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The banning of homosexual marriage, and banning of Civil unions.

  1. Nov 9, 2004 #1
    As I'm sure most of you know, on Nov. 2, there were ballot initiatives in 11 states to define marriage as between a man and a woman exclusively, they all passed with considerable margins. In 8 of the 11 states there were further provision to essentially eliminate homosexual civil unions as a possibility.

    Initially, I was so outraged Bush won, that I couldn't focus on any specific issue, but this is really horribly frightening.

    I thought that this country was past it's legalized bigotry kick, but apparently not. It's just shoking that so many people feel it's so important that queer folk don't have any rights and don't get the same privileges they get when they marry someone.

    I assume (and hope) that this is just a problem in rural America, where people rarely encounter anyone different from themselves, and have no reason/need to be tolerant, but I really don't know.

    Can anyone here even try to offer an explanation as to why this is a good thing, or can you all realize that this is possibly THE most dispicable thing legally going on in America now.

    To think, barely 30 years ago, interracial marriage was illegal. All those people from 30 years ago must've just shifted their energies or something.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2004 #2
    I talked to a christian girl in my school about this and she said that half of her didn't support it because it was their right, and as far as them signing a peace of paper to say they're married she didn't have a problem. But if it's a priest giving a blessing to them then she wouldn't support that because its blasphemy.

    But thats an urban canadian opinion, the rural american one is probably much stupider
     
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3

    russ_watters

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    They do get the same rights I do - they can't marry someone of the same sex and neither can I.
    Not good or bad, but an explanation of why it happened: Like it or not, there are two different types of marriage - the religious one and the legal one. The religious one is defined by the various churches. The legal one needs a definition in law.
     
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4

    Kerrie

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    Being married by a priest but not receiving a marriage license does not entitle a person to the state benefits and laws that a couple receives if they are married by a justice of the peace. The gay folks are ultimately after the benefits not just the title of spouse. You have gay couples who have been together longer then many married couples who cannot make a decision for their spouse should they require to have a plug pulled (for example), but their parent (whom they have bad relations with for example) can make that decison, but does not know ultimately what they would want. Multnomah County in Oregon (where I live and the heart of all of those couples legally married) allowed civil unions prior to the gay marriage act being banned. In a way they may have it worse now then before all of the commotion.

    America is quite hypocritical though...we ban a gay marriage, but we have 1-800-divorce or do it yourself divorce. Among heterosexual couples, the divorce rate is over 50%. If we are going to monitor morality, this is an area that needs to be addressed just as well.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5

    vanesch

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    Well, there's quite some discussion going on about that in several European countries. As far as I know, gay marriage is legal in Belgium (recently). France, for instance, hesitates, but has created a legal solution in that gay couples can subscribe to a contract which gives them rights (if one of them dies and so on) which are very similar to those of a married hetero couple.

    Personally, I think there are 2 issues. I think that gay couples should have a kind of union contract such as a marriage ; but whether we have to call that "marriage" or something else doesn't really matter. I'm not opposed to calling it "marriage" but I have to say that it makes me smile a bit. Who's the bride and who's the groom and so on ? I think a lot of trouble can be spared if they have the same rights, but we give the thing another name.
    The other issue, however, is a bit more involved, and concerns the adoption of children. I really don't know if that's a good idea. I don't say this on "moral" grounds or anything, it is just that I don't know if it is a good thing for the psychological devellopment of a child to be raised by two daddies.
    It is probably better to have two daddies than no daddy at all, but nevertheless, I have this gut feeling that one should be careful here.
     
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6
    I disagree. I know of more than one homosexual couple who could very well raise a kid, at least much better than many irresponsible parents out there.

    What is wrong with the popular american opinions, I wish I knew. I thought television was very careful in pretending all minorities have equal rights, including the homosexual community. I always found it funny, because I think sodomy is still forbidden in some states :rolleyes: How can one pretend to respect a community and forbid sexual act for them !?
     
  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7

    vanesch

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    I wasn't saying that homosexual couples can't be good and responsible parents. I wonder what it does to the child, however. I think I would have found it quite disturbing not to have a mother and a father.

    :rofl: :rofl:

    I heard that in the white house, fellation is forbidden ? :tongue: :tongue:
     
  9. Nov 10, 2004 #8

    Gokul43201

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    The last state to have anti-sodomy laws was Texas which was ordered to shove it, a couple of years ago. So, I don't believe there are now any states in the US with anti-sodomy laws.

