Help Me Understand: Why is Same-Sex Marriage a Threat to My Marriage?

HELP ME UNDERSTAND – This is a series of posts where I invite those who disagree with me about a great many things political, theological and social to speak their minds. My aim is not to incite comment wars, but to encourage genuine interaction between those who truly want to understand from where the other is coming. Please pass these posts onto folks who might be willing to engage and if you have a good question for the series, feel free to let me know.

In light of the recent New York State decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the first question in the series will be on same-sex marriage.   I have been clear where I stand on the question of same-sex marriage, I currently sit on the Board of CA Faith for Equality and I have blessed same-sex commitments in the past. My question has to do with one of the major arguments that is raised against legal recognition of same-sex marriage namely that, “Same sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage.” I do not assume that everyone who is against same-sex marriage uses this argument, but I think it is fair to say that this is one of the mostly widely used arguments heard in the public discourse.

So if you hold this position about same-sex marriage, and feel up to putting your words out there for interaction, please answer me this question,

How is same-sex marriage a threat to my traditional “one man and one women” 20+ year marriage or to the possible traditional marriage that any of my daughters may choose to enter into in the future?

So there you have it. I know that there is likely to be some feisty interaction about this here, but I hope I have laid down an invitation that will encourage passionate, yet gracious responses.

1,346 comments

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  • Anonymous  

    I’m with you on this, Bruce, but this story may shed a little light on the subject. Just before the 2008 election, I was discussing Prop. 8 with a friend/coworker who had immigrated from India but who was by then a US citizen. He told me that he was voting for Prop. 8 because he believed that if same-sex marriage became legal, it would increase the probability that his only child, a girl, would turn gay, and that he would then never have any grandchildren. I tried, but I could not shake him from that view.

  • Anonymous  

    I’m with you on this, Bruce, but this story may shed a little light on the subject. Just before the 2008 election, I was discussing Prop. 8 with a friend/coworker who had immigrated from India but who was by then a US citizen. He told me that he was voting for Prop. 8 because he believed that if same-sex marriage became legal, it would increase the probability that his only child, a girl, would turn gay, and that he would then never have any grandchildren. I tried, but I could not shake him from that view.

  • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

    Hey all . . . for the record, I HAVE been keeping up with the conversation, but you all are going so darn fast, I have not jumped in.  For the most part, this is what I have hoped for minus some of the name-calling.  Thanks for being part of this first post.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      I say it’s testament to your faith that you can have such open debates.  It’s those that are closed off to discussion and new ideas that I believe are insecure in their faith (and that goes for secular beliefs as well).  

    • Ron  

       Of course you’re right, Bruce, that gay marriage poses no real threat to traditional marriage. But, as the conversation generated by your question shows, that’s not what’s really at stake. As one of the few progressives in an uber-conservative, “confessing” presbytery, I’ve come to the conclusion that some folks have to insist that homosexuality is a sin because, were they to do otherwise, it would call their entire (literalist) hermeneutic into question. More than just a handful of anti-gay proof texts, it would raise doubts about everything else which they believe to be literally true in the Bible – including things like a literal heaven, hell, second coming, salvation, and all the rest. That’s what makes this so scary: not because gay marriage threatens their traditional marriages, but because they feel it threatens their eternal souls. And so they react with great animus, which masks their inner, unconscious fear – a fear which, sadly, causes them unnecessary pain and suffering, because they don’t understand that all that is really threatened by a non-literalist reading of scripture is the ego, not the Soul.

      • Neil Robertson  

        Well put Sir.

      • kloomis  

        A minister once said to me that he felt the whole anti-gay thing was not really about actual homosexuality, but more about the erosion of male supremacy, because of the expansion of male role models that accepting gay males would cause, and the recognition of women’s strength that accepting lesbians would cause. This was said a long time ago; don’t know if he would have the same analysis now.

  • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

    Hey all . . . for the record, I HAVE been keeping up with the conversation, but you all are going so darn fast, I have not jumped in.  For the most part, this is what I have hoped for minus some of the name-calling.  Thanks for being part of this first post.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      I say it’s testament to your faith that you can have such open debates.  It’s those that are closed off to discussion and new ideas that I believe are insecure in their faith (and that goes for secular beliefs as well).  

    • Ron  

       Of course you’re right, Bruce, that gay marriage poses no real threat to traditional marriage. But, as the conversation generated by your question shows, that’s not what’s really at stake. As one of the few progressives in an uber-conservative, “confessing” presbytery, I’ve come to the conclusion that some folks have to insist that homosexuality is a sin because, were they to do otherwise, it would call their entire (literalist) hermeneutic into question. More than just a handful of anti-gay proof texts, it would raise doubts about everything else which they believe to be literally true in the Bible – including things like a literal heaven, hell, second coming, salvation, and all the rest. That’s what makes this so scary: not because gay marriage threatens their traditional marriages, but because they feel it threatens their eternal souls. And so they react with great animus, which masks their inner, unconscious fear – a fear which, sadly, causes them unnecessary pain and suffering, because they don’t understand that all that is really threatened by a non-literalist reading of scripture is the ego, not the Soul.

      • Neil Robertson  

        Well put Sir.

      • kloomis  

        A minister once said to me that he felt the whole anti-gay thing was not really about actual homosexuality, but more about the erosion of male supremacy, because of the expansion of male role models that accepting gay males would cause, and the recognition of women’s strength that accepting lesbians would cause. This was said a long time ago; don’t know if he would have the same analysis now.

  • applecore  

    I don’t see the need to jump on the bandwagon to support the latest gay idea: Changing the definition of marriage for the first time in the history of our country. The word threat is a word you used.

    • tfizzle  

      As Allforfunnplay points out above, the US previously defined marriage as a union between two people of the same race, so this would not represent the first adaptation of the definition of marriage ever.
      Additionally, is your response that SSM is a threat to your marriage (or your concept of the institution of marriage if you are not yet married) because you don’t see the need to jump on a bandwagon?  This is the question being fielded but your response seems to be more along the lines of why you reject the notion of SSM.

    • Neil Robertson  

      Oh applecore, what to say, what to say.  Is it OK for an inter-racial couple to wed?  That used to be banned you know – or do you?  Are you really so ignorant of history that you don’t know that in this country, the definition of marriage included “of the same race”? 

      From my perspective as a straight married male, allowing ssm has no affect on my marriage but ssm has a profound and positive affect on my gay friends.  I see it as a matter of fairness and inclusiveness, to help our fellow Americans provide stability in their relationships and families. 

      What upsets me is the lies that are constantly told and retold that never seem to go away.  Your post is an example of that.  I don’t know if you are simply ignorant, have been misled by others (of your faith most like) or are deliberately spreading mis-information to foster your own agenda, but you are spreading a lie – isn’t there something in your religion about spreading mis-information? 

      On your other point – “the word threat is a word you used”.  Yes, Bruce used the word “threat”.  He asked how ssm threatened other marriages. 

      Here’s the thing in a nutshell.  If you strive to prevent ssm, you must either have a rational case why it should not be allowed or your motivation will be seen as simply animus towards gays. 

      We had the trial here in CA, the Prop8 trial, and guess what – no rational evidence was produced.  It has already been shown in a court of law that the driving force for preventing ssm is simply animus, and that has no place in a court of law.  I would like to think that a loving religion would try to minimize animus towards certain groups of people, but in this case…

      Cheers, Neil.

      • Frank  

        Actually plenty of credible evidence was presented, (maybe not in the best way however) which is why it made it to the most overturned and irrelevant court in the country, the 9th. It will be reversed again over the Prop8 ruling.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          I have yet to see any credible evidence and I would welcome an opportunity to review.  Credible evidence against Gay Marriage would mean that this debate has not been a waste of time with people who simply fear homosexuals and hide behind 2000+ year old religions as their reasoning and forget that as Americans they should be willing to tolerate (notice I used the word tolerate and not accept) those with different customs and beliefs even if they think those people are going to Hell.  

          • Frank  

            Tolerate and sanction/support are two different things.  I tolerate sinners because I am one but just because I sin does not mean I support or sanction sin.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            then why not Tolerate homosexuals?  that was the major point I made in my primary post where I asked that question to Bruce.  If you can tolerate atheists who break the #1 rule against god, then why can’t you tolerate homosexuals?  As you Christian you believe Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc.. are all going to Hell…why not simply let homosexuals go to hell too?  

            If you remove the religious reasoning for persecuting homosexuals (and again, I’m not saying you can’t believe they’re sinners and going to hell), the answer is FEAR. In fact the non-religious reasoning is fear based (though I grant you that if you found legitimate studies that supported your fears we would have to seriously consider the issue from an objective stand point).  Bottom line is conservatives fear homosexuals more than atheists.  

          • Frank  

            I tolerate them fine. I have had and do have many gay friends and family members. I love them no matter how they define themselves.

            Tolerance and sanctioning are two different things. I actually support civil unions that afford all the same legal rights but changing the definition of marriage goes so far beyond tolerance and will only damage our future.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            so we’re back to semantics?  it’s the use of the word “marriage” that’s the issue?  why don’t you just change your use of the term to “Christian Holy Marriage”?  

            and if you support Civil Unions then why all the effort to prove SSM as unfit for raising children?  

          • Frank  

            Allowing two people to commit to each other that provides legal protection for that commitment is different than promoting a less than ideal family structure.

            Why should the current definition be changed why not just make up your own word?

          • tfizzle  

            Because the current definition is a government matter and not a religious one.  States issue marriage licenses.  As has been pointed out previously, if that definition was not fluid, then trans-racial marriages would not be ‘legal’. 
            This is why it should change: government institutions cannot discriminate when providing services.

          • Frank  

            Which is why I am not making a religious argument even though the bible is crystal clear that homosexuality is a sin.

        • Anonymous  

          I have read transcripts of the entire trial, Frank.  There was no credible evidence whatsoever on the anti-equality side — and, in fact, one of your “experts” scored points on the side of equality.  Hardly a brilliant showing.

        • Neil Robertson  

          I followed the Prop8 trial and read the transcripts and I think we have a different view of what constitutes credible evidence.  Unless you mean where the Prop 8 guy said that the children of a same sex union would benefit from ssm (directly contradicting why he was there).

          Sorry Frank, but there are different standards for evidence in a court of law compared to the court of public opinion.  You may think the evidence was credible but it did not stand up to cross examination.  The proof was missing.  Lies, half truths, and innuendo was all that was offered.

          Actually you’re right – plenty of credible evidence was provided – to prove that Prop 8 was motivated by animus and that there was no rational basis for removing the rights of the minority.  Plenty of evidence was presented that showed the positive benefits to society of ssm.  Real evidence, real studies, not opinion pieces junked up to look like they were real.

          Cheers, Neil.

      • Jm26Dream  

        I do not see how a ban on interracial marriage can be compared to a ban on gay marriage…based on the basic concept of genders

        • Anonymous  

          Gender and sexual orientation are not equivalent.  The point here is that there were laws against mixed ethnicity marriage, the “reasons” for which are almost identical to the kind of nonsense that anti-equality types spout now about same-sex couples.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States

          Quote from the Congressional Record: 
          Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse
          to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and
          repugnant to the very principles of Saxon government. It is subversive
          of social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately
          this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation a
          conflict as fatal as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the
          mountain paths of Pennsylvania. … Let us uproot and exterminate now
          this debasing, ultra-demoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy

          —Congressional Record, 62d. Congr., 3d. Sess., December 11, 1912, pp. 502–503(Gosh, some of that language looks familiar …)

          • kloomis  

            Wow–horrible. Thank you for reminding us how what seemed so normal back then now appears so evil.

    • Anonymous  

      Um, no.  The definition of marriage has been changed many times since our country was established and, in fact, during the course of my lifetime. 

      • Jm26Dream  

        Please provide specific examples that equate with this issue

        • kloomis  

          The definition of marriage used to include such items as the husband’s owning his wife’s hair–no longer true. (Actually, if I remember correctly, women did not own property–it was held in their husband’s name. Please correct me if I am wrong on this) The concept of rape within a marriage used to be an oxymoron; it no longer is–it’s a crime. The shape and definiton of marriage have definitely changed over time.

  • applecore  

    I don’t see the need to jump on the bandwagon to support the latest gay idea: Changing the definition of marriage for the first time in the history of our country. The word threat is a word you used.

    • tfizzle  

      As Allforfunnplay points out above, the US previously defined marriage as a union between two people of the same race, so this would not represent the first adaptation of the definition of marriage ever.
      Additionally, is your response that SSM is a threat to your marriage (or your concept of the institution of marriage if you are not yet married) because you don’t see the need to jump on a bandwagon?  This is the question being fielded but your response seems to be more along the lines of why you reject the notion of SSM.

    • Neil Robertson  

      Oh applecore, what to say, what to say.  Is it OK for an inter-racial couple to wed?  That used to be banned you know – or do you?  Are you really so ignorant of history that you don’t know that in this country, the definition of marriage included “of the same race”? 

      From my perspective as a straight married male, allowing ssm has no affect on my marriage but ssm has a profound and positive affect on my gay friends.  I see it as a matter of fairness and inclusiveness, to help our fellow Americans provide stability in their relationships and families. 

      What upsets me is the lies that are constantly told and retold that never seem to go away.  Your post is an example of that.  I don’t know if you are simply ignorant, have been misled by others (of your faith most like) or are deliberately spreading mis-information to foster your own agenda, but you are spreading a lie – isn’t there something in your religion about spreading mis-information? 

      On your other point – “the word threat is a word you used”.  Yes, Bruce used the word “threat”.  He asked how ssm threatened other marriages. 

      Here’s the thing in a nutshell.  If you strive to prevent ssm, you must either have a rational case why it should not be allowed or your motivation will be seen as simply animus towards gays. 

      We had the trial here in CA, the Prop8 trial, and guess what – no rational evidence was produced.  It has already been shown in a court of law that the driving force for preventing ssm is simply animus, and that has no place in a court of law.  I would like to think that a loving religion would try to minimize animus towards certain groups of people, but in this case…

      Cheers, Neil.

      • Frank  

        Actually plenty of credible evidence was presented, (maybe not in the best way however) which is why it made it to the most overturned and irrelevant court in the country, the 9th. It will be reversed again over the Prop8 ruling.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          I have yet to see any credible evidence and I would welcome an opportunity to review.  Credible evidence against Gay Marriage would mean that this debate has not been a waste of time with people who simply fear homosexuals and hide behind 2000+ year old religions as their reasoning and forget that as Americans they should be willing to tolerate (notice I used the word tolerate and not accept) those with different customs and beliefs even if they think those people are going to Hell.  

          • Frank  

            Tolerate and sanction/support are two different things.  I tolerate sinners because I am one but just because I sin does not mean I support or sanction sin.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            then why not Tolerate homosexuals?  that was the major point I made in my primary post where I asked that question to Bruce.  If you can tolerate atheists who break the #1 rule against god, then why can’t you tolerate homosexuals?  As you Christian you believe Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc.. are all going to Hell…why not simply let homosexuals go to hell too?  

            If you remove the religious reasoning for persecuting homosexuals (and again, I’m not saying you can’t believe they’re sinners and going to hell), the answer is FEAR. In fact the non-religious reasoning is fear based (though I grant you that if you found legitimate studies that supported your fears we would have to seriously consider the issue from an objective stand point).  Bottom line is conservatives fear homosexuals more than atheists.  

          • Frank  

            I tolerate them fine. I have had and do have many gay friends and family members. I love them no matter how they define themselves.

            Tolerance and sanctioning are two different things. I actually support civil unions that afford all the same legal rights but changing the definition of marriage goes so far beyond tolerance and will only damage our future.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            so we’re back to semantics?  it’s the use of the word “marriage” that’s the issue?  why don’t you just change your use of the term to “Christian Holy Marriage”?  

            and if you support Civil Unions then why all the effort to prove SSM as unfit for raising children?  

          • Frank  

            Allowing two people to commit to each other that provides legal protection for that commitment is different than promoting a less than ideal family structure.

            Why should the current definition be changed why not just make up your own word?

          • tfizzle  

            Because the current definition is a government matter and not a religious one.  States issue marriage licenses.  As has been pointed out previously, if that definition was not fluid, then trans-racial marriages would not be ‘legal’. 
            This is why it should change: government institutions cannot discriminate when providing services.

          • Frank  

            Which is why I am not making a religious argument even though the bible is crystal clear that homosexuality is a sin.

        • Anonymous  

          I have read transcripts of the entire trial, Frank.  There was no credible evidence whatsoever on the anti-equality side — and, in fact, one of your “experts” scored points on the side of equality.  Hardly a brilliant showing.

        • Neil Robertson  

          I followed the Prop8 trial and read the transcripts and I think we have a different view of what constitutes credible evidence.  Unless you mean where the Prop 8 guy said that the children of a same sex union would benefit from ssm (directly contradicting why he was there).

          Sorry Frank, but there are different standards for evidence in a court of law compared to the court of public opinion.  You may think the evidence was credible but it did not stand up to cross examination.  The proof was missing.  Lies, half truths, and innuendo was all that was offered.

          Actually you’re right – plenty of credible evidence was provided – to prove that Prop 8 was motivated by animus and that there was no rational basis for removing the rights of the minority.  Plenty of evidence was presented that showed the positive benefits to society of ssm.  Real evidence, real studies, not opinion pieces junked up to look like they were real.

          Cheers, Neil.

      • Jm26Dream  

        I do not see how a ban on interracial marriage can be compared to a ban on gay marriage…based on the basic concept of genders

        • Anonymous  

          Gender and sexual orientation are not equivalent.  The point here is that there were laws against mixed ethnicity marriage, the “reasons” for which are almost identical to the kind of nonsense that anti-equality types spout now about same-sex couples.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States

          Quote from the Congressional Record: 
          Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse
          to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and
          repugnant to the very principles of Saxon government. It is subversive
          of social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately
          this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation a
          conflict as fatal as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the
          mountain paths of Pennsylvania. … Let us uproot and exterminate now
          this debasing, ultra-demoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy

          —Congressional Record, 62d. Congr., 3d. Sess., December 11, 1912, pp. 502–503(Gosh, some of that language looks familiar …)

          • kloomis  

            Wow–horrible. Thank you for reminding us how what seemed so normal back then now appears so evil.

    • Anonymous  

      Um, no.  The definition of marriage has been changed many times since our country was established and, in fact, during the course of my lifetime. 

      • Jm26Dream  

        Please provide specific examples that equate with this issue

        • kloomis  

          The definition of marriage used to include such items as the husband’s owning his wife’s hair–no longer true. (Actually, if I remember correctly, women did not own property–it was held in their husband’s name. Please correct me if I am wrong on this) The concept of rape within a marriage used to be an oxymoron; it no longer is–it’s a crime. The shape and definiton of marriage have definitely changed over time.

  • dave w  

    I think the “threat to traditional marriage” argument works sort of like this: if we establish that same-sex couples should have the “same choice to marry” as opposite-sex couples, then that implies that marriage is a “choice” in the first place – and for opposite-sex couples, it’s not supposed to be a choice, it’s an obligation. If marriage comes to be viewed as a “choice”, rather than something that opposite-sex couples are required to do (lest their sex be “illicit”) that would imply that Sex-Without-Marriage would come to be viewed as “OK after all”… and I think the emergence of this attitude is actually what the traditionalists are worried about, when they make alarmed noises about “the de-institutionalisation of marriage”!

    • kloomis  

      Hadn’t thought about that–thanks.

  • dave w  

    I think the “threat to traditional marriage” argument works sort of like this: if we establish that same-sex couples should have the “same choice to marry” as opposite-sex couples, then that implies that marriage is a “choice” in the first place – and for opposite-sex couples, it’s not supposed to be a choice, it’s an obligation. If marriage comes to be viewed as a “choice”, rather than something that opposite-sex couples are required to do (lest their sex be “illicit”) that would imply that Sex-Without-Marriage would come to be viewed as “OK after all”… and I think the emergence of this attitude is actually what the traditionalists are worried about, when they make alarmed noises about “the de-institutionalisation of marriage”!

