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Defend Marriage as an Institution to Avoid Slippery Slopes

As those who read this blog know all too well, I find it difficult to take seriously many advocates of gay marriage because they make the case for marriage as a right without defending it as a social institution.

No wonder many opponents of gay marriage believe state recognition of gay marriage would put us on a slippery slope to state recognition of polygamous and polyandrous (one woman to multiple men) unions.  We might feel we’re on less of a slippery slope if gay marriage advocates both defended marriage as a lifelong sexually exclusive partnership between two individuals and criticized those offering alternate definitions of the institution.

They could do just that, if, as blogging law professor William Jacobson, they faulted Newsweek for its fawning article on polyamourous couples.

Read his post to see just how he mocks Newsweek.  When I read it, I wondered (and not for the first time) how reluctant the leading gay marriage advocates have been to promote the social benefits of marriage and to defend one of the ancient institution’s essential aspects–sexual exclusivity.

Maybe if they did that, gay marriage opponents would find it far more difficult to raise the slippery slope argument.

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68 Comments

  1. Or they could just hold their breath.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 30, 2009 @ 5:14 am - July 30, 2009

  2. We might feel we’re on less of a slippery slope if gay marriage advocates both defended marriage as a lifelong sexually exclusive partnership between two individuals

    We might feel that way, but it wouldn’t make it any more true.

    “Gay marriage” is a slippery slope not because of the differing values or behavior of the gay community, but because it is intrinsically, categorically different from heterosexual marriage. And despite the fundamental difference, it claims to be the same thing because of “love”.

    Logically, if we accept that gays should be allowed to marry because they love each other, then we must accept that ANY adults who love eachother must be allowed to marry.

    Gay marriage says the value of marriage to society is NOT what marriage does for society, but what society gives to the married couple.

    Thats destructive in so MANY ways.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 30, 2009 @ 7:42 am - July 30, 2009

  3. Oh, and as long as we’re talking about slippery slopes… woman to marry her lover …the roller coaster.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 30, 2009 @ 7:46 am - July 30, 2009

  4. AE,

    See, I think this is where the legislative/refferendum issue is the only way to avoid the slippery slope arguement. By accepting that government recognition of a contract is a privilege, and not a right, it turns any slippery slope arguement into “Well, we have a process by which we added ‘fred’ into the legal system. Try that and see how it works for you.”

    Comment by The Livewire — July 30, 2009 @ 9:18 am - July 30, 2009

  5. Gay marriage says the value of marriage to society is NOT what marriage does for society, but what society gives to the married couple.

    When gay marriage is badly argued / presented, which is too often, OK. But when gay marriage is well argued / presented, it says the value of marriage to society is what marriage does for society; it says marriage is so important to the whole society that even gays should be brought in its orbit.

    “Gay marriage”… is intrinsically, categorically different from heterosexual marriage.

    No, it’s roughly the same as heterosexual marriages where the couple is infertile. A gay couple is reproductively equivalent to an infertile heterosexual couple; both can certainly raise children, and, with the assistance of technology and outsiders, may even bring forth new children that are genetically related to at least one of them (or in certain circumstances, even both of them).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 9:45 am - July 30, 2009

  6. We might feel we’re on less of a slippery slope if gay marriage advocates both defended marriage as a lifelong sexually exclusive partnership between two individuals and criticized those offering alternate definitions of the institution.

    Sexual exclusivity is a choice and may or may not be part of a set of marriage covenants. If you desire exclusivity, work that out with your partner. Marriage need not be a prerequisite for exclusivity nor vice-versa. Everything you seem to desire (committed, loving, sexually exclusive, spiritual, etc.) is possible without the government’s permission and approval — and by extension, without my toleration.

    The idea that same-sex marriage advocates are not advocating a change in the definition of marriage but merely extending it to include others is factually and logically false.

    Comment by Ignatius — July 30, 2009 @ 11:30 am - July 30, 2009

  7. #3
    and uses pictures of it to satisfy herself at home.

    Yikes. Shouldn’t a roller coaster just remain a metaphor?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 30, 2009 @ 11:37 am - July 30, 2009

  8. Correction: nix “…— and by extension, without my toleration”

    Comment by Ignatius — July 30, 2009 @ 11:42 am - July 30, 2009

  9. I take your point; however, the argument could also be extended to existing marriage of hetero couples.
    By recognizing and protecting the equal RIGHT of two persons to marry is not the same as recognizing and approving other sexual couplings such as bigamy, polyandry, bestiality, and all the other straw men suggested by our opponents.
    Simply, it is finally recognizing and protecting our God-given inalienable rights as set forth in our nation’s founding documents.
    “We, the people of the United States of America, in order to form A MORE PERFECT UNION . . .”
    It has taken more than 200 years, but progress is being made. Full rights of women and of black citizens were belatedly recognized; now it’s our turn. It will happen!
    We love our country. It’s a work in progress, and we are making progress.
    Although a states-rights advocate, I’m happy to see the challenges in the Federal courts because it’s a constitutional issue, just as are Women’s and blacks’ rights.

    Comment by Man — July 30, 2009 @ 12:53 pm - July 30, 2009

  10. I watched that Newsweak vid yesterday. Nobody looks even remotely interested in anyone else. Twenty to one says it’s a gag, a publicity stunt. It has “fake” written all over it!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 30, 2009 @ 12:54 pm - July 30, 2009

  11. An interesting letter to the editor on this exact subject in WSJ. Best argument?
    That this issue needs to be discussed and debated. Once the courts rule, all discussion is over and democracy can’t work in it’s usual slow manner.

    http://bit.ly/16LQ9a

    Comment by Leah — July 30, 2009 @ 1:01 pm - July 30, 2009

  12. #11
    Certainly debate and discuss, as will be done in the courts. If we believe our cause is right and it is a constitutional issue, as I believe it is, the appropriate venue is the federal courts. Once they rule in our favor, as I believe we have a very good chance for, then as you suggest the discussion is over.
    I don’t believe we need be timid any more. Legislative action does not guarantee our rights, nor protection from future assaults.

    Comment by Man — July 30, 2009 @ 1:13 pm - July 30, 2009

  13. Leah, thanks for the WSJ article. While I usually agree with many of the Journal’s opinions, I strongly disagree with the writer. He shows a strong bias against homosexuals, and his reasoning is loose.

    Comment by Man — July 30, 2009 @ 1:21 pm - July 30, 2009

  14. I think you are always going to have problems with this slippery slope as long as you think of marriage as something created by society and not created by God. Society is always changing. If instead of asking what is good for society, we ask what is obedient to God’s will, we’ll find a better answer. My sexual morality is simple: I want to have sex with the person God wants me to have sex with. Then, I know I will have entered into a lifelong covenant blessed by God.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 30, 2009 @ 1:58 pm - July 30, 2009

  15. The idea that same-sex marriage advocates are not advocating a change in the definition of marriage but merely extending it to include others is factually and logically false.

