Gay Marriage: From Sexual Outlaws to Sexual In-Laws

Gay marriage is coming, like it or not.

Published on: March 26, 2013
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  • A commenter on another blog put it this way:

    “THE ENTIRE POINT OF MARRIAGE IS TO RAISE CHILDREN. There is no other purpose. It’s the reason that people give up rights, by entering into a contract that says they will adhere to certain behavior (economic, social, sexual, etc.) The benefit that they gain from the contract is the assurance that the other party won’t exercise rights they had before the contract. Marriage is a process of giving up rights for assurance about another person’s future activity, ie. a commitment.

    And the children is also the reason that the state expends resources to enforce that contract, ie. to get the best environment to create more law-abiding, tax-paying citizens.”

    • Liora51

      It would have more punch if it were true that marriage has been singularly untouched by time but it is not.

    • Declaring that the entire point of marriage is to raise children does not make it true. If that were so, the state could ban marriage of anyone presumptively sterile, maybe because of age or vasectomy or hysterectomy. No such imposition is tolerable to American society. I agree, of course, that it is good public policy for government to hold parents responsible for raising the children they produce rather than shuffling that duty off on to the rest of us. In general, we have limited our procreation to producing only as many children as we are willing and able to support personally.

  • A proponent of gay marriage made the argument, “Maybe because the essence of conservatism is the desire to “conserve” things, and because the institution of marriage is the oldest of all human institutions, existing virtually unchanged since the late Paleolithic Era some 12,000 years ago, conservatives have an irrational attachment to it.”

    To which I replied, “That’s irrational?”

    I then went on to say that, to me, the purpose of marriage is to provide cultural, social, and, yes, legal support for intact biological families as the best, and only proven, institution for the nurture and acculturation of children. There is abundant evidence that single parents cannot do this job well. There is abundant evidence that broken families cannot do it as well. There is no evidence that gay families, which by definition are not the biological parents of their children (at most one of them might be) can do this job.

    Cultures are not self-propagating. They have to be transmitted from generation to generation. That is especially true of our democratic institutions and liberal ideals, including ideas about the rights of the individual, civil rights, human equality, and the rule of law.

    These values have to be taught, primarily by families in intimate day to day contact. Schools can’t do it alone. (Look at the ghettos.) A terrible human price has been paid to establish these traditions and to build a modern world in which they can be realized. It would be a tragedy if we were to throw it all away through carelessness and ignorance. Especially for our descendants, our posterity, whoever they might be.

    There are many, many, many generations yet to be born but only one that is alive right now. It’s not all about us.

    • “the institution of marriage is the oldest of all human institutions, existing virtually unchanged since the late Paleolithic Era some 12,000 years ago” In the USA today, no level of government recognizes polygamy as legal. Banning it one conspicuous change in marriage — a change all the more peculiar since (some of) the Scriptures endorse it. Allowing divorce and re-marriage is another conspicuous change as is the prevalence of extra-marital procreation.

      • You really dont know your scripture do you. The Catholic Church is the main driver in the anti-divorce argument. There are many passages in the Bible that give justification for divorce.

        • Jim Luebke

          But this is specifically mentioned by Christ himself… the only justification He (and the Catholics, I believe) recognize as valid for divorce is adultery.

  • I’ll say one more thing and then I’ll shut up.

    The biggest problem with the homosexual outlook that I see is its presentism. Homosexuals without children, even if married, have no real interest in future generations. They may say they do. But without children the fact is they do not. And it shows.

    • Tom

      I don’t disagree, but could you unpack this a bit more?

      • Well, an example. John Maynard Keynes, a great economist whom I happen to like a lot, was once asked about the long-run consequences (for inflation) of printing money to end a recession. He famously quipped, “In the long-run we are all dead.”

        Another example. E. M. Forster once famously said, “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.”

    • Eurydice

      The same could be argued of heterosexuals without children. And just ask the folks here in the home of “The War On The Young” how much the average American cares about future generations.
      But the thing is that homosexuals aren’t hatched on some other planet – they have connections here just like everybody else. They have families – parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. They have friends and colleagues who have families. And a further inclusion into society would only strengthen those connections,

    • John Morris

      Fear not on that account. Once marriage is redefined they will be able to adopt. And adopt they will, so as to propagate their kind. And since they a) can’t reproduce any other way and b) will prove in June they OWN the Judicial system, they will quickly be given special status and move to the front of the line.

      Meaning that adoption, already a difficult, lengthy and expensive process will become totally closed to heterosexuals in the US.

      As prospective mothers consider adoption as an option they will be considering the plain reality that adoption will be seen as giving a kid to be raised gay. Secular hedonist mothers already abort, very religious ones will probably put their baby up anyway, but will it make a marginal difference for those in the middle? Guess we are about to find out.

    • AshMat

      you could say the same for any older American who supports untouched Medicare benefits. Anyone who supports the transfer of wealth from the young to the old to pay for health costs (regardless of whether they have kids and/or grand kids) is saying they have no interest in future generations.

  • Scott Morgan

    Thank you for a cogent intellectual stroll through a fascinating social issue. I loved the line “Let’s hope gay couples will join the Marriage Lobby now that they have a float in the parade.”