    • kloomis  

      Hadn’t thought about that–thanks.

  • Nopls  

    Personally, I have no problem with homosexuality as long as it is a minority thing.  We could probably even use a generation or two where it becomes really really popular, things are getting a little crowded around here.  However in the long run, if it really catches on, that would certainly not be a great thing for the human race.  Lets deal with that problem if it ever arises.

  • Nopls  

    Personally, I have no problem with homosexuality as long as it is a minority thing.  We could probably even use a generation or two where it becomes really really popular, things are getting a little crowded around here.  However in the long run, if it really catches on, that would certainly not be a great thing for the human race.  Lets deal with that problem if it ever arises.

  • David Arnold  

    First, this question seems to assume that one embraces a self-centered narcissistic world-view that embraces the trinity of me, myself and I.  In other words, the only thing that matter is how things impact me. Even if I did embrace that world view, same sex marriage does impact my marriage in the sense that it redifines the assumptions that society and culture view in terms of how and why I entered into marriage. Marriage is no longer viewed as a covenant relationship established by God between one man and one woman for one lifetime; it is a contractual relationship established by the state. So, in this sense, my marriage is affected. I am not opposed to the state mandating civil unions or other contracts between same sex couples; I do not promote legistlating morality, because you can not legistlate heart change. However, please do not call those unions marriage, because they do not function under the same assumptions and requirements that I entered into.

    Second, this question seems to assume that personal moral and ethical decisions occur in a vacuum that do not impact community or society. However, history is full of examples where personal moral and ethical decisions impacted community and society. Our personal and moral deciaions have consequesnces that impact others in our sphere of influence and society- see Bernie Madoff, for example. Changing the definition of marriage threatens traditional marriage because we live in community and thus are impacted by the decision made within a community.

    Third, this question seems to assume a subjective view of morality and ethics that are free to change and evolve over time. However, morality is not subjective; across continents and cultures there have been moral absolutes, one of which has been marriage. And because there are moral absolutes, the question becomes, where did they come from? Did they just appear from nowehere? Did they assemble themselves? Or did moral absolutes come from a being who provided those absolutes, called God? The answer that makes the most sense, at least to me, is God.

    Fourth, this question assumes a that we simply can leave God out and live life as though He does not exist. And humanity has been given the freedom to leave God out and live as though He does not exist. And we are blessed to live in a country that allows us that freedom. However, do we also not have the freedom to maintain institutions and environments for those who believe in God and desire to live in relationship with Him by His absolutes and His institutions? Again I am not for legistlating morality. If people want to leave God out, that is their choice. Have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or whatever you want to call them. But keep marriage defined and God designed and defined it- as one, man with one woman for one lifetime.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      so first your issue is semantics???  just don’t call it marriage.  why don’t you just rename your institution holy marriage.  

      your second point is vague.  you’ve made no point other than decisions make magical impacts on the community but I can’t really say why.

      moral absolutes are for fundamentalists.  you should study your Bible more there are many grey areas in it. Marriage has varied across human history….even within the Bible (study it, it’s pretty interesting).  

      yes you can leave god out of it.  it’s called separation of church and state.  one of the founding principles the country was founded on…and no the founding fathers weren’t Christians they were Diest (look it up if you don’t know it).  

    • kloomis  

      “Across continents and cultures” — what I learned in anthropology umpteen decades ago is that marriage, and other social institutions, have many variations across cultures and time. Your statement is just not true.

      And as for morality changing tradition–yes, it does! Jesus did that–he healed the sick on the sabbath–broke the Commandment! Anti-slavers and abolitonists changed tradition. Suffragettes did too. Moral people are constantly working to change traditions that are destructive. “Heterosexist supremacy” is a bad tradition. Change will certainly bring problems to work out, but it is our job to do that work. 

  • David Arnold  

    First, this question seems to assume that one embraces a self-centered narcissistic world-view that embraces the trinity of me, myself and I.  In other words, the only thing that matter is how things impact me. Even if I did embrace that world view, same sex marriage does impact my marriage in the sense that it redifines the assumptions that society and culture view in terms of how and why I entered into marriage. Marriage is no longer viewed as a covenant relationship established by God between one man and one woman for one lifetime; it is a contractual relationship established by the state. So, in this sense, my marriage is affected. I am not opposed to the state mandating civil unions or other contracts between same sex couples; I do not promote legistlating morality, because you can not legistlate heart change. However, please do not call those unions marriage, because they do not function under the same assumptions and requirements that I entered into.

    Second, this question seems to assume that personal moral and ethical decisions occur in a vacuum that do not impact community or society. However, history is full of examples where personal moral and ethical decisions impacted community and society. Our personal and moral deciaions have consequesnces that impact others in our sphere of influence and society- see Bernie Madoff, for example. Changing the definition of marriage threatens traditional marriage because we live in community and thus are impacted by the decision made within a community.

    Third, this question seems to assume a subjective view of morality and ethics that are free to change and evolve over time. However, morality is not subjective; across continents and cultures there have been moral absolutes, one of which has been marriage. And because there are moral absolutes, the question becomes, where did they come from? Did they just appear from nowehere? Did they assemble themselves? Or did moral absolutes come from a being who provided those absolutes, called God? The answer that makes the most sense, at least to me, is God.

    Fourth, this question assumes a that we simply can leave God out and live life as though He does not exist. And humanity has been given the freedom to leave God out and live as though He does not exist. And we are blessed to live in a country that allows us that freedom. However, do we also not have the freedom to maintain institutions and environments for those who believe in God and desire to live in relationship with Him by His absolutes and His institutions? Again I am not for legistlating morality. If people want to leave God out, that is their choice. Have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or whatever you want to call them. But keep marriage defined and God designed and defined it- as one, man with one woman for one lifetime.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      so first your issue is semantics???  just don’t call it marriage.  why don’t you just rename your institution holy marriage.  

      your second point is vague.  you’ve made no point other than decisions make magical impacts on the community but I can’t really say why.

      moral absolutes are for fundamentalists.  you should study your Bible more there are many grey areas in it. Marriage has varied across human history….even within the Bible (study it, it’s pretty interesting).  

      yes you can leave god out of it.  it’s called separation of church and state.  one of the founding principles the country was founded on…and no the founding fathers weren’t Christians they were Diest (look it up if you don’t know it).  

    • kloomis  

      “Across continents and cultures” — what I learned in anthropology umpteen decades ago is that marriage, and other social institutions, have many variations across cultures and time. Your statement is just not true.

      And as for morality changing tradition–yes, it does! Jesus did that–he healed the sick on the sabbath–broke the Commandment! Anti-slavers and abolitonists changed tradition. Suffragettes did too. Moral people are constantly working to change traditions that are destructive. “Heterosexist supremacy” is a bad tradition. Change will certainly bring problems to work out, but it is our job to do that work. 

  • Frank  

    http://winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/WI_Marriage.pdf
    Executive SummaryIn recent years, marriage has weakened, with serious negative consequences for society as a whole. Four developments are especially troubling: divorce, illegitimacy, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage. The purpose of this document is to make a substantial new contribution to the public debate over marriage. Too often the rational case for marriage is not made at all or not made very well. As scholars, we are persuaded that the case for marriage can be made and won at the level of reason.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      ya know, I’m all for open academic debate and information on any subject.  But that document has little scientific basis and is basically an opinion based document with as much substance to it as much of what is posted here in the comments (though professionally written).  Documents like this irritate me more than religious fundamentalism.  At least they acknowledge their reasoning is based on faith (which by definition is irrational) but this “stuff” is trying to pass itself off as scientific and academic.  

      Let me summarize the documents analysis and conclusions concerning SSM.

      We don’t have any data on SSM (or it’s it’s infancy..to use their words).

      General studies that have nothing to do with SSM “indicate” that children benefit from traits by two sexes. Thus we must conclude that children of SSM may encounter difficulties with their own identity, sexuality, attachment to kin.  

      SSM could weaken the social norm that children need a mother and father (see solid logic above).  

      A report about Gay Men in the first year of Civil Unions say 50% don’t believe in fidelity.  Great sample there guys for the basis of legislation.  

      Countries that have SSM/Civil Unions have low rate of marriages and fertility.  So obviously it’s the gay’s fault because they’re not getting married and procreating that those countries and states have low birth/marriage rates?  If they were denied Civil Unions/marriage, they’d jump right back into the mating pool (I gave this same answer to Michael Kruse below who gave similar reasoning).  

      So based on all of this SOLID data and analysis the document concludes that we must protect marriage from Same Sex Marriage and Civil Unions for homosexuals.  

        

      • FrankT  

        Sounds good to me. In fact this paper has as much (I believe much more) legitimacy as anything SSM supporters put out. I understand you don’t like what it says because you feel threatened by it and it doesn’t fit in with how you think people should live their lives but your outright dismissal of it is very telling. I am reminded of that famous Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men. I think we are all familiar with it.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          where am I wrong in my assessment? 

          I’m not personally threatened at all.  Their right to marry or have civil unions has no effect on my marriage.  

        • Allforfunnplay  

          Even the data posted below by Marie was far more credible than what was posted in the document you posted.  Her data was outdated and out of context but at least it was from mostly legitimate sources (aside from that CSN report).   

        • tfizzle  

           Truth is rooted in fact but you are referencing a document that provides no fact, rather opinion.  It’s not the argument of this document that I find threatening but its methodology.  It presents itself in one manner while deploying argumentative structures that complete contradict clinical (read, unbiased) reasoning. The article could argue that the sky is blue and I still would question it.

          • Frank  

            The blogger asked a question and I gave an answer with a document that gives an on point and cogent answer. I have yet to see any answer from ssm supporters why it’s a good idea.

          • Meghanf  

            That isn’t the question that was asked.

          • Frank  

            What do you mean? The document lays out why marriage itself as man and woman is a critical societal and cultural institution that needs to be preserved. What happens with the definition of marriage affects not only all marriages but the very fabric of the family unit and therefore our society as a whole.

            Not only is it a very reasoned and well supported document, it tackles the problems of divorce and monogamy which are often used as ammunition against heterosexual marriage supporters.

          • Meghanf  

            I meant that right here, on this blog, the question “why is same sex marriage a good idea?” was not asked.

          • Frank  

            True enough but it should be asked. Maybe its not because there is no good answer?

          • Meghanf  

            I’d arguethat the burden of proofshouldn’t fall on thosetryingto extend more rights.

          • Frank  

            Legally perhaps but this is not a legal court. I suspect there just is no good answer so avoidance and deflection are the only response.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            the formatting of this blog is getting ridiculous

          • Anonymous  

            You’re right, Meghan.  The burden of proof falls on those who wish to abrogate rights — under the law, there must be a compelling state interest in doing so. 

            You know, that thing which no one has yet shown?

          • Allforfunnplay  

            no it doesn’t.  it lays out an opinion based on conjecture of mostly unrelated research.  THE DOCUMENT ADMITS THAT THERE IS LITTLE TO NO RESEARCH ON THE SUBJECT OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE.  

    • kloomis  

      This is VERY heuristic, but I think marriage has been in trouble for much longer, over 100 years? I am thinking of Ibsen’s play “The Dollhouse” and also of the history of attempts in the U.S. to outlaw divorce, which seemed to have peaked in the 1920′s (another post here I think mentioned the churches’ giving up on anti-divorce legislation). The horrible truth, is, I think, that traditional marriage is in trouble because of feminism. Traditional marriage assumed obedience to the husband, and feminism in its successive waves has been eroding that concept since the 1800s.

      I think. Very willing to get feedback on this.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        perhaps traditional marriage isn’t as necessary to modern society as it was in the past?  classic static gender defined roles aren’t needed like they were in the past?  women are educated, can work and choose when and how they wish to raise their children and support their families along with men who may take on more domestic roles?  

        so yes, i’d agree that traditional marriage is less of a factor (but still a big one) in modern society in the US because of feminism but also birth control.  

  • Frank  

    http://winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/WI_Marriage.pdf
    Executive SummaryIn recent years, marriage has weakened, with serious negative consequences for society as a whole. Four developments are especially troubling: divorce, illegitimacy, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage. The purpose of this document is to make a substantial new contribution to the public debate over marriage. Too often the rational case for marriage is not made at all or not made very well. As scholars, we are persuaded that the case for marriage can be made and won at the level of reason.

    • Allforfunnplay  

      ya know, I’m all for open academic debate and information on any subject.  But that document has little scientific basis and is basically an opinion based document with as much substance to it as much of what is posted here in the comments (though professionally written).  Documents like this irritate me more than religious fundamentalism.  At least they acknowledge their reasoning is based on faith (which by definition is irrational) but this “stuff” is trying to pass itself off as scientific and academic.  

      Let me summarize the documents analysis and conclusions concerning SSM.

      We don’t have any data on SSM (or it’s it’s infancy..to use their words).

      General studies that have nothing to do with SSM “indicate” that children benefit from traits by two sexes. Thus we must conclude that children of SSM may encounter difficulties with their own identity, sexuality, attachment to kin.  

      SSM could weaken the social norm that children need a mother and father (see solid logic above).  

      A report about Gay Men in the first year of Civil Unions say 50% don’t believe in fidelity.  Great sample there guys for the basis of legislation.  

      Countries that have SSM/Civil Unions have low rate of marriages and fertility.  So obviously it’s the gay’s fault because they’re not getting married and procreating that those countries and states have low birth/marriage rates?  If they were denied Civil Unions/marriage, they’d jump right back into the mating pool (I gave this same answer to Michael Kruse below who gave similar reasoning).  

      So based on all of this SOLID data and analysis the document concludes that we must protect marriage from Same Sex Marriage and Civil Unions for homosexuals.  

        

      • FrankT  

        Sounds good to me. In fact this paper has as much (I believe much more) legitimacy as anything SSM supporters put out. I understand you don’t like what it says because you feel threatened by it and it doesn’t fit in with how you think people should live their lives but your outright dismissal of it is very telling. I am reminded of that famous Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men. I think we are all familiar with it.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          where am I wrong in my assessment? 

          I’m not personally threatened at all.  Their right to marry or have civil unions has no effect on my marriage.  

        • Allforfunnplay  

          Even the data posted below by Marie was far more credible than what was posted in the document you posted.  Her data was outdated and out of context but at least it was from mostly legitimate sources (aside from that CSN report).   

        • tfizzle  

           Truth is rooted in fact but you are referencing a document that provides no fact, rather opinion.  It’s not the argument of this document that I find threatening but its methodology.  It presents itself in one manner while deploying argumentative structures that complete contradict clinical (read, unbiased) reasoning. The article could argue that the sky is blue and I still would question it.

          • Frank  

            The blogger asked a question and I gave an answer with a document that gives an on point and cogent answer. I have yet to see any answer from ssm supporters why it’s a good idea.

          • Meghanf  

            That isn’t the question that was asked.

          • Frank  

            What do you mean? The document lays out why marriage itself as man and woman is a critical societal and cultural institution that needs to be preserved. What happens with the definition of marriage affects not only all marriages but the very fabric of the family unit and therefore our society as a whole.

            Not only is it a very reasoned and well supported document, it tackles the problems of divorce and monogamy which are often used as ammunition against heterosexual marriage supporters.

          • Meghanf  

            I meant that right here, on this blog, the question “why is same sex marriage a good idea?” was not asked.

          • Frank  

            True enough but it should be asked. Maybe its not because there is no good answer?

          • Meghanf  

            I’d arguethat the burden of proofshouldn’t fall on thosetryingto extend more rights.

          • Frank  

            Legally perhaps but this is not a legal court. I suspect there just is no good answer so avoidance and deflection are the only response.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            the formatting of this blog is getting ridiculous

          • Anonymous  

            You’re right, Meghan.  The burden of proof falls on those who wish to abrogate rights — under the law, there must be a compelling state interest in doing so. 

            You know, that thing which no one has yet shown?

          • Allforfunnplay  

            no it doesn’t.  it lays out an opinion based on conjecture of mostly unrelated research.  THE DOCUMENT ADMITS THAT THERE IS LITTLE TO NO RESEARCH ON THE SUBJECT OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE.  

    • kloomis  

      This is VERY heuristic, but I think marriage has been in trouble for much longer, over 100 years? I am thinking of Ibsen’s play “The Dollhouse” and also of the history of attempts in the U.S. to outlaw divorce, which seemed to have peaked in the 1920′s (another post here I think mentioned the churches’ giving up on anti-divorce legislation). The horrible truth, is, I think, that traditional marriage is in trouble because of feminism. Traditional marriage assumed obedience to the husband, and feminism in its successive waves has been eroding that concept since the 1800s.

      I think. Very willing to get feedback on this.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        perhaps traditional marriage isn’t as necessary to modern society as it was in the past?  classic static gender defined roles aren’t needed like they were in the past?  women are educated, can work and choose when and how they wish to raise their children and support their families along with men who may take on more domestic roles?  

        so yes, i’d agree that traditional marriage is less of a factor (but still a big one) in modern society in the US because of feminism but also birth control.  

  • Matt_mahi  

    Bruce, you seem to be making a common error: assuming that those who use this argument are doing so out of thoughtful reason. The “threat to marriage” argument was thought up by people who know better, because it frightens simpletons.

    • kloomis  

      The word “threat” is possibility inflammatory, but it is still worth our while to consider what the broadening of the marriage institution should include, and how the new inclusions might affect us.

    • Marie  

      I am not a simpleton, I am not frightened, and I have given a great deal of thought to my opinions.  Your insults are inappropriate.

  • Matt_mahi  

    Bruce, you seem to be making a common error: assuming that those who use this argument are doing so out of thoughtful reason. The “threat to marriage” argument was thought up by people who know better, because it frightens simpletons.

    • kloomis  

      The word “threat” is possibility inflammatory, but it is still worth our while to consider what the broadening of the marriage institution should include, and how the new inclusions might affect us.

    • Marie  

      I am not a simpleton, I am not frightened, and I have given a great deal of thought to my opinions.  Your insults are inappropriate.

  • kloomis  

    A couple of other thoughts–(1) my wife and I (we are lesbian, married in CA in 2008) have tried to develop and support lesbian community in the suburban area where we live, since the 80s. We have occasionally seen married women come out, leave their husband and children and start a new relationship with a woman. From the husband’s and children’s point of view, this was real damage. I hope that as we develop inclusive marriage, we will address this problem of “Know Thyself” before people marry and start families, rather than after. If it is true that sexuality/affectionality is fluid, this may continue to be a problem anyhow, and we may have to develop new ethics of relationships, especially ones that involve child rearing (e.g., once a couple have decided to have children, no divorce till the kids have left the nest). (2) somewhat related, I met a very progressive attorney once who said she could not support same-gender-marriage till the problem of resposibility for children was taken care of. She had been involved in a lesbian separation case (this was pre-marriage) in which no fewer than five! people laid claim to the child of the separating couple. That kind of fighting, to me, is child cruelty.
    Oops–number 3 — Bruce, will you venture a theological opinion on the story of the healing of the Centurion’s “boy”, and whether you believe that this indicates Jesus accepted homosexual relationships as valid?  

    • Allforfunnplay  

      the story of the Centurion’s “boy” is also open to debate and interpretation.  The scriptures of the new testament were originally written in Koine Greek (though Mathew may have been written in Aramaic).  The story is described in both Luke and Mathew…though some wonder if it is the same story or simply a similar one.  

      The key word for interpretation is “pais” which has 3 possible meanings.  son/boy, servant or young male lover slave.  

      Evidence that some have put forth for the pais being the Centurion’s lover is:  Luke calls the son/boy/slave/lover “entimos doulos” (honored slave).  doulos only would be used to describe a slave…so if the two stories are the same then the pais was not the Centurion’s son.  “Honored” puts this slave into some sort of special standing.  In the story by Luke the Centurion calls his slaves doulos (not honored slave) but the sick one pais (so the sick one is not a son, not a simple slave…honored…so he must be a young male lover?).  So again this “evidence” depends on if the two stories in Luke and Mathew are the same or not.  

