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

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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?

Gays and Lesbians didn't just happen this week. It is practical, and essential to support issues of human rights. Human rights, is my rights, all of our rights. It is not out of a desire to make gays feel accepted, or nobility, it is a practical application of US citizenship. Did it mention homosexuality in the Constitution ever? If the current administration has its way, it soon will, by the circuitous logic of saying that only women that want to marry men, or vice versa, can do so. Marriage was never mentioned in the constitution either, the first time historically it will be mentioned in that document, will be to deny it to an entire class of citizens.
 

Les Sleeth

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Gokul43201 said:
However, this homophobic and/or chauvinistic bull**** seems to be the majority view in at least 11 states (and possibly about 30 more) and seems to also be the political stand of the current administration.

In my opinion, the point of this thread was to discuss this phenomenon : to understand why an overwhelming majority of the population endorses this view.
You caught that before I could delete my post. I was venting. :surprised

However now that I'm back, and whether anyone realized it or not, I was attempting to give a reason "why an overwhelming majority of the population endorses [anti-same sex marriage] view." And the thread's author did ask, "Can anyone here even try to offer an explanation as to why [voting against same-sex marriage] is a good thing . . ."

I don't think most people in that "majority view" know why they are against same sex marriage. All the sympathizers here are so concerned about what's "right" for gays they aren't giving fair consideration to whether or not there might be something real in what appears to only be a knee-jerk reaction by those against same-sex marriage.

Family is a HUGELY important issue for the average, non-intellectual, everyday, go-to-work person -- and that's who's voting down the same sex marriage laws. Family has always meant mom, dad and kids. The people against same sex marriage aren't thinking about all the single parents, runaway kids, divorce rate, etc., they are thinking about what marriage stands for (i.e., "ideally"). Whether they know it or not I say, when voting happens, the "kid" part of the equation is a big part of it for the average person.

But then in conversations like this, all the sympathizers just want to pooh-pooh those concerns even though they don't really know the truth about the long-term effects of same-sex parenting. What are you going to do, pat all the common folk on the head and say "don't bother your little brains about it, we smart guys have it all figured out." Good luck in convincing people with that approach!
 
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russ_watters

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Integral said:
Yep, marriage is a committed relationship between two consenting HUMANS. Isn't that a pretty well defined line?
Not even close. Setting aside the homosexuality issue, there are a good handful of other issues your definition doesn't cover: for example, what exactly is a "consenting human"? Also, your definition doesn't say anything about polygamy or incest.

See, this is my basic objection to the way the issue is being argued by its proponents: its being argued as if its a simple question and it isn't.
If we knew anything, or had any concept of what makes a good parent then we could give classes and bad parenting would end.
Now c'mon, that's absurd on at least two levels and you know it: First off, there are parenting classes (and books, and magazines, and classes in school, and psychology research/studies, etc.). Second, someone knowing a good way (note: I didn't say the best way) to do something won't ever eliminate people doing it a bad way. For example: Most people know that the best way to succeed financially in life is by getting a good education so you can get a good career. Does the knowledge of that fact by some result in the end of poverty? Obviously not.
 
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russ_watters

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Actually, I have another problem (though similar) with the way proponents argue this issue:
Dayle Record said:
Bigots...
Besides the simplstic nature of the argument, the implication here is that by calling everyone who disagrees with you a bigot, you don't have to justify your opinion. Sorry, that (clearly, from the result of the referrendums) doesn't cut it.
 

russ_watters

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Ok, so there is a third thing (though similar to the last) about this arguement that annoys me:
Les Sleeth said:
I don't think most people in that "majority view" know why they are against same sex marriage. All the sympathizers here are so concerned about what's "right" for gays they aren't giving fair consideration to whether or not there might be something real in what appears to only be a knee-jerk reaction by those against same-sex marriage.
In this thread, its the other way around. Take that and extend it to most of modern liberalism and you have my reason (and, I expect, the reason of a great many other Republicans) why I am a Republican. If someone expresses an opinion (on a great many subject), no matter how well thought out, liberals seem to have a violent knee-jerk reaction. Its hypocritical! Consider the following two statements:

1. A heterosexual father/mother family is the best envirnoment for raising a child.
2. A homosexual couple can provide a good environment for raising a child.