    Marriage is, in some ways a peculiar institution (although not The Peculiar Institution, at least for most of us). As a Christian, the religious sacrament makes complete sense to me. The government’s involvement is where we sail into the murky waters. However, I accept that it is in the interests of our civil society for families to raise our children and provide a stable underpinning to our social structure. In a practical sense, it is harder to walk away from legal contract with civil consequences than a religious sacrament. At least in this world.

    Some would say that the government’s role in marriage is to promote the raising of children. There is some of that but clearly not every couple that marries is either planning on or capable of children yet no one suggests such heterosexual couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Civil marriage is about more than children, it is about stability. Even with high divorce rates we are a more stable society with marriage than without.

    To me it comes down to the reality that it is good for our society when two people in love pledge their “lives, fortune, and sacred honor” to each other (to borrow a phrase) and enter into a government-backed civil contract. The gender or genders behind that love seem remarkably immaterial from a government perspective. That differences would continue with regard to the frequently parallel religious contract does not seem like a fatal flaw anymore than such differences with regard to divorce do now.

    The questions you raise regarding whether such changes should be by judicial fiat or by some level of legislative act are valid and serious but do not negate the decency of moving toward gender-blindness from our government’s view. If two adults are willing to take the plunge, let them. May they learn to swim.

  • Hard truths

    I personally have no opinion or interest in gay marriage in and of itself (if I passes, I won’t tear my hair out, if it fails I won’t weep…) But the conscience rights of those who DO disagree with it for religious or moral reasons are deserving of protection. I’ve always thought that hate speech laws are double-edged swords with oily grips; who gets to decide what counts as hate speech? It seems that all too often what is considered hateful talk under the law tends to match up with whatever those in power at any given moment find personally disagreeable. Up in Canada, there have been cases of preachers being charged by legal authorities for merely mentioning traditional Christian views about homosexuality (oddly enough, they never seem to pay attention to what’s being said in the mosques next door…) Should the right of homosexuals to marry come at the expense of the rights of others to merely say “I disagree?”

    This is a problem, especially when the left is in charge. All too often they overreach, finding reasons to restrict peoples actions for “the greater good,” the most dreadful of excuses for tyranny.

    • IterrIterr

      “Should the right of homosexuals to marry come at the expense of the rights of others to merely say “I disagree?”

      No. Homosexuals should have the right to marry and others should have the right to disagree. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married. And tell all your friends about it, fine. But currently gay marriage isn’t recognized by the Federal Gov’t simply because people ‘disagree’ with it.

  • Anthony

    “There are legitimate arguments to be made about how the question should be settled.”
    WRM, your essay poses “escalating sensitivity” by plural America to positions of all actors affected/impacted by ongoing Rights Revolution (“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”). “The question, now, is what difference it will make.”
    Homosexual orientation leading to legal sanction civically stands before us and you infer that a traditional society like ours should take note and not conflate visceral revulsion with objective denial (cross-wiring between disgust and morality underlying belief). So, same-sex marriage as a result of more personal familiarity and expanding circle of sympathy is upon us; one difference it will make is that the populace will further engage the Rights Revolution and perhaps revisit marriage as a vital societal force – see David Frum: Straight, Not Gay, Marriage Is The Real Issue.

  • On a more constructive note: Maybe there’s a case for redefining marriage as a legal contract available only to couples who have children. That way homosexual couples who adopt could marry, while heterosexual couples without children would have a different legal status.

    This would put the focus back on the children where the state can demonstrate a compelling interest, thus opening the way to laws which favor married couples: special exemptions, privileges, and benefits — but also special penalties and sanctions — designed to foster marriage as an institution for the nurture and acculturation of children.

    As to the legal mechanics, old childless marriages could be grandfathered in, new ones redefined as domestic partnerships. Having children out of wedlock would — don’t shrink –become a criminal offense punishable just like other criminal offenses are punished today: the guilty (both of them) could be fined, jailed, and their offspring taken away unless and until they resume their legal responsibilities or can find someone to take their place (either through adoption or marriage of the custodial parent to somebody else).

  • ChrisSanchez

    No reason to equate sodomy with marital love. It’s absurd, whether it has the support of 90%, or 10%, of the population…

    • Sodomy as very popular among heterosexual couples, married or not.

      • ChrisSanchez

        It’s certainly nothing to brag about.

  • Cory Atkin

    Very good article.

    Thou shalt not coerce your fellow man (no violence and no fraud) is the one great commandment of freedom.

    All people must be free from coercion. As WRM states, the trick is in figuring out how to free the gays from coercion without resorting to the use of coercion on the religious who are morally opposed to them.

    • Those who oppose same-sex marriage will be in the same position as those who, for religious and moral reasons, oppose divorce and re-marriage. Namely, they will have to accept that their churches do not run our govenments, and that they personally can abstain from same-sex marriage as much as they like, just as they may abstain from re-marriage.

  • Anthony

    “Since heterosexual marriage is such a disaster, why on earth would anybody want to imitate it?” – Gore Vidal

    • Another example of presentism.

  • calpolyjeff

    Why don’t the gay groups push for more states to allow civil unions, and for those unions to have the same legal standing, in all important respects, as marriages? Wouldn’t that be a better battlefield than redefining the word “marriage” to suit a special interest group? Wouldn’t that be a fight that would address equality issues without offending those who have deeply held, even religions, beliefs about marriage?