      • kloomis  

        Allfor–I have chosen to accept the earlier version rather than Luke’s as the more accurate; my choice I guess. I find this passage very exhilarating and I promote the story as the “Good News” for gay/lesbians who are looking for word in the Bible. I have always accepted David and Jonathan’s story as indicating lovers also, but am backing off–thank you for your information. Frank–the Ruth and Naomi story never struck me as indicating a lesbian relationship, though their tender words are beautiful–however, I know that I do not know enough about women’s sexuality/affectionality and the habits of the (segregated) wives’ community back then. I am influenced by a book I read a long time ago: “Surpassing the Love of Men”, which made a very strong point for not being too cocksure in our rush to gay interpretation of very old texts (letters, etc.).

  • kloomis  

    A couple of other thoughts–(1) my wife and I (we are lesbian, married in CA in 2008) have tried to develop and support lesbian community in the suburban area where we live, since the 80s. We have occasionally seen married women come out, leave their husband and children and start a new relationship with a woman. From the husband’s and children’s point of view, this was real damage. I hope that as we develop inclusive marriage, we will address this problem of “Know Thyself” before people marry and start families, rather than after. If it is true that sexuality/affectionality is fluid, this may continue to be a problem anyhow, and we may have to develop new ethics of relationships, especially ones that involve child rearing (e.g., once a couple have decided to have children, no divorce till the kids have left the nest). (2) somewhat related, I met a very progressive attorney once who said she could not support same-gender-marriage till the problem of resposibility for children was taken care of. She had been involved in a lesbian separation case (this was pre-marriage) in which no fewer than five! people laid claim to the child of the separating couple. That kind of fighting, to me, is child cruelty.
    Oops–number 3 — Bruce, will you venture a theological opinion on the story of the healing of the Centurion’s “boy”, and whether you believe that this indicates Jesus accepted homosexual relationships as valid?  

    • Allforfunnplay  

      the story of the Centurion’s “boy” is also open to debate and interpretation.  The scriptures of the new testament were originally written in Koine Greek (though Mathew may have been written in Aramaic).  The story is described in both Luke and Mathew…though some wonder if it is the same story or simply a similar one.  

      The key word for interpretation is “pais” which has 3 possible meanings.  son/boy, servant or young male lover slave.  

      Evidence that some have put forth for the pais being the Centurion’s lover is:  Luke calls the son/boy/slave/lover “entimos doulos” (honored slave).  doulos only would be used to describe a slave…so if the two stories are the same then the pais was not the Centurion’s son.  “Honored” puts this slave into some sort of special standing.  In the story by Luke the Centurion calls his slaves doulos (not honored slave) but the sick one pais (so the sick one is not a son, not a simple slave…honored…so he must be a young male lover?).  So again this “evidence” depends on if the two stories in Luke and Mathew are the same or not.  

      • kloomis  

        Allfor–I have chosen to accept the earlier version rather than Luke’s as the more accurate; my choice I guess. I find this passage very exhilarating and I promote the story as the “Good News” for gay/lesbians who are looking for word in the Bible. I have always accepted David and Jonathan’s story as indicating lovers also, but am backing off–thank you for your information. Frank–the Ruth and Naomi story never struck me as indicating a lesbian relationship, though their tender words are beautiful–however, I know that I do not know enough about women’s sexuality/affectionality and the habits of the (segregated) wives’ community back then. I am influenced by a book I read a long time ago: “Surpassing the Love of Men”, which made a very strong point for not being too cocksure in our rush to gay interpretation of very old texts (letters, etc.).

  • AntiDivorce  

    Can someone please explain to me why people aren’t fighting against making divorce illegal?  The ability for married people to divorce has done far more damage to the institution of marriage than same sex marriage ever could.  People get married without thinking of the consequences, and leave broken families, just because they no longer wanted to be married.

    If people actually cared about the institution of marriage, they should be fighting to make divorce illegal.

    • Lesbian Woman  

      Well Said

    • Marie  

      Scripture allows for divorce in the case of adultery (aha!  another sexual sin!) and abandonment; also by inference severe abuse, since it allows you to actually kill someone in self defense.

      So to be consistent a Christian can’t argue against all divorce, just divorce for the wrong reasons.

    • Anonymous  

      That makes too much sense to be acceptable to these people . Hah

      • Anonymous  

        You really don’t know how to evaluate your sources for bias, do you?  The Witherspoon Institute?  Really?  A conservative religious thinktank? Where’s your actual scientific or legal research into the matter?

        Oh, wait …

        • Frank  

          You know fiona your dismissal of facts and truth and reasoned supposition may make you feel that you are right but it does not make it so. In fact it keeps you ignorant but that’s a choice we all get to make.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            you haven’t stated any facts.  why do you keep missing that point?  

          • Frank  

            There is no point to miss just a biased reponse. There are facts and truth that fully support man-woman marriage and man-woman-child family units. 

            Why are you letting your own bias blind you is the better question.

          • Anonymous  

            As soon as you show any facts, I’ll be delighted to acknowledge them.

  • AntiDivorce  

    Can someone please explain to me why people aren’t fighting against making divorce illegal?  The ability for married people to divorce has done far more damage to the institution of marriage than same sex marriage ever could.  People get married without thinking of the consequences, and leave broken families, just because they no longer wanted to be married.

    If people actually cared about the institution of marriage, they should be fighting to make divorce illegal.

    • Lesbian Woman  

      Well Said

    • Marie  

      Scripture allows for divorce in the case of adultery (aha!  another sexual sin!) and abandonment; also by inference severe abuse, since it allows you to actually kill someone in self defense.

      So to be consistent a Christian can’t argue against all divorce, just divorce for the wrong reasons.

    • Anonymous  

      That makes too much sense to be acceptable to these people . Hah

      • Anonymous  

        You really don’t know how to evaluate your sources for bias, do you?  The Witherspoon Institute?  Really?  A conservative religious thinktank? Where’s your actual scientific or legal research into the matter?

        Oh, wait …

        • Frank  

          You know fiona your dismissal of facts and truth and reasoned supposition may make you feel that you are right but it does not make it so. In fact it keeps you ignorant but that’s a choice we all get to make.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            you haven’t stated any facts.  why do you keep missing that point?  

          • Frank  

            There is no point to miss just a biased reponse. There are facts and truth that fully support man-woman marriage and man-woman-child family units. 

            Why are you letting your own bias blind you is the better question.

          • Anonymous  

            As soon as you show any facts, I’ll be delighted to acknowledge them.

          • Anonymous  

            As soon as you show any facts, I’ll be delighted to acknowledge them.

  • Lesbian Woman  

    Born and raised Catholic, I’m ASHAMED to call myself one now.  I’m a gay woman. HOW DARE you tell me how to live my life. HOW DARE you tell me who I should be with. If you’re such good Christians and Catholic how dare you insult and condem people for who they are. I’m so over it. I hope one day you’re not faced with a situation that your son or daughter is gay. No one chooses to be gay. To hell with all of you.

  • Lesbian Woman  

    Born and raised Catholic, I’m ASHAMED to call myself one now.  I’m a gay woman. HOW DARE you tell me how to live my life. HOW DARE you tell me who I should be with. If you’re such good Christians and Catholic how dare you insult and condem people for who they are. I’m so over it. I hope one day you’re not faced with a situation that your son or daughter is gay. No one chooses to be gay. To hell with all of you.

  • Anonymous  

    I am a 80 year old heterosexual man, married to the same woman for 42 years, and so  far have not felt threatened, but you never know. Hah. This whole thing is right wing fundementalist nonsense, and has no merit whatsoever.
    Peace

    • Matthewbny  

      the problem is that the crazy right-wing fundamentalism is becoming more and more vocal, and more and more mainstream…which i believe is the real moral threat to our society…but, I don’t want to get started on that.

      • Anonymous  

        OH go ahead, get started, I agree completely, look who is dominating the  news at the moment, michelle bachman, she is rather scary, an intelligent sarah palin, I dont view them as a moral threat, rather then  a sign of how our society has deteriorated to this.

        • Frank  

          Nothing happens in a vacuum. The degradation/deterioration of the moral fiber of society has birthed the Tea Party Movement and the rise of conservatism. A good thing!

          • Anonymous  

            Actually, what birthed the Tea Party is clearly defined in Susan Jacoby’s excellent book, The Age of American Unreason, and has nothing to do with the “degradation/deterioration of the moral fiber of society” and everything to do with the rise of anti-intellectualism, public ignorance and anti-rationalism.  The deliberate dumbing-down of the United States citizenry should disturb us all — just look at the number of people commenting here who do not understand how their own government and laws function!

          • Frank  

            True you should do some more research BEFORE you post but I digress.

            I am disturbed at the dumbing-down of sexuality simply for pleasure, the dumbing-down of the family, the dumbing-down of fiscal responsibility, the dumbing-down of rational thought to selfish expressions… This country is certainly getting dumber hopefully we can reverse the process.

          • Anonymous  

            Oh, aren’t you cute, Frank?  Trying to pretend that you have insulted me.  (You’ve failed.)

            Dude, the last thing I want is the approval of a homophobic, misogynistic religious zealot.   Your whole concept of what “family” should look like is based in antiquated, very rigid gender roles that have no basis in modern reality or, as I hasten to point out once again, *the law.* 

            So, please … go ahead and think that you have “triumphed” somehow.  You have yet to refute any of the facts put before you (with actual sources from peer reviewed journals and the law) while you continue to spew your religiously-biased nonsense.  I understand that help is available to you at crackabooksometime.com.

            It’s quite apparent that what you’re REALLY upset about is losing some small piece of your male hegemony, and thus feel threatened.  Honestly, I pity you.

          • Frank  

            Thanks fiona for revealing what kind of person you really are and that you really can’t refute what I said and have to resort to name calling and insults as a last resort.

          • Anonymous  

            Pointing out your bigotry is not name-calling, Frank.  It’s a statement of verifiable fact; anyone who has read your posts can see the truth of your position.  You’ve been refuted repeatedly; anyone who has read all of the comments back to you can see that as well.

          • Anonymous  

            The tea party , a good thing, I an sorry, but I must strongly disagree. The are all about negativity.
            Peace

      • Margie  

        I think the problem is that it’s becoming codified as law.

  • Anonymous  

    I am a 80 year old heterosexual man, married to the same woman for 42 years, and so  far have not felt threatened, but you never know. Hah. This whole thing is right wing fundementalist nonsense, and has no merit whatsoever.
    Peace

    • Matthewbny  

      the problem is that the crazy right-wing fundamentalism is becoming more and more vocal, and more and more mainstream…which i believe is the real moral threat to our society…but, I don’t want to get started on that.

      • Anonymous  

        OH go ahead, get started, I agree completely, look who is dominating the  news at the moment, michelle bachman, she is rather scary, an intelligent sarah palin, I dont view them as a moral threat, rather then  a sign of how our society has deteriorated to this.

        • Frank  

          Nothing happens in a vacuum. The degradation/deterioration of the moral fiber of society has birthed the Tea Party Movement and the rise of conservatism. A good thing!

          • Anonymous  

            Actually, what birthed the Tea Party is clearly defined in Susan Jacoby’s excellent book, The Age of American Unreason, and has nothing to do with the “degradation/deterioration of the moral fiber of society” and everything to do with the rise of anti-intellectualism, public ignorance and anti-rationalism.  The deliberate dumbing-down of the United States citizenry should disturb us all — just look at the number of people commenting here who do not understand how their own government and laws function!

          • Frank  

            True you should do some more research BEFORE you post but I digress.

            I am disturbed at the dumbing-down of sexuality simply for pleasure, the dumbing-down of the family, the dumbing-down of fiscal responsibility, the dumbing-down of rational thought to selfish expressions… This country is certainly getting dumber hopefully we can reverse the process.

          • Anonymous  

            Oh, aren’t you cute, Frank?  Trying to pretend that you have insulted me.  (You’ve failed.)

            Dude, the last thing I want is the approval of a homophobic, misogynistic religious zealot.   Your whole concept of what “family” should look like is based in antiquated, very rigid gender roles that have no basis in modern reality or, as I hasten to point out once again, *the law.* 

            So, please … go ahead and think that you have “triumphed” somehow.  You have yet to refute any of the facts put before you (with actual sources from peer reviewed journals and the law) while you continue to spew your religiously-biased nonsense.  I understand that help is available to you at crackabooksometime.com.

            It’s quite apparent that what you’re REALLY upset about is losing some small piece of your male hegemony, and thus feel threatened.  Honestly, I pity you.

          • Frank  

            Thanks fiona for revealing what kind of person you really are and that you really can’t refute what I said and have to resort to name calling and insults as a last resort.

          • Anonymous  

            Pointing out your bigotry is not name-calling, Frank.  It’s a statement of verifiable fact; anyone who has read your posts can see the truth of your position.  You’ve been refuted repeatedly; anyone who has read all of the comments back to you can see that as well.

          • Anonymous  

            The tea party , a good thing, I an sorry, but I must strongly disagree. The are all about negativity.
            Peace

      • Margie  

        I think the problem is that it’s becoming codified as law.

  • Tonysgranny3  

    My life has been raising kids. The interesting point  is my kids  never  knew i was a lesbian. my lover and I raised my children and my grandchildren when their parents couldn’t.  They never saw adults beating each other. They did see discussion on issues. And sometimes 2 opinions that did not agree.  After 28 yrs of marrige of having a union by MCC I would love to be really married. My marrige doesn’t affect anyone because basically you as a people have never known what I was to begin with. You don’t hear me saying down with marrige, what you do hear me saying is why you can be married 5x and divorced 5x and can’t allow me the right to marry 1 time. I really think maybe it scares folks because we may make marrige  a good thing in the gay community because you in the hetro world have made it look so bad most don’t even bother to do it anymore.  How many babies are born without 2 parents maybe you need to look at what your fighting to stop and realize we aren’t your enemies. 

  • Tonysgranny3  

    My life has been raising kids. The interesting point  is my kids  never  knew i was a lesbian. my lover and I raised my children and my grandchildren when their parents couldn’t.  They never saw adults beating each other. They did see discussion on issues. And sometimes 2 opinions that did not agree.  After 28 yrs of marrige of having a union by MCC I would love to be really married. My marrige doesn’t affect anyone because basically you as a people have never known what I was to begin with. You don’t hear me saying down with marrige, what you do hear me saying is why you can be married 5x and divorced 5x and can’t allow me the right to marry 1 time. I really think maybe it scares folks because we may make marrige  a good thing in the gay community because you in the hetro world have made it look so bad most don’t even bother to do it anymore.  How many babies are born without 2 parents maybe you need to look at what your fighting to stop and realize we aren’t your enemies. 

  • Les  

    Many extreme Christian’s don’t want people to have any choices. In their simple word view, there is one god and the bible. Everyone who does not believe as them is wrong, and will suffer greatly for their lack of faith and poor choice. Since they can’t get everyone to believe, and therefore act as Christians, the next best step is to make the society’s moral rules follow Christian model where possible and to get the government to enforce those rules. I don’t think the real issue is that SSM threatens “traditional marriage” but instead it threatens the whole foundation and relevancy of Christianity. Take divorce for example, the bible is pretty clear that divorce and remarriage is not allowed. Definitely for women and mostly, but somewhat ambiguous for men. As the divorce rate skyrocketed, eventually most churches faced huge loses of membership so they watered down their strict positions on divorce to where it almost seems like no big deal any more. If SSM succeeds in society, then it will eventually be one more key moral area where society decided Christianity was not relevant. For those same fundamentalists that wrap their identity in being a Christian, they literally are fighting for their life…

  • Les  

    Many extreme Christian’s don’t want people to have any choices. In their simple word view, there is one god and the bible. Everyone who does not believe as them is wrong, and will suffer greatly for their lack of faith and poor choice. Since they can’t get everyone to believe, and therefore act as Christians, the next best step is to make the society’s moral rules follow Christian model where possible and to get the government to enforce those rules. I don’t think the real issue is that SSM threatens “traditional marriage” but instead it threatens the whole foundation and relevancy of Christianity. Take divorce for example, the bible is pretty clear that divorce and remarriage is not allowed. Definitely for women and mostly, but somewhat ambiguous for men. As the divorce rate skyrocketed, eventually most churches faced huge loses of membership so they watered down their strict positions on divorce to where it almost seems like no big deal any more. If SSM succeeds in society, then it will eventually be one more key moral area where society decided Christianity was not relevant. For those same fundamentalists that wrap their identity in being a Christian, they literally are fighting for their life…

  • Marie  

    God in Hebrews says “Marriage is honorable.”  Homosexual marriage twists a covenant God calls honorable into a covenant for what He calls “abomination.”

    The ramifications of upending God’s created are manifold.  The spread of disease; the increase in violence; the disruption of sincere male and female models for developing children; the corruption of youth; the dismissal of adoption agencies that won’t place with homosexuality; the change in our criminal code where now boyfriends won’t have to testify against boyfriends; the perversion of custody cases; the diversion of inheritance; the proliferation of households where children have no dad, or have no mom; and the general downgrading of the place and value of sex and the true marriage covenant – that which God calls honorable – being dumbed down into meaninglessness.

    One might ask, how does polygamy threaten your marriage?  Or polyamory?  Same way.

    • Margie  

      I understand the basis of the arguments you’re making, although I disagree with them.  I would like to point out that by not allowing ssm we devalue gay/lesbian relationships.  For many, this devaluing, this assumption that gay/lesbian relationships aren’t as real or committed as heterosexual relationships, creates a paradigm in which neither gays nor straights recognize those long-term, committed relationships which do exist in the gay community.  If I am constantly told that my relationships cannot be committed, or blessed, or sacred, or covenanted, I’m more likely to adopt the belief that my relationships are primarily about sex; essentially prolonged one-night stands.  In light of this, is it any wonder that gays and lesbians might be more likely to  have shorter term relationships?  (And I say this only in light of some peoples’ assumptions about promiscuity within the gay community – this is not a reflection of the reality of long-term relationships within the gay community.)  If our commitments aren’t “real”, why should we honor them?

      So why not hold gay and lesbian relationships to the same covenanted standard that we hold heterosexual relationships to?  Why not ask them to make a lifelong commitment to each other?  I should think that such a move actually elevates the institution of marriage; by encouraging such a serious, state-affirmed and (perhaps) religiously blessed covenant we hold gay and lesbian relationships to a higher standard of commitment.

      • Marie  

        It is fair to say that I am devaluing ssm relationships.  That is because I sincerely believe that they are not only of no value, they are actually detrimental to the participants and to society as a whole.  Children the most.

        • Neil Robertson  

          Even the P8er’s own witness said under oath that the adopted children of a gay couple would benefit from same sex marriage. 

          It is a fact that there are gay couples with children.  Why is it detrimental for their parents to me married?  You may wish there were no gay parents, but that’s not reality.  Your position actually harms children.  Real harm. 

          You know, there was a court case here in San Francisco where they tried to justify their case and used many of the same arguments you used in your original post.  The only problem was this was a court of law and there’s a couple of little things that got in the way.  One is called evidence (Prop 8 supporters provided none to bolster their case) and the other is called cross examination (the incompetence of the P8 witnesses was hilarious).

          Your line of reasoning may play to the choir but it didn’t play in a court of law where you have to explain exactly what you mean and justify your opinions with facts.

          Cheers, Neil.

        • Anonymous  

          Wow, Marie.  So much bigotry in so few words.  That takes talent.

    • Anonymous  

      “… the diversion of inheritance …” Are you saying that a person should not be allowed to leave their possessions to whomever they choose if that person is gay? In other words, estranged parents who threw someone out of the house for their sexual orientation should inherit that child’s property?