Both opinions are both reasonable and supportable, and they don't even contradict each other. I, in fact, hold both opinions at the same time.

But it seems that holders of the 2nd opinion in here have a violent knee jerk reaction to holders of the first. To deny that someone can be reasonable and still disagree with you is the ultimate in arrogance and hypocrisy. And as somene else said, you push and I'll shove.

Later, I'll post some excerpts on what the Supreme Court has to say on the matter...
 
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Moonbear

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Integral said:
I do not think that anyone is suggesting that a church need to approve of the marriages. I do not have, nor did I seek, nor do I want, the approval of any religious authority for my marriage ( just in case there is any doubt, it is hetero!). This whole issue is about legal rights. There are many benefits granted to a married couple, from the tax laws to medical insurance, which are denied to committed same sex couples. It is one thing for a church to refuse to marry same sex coulples, it is entirely something else for that same church to encourage its congregation to vote against the same sex marriage. Why should their narrow set of beliefs be forced on others who do not share their religion. The main implications of this matter is not religious, but civil, this country is supposed to separate the two.
I think this is the part that was really either misunderstood or intentionally portrayed incorrectly by those opposed to the right for gay couples to marry. Nothing about granting the right to marry was going to force churches to marry these couples, but somehow, this is the impression many of the religious people I have heard speak on the issue have had. Religious groups can still choose who they will marry according to their practices and rituals. Granting the right for gays to marry only would have affected civil marriages...those being performed by a justice of the peace, not by clergy. Just as churches can refuse to marry people who have been previously divorced, or who are not of the same faith, they could continue to refuse to marry gay couples as well. This right would not have impinged upon religious freedom. They were still free to believe those couples would go to Hell if that was their belief. But, they didn't seem to be aware of this. I saw a lot of advertisements and signs prior to the election that were intentionally misleading about this...I guess when those who ARE bigots realize the rest of the people won't agree with them, they resort to misinformation campaigns to trick people into following along, and it seems to have worked.

I also think it was something the gay activists should have focused on, but they didn't. The ads in favor of the amendment focused only on granting equal rights, but didn't clarify the misinterpretations the opposition was spouting. While I realize they want to be able to be married ANYWHERE, it's not realistic to expect all churches to follow along, so they should have addressed this and pointed out the law would not affect church marriages, just civil marriages.

The matter that has become lost in the argument is the primary reason for wanting marriage vs civil unions. In most cases, civil unions have offered pretty much all the same rights as marriage, with one glaring exception...civil unions do not need to be recognized from state to state. So, if a couple is bonded together through a civil union in one state, and they choose to move to another state, perhaps their job is transferred and they have to move, that new state does not need to recognize their union and offer the same benefits they received in the previous state. The reason the marriage issue became an issue in this election is because MA began allowing gay marriage, and if it counted as a real marriage, the laws on the books were going to require states to recognize that marriage regardless if they allowed gay marriage or not, which is a new issue since this was not a concern with civil unions.

