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More Good Arguments Against Arbitrarily Re-Defining Marriage

I’ve posted about my stance on the GLBT movement to redefine marriage in the past (most recently HERE). In the comments to this post by Gay Patriot, there are more good arguments made reasoning why it is wrong to re-define marriage in our society.

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In short, court-mandated recognition of same-sex marriage only serves to further social divisions. To avoid such divisions, gay marriage advocates should first convince the people of the merits of expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. That is why it is better to move this issue through legislatures. And given last month’s election returns, it would be better to move incrementally…

Dan, that hits it out of the park.

As I never tire of saying: A State license for marriage, driving, fishing, professional practice or anything is a privilege not a right. People can argue over whether licensing scheme X should exist. But we should never forget that part of any licensing scheme’s purpose is to create a certain kind of inequality: people who qualify for the license will get it, and others won’t. The qualifications for the license must be legislated democratically, bearing some rational relationship to the good of society. We had something called the American Revolution to establish that (among several other points). Getting gay marriage by the courts is cheating, and can only breed division and discord regarding institutions where we need society to come together instead.

Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2009 @ 6:17 pm – December 3, 2009

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1) Do you really think homosexuality will *ever* become a non-divisive issue?

Not until either
A) gays realize that they dont have a right to be approved of ,or
B) government destroys the constitutionally protected freedoms of association and religious expression.

2) How do you think the divisiveness surrounding abortion would have played out had the outcome of Roe been different?

A few states would have no-limits on abortion whatsoever, a few might have bans on it, and the majority would be somewhere in the middle, probably closer to the latter than the former.

why, do you think, the parallel to roe v. wade is more appropriate than the the parallel to loving v. virginia?

very good question. Because Loving was about physical attributes and Roe was about a behavior.

Comment by American Elephant — December 3, 2009 @ 8:58 pm – December 3, 2009

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TL,

Fortunately Loving never established or tried to establish that you have a right to marry but not a right to a marriage license. That is a silly fabrication. Courts deal with what the government can and cannot prohibit you from doing. Loving established that everyone in America has a right to a government marriage license, that the government cannot deny a license to anyone. And subsequent law established that the people get to decide what marriage IS.

Many in the gay community are still trying to fight the decision over who gets to define what the purpose of the institution is.

Comment by American Elephant — December 3, 2009 @ 9:10 pm – December 3, 2009

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Man, two problems I find with your using Loving.

1) Baker V Nelson shows that Loving doesn’t apply, as the court upheld.

It is a state issue (and I’m on record saying that the states constructing a same sex construct is fine by me, call it Fred) and Baker V Nelson is the ruling precident.

Second, on the issue of access. You have access to the institution of marriage same as any single person, subject to the rules and regulations of the state of residence.

Comment by The_Livewire — December 3, 2009 @ 9:48 pm – December 3, 2009

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I really don’t understand the logic behind the “right to be approved of” that you mention… Marriage and/or civil unions don’t include some sort of universal (or national) approval. Just because the gov’t allows something doesn’t mean every citizen approves!

Let me see if I can clarify myself this way: Yes, marriage is approval of a behavior. Men and women entering into legally binding contracts is a behavior. We approve of and encourage that behavior with laws, customs and subsidies that make the process easier, cheaper and give couples incentives to engage in this behavior, which is arguably not in their own self interest.

We encourage and approve of it because we have seen the clear benefits to children and thus to society. For example its a lot harder for your dad to skip out on you if he is bound legally to your mother. Kids who grow up outside of wedlock are FAR more likely to be poor, uneducated, unhealthy, illiterate, criminal, etc…

Sure, maybe some individuals dont approve of it, but when I say “we” I mean society as a whole. We said, “sure, this is demonstrably beneficial enough that I’m willing to cough over my tax dollars to encourage it”

Many gays are under the wrong-headed impression that because they have also formed couples, that they are entitled to have society approve of their coupling behavior the same way. Except they aren’t. We are talking two very different behaviors with very different repercussions to society. And they have yet to convince society, or me, that there is a net benefit to society, for the government to get involved in relationships for the sake of ADULTS as opposed to for the sake of children.

So far, we have maintained a “conservative” definition of marriage where government is only involved because children are a natural by product of heterosexuality.

Liberals want to redefine the institution into one that exists just as another entitlement program for the benefit of adults whether they have children or not. Shifting the focus of the institution from children to adults in that way would, IMHO, be a continuation of the liberalization of the institution that has caused so much damage to society already.