    Extending marriage to include others *is by definition* “advocating a change in the definition of marriage” – just a relatively small change, smaller in the U.S. context than (say) polygamy – so the quoted statement is a null statement, i.e., conveying no information.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:12 pm - July 30, 2009

  16. (sorry, meant “Extending marriage to include gays…”)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:12 pm - July 30, 2009

  17. If instead of asking what is good for society, we ask what is obedient to God’s will

    Not in America. Try Iran, Ash.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:14 pm - July 30, 2009

  18. I want to have sex with the person God wants me to have sex with

    And He tells you directly by telefax? (We’ve been over that before.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:15 pm - July 30, 2009

  19. If there has ever been a human institution founded on and defined by gender difference, it is marriage. Once you decide that the gender of the spouses is irrelevant, I can’t see any reason why the number of the spouses –and multiple wives is something quite common in human history– should be limited to two.

    How could a liberal society withstand the sight of weeping Muslim women on TV, wondering plaintively why their families do not deserve the same respect as other families, just because there is more than one wife? Is their love somehow inferior? Think of the harm to their poor children, hatefully considered less-than because of mere tradition and prejudice.

    I understand the emotional desire on the part of even conservative gays to have their relationships validated by society, but I cannot dismiss the conservative part of me that knows the power of unintended outcomes, regardless of human virtue, intent or intelligence, and that fundamentally altering a fundamental institution would likely bring serious problems in its wake.

    Comment by EssEm — July 30, 2009 @ 2:17 pm - July 30, 2009

  20. P.S. To clarify something: I am fine with people who go, “I believe that obedience to my God’s will naturally involves things that would be good for society; therefore, I will derive my position religiously but then argue for it in the public/civil space on the basis of its demonstrable benefits to society.” No problem. The position may be derived religiously, but is then presented and justified in the civil space by Reason.

    But to assert *directly* in the public/civil space that “America should decide its policies based on obedience to my God’s will” gravely misunderstands the proper and historic role both of religion and of Reason in the American polity, sorry.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:26 pm - July 30, 2009

  21. Once you decide that the gender of the spouses is irrelevant, I can’t see any reason why the number of the spouses –and multiple wives is something quite common in human history– should be limited to two.

    EssEm, marriage by definition is an exclusive union of two people. Each makes the other their *primary* relationship. If insetad you try to make two other people both your primary relationship, well, you don’t understand the concept of “primary”; in fact you’ve just violated it.

    How could a liberal society withstand the sight of weeping Muslim women on TV, wondering plaintively why their families do not deserve the same respect as other families, just because there is more than one wife?

    I’d have no problem doing it. America is not a Muslim society, end of argument.

    I cannot dismiss the conservative part of me that knows the power of unintended outcomes, regardless of human virtue, intent or intelligence, and that fundamentally altering a fundamental institution would likely bring serious problems in its wake.

    I grant the possibility, though I would like to see some PLAUSIBLE guesses at said problems. I don’t buy the notion, which I’ve heard advanced by some, that just because gays are granted marriage, straights are going to stop doing it. I do believe strongly that gay marriage should be achieved by persuasion and the evolution of society over time, not by judicial fiat. Part of me was glad to see Prop 8 win in CA, because “we” had gotten gay marriage in CA the wrong way.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:36 pm - July 30, 2009

  22. (Another clarification: in the first sentence of #21, I am of course talking about Western marriage. I couldn’t care less, again, about Middle Eastern forms of marriage, whether Muslim or otherwise.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:41 pm - July 30, 2009

  23. I was going through my files looking for something totally unrelated when I chanced upon two op-ed pieces on gay marriage. . Reading them again, I find that nothing has really changed in the debate, which probably means that we really aren´t listening to each other. One op-ed was dated September 11, 1992 by William F. Buckley, entitled Out of the closet and conservative, too. Buckley wrote about his friend Marvin Liebman´s book ¨Coming Out Conservative.¨Based on the brief review, LIebman infers that the gay (radical) wants the straight community to embrace the gay life style. He asks what concessions both sides can make to coexist. Coexistence doesn´t imply approval, like or loving, but live and let live. Liebman asks, ¨Will gay activists agree to coexist even though, implicitly and even explicitly, they are thought of as unnatural?¨ The concessions from the straignt conservative community is
    nondiscrimination in employment and the law honoring testaments that leave estates to the same sex companion., and gays in the military. He opposed the idea that to ¨refer to a gay couple as ´married´is to overtax the metaphorical reach of the term designed to discribe a conjugal relationship.¨He advises gay activists against a moral egalitarianis, ¨If you are in any way opposed to gay practices, you are a bigot.¨ Didn´t we go through this recently with Miss California and Paris Hilton?

    Jonathan Rauch in his op-ed piece in the WSJ dated July 27,2001 entitled Leave Gay Marriage to the States. wrote that ¨conservatives would contemplate so striking a repudiation of federalism is a sign that the same-sex marriage inspires on the right. . . when they act in a panic, conservatives are making a mistake . . . the attempt to pre-empt federalism is bad policy from the conservative point of view.¨ He further opines , ¨for all the troubles that divorce, fatherlessness, and illegitimacy have brought, marriage remains the most durable bond that two caring people can forge.¨and that ¨(o)pponents of same-sex marriage have done a poor job of explaining why the health of hetero sexual marriage depends on the exclusion of . . . homosexuals.¨

    Two gay conservatives with some differing points of view. The common thread is that we are not having an honest dialogue about the issue. As Mr. Rauch pointed out gay couples who are home owners haven´t turned the neighborhood into a Sodom nor has gays in the workplace changed pinstripped suits for stud collars. Personally, I´ve never been into leather, I was fine with suit and tie. There was a time when gays would go into a gay bar in suit and tie in the winter. If we can´t get a concession on the definition of marriage, that it is not necessarily one man and one woman, but one man with another man or one woman with another woman in a commitment ¨until death do us part,¨ we will not be able to move the debate forward.

    Comment by Roberto — July 30, 2009 @ 2:53 pm - July 30, 2009

  24. I’m also fine with civil unions, same-sex covenants, Fred, yadda yadda. We don’t have to call gay marriage (i.e. the thing that takes the place of marriage, for gays) by the word “marriage”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 2:58 pm - July 30, 2009

  25. While I, as a conservative states’ rights advocate ordinarily would defer to states on many issues in lieu of “activist judges”, in this case I believe as it relates to Constitutional matters, the Federal Judiciary is the proper venue.
    It is unfortunate that we as conservatives in our efforts to hold the line on improper judicial activism don’t see the need for the judiciary as the proper venue for constitutional cases. Perhaps our ideology has taken us beyond where we intended to go.
    Equality is a constitutional issue. It is not about sexual practices, gay lifestyle, etc. It is simply to affirm and protect the equal rights of all americans under our constitution.
    The Supremes recognized that principle when they ruled on the rights of women and of blacks.