      • Marie  

        No, I am referring to intestate inheritance laws.

        I believe anyone can leave their money to whomever they like.

        However, if a homosexual man with children dies, and he is “married,” the law says the money goes to his “husband” first.  Not his children.  That is intestate inheritance law.  If you die without a will, your money first goes to your spouse.

        In the case of homosexual “marriage,” I oppose that.

        • annb  

           Not so, Marie.  If you die intestate and have no children, your entire estate goes to your spouse.  But if you have children, half of your estate goes to your spouse and half to your children. 

          • Marie  

            I stand corrected, but I still oppose even half of the unwilled estate going to a homosexual “spouse.”

          • tfizzle  

            Why?  Why do you care where somebody else decides to pass their money/assets?  Additionally, do you feel it is the state/governments domain to govern the distribution of personal assets?  For instance, are you a proponent of the Estate Tax, for instance?

            I realize that this is venturing a bit off-topic, but I am curious why this issue is of such great import to you.  By no means am I trying to be confrontational, I’m just genuinely curious.

    • Anonymous  

      The word abomination is a 15th C. Latinate word, derived from “abominatio.”  Again, no one who spoke early Hebrew or koine Greek would have used this word.  The word in Leviticus is “toevah,” which means “ritually impure.”  Hint:  women during their menstrual periods were considered toevah, and had to undergo a ritual cleansing before they could return to temple each month. 

  • Marie  

    God in Hebrews says “Marriage is honorable.”  Homosexual marriage twists a covenant God calls honorable into a covenant for what He calls “abomination.”

    The ramifications of upending God’s created are manifold.  The spread of disease; the increase in violence; the disruption of sincere male and female models for developing children; the corruption of youth; the dismissal of adoption agencies that won’t place with homosexuality; the change in our criminal code where now boyfriends won’t have to testify against boyfriends; the perversion of custody cases; the diversion of inheritance; the proliferation of households where children have no dad, or have no mom; and the general downgrading of the place and value of sex and the true marriage covenant – that which God calls honorable – being dumbed down into meaninglessness.

    One might ask, how does polygamy threaten your marriage?  Or polyamory?  Same way.

    • Margie  

      I understand the basis of the arguments you’re making, although I disagree with them.  I would like to point out that by not allowing ssm we devalue gay/lesbian relationships.  For many, this devaluing, this assumption that gay/lesbian relationships aren’t as real or committed as heterosexual relationships, creates a paradigm in which neither gays nor straights recognize those long-term, committed relationships which do exist in the gay community.  If I am constantly told that my relationships cannot be committed, or blessed, or sacred, or covenanted, I’m more likely to adopt the belief that my relationships are primarily about sex; essentially prolonged one-night stands.  In light of this, is it any wonder that gays and lesbians might be more likely to  have shorter term relationships?  (And I say this only in light of some peoples’ assumptions about promiscuity within the gay community – this is not a reflection of the reality of long-term relationships within the gay community.)  If our commitments aren’t “real”, why should we honor them?

      So why not hold gay and lesbian relationships to the same covenanted standard that we hold heterosexual relationships to?  Why not ask them to make a lifelong commitment to each other?  I should think that such a move actually elevates the institution of marriage; by encouraging such a serious, state-affirmed and (perhaps) religiously blessed covenant we hold gay and lesbian relationships to a higher standard of commitment.

      • Marie  

        It is fair to say that I am devaluing ssm relationships.  That is because I sincerely believe that they are not only of no value, they are actually detrimental to the participants and to society as a whole.  Children the most.

        • Neil Robertson  

          Even the P8er’s own witness said under oath that the adopted children of a gay couple would benefit from same sex marriage. 

          It is a fact that there are gay couples with children.  Why is it detrimental for their parents to me married?  You may wish there were no gay parents, but that’s not reality.  Your position actually harms children.  Real harm. 

          You know, there was a court case here in San Francisco where they tried to justify their case and used many of the same arguments you used in your original post.  The only problem was this was a court of law and there’s a couple of little things that got in the way.  One is called evidence (Prop 8 supporters provided none to bolster their case) and the other is called cross examination (the incompetence of the P8 witnesses was hilarious).

          Your line of reasoning may play to the choir but it didn’t play in a court of law where you have to explain exactly what you mean and justify your opinions with facts.

          Cheers, Neil.

        • Anonymous  

          Wow, Marie.  So much bigotry in so few words.  That takes talent.

    • Margie  

      I understand the basis of the arguments you’re making, although I disagree with them.  I would like to point out that by not allowing ssm we devalue gay/lesbian relationships.  For many, this devaluing, this assumption that gay/lesbian relationships aren’t as real or committed as heterosexual relationships, creates a paradigm in which neither gays nor straights recognize those long-term, committed relationships which do exist in the gay community.  If I am constantly told that my relationships cannot be committed, or blessed, or sacred, or covenanted, I’m more likely to adopt the belief that my relationships are primarily about sex; essentially prolonged one-night stands.  In light of this, is it any wonder that gays and lesbians might be more likely to  have shorter term relationships?  (And I say this only in light of some peoples’ assumptions about promiscuity within the gay community – this is not a reflection of the reality of long-term relationships within the gay community.)  If our commitments aren’t “real”, why should we honor them?

      So why not hold gay and lesbian relationships to the same covenanted standard that we hold heterosexual relationships to?  Why not ask them to make a lifelong commitment to each other?  I should think that such a move actually elevates the institution of marriage; by encouraging such a serious, state-affirmed and (perhaps) religiously blessed covenant we hold gay and lesbian relationships to a higher standard of commitment.

    • Anonymous  

      “… the diversion of inheritance …” Are you saying that a person should not be allowed to leave their possessions to whomever they choose if that person is gay?

      • Marie  

        No, I am referring to intestate inheritance laws.

        I believe anyone can leave their money to whomever they like.

        However, if a homosexual man with children dies, and he is “married,” the law says the money goes to his “husband” first.  Not his children.  That is intestate inheritance law.  If you die without a will, your money first goes to your spouse.

        In the case of homosexual “marriage,” I oppose that.

        • annb  

           Not so, Marie.  If you die intestate and have no children, your entire estate goes to your spouse.  But if you have children, half of your estate goes to your spouse and half to your children. 

          • Marie  

            I stand corrected, but I still oppose even half of the unwilled estate going to a homosexual “spouse.”

          • tfizzle  

            Why?  Why do you care where somebody else decides to pass their money/assets?  Additionally, do you feel it is the state/governments domain to govern the distribution of personal assets?  For instance, are you a proponent of the Estate Tax, for instance?

            I realize that this is venturing a bit off-topic, but I am curious why this issue is of such great import to you.  By no means am I trying to be confrontational, I’m just genuinely curious.

    • Anonymous  

      The word abomination is a 15th C. Latinate word, derived from “abominatio.”  Again, no one who spoke early Hebrew or koine Greek would have used this word.  The word in Leviticus is “toevah,” which means “ritually impure.”  Hint:  women during their menstrual periods were considered toevah, and had to undergo a ritual cleansing before they could return to temple each month. 

  • smartrthanyou  

    really, anyone who believes same sex marriage threatens anything is not worth the time interacting.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      As much as I probably agree with your position, I simply disagree that it is not worth the time.  Yes, there are always moments when disengagement may be the right thing to do, but I will always err on the side of trying.

  • smartrthanyou  

    really, anyone who believes same sex marriage threatens anything is not worth the time interacting.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      As much as I probably agree with your position, I simply disagree that it is not worth the time.  Yes, there are always moments when disengagement may be the right thing to do, but I will always err on the side of trying.

  • Jason Dooley  

    I always hear this argument in connection with the slippery-slope argument, which inevitably leads to polygamy. It is often coupled with the argument that the primary purpose for marriage is procreation and the continuation of the species. The problem with these two arguments in conjunction is that polygamy would create a much more genetically diverse species, which is the most effective way of continuing the species. Polygamy could also lead to a more effective structure for raising children as well, allowing for multiple partners in parenting as well as allowing for multiple wage-earners. I don’t mean to argue for polygamy, but these two arguments against ssm actually seem to bolster the argument for polygamy. 

    As for the effect of ssm on “traditional” marriage, I agree with Michael Kruse that it is not about a discrete marriage. The argument relates to a concept of the institution that does not match any real world manifestation. There is no inherent reason why marriage should be limited to one man and one woman, especially since the limitation has no direct relationship to the purported purposes of the institution. 

  • Jason Dooley  

    I always hear this argument in connection with the slippery-slope argument, which inevitably leads to polygamy. It is often coupled with the argument that the primary purpose for marriage is procreation and the continuation of the species. The problem with these two arguments in conjunction is that polygamy would create a much more genetically diverse species, which is the most effective way of continuing the species. Polygamy could also lead to a more effective structure for raising children as well, allowing for multiple partners in parenting as well as allowing for multiple wage-earners. I don’t mean to argue for polygamy, but these two arguments against ssm actually seem to bolster the argument for polygamy. 

    As for the effect of ssm on “traditional” marriage, I agree with Michael Kruse that it is not about a discrete marriage. The argument relates to a concept of the institution that does not match any real world manifestation. There is no inherent reason why marriage should be limited to one man and one woman, especially since the limitation has no direct relationship to the purported purposes of the institution. 

  • Allforfunnplay  

    Bruce, maybe you could post an even larger questions that I have. Why must some conservatives (we can label them as extreme, fundamental or traditionalists) legislate against the rights of some citizens for engaging in behavior that goes against their religion (and to the open minded, even that interpretation is up for debate)?  

    The Bible is filled with rules to live by, much of them in the Old Testament like the 10 Commandments and in the book of Leviticus.  Christians choose to follow some of these rules (like the 10 Commandments) and not others siting New Covenant theology.  But most conservatives are okay with non-Christians that don’t believe in the Christ marrying and having children yet this goes against God’s 1st Commandment (which I believe even though it’s an Old Testament law, Christians still believe as the highest of laws) “Thou Shall Not Have Any God Before Me”.  (which interestingly enough does not say THERE ARE NO OTHER GODS BUT ME….there is much evidence that YAHWEH may have been a part of the Canaanite Pantheon….but that’s another discussion).  My point is that if (conservative) Christians are okay with non-believers having equal rights and status in the U.S. (which again is considered RULE #1) then why make such a big deal about Same Sex Marriage and homosexuality?   Why is it okay to believe that non-believers will go to Hell but should have the same rights and social standings as believers but homosexuals should have neither?  

    My only answer is that it’s more of a social issue than a religious issue (despite the reasoning given by the religious conservatives).  People are naturally afraid by that which is different from them.  The more different the more afraid they are.  Racism is an example of that.  Before people are used to interacting with people of different races, people are naturally defensive around different races.  But as they get used to interacting with new races, people naturally become more tolerant/accepting.  Now this isn’t just racially, it’s culturally too.  If the different race has radically different cultural customs and beliefs, again people are going to be naturally defensive.  If these same people encounter the same race but of people of much more similar cultural backgrounds (I call this the Archie Bunker/George Jefferson theory).  Or simply put, homosexuals scare conservatives more than atheists so they lash out at them.   

    • Neil Robertson  

      Wow – I hadn’t put that together before.  “Thou shall have no other God before me” implies that the Christian God recognizes that there are other Gods. 

      So are those other Gods also all powerful, and can they also have one on one conversations with individual Homo sapiens animals?

      Thanks for the thought.

      Cheers, Neil.

      • Marie  

        There are many portions of Scripture that mention other gods.

        They are all referred to as the creations of men, see psalm 115

        ” But their idols are silver and gold,
           made by human hands.
        5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
           eyes, but cannot see.
        6 They have ears, but cannot hear,
           noses, but cannot smell.
        7 They have hands, but cannot feel,
           feet, but cannot walk,
           nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
        8 Those who make them will be like them,
           and so will all who trust in them.

        • Rich  

          Wow, precisely like the Bible and it’s Christian god – a creation of man. 

          • Marie  

            Obviously, I don’t see it that way.

            If we had created the God of the Bible I think we’d make Him far more indulgent of our sins.

          • Anonymous  

            Marie, I suggest you look up the etymology of “Elohim.”  It’s a gender-neutral word meaning “god(s) and/or goddess(es).”

          • Rich  

            Marie, you simply believe your book is right. Some Muslims believe their book is right and some Jews believe their book is right. It’s pretty funny – all these people claiming they know the true word of God yet in conflict with each other. “I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world” Bertrand Russell.

          • tfizzle  

            It depends on what sins one wants to have indulged and how many people such a person has to provide him/her with support in making their indulgence socially acceptable.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        okay, so we’re stepping on some sensitive ground here.  Keep in mind we’re talking about the Jewish God YAHWEH (the one that required animal sacrifices at a specific alter) from which the Christian God is built of of (I guess in some ways YAHWEH is the Father?…I dunno).  Also keep in mind the Bible’s writers are anywhere from a few hundred years to over 500 years from the time of Judges (the collapse of the Bronze Age) and have recorded oral stories from that time.  

        To explain this, we have to go back about 3500 years ago into the Bronze Age in the area of the Levant (Israel, Syria, Palestine, etc…).    The Biblical Canaanites ruled the land (mostly as vassals of the Egyptian Kings).  The Canaanites have a pantheon of gods the grandfather creator god is called El.  The princely god who is sort of in charge of day to day things is usually Baal (a storm god kind of like Zeus).  Now as with most pantheon of gods, they are made up of gods that were assimilated by groups of people encountering other groups of people and as these cultures merge they adopt each other’s gods.  

        Where Yahweh came from is up for academic debate.  Some have thought he was the Sumerian god Enki others have thought he has an Indo-European origin and others have said he was a Kennite fire god a metallurgy.  But basically all the near east cultures mingled and their religions mingled as well, in fact many of the early books of Genesis are very similar stories to much earlier Sumerian stories (garden of eden, the flood, nimrod the hunter etc…).  

        Some academics believe the Hebrews were an underclass of Canaanites that helped to bring down the ruling class.   In fact much of the bronze age was top heavy and some think it was social revolution along with natural disasters and the “sea peoples” that helped to bring down the entire bronze age.  So it may have been a class civil war (which some archaeology of Canaanite cities support and not the Joshua invasion story).  

        So back to the god/gods and the Israelites….as I said El was the name of the head Canaanite god but it’s also the generic name for “god” in various Semitic languages including Hebrew.   El is sometimes used in the Bible as a name for Yahweh.  It appears that as time went on the Yahweh worshipers put Yahweh at the head of the pantheon.  In fact at some point Yahweh even gained El’s wife Asherah (there have been archaeological findings that show Yahweh and his beloved wife) then later dropped her when they became fully monotheistic.  You can find evidence of this (if you subscribe to certain academic interpretation) in the Bible; an example is in Psalms 82 (.6 I think?) where Yahweh (as El) basically chastises the other gods.  This is similar to the Canaanite Divine Council of El.  Also, the Bible states there are 70 Nations.  The Canaanite god El gives the nations to the 70 “sons of god” (Elohim…in this case a plural translation El which means gods…to the Hebrews Elohim can also be singular).  Yahweh got Israel.  The traditional interpretation of this was that it was the 70 sons of Israel and gave the phrase and earthly meaning…but this doesn’t really make sense (they are “born on high” and “sons of god”).  Also, the sons of god have also been traditionally thought of as just the heavenly host of Angels.  But there is evidence that the Angels were thought of as lesser level messengers under the 70 sons of El were gods.  I mean why would god chew out the Angels for not ruling better and casting judgement?  That’s not the role of the Angels…the Angels just carry out God’s orders.  Anyway BASICALLY I’M TRYING TO SAY THAT ANCIENT ISRAELITES BELIEVED OTHER GODS EXISTED and that their god ruled above them.  

        It’s not until the Exile that the Israelites begin to believe in Monotheism.  It’s hard to believe your local god is supreme to other gods when your city gets smashed by the Assyrians. It is from the Persians that they encounter a sort of monotheism in Zoroasterism which has an all powerful good God and a cosmic adversary (which where the idea of Satan being a rival of God begins to form).  So  the Hebrew God now rules and controls all nations including the Persian empire and Cyrus the Great that frees them from captivity and now they are moving from believing in a supreme ruling god to only one god.  

        (yes I know this response wasn’t well structured and is probably hard to follow).  for more reading look up the Ugaritic texts (Ugarit was a Canaanite city) and their relation to the Bible.     and yes this was completely off the original subject but I was replying to a specific comment.     

        • Neil Robertson  

          Thanks Allfor – although my comment was flippant, I do appreciate your response and the time it took to write it.  …  Cheers, Neil.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @f72b2ea7901d4c6580d1b8d74005bdd3:disqus I think that is a good idea.  There are many questions that I have of my friends – and I do mean friends – who stand across the aisle from me on important issues.  I will hopefully post more of these about a good number of topics in the future.

    • Marie  

      I am interested in loving my neighbor as myself.

      I see severe and longlasting terrible consequences for mankind as a result of same sex “marriage.”

      Thus I speak up.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        you missed my point.  WHY do you foresee terrible consequences for mankind?  

      • Neil Robertson  

        I see you dodged the question.  What, precisely, are the terrible long lasting consequences for mankind?

      • California Girl  

        Marie,

        I’m trying to make sense of your arguments.  I don’t see any “severe and long lasting terrible consequences for mankind”.  What might these be?

        My gay friends got married in 2008 on their 30 year anniversary.  Now, 2.5 years later, they still live in the same house they have co-owned for 20 years, pay the same taxes, and have the same lifestyle and relationship.  As far as I can tell, nothing changed because they got married.

        My marriage failed because my husband did not live up to his half of the commitment and responsibilities, and still does not provide any support for our two kids.  Gay marriage had NO part in that divorce. 

        • Marie  

          Severe and terrible long lasting consequences for mankind:

          - the encouragement of homosexual behavior among adults, which is soul destroying and physically damaging.

          - the encouragement of homosexual behavior/experimentation among youth, same problem

          - the pushing of sexual perversion upon children of younger and younger ages, under the guise of “sex education”

          - the promotion of a pederastic idealization of teen boys

          - the persecution of all those who stand against the above

          - increased sexual aggressiveness including public nudity and public sex acts which are destructive to the actors and any witnesses, willing or not

          - the absence of healthy sexual identity role models for children in ssm households, with the accompanying destruction of those children’s psyches

          The Roman Catholic Church (of which I am not a part), can no longer place children in this state despite thousands of years of honorable history placing foundlings, because of their sincere and longstanding belief that such an environment is harmful to children.  Wedding photographers have been successfully sued for refusing to photograph gay “weddings.”  The list of persecution would take up far more space than reasonable here.

          Dr.
          Ray Blanchard’s work, as documented in the Archives of Sexual Behavior,
          suggests that homosexual men are between 6 and 20 times more likely to engage
          in pedophile behaviors than heterosexual males.

          Kurt
          Freund and others have produced similar data in the Journal of Sex Research.

          New York City, N.Y., Jun 12, 2010 / 07:56 am (CNA).- A recent report by the
          Commission on Parenthood’s Future indicates that adult offspring of sperm
          donation struggle with questions of identity as a result of not knowing their
          biological father. Fr. Thomas Berg, who specializes in bioethics, told CNA that
          the practice of sperm donation

          I could go on and on, space is limited.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            well, i applaud your attempt at listing your data and creating a rational argument.

            but your data is outed, out of context and biased (Parenthood’s Future and the CNA?? really???) .  

            the rest all seem to be your fears that you attribute to the homosexual community.  the whole pedophilia fear thing with gays is just bizarre.  i mean, I live within a stones throw of SF’s Castro district and while the community is certainly flamboyant…your fears seem waaaaay out there.  

          • Marie  

            I guess that’s a matter of opinion but I appreciate that you considered my arguments.

          • Neil Robertson  

            Forgive me for being blunt, but my b.s. meter is pegged out.  The fear that’s being propagated here is palpable. 

