Before We Accept Gay Marriage, Could I Get An Answer?

It’s an honest question – one I’ve been asking for a couple years, but have yet to get a straight answer on. Unfortunately this topic has become so overlaid with hysteria and nastiness that I first have to clarify my views up front:

1)     I believe every human being bears the image of God, regardless of one’s race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, political orientation, level of stupidity, usefulness, like or dislike for Mac vs PC, or any other distinction that can be named. Therefore all human beings have innate, objective worth that derives from their Creator.

2)     I believe the best course for our nation (and all nations) is pluralism and freedom. All ideas, even bad ones, should be up for rational discussion. Good ideas have nothing to fear from being tested.

3)     I’m opposed to totalitarian state authority, liberal or conservative, no matter how benevolent it claims to be. I’m opposed to theocracy. Personally, I’m a follower of Jesus as he is revealed in the Judeo-Christian scriptures. However, I don’t expect people who are not followers of Jesus to behave like followers of Jesus. People are free to live with and love whatever consenting adults they choose.

Note: My question is not about homosexuality per se, but about redefining marriage.

To get at the question I must first point out an obvious fact. Besides homosexuality, there are several other types of sexual behaviors that have traditionally been considered taboo in Western culture: incest, polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality. (Please note that I am not comparing homosexuality to these behaviors.) In Western culture, marriage has virtually always been narrowly defined to exclude homosexual relationships, as well as these other taboo relationships. Marriage has been narrowly defined as husband and wife. Heterosexual marriage has been recognized by the State as the formation of a new family unit – a stabilizing and “civilizing” structure for men, a safe place for women, and the best context for producing and raising children who will become productive citizens. The unity in diversity as equals in heterosexual marriage isn’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, in the gay marriage “debate”, opponents of gay marriage are often asked, “Why do you think broadening the definition of marriage to include gays threatens heterosexual marriage?” My main concern, among many, is that broadening the definition at all will ultimately render the whole definition meaningless.

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My concern about gay marriage has to do with legal precedent – the so-called slippery slope.

What is the reasoning that would expand the definition of marriage to include homosexuality, but would exclude the other four deviant sexual behaviors listed above? Arguments I’ve heard for accepting gay marriage can also be used to support the inclusion of these other behaviors. For example, the (as yet unproven) argument that people are born gay. What if pedophiles are born that way? Surely no one would choose to be a pedophile, given the utter social repugnance around it. But pedophilia is universal and as old as recorded history. As you read this, many world cultures accept child marriages. (Of course, the children involved are always female.) Lacking any clear reasoning that would prevent the normalization of these types of relationships in marriage, once marriage ceases to be narrowly defined, the door will be open for all deviancies to be included eventually. If you disagree, please give me rational grounds for excluding them. This is the way that legal precedent works. Even if a Judge personally finds such behaviors distasteful, in the absence of a reason to do otherwise, he/she will have to follow binding precedent and allow the next domino to fall, and then the next.

If marriage is redefined to include anything beyond the traditional definition of heterosexual monogamy, I contend the losers will be women and children, and especially girls, as usual. (Of course, men and boys will also lose, but will continue to be too oblivious to realize it.)

Here’s one example of how “marriage equality” will change our culture using the example of incest. My wife and I have raised 5 children together. At some point in their early childhoods, each of our children have independently come up with the same idea. Usually after a day of playing together, each child has pulled us aside at some point and confided that when he or she grows up, he or she plans to marry their opposite-sex sibling. It’s very cute and endearing. We’ve always smiled and sympathetically informed them that brothers and sisters can’t get married. We could see the little wheels turning in their heads as they gaze at the floor, a bit disappointed at the new revelation. Sometimes it’s led to more discussion, but it’s always been a formative moment. It clarifies the sibling relationship and defines sibling love as a something sacred, unique, and non-sexual. Remove that cultural taboo and I’m certain that the result will be an increase in boys perping on their sisters. This goes on now even with the incest taboo firmly in place.

So, here is THE QUESTION NO ONE WILL ANSWER:
Let’s say there are two mature women who love each other very much, enjoy a consenting sexual relationship, and want to commit their lives to each other in marriage. The two women happen to be biological sisters. What possible reasoning would prohibit them from being considered married in the eyes of the State? Or, to put it in contemporary parlance, “Who are you to impose your hateful, bigoted morality on these two women and deny them equal treatment?”