    Now for fellatio in the White House, however ...:wink:
     
  10. Nov 10, 2004 #9

    PerennialII

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    Parents aren't required anything ... anyone who pretty much wants can have a kid and raise him/her in any way they like (the letter of law is not a parental guidebook, nor does it lead to explicitly good parenting). So I can't see a reason why same sex couples could not raise kids and as good of a job in it as anyone else ?
     
  11. Nov 10, 2004 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    My reservations about gay "marriage" are the same. To me an important part of what marriage represents is the commitment to maintain a nurturing home for raising children. But what constitutes the ideal nurturing environment for a child? Well, I think children are taught something, much of it viscerally, by having a balance of male and female in the house. I don't think two males or two females provide that; and it isn’t an indictment of, or prejudice against, homosexuality to recognize that if it’s true.

    Right now of course, there are plenty of homes without both parents present. There are orphans without anyone to care about them. Around here where I live (where there’s a large gay/lesbian population) I often see formerly married people who are now involved in a homosexual relationship and who have brought the children with them. These are situations where one realizes one does the best one can under the circumstances.

    But if marriage is legal recognition and benefits for those who will raise children, whether from sex or adoption, then I hope it continues to stand for what we ideally would like the home environment to be.

    That leaves the possibility for civil union, and I hope we allow it for homosexual couples who want to commit. It is good for society to have people working as a team, not having multiple sex partners, and feeling accepted by and part of the community. I wouldn’t even mind if heterosexual couples were only legally granted “civil union” status until they had children.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  12. Nov 10, 2004 #11

    adrenaline

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    While no church could ever be ordered to recognize or preform same sex marriages, we should not block a courthouse marriage between two consenting adults.

    I actually find the issue refreshing (although not the most important issue on my politcal agenda) as we are in a time when marriage is rapidly losing its allure for many hetrosexuals, this deep desire of so many gays to commit themselves to marriage, with all its rewards and sacrafices, is quite promising. (In fact, Denmark which has sanctioned gay marriages for over 10 years show that gay marriages have 1/5 the divorce rate of heterosexual marriages) and this, in my opinion, contributes to some societal stability.

    But that's just my two cents.


    But let's face it, much of the history of marriage involves marriage as a strictly utilitarian tool, a social and economic contract between individuals. It was a means to ally political bases or dole out and distribute wealth and land etc. etc. It wasn't until recently that we interjected love and sancitity into it. Thus, this issue of gay marriage is just trying to get back to the roots of marriage! It is a means by which a gay couple can recieve all the legal and economic benefits that a heterosexual couple enjoys as its contract with society!
     
  13. Nov 10, 2004 #12

    Evo

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    Ditto. My thoughts exactly.

    My former boss was gay, but had chidlren from a former heterosexual marriage. He won legal custody of his three kids because he was a better parent than the mother and the kids have been raised by him and his partner for the last 15 years. These kids turned out great. I've been to their home many times over the last 13 years and I'd have let them raise my kids if anything happened to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  14. Nov 10, 2004 #13
    I know a girl who has 2 fathers, you'd never know she had two fathers, is never mocked for it, and acts just as normal as any teenage girl.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2004 #14

    Les Sleeth

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    Citing too limited of a sampling isn't a good argument. What we really need are studies. I admit my own opinion is intuitive, plus how much I value having had both a female and a male present throughout my childhood. I can most definitely see in myself the results of early and constant male and female influences in the home.

    I also have to add that we liberal types who want to stick up for the abused -- gay and lesbian fellow human beings in this case -- should not let sentimentality get in the way off thinking about this issue clearly. Personally, my ONLY concern is the child-rearing thing, and I don't think we should rush ahead with that before we understand all the consequences.
     
  16. Nov 10, 2004 #15

    adrenaline

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    http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/RP30.html

     
  17. Nov 10, 2004 #16

    Les Sleeth

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    Well, I've had this debate before with Zero when he was a mentor here, and was made to feel like I was homophobic (not that you are doing any such thing . . . it just makes me hesitate to defend my views). If you knew me you'd know I am about as sexually liberated as a person gets :cool:. So what I have to say has nothing to do with thinking anything is "morally" wrong with homosexuality (I don't even think sex itself is a moral issue, and I am not religious either).

    The limited amount of studies done don't tell us yet what we need to know; and I have to say that I also suspect some of the research is let's say "sympathetic." The main concern I have is for infants through age 5. Although there isn't enough information to evaluate long-term effects, there are people nonetheless saying "go ahead anyway" out of the desire to make gays and lesbians feel accepted. A noble gesture, but is it what's best?