    • Liora51

      Redefinition of marriage is a delusion entertained by the anti-gay marriage crowd. A civil union is the only legally recognized form of marriage in this country.

  • vepxistqaosani

    Your facile rejection of a link between greater acceptance of homosexuality and the decline of the family is not convincing.

    I remember a pro-homosexual skit on Laugh-In back in the late 60’s, for instance — a heterosexual walks into a gay bar (somewhat avant le lettre) and are ridiculed for their sexual preference. Certainly the bien-pensants of the 50’s and 60’s (even those who did not practice it themselves) saw nothing wrong with homosexuality — or any other form of consensual sexual activity, for that matter. Remember the Alexandria Quartet?

    It is also puzzling to me that current discussions of homosexuality never refer to the most famous example of the acceptance of homosexual relationships in Western history — viz., Classical Greece (whence the old, somewhat derogatory, term “Greek love”). Of course, any such consideration would tend to call into question contemporary ideas about the origin of homosexual behavior and, in academia especially, would constitute a thoughtcrime of the highest order.

  • Although I’m very conservative in most fiscal and social policies, I’m pro-gay marriage because I’m pro-gay adoption. The idea that one or two people willing to adopt are prevented from doing so merely because they are gay is a moral outrage to me. I acknowledge that Catholics especially hew to the line about the essential sinfulness of homosex, but IMO the need for loving adults to raise the abandoned far eclipses a doctrinal stance.

    “Those who want to attack gay marriage and complain about the destruction of traditional morality need to reflect” need to think seriously about all the other pressures on traditional marriage, like working women, the pill, single mothers, late-blooming educated men, the unskilled jobless rate for men, abortion, and a culture of rampant loose sex and stop singling out homosexuality as a serious threat. The size of the homosexual population is insignificant compared to the demos for the other pressures.

    Having said that I’ll fight any effort to brand gay marriage as a civil right. Blacks are right to be outraged at the glib analogy deployed solely to get the issue before a court somewhere.

    • The situations of blacks and gays are surely different in important ways. So far as I know, black parents do not reject their children simply for being black, while gay children encounter parental rejection simply for being gay. (“Oh, the horror of it! No grandchildren, and what will the bridge club and golf club think?”) Some parents of gays and Lesbians do not reject their children, of course, as love wins out over prejudice. I think of GLAAD, for example.

      I see same-sex marriage as a civil right, contrary to your opinion. We are both entitled to our opinions, of course. The opinions that matter most will come from the United States Supreme Court, sooner or later. For the record, USSC decisions do not grant people their rights; rather, those decisions have their basis in the Constitution and the Court decisions merely recognize that American governments at all level have no authority to suspend those rights.

      • “The opinions that matter most will come from the United States Supreme Court, sooner or later.”

        Oh really? How well’s that Roe v. Wade thing doin’ these days? How about affirmative action? Kelo?

        Don’t kid yourself. SCOTUS always has one finger in the political winds. These days it has fewer fingers in the law. It’s always been a results-oriented body based on where society is. Whenever it’s gotten out ahead of society, it and society have lived to regret it.

  • S P Dudley

    “There will also be arguments over hate speech. It is certainly hate
    speech to say “Kill the faggots!” Is it hate speech to say that 2,000
    years of Christian teaching rooted in the letters of the Apostle Paul
    assert that homosexual behavior is immoral and that no living person has
    the authority to overturn this long-established doctrine? To condemn
    the call for violence is easy; to condemn the second statement is to
    criminalize the practice of a substantial number of important religious
    traditions.”

    But of course to proponents of homosexual marriage that’s not a bug in the program, that’s a feature!

    • Liora51

      Yes it is a feature. And it is not confined to homosexuality either. Sometimes I think this country teeters between hating government and hating religion. Myself, I prefer government as a check on religion rather than the other way around.

  • Take marriage out of the government’s purview. Let them issue Civil Union certificates to any TWO people who want them.

    If someone wants to be married, they can go to their own Church for that.

    To legalize “gay marriage” as a civil right will result in people suing churches who see homosexuality as sinful, and forcing them to perform homosexual marriages.

    The Catholic Church will not place a child in a homosexual adoptive home. Because of the federal government’s insistence that they give up their religious beliefs on doing so, the Catholic Church has gotten out of the business of placing children into adoptive homes.

    What is to keep the federal government from forcing Catholics to marry gay people? Will the Church have to quit marrying everyone?

    I think this is a dangerous path we tread.

    I’m all for civil unions. Just stop trying to rewrite the definition of marriage.

    • “To legalize “gay marriage” as a civil right will result in people suing churches who see homosexuality as sinful, and forcing them to perform homosexual marriages.” Utterly implausible. That prediction has no basis in fact, history, or analysis. The Supreme Court established (or rather, recognized) the rights of people of different races to marry (Loving vs. Virgina, 1967, and years before that, in California). Since then, more than forty years later, not one mixed-race couple has sued any religious organization for refusing to marry them. If you can show me I’m wrong about this complete lack of law suits, I will be amazed and but I will still thank you.

    • Liora51

      Given your premise that “civil unions” are not marriages the mere fact that there ARE civil unions has redefined marriage and that was done long, long ago in this country. My civil ceremony and license have been defined as a binding marriage for the last 36 years.

  • John Morris

    Think of it as Derbyshire’s Law in action.