If your answer is “let them marry,” then down goes the incest domino, and we’re staring down the cold logic of moral relativism as the next domino begins to wobble. This is not a rhetorical question. If you disagree with me, I welcome your civil response, but I need to hear a rational answer to the question.

I recommend this THIS PAPER for a comprehensive read on the topic of marriage.

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22 comments on “Before We Accept Gay Marriage, Could I Get An Answer?

  1. Kara says:

    Hello! I would like to pose a question to you. What if, to allow homosexual marriage, the legal concept of domestic partnership were abolished? This would still allow heterosexual marriages (which lets be fair, the idea of marriage came from religion, why don’t we just leave it there?), if partners would like to form their own contracts, be it a will, prenups, etc, they would certainly have the legal right to do so. But I firmly believe that when we allow the government to define something, which frankly they have no need to do so, we are asking for trouble, like the mess we are in now. A relationship between two consenting adults is nobody else’s business, especially the governments. Live and let live!

    • Thanks for reading, Kara. Your comment is thought-provoking, and I generally agree with your thought process – just not in regard to marriage. I generally agree with “live and let live,” but that’s not what the “marriage equality” movement is about – It’s about government recognizing gay marriage, and using the force of Government to ensure that everyone else recognize it as well. Your solution of getting government out of recognizing marriage altogether would get around this, but in the process I believe something valuable, and critical to societal cohesion would be lost.

      I believe government should recognize, incentivize, and protect the institution of heterosexual marriage because it is so foundational, and critical to the survival of society. Society can survive just fine without gay marriage. It can’t survive without Heterosexual marriage. Japan and much of Europe are now below population replacement levels – that’s one danger. A second danger is if babies are born but sufficient numbers fail to become productive, tax-paying citizens. Babies come from heterosexual unions, and they are more likely to become productive citizens if their Father and mother are married. Thus it is in the states interest to recognize and encourage heterosexual marriage. I don’t see how the religious aspect is relevant to this argument.

  2. Steph Powers says:

    Respectfully, I don’t think you have a very valid concern. Our culture has already taken things like cohabitation, sex, having kids, etc outside of the covenant of marriage. The legal precident you mention isn’t going to change people’s behaviors because they do these things regardless of their marital status these days.

    Also, the gay marriage issue has always left the majority of marriage laws the same (no siblings, consenting legal adults, no first cousins, no plurality etc) it only seeks to remove the gender from the list of requirements. I don’t think this causes the slippery slope of precident that he describes. We still have a moral majority that views these things as broken. But you will have to worry that the moral majority won’t always feel that way and will advocate for policy changes.

    As we get closer and closer to the end times, we are going to get further and further away from what God intended for us. We are going to have more and more broken people with broken ideas of what is good. But if you think that a legal definition of marriage is really going to change the actions of these broken people, you are disillusioned. The only thing that will truly change them is the Holy Spirit and a relationship with Christ. The rest is us just trying to legislate someone else’s outward morality. That is never what God intended. He intended change to come from the inside out. Love your neighbor and show him Christ if you want to be part of ending the “slippery slope”.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Steph.
      Good law sets a societal standard. People still murder and rape despite the law, but that’s no reason to relax those laws, in my opinion. I believe law does affect behavior to some extent, though it’s not as good as the internal change that you speak of. But inward change can’t be legislated. Law is not a solution, it’s just one part of the social conditioning that we have available. In this case, part of loving your neighbor may include preserving the legal protection of children from the sexual chaos that will surely result if these cultural sexual taboos are lifted.

  3. Your error is to define the issue as one of deviancy. You define homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, polygamy and bestiality as deviant and then use that category to say that legitimizing one would lead to the legitimizing all. The issue is not deviancy. The issue is consent between adults. Consent. Period. Pedophilia is wrong because it imposes a sexual relationship upon children who are not capable of consent. I would put bestiality in that same category–animals cannot consent to sex with humans, humans impose it on them (when it happens) and I consider it animal cruelty. But incest (between consenting adults), homosexuality (between consenting adults) and polygamy (between consenting adults) are not, by their nature abusive or hurtful. Therefore, who the hell cares?