At least, as far as I know, the state amendments do not contain wording like the failed Federal amendment had, which would prohibit repealing the amendment. That was the scariest part of the proposed Federal amendment, that wording preventing any future amendment from repealing it. That is entirely against the grain of how the Consititution is supposed to work. There is always supposed to be the option to repeal amendments if the climate, culture, country changes in such a way to realize an amendment was a mistake or no longer makes sense. We need to give the issue more time, let some of the ramifications settle in, and gay couples need to continue to be seen so people realize that they are normal people who just happen to be attracted to others of the same sex more than to those of the opposite sex. Only recently have people been exposed to positive portrayals of gays and lesbians through the media, which may be the only exposure some people get to those lifestyles. For example, Rosie O'Donnell has been a very positive role model. And I think Ellen Degeneres has finally gained some mainstream acceptance once she stopped making her lesbianism the entire focus of her failed sitcom. This positive portrayal will make far more headway than the more extreme activists, who I think have really hurt gay and lesbian progress. Gay pride marches featuring nudity and open-mouthed kissing in public, as tends to happen in places like New York City, are only hurting the cause. I'd be just as repulsed if heterosexuals were doing that, and it sends the wrong message. It has taken a lot of work to start correcting that message that homosexuality is not synonymous with promiscuity. The number of couples coming out and wanting civil unions and marriages is also helping. It will take time for that to sink in because they still have to overcome a lot of old stereotypes, but I think once more people begin to realize that gay couples are not going to be any wilder and crazier or promiscuous than heterosexual couples, then it will be the time to attempt to repeal these amendments.
 

Moonbear

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russ_watters said:
Consider the following two statements:

1. A heterosexual father/mother family is the best envirnoment for raising a child.
2. A homosexual couple can provide a good environment for raising a child.

Both opinions are both reasonable and supportable, and they don't even contradict each other. I, in fact, hold both opinions at the same time.
The problem I have with the above two statements is they are too generalized. My sister worked for a while as a social worker in a shelter for abused women and their children, changed careers to be a probation officer, and in between worked in a large city hospital emergency room as her field work experience to obtain her master's degree. She has seen the outcomes of some of the worst of human behavior, and has relayed some of those experiences to me. There are definitely situations where a heterosexual father/mother family is NOT the best environment for raising a child, where it is not even a good or acceptable environment, but is the worst possible environment for that child to be in. And, if more gay couples begin having children, through whatever means they use, I predict will we start to see similar situations in those households, where there will be some who will be miserable parents. The only thing that will make it a bit better is it's hard for a gay couple to become accidentally pregnant, so only those who make a conscious decision to want to have and raise a child will find themselves with children. Though, I can't say a gay household will always be a good environment to raise children. Just like there are heterosexual households that are not good environments to raise children, so will be the case with homosexual households.

On the other hand, there indeed also are gay couples, or single people of any sexual orientation, who would make fantastic parents. And in those cases, they may even make BETTER parents than heterosexual couples.

Making a blanket statement that one situation is always best, or better than the other just doesn't fit with reality. Individual situations need be considered.
 

russ_watters

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Moonbear said:
Making a blanket statement that one situation is always best, or better than the other just doesn't fit with reality. Individual situations need be considered.
That's a lot of individual situations to consider. How is it possible to know all of them?

Also, your hypothetical example is a little misleading: are those bad family situations because the parents are heterosexual or were they bad for other reasons?
 
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Thats the point russ, its not because of their sexual orientation. Sexual Orientation has absolutely no relation to how well brought up a child is. This is also supportable.
 

Les Sleeth

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Smurf said:
Thats the point russ, its not because of their sexual orientation. Sexual Orientation has absolutely no relation to how well brought up a child is. This is also supportable.
Because I seem to have started this issue of child-rearing, let me clear up one thing before retreating silently to the background.

I NEVER said a thing about an whether someone homosexual can be as good of a parent as a heterosexual. Of course they can! My point has been about a certain psychological balance that a male and a female working positively together can provide. I think that balance is rooted in our physiology, the same physiololgy that early on determines our own gender.

Further, it is how the human mating situation turned out. Creation could have made it that there was only one gender that reproduced asexually, or could have made it that the same gender reproduced offspring. But that's not how it worked out. All I have been talking about is abandoning the mother-father ideal and saying, before we have all the facts, that "any" combination of genders is just as good as what nature seems to have decided was best.
 
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I think the abandoning of the Mother-Father Ideal is a good thing. We need to end this 'child ownership by the parents'. It's being degressed now and thats a good thing, children need to grow up in the whole community, not just learning what their parents expose them too.
 