            - How does ssm encourage homosexuality?  If you believe that, you must be a closet gay, how else could someone come to that conclusion?  Don’t you understand that being gay is not a conscious choice?  You do have a point though – when ssm becomes accepted, there will be less pressure on gay people to stay in the closet.   Your argument here is really upside down – trying to keep “the gays” down is soul destroying and physically damaging for the individuals affected (and those individuals are the gays, not you – your arguments help foster an environment of open hostility to fellow citizens who happen to be born gay).

            - Pushing of sexual perversion under the guise of sex ed – huh?  My take is that the only perversion is your religion denying the full breadth of human sexuality.  Are you afraid that if your world view is challenged, your children may see your religion as a choice as well?  I think you define sexual perversion to include the mention of non-traditional family arrangements, and you’d be right by that self referencing logic.  But really, what do you mean here other than fear of different?

            - What in heaven’s name does a pederastic idealization of teen boys have to do with ssm?  The pedarists in this society are mainly Priests and Relatives.  If you really want to use that argument, you should separate yourself from the Church that has tended to support pedophile priests.

            - Increased sexual aggression?  Let me get this straight – you think ssm encourages public nudity and public sex acts?  You’re really making things up here. Since a number of states and countries allow ssm, why not provide the statistics on the increase in public nudidty and sex acts because of ssm?  There are none. 

            - Absence of role models in ssm households?  Another confused argument due to ignorance.  1/ marriage is not required to have or adopt children 2/ there are more children up for adoption than people willing to take them 3/ you really believe an orphanage or a paid temporary foster situation is better than a loving same sex family?  Let’s be explicit here – you would prefer to be brought up in an orphanage or shuttled between foster parents than being part of a loving ssm household?

            - The Catholic Church’s adoption problem was not because of ssm because ssm wasn’t available when they decided to get out of that game  (why don’t you have a real argument?).  And you are flat out lying that wedding photographers have been sued because they wouldn’t cover an ssm – they were sued for breach of contract because they agreed to shoot a wedding then backed out after it was too late to hire a substitute.

            - Ray Blanchard (he supports state sponsored sex reassignment surgery, btw) – what to say here.  They tried that one at the Prop 8 trial here in CA and it was demonstrated to be nonsense.  Here’s a quote from him “my considerable body of work on the origins of sexual orientation has
            stressed that sexual orientation in males is probably determined in
            prenatal life, a theoretical viewpoint that is basically incompatible
            with the notion that “therapeutic” interventions could alter basic
            sexual orientation” – he says that gays are born gay – so if gays are born gay, what do you suggest is the equitable solution?  They should be second class citizens?  Because that’s what you are arguing for.  Here’s a link to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that showed no difference between straights and gays regarding pedophilia:

            http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/122/567/163

            I really hope you can sit down in a quiet place for a few minutes and understand that the only reason ssm is a threat to the church (and therefore you) is because they have been using gays as an enemy for ever – and the real threat is that the ordinaryness of ssm demonstrates that their teachings are false on this issue and therefore false on other issues. 

            Cheers, Neil.

          • tfizzle  

            - the promotion of a pederastic idealization of teen boys

            Their have been innumerable documented instances of this by catholic priests charged with providing guidance to youth.. ….would you then argue that Catholic priests should not be allowed to interact with (i.g., take confessions, educate, etc.) pre-adults?  I realize that the church doesn’t ‘promote’ such acts but they have occurred with greater frequency than in other institutions and I don’t see how legislation on how the state issues marriage licenses provides any greater degree of promotion of such criminal activity.  We are talking about Marriage after all which I assume all here would agree begins with consenting adults.

          • kloomis  

            which makes me think of something–re the “pederastic idealization”. my belief, actually, is that pederasty is being socially encouraged by women AND men shaving themselves to imitate pre-puberty skin. i really think we should re-consider this preactice; when you think about it, it’s downright creepy. but it’s happening heterosexually, mostly.

          • Anonymous  

            The “Archives of Sexual Behavior” is a self-published, non-peer reviewed journal from NARTH — and thus has no academic relevance whatsoever.  It’s religiously-biased propaganda.

          • Anonymous  

            As to your canard about Catholic Charities — they have been voluntarily closing their adoption agencies.  Why?  Because they receive Federal funding, which means they cannot discriminate — and yet they wish to discriminate.  Their call, not anyone else’s.

            As for the wedding photographer case?  The Unruh Act specifies that if you hang up a shingle offering your services to the public, you cannot discriminate.  You bet that photographer was successfully sued — for violating the terms of their business license.

            I suggest you look up the actual particulars of your citations lest you continue to look kind of foolish. :-(

        • kloomis  

          Just an aside–tell your friends to talk to a tax preparer–with the new IRS rules, they may be able to pay less in taxes!  :-)

      • Anonymous  

        If you see them, Marie, then surely you can list them. 

        My husband and I are still married after attending a lesbian wedding two years ago.  The sky has not fallen after six (count ‘em) states enacted marriage equality.  In fact, we remain completely unaffected by your alleged “severe and longlasting terrible consequences for mankind” — the which you seem unable to enumerate.

      • Frank  

        Keep up the good work Marie! Gods word will stand the test!

        • Anonymous  

          And yet you claim that you are not a religious zealot and that your arguments are not about religion.  Heh!  Why is that you continue to use words like “sin” and try to pretend that constitutionality is irrelevant?

    • Anonymous  

      Another aspect of the polygamy argument is that it involves a legal arrangement that affects a third party. For example, if I marry Betty, then we have certain legal obligations to each other. If I marry Susan, too, then Susan has legal obligations toward Betty that she may or may not have anticipated or willingly undertook.

  • Allforfunnplay  

    Bruce, maybe you could post an even larger questions that I have. Why must some conservatives (we can label them as extreme, fundamental or traditionalists) legislate against the rights of some citizens for engaging in behavior that goes against their religion (and to the open minded, even that interpretation is up for debate)?  

    The Bible is filled with rules to live by, much of them in the Old Testament like the 10 Commandments and in the book of Leviticus.  Christians choose to follow some of these rules (like the 10 Commandments) and not others siting New Covenant theology.  But most conservatives are okay with non-Christians that don’t believe in the Christ marrying and having children yet this goes against God’s 1st Commandment (which I believe even though it’s an Old Testament law, Christians still believe as the highest of laws) “Thou Shall Not Have Any God Before Me”.  (which interestingly enough does not say THERE ARE NO OTHER GODS BUT ME….there is much evidence that YAHWEH may have been a part of the Canaanite Pantheon….but that’s another discussion).  My point is that if (conservative) Christians are okay with non-believers having equal rights and status in the U.S. (which again is considered RULE #1) then why make such a big deal about Same Sex Marriage and homosexuality?   Why is it okay to believe that non-believers will go to Hell but should have the same rights and social standings as believers but homosexuals should have neither?  

    My only answer is that it’s more of a social issue than a religious issue (despite the reasoning given by the religious conservatives).  People are naturally afraid by that which is different from them.  The more different the more afraid they are.  Racism is an example of that.  Before people are used to interacting with people of different races, people are naturally defensive around different races.  But as they get used to interacting with new races, people naturally become more tolerant/accepting.  Now this isn’t just racially, it’s culturally too.  If the different race has radically different cultural customs and beliefs, again people are going to be naturally defensive.  If these same people encounter the same race but of people of much more similar cultural backgrounds (I call this the Archie Bunker/George Jefferson theory).  Or simply put, homosexuals scare conservatives more than atheists so they lash out at them.   

    • Neil Robertson  

      Wow – I hadn’t put that together before.  “Thou shall have no other God before me” implies that the Christian God recognizes that there are other Gods. 

      So are those other Gods also all powerful, and can they also have one on one conversations with individual Homo sapiens animals?

      Thanks for the thought.

      Cheers, Neil.

      • Marie  

        There are many portions of Scripture that mention other gods.

        They are all referred to as the creations of men, see psalm 115

        ” But their idols are silver and gold,
           made by human hands.
        5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
           eyes, but cannot see.
        6 They have ears, but cannot hear,
           noses, but cannot smell.
        7 They have hands, but cannot feel,
           feet, but cannot walk,
           nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
        8 Those who make them will be like them,
           and so will all who trust in them.

        • Rich  

          Wow, precisely like the Bible and it’s Christian god – a creation of man. 

          • Marie  

            Obviously, I don’t see it that way.

            If we had created the God of the Bible I think we’d make Him far more indulgent of our sins.

          • Anonymous  

            Marie, I suggest you look up the etymology of “Elohim.”  It’s a gender-neutral word meaning “god(s) and/or goddess(es).”

          • Rich  

            Marie, you simply believe your book is right. Some Muslims believe their book is right and some Jews believe their book is right. It’s pretty funny – all these people claiming they know the true word of God yet in conflict with each other. “I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world” Bertrand Russell.

          • tfizzle  

            It depends on what sins one wants to have indulged and how many people such a person has to provide him/her with support in making their indulgence socially acceptable.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        okay, so we’re stepping on some sensitive ground here.  Keep in mind we’re talking about the Jewish God YAHWEH (the one that required animal sacrifices at a specific alter) from which the Christian God is built of of (I guess in some ways YAHWEH is the Father?…I dunno).  Also keep in mind the Bible’s writers are anywhere from a few hundred years to over 500 years from the time of Judges (the collapse of the Bronze Age) and have recorded oral stories from that time.  

        To explain this, we have to go back about 3500 years ago into the Bronze Age in the area of the Levant (Israel, Syria, Palestine, etc…).    The Biblical Canaanites ruled the land (mostly as vassals of the Egyptian Kings).  The Canaanites have a pantheon of gods the grandfather creator god is called El.  The princely god who is sort of in charge of day to day things is usually Baal (a storm god kind of like Zeus).  Now as with most pantheon of gods, they are made up of gods that were assimilated by groups of people encountering other groups of people and as these cultures merge they adopt each other’s gods.  

        Where Yahweh came from is up for academic debate.  Some have thought he was the Sumerian god Enki others have thought he has an Indo-European origin and others have said he was a Kennite fire god a metallurgy.  But basically all the near east cultures mingled and their religions mingled as well, in fact many of the early books of Genesis are very similar stories to much earlier Sumerian stories (garden of eden, the flood, nimrod the hunter etc…).  

        Some academics believe the Hebrews were an underclass of Canaanites that helped to bring down the ruling class.   In fact much of the bronze age was top heavy and some think it was social revolution along with natural disasters and the “sea peoples” that helped to bring down the entire bronze age.  So it may have been a class civil war (which some archaeology of Canaanite cities support and not the Joshua invasion story).  

        So back to the god/gods and the Israelites….as I said El was the name of the head Canaanite god but it’s also the generic name for “god” in various Semitic languages including Hebrew.   El is sometimes used in the Bible as a name for Yahweh.  It appears that as time went on the Yahweh worshipers put Yahweh at the head of the pantheon.  In fact at some point Yahweh even gained El’s wife Asherah (there have been archaeological findings that show Yahweh and his beloved wife) then later dropped her when they became fully monotheistic.  You can find evidence of this (if you subscribe to certain academic interpretation) in the Bible; an example is in Psalms 82 (.6 I think?) where Yahweh (as El) basically chastises the other gods.  This is similar to the Canaanite Divine Council of El.  Also, the Bible states there are 70 Nations.  The Canaanite god El gives the nations to the 70 “sons of god” (Elohim…in this case a plural translation El which means gods…to the Hebrews Elohim can also be singular).  Yahweh got Israel.  The traditional interpretation of this was that it was the 70 sons of Israel and gave the phrase and earthly meaning…but this doesn’t really make sense (they are “born on high” and “sons of god”).  Also, the sons of god have also been traditionally thought of as just the heavenly host of Angels.  But there is evidence that the Angels were thought of as lesser level messengers under the 70 sons of El were gods.  I mean why would god chew out the Angels for not ruling better and casting judgement?  That’s not the role of the Angels…the Angels just carry out God’s orders.  Anyway BASICALLY I’M TRYING TO SAY THAT ANCIENT ISRAELITES BELIEVED OTHER GODS EXISTED and that their god ruled above them.  

        It’s not until the Exile that the Israelites begin to believe in Monotheism.  It’s hard to believe your local god is supreme to other gods when your city gets smashed by the Assyrians. It is from the Persians that they encounter a sort of monotheism in Zoroasterism which has an all powerful good God and a cosmic adversary (which where the idea of Satan being a rival of God begins to form).  So  the Hebrew God now rules and controls all nations including the Persian empire and Cyrus the Great that frees them from captivity and now they are moving from believing in a supreme ruling god to only one god.  

        (yes I know this response wasn’t well structured and is probably hard to follow).  for more reading look up the Ugaritic texts (Ugarit was a Canaanite city) and their relation to the Bible.     and yes this was completely off the original subject but I was replying to a specific comment.     

        • Neil Robertson  

          Thanks Allfor – although my comment was flippant, I do appreciate your response and the time it took to write it.  …  Cheers, Neil.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @f72b2ea7901d4c6580d1b8d74005bdd3:disqus I think that is a good idea.  There are many questions that I have of my friends – and I do mean friends – who stand across the aisle from me on important issues.  I will hopefully post more of these about a good number of topics in the future.

    • Marie  

      I am interested in loving my neighbor as myself.

      I see severe and longlasting terrible consequences for mankind as a result of same sex “marriage.”

      Thus I speak up.

      • Allforfunnplay  

        you missed my point.  WHY do you foresee terrible consequences for mankind?  

      • Neil Robertson  

        I see you dodged the question.  What, precisely, are the terrible long lasting consequences for mankind?

      • California Girl  

        Marie,

        I’m trying to make sense of your arguments.  I don’t see any “severe and long lasting terrible consequences for mankind”.  What might these be?

        My gay friends got married in 2008 on their 30 year anniversary.  Now, 2.5 years later, they still live in the same house they have co-owned for 20 years, pay the same taxes, and have the same lifestyle and relationship.  As far as I can tell, nothing changed because they got married.

        My marriage failed because my husband did not live up to his half of the commitment and responsibilities, and still does not provide any support for our two kids.  Gay marriage had NO part in that divorce. 

        • Marie  

          Severe and terrible long lasting consequences for mankind:

          - the encouragement of homosexual behavior among adults, which is soul destroying and physically damaging.

          - the encouragement of homosexual behavior/experimentation among youth, same problem

          - the pushing of sexual perversion upon children of younger and younger ages, under the guise of “sex education”

          - the promotion of a pederastic idealization of teen boys

          - the persecution of all those who stand against the above

          - increased sexual aggressiveness including public nudity and public sex acts which are destructive to the actors and any witnesses, willing or not

          - the absence of healthy sexual identity role models for children in ssm households, with the accompanying destruction of those children’s psyches

          The Roman Catholic Church (of which I am not a part), can no longer place children in this state despite thousands of years of honorable history placing foundlings, because of their sincere and longstanding belief that such an environment is harmful to children.  Wedding photographers have been successfully sued for refusing to photograph gay “weddings.”  The list of persecution would take up far more space than reasonable here.

          Dr.
          Ray Blanchard’s work, as documented in the Archives of Sexual Behavior,
          suggests that homosexual men are between 6 and 20 times more likely to engage
          in pedophile behaviors than heterosexual males.

          Kurt
          Freund and others have produced similar data in the Journal of Sex Research.

          New York City, N.Y., Jun 12, 2010 / 07:56 am (CNA).- A recent report by the
          Commission on Parenthood’s Future indicates that adult offspring of sperm
          donation struggle with questions of identity as a result of not knowing their
          biological father. Fr. Thomas Berg, who specializes in bioethics, told CNA that
          the practice of sperm donation

          I could go on and on, space is limited.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            well, i applaud your attempt at listing your data and creating a rational argument.

            but your data is outed, out of context and biased (Parenthood’s Future and the CNA?? really???) .  

            the rest all seem to be your fears that you attribute to the homosexual community.  the whole pedophilia fear thing with gays is just bizarre.  i mean, I live within a stones throw of SF’s Castro district and while the community is certainly flamboyant…your fears seem waaaaay out there.  

          • Marie  

            I guess that’s a matter of opinion but I appreciate that you considered my arguments.

          • Neil Robertson  

            Forgive me for being blunt, but my b.s. meter is pegged out.  The fear that’s being propagated here is palpable. 

            - How does ssm encourage homosexuality?  If you believe that, you must be a closet gay, how else could someone come to that conclusion?  Don’t you understand that being gay is not a conscious choice?  You do have a point though – when ssm becomes accepted, there will be less pressure on gay people to stay in the closet.   Your argument here is really upside down – trying to keep “the gays” down is soul destroying and physically damaging for the individuals affected (and those individuals are the gays, not you – your arguments help foster an environment of open hostility to fellow citizens who happen to be born gay).

            - Pushing of sexual perversion under the guise of sex ed – huh?  My take is that the only perversion is your religion denying the full breadth of human sexuality.  Are you afraid that if your world view is challenged, your children may see your religion as a choice as well?  I think you define sexual perversion to include the mention of non-traditional family arrangements, and you’d be right by that self referencing logic.  But really, what do you mean here other than fear of different?

            - What in heaven’s name does a pederastic idealization of teen boys have to do with ssm?  The pedarists in this society are mainly Priests and Relatives.  If you really want to use that argument, you should separate yourself from the Church that has tended to support pedophile priests.

            - Increased sexual aggression?  Let me get this straight – you think ssm encourages public nudity and public sex acts?  You’re really making things up here. Since a number of states and countries allow ssm, why not provide the statistics on the increase in public nudidty and sex acts because of ssm?  There are none. 

            - Absence of role models in ssm households?  Another confused argument due to ignorance.  1/ marriage is not required to have or adopt children 2/ there are more children up for adoption than people willing to take them 3/ you really believe an orphanage or a paid temporary foster situation is better than a loving same sex family?  Let’s be explicit here – you would prefer to be brought up in an orphanage or shuttled between foster parents than being part of a loving ssm household?

            - The Catholic Church’s adoption problem was not because of ssm because ssm wasn’t available when they decided to get out of that game  (why don’t you have a real argument?).  And you are flat out lying that wedding photographers have been sued because they wouldn’t cover an ssm – they were sued for breach of contract because they agreed to shoot a wedding then backed out after it was too late to hire a substitute.

            - Ray Blanchard (he supports state sponsored sex reassignment surgery, btw) – what to say here.  They tried that one at the Prop 8 trial here in CA and it was demonstrated to be nonsense.  Here’s a quote from him “my considerable body of work on the origins of sexual orientation has
            stressed that sexual orientation in males is probably determined in
            prenatal life, a theoretical viewpoint that is basically incompatible
            with the notion that “therapeutic” interventions could alter basic
            sexual orientation” – he says that gays are born gay – so if gays are born gay, what do you suggest is the equitable solution?  They should be second class citizens?  Because that’s what you are arguing for.  Here’s a link to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that showed no difference between straights and gays regarding pedophilia:

            http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/122/567/163

            I really hope you can sit down in a quiet place for a few minutes and understand that the only reason ssm is a threat to the church (and therefore you) is because they have been using gays as an enemy for ever – and the real threat is that the ordinaryness of ssm demonstrates that their teachings are false on this issue and therefore false on other issues. 

            Cheers, Neil.

          • tfizzle  

            - the promotion of a pederastic idealization of teen boys

            Their have been innumerable documented instances of this by catholic priests charged with providing guidance to youth.. ….would you then argue that Catholic priests should not be allowed to interact with (i.g., take confessions, educate, etc.) pre-adults?  I realize that the church doesn’t ‘promote’ such acts but they have occurred with greater frequency than in other institutions and I don’t see how legislation on how the state issues marriage licenses provides any greater degree of promotion of such criminal activity.  We are talking about Marriage after all which I assume all here would agree begins with consenting adults.