    • Laura – I’m simply using “deviancy” as a way to refer to the 5 behaviors, as they all deviate from the accepted norm of heterosexual marriage, consenting adults or not. Thanks for actually answering the question! ‘Sounds like you’re prepared to accept homosexual, polygamous, and incestuous marriage. Here’s why I disagree:

      1) The “consenting adult” standard doesn’t solve the issue. Who says children can’t give consent? Maybe children just need to be introduced to sex early on by skilled, caring adults. Maybe there’s a brave new world of sexual freedom for everyone that has yet to be explored. There exists an enormous, abusive, sex-trafficking industry involving minors, all around the world right now. Obviously there are a lot of people with this proclivity. Maybe celebrating adult-child sex instead of stigmatizing it would make the world a better place. (I hope no one believes this.) Furthermore, the whole idea of consenting adults is a Western cultural idea. Who says our way is best? There are plenty of world cultures where arranged marriages have been the norm for centuries. And who says animals can’t give consent. What if a dog-lover can induce his/her pet to initiate? ALL of this stuff is fluid, potentially. We have to make decisions as a society as to what should be celebrated/encouraged, and what should be taboo.

      2) Who the hell cares? I think my post shows that celebrating incestuous marriage will place incest outside of marriage on a par with extra-marital sex. No big deal right? It matters because bad policy will hurt people. It would complicate family life and increase the victimization of girls especially. The bottom line is, the “marriage equality movement” is about the government redefining marriage. I’m saying monogamous, heterosexual marriage clearly and uniquely benefits society/the State, and these other sexual relationship do not (with the possible exception of polygamy.) We know that children with a married mom and dad stand a much better chance of growing up to be well-adjusted, productive citizens. Western marriage and culture has developed in such a way to maximize the protection of children, and the interests of child bearing couples. Why should the State jeopardize this stability by recognizing and incentivizing these other sexual relationships? Consenting adults outside of marriage are free to do whatever they want right now. Why isn’t that good enough?

  4. Kathy Alongi says:

    I don’t know whether to agree more with Kara or with you ..perhaps her answer doesn’t disagree with your blog piece ..tho I DO agree more with the traditional idea that society (& therefore govt I suppose) should encourage the union of husband and wife for the benefit & strength of the first social structure, the family.

  5. Joe Prairie Village KS says:

    The answer to your question is: “If you are speaking to the Sibling Marriage Rights people, tell them what we have ALWAYS TOLD THEM: siblings have NEVER BEEN ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED. If your children can understand that, why can’t everyone else? If you are trying to draw some link between gay marriage and sibling marriage, it’s not the same thing. I am certain that in the 1800’s people thought the same thing about interracial marriage.
    Your description of marriage as “civilizing” for men and “safe” for women is not only patronizing, it’s merely coincidental when it’s true. The heterosexual character of Heterosexual Marriage in and of itself means nothing. Ask the Kardashians, they are not gay and even though it would make them even richer, they have not tried to marry each other. Ask not just the heterosexual couples that divorce; ask the ones where one kills the other or where one parent kills the children or where the children kill the parents. Ask the millions of couples who get married after they get each other pregnant and have no idea how to be good wives to husbands or good husbands to wives and worse, no clue about being good parents. Ask many of the perfectly faithful, loving couples who decide not to have children. None of these scenarios fits the fantastic ideal that you describe. More importantly, the fact that they all occurred within the framework of a heterosexual marriage did not magically infuse them with the power to civilize society or to successfully raise children. I agree that stable, safe, civilized families are the best thing for children, which is the best thing for society but there is no proof that a homosexual couple is incapable of providing the same environment as any heterosexual couple. More importantly, the fact that a family is begun by two heterosexual people ensures society of not a single good thing coming from that union. Marriage has already been trashed by society and the government has been no help. We are not protecting it from further harm by preventing gays from the same rights as heterosexuals. You haven’t gotten a straight answer to your question about two sisters marrying because it’s irrelevant and most people dismiss it as such.