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Les Sleeth said:
The are essentially the same principles that make someone a good (okay, a great) manager.
And since I believe that both men and women can be great managers, why should I believe it requires one of each to parent? I just don't understand the case you are making here. It seems to be one of vague caution against same sex couples raising a child. However, the only evidence given in this thread seems to suggest that same sex couples do just fine, and no one has given even a theoretical reason why two women or two men couldn't raise a child just as well - or at least, if one was given, it didn't register with me.

What's more, I can't figure out how your position on child rearing relates to gay marriage. Do you believe that if you do not allow gay marriage that no children will be raised by same sex couples? What if that then means more single parents?

I appreciate your point of view, but the relation between child rearing and gay marriage seems muddled at best to me.
 

BobG

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It's hard to separate marriage and child rearing. There's a few possible disadvantages to gay parents. In other words, the issue isn't cut and dried.

Ideally, a child will have both a male and female involved in their life (not necessarily the parent).

1. Mother's interaction with the child should be responsive and affectionate. This factor has been found important for the child's social competent, maturity, self-reliance and intellectual competence.

2. Father's interaction with the child should be responsive and affectionate as well. This has been found important for the child's cognitive development.
Another problem that might be seen as an issue:

.... even though older kids may protest, signs of affection between their parents make kids feel secure. "Children need to know that their parents like each other, and that they have a friendship," says Siegel. A kiss hello or goodbye, a hug, a touch on the shoulder or a compliment go a long way to nurturing your own relationship, and they help children develop emotionally. If kids don't routinely witness displays of affection, they tend to "move into the dating world with suspicion," says Siegel. (http://www.parentstages.com/index.a...e.asp%3Fid=1094 [Broken])
But, there is one other problem with homosexual relationships:

How Can A Stranger Tell If Two People Are Married?

"You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids." - Derrick, age 8
Okay, I'm not really serious about the last one.

When you get down to discussing how families work in practice, vs how they should ideally work, I'm not sure if there's really any appreciable difference. But I can understand why a lot wouldn't want to rush into making gay marriages exactly the equivalent of heterosexual marriages, to include adoption.

But, excluding the child-rearing issue, I agree - how people conduct their personal relationships is no one else's business.
 
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russ_watters

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Smurf said:
Thats the point russ, its not because of their sexual orientation. Sexual Orientation has absolutely no relation to how well brought up a child is. This is also supportable.
No relation at all? That's a pretty absolute assertion for an issue that is so controversial. And its supportable? Then please support it.

Please understand, I'm not saying that not having both a mother and a father will always be worse than having both, I'm simply saying that all else being equal, it is preferable to have both. And yes, this is also supportable:

I'm sure you've heard of single parent families being labeled a "problem." There are two reasons why its a problem. The first is the obvious one: raising a kid is a lot of work and its tough to raise a family and make a living at the same time. The second one is that single-parent families don't have both a mother and a father. I'm sure you've heard that before and finding the support is as easy as Google:
MYTH: Children of single parents need role models. The sooner the parent remarries the better.
FACT: [1]Children benefit from the presence of both men and women in their family life [2]provided those men and women are emotionally healthy. Children actually suffer more harms by living with conflict and unhealthy role models than by having one healthy, effective parent. [2]A single parent with good parenting skills can raise children successfully without a partner [or homosexual couple] by building a good support system—a circle of friends, relatives and neighbors.
That quote (LINK) nicely echoes the two statements I made earlier (highlighted).

Your objection higlights another problem (common in politics): opposite sides aren't always arguing about the same thing and its often possible for both sides to be correct at the same time. You're arguing (mostly) point 2., I'm playing devil's advocate or point 1, but I actually believe both - and they are not mutually exclusive. Les Sleeth mentioned this:
Les Sleeth said:
I NEVER said a thing about an whether someone homosexual [an individual] can be as good of a parent as a heterosexual [another individual].
And indeed, nor did I.

