Thursday, February 08, 2007

Same-Sex Marriage Hot Potato

For those of you who think this is insane, please understand the point. Which is that, up to now, the conversation has essentially gone like this:

Why can't two consenting adults of the same gender get married?

Because it's wrong.

Why is it wrong?

Because.

Because why?

It just is. A marriage is a sacred thing between one woman and one man.

According to...?

According to everyone.

You mean everyone who is against gay marriage.

It's in the bible.

Ah. So this is a biblical thing?

Why not? The bible says that marriage is between one woman and one man.

It also says that the purpose of marriage is to procreate.

Right, and gay couples can't do that naturally.

Lots of hetero couples can't do that naturally, either. Do their marriages still count?

Of course.

Why?

Because.

Because why?

Ummmm...just because. Sometimes couples can't have kids.

But if the bible dictates that the purpose for marriage is to procreate, and that reason doesn't come to fruition, then it seems to me -- speaking in strictly biblical terms -- that that marriage should be null and void.

That's just stupid.

Why? Because if the only reason same sex couples can't marry is because the bible says so, but the bible also says that marriage is for the purpose of having kids, you can't logically have it both ways.

I don't like you.



The real issue, of course, is and always has been the separation of church and state when it comes to marriage. The state dances around this all the time, but discriminating against same-sex couples baffles me. It makes no sense to me: not ethically, not logically, not legally.

Of course the case and the above dialogue are hyperbolic, but come on.

Either opponents need to admit that their reasoning for not condoning same-sex marriages is based in religion...
  • which means they have to admit that they're asking the state and church to be interdependent

  • which also means that non-procreating hetero couples have no biblical ground to stand on if they are unable or unwilling to conceive, and their state-recognized marriage should be legally void for the same reasons it was legally recognized

...or admit that their real reasoning for not wanting same-sex marriage is because it just makes them uncomfortable.

19 comments:

  1. I have had similar conversations with people here...it makes me so angry. And it doesn't affect me personally but people I love. Argh.

    But I think your last line is the real reason.

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  2. I LOVE this tactic- it's an excellent PR move. Admittedly, I can't see it getting passed to BE challenged in court, but it shows a core point of anti- gay marriage rhetoric- that "marriage is for the kids" - to be the fine piece of nonsense it is.

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  3. I am also somewhat shocked by this:

    The opinion written by Justice Barbara Madsen concluded that "limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state's interests in procreation and encouraging families with a mother and father and children biologically related to both."

    A) why does the state have a stake in encouraging said family units? (if it's not a religious thing)

    B) isn't there an overpopulation problem or something?

    C) ADOPTION, hello! I can't believe how invalidating this statement is to families with adopted children! Why shouldn't families be encouraged to adopt unwanted children (who already exisit!), because I would think the state would have a bigger stake in that, considering that some unwanted children may end up as a burden on the taxpayers, via mothers on welfare or the foster care system.

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  4. i cannot believe that there are so many people up in arms over something that, in essence, does not affect them whatsoever.
    it makes my skin crawl.

    I find it truly unfortunate that there is no rational explanation for why they feel same-sex marriage should be illegal and that it is an argument that is entirely faith-based.

    We just keep on moving backwards.

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  5. "We just keep on moving backwards."

    And more and more we look like the Islamic fundamentalists they tell us we should fear.

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  6. Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men [and women], undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine

    US will get there (legalizing same-sex marriage) eventually!

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  7. I am in favor of a plan that nullifies all legal "marriages." I think we should instead require all couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex to file legal contracts bequeathing the current 'marriage' rights to their partner.

    We'll call them ALL domestic partnerships. And it should be as easy to change as any other contractual agreement between two entities.

    "Marriage" is a religious term, and should only have any real meaning within the confines of the church.

    That should effectively separate the church from my right to pull my partner's plug when the time comes.

    And while we're at it... let's get rid of that stupid tax break for the married. Why should I be punished for being gay or single?

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  8. The thing I don't get about the opposing arguements to same sex marriage, is why do you care so much?

    I always ask opposers I know the following questions "how will two people of the same sex getting married affect your life in anyway? How will it directly affect your marriage in anyway?" they never have a decent answer answer.

    Let's face it, if Fred and George down the street get married and your religion says it wrong, I don't think you will go to hell, just them, so who cares, they're going to hell for being gay anyway along with the neighbours who are divorced.

    I love this idea, it's great I hope it makes it somewhere. But I am just happy to live in a country where it is legal.