    Comment by Man — July 30, 2009 @ 3:31 pm - July 30, 2009

  26. I would argue that the reason you have such a hard time making the case for two-“person” marriage is that there’s no intrinsic duality in gay sexuality. The duality is obvious in heterosexuality: It takes exactly one man and one woman to make a baby. No more, no less. This is, incidentally, why polyandry is exceedingly rare–one man can simultaneously procreate with many women, but not vice-versa.

    But let’s leave that aside. You want to make the case for only two-way relationships. To do that, and to do that convincingly, you’d have to mount a convincing attack on homosexual promiscuity. You’d have to split the gay community into “people who want to sleep with everyone” and “people who want to live like a traditional relationship, but homosexually.” See, if you’d pay attention, the staunchest supporters of traditional marriage are also against teen sex, abortion, the college “hook-up” culture, porn, no-fault divorce, and the whole lot of it. As far as they’re concerned, “gay marriage” is just part and parcel of the sexual debauchery of the society that began in the 1960s. But something tells me that applying a generally conservative sexual ethic modified for homosexuality is not in the cards, which is why you’ll never escape the slippery-slope arguments.

    Comment by Fearsome Comrade — July 30, 2009 @ 5:04 pm - July 30, 2009

  27. the reason you have such a hard time making the case for two-”person” marriage is that there’s no intrinsic duality in gay sexuality. The duality is obvious in heterosexuality: It takes exactly one man and one woman to make a baby.

    But a man can make babies with many woman; hence male-centered or male-dominated polygamy. Why do we resist that? There is nothing “natural” (i.e., biologically restricted or inherent) about the Western model of two-person marriage. We are morally right to resist polygamy. And we resist it for reasons other than biology, or reasons other than the biological duality implied in making a single baby. Whatever non-biological reasons we have for resisting heterosexual polygamy will be just as operative and good after we provide some type of union-institution for gay couples.

    The two-person-exclusive model is inherently more egalitarian (or respectful of woman’s place in society) than male-centered polygamy. And it is inherently more durable (and thus more worth supporting; conferring a greater benefit of stability on society) than the forms of polyamory that aren’t centered on a single, dominant male. That is why we rightly resist all forms of polygamy or polyamory.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 5:27 pm - July 30, 2009

  28. See, if you’d pay attention, the staunchest supporters of traditional marriage are also against teen sex, abortion, the college “hook-up” culture, porn, no-fault divorce

    It has been a long, looooooonnnnng time since I seen heterosexuals mount a serious and viable push for the return of “fault” divorce. Those concerned with the state of marriage seem to devote far more energy to opposing gay unions, a far lesser threat.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 5:32 pm - July 30, 2009

  29. Gay marriage proponents have to put themselves in a very difficult position. Regardless of their argument, they must stand in opposition to the poly-community. This is something very very hard to do. After all these years of claiming inclusiveness; to say no, we stop here and don’t support another minority group.

    It is something we conservatives have learned long ago, one can’t be completely open and non judgmental. There are lines in the sand. At some point every group finds where theirs is.

    Sure it’s been easy all these years to rail against those evil Christians, but suddenly on the topic of polyamory – maybe the Christians have a point?? Weren’t they the ones 2000 years ago who put a stop to polygamy?

    Comment by Leah — July 30, 2009 @ 5:36 pm - July 30, 2009

  30. Fearsome,
    According to your argument only those who intend to “make a baby” should marry. Will you deny marriage to those unable to procreate? To those unwilling? To elderly widowed persons?
    As for promiscuity, do you really believe only gays are promiscuis? Do you truly believe heteros are not? Are heteros always faithful to their spouses? Do heteros not engage in fornication? (in the only two passages in the New Testament which mentions sex between two people of the same sex, fornication is mentioned much more frequently)
    So Fearsome, if you use your same arguments, you have made a case against heterosexual marriage.

    Comment by Man — July 30, 2009 @ 5:37 pm - July 30, 2009

  31. Here’s a section of the Niagra Rite for the Blessing of Civil Marriages (including same-sex unions) used by one diocese of the Anglican Church in Canada:

    Beloved people of God: We have come together in the presence of God to bless the covenant of love and fidelity which N and N have made with each other. The union of two persons in heart, body and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and that their love may be a blessing to all whom they encounter. This solemn covenant is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately and with the
    commitment to seek God’s will for their lives.”

    Here’s a link to the diocese which has a link to the full rite:

    http://www.niagara.anglican.ca/Niagara_Rite/index.cfm

    Note the emphasis on God.

    Separating marriage/covenants from the will of God and trying to make them mere social arrangements is going to lead to the weakening of the institution. If marriage/covenants is simply what the majority of people who are currently alive say it is, then it’s not really anything.

    Perhaps Christian men with homosexual feelings are in the best position to lead this fight in that we share the same understanding of marriage/covenants as most of America. The gay community is working to undermine marriage by defining it as purely secular and humanistic.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 30, 2009 @ 6:05 pm - July 30, 2009

  32. GPW wrote in an earlier post: It would just be nice if we didn’t have to spend so much time explaining to people why we prefer the GOP to people who have no clue what the party stands for. . .

    But sometimes the loudest and most obnoxious voices of the GOP drown out the more tempered voices.

    But it will be personal conversations and relationships that will change hearts and minds.

    Since taking my partner to meet the family over 7 years ago, to a extneded family complete with ultra conservatives to moderate liberals, my ‘family’ and ‘friends’ welcome both my partner and I into their homes and gatherings. Although many are not quite ready to jump on the band wagon of ‘gay marriage’, there has definitely been a shift.

    But then we have Tim P. at the San Diego Republican retreat calling for the bigger tent. . .open arms to conservative Dems and Indies.

    Much of the work may have to come from both sides. . . hard headed – gay marriage activists and from those wanting to truly express that Conservatives are welcoming and supportive of GLBT folk.

    Now there is a mighty goal for a community organizer.

    here are the highlights of Pawlenty’s appearance.

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/52099357.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DU2EkP7K_V_GD7EaPc:iLP8iUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty took the podium in front of Republican national officials in San Diego Thursday afternoon to extol the virtues of a new kind of party that reaches out to conservative Democrats and independents. . .

    Pawlenty acknowledged that Republicans in Washington were at least partially to blame for economic woes and budget deficits.

    Pawlenty, who announced earlier this year he would not seek a third term, said Republicans “need to get over the political post traumatic stress syndrome” from the blistering losses and that Republicans “need to be more than just critics in chief. That this is a party offering hopeful, meaningful solutions. And we need to state it boldly.”

    Comment by rusty — July 30, 2009 @ 6:28 pm - July 30, 2009

  33. Man,

    Your conclusion about Fearsome’s argument is incorrect.

    The idea that it is logically necessary for the government to become tyrannical and demand proof of intent and ability to produce children in order for marriage to be fair to every other type of relationship is LUDICROUS.

    People who dont want children, often get pregnant anyway, millions of couples that have been told by doctors that they cant have children, find themselves pregnant anyway. We want those children to be born into wedlock not outside of it in order to make people feel better about being different.