    The media and the arts were taken over by homosexuals several generations ago. They have been open about it for several decades now. Therefore they now exist to promote homosexuality as their primary mission, probably even above rest of the progressive cause.

  • John Morris

    As usual the elephants in the room go ignored.

    We are endlessly lectured that marriage redefinition is a done deal, that resistance is futile. As the fight rages to have the Supreme Court overthrow Prop 8… which was voted in by the People of California. Stop and think about that. California doesn’t want this. If anyone actually believed opinion there has changed after another season or two of Glee the push would be to get another go at the ballot box.

    So what is happening is the courts in CA ruled that the Constitution isn’t Constitutional and the Supremes WILL validate that decision, nobody expects anything different, only whether they will limit the decision such that it only does it in CA or nationwide.

    So the Courts now decide whether the Constitution is Constitutional in a circular logic that ends all pretense. The Courts are now in complete control.

    • Zaoldyeck

      Umm, wow this is painfully wrong. First, Prop 8 wasn’t a change to the California constitution, so the California courts ruling against it is well within the role of the court. Hardly circular, that’s been the job of the courts since the founding of the US.

      Second, and more importantly, was Loving v. Virginia a bad decision? The state of Virginia was against interracial marriages, and I’m sure if you had polled the public, they would have been strongly against the idea.

      Does that mean we should have legally prohibited interracial marriages? Same sex couples are just as deserving as the rights and privileges awarded for a marriage license as any other couple.

      We shouldn’t care what the people voted. It’s about civil rights. If the court doesn’t afford full legal rights, the battle will continue, and gay rights advocates will win as older generations die off (it has nothing to do will glee), but at some point, same sex couples will get the full rights they deserve.

      • n2woods

        The homosexual community is seeking to legitimize their immoral behavior. Their behavior is destructive to their health. The CDC has pamphlets for the alternative lifestyles because there are more health risks involved. The amazing thing is that lesbians are dying 10 to 20 years earlier and have more cases of cancer than their straight feminine counterparts. Of course the gay men live in unhealthy circumstances because their sexual activity centers around the bodies waste disposal system instead of the body parts which are designed for sexual activity. Why the rest of society would accept an unhealthy lifestyle and legitimize it to the point of giving the practitioners equal status shows how far the country can be manipulated by the powerful and vocal minority.

        • Zaoldyeck

          Wow, never has the line “He uses statistics the way a drunk man uses a lamppost, for support, rather than illumination”, ever been more appropriate.

          I could also go citing that most of the people killed by gun violence are African American shooting other African Americans. If I were a racist b-got, I might argue that African Americans are inherently immoral. (You might not be a racist, just a
          b-got)

          Or, I might strive to understand why these statistics are worse. I might realize that marginalized groups in the US have ALWAYS had higher risk statistics than the rest of the population.

          I can look to studies like:

          www(dot)hrw(dot)org/sites/default/files/reports/us0309web_1(dot)pdf

          and say “hey wait, if we’re throwing black youth in jail at rates far beyond other demographics, aren’t we ruining enough young lives to
          ensure that crime will become more rampant?’

          Same with being gay. I can look at things like 2 in 5 homeless youth on the street being gay.

          williamsinstitute(dot)law(dot)ucla(dot)edu/wp-content/uploads/Durso-Gates-LGBT-Homeless-Youth-Survey-July-2012(dot)pdf

          So that means of the parents who literally kick their children out of their home, 4 in 10 kick them out just for being gay.

          And you expect gays not to have higher STD rates? You expect lower numbers of s-xual partners, lower drug usage, lower depression rates?

          When people like you feel free to call gays immoral, perhaps you think that might contribute to the risk factors you see?

          Do you expect marginalized groups to be better off than the majority?

          STDs can be passed in any relationship, the biggest risk factor is number of partners. So please explain to me how allowing gay individuals to get
          married would somehow INCREASE the number of partners they sleep with?

          So gays want to fight for gay marriage just so they could cheat on their husbands/wives? Is that what you believe?

          I leave you, however, with one last thing. “immoral behavior.”

          “why must society accept it”, BECAUSE THERE IS NO VICTIM.

          I question what your moral standards are. Who defines your morality? God? How does that make you any different than Leon Bazile (trial judge in Loving v. Virginia)?

          How does that make you any different from Pat Fagan’s recent tirade against unmarried people having s-x?

          I reject your standard of morality. It seems arbitrary. I much prefer my godless standard.

          “That which helps other humans is good, and that which creates victims is evil”.

          In an adult consensual same sex relationship, there is no victim. Telling them that they can’t have equal rights as any opposite sex couple has,
          now that, is making gay couples victims.

          Actions like that are to me the height of immorality. I really do prefer my standard, because any time I hear people like you talk about ‘morality’, it sounds decidedly immoral.

          • n2woods

            Bigot is someone who doesn’t listen to others for religious, creed or racial reasons. You are the bigot. I only stated what is true. I haven’t refused to listen to you, or called you names or do anything close to what you claim.

            I didn’t site statistics to prove anything than the basics that everyone agrees on, but that didn’t stop you from claiming that my statistics were dubious and claiming that I took those statistics out of context to prove another point.

            I didn’t mention being victimized, you did.

            I didn’t say that homosexuals are the only ones engaging in risky behavior, you sure seem to imply that I did.