    • Joe, Thanks for taking time to read and respond.
      I think the reason I haven’t gotten an answer to my question is because there isn’t one. Your first sentence re-enforces my point: Saying “Gays have never been allowed to marry” isn’t a good enough reason for the “marriage equality” people, so why should “Siblings have never been allowed to marry” be a reason to stop siblings from marrying? Maybe we’re just more enlightened and open-minded than people in the past. (Besides that, I can think of periods when siblings were allowed to marry.)

      I do agree with all of your examples of heterosexuals trashing the institution of marriage. The world is jacked-up and people often behave like asses. However, it’s not patronizing for me to say marriage “civilizes” men and is a “safe” place for women. Of course there are no guarantees, and there are always many exceptions, but I think I’m just pointing out a historical reality. For most of history women have been treated badly by men and culture. Even today an unmarried woman, either single or widowed, is more at risk than a married woman, in many cultures. As for men, married men tend to live longer and be less criminal, addictive, suicidal, homicidal, poor, and are generally more stable and productive than are single men. True, there’s no magical guarantee, but all around the world & throughout history, marriage has been a critical part of getting men to “grow up” and contribute to society. Much of this has to do with the influence of women.

      Finally I disagree that there is “no proof” that a homosexual couple can’t provide the same environment for child rearing as a heterosexual couple. They may provide a stable, safe, and civilized environment, and that would certainly be good for kids. But moms and dads each bring different things to child rearing that have to do with their gender. A gay couple by definition can only provide a mom and mom, or a dad and dad. That doesn’t make them evil, or inferior as individuals, or unloving, or subject to ridicule; it just means they fall outside of the definition of marriage. Why does that have to be a problem so long as we have a pluralistic/free society that allows them to live together in a loving relationship?

  6. micaela says:

    Hello! I have a few thoughts on your notes. They could be an entire paper in and of themselves, so I apologize for the length.

    In response to your question we need to look at each form of “sexual deviance” separately and address the larger picture of marriage. This is a huge topic and I don’t have room to expand so I’ll do my best in a short space.

    As per my research on incest laws in the US, they seem to be in place because of rate of birth defects that can arise out of inter-familial reproduction and because it’s easier to prosecute inter-family pedophilia with charges of incest. I personally can’t say I have much to say about this beyond this research because of my lack of knowledge on the subject. On polygamy, looking at biblical history it hasn’t always been outlawed. I think women end up with the short end of the stick on this one (especially in cult situations) but children born of different mothers and one father already exists in our culture and have almost no legal protection. On pedophilia or bestiality, I actually think that consent is a huge issue to discuss separately with each of these relations, especially with the high rate of child abuse and sex trafficking. I don’t have the space to talk about them here. Protecting children and animals, and giving women empowerment are all extremely important in these situations. I can’t stress that enough.

    JoePrairie, I totally agree with your response. (Except for your comments on incest which royalty has historically intermarried for bloodline purity purposes. In the US, cousins are allowed to marry as long as they are 65+ and impotent).

    Same-sex couples with children actually have gone out of their way to have them in their families, where most heterosexual couples do not have children within an intended time frame. I agree with JoePrairie that the ideal you have presented is patronizing.

    The most harm in our society to women and children already happens amongst heterosexual couples who are in domestic violence situations, experience physical, verbal and sexual abuse, negligence and general sexism and power displays. If children thrive most in stable homes, we’re already off the deep end with children raised by a single parent who works full time to make ends meet, with millions of kids in foster care, and 6.4 million kids living in poverty. If you are really concerned about this issue, there are plenty of other politics to get involved in that can help children who are already hurting in a much more efficient way. According to endvownow.org, most violence against women takes place within intimate relationships, with many women reporting their husbands or partners as the perpetrator.

    • Micaela, Thank you for your thoughtful response. (I’m going to check out your blog soon but I’m having a killer week.) Yes… a topic that can’t be answered in a sentence or two. In the interest of staying on the topic of “the question,” here’s why I think the question still hasn’t been answered, even if you treat the “deviant behaviors” separately:

      I accept your findings on incest laws, and why we have them. However, we have now advanced to the point where we have decent birth control, &, failing that, “safe” & legal abortion. So the legal history is now irrelevant. And anyway, my question raises the example of a same sex incestuous relationship. There is simply no rational reason not to recognize such a “marriage” once you remove the requirement of heterosexual complementarity for marriage. Same with pedophilia and bestiality. I’m not talking about child or animal rape here, I’m talking about consensual, loving relationships. We’re looking toward a completely different world here. I’m asking for reasoning that would ensure that the redefining of marriage stops at gay marriage. I don’t think there is any.