    Your argument is made by people who are simply upset that even when the test to enter the institution is broad, they STILL don’t qualify.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 30, 2009 @ 6:32 pm - July 30, 2009

  34. lol @ #7

    Comment by American Elephant — July 30, 2009 @ 6:32 pm - July 30, 2009

  35. Gay marriage proponents have to put themselves in a very difficult position. Regardless of their argument, they must stand in opposition to the poly-community.

    Leah, with great respect, I think you mean “leftist gay marriage proponents.” I’ve never been on the side of being “open and inclusive” about polyamory.

    Here’s a section of the Niagra Rite… used by one diocese of the Anglican Church in Canada

    Relevance? (We had a revolution to, among other things, overthrow government establishment of the Anglican Church or any church.)

    Separating marriage/covenants from the will of God and trying to make them mere social arrangements is going to lead to the weakening of the institution.

    Oops, too late. In the United States, we separate Church and State. The act of civil marriage is provided for independently of church marriage (although agents of churches can be designated by the State, without discrimination or preference among denominations, to officiate civil marriages).

    If marriage/covenants is simply what the majority of people who are currently alive say it is, then it’s not really anything.

    Oops, too late. From the standpoint of civil marriage, i.e., marriage as provided for by State law: That is exactly what marriage is. Nothing more or less than what the State has democratically legislated it to be. Religious marriage may well be more or different than that (e.g., the Roman church not recognizing certain State divorces), but the State isn’t obligated to care.

    The idea that it is logically necessary for the government to become tyrannical and demand proof of intent and ability to produce children in order for marriage to be fair to every other type of relationship is LUDICROUS.

    True. On the other hand, the idea that it is logically necessary for the government to demand proof of intent and ability to biologically procreate children IF marriage in the United States is in fact ‘about’ the biological procreation of children primarily, and not about marriage’s many other benefits to the overall stability and good of society, is in no way ludicrous and makes perfect sense.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 7:03 pm - July 30, 2009

  36. @#33, American Elephant,

    By that logic, we should extend marriage rights to any gay couple who agrees to adopt a child. Whether they intend to or not!

    Also, you say:
    “Gay marriage says the value of marriage to society is NOT what marriage does for society, but what society gives to the married couple.”

    The gay couples can give back to society just as well as the heterosexual couples. Unless the price you wish to extract from a marriage is that they have children. And until we do so, the gay couples will have less of a chance to do so, which is a horrible pity.

    Comment by DRH — July 30, 2009 @ 7:09 pm - July 30, 2009

  37. The whole society benefits just from having couples settle down… especially when the couple has children to raise, as some gay or lesbian couples already do.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 8:31 pm - July 30, 2009

  38. ILC, you are correct, I was thinking is terms of the very loud vocal ‘gay rights’ groups. The ones who will happily sell the rest of the community down the river for the chance to have a cocktail with the President. Even though he is actively working against rescinding DADT.

    Comment by Leah — July 30, 2009 @ 9:24 pm - July 30, 2009

  39. …is in no way ludicrous and makes perfect sense.

    No, its unnecessarily intrusive and makes sense only if you are a gay nazi with a chip on your shoulder.

    Those of us who recognize that that government is best which governs least, know that all children come from heterosexuality. period. therefore encouraging everyone to enter into legally binding heterosexual marriage by definition encourages all children to be born into the protections of wedlock. If every adult in America married a person of the opposite sex, true, some people would not have children, but every child would be born into wedlock.

    Intrusive tests to determine ability or intent are, as I said, just sour grapes by gay nazis pissed that they dont qualify under even the broadest test. And whats more they are counter productive because some people who claimed they didnt want children would then accidentally have children out of wedlock because allowing them to marry made you feel bad about being different.

    It’s akin to demanding that everyone getting a driver’s license prove that they own a car before they are allowed a license because you flunked the written exam.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 5:24 am - July 31, 2009

  40. By that logic, we should extend marriage rights to any gay couple who agrees to adopt a child. Whether they intend to or not!

    THAT! although I would phrase it differently, and while you are incorrect that it follows logically from my comment, is nevertheless a better argument for gay marriage…. that if we are going to allow gay couples to adopt then we should afford those children the same protections as the children of straight couples.

    It is, however, still a bad argument. You see, if we want to say that the ideal situation for children is to be raised by their wedded biological parents, then promoting gay marriage as equal to that ideal scenario is counter-productive.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 5:41 am - July 31, 2009

  41. We want those children to be born into wedlock not outside of it in order to make people feel better about being different.

    Unless they are gay, right?

    People who dont want children, often get pregnant anyway, millions of couples that have been told by doctors that they cant have children, find themselves pregnant anyway.

    Okay, then why not advocate the following, AmericanElephant. Allow only those who are able to, and want to, procreate to marry. Otherwise, treat those couples the same way that you believe a committed gay couple should be treated. If an opposite sex couple then changes their mind and wants to procreate, then they can get married. Or if a couple that is “infertile” or doesn’t want to have children gets a surprise and finds they are expecting, well, you got nine months to get married.

    In my view, deciding that an opposite sex couple in their sixties (or older) can marry, but a same sex couple cannot, is arbitrary. We encourage and applaud the couple in their sixties getting married, even though we know damn well they aren’t going to procreate, instead of saying, “Gee, they are trying to destroy the institution of marriage.”

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2009 @ 7:12 am - July 31, 2009

  42. Ashpenaz, the Niagra rite blessing of marriags is very nice. But keep in mind that not everyone is Christian, believes in God, and/or has the same views in how they interact with God. It seems like you are advocating that same sex marriage (or covenants, or whatever you want) should be something different than marriage is for opposite sex couples. Or that same sex marriage should wait until everyone comes on board to your way of thinking of what all marriages should be.

    I advocate marriage, for now, to simply change the part of the definition “two adults of the opposite sex” to “two adults.” Then if marriage needs to be fixed, then try to fix it. As opposed to waiting until marriage conforms to one’s specific way before we can include gay couples in marriage.

    One of the things that I like about my strategy is that you can still get married using the Niagra rite blessing if you so wish, whether or not the rest of America comes to your way of thinking of what marriage should be.

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2009 @ 7:26 am - July 31, 2009

  43. No, its unnecessarily intrusive

    No, it isn’t. You’re just wrong about that, AE.

    Those of us who recognize that that government is best which governs least, know that all children come from heterosexuality. period.

    No: Infertile straight couples, and gay and lesbian couples as well, procreate new children without acts of heterosexuality. They do the procreating with the assistance of technology and outsiders. The infertile straight couple probably still has heterosexual sex, but their sex was not procreative and their conception was “in a test tube”, not by an act of heterosexual intercourse.

    encouraging everyone to enter into legally binding heterosexual marriage by definition encourages all children to be born into the protections of wedlock.