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  9. Jester, that is EXACTLY what I have always felt. That just made my day.

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  10. The idea is interesting, I have got to say. I have never heard of an intiative that no one meant to pass just to be on the ballot, to get conversation going. At least not in what will probably be known in the history books as The "Decider" era.Thanks for writing about it to bring that to my attention!

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  11. Word, Jester, you said exactly what I was thinking, but better than I could have.

    but tax break for the married? Fiance are going to get married in August and I am shuddering at what it is going to do for our tax bracket/tax paying. It used to actually be a marriage penalty b.c you paid so much more in taxes with the two incomes. I think it may be slightly even now, but it's still going to put us (two decent wage-earners in Chicago with high-living costs) in a decent amount of hurt.

    I still don't understand why people oppose equal rights, ever, and I grew up in Southern Indiana, where my grandmother said to me in 2002, "You're going to vote Democrat? But they let people kill little BABIES!!" Right, Grandma, act as if there are no other issues in this world. But seriously, for some people there is just no reasoning past what they have been scared into or told in church. Again, with the whole "making christians look bad" - I'm Christian, and I don't think that narrowly. The Bible tells us to do unto others, love each other, and not to judge.

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  12. marriage of any kind is a monumental waste of time. it's a dead institution which won't be around in another 25 years. so it's not even worth arguing over.

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  13. yeah jester, you just saved me a long post. i can just say "ditto jester" instead.

    right on.

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  14. just to put a little point in regarding religion and marriage. Marriages can be null and void in some western religions if the couple can't have kids. It's grounds for anullment in the Catholic religion.

    And honestly, my gut says gay marriage: no big deal, but I'm truly hesitant to jump on the bandwagon on either side. There is some value in traditional marriage. There is some value in allowing gays to marry. But dare I go out on a limb and say I truly don't know what's right. Not right now. Eventually one will feel right, but I'm not there yet. I may end up disagreeing. I may not. I dont know at this point. At the very least I am trying to figure out what is right for the future... my child's future. That makes me want to be sure in my opinions.

    Hopefully that fact can be respected. It's a little scary disagreeing with folks on this blog sometimes. Please know that those of us who don't immediately agree are really working on seeing both sides in a logical, non-reactive way.

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  15. Getting away from all the romantic aspects of marriage, what marriage legally does is obligate you to another person. The state has an interest in promoting that because it lessens the burden on them in many ways. It is generally good for society to have people team up and care for eachother.

    I don't understand why more state governments wouldn't want to encourage that no matter what the genders of the people. If two people want to make that kind of commitment to each other, then we should let them.

    Oh, agreed about marriage tax being more of a penalty. It is really only beneficial to a couple to be married (tax-wise) if one person isn't working at all. If both parties are working, you pay more taxes if you're married. True for my husband and me too,

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  16. marriage tax "break" is designed exactly for the family they expect us to be... a little beaver cleaver. i guess i can't speak for everyone (read: anyone), but disagreeing on this blog seems fine- with a couple rules if you don't feel like a bunch of people tell you exactly why you are so wrong... a) you have to be able to say what you think, and why you think it, b) saying "because i think it," doesn't count much- that's the point of this post. if you don't agree with something from the post, address the questions in it- it's ok, they're questions. "god doesn't like gay folks," doesn't clear anything up for everyone else.

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  17. I'm fine with everyone having the same rights regardless of gender orientation. I never have understood why anyone would be denied those rights. I just don't want the word "marriage" redefined. It's a semantics thing, I know, and it might imply some sort of discomfort on my part (which there isn't. Look at my first two sentences.) Semantics are important. Even when two words have a similar meaning, each word conveys, or communicates, a different concept - thus enabling the expression of specific ideas.

    The state does have an interest in supporting the institute of (traditional) marriage. It often means more little taxpayers. And there really isn't any real tax break for being married. You get hit with more taxes since the household income grows and in many cases the outdated AMT removes ALL tax deductions.

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  18. Thank you.

    I have always felt same sex couples deserve the same rights as heterosexual couples. I understand the religious position, and that if the state would just stop calling them marriages, I think a lot of people would be happier. Really I don't see the state's obligation as more than it would do for birth or death. The state cares where and when you were born and who are the borth parents and legal guardians. Religious centres care about these things but also a briss, baptism, confirmation, dedication etc.

    The funny thing, is when I tell people I'm a baptist and a strong supporter of legal rights for same sex couples. Seems not to jive for anyone.
    kim

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