            Boy, you sure know how to throw a temper tantrum, ranting about blacks and evils and god and calling people names.

            Wow, simply stating that a behavior is unhealthy and destructive is enough to cause you to go off like this. CDC website is available for anyone to see. I mentioned the homosexual acts. I did not attack anyone or group. Actions are not persons.

            Male on male sexual acts are dirty, smelly and disgusting. There is no way around that. Can’t be any other way. Only the female reproductive organs are designed for sexual pleasure and intimacy. If stating the simple fact of how the body works gets you all riled up, I wonder what an actual discussion of facts and statistics will do?

            The homosexual lifestyle is dangerous and unhealthy.

            Like I said, I believe you are the kettle calling me black.

            In Denmark, where homosexual marriage has been legal since 1986 and the stigmas you talk about are not present, the homosexuals still do not fare well. Lesbian suicide rate is 6 times higher. Cancer rates are significantly higher. What socioeconomic reasons explains that? Doesn’t sound like you like lesbians to ignore the risks and not let people know what their getting into.

          • Zaoldyeck

            “I only stated what is true.”

            Yes, yes you did. You just didn’t bother to put in the effort as to understanding why those things are true.

            I can state, rather plainly, that light travels at a constant speed in any reference frame. If I were to shine a light on a moving train, it’d move away from me at the same exact speed that it would move away from an observer outside the train.

            That’s a fact, a true demonstrated fact. However if I were to tell you that fact, you’d have no understanding as to why that’s true, how we know that, and what it implies.

            “I didn’t site statistics to prove anything than the basics that everyone agrees on, but that didn’t stop you from claiming that my statistics were dubious and claiming that I took those statistics out of context to prove another point.”

            I didn’t claim they were dubious, I claim they were EXPECTED. My god apparently you don’t even understand what “he uses statistics the same way a drunk man uses a lamppost, for support, rather than illumination” even means.

            I am not denying that gays have higher risk factors, but I am saying that higher risk factors are going to be associated with demographics who have been subjugated to persecution.

            Which is why I pointed out African Americans in the US have the highest gun homicide rates. It seems less to do with the race, and more the treatment within society.

            “I didn’t mention being victimized, you did.”

            Because gays are being victimized by people who wish to say “no, same sex couples can’t have a marriage license”.

            The converse isn’t true, no one is made a victim by the state issuing a consenting adult gay couple a marriage license.

            “Male on male sexual acts are dirty, smelly and disgusting. There is no way around that.”

            And irrelevant when deciding something as simple as a legal piece of paper. Your disgust is not grounds for discrimination, just like disgust against interracial marriage was insufficient grounds.

            “If stating the simple fact of how the body works gets you all riled
            up, I wonder what an actual discussion of facts and statistics will do?”

            Depends, I have a habit of citing PNAS and Proceedings to the Royal Society on this topic, so if you start saying “gay people are unnatural”, or stuff like “there’s no gay gene, people choose to be gay”, then you’ll find I get even more caustic. It’s the physics grad inside me.

            I tend to treat people badly when they refuse to look at evidence. You should see how I act towards creationists.

            “The homosexual lifestyle is dangerous and unhealthy.”

            Two virgin gay adults who decide to have sex with each other is neither dangerous, nor unhealthy. It gets to be dangerous when you have multiple partners.

            Allowing gay marriage won’t change that.

            “In Denmark, where homosexual marriage has been legal since 1986 and the
            stigmas you talk about are not present, the homosexuals still do not
            fare well. Lesbian suicide rate is 6 times higher.”

            Umm, just because they gained more equal rights doesn’t mean stigma was removed. Again, look at African Americans. Discrimination against them is well well illegal in the US, and yet if we look at our judicial system, there is very plain clear evidence of discrimination. (In the paper I cited above)

            It’s going to be a good many years to undo the systematic abuse, prejudice, and discrimination against gays in ANY country. Do you think racists suddenly shut up after 1964 or 1967? That once the legal system was more egalitarian, that African Americans suddenly weren’t the victims of discrimination?

            Can you explain to me why they’re disproportionately arrested? (despite not using drugs in disproportionate amounts, I might add)

            You sound rather privileged. The majority will always be less messed up than minorities. But that’s very poor justification for continued legal discrimination.

            And I’m calling you a bigot because you want to say “no, you’re not allowed to have equal rights. You must have stigma legislated against you”.

            I call for egalitarian rights, “That which helps other humans is good, and that which creates victims is evil”

            I may hate Fred Phelps, I may consider him a horrible vile human being, but I do not want to restrict his rights. That is the difference between you and me… despite how much I dislike someone, despite how much I might deride, insult, and attack, I will NEVER petition to limit their civil constitutionally guaranteed rights.

            I prioritize freedoms and an egalitarian society over whatever “moral” standard you might have. Theocracy in particular never really appealed to me, because in lieu of a theocracy, I can’t understand where you draw your morality from.

          • n2woods

            Let’s start the discussion with discounting any findings that show the homosexual lifestyle in a bad light and expect others to just play along like stupid lemmings being led off a cliff to die. No thanks. Either the studies are of value or no studies can be used. I bet you’ve got a ton of studies and briefs to use while I’m supposed to sit here and get lectured and beat down
            being the poor oppressor that I am…wait, who is the oppressor and bigot here?