    That also fails. I assume that by “everyone”, you include gays and lesbians. But “encouraging” gays and lesbians into heterosexual wedlock is an impractical enterprise. As such, it practically guarantees that the children of gay or lesbian couples will be born OUT of wedlock. I aim to fix that, for the good of society.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 10:35 am - July 31, 2009

  44. P.S. You may have meant that we are still in a world where all children come from heterosexual genetic recombination, with or without actual heterosexuality (i.e., intercourse). If so, that would certainly be true. But it should be up to you to state your meaning clearly, not me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 10:42 am - July 31, 2009

  45. As such, it practically guarantees that the children of gay or lesbian couples will be born OUT of wedlock.

    Actually, no; since same-sex couples are incapable of producing children, the only reason a child would be born to them out of wedlock would be by their deliberate choice to produce one using artificial means in an out-of-wedlock situation.

    You can prevent this problem by a simple method; don’t make the choice to produce or adopt a baby. There’s no such thing as an “accidental” child of a same-sex couple. And if same-sex couples are desperate to produce children, they should realize that those children are going to be born out of wedlock and deal with it, instead of attempting to dodge the responsibility for their decision.

    Okay, then why not advocate the following, AmericanElephant. Allow only those who are able to, and want to, procreate to marry.

    In my view, deciding that an opposite sex couple in their sixties (or older) can marry, but a same sex couple cannot, is arbitrary.

    That’s because you are incapable of acknowledging the difference between genders; hence, you don’t see the difference between an opposite-sex and a same-sex couple.

    And really what this boils down to, Pat, is that you could marry a woman if you wanted to; you simply don’t want to do so because that would be inconvenient to your lifestyle and sexual desires. Fine. Nobody thinks any less of you for that. Deal with it and move on.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 31, 2009 @ 11:52 am - July 31, 2009

  46. since same-sex couples are incapable of producing children

    No. While same-sex couples are not capable of producing children in the manner of a fertile straight couple, they are capable of producing children in the manner of an infertile straight couple. Real children, that are genetically related to at least one of the parents (and depending on the circumstances, maybe both).

    the only reason a child would be born to [gay or lesbian] out of wedlock would be by their deliberate choice

    That would be true, if wedlock or some other form of union were available to them and they chose not to use it. When wedlock or other union is not available to them, then any children they have will inherently be out-of-wedlock. That’s what we (society) should fix.

    NDT, I understand that you’re trying to make a point that their having children at all, was the first choice in the picture. But all new children are a choice. When a fertile straight couple has intercourse: they’re making a choice, either to have children or risk having children. It might not be certain or even high-risk – but playing the odds is a choice. They might not think about it – but “not thinking” is a choice. So *all* children are the result of choice.

    Infertile straight couples – and, oh yeah, gay and lesbian couples – simply produce children with a different kind of choice. Observing that it’s a choice, then, is no great insight. It doesn’t convey a lot. Having children is one of life’s most wonderful choices. If it is -not criminal- for infertile couples to use technology and outsiders, then they are allowed to do so and we should take it as given that they will do so. Criminalize the use of technology and outsiders first, NDT, and then we’ll revisit the point you’re trying to make. Until then, *of course* there are going to be infertile straight couples – and gay and lesbian couples – who use technology and outsiders to have their children. And it is bad public policy to offer the choice of wedlock to one, and not the other.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 1:53 pm - July 31, 2009

  47. To try and lay it out better:

    1) Having children is one of life’s most appealing and important choices, for many people.
    2) Assisted reproduction is NOT A CRIME.
    3) Unless and except where assisted reproduction is a crime, we should assume that infertile couples (gay or straight) will use assisted reproduction and that they have a general right to do so (i.e., it’s part of their general liberty to conduct their lives as THEY see fit).
    4) The matter for society to consider is: whether to offer the couple(s) in question some form of legal protection or stabilization for the benefit of the new children. E.g., wedlock.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 2:07 pm - July 31, 2009

  48. (Oh – and society could also consider whether it wants to make assisted reproduction a crime. Or for what couples.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 2:10 pm - July 31, 2009

  49. About fifteen years ago, in New York, I was at a town hall meeting at which various politicos and representatives of the gay community were present and were considering arguments pro and con to gay marriage. I remember the ACLU was there and members of LLDEF and other gay rights organizations. Marriage was not talked about as an institution worth preserving it was talked about as an socially backward patriarchal repressive institution that had to radically change to ‘free’ the people in it and the society at large. Several speakers said that obtaining marriage rights for the community would not be enough but that ultimately everyone should be able to marry whoever they want and how many they want. Open marriages was viewed as the least ‘discriminatory’ option when compared to traditional marriages. The only thing that’s changed in fifteen years is that the gay leadership (like democraps in general) refuse to be forthright and honest about their true agenda now that more people are tuning in.

    Comment by eaglewingz08 — July 31, 2009 @ 2:35 pm - July 31, 2009

  50. That’s because you are incapable of acknowledging the difference between genders; hence, you don’t see the difference between an opposite-sex and a same-sex couple.

    Not quite, NDT. But I do argue that the differences are not enough to ban same sex couples to marry, just as we don’t ban infertile couples or couples who choose not to procreate from marrying. Perhaps I’m not as obsessed about the differences as you seem to be.

    And really what this boils down to, Pat, is that you could marry a woman if you wanted to; you simply don’t want to do so because that would be inconvenient to your lifestyle and sexual desires. Fine. Nobody thinks any less of you for that. Deal with it and move on.

    Of course I could marry a woman, if she would have me. But not only do I simply don’t want to, it would be absolutely immoral for me to do so. I’m more concerned about the inconvenience it would cause my wife. Similarly, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a straight man to marry a man. (I guess it would be inconvenient to his lifestyle and sexual desires, right? And I wouldn’t think less of him either).

    Believe me, I’ve dealt with it and then some. It’s about what’s right, NDT. But I’ll be fine either way. Thanks.

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2009 @ 4:43 pm - July 31, 2009

  51. We want those children to be born into wedlock not outside of it…

    Unless they are gay, right?

    We want children to be born into the protections of wedlock between their biological mother and their biological father. Gay relationships, by definition, cannot offer that ideal.

    Okay, then why not advocate the following, AmericanElephant. Allow only those who are able to, and want to, procreate to marry.

    for the 20th time. Because pregnancy is often an accident. People who think they dont want children, get pregnant, and people who are told they are infertile by doctors get pregnant despite their doctor’s diagnosis.

    If we dont allow those people to marry (in order to coddle your emotional problems and refusal to accept your differences) then those children end up being born OUTSIDE of wedlock. Which is rather against the point.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 6:11 pm - July 31, 2009

  52. No, its unnecessarily intrusive

    No, it isn’t. You’re just wrong about that, AE.

    Funny, marriage has existed for hundreds of years in the United States (much longer outside it) without EVER needing fertility tests.

    But ILC has suddenly dictated that they are now NECESSARY! Or are you trying to argue that the government testing and keeping what may very well be inaccurate records about your fertility is not intrusive?

    Either way its utterly boneheaded.