    The marriage situation is in pretty bad shape, that's for sure, with lots of single parents trying to work and raise the kids alone. Even couples that stay together might dislike each other and fight all the time, or ignore or mistreat their children, and so fail to provide a nurturing home life. With things such a mess, how much difference can it make even if same-sex child rearing turns out not to be what is best for children?

    I suppose I am conservative in this regard, and hope that instead of letting the family ideal drift whatever way the wind blows it, that we take a clue from the fact that nature itself spent millions of years creating the male-female basis of child rearing. Maybe as we increase our understanding of human psychology, and make sure the general population is taught that, relationships will improve to the point that we can better practice what nature seems to have established.

    But if after we do have suffiecient evidence it turns out that same sex parenting makes no difference to the development of the child, then my concern will disappear. :smile:
     
  18. Nov 12, 2004 #17

    vanesch

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    You express exactly my thoughts :smile:
     
  19. Nov 12, 2004 #18

    Gokul43201

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    Studies on what ? What consequences ? How can you have studies or consequences of a thing that is not allowed to happen ? Hope some other "reckless" culture allows it, so they can be studied ?

    Not too many (four ?) decades ago, law-makers were concerned about the long term effects on young children who were born of a couple having one white parent, and one black. While the concern for the children of interracial marriage is not misplaced, would that have been sufficient reason to stop a black man from marrying a white woman ? What do you think, Les ?

    On a more mainstream (the above concern is too liberal and hardly the popular concern) note, though : "If you can marry blacks, what next...will you also ask to marry your dog ?" is simply what we hear now for gay-marriage. And it's pathetic ! A 1991 poll showed that 42% of Americans disapproved of interracial marriage !

    Anyway, I too have concerns about the adoption issue...I'm still undecided on that. But that is not the only concern of the law-makers or the majority of the population. 'Cause if that were the only concern, we would maybe ban that alone. The concern is that you are rewarding sinners who should be punished (on the extreme side) and that you are denigrating the institution of marriage (by the rest).

    And speaking of studies...since there are more "reckless" cultures, we fortunately, do have studies. In Denmark, where gay marriage has been legal since the early nineties, the divorce rate among "traditional" marriages is about 5 times as high as among same-sex marriages. I, however, have not seen any studies (yet) on same-sex adoption.

    (PS : Les, I don't you to feel like I'm calling you homophobic...I share much the same concerns that you do)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2004
  20. Nov 12, 2004 #19

    BobG

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    Marriage is primarily intended on defining families in society. Like many pieces of our society, it winds up combining a few separate issues into one (actually, not only is combining several issues into one 'piece' efficient, but it ties all the separate 'pieces' closer together so the society's structure is less likely to fall apart).

    One big part of marriage has to do with raising kids. Whether gay couples are allowed to adopt kids is something to be decided separately from the other aspects of marriage. While it may not be the 'ideal' arrangement for raising families, it would be hard to say it would be worse in practice. There's so many variations from the ideal that the whole idea that a heterosexual couple can raise a family more effectively may be flawed. I think the idea that heterosexual couples must be better at raising families may be based more on aesthetics than practical examples (i.e. - if it takes a heterosexual couple to conceive a child, then it must logically follow that a heterosexual couple can also raise kids better - what fiend would design a system where the homosexual couples were better at child raising?).

    The child-rearing role of marriage and the appropriateness of extending those roles to gay couples is certainly debatable - with no clear cut best answer at this time.

    A second part of marriage deals with how one handles his possessions, material wealth, etc and who makes decisions on your behalf if you're incapable of making those decisions yourself. It's no one else's business how you decide to resolve those kinds of issues.

    The law should provide a mechanism for you to legally resolve those issues any way you see fit.
     
  21. Nov 12, 2004 #20

    Les Sleeth

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    I don't sense you are calling me homophobic. I think you are sticking up for a group that's endured a lot of hell for no good reason. That makes it almost impossible to criticize without appearing to deepen wounds.

    I don't think the racial example is relevant, not at least to my point. Nor are all the many things wrong with society and relationships. I am only talking about the psychological balance provided by the early influence of two genders, and our willingness now, because of all the social-interpersonal problems in the world, to give up on the ideal of a child being entitled to a mother and a father. As I said, I am very aware of that dual influence in me, and appreciate that I was able to experience and learn from it.
     
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