            Let’s discuss the actual healthy activities. How can, virgin or not, two men have s-x without using the rear? Do you expect me to believe that an-l s-x is
            not a part of the gay experience? So lets be clear. Gay sexual activity is
            unhealthy because it is not how nature intended the male body to be used. The CDC findings of STD are higher because the
            activity is unhealthy. Hep A is “usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter” HepGay-FactSheet from CDC. Um, I haven’t ever run into fecal
            matter when engaging in heterosexual sex. Gee, I wonder why? You want to argue facts and dispute my claims, I’ll take it down the disgusting basics that seems
            so repugnant that I can’t believe I’d ever have to use such descriptions. Yes,
            I do feel slimmed and reassert by claim of immoral behavior.

            Now, if you’re willing to play by the rules of civilized discussion through the use of competing studies and respecting the views of others, then I’d be
            willing to engage in a discussion of the merits. Otherwise, I’m not interested
            in being another sucker.

            Just because the establishment Republicans are a bunch of cowards not worth
            the time of day, doesn’t mean that those of us who actually have to live with their “compromises” and “tolerance” are as worthless and spineless looking for our values every time they aren’t loved by the media are.

          • n2woods

            You erroneously equate the civil rights of blacks to the civil rights of homosexuals, how utterly absurd! Homosexuals own the media, political centers
            and higher places of learning of which you think I’m supposed to be impressed because you’re from one of those institutions. Blacks could have only hoped to have such power and access to the abundance of resources (in the billions for
            AIDS research alone). Forgive me if I can’t possibly give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. Slavery was a nasty and horrific blot on our history.
            Then to only be given the Democrats KKK counting of votes until our society was
            forced to eat out at the back door and drink from the unwashed kiddie fountain
            with the caption above it declaring, “for colored only.” Yet the stigma from being perceived as from a different ethnic/race group because of one’s behavior is rather sad and pathetic considering people cannot even determine if you are homosexual or not unless you tell them or act so unusual as to cause
            people to stare from the bizarre display. Blacks had no such privilege or
            advantage. Then there’s the lynching…rape…theft…

            The privilege you’ve noticed is not because I’m so well off, instead it is
            in which you have the privilege of assuming you’re the victim and I’m the victimize’r’. Poor you and evil me and that is where the debate begins, roles
            defined. Gotcha and don’t think I’m interested in playing by those rules of engagement.

            For decades we’ve heard intelligentsia declare again and again that marriage is an old institution of a bygone age that has no value in today’s modern era, yet here we are discussing how the homosexuals want into this great and wonderful institution of day’s gone by. Which is it today? Good or gone? No, thanks to the social engineering of the recent past, I’ve not grown up in that
            privileged group you seem so willing to place me into so I can take the role of
            oppressor and you the slavish, oppressed victim despite your declared education
            and obvious combative approach which is rather unusual for a victim of society
            of which you claim.

            Your rhetoric doesn’t match reality, but it does make for good theatrics if
            one’s buying it.

            You have the same rights I have right now. Blacks did not. You and I can
            engage in the same activities and livelihoods…well maybe not. I couldn’t get
            employed by the media conglomerates because I am a conservative. If I were a
            Christian, I’d be blackballed like all the other actors who come out. I can’t
            get hired by those many institutions of higher learning because Ivy League
            schools only have 3% Republican professorships. So, I guess you are right about
            the disparity between us.

          • Zaoldyeck

            I will play for you on the world’s smallest violin my ode to the lack of conservatives in ivy league positions.

            Clearly academia kicks out conservatives for nefarious liberal purposes, clearly knowledge can’t possibly make people more moderate on issues, no, it’s a liberal conspiracy!

            Yes because in all of my physics classes each professor took a full ten minutes of the day to talk about how conservatives are dooming the world. Yep.

            And yet, most of the students were highly liberal. I know no one who tolerates homophobia, many who actively supported Obama (one who decided to work on the campaign, I think he was doing some coding). Racism would be a similar non-starter.

            You may not view this as a civil rights issue, but future generations will. You are on the wrong side of history. The people fighting against interracial marriage didn’t believe that anyone had a civil right to marry outside their race.

            You don’t believe anyone has the civil right to marry inside their gender. Both, to me, are far less important than a ‘consenting adults’ requirement.

            How tragic, we seem to be winning. The vast majority of youth supports it, and old people don’t.

            That’s how the battle against racism was so strongly won. Sure racists still exist, but it’s considered evil. Not because racism suddenly stopped in the 1960s, but because the people supporting it died out.

            It doesn’t really matter how old you are, because the majority of people who agree with you are old. If you’re young, I welcome you to watch yourself treated as racists are currently in 30 years.

            If you’re old, well I’m pretty sure you can figure it out for yourself.

          • Zaoldyeck

            Dear god you’re a very scary person.

            “Let’s discuss the actual healthy activities. How can, virgin or not, two men have s-x without using the rear? Do you expect me to believe that an-l s-x is
            not a part of the gay experience?”

            Umm, actually, to a lot of gay people, it’s not. There are a lot of gay guys out there who think an-l is gross, and do oral instead. You might learn more if you talk to gay people rather than villify. Then again if you want to vilify, talking might be a bad idea.

            But also, this may come as a shock to you. An-l sex isn’t only done by same sex couples. (Also… what of lesbians?)

