’m completely against it.

Reality? Google “sex videos,” and you will get an idea of what people do with sex in reality. You’ll find most of the weird stuff is done by heterosexuals, and it ain’t about pro-creation. I’m afraid your definition is a bit incomplete.

Update: Oregon’s ban against gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional on 5/19/14. Congratulations my gay brothers and sisters, I’m sorry it took so long.

  • matt

    Hi, I honestly can’t think of 1 good reason why gay’s should not be allowed to be married. When I was a Christian, I would have been spouting holey babble verse’s about how gawd hate’s gay’s and how their all going to hell and blah, blah, blah. Now I have clarity of mind and I don’t care if they marry.

  • Emery

    Thanks Matt. Congratulations on being the first commenter on this blog. You win 1000 fabulousness points!

  • Ken

    The foundational building block of society is the family. The family has been in decline for decades, starting during the 60′s, the era of free love. Major rips in the fabric of society began to happen as marriage began to be seen as “just a piece of paper”, which meant you can now have sex with whoever you want. Birth control separated the sex act from it’s intended purpose, the creation of children. Hence, the single most powerful force a human being has, the creation of another life, was reduced to something we do for fun and pleasure. What was previously seen as profoundly life changing was now trivialized. Marriage plummeted. Because birth control did not guarantee no children, babies were born out of wedlock and some communities began to sink deep into poverty as young girls were left with babies and no means to support them financially. Others aborted babies on a grand scale…..since Roe V Wade almost 60 million in the US alone. That’s like 9-11 every single day since this court case was decided….and we consider its Right! So here we sit with women emotionally shredded by having to kill their own unborn children, kids who are juggled like luggage in divorced homes (because the mindset has become, why stay married if the the thrill is gone), and women who put off getting married till they are too old to have kids so the resort to crazy fertility drugs and create embryos (which are human lives) which get frozen like a Swanson TV dinner. My point is that the family has become completely screwed up because we redefined how it all worked, and the culture is suffering greatly because of it. By diluting it still more by calling 2 men who have sex with each other “married”, will only create more confusion and marriage/families will become a meaningless gesture. It can be anything, with anyone. Plus, at the end of the day, it just is not normal. Let’s face it. No matter how many times someone says, “it happens in nature…there are gay tigers, horses, whatever…..” That does not make it normal. There are also tigers, horses, etc born with 3 legs once in a while. Because it happens doesn’t make it normal. Any doctor can tell you that your rectum was made to push feces out of your digestive tract. A penis was made to inset into a vagina and dispense sperm. To argue otherwise is simply to pretend that reality does not exist, and you can believe whatever you want. Gay marriage will further the decline of marriage and the family and ultimately the culture. I’m completely against it.

    • Emery

      Thanks for your comment Ken. You do a good job of articulating common objections to gay marriage. Would you mind if I edit my original post to include your comment, so I can respond to it there line by line?

    • Mark

      Ken, your arguments are well
      stated but largely irrelevant and inaccurate. Depending how far back in
      history one goes and what civilization one studies, marriage has been
      just as important as a political tool and a means to preserve wealth as
      it has to produce children. For many civilizations and much of history,
      women have been little more than an incubator of babies and a conduit
      for the transfer of wealth and power. The idea of marriage for love and
      building a family unit is almost entirely a post-Victorian ideal.

      Divorce, the primary foe of marriage, is documented as being steadily increasing
      in the U.S. for over a century, with spikes occurring after every major
      war. Certainly cultural changes such as women’s liberation and
      technology such as birth control have contributed to the cultural
      evolution of our country. But so has the invention of the washing
      machine, automobiles and television. The simple point is that you can’t
      turn back the clock. Our culture is different now than it was 100
      years ago. I wouldn’t argue it’s better or worse, but just different.
      There are both good things and bad things that have come from the last
      century of cultural and technological evolution and that’s no different
      if you were to compare today to 1,000 years ago. Culture changes and
      there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. Placing the middle of
      the 20th century on a high pedestal and declaring it the universal
      standard of morality is as silly and meaningless as putting the age of
      Alexander on that same pedestal. The cultural characteristics that you
      find valuable and meaningful will not be thought of in that way 500
      years from now any more than the moralities of Alexander are considered
      ideal today.