    No. While same-sex couples are not capable of producing children in the manner of a fertile straight couple, they are capable of producing children in the manner of an infertile straight couple.

    ILC returns to trying to redefine the meaning of reproduce. When one member of a couple reproduces a child with someone outside the relationship, the couple is not reproducing. One of them is reproducing, heterosexually, outside the marriage. The other is not participating. At most, they are adopting.

    And no, gay couples, who are categorically incapable of reproducing are not like infertile heterosexual couples. Millions of supposedly infertile couples, reproduce despite their diagnoses. Gays never, ever, ever, ever, EVER reproduce.

    Moreover, even if a heterosexual couple adopts or otherwise goes outside their marriage, they still provide that child with a mother and a father, the closest approximation to a biological family that exists. And which gays couples, again, categorically cannot do.

    Real children, that are genetically related to at least one of the parents

    I have a newsflash for you. You and your DOG are capable of “reproducing” a real child that is genetically related to at least one of you in the EXACT same way that you and another man are.

    Your argument bolsters the case for bestiality just as much as it does same sex marriage.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 7:37 pm - July 31, 2009

  53. Assisted reproduction is NOT A CRIME

    Neither is having a child outside of wedlock. Neither is sticking your dick in a light socket for that matter. It doesnt mean we want to encourage it. (Except, perhaps, in your case — there is still a school of thought that believes in the therapeutic effect of shock treatment)

    Oh – and society could also consider whether it wants to make assisted reproduction a crime. Or for what couples

    Or you could seek therapy and come to terms with the fact that homosexuality and heterosexuality are different.

    Which would be much easier and make much more sense.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 7:46 pm - July 31, 2009

  54. Or you could seek therapy

    And, AE, you start in with your personal attacks. That means my argument won! 🙂 And that I needn’t respond to you further, on this topic.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 31, 2009 @ 8:04 pm - July 31, 2009

  55. No, it means your argument is worthy of nothing but ridicule. You already lost just by making it.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 31, 2009 @ 10:10 pm - July 31, 2009

  56. again, if AE and NDT have sex, is it beastiality?

    Comment by rusty — July 31, 2009 @ 10:17 pm - July 31, 2009

  57. I’ve stayed out of this thread, primarily because I’ve nothing to contribute.

    Guess that puts me one up on rusty.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 1, 2009 @ 10:21 am - August 1, 2009

  58. for the 20th time. Because pregnancy is often an accident. People who think they dont want children, get pregnant, and people who are told they are infertile by doctors get pregnant despite their doctor’s diagnosis.

    For the 20th time, AmericanElephant, I am well aware of that. I’m also aware that pregnancies lasts 9 months. Plenty of time for people to get married if one of those accidents occur.

    If we dont allow those people to marry (in order to coddle your emotional problems and refusal to accept your differences) then those children end up being born OUTSIDE of wedlock. Which is rather against the point.

    Once again, you have it all backwards. I’m using your own logic here. I’m not the one making arbitrary bans on marriage here. There is zero chance a couple in which the women is over 60 can procreate. No accidents possible here. Yet, not only do we ban such marriages, we encourage them. I see value in marriages, even when we know there is no chance of procreation. You don’t. That’s fine. I’ll agree to disagree.

    As for the emotional problem thing. Thanks. I’ll reread your irrational rant in another thread against those who support hate crime laws for inspiration.

    Or you could seek therapy and come to terms with the fact that homosexuality and heterosexuality are different.

    You also lost the argument, because no one made such a claim. The question is, are they different enough to allow marriage in one case, and not the other. We even discussed the differences. You still come on the side against same sex marriage. Others of us don’t. No need for therapy, (sarc) but thanks for suggesting it. That was really classy of you. (/sarc)

    Comment by Pat — August 1, 2009 @ 1:40 pm - August 1, 2009

  59. There is zero chance a couple in which the women is over 60 can procreate.

    Well Pat, not absolutely zero. NDT pointed out to me in another thread that the oldest woman to be pregnant was 70 or something like that.

    Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of women have fertility problems by 40 and are sterile by 50. It is normal, biologically and statistically, for straight couples to be as permanently infertile as any gay or lesbian couple, if the woman is over 50. And yet, we (society) don’t mind marrying them. Imagine that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 1, 2009 @ 2:00 pm - August 1, 2009

  60. Here’s a link to an article which says what I’ve been saying all along:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/KathrynLopez/2009/08/01/winds_shifting_on_gay_marriage

    Comment by Ashpenaz — August 1, 2009 @ 2:06 pm - August 1, 2009

  61. 49: You make my point–Stonewall was about sexual liberation, not gay rights. Those of use who want to be included in the world of marriage/covenants are completely different from those who want to destroy marriage.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — August 1, 2009 @ 2:08 pm - August 1, 2009

  62. For the 20th time, AmericanElephant, I am well aware of that. I’m also aware that pregnancies lasts 9 months. Plenty of time for people to get married if one of those accidents occur.

    No, unfortunately you STILL don’t get it, or you would understand that if we wait until AFTER people get pregnant until we encourage them to get married, that while some will go ahead and get married, others will chose not to get married. Whereas if we encourage people to get married BEFORE they have children, we dont have that problem. Which is why the institution works as it is constructed and DOESNT work with your intrusive, Orwellian requirements.

    I’m using your own logic here.

    No, what you are using has nothing to do with logic.

    I’m not the one making arbitrary bans on marriage here.

    Actually, you are. All the current restrictions on the marriage institution (male/female, non-related adults) serve to further the state interest of reproduction and child rearing within wedlock between the child’s biological parents.

    YOU want to eliminate the gender restrictions making the institution an ENTIRELY arbitrary one that permits some people to marry because they love eachother while prohibiting others from doing the same.

    Your re-definition of the institution is utterly arbitrary.

    There is zero chance a couple in which the women is over 60 can procreate. No accidents possible here. Yet, not only do we ban such marriages, we encourage them.

    Yes, we allow ALL unrelated men and women to marry regardless of age. If we encourage ALL men and women to marry, then ALL children will be born into wedlock, regardless of individual intent or ability. There is no need to test for fertility.

    Moreover, by encouraging ALL men and women to marry one another, it strengthens the institution. The more married couples there are, the more pressure there is to be married. The less married couples there are, the less pressure people feel to be and stay married.

    Marriage strengthens marriage.

    Encouraging alternatives to traditional marriage does not. It only encourages more alternatives. If two adult men can marry because they love eachother, then why cant two brothers who love eachother? Why cant an adult father and daughter marry eachother because they love eachother? If two people of the same sex are allowed to marry, it is impossible to claim the institution has anything to do with procreation so what is to prohibit ALL people who love each other from marrying?

    But the only reason you want to prohibit elderly people from marrying is because they meet the broad requirements which gay couples are categorically incapable of meeting. Pure sour grapes jackboootery.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 1, 2009 @ 11:14 pm - August 1, 2009

  63. Well Pat, not absolutely zero. NDT pointed out to me in another thread that the oldest woman to be pregnant was 70 or something like that.