      And yes, of course most harm to women and children happens amongst heterosexual couples, because heterosexual couples vastly outnumber gay couples, and are the only couples who can produce children. I could argue that the most love toward women and children happens amongst heterosexual couples as well, and it would carry no weight for the same reasons. It is well known that there is a direct link to single parenthood and child poverty. It is also well known that a non-biological parent is statistically more likely to perp on a child than is a biological parent. We know this. It strikes me that in every gay “marriage” involving children, one of the parents would necessarily not be biologically related. Would this known, nasty statistic hold true for gay marriage as well? Why is it worth finding out? I think the best thing for women and children is to strengthen and support the unity in diversity of monogamous heterosexual marriage, as God/nature/the universe/fill-in-the-blank established it.

  7. Mike says:

    There is a simple answer to your question. The women can’t get married because of the redundancy it would cause. In short, you can’t join two things that are already joined. When two people marry, one’s siblings become the other’s siblings. These women are already siblings.

    As for your main concern about “meaning”: Marriage is not an award. Any meaning you may find in marriage comes from how you view its many aspects, not from any definition.

    • Mike – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Please bear with me, but I don’t get your answer. I don’t understand why “redundancy” should matter. They’re consenting adults. They love each other and want to express that in a permanent, sexual relationship. If we can redefine marriage to allow the redundancy of 2 men, or 2 women in a marriage, why can’t we allow the redundancy of siblings? Where is the harm?

  8. Andrew says:

    Before I express my thoughts, I would like to say that this is a very thought-provoking topic and you did very well in nailing down your opinions.

    First of all, it is true that children can give consent to an adult who feels sexually attracted to him/her. However, does this child really understand what he/she is giving consent to? I think we can generally agree that pedophilia, by definition, is a term used to describe an adult who imposes on a prepubescent child. At that age, the decisions children make are heavily influenced by the adults around them. If a trusting adult asks the child a question, he/she is more than likely going to agree to it. I, for one, find it difficult to recall times when my decisions were strictly my own during my prepubescent age. By the way, please tell me how you would get a dog to give consent to sexual intercourse…

    Second, you claim that there IS proof that children raised in heterosexual families will “stand a much better chance of growing up to be well-adjusted, productive citizens.” I would like to disagree and say that there is no scientific proof of this at all whatsoever, but if there is, I would be interested to see it. Also, you say that only heterosexual couples can bring a child what he/she needs to grow up. But what defines what a child needs? Love? Discipline? Support? Knowledge? A homosexual pair can do this just as well as a heterosexual couple. So what is it really that a man and woman can do that a man/man woman/woman pair cannot. The harsh, more disciplinary male, and gentle, caring mother? In a gay or lesbian marriage, one partner usually if not always possesses more masculine traits, while the other inhabits a feminine personality.

    I agree that society can survive without gay marriage. I also agree that heterosexual marriage is essential. However, a small amount of people turning gay isn’t going to affect society very much in terms of population. In fact, as of now, humans are overpopulating. Same-sex couples often adopt children from adoption homes. Why are those children orphaned in the first place? Because HETEROSEXUAL people abandoned them. So gays are actually doing society a favor. If people are to act based on the best interest of children, then isn’t providing a loving, comfortable home enough? Even if the family consists of 2 dads or 2 moms.

    Great entry by the way, even though are opinions differ somewhat.

    • Andrew – Thank you for your kind words and for your non-hysterical response. You raise some deep questions which can’t be adequately dealt with in a comment section. I’ll be posting a follow-up to this post in a couple of weeks, which I hope will address some of your thoughts, if you’d like to check in.

