To those opposed to gay marriage: Why?

Because most people don’t live in San Francisco. They don’t see gay relationships when they’re growing up. They learn about those relationships later in life, after they’ve already aculturated to the idea that hetersexuality is the norm.

There’s a difference between ignorance and bigotry. And I mean “ignorance” in the sense of “uninformed”, not “stooooopid”.

I’m a female bisexual. I’m in a monogamous relationship with a man. It bothers me that through the logic of not allowing marriage between people of the same sex, I could have been excluded simply by meeting someone other than the person I did.

If I had met a girl that I felt as strongly about as I do my boyfriend, I couldn’t get married, have joint health insurance and get my relatives to buy us various appliances, but since I fell in love with a boy, I can.

I don’t want kids and if we had health insurance, one of us would be sterilized. I don’t see how allowing me to marry and carry on as I wish is in ANY way different from two men or two women.

cmkeller your argument is that since it would be hard to change the way it’s always been, we’re not going to. I’d love to see you explain it in any other way.

Spectrum, I agree. It’s not counterintuitive, it’s bigotry and fear. It’s counterintuitive to think that a relationship between two adults in love could be any different regardless of the gender of the people involved.

Translation (for many people with this reaction) Straight guy: There’s NO way I could be like that gay guy in ANY WAY.

The fear of being seen as like the other side is running some people’s thoughts.

I don’t think so. I can say, as a straight guy, that I have two different reactions to this issue. Emotionally, I don’t understand homosexuality. I can’t see how a man could be sexually attracted to another man, and in that sense it’s “counterintuitive”. IOW, it only makes sense if I think about it a lot. Intellectually, I can say “no matter”, and so I don’t have a problem with SSM. A lot of people don’t go thru that process. They really don’t spend much time thinking about gays and almost no time trying to understand them.

Yeah, there are certainly a lot of folks who are afraid of gays, but you can’t tell me that 60 - 80% of the population (typical precentages that the anti-SSM amendments got this time) falls in that category.

But time is on your side. Kids these days ARE growing up seeing gays on TV, in the movies, and generally part of our cutlural mishmash. It’s going to be hard to teach the old dogs new tricks, but the new dogs will already know the trick when they’re old enough to vote.

Wow, go off to lunch and the thread goes wild.

Anyway, to cmkeller, since you seem to be the only one with personal objections to same-sex marriage who’s brave enough to venture in here: While I don’t agree with your reasoning, I can understand it, at least somewhat. My next question, though, is can you separate “marriage as a sacrament” from “marriage as a legal institution”? You yourself pointed out that the latter is relatively recent. Do you have a problem with the word “marriage” (which, to you, is a sacrament) being applied to the legal union of two men, or are you opposed to two men being able to enter into any sort of legal contract that overlaps – in the legal sense only – with what we currently call “marriage”?

I mean, I already understand an objection to same-sex marriage – that specific word – on the grounds that the state should not be able to force a church to recognize something that the church feels is wrong. But to me, there has always been a clear separation between “marriage” as a religious or moral or sacramental institution that exists for procreation and support of the family, and “marriage” as a legal contract between two adults that gives each certain legal rights and responsibilities to the other.

So my question (which might have gotten lost in the above) is: would you object to the existence of some sort of “civil union” that would exist strictly in the legal realm? Something that would allow two men to file a joint income tax return, for one man to be the dependent of the other for insurance purposes, for one to have automatic visitation rights if the other were in the hospital, etc.? And if you object to that, then your earlier points about procreate, family support, and changing the existing usage of the word “marriage” aren’t all there is to your objection. So again, why?

This is the part that I really don’t understand. I agree that the church, any religion, should be able to decide who it will or won’t recognize as “married” in the eyes of that church or religion. But why does that spill over into wanting to restrict the legal aspect of marriage? Is it really just because of the terminology? If changing the terminlogy changes people’s objections to it, then that seems simple enough to do. But if changing the terminology still doesn’t change the objections, then I’m back to not understanding.

So then I assume you are strongly in favor of polygamous marriages (which typically produce many more offspring than monogamous)?

Your arguments seem to be self-contradictory. On the one hand, marriage is primarily for producing children, so that excludes SSM. On the other, infertile couples should still be allowed to marry simply because “it’s always been that way”. At the same time, same-sex couples who do have their own biological children from previous marriages should still not be allowed to marry, since those children are not equivalent to a child born of parents who aren’t gay.

Then it should follow:

  1. Newly married couples should not receive any of the legal benefits of marriage until such time as they have kids.


  1. Newly married couples have a set time to “authenticate” their marriage by having kids, or their marriage will cease to be recognized by the state

Now, granted I’m being facetious here, but those points are perfectly logical extensions of your “marriage is for procreation” bedrock. I realize a lot of anti-SSM feeling is based on religion and thus can’t be debated with logic, but our laws are not supposed to be religion based, so that argument really goes away (or should).

This is one of the few rays of hope that I try to remember when I find myself so incredibly saddened by things like these election results. I have no children of my own, but my spouse has two that are in their eary twenties. To them (and their friends, near as I can tell), being gay is no big deal. Some people are straight, some are gay, whoopdeedoo. I have no trouble believing that when that generation gets into power, this anti-gay nonsense will just evaporate like the nothingness that it really is.

I still find it incredibly sad, though, that so many people in my generation feel so strongly that they want to pass laws forbidding two men or two women from entering into a perfectly reasonable legal contract that any two people of opposite sexes can enter into.

Don’t get ahead of the process. We’re still sorting this all out in the legal arena. There may be a few states that figure out a way to completely ban civil unions, but most will learn to accomodate that option. And this’ll get sorted out LONG before the whole marriage thing does.

