To those opposed to gay marriage: Why?


I will not argue that a non-breeding family unit could very well raise children just as well as a breeding one would. Nonetheless, the non-breeding ones are not self-perpetuating. It takes some outside factor to get the kids there in the first place. The property of being self-perpetuating is an inherent part of what the structure of marriage was created for.


Of course not. The EXISTENCE of the structure has to do with procreation. The fact that the structure, as already constructed, also allows for some non-procreating unions is in part inertia, yes, and also in part a matter of govermnent intrusiveness. You can’t force people to procreate if they choose not to, and you can’t realistically require fertility testing for every marrying couple either. Nonetheless, it hardly requires any sort of active intrustion to notice that a couple is composed of two males or of two females.

That statement of mine was referring to the allowance of marriage of infertile heterosexual couples, not to the prohibition of it from homosexual couples.

Funny thing is, it doesn’t even make a lot of sense to Sam, who supports SSM.

John Mace, if people support civil unions, why all the successful ballot initiatives banning them?

Does Michigan allow amendments to address two separate issues? If not, as some states do, that initiative won’t pass a court test. I think it’s going to be very difficult to ban civil unions. There are too many contractual arrangements that can be make by two people already, and the unintended consequences of banning civil unions will become obvious real soon.

People just saw them as anti-SSM. They didn’t have a choice to vote for just banning SSM but still allowing civil unions. I think many of those initiatives will be declared void because they address more than one item. I really do believe that this is going to sort itself out in MOST states. I just don’t see how you can ban civil unions without completely messing up the ability of every person to form contractual arrangements for legal purposes.

Example: Judge strikes Louisiana’s gay marriage amendment

The devil is in the the wording: “the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.”

It’s that last bit - “similar union for any purpose” - that, it is feared, “means public officials could not record or otherwise recognize a same-sex marriage and would not be required to provide marriage benefits (for example, spousal health care coverage) to the partners of unmarried employees.” (Source)

That’s the thing, you say that marriage is based in procreation, but allowing infertile heterosexual couples “doesn’t hurt anybody.” In what way does the allowance of infertile homosexual couples hurt people? They live their lives in EXACTLY the same way as the allowed couple, but are denied all of the societal benefits of marriage that the allowed couple gets.

I’m curious to hear from somebody who has strong, explicable reasons for opposing SSM that does not include a religious underpinning. While the strictures of a particular faith are compelling to its adherents, reliance on them does tend to limit discussion with those who don’t share that faith.

Can anyone speak to the issue from a solely public policy standpoint?


It doesn’t. However, the one merely requires us to inertially leave the definition alone, while the other requires a re-definition.

Or, to put it another way: Both types of couples are equally unsuited for the purpose that marriage was originally established for. In theory, infertile couples shouldn’t be in a marriage either. But what’s done is done. There’s no compelling reason to go through the bother of excluding them, especially considering how intrusive it would be to confirm every marrying couple’s fertility.

However, two wrongs don’t make a right. To re-define for including homosexuals is not a correct thing to do.

I just posted an answer to this question in a pit thread, but I’ll summarize here ( please note that I personally support SSM and this is just what I have heard at my [former]church).
Most Christians see marriage as primarily religious, not legal. Therefore a law giving gays the right to marry is a governmental violation of the Church’s right to define itself morally.

I (like several other SD posters) am in favor of a clear seperation between legal marriage and “church” marriage. They would ideally have separate names, and I doubt the Church will give in, so the government will have to come up with something less clinical-sounding than “civil union.”

I also have a question for gay Dopers. What hurt more about the results of the SSM elections: loosing the chance for legal recognition and benifits, or loosing the chance for social recognition and acceptance?

Because I’m not sure that any law will give you the second. And I wish it could.

Genghis Bob:

My quote there was not meant to state that my rationale was religious. It was just to make the point that self-perpetuation as an inherent property of a marriage union is consistent with historical practice.

Of course, it wasn’t until recent centuries that marriage existed as a legal structure separate from marriage as a sacrament, so to examine the history of the institution necessarily involves the religious underpinning.

I especially enjoy the ol’ “slippery slope” argument.

Ex. If homosexuals are allowed to marry, then polygamists will be allowed to marrry…If polygamists are allowed to marry, then that weird guy down the street will be allowed to marry a sheep…if that weird guy down the street marries a sheep then life as we know it will cease to exist and all of western civilzation will come crashing down around us leaving us slaves to either our alien overlords or the Chinese.

So, you’re saying that the one and only reason to not allow gays to marry is because “that’s the way we’ve always done it?” That’s it? The inherent inequality, the emotional pain, the host of social and legal problems caused by not allowing gays access to this most basic of social contracts are all meaningless in the face of empty tradition?

How the hell do we keep losing to you people?

Another reason to oppose gay marriage. Many heteros see homosexuality as a choice. Note that in some cases this is obviously so. There are bisexuals who sometimes enjoy having sex with a member of the opposite gender, and at other times having sex with a person of the same gender. Some who oppose gay marriage do so as to discouraging people to choose a premanent partner of the same sex.

You’re right. It must be a fluke Keep doing the same thing every 4 years-- it’s bound to work eventually. :dubious:

I really think, as I said above, that most straight people see a gay relationship as being fundamentally different. Based on different emotions. It’s very counterintuitive that the two types of relationships would be the same.

Straight guy: There’s just NO WAY that the feelings I have for my wife is the same as those a gay guy has for his partner. NO WAY.


No, the reason to allow infertile heterosexuals to marry is “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

By arguing against what you think we said rather than addressing what we actually said.

Then perhap syou should be a bit more clear in explaining your bigoted “logic.”

What the hell are you talking about? The Democrats? This is the first election the Democrats have out and out lost since 1988. We clearly won in 1992 and 1996, and it was a fluke that cost us the election in 2000.

How is it counterintuitive? How? I don’t find it counterintuitive to think that my straight friends

That’s not counterintuition. That’s bigotry. “Those fags can’t be like me. No way. They’re fucking animals.”

I respect that your religious beliefs bring you to that understanding. I have to ask you, however…

Why is any of that relevant to the question of who is LEGALLY allowed to contract a marriage in a secular state?

Inertia should not be the reason we give rights to the undeserving or deny rights to the deserving. Good people are going to fight the good fight. They take action to fix that which is wrong. They do not sit back and say it is too hard.

In this case, there is inequality between infertile couples and gay couples, the cause is irrelevant. If we feel that all people should be treated equally, we should act. Since removing the rights of the infertile is nigh impossible, the other is the only choice.

Personally, I would feel fine about separating the religious aspect of marriage from the civil aspects, but that’s an even bigger job, with limited benefit. Frankly, I found the governments intrusion into my own wedding pretty annoying, as if they should be the arbiter of whether or not I could wed, or who could perform the ceremony.