One thing to be careful of: if you're too closed-minded to see both sides, it can make it look like you are intentionally misrepresenting the other side's position.
Moonbear said:
I think this is the part that was really either misunderstood or intentionally portrayed incorrectly by those opposed to the right for gay couples to marry. Nothing about granting the right to marry was going to force churches to marry these couples, but somehow, this is the impression many of the religious people I have heard speak on the issue have had.
Moonbear, I think you're reading that backwards: it isn't that religious people think government will define marriage for their religion, they think that religion should define marriage for government.
At least, as far as I know, the state amendments do not contain wording like the failed Federal amendment had, which would prohibit repealing the amendment. That was the scariest part of the proposed Federal amendment, that wording preventing any future amendment from repealing it. That is entirely against the grain of how the Consititution is supposed to work.
I hadn't heard that, but I would expect such an amendment would be unconstitutional in its implimentation. So I wouldn't be afraid of such things making it into the Constitution, much less withstanding judicial review.
 
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BobG said:
It's hard to separate marriage and child rearing.
Maybe, but that doesn't mean anything in the context of legislating gay marriage. If anyone is suggesting that banning gay marriage will increase the number of children being raised by heterosexual couples, they have provided no evidence for this.

The reason they have provided no evidence is probably because there is none. I can think of no reason why making gay marriage illegal would suddenly cause homosexuals to go out and grab a partner of the opposite sex to help raise their child - at least none that wouldn't be just as applicable with gay marriage legalized.

There hasn't been a reason why gay marriage should be legislated against given in this thread that stands up to common sense.
 

russ_watters

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Locrian said:
Maybe, but that doesn't mean anything in the context of legislating gay marriage. If anyone is suggesting that banning gay marriage will increase the number of children being raised by heterosexual couples, they have provided no evidence for this.
What about the corollary: legalizing gay marriage certainly will increase the number of children being raised by homosexual couples. That's one of the main reasons people support it!

http://www.enotes.com/single-parent-families/ [Broken]: Again, this is about single-parent families, but a lot of the points are the same and the tone of the discussion (the article discusses the Dan Quale vs Murphy Brown on single mothers debate) looks very similar. But it has some opinions from sociologists thrown in:
Much of the debate over single-parent families focuses on how these trends affect children. Many social scientists contend that children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to experience a variety of problems than are children raised in two-parent homes. According to Lloyd Eby, assistant editor of the World & I magazine, and Charles A. Donovan, a senior policy consultant at the Family Research Council, “The sociological evidence now available shows conclusively that children suffer when they grow up in any family situation other than an intact two-parent family formed by their biological father and mother who are married to each other.”
But there is legitimate controversy in the sociology community:
“Single parenthood may be correlated with many problems affecting children, but the causes may lie elsewhere—for example, in economic and emotional problems affecting parents that lead to difficulties raising children and greater chances of divorce.”
Point being, there is justification for both positions and it is hypocritical and bigoted to knee-jerk label as a bigot anyone who disagrees with your opinion.
 
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russ_watters said:
What about the corollary: legalizing gay marriage certainly will increase the number of children being raised by homosexual couples. That's one of the main reasons people support it!
What about it? I haven't made that argument, and am not sure how it applies. Since you've stated you think homosexual couples can raise a child well, the fact that heterosexual couples can do it better only matters if you can show that, when gay marriage is legalized, children that would have been previously raised by heterosexual couples would then be raised by homosexual ones. Since there is nothing stopping homosexual couples from raising children now, I find it hard to accept any argument based on child rearing reasonings.

After responding to me you went on with your argument against calling people who oppose gay marriage bigots. I realize others have done this in the thread, and since my quote is located next to your argument I feel it reasonable to take the time to state I do not approve of the label and hope I have never implied it. I will certainly take the time to deconstruct arguments I do not find convincing, but this should not be taken as a blanket judge of anyone's morality.

I'd like to consider another statement you made Russ if you don't mind:

it isn't that religious people think government will define marriage for their religion, they think that religion should define marriage for government.
I have two problems with this statement.

First, why start now? Fifteen years ago if two atheists had a non religious ceremony done by a justice of the peace - with their own vows - no one would have objected to calling them a married couple. I know enough of bible texts and the religious ceremony to know that this marriage is not Christian, and yet no one objected to calling them married then.