          • kloomis  

            which makes me think of something–re the “pederastic idealization”. my belief, actually, is that pederasty is being socially encouraged by women AND men shaving themselves to imitate pre-puberty skin. i really think we should re-consider this preactice; when you think about it, it’s downright creepy. but it’s happening heterosexually, mostly.

          • Anonymous  

            The “Archives of Sexual Behavior” is a self-published, non-peer reviewed journal from NARTH — and thus has no academic relevance whatsoever.  It’s religiously-biased propaganda.

          • Anonymous  

            As to your canard about Catholic Charities — they have been voluntarily closing their adoption agencies.  Why?  Because they receive Federal funding, which means they cannot discriminate — and yet they wish to discriminate.  Their call, not anyone else’s.

            As for the wedding photographer case?  The Unruh Act specifies that if you hang up a shingle offering your services to the public, you cannot discriminate.  You bet that photographer was successfully sued — for violating the terms of their business license.

            I suggest you look up the actual particulars of your citations lest you continue to look kind of foolish. :-(

        • kloomis  

          Just an aside–tell your friends to talk to a tax preparer–with the new IRS rules, they may be able to pay less in taxes!  :-)

      • Anonymous  

        If you see them, Marie, then surely you can list them. 

        My husband and I are still married after attending a lesbian wedding two years ago.  The sky has not fallen after six (count ‘em) states enacted marriage equality.  In fact, we remain completely unaffected by your alleged “severe and longlasting terrible consequences for mankind” — the which you seem unable to enumerate.

      • Frank  

        Keep up the good work Marie! Gods word will stand the test!

        • Anonymous  

          And yet you claim that you are not a religious zealot and that your arguments are not about religion.  Heh!  Why is that you continue to use words like “sin” and try to pretend that constitutionality is irrelevant?

    • Anonymous  

      Another aspect of the polygamy argument is that it involves a legal arrangement that affects a third party. For example, if I marry Betty, then we have certain legal obligations to each other. If I marry Susan, too, then Susan has legal obligations toward Betty that she may or may not have anticipated or willingly undertook.

  • Anonymous  

    So, if  a man marries a woman, it is obvious that he is the one who is supposed to make all important decisions and she is the one who is supposed to do all the cleaning.  I’m sure that is in Leviticus somewhere, right?  And if a man is allowed to marry another man, then one of the men will have to clean toilets or do laundry.  If the wives learn that men are capable of housework, then they will start expecting men to do it, and not accept rigid gender binary roles any more.  And lots of marriages would fall apart if men had to clean/feed/dress themselves. 

    (why yes, yes I am a feminist who supports marriage equality)

    • Allforfunnplay  

      Leviticus says you can’t mix the types of crops in your fields (hello big dust bowl of the great depression!).  You also can’t have different cattle that graze on the same fields.  having sex is unclean for a day and you must have a bath (actually a good hygiene law). A woman that gives birth to a boy is unclean for a week.  A woman that gives birth to a girl is TWICE AS UNCLEAN and is unclean for 2 weeks.  You also can’t wear clothes of two different kinds of fabric (we all knew that polyester blends were evil but the Bible offers proof!).  

      Anyway, you overlook the fact that in general, women like men who build, construct and fix things.  And if the man is building, constructing or fixing something then the woman is doing housework.  It’s not that the woman can’t build a deck or fix the car…women certainly are capable of it….but most (not all) prefer their man to do these things, either because it’s more physical work and/or they simply like the idea of the man doing it.  As for same sex marriages, I don’t know….does one partner take a traditional masculine role and another a traditional feminine role?  Maybe the roles are as clear cut as traditional marriages?  But then those roles aren’t as clear cut in modern marriages anyway (in my case, my wife can’t cook to save her life).  

      • Marie  

        In re:  the laws in Leviticus you are mocking, they are part of the ceremonial law wherein God laid down all sorts of rules whereby the Jews were to illustrate their separateness from all other peoples.

        They were specifically fulfilled when the temple worship was done away with in Christ.

        Moral law, including sexual laws, were not done away with and are restated and reinforced in the New Testament. 

        Homosexuality is not the only forbidden sex.  Adultery, fornication, and bestiality are also forbidden.

        Still.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          “They were specifically fulfilled when the temple worship was done away with in Christ.”
          That’s your (or your religious sect’s) interpretation.  Most Christians refer to this with the umbrella term of the “New Covenant”.  It falls under the term Supercessionsim.  Which is basically a “we get to make this thing up again because we’re not Jews but we have those old Jewish stories from the Old Testament that Jesus believed in….but we want to make it clear we’re not Jews…”.  

          (btw.  It was the Romans that did away with Temple Worship…and that was before they were even Christians).  

          Where in the New Testament does it draw these moral law lines?  (I really don’t count the Pauline Epistles…but I’ll grant them to you if you want). 

          also, while it’s fun to mock old laws of any sort like Leviticus there is a lot to be said for their practicality in some respects given the times in in which they were created.   

          • Marie  

            No, the Jews were held out as a separate ethnic people until the coming of Christ.  It’s not limited to my sect’s interpretation.  There’s not a Christian church I know of that holds to Old Testament separation laws.

            These separation laws were indeed done away with in the New Testament, particularly the dietary ones “Rise, Peter, kill and eat,” he was instructed -

            also Temple worship was abolished and there is no more Temple.  So obviously the copious laws about approaching the Temple etc. have ceased.

            So I am not being arbitrary; it is the teaching of virtually all Christendom and well substantiated biblically.

            Those unfamiliar with the Bible will read some of Leviticus and say, hey, what gives?  I am explaining it to those who are honestly confused.  If you just want to argue over a non-existent dilemma I can not help you.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            wow, you really need to study your theology better and your religious history as well.  

            Christian Temple worship ended when James the Just was killed in 62 AD (the Romans may have feared a Parthian alliance with the Judeo-Christian rebels) ….btw. that’s not in the Bible it’s in the historical documents by Josephus….and then when the Temple was destroyed in 70AD.  I’m not spouting atheist interpretations of Christianity.  Seriously did you look up “Supersessionism”?  

          • Marie  

            No, I have no need to look up supercessionism.

            And Jesus was the sacrifice, and after that there was no need for any further sacrifice, and that’s why God allowed the Temple to be destroyed.

            I am not informing you of anything novel or radical here.  That’s basic Christianity.  You may or may not agree with it, but  that’s what Christians believe, and that’s why we aren’t offering animal sacrifices in Jerusalem any more, etc.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            again you’re taking a BASIC protestant Sunday School understanding of the history and complexity of the development of Christianity.  

            It’s not as simple as you want to make it.  Do some research and educate yourself.  It won’t threaten your faith understand all aspects and how various human interpretations of it have evolved overtime.  The Christianity you know now did not come to you in an unchanging linear progression.  It went through many variations changes and failures to get to where it is today.  

            and Christian Temple worship died with James (look it up in Acts, Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls).  

          • Allforfunnplay  

            again you’re taking a BASIC protestant Sunday School understanding of the history and complexity of the development of Christianity.  

            It’s not as simple as you want to make it.  Do some research and educate yourself.  It won’t threaten your faith understand all aspects and how various human interpretations of it have evolved overtime.  The Christianity you know now did not come to you in an unchanging linear progression.  It went through many variations changes and failures to get to where it is today.  

            and Christian Temple worship died with James (look it up in Acts, Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls).  

          • Allforfunnplay  

            Supercessionism isn’t some academic assault on
            Christianity.  You would be taught about even if you were a Christian theology
            student. 

             

            Let me give some historical background to help
            you to understand.  After Jesus died he
            left his brother James in charge.  The
            Apostles and their followers adhered to Jewish laws and followed the
            Torah.  But Jesus was also accepting of
            Gentiles and so what made them different from the Jews is that they accepted
            Gentiles as long as they abided by the 7 Noahide Laws of Righteous Gentiles.  Saul/Paul comes along and says he has better
            ideas for preaching to the Gentiles abroad so he goes off to Syria, Turkey,
            Greece etc.. before being called back to face James.  Paul is chastised but later James is betrayed
            by an enemy in the crowd (some think is Paul) and is later stoned and
            killed.  James had been consolidating
            power in Jerusalem and may have been making political alliances with Parthian
            states (a rival empire of Rome) so the Romans/Jewish priesthood had him
            killed.  Anyway these guys were all Kosher.   Paul’s
            followers throughout the Roman Empire begin to follow an early version of
            Pauline Christianity (no circumcision, no Kosher etc…).  After James dies, Peter goes along with
            Paul.  But there are still plenty of
            Judeo-Christians and they probably won’t be fully integrated until around 310AD
            when Constantine decides he wants a unified version of Christianity. After the
            Judeo-Roman war of 70AD the Christians really wanted to separate themselves
            from the Jews.  Many of the Christians
            were Roman citizens, Roman slaves or even Roman soldiers. 

             

            So the Christians needed to sort out their
            Jewish heritage.  So the variations they
            come up with fall under the term “Supersessionism” of which New Covenant
            theology falls under.  You can break it
            down two or three ways: as and extension/addition to the Mosaic Covenant and/or
            as a replacement of the Mosaic Covenant. 
            Some continued to follow the Torah and some didn’t.  Some considered the Jews completely removed
            from God’s plan and some considered that God would fulfill his covenant with
            them and the New Covenant (Dispensationalism is an offshoot of this…which lead
            to Christian Zionism).  

        • Anonymous  

          Huh? For any of this to make sense, you have to accept the premise that the  bible is the divine word of God. There is  no basis in fact to support this. It was written by men, to support their own agendas and through translation and interpretation over the centuries, is completely different from what was originally written.

          • Marie  

            You are entirely correct.  If you don’t accept the Bible as the inspired word of God then it’s up to us to create our own morality.

          • Anonymous  

            Indeed it is,and most of us have that capacity within us. Remember, God is good, and this universe was created in His image. Evil is only a fleeting thing, good will always be with us. We are able to look within us to know what is moral.

          • Marie  

            I have seen too much evil in this world to believe that if people look within they know what is moral.

            Virtually every evil deed done on this planet is justified as moral by the one doing it.

          • Anonymous  

            I am not in a position to answer that, could be, I am speaking from my own experience, that is my moral compass, from within.

          • Anonymous  

            So, people who have never even heard of your Bible are automatically immoral?  Wow. 

          • Frank  

            Everyone is born immoral due to sin. Whether you believe in the bible, or even heard of it, is not relevant to the reality of sin.

          • Anonymous  

            I think original sin is nonsense.  And I’m a church-goer.

          • Frank  

            Why doesn’t that surprise me. No wonder you whole view is skewed!

          • Anonymous  

            Religious zealotry FTL

          • Frank  

            Well that’s your opinion but you do describe exactly those that are currently trying to rewrite the bible to make is culturally acceptable.

          • Rich  

            Hey Frank, do prehistoric people get into heaven?

          • Frank  

            Good question, off topic but I do believe we can get some insight in Acts 17:22-31

        • Nopls  

          One tiny problem with your argument…Leviticus is the only place in the bible where homosexuality is forbidden.

          • Marie  

            No, homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament as well, for instance 1st Corinthians 6:9-10

            “Do you not know that
            the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.
            Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

          • Allforfunnplay  

            actually technically if you look at modern translations interestingly enough it translate to Male Prostitutes.  Remember they originally translated from Aramic and Greek to Latin and then to English.  

          • Marie  

            Then try other references, such as Romans, 1:26 -

            “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. . .”

            I don’t think you can re-define the words there.

            It is popular to re-define terms when we have a pet sin we want to indulge in, but the Bible is clear throughout, from Genesis forward, that sex is for one mutually faithful man and woman.

            These means heterosexuals don’t get to fornicate/commit adultery etc., don’t think I am asserting that homosexual behavior is the only sexual sin.

          • Meghanf  

            “the Bible is clear throughout, from Genesis forward, that sex is for one mutually faithful man and woman.”

            Unless of course, your name is Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, or any number of others.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            Even the 1st Holy Roman emperor himself Charlemagne had multiple wives because that was the custom of Carlogian Kings at the time.  

          • Frank  

            Surely you understand scripture enough to realize that while other forms of marriage are in the bible nowhere are they sanctioned. Jesus sanctioned only one man one woman marriages.

          • Meghanf  

            I understandscripture well enough to knowthat anyone who tells you that the Bible offers one consistent witness on sex and marriage is trying to sell you something.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            It’s up for interpretation.  Some say that Paul  (some one will someday have to explain to me why Christians continue to follow Pauline Christianity…but that’s another discussion) in Romans 1:26 was referring to acts by the Gentiles before the flood and that it was a condemnation of the Gentiles and that God chose to work with the Jews and that it was Jesus’s death that helped to bring the Gentiles back into the fold. (and this was by anti-gay conservatives).  

            A more common interpretation is that Paul’s comments if taken in context with the rest of Romans is against Idol worship and how Idol worship can lead to prostitution and  homosexual sex.  Paul uses the word Unclean in the Old Testament context which is not the same as immoral.  

          • Anonymous  

            Given that the term homosexual wasn’t even coined until the late 19th C., I doubt that anyone who spoke Hebrew or koine Greek was using it … I have a lengthy exegesis on the translation errors in Leviticus concerning homosexuality, but will spare Bruce’s readers (and his page).  Suffice it to say that your definition is … incorrect.

      • Rbutsrwarm  

        Why is it important to establish “roles”?  I believe a couple should strike its own balance about who does what.  Assigning roles using old gender models reflects one’s unwillingness to accept the total package of same-sex marriage.

  • Anonymous  

    So, if  a man marries a woman, it is obvious that he is the one who is supposed to make all important decisions and she is the one who is supposed to do all the cleaning.  I’m sure that is in Leviticus somewhere, right?  And if a man is allowed to marry another man, then one of the men will have to clean toilets or do laundry.  If the wives learn that men are capable of housework, then they will start expecting men to do it, and not accept rigid gender binary roles any more.  And lots of marriages would fall apart if men had to clean/feed/dress themselves. 

    (why yes, yes I am a feminist who supports marriage equality)

    • Allforfunnplay  

      Leviticus says you can’t mix the types of crops in your fields (hello big dust bowl of the great depression!).  You also can’t have different cattle that graze on the same fields.  having sex is unclean for a day and you must have a bath (actually a good hygiene law). A woman that gives birth to a boy is unclean for a week.  A woman that gives birth to a girl is TWICE AS UNCLEAN and is unclean for 2 weeks.  You also can’t wear clothes of two different kinds of fabric (we all knew that polyester blends were evil but the Bible offers proof!).  

      Anyway, you overlook the fact that in general, women like men who build, construct and fix things.  And if the man is building, constructing or fixing something then the woman is doing housework.  It’s not that the woman can’t build a deck or fix the car…women certainly are capable of it….but most (not all) prefer their man to do these things, either because it’s more physical work and/or they simply like the idea of the man doing it.  As for same sex marriages, I don’t know….does one partner take a traditional masculine role and another a traditional feminine role?  Maybe the roles are as clear cut as traditional marriages?  But then those roles aren’t as clear cut in modern marriages anyway (in my case, my wife can’t cook to save her life).  

      • Marie  

        In re:  the laws in Leviticus you are mocking, they are part of the ceremonial law wherein God laid down all sorts of rules whereby the Jews were to illustrate their separateness from all other peoples.

        They were specifically fulfilled when the temple worship was done away with in Christ.

        Moral law, including sexual laws, were not done away with and are restated and reinforced in the New Testament. 

        Homosexuality is not the only forbidden sex.  Adultery, fornication, and bestiality are also forbidden.

        Still.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          “They were specifically fulfilled when the temple worship was done away with in Christ.”
          That’s your (or your religious sect’s) interpretation.  Most Christians refer to this with the umbrella term of the “New Covenant”.  It falls under the term Supercessionsim.  Which is basically a “we get to make this thing up again because we’re not Jews but we have those old Jewish stories from the Old Testament that Jesus believed in….but we want to make it clear we’re not Jews…”.  

          (btw.  It was the Romans that did away with Temple Worship…and that was before they were even Christians).  

          Where in the New Testament does it draw these moral law lines?  (I really don’t count the Pauline Epistles…but I’ll grant them to you if you want). 

          also, while it’s fun to mock old laws of any sort like Leviticus there is a lot to be said for their practicality in some respects given the times in in which they were created.   

          • Marie  

            No, the Jews were held out as a separate ethnic people until the coming of Christ.  It’s not limited to my sect’s interpretation.  There’s not a Christian church I know of that holds to Old Testament separation laws.

            These separation laws were indeed done away with in the New Testament, particularly the dietary ones “Rise, Peter, kill and eat,” he was instructed -

            also Temple worship was abolished and there is no more Temple.  So obviously the copious laws about approaching the Temple etc. have ceased.

            So I am not being arbitrary; it is the teaching of virtually all Christendom and well substantiated biblically.

            Those unfamiliar with the Bible will read some of Leviticus and say, hey, what gives?  I am explaining it to those who are honestly confused.  If you just want to argue over a non-existent dilemma I can not help you.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            wow, you really need to study your theology better and your religious history as well.  

            Christian Temple worship ended when James the Just was killed in 62 AD (the Romans may have feared a Parthian alliance with the Judeo-Christian rebels) ….btw. that’s not in the Bible it’s in the historical documents by Josephus….and then when the Temple was destroyed in 70AD.  I’m not spouting atheist interpretations of Christianity.  Seriously did you look up “Supersessionism”?  

          • Marie  

            No, I have no need to look up supercessionism.

            And Jesus was the sacrifice, and after that there was no need for any further sacrifice, and that’s why God allowed the Temple to be destroyed.

            I am not informing you of anything novel or radical here.  That’s basic Christianity.  You may or may not agree with it, but  that’s what Christians believe, and that’s why we aren’t offering animal sacrifices in Jerusalem any more, etc.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            again you’re taking a BASIC protestant Sunday School understanding of the history and complexity of the development of Christianity.  

            It’s not as simple as you want to make it.  Do some research and educate yourself.  It won’t threaten your faith understand all aspects and how various human interpretations of it have evolved overtime.  The Christianity you know now did not come to you in an unchanging linear progression.  It went through many variations changes and failures to get to where it is today.  

            and Christian Temple worship died with James (look it up in Acts, Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls).  

          • Allforfunnplay  

            again you’re taking a BASIC protestant Sunday School understanding of the history and complexity of the development of Christianity.  

            It’s not as simple as you want to make it.  Do some research and educate yourself.  It won’t threaten your faith understand all aspects and how various human interpretations of it have evolved overtime.  The Christianity you know now did not come to you in an unchanging linear progression.  It went through many variations changes and failures to get to where it is today.  

            and Christian Temple worship died with James (look it up in Acts, Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls).  

          • Allforfunnplay  

            Supercessionism isn’t some academic assault on
            Christianity.  You would be taught about even if you were a Christian theology
            student. 

             

            Let me give some historical background to help
            you to understand.  After Jesus died he
            left his brother James in charge.  The
            Apostles and their followers adhered to Jewish laws and followed the
            Torah.  But Jesus was also accepting of
            Gentiles and so what made them different from the Jews is that they accepted
            Gentiles as long as they abided by the 7 Noahide Laws of Righteous Gentiles.  Saul/Paul comes along and says he has better
            ideas for preaching to the Gentiles abroad so he goes off to Syria, Turkey,
            Greece etc.. before being called back to face James.  Paul is chastised but later James is betrayed
            by an enemy in the crowd (some think is Paul) and is later stoned and
            killed.  James had been consolidating
            power in Jerusalem and may have been making political alliances with Parthian
            states (a rival empire of Rome) so the Romans/Jewish priesthood had him
            killed.  Anyway these guys were all Kosher.   Paul’s
            followers throughout the Roman Empire begin to follow an early version of
            Pauline Christianity (no circumcision, no Kosher etc…).  After James dies, Peter goes along with
            Paul.  But there are still plenty of
            Judeo-Christians and they probably won’t be fully integrated until around 310AD
            when Constantine decides he wants a unified version of Christianity. After the
            Judeo-Roman war of 70AD the Christians really wanted to separate themselves
            from the Jews.  Many of the Christians
            were Roman citizens, Roman slaves or even Roman soldiers. 

