In this thread, a number of posters make a statement similar to the thread title. When the discussion began to veer off-topic of the original OP in that thread, a couple of people recommended a new thread.
So, here it is.
My OP: Why?
Why is the statement “marriage is between a man and a woman” considered to be a statement of fact, without any support whatsoever?
Generally, as smilingbandit states, someone will say “marriage is about children/procreation.” However, I do not want children of my own. I have been married before. My ex-husband, when we married, ALSO did not want children of his own. We entered a marriage knowing that we would never procreate.
Therefore, our marriage was invalid? Or didn’t exist at all?
Really, please to help me understand this argument. (obviously, I disagree vehemently with it, but I want to read some rational statements supporting this belief).
I might also point out one does not need to be married in order to create children. I point to … oh about a billion or so people in the course of human history who managed to create a zygote while never stepping foot inside a church … me included.
So I guess I’m not one to offer a reason you’re looking for, because I can’t find one.
What about same-sex couples who adopt children? Does that not count as a family?
It’s impossible to define marriage to include all hetero couples while also leaving out all same-sex couples, unless you say that the only thing that defines marriage is man + woman. Leaving aside tradition and religion, it’s a rather arbitrary and unfair definition. Human relationships are a complex entity and it’s outrageous that people think it’s up to the government to decide which ones are genuine.
There is no rational argument for it. But there isn’t really any rational argument for any other definition until you get into governmental purview.
From a government standpoint, the key issues are taxation, health, and property. Married people are more likely to have a shared income, which effects taxes. Married people will likely want to raise children, so it’s useful to have them bound together legally. They’ll consider their possessions to be shared, and so in case of a divorce, arbitration will be needed. Etc. From the view of the government, all the issues that they care about when passing legislation and deciding social policy are going to be there regardless of what the allocation of innies and outies is. Copying and pasting all of the legal code and giving it a second name is just a waste of time.
Because it is a matter of opinion and preference. Same as “I don’t like chocolate”. I have heard a few people say such words. I cannot understand how anyone cannot like chocolate but there it is.
As for me, i have never been married and I believe I never will marry and I do not care much about the issue at all. But I can understand that there are more than 20 centuries of pretty much all cultures behind the idea that marriage is between opposite sexes and that many people feel it ought to stay that way. It does not make them right or wrong and those who oppose them are not right or wrong either. It is a matter of preference. Personally I do not understand why same sex marriage, which has no tradition anywhere, would be accepted and yet poligamy, which has ample tradition in many parts of the world, is not accepted. It seems to me that poligamy should be sooner accepted but, obviously, I am in the minority.
The usual explanation is that it would create problems with dividing the estate or something of that sort which I find incredibly dense and ridiculous. We manage to have rules for dividing estates among several heirs, we have multi-partner corporations, etc. with rules on how to manage them. Saying poligamy would create insolvable problems is ludicrous. So, as I say, it is just a matter of personal preference and opinion. How do you prove your taste being better than someone else’s taste? How do you prove chocolate tastes better than tofu? huh?
Well, yea, exactly, so I earnestly want to attempt to understand the thought process of the statement that marriage is about procreation.
Obviously, I would disagree with this next belief, but my understand of the statement in the title is that not only does your example not count as a family, the relationship between the parents doesn’t even count as a marriage.
My interpretation of your last statement is that you feel the label “civil unions” is the same as the label “marriage” and both are not necessary - we should pick one and stick to it regardless of the plumbing of the partners? If I’m correct in my interpretation, I agree with you. If I’m mistaken, please correct me and I apologize for the misunderstanding. But your (quite excellent) post still doesn’t enlighten me as to the rationale behind the “one man one woman” philosophy regarding marriage.
That’s great and all, but people who make the statement aren’t saying “It’s my preference that a marriage be between a man and a woman.” They’re saying “a marriage can only between a man and a woman.” Sort of the equivalent of “chocolate tastes better than tofu, this is an indisputable fact and everybody knows it.”
If they say that is an indisputable fact they will have to provide a reason (like “because the Bible says so”) in which case you can say you do not share that belief. And if they just say “because” then you are free to ignore them. It’s not like we can provide rational explanations for irrational acts here. We only fight ignorance.
History. Throughout recorded human history, marriage has been nearly the exclusive domain of opposite sex couples. There is some scant evidence of ceremonies for same sex couples, but it is in dispute.
Religion. The main religions of the world, Christianity in particular for the US, have opposite sex couples as the definition of marriage. In the Christian view, marriage was established by God in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.
Opal may or may not disagree with the above, but hi to her regardless.
At a guess for the same reasons people state the world is flat or that the government used missiles to take down the WTC, etc etc. In short people will state a lot of non-sense.
That said, if you are an orthodox religious person then I suppose it makes sense that ‘marriage’ is a union (blessed by God) for the purposes of procreation. It’s traditional and all that. Mind, I disagree…but I can see where others might hold that position based on their (interpretation of their) faith.
Well, there have been times in the past when your marriage would (or at least COULD) have been annulled because of that. Though in practice I doubt it would have been. Essentially you would have just said ‘we tried, didn’t happen’, and if no one complained I doubt anyone would have raised a stink about it. In theory after all you COULD have had children…something pretty much impossible in a marriage between two men or two women (unless there was some mixing going on as well).
The thing is, homosexual marriage is still kind of a new concept to most people. I think it’s vastly unfair and stupid to dis-allow it (let alone the huge miscarriage of justice I think by not allowing LEGAL unions at the least), but it’s going to take time to change perceptions on this…just like it took time to get women the vote and integrate minorities into the mainstream (we are STILL working on that in fact…as well as more equality for women). People seem to think that societies can change directions and perceptions and attitudes on a dime…this just ain’t so. It takes time and effort to shift a society.
And there will always be something else. If gays both the legal and spiritual ‘right’ to marry, then what about other types of couples? 2 men and a woman? Vice versa? Others? After all, why shouldn’t those folks who want that kind of bond be allowed to?
Only so many shocks a society is able to handle at once. Give it a decade (while pushing HARD for at least the legal/civic reality) and then see where we are then. My guess is we’ll gradually just move in that direction…just like we have on most of the other issues.
That is no the question asked in the OP but, in any case, many, (most?) laws can be described as “the prejudices (or views) shared by the majority”. There are untold numbers of laws which I do not agree with but there they are as a result of the prejudices of the majority. That comes with the territory when you live in an organized society. If you want to change them then the best thing is to try to change people’s views but you seldom achieve that by arguing. It is more a matter of getting used to things, old people dying off and younger people being more accepting. Of course, if you live in a society where younger people are not more accepting then you’re fucked.
I imagine it is because of polygamy’s history that it is not accepted. I do not oppose polygamous relationships in theory, but examples like the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints come to mind more readily than examples where everyone involved is treated fairly.
It’s hard to ignore them if they are using the government to enforce that belief.
Um, that’s the definition of democracy: whatever the majority says, goes (within the confines of the Constitution). Democracy is “using the government to enforce the beliefs of the majority”.
Now you and I might agree that a majority of the American people are a bunch of ignorant, fundamentalist bigots when it comes to certain things but what are you going to do about it?
Your view is that you are suspicious and do not trust poligamy. I find that view totally unreasonable. Now what? Since the majority, being totally unreasonable, agrees with you it seems I’ll just have to wait. Or would you rather we do pistols at dawn?
My biggest dissapointment this election season was hearing this statement, pretty close to word for word, come out of Barrack Obama’s mouth :(. Except he made it even worse by adding that it’s also a union under god.