Secondly, which religion? Can someone only be married under Christianity? If others, where do you draw the line? If there exists a religion that allows homosexual marriage, would you accept that?

In short, I dissagree with the idea that religion should only define marriage for government because I do not believe "religion" has accurately defined marriage, nor applied its definitions even handedly.
 

BobG

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Locrian said:
I'd like to consider another statement you made Russ if you don't mind:

it isn't that religious people think government will define marriage for their religion, they think that religion should define marriage for government.
I have two problems with this statement.

First, why start now? Fifteen years ago if two atheists had a non religious ceremony done by a justice of the peace - with their own vows - no one would have objected to calling them a married couple. I know enough of bible texts and the religious ceremony to know that this marriage is not Christian, and yet no one objected to calling them married then.

Secondly, which religion? Can someone only be married under Christianity? If others, where do you draw the line? If there exists a religion that allows homosexual marriage, would you accept that?

In short, I dissagree with the idea that religion should only define marriage for government because I do not believe "religion" has accurately defined marriage, nor applied its definitions even handedly.
I think Russ's statement was an accurate description of a small religious segment of society. There was no protest against two atheists being married by a justice of the peace because their protest would have been laughed out of the room.

I'm just not sure I understand the sentiment of all the voters who approved of the anti-gay amendments, but the motivation of the folks who initiated the amendments is pretty clear. The 'conservative Christians' (Conservative Christian Coalition, for example) saw gay marriage as a vulnerable target.

I don't agree with a lot of what the right wing Christian group is pushing (in fact, I find these guys scary), but I think the impact they're having on the Republican Party is a fact. They've chosen a very pragmatic approach and have taken success where it's achievable: the anti-gay amendments, defeating Alabama's Amendment 2 for 'tax reasons', the California law that made it possible to convict Peterson for murdering his unborn child.

I think your questions are very appropriate. The problem is how many people are actively motivated to protect gay rights unless they see how this might wind up affecting them personally?
 

russ_watters

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Locrian said:
What about it? I haven't made that argument, and am not sure how it applies. Since you've stated you think homosexual couples can raise a child well, the fact that heterosexual couples can do it better only matters if you can show that, when gay marriage is legalized, children that would have been previously raised by heterosexual couples would then be raised by homosexual ones.
I know you didn't make that argument - I'm trying to make you see both sides. Someone who considers a homosexual-couple family to be a less-than-idea child rearing situation would consider an increase in the number of such families to be a bad thing even if it doesn't decrease the number of heterosexual-couple families. In any case, such an increase probably would also decrease the number of heterosexual-couple families:
Since there is nothing stopping homosexual couples from raising children now, I find it hard to accept any argument based on child rearing reasonings.
How can you say that? Child custody/adoption matters is one of the primary reasons why homosexual couples would want to be legally married.
After responding to me you went on with your argument against calling people who oppose gay marriage bigots. I realize others have done this in the thread, and since my quote is located next to your argument I feel it reasonable to take the time to state I do not approve of the label and hope I have never implied it. I will certainly take the time to deconstruct arguments I do not find convincing, but this should not be taken as a blanket judge of anyone's morality.
Fair enough - it was mostly a general rant (though one person did use the label).
First, why start now? Fifteen years ago if two atheists had a non religious ceremony done by a justice of the peace - with their own vows - no one would have objected to calling them a married couple.
There's a big difference between that and the current situation: that marriage resembles the version you see in religion. It wasn't illegal then and it isn't now. It isn't the ceremony that is important to government, its the structure. Governments have been regulating the structure since this country was founded.
Secondly, which religion? Can someone only be married under Christianity? If others, where do you draw the line? If there exists a religion that allows homosexual marriage, would you accept that?
See: Polygamy. I meant to pull some excerpts from this this weekend, but in any case, its relevant. Like it or not, this country was founded on Christian ideals and the structure of marriage dictated by law from the time it was founded reflects that. That isn't to say it can't change, but clearly, the majority doesn't want it to.
 