But if the purpose of marriage is to raise families, as you say, and if one of the gay partners already has a child, wouldn’t it be better to allow the two gay people to marry so as to provide a better family situation for the child than a single parent? Wouldn’t it be to the child’s benefit to allow the marriage?

“Won’t someone think of the children?!?”

Seriously though, I really don’t see the purpose of marriage as being just a means for two people to use their reproductive organs. Marriage is a chance for two people to formally express their love and their commitment to each other and to the principles of fidelity and commitment. Saying the purpose of marriage is just to let two people reproduce is both too restrictive and off the mark. Too restrictive because it ignores all of the legal and economic benefits accrued to married couples (not all of which can be replicated by private contracts), and off the mark because those reproductive organs themselves have so many more uses these days than the simple propogation of the species.

Not to mention the fact that propogation of the species isn’t the sole province of families anyway.

That would be baaaaaad.


10th person to think of it, 1st person to post it. :wink:

Oh, so let me get this straight, would that you could, the protections and recognitions of marriage would only be available to heterosexual couples with functioning reproductive systems who pledge to use them, and that other heterosexual couples can get said protections and recognitions is okay because it’s tradition, but to extend it any further would be bad because it would be a “redefinition” of what marriage is.

Got all that.

Where you’re losing me is this: what’s wrong with redefining what marriage is? Who would be harmed in any material way? What about any hetero marriage would be changed if the definition was expanded?

If you’re laying forth the notion that we can’t do it because it’s a redefinition, then you’ve got to explain the harm that comes from a redefinition. We redefine laws, when they no longer fit the current circumstances of society all the time. Why would this redefinition be so detrimental?

I am curious where this notion that the (at least original) defined purpose of marriage was to get people to make babies? I realize this is OT but it seems central to cmkeller’s argument. Regardless of what religion may have co-opted over the years or what flowery verbiage they attached to it procreation has never required marriage of any sort to happen. Stable family units can be witnessed in many animal species and they do so because it confers a variety benefits to them…not because they are married. Considering marriages were more arranged affairs than merely two people who got on well marriage historically had more to do with property than trying to breed.

I find the notion of supporting a ban on gay marriages on this basis quite a stretch.

But then, like some others, I find the whole argument incomprehensible. In my view there is the religious aspect to marriage and the civil aspect of marriage. The civil side should allow same sex couples the same rights that accrue to heterosexual marriages. Call it a civil union if it makes more religious types feel better. Inheritance, medical decison making abilities, tax liabilities, divorce protections…the list is a long one. As for “marriage” in the religious aspect that is between the individual and whatever religion they belong to. You do not need a priest/minister/rabbi/whatever to marry you…go see a judge. If the religious aspect is important to a same sex couple then they need to take it up with their religion, find a new religion (or even different place of worship in their same religion) that is more tolerant or live with that religion’s strictures. Up to them.

I learned quite a while ago that civil discussion on this topic doesn’t remain civil long. However, someone else summarized my feelings well on the topic. You can read two of his essays about it here and here.

Well, there goes any respect I had for Mr. Card. I can’t believe he actually pulled out the old “any gay man can marry a woman and any lesbian can marry a man…so they’re not denied to right to marry” bullshit.

Thank you for so clearly proving my point.

There are also people who say the same for interracial sex. In both cases, they are bigots and imbeciles. And I for one would rather lose every election than parade around in a sheet to get their vote.

What IS your point? That I’m supposed to respect the point of view that I’m too inferior in my relationships to deserve to be married to the man I love? That I’m supposed to just nod and agree with the bigoted majority when their God-Alarm goes off because maybe, just maybe, they won’t be special under the law anymore?

Well, here’s a news flash: I don’t respect anyone who seriously believes that government recognition of my relationship equivalent to marriage isn’t deserved by me. I never will. And if winning this thing requires me to suck conservative ass, then you can include me out. It should be done because it’s the FUCKING RIGHT THING TO DO, not because we blew enough smoke and sunshine up your sphincter. If you can’t have the grace to extend the vaunted American equality to us just because it’s the right thing to do, then don’t bother. Because I’m not paying for it in ass-kissing.

You should have stopped at “You’re not going to get anywhere.” The gibbering and the slander aren’t reasons, they’re the window dressing at Bob’s Hate Emporium. They might as well be claiming to have proof homosexuals have slight deviations in cranial capacity. The people who oppose gay marriage are the people who opposed gay everything else and lost. This is just the latest stopgap as we push their views out of the mainstream. If a war is worth fighting, it’s worth losing a battle or two.

A century ago, anyone who stood up for the rights of a jew was an extremist. Fifty years ago, anyone who stood up for the rights of a black person was an extremist. Now anyone who stands up for the rights of a homosexual is an extremist. In the end, the left wins.

Being a happy leftist requires either superhuman patience or the willingness to jeer and insult the right as they play catch up, knowing they’ll never acknowledge they’ve come around to your side. It’s enough to win, without having someone admit you have.

Well, the current shrill strategy has lost precisely 11 states now. I’m not saying that you have to suck anything–but you must remain civil in the discourse.

Consider the issue of abortion. There are millions of people who believe that abortion is the murder of a defenseless, innocent child. Do you claim that they should be shouting their opponents down at every opportunity? Should they be defending the innocent lives somehow? If people who believe this about abortion can remain civil, so can you.

Your response to Card’s essay is typical knee-jerk. He made factual statements as a part of his point. You denigrated those instead of addressing them and then dismissed the essay based on that. That pretty much proves to many people (including me) that you don’t have an argument.

Furthermore, you prove the point that activists aren’t actually seeking gay marriage. What they’re really after is social acceptance as equals by legislation or judicial fiat.

Yes, they remain civil by murdering abortion doctors, sheltering a serial bomber, and voting for someone like Keyes. Very civil.

My god, he wants equality? That bastard! Someone get some rope!