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January 17, 2007

Comments

While I applaud the move by the German government, I'm not sure if I could give up cinnamon and curry.

But, I'm a boy (both in sex and gender :), so it's more of a moot issue.

Isn't it amazing that when people practice the lifestyle that God set up it is profitable to themselves, their children, their society and even their government?

Ummm, not to harsh the high here but I read the article and I see the words "mother". "parents", "women", and "mums". I don't see anything in the article to preclude single women and lesbian couples from recieving the benefit and as Germany has same sex unions we may have leaped before we looked.

I do congratulate STR on at least realizing the importance of a sound social safety net and the role government can play in the the maintenance of a just society.

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/14203

http://www.ilga-europe.org/europe/issues/marriage_and_partnership/same_sex_marriage_and_partnership_country_by_country

So it appears governments have an interest in children. I agree. It seems to go like this:

We have an interest in your child but you can kill it if it suits you.

I guess they have an interest in the ‘next generation’ but not the unwanted one.

I noticed the same thing as well, Alan. But it is good to see them giving so much support so that a child is not thrown into daycare soon after birth and the family does not need to worry about rent or dinner.

Indeed, some form of paid family leave and universal health care would make raising a family easier.

>> In addition to populating the next generation, in tact families still provide the most stable situation to raise well-adjusted citizens to carry on our society when they grow up.

Ya but i don't think that's the real issue. Assume a hypothetical scenario in which every lesbian couple used IVF and had 4 "well adjusted" children. And every male gay couple adopted 3 african babies.

In such a scenario the gay population would be contributing to national population growth more than the straight couples.

Would you, at that time, say, "Oh well ok then gays can have the right of marriage now."

Hah! Noooooooooo

So really, its irrelevant whose producing more kiddies really.

Tony,

How about this: Martians come down from space and impregnate all homosexual women. Then they make all heterosexual men impotent with a laser beam to the groin.

Same results; I can definitely see your point.

I think, Alan, an appropriate reading of the argument is that the gov't promotes hetero marriage because it believes (1) heteros can be reasonably expected to provide the bulk of the future population, whereas gays cannot be reasonably expected to do so, and (2) heteros are more likely to provide society with well-adjusted citizens.

For your argument carry any weight, it seems to me you have to make a case for the liklihood of your hypothetical gay well-adjusted, IVF/adoption scenario.

You don't state what you think the "real issue" is. What is it?

Hi Mike, that was Tony's post, not mine. I hold the reproductive potential of gay relationships to be irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage. All such arguments are merely a desperate rear-guard action and will prove futile.

That having been said, the reality is that gay men are going to adopt or otherwise bring children into a relationship and most lesbians are perfectly capable of reproducing on their own. These children deserve the same protections of their interests as the children of heterosexuals receive. There are no indications that I am aware of that show any disadvantages to being raised by a gay couple.

"There are no indications that I am aware of that show any disadvantages to being raised by a gay couple."

You don't have kids, do you?

Alan,

You wrote: “I hold the reproductive potential of gay relationships to be irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage.”

I agree (in a way) because everything about gay marriage is irrelevant.

The question to proponents of homosexual marriage is this: Why should the government hold any interest whatsoever in totally irrelevant homosexual marriage?

Because gay couples are going to have children, hold property, get ill, and die just the same as everyone else and marriage or civil unions provide tried and true ways to deal with those and a host of other situations in a way that individually arranged contractual arrangements can't.

Adoption and parenting are among those many issues where personal experience winds up trumping ideology for conservatives. While opposed to gay marriage, Medved defended adoption a while back based on personal experience with a couple he knows. At any rate my (infinitely wise) decision not to parent anything with 46 chromosomes has nothing to do with anything as we are talking about overall experience. John, do you have any real evidence here? It isn't enough for someone to look at their own parenting experiences and extrapolate.

Sorry, Alan (and Tony). I'm new to this blog world. I was misreading the association between comments and authors.

I don't have facts to attempt to confirm or refute:
"There are no indications that...show any disadvantages to being raised by a gay couple."

I will have to research it. I believe I heard some references to the issue in the latest STR radio interview with Jennifer Morse. So maybe that's a starting point for me.

Alan,

You wrote:

“Because gay couples are going to have children, hold property, get ill, and die just the same as everyone else and marriage or civil unions provide tried and true ways to deal with those and a host of other situations in a way that individually arranged contractual arrangements can't.”

I know two brothers who are jointly raising their nephew (the third brother died). They sometimes get ill (i.e. flu, colds, etc.) They also own properties together. I also predict they will someday die and want to sort things out financially.

Should they be married in your opinion? Would marriage make things easier?

Alan,

My apologies for the above email, however, my point stands.

How do those things you mentioned obligate government to take action in favor of homosexual marriage?