    ILC, I vaguely remember that. I thought, in that case, and other cases in which the woman was over 60, the embryo was implanted, or there was some other non-procreative means.

    No, unfortunately you STILL don’t get it, or you would understand that if we wait until AFTER people get pregnant until we encourage them to get married, that while some will go ahead and get married, others will chose not to get married. Whereas if we encourage people to get married BEFORE they have children, we dont have that problem. Which is why the institution works as it is constructed and DOESNT work with your intrusive, Orwellian requirements.

    I do get your point, AmericanElephant. Again, I don’t advocate the arbitrary bans on marriage that you do, as I encourage people to marry whether or not they can or want to have children. In any case, if a couple who would otherwise be married, doesn’t want to marry after pregnancy, then I guess it wouldn’t have been much of a marriage to begin with.

    No, what you are using has nothing to do with logic.

    Okay. So the feeling is mutual about each others’ logic.

    YOU want to eliminate the gender restrictions making the institution an ENTIRELY arbitrary one that permits some people to marry because they love eachother while prohibiting others from doing the same.

    No. What I advocate is for two non-related, consenting adults to be allowed to marry. Period.

    Yes, we allow ALL unrelated men and women to marry regardless of age. If we encourage ALL men and women to marry, then ALL children will be born into wedlock, regardless of individual intent or ability. There is no need to test for fertility.

    Same is true under my plan.

    Moreover, by encouraging ALL men and women to marry one another, it strengthens the institution. The more married couples there are, the more pressure there is to be married. The less married couples there are, the less pressure people feel to be and stay married.

    Marriage strengthens marriage.

    Change your phrase “men and women” to “adults” and we’re in agreement pretty much here.

    I believe, however, we should NOT encourage gay men to marry a woman, just as I believe we should NOT encourage a straight man to marry a man. Otherwise, marriage is NOT strengthened.

    Encouraging alternatives to traditional marriage does not. It only encourages more alternatives. If two adult men can marry because they love eachother, then why cant two brothers who love eachother? Why cant an adult father and daughter marry eachother because they love eachother?

    This is interesting, since you are a stickler for semantics. What is traditional marriage? Is it the polygamy we had in the past? Is it the incestual marriage that some royal families engaged in to preserve the blue blood? Is it the arranged marriages that coerced people to marry? Is it one in which only persons of the same economic class could marry each other, or ones in which the races had to be the same? Where the woman was treated as property? Thankfully, “traditional” marriage has changed over and over again to where it is today. A lot for the better, and granted, some for the worse. I’m glad that (even excluding any same sex marriages) we’ve had the “alternatives” that we have today.

    As for your latter point, I already answered why, although I favor same sex marriage, I do not favor marriage between close relatives of either sex.

    But the only reason you want to prohibit elderly people from marrying is because they meet the broad requirements which gay couples are categorically incapable of meeting. Pure sour grapes jackboootery.

    Again, I do not wish to prohibit elderly people from marrying, even though they fail to meet the broad requirements of procreation. You’ve basically made the point that marriage = procreation. I’m fully aware that you do not believe that all marriages lead to procreation. I get that. And I understand that you don’t want to prohibit an elderly couple to marry for the reasons you stated. My point is, with your beliefs, why would you encourage an elderly couple to marry? How does that in anyway encourage a young couple to marry and procreate? What it may encourage is that young couple to say, “Gee, look at that nice elderly couple getting married. They obviously can’t have children, but yet they can still marry. I guess we don’t have to procreate, which is good, because we really didn’t want to anyway.”

    It’s not sour grapes at all. In fact, as I said, I encourage all unrealted adults, regardless of age, gender, ability to procreate, etc., to marry. You don’t. But I’ll be fine whether or not same sex marriage. It sounds like you’ll have more issues if same sex marriage happens.

    Comment by Pat — August 2, 2009 @ 11:11 am - August 2, 2009

  64. Way too much logic and good sense in that, Pat. I guess the prescribed ‘therapy’ didn’t work on you, heh 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2009 @ 8:00 pm - August 2, 2009

  65. I do get your point, AmericanElephant.

    No, you clearly don’t. Nor do you “get” the definition of the word arbitrary, the state interest in the marriage institution as defined by the legislatures and upheld by the courts, or how logic works among many other things.

    I don’t advocate the arbitrary bans on marriage that you do…What I advocate is for two non-related, consenting adults to be allowed to marry. Period.

    you are the ONLY one proposing arbitrary restrictions. The restrictions that are all in place now exist because the institution is defined as one that is about ensuring as many children as possible are born into the protections of wedlock between their biological parents.

    Closely related people are currently not allowed to marry because they are much more likely to produce children with birth defects. Three people are not allowed to marry, and people of the same sex are not allowed to marry because it takes one and only one person of each sex to procreate.

    If the state interest in the marriage institution is not procreation and child rearing as it necessarily CANNOT be if same sex couples are allowed to marry, then your restrictions of “two” and “non-related” are entirely arbitrary. If two men can marry simply because they love eachother, there is no logical reason whatsoever that three people shouldnt be allowed to marry because they love eachother, or why related people shouldnt be allowed to marry because they love eachother. But then again, you clearly dont understand the meaning of the word arbitrary.

    In any case, if a couple who would otherwise be married, doesn’t want to marry after pregnancy, then I guess it wouldn’t have been much of a marriage to begin with.

    Proof positive that your concept of the marriage institution is a selfish and meaningless one that puts the whims of adults before the needs of children. Why bother getting married before pregnancy? You can get married after pregnancy! And it you dont get married after you get pregnant thats OK too!

    Marriage becomes a meaningless, purposeless entitlement program under your definition.

    Okay. So the feeling is mutual about each others’ logic.

    Thats rather the point. Feeling has nothing to do with logic, which is convenient as you have nothing to do with logic either.

    Same is true under my plan.

    Wrong, you were arguing that ONLY people who want to and can have children should be allowed to marry. My, how quickly you pretend you never said what you said.

    Change your phrase “men and women” to “adults” and we’re in agreement pretty much here.

    But then the statement would be untrue. Which is I guess why you would agree with it.

    Encouraging same sex marriage does not strengthen the institution, It makes it a meaningless, purposeless entitlement program for adults.

    What is traditional marriage?

    It is the legal union of one and only one non-related, adult member of each of the sexes necessary to make a child so that as many children are born into, not outside of, the protections of wedlock between their biological parents as possible — as defined by the people through their legislatures. The way any free people defines their institutions

    “The Legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents,” ~ SCOWA

    The ONLY way free people can define their institutions.

    I’m glad that (even excluding any same sex marriages) we’ve had the “alternatives” that we have today.

    Gay marriage, polygamy, incest, racial restrictions, bestiality, ARE the alternatives today.

    The enlightened contemporary understanding is that marriage is best when it exists to serve childrens best interests. Children that people of the same sex cannot make with one another. Do try to catch up with the times.