I am still waiting for a cogent argument for why that would be better for society as a whole. I haven’t heard one that stands up to scrutiny.

Second, on the issue of access. You have access to the institution of marriage same as any single person, subject to the rules and regulations of the state of residence.

Livewire is exactly right. Every American can get married. The court cannot deny a marriage license to anyone. Loving established that directly and emphatically.

The problem comes when people try to redefine what the purpose of marriage is without asking anyone else.

They see straight couples who dont have children and wrongly assume from that, that the purpose of marriage to society is something other than the welfare of children. It isn’t. The legislatures have been very clear on that, the courts have upheld their reasoning as sound and lawful, and the constitution is very clear that the authority to define institutions and determine what their purpose is rests with the people.

The question remains, is there actually some tangible net benefit to getting government into marriage for the sake of adults, instead of for the sake of children. And how does that change the paradigm between government and the individual. Some argue that it is of financial benefit to society to subsidize couples for their own sake. Which seems to me much like Joe Bidens “we have to spend money to save the economy.” its the entire idea that goverment exists to save adults from themselves. Which conservatives used to oppose and most, I think, still do.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 12:57 am – December 4, 2009

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Allowing gay marriage to happen will NOT destroy freedom of religion.

Chris, that’s not the question I was responding to. I was responding to this:

1) Do you really think homosexuality will *ever* become a non-divisive issue?

My point being that people have a right to disapprove of homosexuality, so the issue of homosexuality will divide us as long as people remain free to believe it is sinful.

But in terms of gay marriage, the evidence is already against you. Catholics express their religious beliefs by adopting needy children to mothers and fathers. Massachusetts told them that if they wanted to continue doing so, they would have to also adopt children to gay couples as well, which would force them to violate the tenants of their faith. So they were given the choice to violate the tenants of their faith or stop practicing that element of their faith.

Which is clearly an infringement of their religious freedom.

And there are plenty of other examples as well.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 1:41 am – December 4, 2009

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In fact, I oppose do changing our constitution. Thank God the proposal by our fellow Republicans to constitutionally define marriage failed.

Without our 14th Amendment, Brown and Loving would not have fared so well.

You do realize that the Fourteenth Amendment is in fact one of those changes to a constitution that you oppose, right?

Yes, people should have the right to define the purpose of marriage. By that, I mean the married should be able to decide what the purpose of THEIR own marriage is.

Which they already can do.

Your problem is that you are demanding that OTHER people automatically agree with you as well.

But I’m willing to go with that, as long as you’re consistent; please state that, since marriage is a “fundamental right” guaranteed to everyone, which you insist that the government has no power to restrict, that you would abolish any laws that do restrict marriage — say, by age, blood relationship, number of people involved, and so forth — and demand that the government recognize all relationships.

Why not? After all, you have stated that the relationship between other people does not affect you in the least, and therefore, you have no right to oppose it, block it, or deny it full benefits.

Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 4, 2009 @ 1:49 am – December 4, 2009

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Yes, people should have the right to define the purpose of marriage. By that, I mean the married should be able to decide what the purpose of THEIR own marriage is.

You already have that right.

To you, marriage may be for the welfare of children. It does not necessarily mean that to anyone else.

You are confusing the REASON individuals decide to marry with the states vested interest in the institution.

As a matter of fact, you’ll find many people who disagree with you on that.

Yes, I know. Many of them right here on this blog. Fortunately we have a Constitution which establishes that the power to make law and define institutions rests with the people and their elected representatives.

But you dont have to take my word for it, there is a whole bevy of judicial decisions, including at the Supreme Court level, establishing just that, and confirming that the people have defined marriage as a legal arrangement between 1 man and 1 woman for the sake of children.

Otherwise I could show up at the courthouse tomorrow with my toaster and demand to be “married” because that’s how I define marriage.

Children are not a requirement in that equation.

No, but being one of each of the sexes necessary to make children is a requirement. WHich is good because heterosexuality has a tendency to produce children nonetheless.

It’s tragic when someone can’t be at their lover’s death-bed …

Fortunately there are other legal arrangements that can be made to prevent that from ever happening.

You’re also making marriage sound like something that exists to serve the collective or something

To serve society, yes. Thats the only valid reason for ANY government to exist. But I reject the idea that that makes us a collective.

Most marriages today are all self-serving, even if they intend to form families.