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This country was founded by gentlemen who paid public homage, or didn't, to biblical teachings, married, and then went on to sire untold numbers of offspring with the slave women that they held. The founders of this nation, were incredibly clever, and The Constitution is a masterpiece. Do not confuse this with any sort of personal moral imperative on their parts, or hundreds of years later rummage through questionable middle eastern history texts, and try to suss out what our Founding Fathers meant. The Constitution is what they meant.

The states determine the age of consent. That varies wildly, Utah polygamists are moving to Texas, where the age of consent, is thirteen. The Utah laws regarding consent are more detailed and stringent that that.

If we can apply ourselves to determining what are our inalienable rights, as regard life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then we will be far ahead.

Our Founding Fathers meant for there to be a strict separation of Church and State, they said so, for very good reason.

Find the victim, and legislate against the crime. If it is illegal for gays to marry, because of questions surrounding their parenting modes, then shall we also sterilize gay people? That is the next step. Shall we incarcerate them, that does still happen, there are laws on the books that make gay behavior illegal.

How can we as a society, realize there is a stable, long standing population of Gay individuals, and ask they they just stay under the rug, and everyone will be more comfortable? How can we rationalize destabilizing their potential for long term happiness, and validation, while decrying the aids epidemic, that exists in every type of "player" population? If schools advocate celibacy until marriage, then are they advocating that gay teens, and young adults, simply stay celibate over their lifetimes?

I think that the gay marriage amendments passed, because of the amazing budget that was available for the RNC to use, to further entirely other political aims. The anti-gay marriage thing, was like an amendment tacked onto a pork barrel bill. In states where the little punch cards are still used, you could symbolically wound the gay people you dislike with the card punch.

The entire defense of marriage ideation, was a way to soften the image of intolerance these amendments present. See, you aren't being a bigot, you are protecting marriage. It is kind of like a "Protecting The Water From Ducks", legislation, that results in an unlimited open hunt, until every last duck is either dead, or relocates to a different pond, in a different nation. This is seriously unfriendly "Duck" legislation.

So, a bunch of people are hurt, so another bunch of people can feel right. Then an entirely different group of people, make a lot of money, and don't care a fig about whether gay people marry or not.

I remind that the children of gay parents, are hurt in this. Gay young people, and gay older people, are hurt in this; so that people can feel right. You have to ask, what is right about denying a life, to people?
 
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russ_watters said:
In any case, such an increase probably would also decrease the number of heterosexual-couple families:
I see no evidence for this. If you want to make me see both sides you will need to not just suggest questions - there is a good chance I've already asked them myself.

How can you say that? Child custody/adoption matters is one of the primary reasons why homosexual couples would want to be legally married.
Those are excellent points. When you ask, "How can you say that?" the only answer I can give is that I typed it out and hit "Submit", much like anyone else. :grumpy:

Custody cases could certainly be an example of something preventing homosexual couples from raising their children now. How often they are ruled against because they are married is not a statistic I know.

I particularly like both examples you gave because they show that the number of homosexual couples rearing children can increase without necessarily reducing the number of heterosexual couples.

There's a big difference between that and the current situation: that marriage resembles the version you see in religion. It wasn't illegal then and it isn't now. It isn't the ceremony that is important to government, its the structure..
How can you say that? Just kidding! ;) Seriously, the first statement is patently untrue. Christian marriages involve God at a very fundamental level. I'm not sure what you could mean by "resembles" but even the appearance of a religionless civil union is very different than a Christian marriage. There are any number of biblical texts that can be used to support this - you probably know more than I.

I'm not sure what you could mean by structure. The structure of a religious marriage is between a man, woman and God. When you say that religion should define marriage for the government, this is the only acceptable structure you could mean. Is removing God from that structure okay, but swapping one of the person's sexes not? How can you justify that?

I still hold that using a "heterosexual child rearing is superior to homosexual child rearing" argument against gay marriage holds no water, and that trying to define marriage in religious terms is a selective ploy that has recently been made that has little real meaning.