            Everything you are saying is just excuse after excuse to dislike gay people. “They’re unhealthy!”

            So what? Why should you care if two gay guys get married?

            Oh, and by the way, “You have the same rights I have right now. Blacks did not.”

            Yes, yes they did. “Black people can marry other black people.
            Everyone can marry someone within their own race. A white guy couldn’t marry an indian if he wanted”

            That’s exactly the same as saying “gay people have the same rights. They can marry anyone they want provided it’s someone of the opposite gender. I can’t marry someone of the same gender either, it’s equal for everyone”.

            It’s equal except the law is specifically crafted for prejudicial and bigoted purposes.

            Excuse after excuse, all to prevent gay couples from getting a piece of paper. “They’re unclean!”

            Who cares? Why should that mean they can’t get the damn piece of paper? Who are you to judge? Do you judge straight couples who have an-l too?

            Why do what people do in the bedroom matter so much to you?

            Cause I really don’t care what people want to do. I don’t understand why that piece of paper must be denied, unless you simply want to make sure there’s a legal “[email protected]#4 you” to gay people.

            Must the law be written for discriminatory purposes, just so you can continue to feel satisfied with your “gays are unclean!” nonsense?

          • n2woods

            Let’s just boil down your premise to homosexuals, bisexuals don’t have sexual relations so don’t look at how the actual act looks or how the actual actions are unhealthy. BTW, oral cancers are up for those in the lifestyle…still unhealthy and unnatural but you still won’t listen to reason on that one either.

            Simply avoiding the obvious and tough issues affecting the homosexual lifestyle doesn’t make them go away.

            The painstaking processes of learning how to interact and still intimately love the opposite sex creates mentally and emotionally healthier people because men and women truly are from different planets. Homosexuals avoid healthy relationship and suffer higher rates of suicide and other mental and emotional issues that could be solved by taking the bold step of reaching out and embracing the other gender.

            The homosexual health problems won’t go away. You will have more health issues than me no matter what society accepts or doesn’t accept.

            You’re the only one using foul language and being the victim again while aggressively attacking advocates of traditional values with ad hominem and straw men arguments. Talk about playing a condescending violin…

            Homosexuals currently live together in peace and prosperity, adopt, foster, raise children, make wills to leave their assets to another when they die, utilize joint-bank accounts, great jobs and positions of authority in full view of the public and government, access to healthcare in private and on the government dole.

            The only thing that you really want is for society to legitimize your sexual relationships as normal. Well, your sexual relationships are not what our bodies are designed for. Nature doesn’t agree with your position, and like gravity, things will eventually get back to equilibrium.

            All you’re going to see is more people dying from believing that this time the social engineers have got it right. over 20% of children suffer unnecessarily because of these same arrogant political engineers destroyed traditional values 40 years ago. There really isn’t an upside for society as a whole. It’s not good enough to simply see people suffer without their biological parents, now we’re going to endorse another group that cannot raise biological children in the most beneficial way. Unnecessary death, disease and suicide will follow these “marriages.” Marriage is designed to safeguard the family, and that is why society has a vested interest in marriage; however, others who can not or have no interest in raising the next generation still apply and become married.

            Once homosexual marriage is embraced by our society the homosexuals won’t have much interest in the institution because it will limit their freedoms. This whole line of social engineering is “nonsense” and only for the legitimizing of the lifestyles.

          • Um. Stigma doesn’t cause cancer.

          • Zaoldyeck

            No, but I’m pretty sure sexual promiscuity, things like the HPV, can cause cancer. Stigma most certainly can cause sexual promiscuity. As well as depression, drug abuse, suicide, and most other risk factors.

            Make the life of a 13 year old gay kid miserable enough, and by the time he’s 18, you really think the majority will be better off than the general public? I guess that must be the strategy involved, make life miserable for people growing up and they’re sure to be functional adults!

            Misery for all!

      • John Morris

        Dude, you do know that CA propositions are amendments, right? Should it be that easy to amend a Constitution? Probably not, but CA isn’t the only State with that problem.

        • Zaoldyeck

          … Wow, yeah, California clearly was smoking way too much when they thought of their amendment process.

          Although that’s also mostly the reason the state is broke.

          Meh, either way, I’m in no way a fan of people voting on the civil rights of others.

      • prop 8 was a change to the California Constitution. It had been passed as a statutory Prop 22 in 2000, and was knocked down. So it was brought back, and this time put into the state constitution.

  • jennifer1234

    The desire of certain people and groups of the population to “preserve the sanctity of marriage” has already run aground on what the rapidly sinking island of marriage sanctity.

    Is a marriage lasting weeks, days, or even hours sanctified? Is a marriage in which no children can be born (due to sterility or simply the desire not to have children) sanctified? What do you consider the “sanctity of marriage”?

    The most common thread I see is that marriage should be kept between a man and a woman for the sake of the children. Following this argument to its logical conclusion, only fecund couples who intend to have children (or perhaps have already had children) should be allowed to marry. Certainly sterile individuals, the elderly, couples who choose not to have children, etc. violate that very sanctity of marriage as equally (if not more so) than any gay couple.