    I already answered why, although I favor same sex marriage, I do not favor marriage between close relatives of either sex.

    It doesnt matter why. Your definition of marriage is arbitrary and as such cannot stand. If same sex couples are allowed to marry, then marriage by definition cannot be about procreation. If marriage cannot be about procreation, but only exists to give out goodies to people for being in love, then ALL people who love one another must be allowed to marry no matter their number or relation to one another. But again, you understand neither logic nor the meaning of the word arbitrary.

    Again, I do not wish to prohibit elderly people from marrying

    Yes, you do. That was exactly your argument. You argued that if gay couples as a CLASS cant marry because they don’t even have the requisite equipment to make a baby, then all INDIVIDUAL couples who have the requisite equipment but may or may not use it to have a baby MUST be prohibited from being married until such time as they have a baby in order to make it fair to the entire CLASS of couples that are by definition categorically incapable of reproducing.

    You’ve basically made the point that marriage = procreation

    Yes, we as a society have decided, through our representatives, that it is best for society if the marriage institution remains focused on its most important function to society, reproduction and promoting the best interests of children.

    My point is, with your beliefs, why would you encourage an elderly couple to marry? How does that in anyway encourage a young couple to marry and procreate?

    Because, when the majority of society is married to a person of the opposite sex, it becomes the norm. And people who arent married, feel pressure to be married. It creates a society where mothers are always asking their sons, “when are you going to settle down and get married and give me grandchildren?” It creates a norm so powerful that even men who are attracted to other men would rather pretend that they fit into a norm that they do not, rather than come to terms with being different.

    And as anyone who has eyes can see when they look at communities where the out of wedlock birth rate is 70%, and every social ill is rampant, it is enormously destructive to society when men and women don’t marry before having kids. Kids are more likely to be poor, uneducated, unhealthy and criminal. Adults are more likely to become wards of the state.

    All because we lose focus on the fact that marriage exists for the benefit of children and thus society, not for the benefit of adults. Indeed, we have to create incentives –you know, all the incentives gays are demanding they have a right to — to convince adults to enter into marriage because it isnt always in their immediate best interests.

    It’s not sour grapes at all.

    yes, it really is. And whats more, this entire conversation is an enormous waste of my time.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 2, 2009 @ 10:42 pm - August 2, 2009

  66. you are the ONLY one proposing arbitrary restrictions.

    AmericanElephant, how is that when I advocate any two non-related consenting adults to marry whether or not they can or choose to have children? You’re the one limiting it to opposite sex couples.

    Thats rather the point. Feeling has nothing to do with logic, which is convenient as you have nothing to do with logic either.

    I stand corrected. Your logic is horrendous. Better?

    Closely related people are currently not allowed to marry because they are much more likely to produce children with birth defects. Three people are not allowed to marry, and people of the same sex are not allowed to marry because it takes one and only one person of each sex to procreate.

    No kidding.

    Proof positive that your concept of the marriage institution is a selfish and meaningless one that puts the whims of adults before the needs of children.

    Another example of your incredible lack of logic skills.

    If two men can marry simply because they love eachother, there is no logical reason whatsoever that three people shouldnt be allowed to marry because they love eachother, or why related people shouldnt be allowed to marry because they love eachother.

    And yet another example. And further, now you’re arguing that your version of “traditional” marriage does not necessarily involve love. I’m starting to dislike your sense of “traditional” marriage even more.

    as defined by the people through their legislatures. The way any free people defines their institutions

    I guess it kind of sucks that more and more legislatures are defining marriage to include same sex couples.

    If same sex couples are allowed to marry, then marriage by definition cannot be about procreation.

    Then by your “logic” if elderly couples are allowed to marry, then marriage by definition cannot be about procreation. Again, since I don’t believe that marriage does not necessarily equal procreation, unlike you, I don’t have a problem with an elderly couple marrying. I guess you don’t either, that is, unless they are same sex.

    And people who arent married, feel pressure to be married.

    Exactly. Except if it’s a gay man, he should feel pressure to marry another man, not a woman!

    It creates a norm so powerful that even men who are attracted to other men would rather pretend that they fit into a norm that they do not, rather than come to terms with being different.

    Which is a huge problem. As this has encouraged gay men to marry women. Are you saying that this is acceptable? Heck, as a gay man, you would actually marry a woman? Or you want to pretend to? If so, we will definitely have to agree to disagree on this point.

    And as anyone who has eyes can see when they look at communities where the out of wedlock birth rate is 70%, and every social ill is rampant, it is enormously destructive to society when men and women don’t marry before having kids.

    I’m in somewhat of agreement here. But the problem here is not so much marriage, because in those cases, marriage doesn’t help the problem. It’s that these persons shouldn’t be having children to begin with, until and if they are ever ready to have children. And yes, they should get married before that point.

    yes, it really is.

    Fine, believe what you want. I’m telling you I’ll be fine whether or not same sex marriage happens. I simply support same sex marriage. You don’t, and you did your best to debunk my reasons. No biggie.

    And whats more, this entire conversation is an enormous waste of my time.

    Then I’m sorry you felt the need to write a long response.

    Comment by Pat — August 3, 2009 @ 7:30 am - August 3, 2009

  67. [AE] If same sex couples are allowed to marry, then marriage by definition cannot be about procreation.

    [Pat] Then by your “logic” if elderly couples are allowed to marry, then marriage by definition cannot be about procreation. Again, since I don’t believe that marriage does not necessarily equal procreation, unlike you, I don’t have a problem with an elderly couple marrying. I guess you don’t either, that is, unless they are same sex.

    Pat, like you, I have no problem with the elder couple marrying – because the States have instituted marriage in order to privilege stable two-person relationships, with or without children. In the institution of marriage, society realizes important benefits to children; and society realizes other important benefits as well, even if children are not present. Marriage is so good for society, so much worth promoting, that childless couples should be brought within its orbit. That includes elder couples. And it includes gay couples.

    And you may have noticed that AE’s “logic” (I hereby apologize to the gods of Logic for calling it that) has once more blithely ignored the reality of gay couples that have kids, or that even procreate in the manner used by infertile straight couples. For someone hell-bent on misrepresenting his opponents as out of touch with sexual reality, AE is having an awfully hard time facing up to that.

    [Pat to AE] you did your best to debunk my reasons.

    … and AE blatantly failed.

    [AE to Pat] And whats more, this entire conversation is an enormous waste of my time.

    The willing participant (not to say “lady”) doth protest too much.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 3, 2009 @ 10:36 am - August 3, 2009

  68. In the institution of marriage, society realizes important benefits to children; and society realizes other important benefits as well, even if children are not present. Marriage is so good for society, so much worth promoting, that childless couples should be brought within its orbit. That includes elder couples. And it includes gay couples.

    Exactly, ILC.

    The willing participant (not to say “lady”) doth protest too much.

    Yeah, it makes you wonder what that’s all about.

    Comment by Pat — August 3, 2009 @ 2:17 pm - August 3, 2009

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