Thank you for your responses
 

Moonbear

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Science Advisor
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Evidence from the current literature suggests that having two parents of the opposite sex present isn't sufficient to explain the positive effects of growing up in a household with married parents. Instead, it seems to be the traits of those people that leads them to seek a marriage that makes them the better parents. This has two implications in the current administration's policies: 1) pushing single parents to get married isn't likely to improve the upbringing of their children if they don't really want to get married, and 2) homosexuals who want to get married just might make as good of parents as heterosexual parents who are married (until they are allowed to marry, we can't really find the answer to this second possibility).

All of the following quotes are from the same source (it's a lengthy article, and I've tried to extract the essence, but I recommend reading it in its entirety if you have access to the journal).
Aronson, SR and Huston, AC
The Mother–Infant Relationship in Single, Cohabiting, and Married
Families: A Case for Marriage?
Journal of Family Psychology
2004, Vol. 18, No. 1, 5–18

If family structure differences in child outcomes are primarily a function of relatively
stable characteristics that lead mothers to select into different family types, then marriage would not be likely to change the course of parenting and developmental outcomes for those individuals. If, however, the differences stem primarily from the consequences of marriage, then inducing parents to marry might result in improvements that could benefit children.

Research Questions
In the present study, we addressed three major questions:
(a) Are there differences among single-mother, cohabiting,
and married families in the mother–infant relationship,
quality of the home environment, or security of attachment
in the first 15 months of life? (b) Are there differences
among single-mother, cohabiting, and married families in
selection factors and potential mediators of marital status?
Do partner relationships differ for mothers in cohabiting and
married families? and (c) Which, if any, maternal and
family characteristics help explain family structure variations
in mother–child relationships and the quality of the
home environment?
Discussion
In this study, we sought to extend our understanding of
the relationship between family structure and child outcomes
by comparing married, cohabiting, and single-mother
families on the quality of the mother–infant relationship and
the home environment in the first 15 months of life. The
findings suggest that the relationship between mothers and
their infants does differ—and it differs on the basis of not
only single- versus two-parent family structure but also
marital status. Much, but not all, of the difference associated
with family structure is accounted for by selection factors:
maternal age, education, and ethnic group.
Married women and infants had more positive relationships
and better home environments than did their single or
cohabiting counterparts, whereas single and cohabiting families
did not differ. Married women behaved more positively
toward their infants, they created more positive home environments,
and their infants behaved more positively toward
them than was the case for either cohabiting or single
women at both times of measurement. Infants of married
women were also more likely to be securely attached than
were children of single women.
The findings of this study suggest that infants in cohabiting
families experience an early mother–child relationship
and home environment more like that in single-mother
families than that in married families. The cohabiting mothers
also were more similar to single mothers than to married
mothers on the selection variables, psychological adjustment,
and resources. Some advantage for cohabiting families
in comparison with single mothers was suggested by the
fact that the cohabiting women behaved more positively
toward their infants at 15 months and, although most aspects
of the home environment did not differ, a father’s presence
added some opportunities for adult contact. Cohabiting families
also had higher incomes than did single-mother families.
The patterns for cohabiting families were somewhat
surprising, especially because in this sample, 90% of the
cohabiting partners were the fathers of the children. Clearly,
the mere presence of both parents in the home does not lead
these families to resemble married families in many
respects.
 

Gokul43201

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Science Advisor
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If the only contention is with child rearing, why not (and please don't jump on me, y'all) ban same-sex adoption, instead of same-sex unions altogether?

Russ, do you have any objection other than this ? And I'd love to see some of the Supreme Court arguments you mentioned.
 
Last edited:

Les Sleeth

Gold Member
2,164
2
Gokul43201 said:
If the only contention is with child rearing, why not (and please don't jump on me, y'all) ban same-sex adoption, instead of same-sex unions altogether?
Well, that's what I've been implying, at least until we understand this situation better.
 

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