      In the interest of finding common ground, I agree with you that prepubescent children can’t give meaningful consent, nor can animals. My point is that these sexual behaviors have been going on for millennia, and there is no moral force-field around America preventing us from going down those roads. In fact these behaviors are going on now, just underground. I think we have to say these behaviors are “natural” to human nature. Redefining marriage to include gay relationships will inevitably bring us closer to normalizing these behaviors. I think our Western ideal of marriage is extraordinary in history, and good for everyone concerned, and I think we’re about to flush it down the toilet out of misplaced compassion.

      As for your dog question, ‘sorry, but I don’t have any experience in getting dogs to give consent for sex. However, since we all know dogs that pretty much hump anything that moves, I think it’s incorrect to assume that bestiality necessarily involves forcing the animal.

      I also agree that homosexual parents can make great parents in terms of love, character, and provision, and that a loving gay home is a better situation for a child than a group home setting or some unloving situation. But your question really gets at the heart of the issue: “So what is it really that a man and woman can do that a man/man woman/woman pair cannot.”

      I’m not talking about masculine vs feminine “traits” which may or may not be present in gay and/or heterosexual couples. I’m talking about the real gender complimentarity that always exists in every heterosexual marriage. It’s not about whether or not gay couples can be as loving, intelligent, wise, competent, or present as heterosexual couples can be. What must be missing from every gay “marriage” is either a mom or a dad. For instance, we know that the lack of an involved father tends to create big problems for boys being raised by single moms. In the case of a lesbian couple raising boys, even if one of the women is “masculine,” she is still a woman. Part of what an involved dad brings to his son in parenting is male identity, modeling, and acceptance as a man in the boys development of his social and sexual identity. A woman (or two, or three,) simply cannot provide this for her son. (This is not a criticism of single moms – they are my heroes.)

      I don’t think I’m speculating here. Regarding heterosexual marriages being the best context for producing well-adjusted, productive citizens, you say “there is no scientific proof of this at all whatsoever, but if there is, I would be interested to see it.”
      Here’s a brief article that lists over 30 studies supporting my statement: http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/17/30-years-of-research-that-tells-us-a-child-deserves-a-mother-and-a-father/

      If gay couples want to serve society by adopting and raising kids, they are free to do so. Lets see how it goes. But for now, we don’t have nearly enough info to justify redefining marriage, and the information we do have about fatherlessness and non-biological parents is troubling.

  9. Ken Gauthier says:

    First, let me say that the pedophilia argument has no factual substance. Until the mid 20th century, it was common all across the American Mid-West for preteen girls to be married off to 30 something men. The change in our views and laws redefining pedophilia are the result of a recent liberal campaign to make it so. In fact, Utah, and some states in the deep south have only passed laws in the last decade to protect girls from such things.
    Next, the notion that marriage is all about breeding and maintaining the human race, is antiquated at best. Human population is so far out of control that if 90% of humanity were wiped out by some massive event, it would only set us back to the estimated world population during the American revolution, when people were committing mass genocide all over the world, to get more space and freedom from one another.
    In the modern age, premarital sex is no longer against the law, nor is it a social taboo in our common culture. Because of this, marriage is no longer a commitment to dutifully have sex with a given person, but rather to not have sex with anyone else. There are those, of course, who would challenge the notion of marital monogamy as well, but they are not in any way representative of the common culture. We now tend to encourage our kids to marry later in life, after becoming more experienced, because we recognize that our sexual experience provides us with an important part of our intellectual and emotional growth. For this reason, marriages that start later in life tend to be more enriching to both parties. It’s good to know who you are before giving yourself to someone else.
    Incest is also not a valid argument because it is not illegal due to social taboo, but rather genetic anomaly. People have recognized the effects of what we now call Founders’ Syndrome for millennium and have shrieked back in horror, causing a very necessary social taboo and eventually, laws to match.
    Bestiality is not even in any way realistically relevant. It’s not even really worth mentioning.

    As the institution of marriage unravels, it is caused not by gays, or sexual perversion, but by selfishness and ignorance, resulting in a flood of divorce.

    • Thanks Ken,
      I think your comments about pedophilia support my point that all of this sexual behavior is fluid, rather than hard-wired, in human nature. That’s what the slippery slope is all about – there is nothing to stop us from accepting previously taboo behaviors in marriage once we start the redefining process.