No apologies necessary, your example makes my point. There are well established rules in dealing with inheritance. If the two brothers die intestate things could get complicated depending on how many other relatives there are. Has the nephew been formally adopted by one of the brothers? As the relationship between the brothers is familial there is far less likelihood of the sort of estrangement that comes with a marriage relationship, hence there is far less need for any of the protections for the parties that marriage provides. If the child is adopted by one of the uncles the other uncle is still a blood relative.

In a free society there needs to be a compelling reason for the state to prohibit something. There are no such reasons involving same-sex marriage that go beyond religious dogma, blue sky assertions of doom, and mere sentimentality.

What compelling, new information has come to light today (versus 20 years ago) that shows the goverment should sanction homosexual marriage or rather "not prohibit" homosexual marriage?

John, that is not the ways things should work in a free society. In a free society there has to be a compelling reason before something is forbidden. Your response seems to indicate that there are no such compelling reasons, therefore same-sex unions should be sanctioned the same as opposite sex unions.

Alan, you’ve reiterated:

“In a free society there has to be a compelling reason before something is forbidden.”

Precisely; but you point to this as proof of what? This means absolutely nothing. The argument rests on the ‘reasons’ and what is considered compelling evidence that leads to not sanctioning homosexual marriage. Ask an opponent of homosexual marriage their reasons. They won’t say, “It’s just a hunch.”

Alan, excluding harming society; what else could make something forbidden?

Alan,

"In a free society there needs to be a compelling reason for the state to prohibit something. There are no such reasons involving same-sex marriage that go beyond religious dogma, blue sky assertions of doom, and mere sentimentality."

My response was to what you wrote above. The notion of homosexual marriage sanctioned by government is new compared to 20 years ago, so it stands to reason that there has been some new, compelling information come to light as to why the government postion on this topic should change.

So, again, what new information has come to light to justify a change in the government position?

Or are you stating the federal and state governments in the US have collectively been practicing some kind of religious dogma, blue-sky assertions of doom, and mere sentimentality?

Times change, John, and often swiftly; the rate of that change often being a sign of the underlying emptiness of the former position. It matters not the depth of conviction possessed by a position's adherents; rather it is the strength of the arguments as perceived by opponents and those who are in the middle. people are changing their minds on this issue because the core arguments not to allow it are empty.

"Alan, excluding harming society; what else could make something forbidden?"

All sorts of things but if we are to engage the power of the state to prohibit something there must be evidence of direct harm that exceeds the direct harm of allowing it.

"Times change, John, and often swiftly; the rate of that change often being a sign of the underlying emptiness of the former position...people are changing their minds on this issue because the core arguments not to allow it are empty."

No new information.

You assert 'empty core arguments' but have provided nothing concrete, nothing specific to support the claim.

"Strength of the arguments"? I haven't heard any arguments from those who advocate homosexual marriage other than "I/we have a right" based upon personal whim. Their presentation is more sophisticated than the three old who screams and rolls on the floor in order to get his or her way but at the end of the day that's what the homosexual marriage position boils down to - I want my own way (and I want society to validate it).

John, this is why I often refer to social conservatism as a cancer in the body of a free society. There are advantages to marriage or civil unions that cannot be duplicated by individually arranged contractual agreements. In a free society there have to be reasons that go beyond mere dogma and sentiment in order to deny something to somebody. That something has always been someway is not an argument to continue it. Things have changed; the ball is in your court and your racket has a hole in it.

I guess we've had a cancer on society for some time, for our founders did not & certainly would not have allowed Gay marriage in that era if it had somehow come up as a point of contention when they formed the government.
One could also point to the ancient civilizations that came to accept & facilitate Gay relationships (Greece & Rome)--both of these civilizations are now gone. I'm not asserting that social & civil acceptance of homesexuality was the only cause of their demise--of course not. But I think it would have to be figured into the equation.
It seems to me that the radical Gay movement wants special rights, not equal rights. I can't marry a man either--the same as a Gay man cannot. Of course, I don't want to marry a man and a Gay man may want to. But in this area the law is not concerned with one's desire, only with the sex of one's spouse.

I don't know what the Founder's have to do with this. for one thing we have no idea what they would do if they were in the here and now. They might just as well point out that marriage is and of right should be a matter for each state to decide for itself.

Rome didn't abandon the republic because of gays; they acquiesced in its end much as some of us have rolled over to the present usurpers foisted upon us by the Dec12, 2000 coup. Otherwise all I see is a lot of unsubstantiated speculation.

Alan,

You do write well, yet rephrasing what you have already written does nothing to advance your point of view into a case for change.

You've asserted "people are changing their minds on this issue because the core arguments not to allow it are empty" yet you have not given one concrete example to support the claim.

What 'core arguements' are you speaking of? How about starting with a straight forward list of Empty core agument #1, Empty core agument #2, etc. and then the reasons that make each empty?

Or to pick up on your most recent post, how about listing Hole in the Racket #1, Hole in the Racket #2. etc.?

You have written "That something has always been someway is not an argument to continue it." yet in our legal system that is exactly what happens until the people vote to make the change or until a progressive judge chooses to enact new law rather than interpret what is on the books.