             

            So the Christians needed to sort out their
            Jewish heritage.  So the variations they
            come up with fall under the term “Supersessionism” of which New Covenant
            theology falls under.  You can break it
            down two or three ways: as and extension/addition to the Mosaic Covenant and/or
            as a replacement of the Mosaic Covenant. 
            Some continued to follow the Torah and some didn’t.  Some considered the Jews completely removed
            from God’s plan and some considered that God would fulfill his covenant with
            them and the New Covenant (Dispensationalism is an offshoot of this…which lead
            to Christian Zionism).  

        • Anonymous  

          Huh? For any of this to make sense, you have to accept the premise that the  bible is the divine word of God. There is  no basis in fact to support this. It was written by men, to support their own agendas and through translation and interpretation over the centuries, is completely different from what was originally written.

          • Marie  

            You are entirely correct.  If you don’t accept the Bible as the inspired word of God then it’s up to us to create our own morality.

          • Anonymous  

            Indeed it is,and most of us have that capacity within us. Remember, God is good, and this universe was created in His image. Evil is only a fleeting thing, good will always be with us. We are able to look within us to know what is moral.

          • Marie  

            I have seen too much evil in this world to believe that if people look within they know what is moral.

            Virtually every evil deed done on this planet is justified as moral by the one doing it.

          • Anonymous  

            I am not in a position to answer that, could be, I am speaking from my own experience, that is my moral compass, from within.

          • Anonymous  

            So, people who have never even heard of your Bible are automatically immoral?  Wow. 

          • Frank  

            Everyone is born immoral due to sin. Whether you believe in the bible, or even heard of it, is not relevant to the reality of sin.

          • Anonymous  

            I think original sin is nonsense.  And I’m a church-goer.

          • Frank  

            Why doesn’t that surprise me. No wonder you whole view is skewed!

          • Anonymous  

            Religious zealotry FTL

          • Frank  

            Well that’s your opinion but you do describe exactly those that are currently trying to rewrite the bible to make is culturally acceptable.

          • Rich  

            Hey Frank, do prehistoric people get into heaven?

          • Frank  

            Good question, off topic but I do believe we can get some insight in Acts 17:22-31

        • Nopls  

          One tiny problem with your argument…Leviticus is the only place in the bible where homosexuality is forbidden.

          • Marie  

            No, homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament as well, for instance 1st Corinthians 6:9-10

            “Do you not know that
            the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.
            Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

          • Allforfunnplay  

            actually technically if you look at modern translations interestingly enough it translate to Male Prostitutes.  Remember they originally translated from Aramic and Greek to Latin and then to English.  

          • Marie  

            Then try other references, such as Romans, 1:26 -

            “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. . .”

            I don’t think you can re-define the words there.

            It is popular to re-define terms when we have a pet sin we want to indulge in, but the Bible is clear throughout, from Genesis forward, that sex is for one mutually faithful man and woman.

            These means heterosexuals don’t get to fornicate/commit adultery etc., don’t think I am asserting that homosexual behavior is the only sexual sin.

          • Meghanf  

            “the Bible is clear throughout, from Genesis forward, that sex is for one mutually faithful man and woman.”

            Unless of course, your name is Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, or any number of others.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            Even the 1st Holy Roman emperor himself Charlemagne had multiple wives because that was the custom of Carlogian Kings at the time.  

          • Frank  

            Surely you understand scripture enough to realize that while other forms of marriage are in the bible nowhere are they sanctioned. Jesus sanctioned only one man one woman marriages.

          • Meghanf  

            I understandscripture well enough to knowthat anyone who tells you that the Bible offers one consistent witness on sex and marriage is trying to sell you something.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            It’s up for interpretation.  Some say that Paul  (some one will someday have to explain to me why Christians continue to follow Pauline Christianity…but that’s another discussion) in Romans 1:26 was referring to acts by the Gentiles before the flood and that it was a condemnation of the Gentiles and that God chose to work with the Jews and that it was Jesus’s death that helped to bring the Gentiles back into the fold. (and this was by anti-gay conservatives).  

            A more common interpretation is that Paul’s comments if taken in context with the rest of Romans is against Idol worship and how Idol worship can lead to prostitution and  homosexual sex.  Paul uses the word Unclean in the Old Testament context which is not the same as immoral.  

          • Anonymous  

            Given that the term homosexual wasn’t even coined until the late 19th C., I doubt that anyone who spoke Hebrew or koine Greek was using it … I have a lengthy exegesis on the translation errors in Leviticus concerning homosexuality, but will spare Bruce’s readers (and his page).  Suffice it to say that your definition is … incorrect.

  • Anonymous  

    Thanks for asking this question, Bruce.  I am a believer in marriage equality; I know that my “traditional marriage” is not affected by any other marriage, gay or straight.  No one has ever successfully answered my query of “how?” in response to “Same-sex marriage cheapens the institution” (the way I see the premise phrased most often).  As long as the infertile, post-fertile and childfree are allowed to marry, the procreation argument holds on water for me (or the law, for that matter, since procreative desire and/or capability is not a requirement for a marriage license).

  • Anonymous  

    Thanks for asking this question, Bruce.  I am a believer in marriage equality; I know that my “traditional marriage” is not affected by any other marriage, gay or straight.  No one has ever successfully answered my query of “how?” in response to “Same-sex marriage cheapens the institution” (the way I see the premise phrased most often).  As long as the infertile, post-fertile and childfree are allowed to marry, the procreation argument holds on water for me (or the law, for that matter, since procreative desire and/or capability is not a requirement for a marriage license).

  • Michael Kruse  

    I’ll take at stab at this but I think your framing of the question misses the point that many of the opponents of same-sex marriage (ssm) are making. Codifying ssm does not directly harm any isolated marriage directly. Short Answer: The concern is that marriage is the basis for family and ssm devolves the institution of the family from a social institution into a purely private relationship between two individuals.

    Long answer: Family is seen as a social institution … like government, education, religion. To use Kuyper’s language, it is a semi-autonomous sphere of human interaction with customs for how people relate to each other and accomplish aims relative to that sphere. It is the primary institution of caring and support of society’s members and has the lead role in the nurture of children.

    Essential to the concept of marriage and family has been children. I’m aware that as soon as I raise this people will say that there all sorts of marriages (including my own) that don’t involve children, so raising the issue is a red-herring. But this misses the point. Society has a vested interest in seeing that children are reared well. The only relationship from which children naturally spring is the union of a man and women. Yes, you can use artificial means to create children outside this context but no child has been naturally conceived in the course of living in a same-sex union. The two types of union are qualitatively different at a critical point.

    Dating back to Aristotle, and confirmed by social research down to the present, is the realization that biological connection to children strengthens the connection and commitment to rear those children. In the aggregate, children reared by a biological mother and father fair better than in other circumstances. And let be clear about what I did not say. I did NOT say that single parents, step-parents, or a same-sex couples could not rear a child well. NOR did I say that every hetero-sexual couple with biological children would do a good job. The point is that from a societal point of view, in the aggregate, children do better in biological families. There is a public policy interest in solidifying such unions.

    Therefore, from a purely pragmatic view, the state has an interest in stabilizing and solidifying hetero-sexual unions in ways it does not for other relationships. If people are having sex with multiple partners, it is difficult for fathers to know who their children are. Monogamy helps form that attachment and marriage creates glue to hold that relationship together. It is not the state’s business to determine if each heterosexual union will result in children or even if the participants intend to have children. The issue is that the unique child producing potential of this class of relationships requires special status.

    The concern with ssm is that it finalizes a generations long trajectory toward disestablishment of the institution of the family. No fault divorce was a major move in this direction (What other contracts do we have in society where there is no penalty for noncompliance?) No longer is marriage a doorway into an important societal institution but rather a purely private contract (if that) between any two individuals.

    From a societal liberty point of view, there is concern about personal freedom. The family institution has been the primary human community that nurtures its members and acts as a buffer between other societal institutions that may or may not have the best interest of family members in mind. Weakening that buffer, other institutions are freer to use people in purely utilitarian ways.

    Personally, I think people should be able to form civil unions with each other for any variety of reasons. While I may not be as apocalyptic as some ssm opponents, I do oppose ssm.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @google-19d812e129b0136d8d487f23c933d8d5:disqus Thanks for the response, thoughtful as ever.

      • Michael Kruse  

        Thanks for a great forum.

    • Meghanf  

      The question I always have when I hear this argument that society should support one man-one woman marriage above all other forms because it’s best for raising children is, why then should society stop there?

      I imagine that it could be proved that, in aggregate, people in that form of marriage who have higher incomes or better educations provide an even better environment for raising children.

      If our primary interest is providing the best possible circumstances for children shouldn’t we have some kind of licensing process that test for financial stability and intelligence before we allow people to get married and have children?

      [I should admit here that I feel that there are far too many people out there having children and that I think that many of society's and the planet's problems could be solved by having fewer kids.]

       

    • Allforfunnplay  

      the holes in your response (and it was a well thought out and well written response btw.) are that SSM couples can adopt or have children (through a variety arrangements) and raise children within their marriage.  secondly, from the time wide spread use of birth control was available, couples have been able to pair up without the intent or high percentage chance of having children.  

      • Michael Kruse  

        Thanks allforfunnplay. I think you are saying that because ssm couples could have children, and that many heterosexual couples don’t have children, and that therefore my argument fails. If so, this misses my point. My point was that it is irrelevant whether any particular couple has children. From a social policy standpoint, the issue is what happens in the aggregate.

        A heterosexual union (barring significant medical intervention) is the only circumstance that creates children in the natural course of that union. In fact, most couples have to take measures to prevent conception if that is their desire. It is irrelevant whether each couple has children. It is impossible for the state to know if any particular couple is infertile or has no intention of having children. The state can’t no in advance which couples will intend to have children but fail to do so. But the state does know that it is ONLY from these unions that children spring. The state knows that out of the natural course of the civil status of marriage that children frequently emerge (and there is no other status with that quality.) Therefore, because the state has an interest in the nurture and perpetuation of the next generation, the state has an interest in solidifying and codifying (i.e., marriage) this civil status that it does not with otherwise have, regardless of the particular outcomes with each couple.

        I hope that helps clarify what I meant.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          I’m not sure I follow.  Is the end result of your reasoning that if SSM is denied it would increase the offspring in society????  Do you believe that homosexuals if denied the right to marry will just re-enter society in heterosexual marriages to procreate?  

          Some Homosexuals are creating families both within the legal framework of marriage and outside of it.  They adopt, they create other arrangements….they are raising children.  

          How does denying them rights impact the institution of marriage (which I believe was the original question posed)?  

        • prof  

          Why is it in the best interest of the state to control relationships?  Surely not for the sake of organized religion!
          Is it really important to the state to promote childbearing?

          • kloomis  

            My understanding is that there is a theory of economics that says that a society has to keep children coming (or young immigrants, say) so that the population does not become “aged-heavy”. Japan is cited as a economy that went bust because of too lopsided an age demographic. So yes, in consideration with other factors, it would seem to be important to to the State, or society, to promote childbearing. But is that a problem now in the U.S.? We seem to have many children that need adopting, a function that gay/lesbian couples often take on. Also, we are still a desirable emigration destination. 

        • kloomis  

          I am disturbed by Mr Kruse’s implication that families-by-adoption are not as socially valuable as families-by-spousal-procreation — am I misreading this?

    • Dan Ancona  

      That’s as thoughtful and elegant defense of the institution of marriage as I’ve come across in a while. It makes me appreciate my own!

      Annnd I had a really thoughtful set of questions all written up, hit the wrong button and my mouse and it disappeared. Wah!

      To sum up, regarding the social liberty argument, I fail to understand how limiting an institution to certain people strengthens it.

      • Marie  

        Opening it to everyone and everything waters it down until it has no meaning whatsoever.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          which begs the question: What is marriage’s meaning in the United States?  (notice I didn’t say What is Marriage’s meaning to Christians)  

          • Marie  

            Our laws reflect one man and one woman.  Neither may be married to another person at the time of the marriage.  They may not be married by force, or be unable to consent, and they may not be close relatives.

            As a heterosexual woman I don’t get to marry anybody I want.  I have to be single.  They have to be single.  They have to be willing to marry me.  And they can’t be related to me.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            just because the law is written a certain way doesn’t mean it’s set that way.  That’s why we have an organic set of laws, it’s why we have a bill of rights.  remember that at one time it was illegal to marry interacially too. 

          • tfizzle  

            Is your response intended to answer the question “what is the meaning of marriage in the US”?

        • Anonymous  

          Really?  Please explain *how,* with specifics, marriage is watered down by gay men and lesbians being able to marry their partners.  As opposed to, say, Britney Spears running off to Vegas and being married for 36 hours before obtaining a divorce. 

        • kloomis  

          Your statement is a little bit hyperbole, but honestly, marriage in this country is already so badly watered down–look a the starlet who married for 72 hours (?) in Las Vegas! Instead, open it not to “everyone” but to people who really desire to be married–that will enhance marriage. Here’s another thought to stop marriage from being watered down: forbid marriage to (heterosexual) “bridezillas”, who are pretty clearly only there for the spectacle. No, I am not serious, but I am serious in saying that you need to look elsewhere for the real culprits in the “watering down”.

    • Anonymous  

      OK, a hypothetical: there are three gay men. Two of them marry and live an open life. One remains “in the closet” and marries a woman and pretends to be heterosexual, but sneaks around and has has homosexual relations on the “down low” (I’ve known a couple of women to whom this has happened). Which of these three is *REALLY* more damaging to the social order? I would argue it is the third.

      • Marie  

        How do you measure that sort of thing?  So many possible variables.

        They are all doing wrong.

        • Neil Robertson  

          You mean god did wrong by making them gay?

          • Marie  

            No, I mean they did wrong by defying God’s will for them.

            That is what sin is.  When we do what God has forbidden.

          • Anonymous  

            Why would God make gay people then, Marie?  None of my gay and lesbian friends experienced a choice in their orientation, any more than I did with being straight.

          • David  

            I am not sold on this rhetorical argument. If I was born with a heart murmur it hurts me. I don’t think God holds it against me but I do not think that it is a good thing either. It is just a new variable I have to deal with in navigating life.

          • Frank  

            fiona you have an incomplete theological view. God did not create homosexuals, sin did. Sin has tainted everything including sexuality.

          • Anonymous  

            Hmm.  Since homosexuals have been around since the beginning of mankind, I guess that I’m not the one whose view is lacking …

          • Frank  

            Huh?  Homosexuals have been around since sin entered the picture but that’s not Gods created order. It’s Gods created order tainted by sin.

          • Anonymous  

            I’ll be responding further “out,” so as to show the entire link.

        • Anonymous  

          This is to both you and Frank:  homosexuality is part of evolutionary fitness.  Not all evolutionary fitness is, after all, reproductive in nature.  This article from the June 2000 issue of a peer-reviewed journal, Current Anthropology, explains the role of homosexuality in evolution.

          Your hypothesis of homosexuality as either sin or choice is absurd prima facie, and flies in the face of significant anthropological, sociological and even biological basis.

          You keep insisting that you have facts in hand, yet you never show them.  You show opinions from religious thinktanks and for some reason believe that they trump facts from both science and the law.  I don’t get it.

          Look, you’re welcome to believe whatever religious thing that you want — but your religion is not now, nor has it ever  been, the basis for law in this country.  If you truly believe that you should be able to deny rights to others because of your religion, I suggest that you go live in a theocracy — because under our secular, pluralistic laws, you are so far in the wrong that I’m astonished you can’t see it.

      • Petepb  

        I know by my personal experience that the third is the most damaging.  I was married to a Bi-sexual.  He totally destroyed me and my children.  To this day they have a very limited relationship with him.  We were married for 18 yrs.  He totally caused me to have a nervous breakdown.  I am so glad he is out of my life.  Everyone needs to be honest with their sexualityi so this kind of damage is never done.

        • kloomis  

          Petepb–I am so sorry you had to go through this; I hope your life s much much better today.

    • Robert Brigham  

      I basically agree with your stance. My biggest issue at this point is in regards to divorce. If society has a vested interest in preserving marriage for the reasons you give above, then why not protect marriage on the other hand and help prevent divorce. I am not referring to people who need to get out of unsafe situations. Society has made it VERY easy to divorce, tear apart families, and has provided little support to preserving, rescuing, and rehabilitating marriages in our country. Why then would it be any more of a problem for ssm to exist when heteros can “come and go” as they please in and out of marriages? This is a clear hypocrisy.

      • kloomis  

        It would be interesting to establish some sort of income tax credit for couples who go for marital counseling; that would be a way for the State to support marriage.

    • Prof  

      Item one – there are way too many people in the world (incl. the U.S. of A), and the fact that ssm unions cannot have ‘natural’ children is a plus not a minus.  The fact that they might adopt otherwise unwanted children is a plus.  The fact that ssm relationships would assume many of the duties and privlidges of a family institution is a plus stabilizing society as a whole. Insemination of gay female couples is pretty ‘natural’.
      Item two – the traditional family unit is already obsolite, with 50% divorce, single mom leadership in broken families, and a large percentage of the heterosexuals that mate choosing not to marry.  One may say that the intact family is the prefered circumstance for raising children, but that goal is met by only a small minority of adults today, and most of them are two-income oriented with the children in general being somewhat neglected.
      Item three – nearly everyone speaks of the right or wrong in terms of the Christian religion, but may in our population reject the fairy tales as a basis for decision making.  Those who attempt to push such a position most vigorously seldom come even close to living the ideals – check the adoptions of children who are orphaned, and you will find very few of those who pound the Bible hardest.
      Item four – we are a nation of free will – it’s in the constitution – forcing the population to walk a particular path is non-democratic.
      Final note – I am 80 years of age, have a Ph.D.,  grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I was married for over 40 years, divorced, and have been in a committed relationship for over 20 years.  It is my belief that I have the ability and experience to evaluate the expectations of society and the influences on society that are not in it’s best interest. 

    • Ken Cone  

      I agree with a lot of what you say — basically that marriage is a good thing for society as a whole — but you haven’t really answered the question.  Specifically: why does ssm weaken heterosexual marriage?  

      For example, you mention no fault divorce, where the argument would be pretty simple.  If the government uses its monopoly over the enforceability of contracts to make divorce easier, then possibly more people will get divorced and more children will be raised in single parent households.  One could argue the pros and cons of no fault divorce, but at least the argument is clear.  But you haven’t described the  equivalent harm arising from ssm. Are you arguing that more heterosexual marriages will end in divorce because of ssm, or that fewer heterosexual marriages will happen in the first place, or that married heterosexual partners will be more likely to commit adultery or that they will become less devoted to their children?  And if so, then specifically why will any of these things happen?

      You say that ssm will change marriage from a social institution into a purely private contract, but I don’t see that.  Looks to me like it extends the government monopoly on enforceable contracts to some additional people, so that they too can make legally enforceable contracts with each other. Marriage doesn’t become more or less social or private than it is now. 

      If you want to use government power to discriminate against certain people, then you have a burden to speak in specifics, not in vague generalities.

      Ken Cone

    • kloomis  

      I know too many lesbian moms who are raising their families; you say you don’t have children. I don’t think you realize how many lesbian /gay families there are, and how “familial” they are. Marriage would indeed help add cement to their relationship, but believe me, they ARE already being families.

      The “purely private relationship between two individuals” also exists, but this situation exists equally for heterosexuals, while if the childless couple involved (straight or gay) is interacting with their families of origin (parents, siblings, in-laws), the “purely private” aspect is now eroded by those interactions (e.g., members of gay or straight couples who have faithfully cared for their aging parents or in-laws). And some childless couples–both varieties–purposefully estrange themselves from their families of origin to become “purely private”, but whether we should sit in judgment on the heterosexual ones, and yank their marriage licenses is pretty Big Brother, I would say.