      Most of the rest of your comments are nothing more
      than a rant about what people value today compared to half a century
      ago, but you ignore the fact that we live in a country that was founded
      on the ideal of every person having the liberty to live their life the
      way they choose. This doesn’t mean it has to be approved by any
      religious standard; it means they have the right to choose their way of
      life even if it contradicts every religious standard. And that’s
      important because so many religious standards not only disagree but are
      contradictory. If we followed your advice, the U.S. would have to pick a
      single religious standard to follow and reject all others. That is not
      freedom. That is not liberty.

      The institution of marriage will
      continue to change and in perhaps 1,000 years it may look nothing like
      what you or Bianca would even recognize. That’s because humans are not
      static beings and never have been. If our species was static, as you
      seem to believe, we would still be hunting down animals and living in
      caves, roaming the continent of Eurasia in small tribes. One day we may
      inhabit numerous planetary systems and we may have intellectual
      capacity beyond even the wildest imagination of any science fiction
      writer today. None of that would be possible if we stuck to the
      precepts that you espouse. Never change, never grow. And as much as
      you might argue that the morality of your favorite age was superior to
      today’s, you can’t deny the fact that with cultural evolution has also
      come far more liberty and freedom of people to choose their own destiny.
      This means they still have the freedom to choose the exact definition
      of morality that you do, but they have clearly chosen in mass to reject
      it, which means you’ve simply been outvoted.

  • Bianca

    I agree with Ken 1000%.

  • Mark

    I want to reply to Ken’s comments. Ken, your arguments are well stated but largely irrelevant and inaccurate. Depending how far back in history one goes and what civilization one studies, marriage has been just as important as a political tool and a means to preserve wealth as it has to produce children. For many civilizations and much of history, women have been little more than an incubator of babies and a conduit for the transfer of wealth and power. The idea of marriage for love and building a family unit is almost entirely a post-Victorian ideal.

    Divorce, the primary foe of marriage, is documented as being steadily increasing in the U.S. for over a century, with spikes occurring after every major war. Certainly cultural changes such as women’s liberation and technology such as birth control have contributed to the cultural evolution of our country. But so has the invention of the washing machine, automobiles and television. The simple point is that you can’t turn back the clock. Our culture is different now than it was 100 years ago. I wouldn’t argue it’s better or worse, but just different. There are both good things and bad things that have come from the last century of cultural and technological evolution and that’s no different if you were to compare today to 1,000 years ago. Culture changes and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. Placing the middle of the 20th century on a high pedestal and declaring it the universal standard of morality is as silly and meaningless as putting the age of Alexander on that same pedestal. The cultural characteristics that you find valuable and meaningful will not be thought of in that way 500 years from now any more than the moralities of Alexander are considered ideal today.

    Most of the rest of your comments are nothing more than a rant about what people value today compared to half a century ago, but you ignore the fact that we live in a country that was founded on the ideal of every person having the liberty to live their life the way they choose. This doesn’t mean it has to be approved by any religious standard; it means they have the right to choose their way of life even if it contradicts every religious standard. And that’s important because so many religious standards not only disagree but are contradictory. If we followed your advice, the U.S. would have to pick a single religious standard to follow and reject all others. That is not freedom. That is not liberty.

    The institution of marriage will continue to change and in perhaps 1,000 years it may look nothing like what you or Bianca would even recognize. That’s because humans are not static beings and never have been. If our species was static, as you seem to believe, we would still be hunting down animals and living in caves, roaming the continent of Eurasia in small tribes. One day we may inhabit numerous planetary systems and we may have intellectual capacity beyond even the wildest imagination of any science fiction writer today. None of that would be possible if we stuck to the precepts that you espouse. Never change, never grow. And as much as you might argue that the morality of your favorite age was superior to today’s, you can’t deny the fact that with cultural evolution has also come far more liberty and freedom of people to choose their own destiny. This means they still have the freedom to choose the exact definition of morality that you do, but they have clearly chosen in mass to reject it, which means you’ve simply been outvoted.

  • Mark

    Another flaw in Ken’s argument I have to point out is his comical description of a penis as an organ designed to dispense sperm to a vagina. Well, sure, if you ignore the obvious fact that it is also “designed” to void urine from the bladder. Let’s also wonder why so much pleasure is derived from a penis dispensing sperm to a vagina, but not so when urine is passed. Clearly these designs are not ideal and are adequately explained through evolutionary biology.

  • Bambi Earls

    Right on Mark!!!