A question for opponents of gay marriage

Gays aren’t “unequal” because they’re gay, they’re unequal because they are deprived the freedom to marry other gay people.

That’s not a change in my reference point. I was responding to someone else’s comment about polygamy being legal in other countries. The reference point you quoted still stands, at least from my POV for this thread.

I won’t be able to get back to this until later this evening. So if you don’t hear from me, I’m not ducking you…

If a straight couple, for whatever reason, wanted to have a “civil union” and not a “marriage”, would you let them?

23 posts in, and all we have so far for “negative consequences” is

If those things come up sometime in the future after SSM is legal, let’s deal with those things. Stopping A from happening because B might happen, at some point in the future, is not a valid reason for not doing A, imo.

This is an ongoing bit of specious reasoning in American politics. We can’t legalize marijuana, because then we’d just have to legalize heroin and cocaine. We can’t legalize dog track racing because then we’d have to legalize casinos. Forethought is great, but this isn’t forethought. It’s fear. Irrational fear.

Stink, I’m not harping on you, just the line of reasoning presented in what I quoted. Let me break it down for each question:

If you take away the gender notations, marriage is a social construct whereby 2 people pledge themselves to each other in a close and intimate association, combining property, households and lives into a new familial unit.

If you accept that that is what a marriage is, then you can see that we haven’t really changed the definition of marriage, we’ve only removed some qualifiers. I know that some will argue that is changing the definition, but IMO what I wrote is an apt description of a marriage between a man and a woman, it just doesn’t specify gender.

Perhaps, but now you’re arguing against something that isn’t proposed. When those things are on the table for debate, let’s talk about the merits and demerits of those things. Right now we are only talking about 2 people being able to marry.

Apparently, the people who vote against SSM get to make that decision, at least they think they do. Gay couples don’t want to tell anyone how to live (or love), but it seems that a whole bunch of straight people do. Why is it okay for one set to decide how another lives, when the other set just wants to be let alone to live how they see fit? (Which, incidentally, is pretty much the question put forth in the OP, or at least a close corollary.)

Talk of a slippery slope always galvanizes people, but as yet I have not heard or seen an actual negative consequence delineated. If there is a slippery slope, as you say, what lies at the bottom of the hill?

Well, it’d be easy to challenge that particular advocate’s argument - a lot of what Americans now spend is on imported goods. Presumably some significant percentage of what currently-unmarriagable gay couples are spending is on imported goods. Wedding goods and services, however, are near-universally obtained locally (I suppose some of the clothes might be imported, but musicians and cake and such would be local).

If “small business” is to be stimulated, I don’t see how weddings could fail. Heck, increase the terror threat level and the hassle at airlines and such and you can ensure most of the newly-married will honeymoon locally, too!

Then you should support equal rights. IMO that includes supporting SSM without restrictions and caveats.

The Bible has no authority. Historically we’ve had legal polygamy. Married woman didn’t own property only men did. At one time we outlawed interracial marriage. Even tradition is not an adequate reason. Mankind and society changes and grows. That’s our tradition.

Well yeah. We reluctantly gave blacks equal rights and look where that has led.

I repeat. Societies change and grow. Laws change and we can change them. Isn’t it our right as American’s to pursue equal rights and justice? Isn’t it reasonable to keep examining and questioning our society. The details of abortion is an ingoing discussion about where the legal lines are drawn. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

You’re correct that once a door is opened other changes may spring from that but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. IMO the slippery slope is still an irrational fear. We don’t need to be afraid of unavoidable changes because we can and should examine and steer them.

Reason should have *something *to do with it. I wouldn’t dismiss emotion but surely we shouldn’t cater to knee jerk emotional reactions without thoughtfully examining them.
The thing is nobody is advocating any change in the word for a large portion of the population.What’s being advocated is an expansion of the existing meaning to include a minority previously left out. Nothing about SSM affects hetero marriage at all. The whole idea that if two men or two women can be married it somehow lessens or dilutes the marriage of straights is just another irrational baseless fear. The level of love and commitment between two people is up to them.

And that’s the actual kind of slippery slope that the anti-single sex marriage people are afraid of. That in a few generations the old prejudices will be looked upon as silly and barbaric. That eventually, except for some fringe loons no one will bat an eye at two men or two women getting married, just as almost no one thinks twice if a black man sits up front in a bus. Of course, they can’t really come out and SAY that, so they dance around when asked about what unspecified Horrible Thing will happen if homosexuals marry.

The failure of this logic is that it applies equally well without adding SSM in. If it is OK for a man to marry ONE woman, why not two or three or four ? Adding in SSM does not change the inherent hypocracy in the argument. There are practical (next of kin issues, inheritance issues etc.) as well as moral arguments for and against Poly-marriage that are not affected at all by SSM.

All of the “slippery slope” arguements put forth suffer from the same failing. If you allow one kind of marriage (say one man and one woman) you have opened the door to others. Especially when we have redefined marriage so often in the past.

Yeah, does that mean we’ll have to look at gays embracing in public, holding hands, showing tenderness and affection right out in the open where kids can see? Will gays openly run for office?
What if gays can adopt as easily as heteros and they start turning their children gay?
What if my fears are shown to be irrational prejudice and I have to face that?

btw Saturday night I played cards with group that included gay men and women and their little girl. They all obviously loved the child and she was happy bright and energetic. The only problem I see that child having is dealing with the cruelty and prejudice of others.