      Second, my point was not that marriage is “all about breeding & maintaining..” The question is what interest government has in encouraging heterosexual, monogamous marriage (or any other marriage.) I don’t see how one can argue that it’s not in the state’s interest to encourage the emergence of the next generation of productive, tax-paying, contributing citizens. We know that children raised by their biological mom and dad stand the best chance of doing this. (See the response above yours for sources.) This is not to say that everybody else sucks and should be taken out and shot, only that it’s in the state’s interest to incentivize hetero marriage. In fact many European nations and Japan offer economic inducements for married couples to have children as their growth rates have fallen below replacement levels.

      As for incest, it doesn’t matter why it’s illegal, because we can now overcome every objection (see my response above to Micaela.) Certainly in the specific case I cited of the lesbian sisters, I see no objection whatsoever why the redefining of marriage will stop with gay marriage.
      So I must point out that may question still hasn’t been answered.

  10. Ken Gauthier says:

    To more directly address the question I would have to say this.
    If the two sisters marry, there is nothing lost or harmed for or by anyone. As a society, we do not allow sexual relationships between people and animals, or children, and marriage has nothing in the slightest to do with that fact. This notion that gay marriage will lead to a wide acceptance of all manner of crazy perversions is simply not based in reason. It is an apples and oranges argument.

    I guess the most important thing to consider is that marriage is not a license to do anything, but a responsibility to do much.

  11. Thanks for being one of the few who will actually answer the question. I disagree that nothing is lost or harmed in calling this a marriage. I don’t see how it’s an apples and oranges argument. 20 years ago gay marriage also seemed like a crazy perversion. Today it’s seen as a civil right.

    Here’s an actual quote from a “full marriage equality” site I ran across:

    “By (sic) brother and I have been together for 3 years now. we’ve had many problems because of course it is a difficult situation. we want to get married and have a family. we’ve told some people and all of them have been very supportive. Here’s the thing, i always compare ourselves with the gay community, 20 years ago they couldn’t be seen in public, they were discriminated (sic) until finaly society stared (sic) to accept them and i think the same thing is going to happen for us. I dont understand why people is (sic) against this… I mean, we’re not hurting anyone, we are in love and love is a good thing. we are happy together and once again WE ARE NOT HURTING ANYONE. i think it’s nasty the way society behaves…”

    I would love to be wrong about this.

    • Ken Gauthier says:

      I think that where we differ most on this issue is in our view of what is actually redefining marriage in our society. I believe that constraining who is “allowed” to marry whom can have no positive effect upon the institution and it’s ability to nurture society. I feel that the more pertinent qualities of marriage that are being challenged and changed are the issues of why people get married and our overall concept of marital permanence. Whether we like it or not, marriage is evolving with our culture and it will not go backward because it makes us uncomfortable. There are some very positive aspects to these changes. Among them are the facts that we can no longer own another person, nor is it ever anyone’s duty to have sex with anyone else, and most importantly, there is no act within a marriage, including infidelity, that gives anyone the right to commit a violent act against another. It is also no longer considered acceptable to marry our children off for the selfish promotion of the social, or economic status of our family, state, or community. Marriage is a contract between two people that is meant to be based solely on love and responsibility. Whenever, at any time in history, people have sought to determine who should marry whom, it has resulted in a wicked perversion of the sanctity of the institution. For it is the love and commitment of those getting married that constitutes the legitimacy and sanctity of marriage.

  12. If it’s wrong to “constrain who is ‘allowed’ to (legally) marry whom,” then I think we are going backwards. Everything will be back on the table now. You say “marriage is a contract between 2 people,” but that’s merely your opinion. If marriage need not be only heterosexual, then it need not be only 2 people, or sexually exclusive, or a permanent commitment, or anything else, so long as the participating parties are in agreement.

    But I would keep my opinions to myself if this were only about what consenting adults want, and I think this is here we differ most. I see no way around “marriage equality” being bad for children, as stated in my post. Also, men and women bring different and unique things to child-rearing, and I think every kid deserves a mom and a dad. “Marriage equality” essentially says both fatherhood and motherhood in the family unit are unnecessary and expendable – all that matters is loving parents. I think that’s better than nothing, but it’s not ideal, and will guarantee that more kids grow up in fatherless homes, or homes without their mom. How can it be any other way?

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