Fortunately, married couples forming families is good for society whether the family is aware they are benefiting society or not.

Have your marriage your way, but let others have theirs, too.

No thank you. There is no telling what some people would claim were a marriage if it were left up to them. Fortunately the Constitution makes it clear that the power to make laws and define institutions rests with the people. And the people have decided that marriage shall be the legal union of one man and one woman, and that the institution exists for the benefit of children, not adults.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 2:09 am – December 4, 2009

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We can have a legalization of gay marriage WITHOUT forcing Catholics to go against their beliefs

Not in Massachusetts, to use the same example, unless you have a time-machine hidden somewhere. It has already been done.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 2:13 am – December 4, 2009

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I’ve addressed all of this already. You simply ignored my points and reiterated your statements.

i didnt ignore them, I suspect you started writing before I told you I didnt know what you were referring to

And what about couples who can’t reproduce? How is their marriage going to better society?

No one said that it is. What the legislatures have said is that children being raised by a mother and a father benefits society. And to encourage that, we encourage all men and women to marry without getting all up in their gynecological bidness because heterosexuality has a way of producing children even when the parents didnt intend them, want them, or even think it was possible.

Should that be made illegal simply because it’s not going to increase our population?

No, of course not! For several reasons.

1. it is not government’s place to tell people they must have children
2. If marriage is limited to people who intend to or believe they can have children, then millions of children will be born outside of wedlock which is self defeating, and
3. It is not necessary to weed out heterosexuals who cant or dont want to have children in order to make the institution fair to couples who are of the wrong gender to procreate in the first place.

A gay couple can raise a normal, healthy child just as easily as a heterosexual couple.

They can only because the same populace that defines marriage allows them to adopt. But what gays cannot do, that heterosexuals can, is produce children as a result of having sex together. Just like my toaster and I.

But all of that is neither here nor there because they are arguments made from the assumption that the people don’t get to define their own institutions, or that it is unconstitutional to develop institutions that recognize that heterosexuality is different from homosexuality. Both of which are false assumptions.

please read Baker v Nelson, Andersen v King County, Hernandez v. Robles, etc… they explain the arguments much more clinically than I can, and I’m not any good at arguing with people’s emotions.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 3:23 am – December 4, 2009

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It’s being used as an argument against gay marriage. But, as I’ve already mentioned TWICE, it’s an issue that can be addressed without even TOUCHING the issue of marriage.

I’m sorry, I really don’t think we are connecting on this point. You are saying it can be addressed, which I suppose it can be addressed, the problem is that it has already happened. The violations have already happened. Catholics have been forced to stop their charitable work. And that it happened AT ALL, refutes the argument that gay marriage will not harm the inherent, Constitutionally protected right to freedom of religious expression. It already has.

Comment by American Elephant — December 4, 2009 @ 3:29 am – December 4, 2009

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You KNEW what I meant, yet you used other types of marriages that actually DO have logical reasoning against them. A type of slippery-slope fallacy, which suggests that one type of marriage which involves two perfectly sane adults who wish to enjoy the same rights that YOU do is the same as some crazy 30-year-old who wants to marry a 12-year-old (who I should point out is NOT a consenting adult). Or a guy who wants to marry his sister (which could lead to birth defects in the offspring). Or a guy who wants to marry multiple women (which devalues women and also brings up child support issues, unless that man is incredibly wealthy).

I repeat what you previously said, Chris:

Most marriages today are all self-serving, even if they intend to form families. You may not agree with that, but you don’t have to. Have your marriage your way, but let others have theirs, too.

In short, you have argued that your relationship is no one else’s business but yours, and that therefore they should let you have your marriage. Therefore, these relationships are no one’s business except theirs, and you should let them have their marriage.

Meanwhile, your logical argument becomes contradictory. You have previously stated that childbearing and reproduction are irrelevant to whether or not people should be allowed to get married, but you then argue against incestuous marriages because of the effect it could have on childbearing and reproduction. You have previously stated that marriage is only a contract and that people should be allowed to enter into any kind of contract they want, but argue that they should be barred from entering into contracts that you feel are demeaning.

In short, you want to have a say on everyone else’s relationship while adamantly insisting that no one else should have a say on yours.

Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 4, 2009 @ 8:59 pm – December 4, 2009

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January 4, 2010 , 5:02PM - Posted by | Conservatism, GLBT Movement, Homosexual Movement, Marriage

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