Reason should have more than something to do with it. Reason should have everything to do with it. We can consider emotion and tradition when presenting people with a response or a solution to an issue, but emotion and tradition should not be factors in determining whether or not there will be a response.

Take SSM. I know that there are people who don’t like the idea. I know that there are people for whom a world in which SSM is legal is, by definition, not as good as a world in which SSM is not legal. To these people, I believe we have to say, “Whether you like it or not, the law is going to change. However, we can assure you that this change does not affect your private life, the relationships within your family, or the way you worship. It doesn’t address in any way what you, personally, believe.”

In 1996, the Congressional General Accounting Office prepared a list of legal rights set out in state and federal law that were only available to married couples. At that time, they determined there were about 400 rights under state law, and about 1000 rights under federal law.

As summarised by ReligiousTolerance.Org, those rights were as follows:

[ul][li] joint parenting;[/li][li] joint adoption;[/li][li] joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);[/li][li] status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;[/li][li] joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;[/li][li] dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;[/li][li] immigration and residency for partners from other countries;[/li][li] inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;[/li][li] joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;[/li][li] inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);[/li][li] benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;[/li][li] spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;[/li][li] veterans’ discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;[/li][li] joint filing of customs claims when traveling;[/li][li] wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;[/li][li] bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;[/li][li] decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;[/li][li] crime victims’ recovery benefits;[/li][li] loss of consortium tort benefits;[/li][li] domestic violence protection orders;[/li][li] judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;[/li][li] and more…[/ul][/li]
Note that these are very significant rights for individuals in their daily lives. To make civil unions equal to marriage, all of these statutory provisions would have to be updated.

And, each time the Congress or a state legislature introduces a new right that relates to marriage, it would have to include civil unions - leaving it open for there to be the same sort of fight each time, and with the clear possibility of slippage in equality.

To illustrate this point, consider that the GAO has recently updated the list, and the list of federal statutory rights for married couples is now at 1,100 - so 100 new provisions have been added over the past decade. Would making civil unions have automatically been added to each of these provisions? or would there have been opposition each time? Your guess is as good as mine - but as I understand it, proponents of SSM are afraid that they would not be successful each time, and that there would be gradual slippage and a patchwork. Plus, as I understand it, their position is that they shouldn’t have to fight to be included each time Congress or a state legislature gives a new benefit to a married couple.

I actually thought about this the other day. I was on the bus, playing with my ipod or something, and I looked up to see if we were getting close to my stop. I noticed that at some point in the trip, a Black guy had sat down in the seat in front of me, and I thought, “There was a time, not that long before my time, when a significant number of people were so afraid that that this very thing might happen that they made it explicitly illegal.” And I tried to imagine what kind of person you’d have to be, that is, how you’d have to think about the world, to be so offended at the prospect of a Black man sitting forward of you on a bus that you’d feel it necessary to have a law against it. I couldn’t, same as I truly cannot come up with a reason-based prediction of something bad that could happen if we let SSM happen.

Neither. It is not a religious concept, but a legal one from the Roman Republic.

The Old Testament has many examples of polygyny, even among the patriarchs and noted leaders of the Hebrew people. The New Testament says only that the church hierarchy should be monogamous.
Judaism and Christianity aspire to an ideal of monogamy, but as a norm, it actually entered Western society through Roman Law, irrespective of theology.

[quote=“Northern_Piper, post:31, topic:497645”]

[ul][li] veterans’ discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;[/ul][/li][/quote]

I thought they got all the gays out of the military.

Hmm interesting. Do you have any cites for that? Not that I don’t believe you, I am just interested in reading further. I want to see what justification I might have for taking a second wife. :stuck_out_tongue:

Just curious, Stink Fish Pot - what state do you live in? I ask because you assume that your friends have the option of civil union, but that’s only the case in seven states, plus D.C., that have civil union or domestic partnership laws, and none of those are the full equivalent to marriage. And none of those civil unions are recognized by the federal governement. (There are an additional five states that give some rights, but are not considered civil unions - although I note that list of five is outdated, since Maine has now recognized same-sex marriage.)

So perhaps the other response to your question is, perhaps civil unions that are exactly the same as marriages are a possibility - but since no state has provided that option yet, it’s just an academic possibility. By contrast, several states have gone the marriage route, showing that it is an option, not just an academic possibility.

I took a 2nd wife once. There was mine, and then there was the other guys. Turns out it’s a bad thing.

[quote=“Bryan_Ekers, post:34, topic:497645”]

I understood that to be saying that if someone in the military survives “don’t ask, don’t tell”, gets honourably discharged, and then comes out and gets hitched to a same-sex partner, that veteran could not claim veteran’s benefits for the partner.

There’s a few assumptions there, of course…

LOL, not exactly what I meant. :wink:

I get your point but I don’t think it’s realistic to have reason have everything to do with it from either side of the issue. I’m suggesting that we can acknowledge the emotional response without justifying it or using it as a basis for law. We can challenge people to honestly examine their attitudes and the available evidence to see how their emotional response jives with reality and the facts. We can also appeal to other emotions such as their sense of pride and their self image as a fair person.