      With respect, I think some of your thought on this matter is too theoretical or philosophical, not grounded in real life. 

    • Earl  

      I like your approach to this question.  I’ve read your statement carefully and find several illogical conclusions and several unsupported assertions.  You also changed terms but didn’t define them.  I would love to see you present this argument again with the corrections.

    • grace m.  

      well, if you think homosexuality is an abomination, why would you want to give homosexual couples the same rights as straight couples? for some people marriage should only be between a man and a woman. i think that’s really it in a nutshell. giving homosexuals the right to marry may imply tacit acceptance in their minds. trying to state this objectively, as i believe fervently in gay couples’ right to marry (tho my opposite-sex domestic partner disagrees with me).

  • Michael Kruse  

    I’ll take at stab at this but I think your framing of the question misses the point that many of the opponents of same-sex marriage (ssm) are making. Codifying ssm does not directly harm any isolated marriage directly. Short Answer: The concern is that marriage is the basis for family and ssm devolves the institution of the family from a social institution into a purely private relationship between two individuals.

    Long answer: Family is seen as a social institution … like government, education, religion. To use Kuyper’s language, it is a semi-autonomous sphere of human interaction with customs for how people relate to each other and accomplish aims relative to that sphere. It is the primary institution of caring and support of society’s members and has the lead role in the nurture of children.

    Essential to the concept of marriage and family has been children. I’m aware that as soon as I raise this people will say that there all sorts of marriages (including my own) that don’t involve children, so raising the issue is a red-herring. But this misses the point. Society has a vested interest in seeing that children are reared well. The only relationship from which children naturally spring is the union of a man and women. Yes, you can use artificial means to create children outside this context but no child has been naturally conceived in the course of living in a same-sex union. The two types of union are qualitatively different at a critical point.

    Dating back to Aristotle, and confirmed by social research down to the present, is the realization that biological connection to children strengthens the connection and commitment to rear those children. In the aggregate, children reared by a biological mother and father fair better than in other circumstances. And let be clear about what I did not say. I did NOT say that single parents, step-parents, or a same-sex couples could not rear a child well. NOR did I say that every hetero-sexual couple with biological children would do a good job. The point is that from a societal point of view, in the aggregate, children do better in biological families. There is a public policy interest in solidifying such unions.

    Therefore, from a purely pragmatic view, the state has an interest in stabilizing and solidifying hetero-sexual unions in ways it does not for other relationships. If people are having sex with multiple partners, it is difficult for fathers to know who their children are. Monogamy helps form that attachment and marriage creates glue to hold that relationship together. It is not the state’s business to determine if each heterosexual union will result in children or even if the participants intend to have children. The issue is that the unique child producing potential of this class of relationships requires special status.

    The concern with ssm is that it finalizes a generations long trajectory toward disestablishment of the institution of the family. No fault divorce was a major move in this direction (What other contracts do we have in society where there is no penalty for noncompliance?) No longer is marriage a doorway into an important societal institution but rather a purely private contract (if that) between any two individuals.

    From a societal liberty point of view, there is concern about personal freedom. The family institution has been the primary human community that nurtures its members and acts as a buffer between other societal institutions that may or may not have the best interest of family members in mind. Weakening that buffer, other institutions are freer to use people in purely utilitarian ways.

    Personally, I think people should be able to form civil unions with each other for any variety of reasons. While I may not be as apocalyptic as some ssm opponents, I do oppose ssm.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @google-19d812e129b0136d8d487f23c933d8d5:disqus Thanks for the response, thoughtful as ever.

      • Michael Kruse  

        Thanks for a great forum.

    • Meghanf  

      The question I always have when I hear this argument that society should support one man-one woman marriage above all other forms because it’s best for raising children is, why then should society stop there?

      I imagine that it could be proved that, in aggregate, people in that form of marriage who have higher incomes or better educations provide an even better environment for raising children.

      If our primary interest is providing the best possible circumstances for children shouldn’t we have some kind of licensing process that test for financial stability and intelligence before we allow people to get married and have children?

      [I should admit here that I feel that there are far too many people out there having children and that I think that many of society's and the planet's problems could be solved by having fewer kids.]

       

    • Allforfunnplay  

      the holes in your response (and it was a well thought out and well written response btw.) are that SSM couples can adopt or have children (through a variety arrangements) and raise children within their marriage.  secondly, from the time wide spread use of birth control was available, couples have been able to pair up without the intent or high percentage chance of having children.  

      • Michael Kruse  

        Thanks allforfunnplay. I think you are saying that because ssm couples could have children, and that many heterosexual couples don’t have children, and that therefore my argument fails. If so, this misses my point. My point was that it is irrelevant whether any particular couple has children. From a social policy standpoint, the issue is what happens in the aggregate.

        A heterosexual union (barring significant medical intervention) is the only circumstance that creates children in the natural course of that union. In fact, most couples have to take measures to prevent conception if that is their desire. It is irrelevant whether each couple has children. It is impossible for the state to know if any particular couple is infertile or has no intention of having children. The state can’t no in advance which couples will intend to have children but fail to do so. But the state does know that it is ONLY from these unions that children spring. The state knows that out of the natural course of the civil status of marriage that children frequently emerge (and there is no other status with that quality.) Therefore, because the state has an interest in the nurture and perpetuation of the next generation, the state has an interest in solidifying and codifying (i.e., marriage) this civil status that it does not with otherwise have, regardless of the particular outcomes with each couple.

        I hope that helps clarify what I meant.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          I’m not sure I follow.  Is the end result of your reasoning that if SSM is denied it would increase the offspring in society????  Do you believe that homosexuals if denied the right to marry will just re-enter society in heterosexual marriages to procreate?  

          Some Homosexuals are creating families both within the legal framework of marriage and outside of it.  They adopt, they create other arrangements….they are raising children.  

          How does denying them rights impact the institution of marriage (which I believe was the original question posed)?  

        • prof  

          Why is it in the best interest of the state to control relationships?  Surely not for the sake of organized religion!
          Is it really important to the state to promote childbearing?

          • kloomis  

            My understanding is that there is a theory of economics that says that a society has to keep children coming (or young immigrants, say) so that the population does not become “aged-heavy”. Japan is cited as a economy that went bust because of too lopsided an age demographic. So yes, in consideration with other factors, it would seem to be important to to the State, or society, to promote childbearing. But is that a problem now in the U.S.? We seem to have many children that need adopting, a function that gay/lesbian couples often take on. Also, we are still a desirable emigration destination. 

        • prof  

          Why is it in the best interest of the state to control relationships?  Surely not for the sake of organized religion!
          Is it really important to the state to promote childbearing?

        • kloomis  

          I am disturbed by Mr Kruse’s implication that families-by-adoption are not as socially valuable as families-by-spousal-procreation — am I misreading this?

    • Dan Ancona  

      That’s as thoughtful and elegant defense of the institution of marriage as I’ve ever read, to the degree that it made me appreciate my own!

      • Marie  

        Opening it to everyone and everything waters it down until it has no meaning whatsoever.

        • Allforfunnplay  

          which begs the question: What is marriage’s meaning in the United States?  (notice I didn’t say What is Marriage’s meaning to Christians)  

          • Marie  

            Our laws reflect one man and one woman.  Neither may be married to another person at the time of the marriage.  They may not be married by force, or be unable to consent, and they may not be close relatives.

            As a heterosexual woman I don’t get to marry anybody I want.  I have to be single.  They have to be single.  They have to be willing to marry me.  And they can’t be related to me.

          • Allforfunnplay  

            just because the law is written a certain way doesn’t mean it’s set that way.  That’s why we have an organic set of laws, it’s why we have a bill of rights.  remember that at one time it was illegal to marry interacially too. 

          • tfizzle  

            Is your response intended to answer the question “what is the meaning of marriage in the US”?

        • Anonymous  

          Really?  Please explain *how,* with specifics, marriage is watered down by gay men and lesbians being able to marry their partners.  As opposed to, say, Britney Spears running off to Vegas and being married for 36 hours before obtaining a divorce. 

        • kloomis  

          Your statement is a little bit hyperbole, but honestly, marriage in this country is already so badly watered down–look a the starlet who married for 72 hours (?) in Las Vegas! Instead, open it not to “everyone” but to people who really desire to be married–that will enhance marriage. Here’s another thought to stop marriage from being watered down: forbid marriage to (heterosexual) “bridezillas”, who are pretty clearly only there for the spectacle. No, I am not serious, but I am serious in saying that you need to look elsewhere for the real culprits in the “watering down”.

    • Anonymous  

      OK, a hypothetical: there are three gay men. Two of them marry and live an open life. One remains “in the closet” and marries a woman and pretends to be heterosexual, but sneaks around and has has homosexual relations on the “down low” (I’ve known a couple of women to whom this has happened). Which of these three is *REALLY* more damaging to the socail order? I would argue it is the third.

      • Marie  

        How do you measure that sort of thing?  So many possible variables.

        They are all doing wrong.

        • Neil Robertson  

          You mean god did wrong by making them gay?

          • Marie  

            No, I mean they did wrong by defying God’s will for them.

            That is what sin is.  When we do what God has forbidden.

          • Anonymous  

            Why would God make gay people then, Marie?  None of my gay and lesbian friends experienced a choice in their orientation, any more than I did with being straight.

          • David  

            I am not sold on this rhetorical argument. If I was born with a heart murmur it hurts me. I don’t think God holds it against me but I do not think that it is a good thing either. It is just a new variable I have to deal with in navigating life.

          • Frank  

            fiona you have an incomplete theological view. God did not create homosexuals, sin did. Sin has tainted everything including sexuality.

          • Anonymous  

            Hmm.  Since homosexuals have been around since the beginning of mankind, I guess that I’m not the one whose view is lacking …

          • Frank  

            Huh?  Homosexuals have been around since sin entered the picture but that’s not Gods created order. It’s Gods created order tainted by sin.

          • Anonymous  

            I’ll be responding further “out,” so as to show the entire link.

        • Anonymous  

          This is to both you and Frank:  homosexuality is part of evolutionary fitness.  Not all evolutionary fitness is, after all, reproductive in nature.  This article from the June 2000 issue of a peer-reviewed journal, Current Anthropology, explains the role of homosexuality in evolution.

          Your hypothesis of homosexuality as either sin or choice is absurd prima facie, and flies in the face of significant anthropological, sociological and even biological basis.

          You keep insisting that you have facts in hand, yet you never show them.  You show opinions from religious thinktanks and for some reason believe that they trump facts from both science and the law.  I don’t get it.

          Look, you’re welcome to believe whatever religious thing that you want — but your religion is not now, nor has it ever  been, the basis for law in this country.  If you truly believe that you should be able to deny rights to others because of your religion, I suggest that you go live in a theocracy — because under our secular, pluralistic laws, you are so far in the wrong that I’m astonished you can’t see it.

      • Petepb  

        I know by my personal experience that the third is the most damaging.  I was married to a Bi-sexual.  He totally destroyed me and my children.  To this day they have a very limited relationship with him.  We were married for 18 yrs.  He totally caused me to have a nervous breakdown.  I am so glad he is out of my life.  Everyone needs to be honest with their sexualityi so this kind of damage is never done.

        • kloomis  

          Petepb–I am so sorry you had to go through this; I hope your life s much much better today.

    • Robert Brigham  

      I basically agree with your stance. My biggest issue at this point is in regards to divorce. If society has a vested interest in preserving marriage for the reasons you give above, then why not protect marriage on the other hand and help prevent divorce. I am not referring to people who need to get out of unsafe situations. Society has made it VERY easy to divorce, tear apart families, and has provided little support to preserving, rescuing, and rehabilitating marriages in our country. Why then would it be any more of a problem for ssm to exist when heteros can “come and go” as they please in and out of marriages? This is a clear hypocrisy.

      • kloomis  

        It would be interesting to establish some sort of income tax credit for couples who go for marital counseling; that would be a way for the State to support marriage.

    • Prof  

      Item one – there are way too many people in the world (incl. the U.S. of A), and the fact that ssm unions cannot have ‘natural’ children is a plus not a minus.  The fact that they might adopt otherwise unwanted children is a plus.  The fact that ssm relationships would assume many of the duties and privlidges of a family institution is a plus stabilizing society as a whole. Insemination of gay female couples is pretty ‘natural’.
      Item two – the traditional family unit is already obsolite, with 50% divorce, single mom leadership in broken families, and a large percentage of the heterosexuals that mate choosing not to marry.  One may say that the intact family is the prefered circumstance for raising children, but that goal is met by only a small minority of adults today, and most of them are two-income oriented with the children in general being somewhat neglected.
      Item three – nearly everyone speaks of the right or wrong in terms of the Christian religion, but may in our population reject the fairy tales as a basis for decision making.  Those who attempt to push such a position most vigorously seldom come even close to living the ideals – check the adoptions of children who are orphaned, and you will find very few of those who pound the Bible hardest.
      Item four – we are a nation of free will – it’s in the constitution – forcing the population to walk a particular path is non-democratic.
      Final note – I am 80 years of age, have a Ph.D.,  grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I was married for over 40 years, divorced, and have been in a committed relationship for over 20 years.  It is my belief that I have the ability and experience to evaluate the expectations of society and the influences on society that are not in it’s best interest. 

    • Prof  

      Item one – there are way too many people in the world (incl. the U.S. of A), and the fact that ssm unions cannot have ‘natural’ children is a plus not a minus.  The fact that they might adopt otherwise unwanted children is a plus.  The fact that ssm relationships would assume many of the duties and privlidges of a family institution is a plus stabilizing society as a whole. Insemination of gay female couples is pretty ‘natural’.
      Item two – the traditional family unit is already obsolite, with 50% divorce, single mom leadership in broken families, and a large percentage of the heterosexuals that mate choosing not to marry.  One may say that the intact family is the prefered circumstance for raising children, but that goal is met by only a small minority of adults today, and most of them are two-income oriented with the children in general being somewhat neglected.
      Item three – nearly everyone speaks of the right or wrong in terms of the Christian religion, but may in our population reject the fairy tales as a basis for decision making.  Those who attempt to push such a position most vigorously seldom come even close to living the ideals – check the adoptions of children who are orphaned, and you will find very few of those who pound the Bible hardest.
      Item four – we are a nation of free will – it’s in the constitution – forcing the population to walk a particular path is non-democratic.
      Final note – I am 80 years of age, have a Ph.D.,  grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I was married for over 40 years, divorced, and have been in a committed relationship for over 20 years.  It is my belief that I have the ability and experience to evaluate the expectations of society and the influences on society that are not in it’s best interest. 

    • Ken Cone  

      I agree with a lot of what you say — basically that marriage is a good thing for society as a whole — but you haven’t really answered the question.  Specifically: why does ssm weaken heterosexual marriage?  

      For example, you mention no fault divorce, where the argument would be pretty simple.  If the government uses its monopoly over the enforceability of contracts to make divorce easier, then possibly more people will get divorced and more children will be raised in single parent households.  One could argue the pros and cons of no fault divorce, but at least the argument is clear.  But you haven’t described the  equivalent harm arising from ssm. Are you arguing that more heterosexual marriages will end in divorce because of ssm, or that fewer heterosexual marriages will happen in the first place, or that married heterosexual partners will be more likely to commit adultery or that they will become less devoted to their children?  And if so, then specifically why will any of these things happen?

      You say that ssm will change marriage from a social institution into a purely private contract, but I don’t see that.  Looks to me like it extends the government monopoly on enforceable contracts to some additional people, so that they too can make legally enforceable contracts with each other. Marriage doesn’t become more or less social or private than it is now. 

      If you want to use government power to discriminate against certain people, then you have a burden to speak in specifics, not in vague generalities.

      Ken Cone

    • Ken Cone  

      I agree with a lot of what you say — basically that marriage is a good thing for society as a whole — but you haven’t really answered the question.  Specifically: why does ssm weaken heterosexual marriage?  

      For example, you mention no fault divorce, where the argument would be pretty simple.  If the government uses its monopoly over the enforceability of contracts to make divorce easier, then possibly more people will get divorced and more children will be raised in single parent households.  One could argue the pros and cons of no fault divorce, but at least the argument is clear.  But you haven’t described the  equivalent harm arising from ssm. Are you arguing that more heterosexual marriages will end in divorce because of ssm, or that fewer heterosexual marriages will happen in the first place, or that married heterosexual partners will be more likely to commit adultery or that they will become less devoted to their children?  And if so, then specifically why will any of these things happen?

      You say that ssm will change marriage from a social institution into a purely private contract, but I don’t see that.  Looks to me like it extends the government monopoly on enforceable contracts to some additional people, so that they too can make legally enforceable contracts with each other. Marriage doesn’t become more or less social or private than it is now. 

      If you want to use government power to discriminate against certain people, then you have a burden to speak in specifics, not in vague generalities.

      Ken Cone

    • kloomis  

      I know too many lesbian moms who are raising their families; you say you don’t have children. I don’t think you realize how many lesbian /gay families there are, and how “familial” they are. Marriage would indeed help add cement to their relationship, but believe me, they ARE already being families.

      The “purely private relationship between two individuals” also exists, but this situation exists equally for heterosexuals, while if the childless couple involved (straight or gay) is interacting with their families of origin (parents, siblings, in-laws), the “purely private” aspect is now eroded by those interactions (e.g., members of gay or straight couples who have faithfully cared for their aging parents or in-laws). And some childless couples–both varieties–purposefully estrange themselves from their families of origin to become “purely private”, but whether we should sit in judgment on the heterosexual ones, and yank their marriage licenses is pretty Big Brother, I would say.

      With respect, I think some of your thought on this matter is too theoretical or philosophical, not grounded in real life. 

    • Earl  

      I like your approach to this question.  I’ve read your statement carefully and find several illogical conclusions and several unsupported assertions.  You also changed terms but didn’t define them.  I would love to see you present this argument again with the corrections.

    • grace m.  

      well, if you think homosexuality is an abomination, why would you want to give homosexual couples the same rights as straight couples? for some people marriage should only be between a man and a woman. i think that’s really it in a nutshell. giving homosexuals the right to marry may imply tacit acceptance in their minds. trying to state this objectively, as i believe fervently in gay couples’ right to marry (tho my opposite-sex domestic partner disagrees with me).

  • Deanna Hepler Grissom  

    For those with religious beliefs it may have nothing to do with a threat to their marriage but rather their standing up for what they believe in according to how they understand God’s word. Each person has the right to their own opinion and their right to express it. When others get mad at those who do? They lose credibility because it then becomes a lack of control issue. In my opinion, no one has the right to judge someones opinion or belief or condemn them for it.
    For others? It’s a political football that panders to a certain group for political gain.
    Yet again for another group it’s all about control and attempting to control.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @facebook-1549783980:disqus - totally agree that there are  many different perspectives and arguments for/against legalizing same-sex marriage, but my hope was to try and target a particular one that seems to come up quite a bit in the hopes that we can find that place of healthy conflict. But yes, you are correct, many, many, many perspectives and beliefs.

  • Deanna Hepler Grissom  

    For those with religious beliefs it may have nothing to do with a threat to their marriage but rather their standing up for what they believe in according to how they understand God’s word. Each person has the right to their own opinion and their right to express it. When others get mad at those who do? They lose credibility because it then becomes a lack of control issue. In my opinion, no one has the right to judge someones opinion or belief or condemn them for it.
    For others? It’s a political football that panders to a certain group for political gain.
    Yet again for another group it’s all about control and attempting to control.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      @facebook-1549783980:disqus - totally agree that there are  many different perspectives and arguments for/against legalizing same-sex marriage, but my hope was to try and target a particular one that seems to come up quite a bit in the hopes that we can find that place of healthy conflict. But yes, you are correct, many, many, many perspectives and beliefs.

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