    Then, of course, there’s the religious facet. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality – as is the Koran and orthodox Judaism. But those are hardly the only religions around. Buddhism has remarkably little to say about gay marriage, and none of it is bad. Smaller religions (paganism, etc.) are almost universally in support of it. Should these religions be disenfranchised – and in a country which espouses separation of church and state? We are not a Christian nation, we are a nation of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhism, and dozens of other religious beliefs (including the belief of not believing). Why should any one or another of these religions be allowed to tell the others what to think and believe?

    Nothing in the concept of gay marriage deprives anyone of any right whatsoever. You will still be allowed to worship as you believe, marry whom you choose, think whatever you wish, and espouse the concept of free speech by speaking out, for or against, gay marriage.

  • Not sure why people are getting excited about marriage being redefined, marriage will become meaningless…

  • sestamibi

    Megan McArdle is wrong. Once gay marriage becomes a reality, it will quickly be abandoned by its advocates, who will decline to participate in it. We have seen this already in jurisdictions where it has been in place long enough to show declining numbers of same-sex marriages (especially among men).
    This is not about “equality” or “dignity”. It is simply about power: not only can we ram this down your throat, but you will embrace it enthusiastically.
    How long will it be before a court rules that Baptist churches and Orthodox synagogues must perform such marriages?

  • Lavaux

    “As a democracy, America is basically a common sense country. That
    is, the laws of the land must reflect the common sense of the people.”

    Is it common sense to run up a public debt exceeding 100% of GDP?

    Is it common sense to put 70% of the income tax burden on 10% of the taxpayers while nearly 50% pay no income tax at all?

    Is it common sense to return 90% of Congressmen to a Congress whose performance only 9% of voters approve?

    Is it common sense to return to office a president who is clearly incompetent and means to do more of the same things most Americans oppose?

    None of the above speaks favorably of American common sense. Ditto the votes and laws effecting the above-described insanities. Let’s face facts: The American people are too ignorant and cupidic to self-govern safely or wisely; we simply lack the moral quality to do so. This is why we’re so willing to experiment with our most important civil institution.

    I oppose gay marriage because it’s not the ultimate goal of the culture warriors promoting it. Sodom is their ultimate goal, and by “Sodom” I mean a culture that denies itself no sexual lust or practice. The next fronts are already active, from NAMBLA’s push to de-stigmatize and de-criminalize pederasty to the Unitarian Church’s promotion of polyamory to Planned Parenthood’s sexualization of pre-pubscent children.

    Yup, the kids are the culture warriors’ next target, but the clueless, dissolute, negligent American voter will do nothing to protect them, just like they failed to protect marriage.

  • People who practice sodomy have done an impressive job of establishing themselves as a valid minority group. They have succeeded in getting the public to refer to them as gays and lesbians instead of the more accurate, and not so flattering, people who practice sodomy. And being recognized as a valid minority group has made it much easier to demand certain rights, including the right to legally marry.
    It is, however, absurd to give a group of people recognition as a valid minority group based on a behavior, especially a behavior that is abnormal and unhealthy. And several other realities about this issue should not be overlooked. One reality is that the desire to practice sodomy is a symptom of a larger problem. Another reality is that the problem affects people to varying degrees and is caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors.
    If a society sanctions an abnormal and unhealthy behavior by allowing those who practice that behavior to marry, there will inevitably be more of that behavior. After all, many people have the option of engaging in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships. Let us, as a society, embrace laws and policies that encourage good behavior and discourage abnormal and unhealthy behavior. Such laws and policies would help protect children by minimizing the number of children exposed to those engaging in abnormal and unhealthy behavior.
    The best way for our society to deal with this issue would be to stop embracing the premise of the issue by not referring to people who practice sodomy as gays, lesbians, or homosexuals. While it’s true that people who practice sodomy should be treated with sympathy and compassion, their behavior should not be encouraged or sanctioned by giving them the right to marry.

  • Zaoldyeck

    What a miserably pathetic worm you are. I’m done, I’ve got better things to do, like Mandlebrot’s 97 economics paper I’ve been neglecting.

    My only solace really is knowing people like you will continue to die off year after year, and yes, you will one day be remembered as just as evil, and just as vile, as any of the racists from 50 years ago.

    God I prefer egalitarianism.

    • n2woods

      You’re a coward.

      You refuse to debate without calling people names, refusing to acknowledge that the other side has a valid point, never accept any opposition research, ignore historical evidence, refusing to call an apple and apple, and then the arrogance…yes, go to your schoolhouse where everyone thinks alike and the cliff doesn’t seem so bad because your not alone when the falling breeze reminds you that someone somewhere warned of a coming cliff.

      The youth always believe they know everything, while the venerable understand they know nothing.

      BTW, Go look egalitarians…you guys in the ivory towers keep changing the meaning of words to the point that both Karl Marx and John Locke are both called Egalitarians. Astounding.

  • Jim Luebke

    If the commenters at Via Meadia are any indication, I think the Professor should rethink his idea that there is any kind of consensus about a change of marriage being “inevitable”.

    A majority of Californians, for heaven’s sake, support traditional marriage, and they voted that way. Nearly 3/4 of other states — just about enough to turn the Defense of Marriage Act into the Defense of Marriage Amendment — have passed laws at the state level telling the courts, “No, in fact, democracy says marriage stays the way it is.”

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that polls that show a supposed sea change are simply made up by activists who want to get their point of view forced on the rest of us by hook or crook.

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