To wrap this up, I haven't made the claims here. I started by asking for new information that would consititute the basis for change but you have failed to supply anything but vague restatements of the same postings.

Hi John, I was hoping you were going to throw a few reasons at me but here goes.

All arguments that boil down to "marriage was created by God for a man and a woman" are theological and irrelevant in a secular society like ours. Churches are (and should be) free to decide their own standards for themselves.

All arguments that appeal to how ever many thousands of years of tradition are simply employing a logical fallacy.

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear,
Whatever is, is right.

Is a good place to start but usually a bad place to end up.

All arguments that assert a devaluing of marriage are refuted by the existence of Elizabeth Taylor and Brittany Spears.

All arguments from nature simply demonstrate the maker's ignorance of real time heterosexual human behavior (I hope our hosts appreciate my delicacy here).

There appears to be a generational issue here - opposition drops with cohort age. Time and the grave will eliminate opposition.

Alan,

I haven't made a claim, Ive asked the same question, which is the specific basis for changing how government has viewed marriage.

This country has withstood much in 200 years of existence weathering a Civil War, recessions, a depression, two World Wars, the Cold War all with a particular government view of marriage in place. Now we'll change just 'because'. Or because someone says "I have a right!".

Why didn't the 'Founding Fathers' make provision for homosexual marriage? Why was homosexual marriage covered somewhere in LBJ's Great Society? I guess the country was unenlightened in those days, it wasn't a progressive thinking place yet.

Several states have recently put marriage definition (between a male and female) to the vote of the people and I cannot think of one state where this was not upheld. I guess those people have all missed something?

It seems to me that governmental approval of homosexual marriage is needed by its supporters in order to validate, to give approval to the homosexual lifestyle. Isn't that what this is really all about?

If the homosexual lifestyle is no big deal, if it is a 'no brainer' where is the overwhelming support for it?

Those who want to fight this in court or at the ballot box will have to deal with that notion of precedent, that laws don't get changed on whim.

Still more questions, but I suspect the answers will be the same. And I don't think that rhyming prose would work in a court room or at the ballot box.

Note that the good citizens of Arizona defeated an anti same-sex marriage bill in the past election. If you check out the demographics, current high propensity voters (code for geezers) are also the group most opposed to same sex unions. Time will deal with this.

As I pointed out in a previous post, when social views have no rational basis they tend to collapse rather quickly once the emptiness is realized.

You seem to want some complicated set of reasons, but that isn't how these things work. Like it or not, we are children of the Enlightenment and individual freedom counts for something.

Homosexual conduct isn't illegal anymore because we collectively realized we didn't really care and it's none of our business anyway.
Gay folk are going to form relationships and those relationships are going to involve property and children and that can't (and shouldn't) be prevented in a free society. The orderly treatment of children and property as well as medical decisions are proper subjects of community concern. The most efficient way to deal with issues arising out of those relationships that resemble traditional marriage relationshhips is to extend the rules to cover the new situations which, in fact, resemble the old, far more than they do not. What we choose to call it is something else.

Alan,

Answers? Time will tell? What if time is running out?

One state vs. how many others? Did Arizona get it right and the other states are out of step with the progressive movement in our culture? Or perhaps those folks in states other than Arizona do care although you wrote

"Homosexual conduct isn't illegal anymore because we collectively realized we didn't really care and it's none of our business anyway."

If your statement were objectively true, the back and forth in this blog (and in other venues) would not be occuring and the state of Arizona would not be alone. In fact, if this issue were as obvious to everyone else as it apparently is to you, then government recognition would likely have already occurred.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but my remark re the founders was addressing Alan's assertion of "social conservatism as a cancer in the body of a free society"....
Obviously, the Founders, although "childern of the enlightenment", were socially conservative--at least in regards to homosexuality or human sexuality in general, most being Christian in the traditional sense. and I believe this is clear from their writings and letters. social conservative values similar to the Founders' have been around since then and have stood us in good stead, imo. One would think that, if such values were a cancer on society, after 200+ years the patient would be long dead--but such is not the case.
In regards to Rome & Greece, there were many causes of the demise of these great civilizations, but many scholars seem to always return to the oft quoted "decline in morality" of government & society. One could make the case for the civil & public acceptance of homosexuality as part of this decline.

The Founders were hardly social conservatives, had they been they would have been Tories. The pendulum swings back and forth and social conservatism is over due for a rest - a long rest, hopefully.

A few years ago the "back and forth" on this topic would have been unlikely. The voters in Arizona, in good Western fashion, decided that individual freedom trumped collective "values" in the measure on the ballot.

As for Greece and Rome - how is it that the loss of republican virtue in our nation is strongest among those who are also, for the most part, opposed to the "homosexual agenda", while remaining strong, again for the most part, among those who find the very idea of such an agenda peculiar? After all, liberals aren't waging imperialist wars, attacking habeas corpus, ignoring the Forth Amendment, and instituting torture.

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