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Dante’s Infernal Post:Part V: Another Challenge

May 11th, 2010

Okay, Dante.  It’s put up or shut up time.  Another challenge for you.

Could you please explain to me what benefit society in general will have by redefining marriage?

When I say benefit, I mean an actual, tangible benefit.  I am looking for something like “it will increase GDP by 1% extra per year for the next ten years” or some similar tangible benefit.  Perhaps you will argue to me that it will make the sky bluer or the wash whiter.  I don’t know.  But I have yet to hear how my fellow citizens are going to benefit from the massive change you propose.

I have heard that my fellow citizens won’t suffer.  I doubt that.  But let’s leave that alone for now.   I think your fellow citizens are entitled to ask how they will benefit from a policy proposal.

You see, Dante, I have heard many argument on the virtues of marriage redefinition.  But they’re all a variation on “virtue is its own reward.”  And this principle is either stated in the positive or the negative.  The positive being  “we’ll have a more fair society if we redefine marriage out of existence.”  The negative being “You’re a bigot because you don’t want to define marriage out of existence.”  All benefit in these arguments is purely abstract.

Leaving the correctness of the “virtue is its own reward” arguments as they may be, I’m looking for a tangible benefit.  And I’m looking at one that gives benefit to the general society.  Not just the 1% or 2% (or whatever the actual number may be) of people who want to enter into same sex “marriages.”

Care to enlighten us?

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  1. Marty
    May 13th, 2010 at 18:27 | #1

    Legalizing same-sex marriage will simply result in MORE children, not FEWER, being born without both their mother AND their father. Familys broken by design.

    And why? Because of sexism and bigotry!

    If your bias against the opposite sex is so strong that you would deprive your own child of a father, well so be it. but don’t expect society to REWARD you for your bigotry!

  2. fws
    May 14th, 2010 at 12:12 | #2

    ” I think your fellow citizens are entitled to ask how they will benefit from a policy proposal.”

    So now you are a socialist? That is what a socialist would think they are entitled to ask?

    The conservative question would be: “Does a law, proposed or enacted, prevent others from meddling in the personal lives or business of others or does it meddle?”

    Clearly a conservative will encourage laws that have us all mind to our own business. What a homosexual does in their personal life is nothing I should have a say over.

    I would be all in favor of a law that would prioritize adoptions and foster care to married male/female couples. But, as you probably know, most of those couples want a healthy very young baby of the same race if possible. There are way more foster children and adoptables than married couples wanting to adopt.

    You always seem to paint this issue as an “either/or” one. since you have gone through the foster parent process, this seems disingenuous on your part dear friend.

    Also, legalized gay marriage will do nothing at all to change what is happening in adoptions or foster care. You know this as a fact. Yet you and the prop 8 folks imply or state otherwise. This seems like a scare tactic to me. If you are a christian, honesty is required , even if it does not score points in an argument.

  3. fws
    May 14th, 2010 at 12:20 | #3

    “The negative being “You’re a bigot because you don’t want to define marriage out of existence.””

    Explain to me exactly how anyone, including the government, would have the power or ability to “define marriage out of existence”. What exactly would that look like? How would that ever be possible. If there is such a thing called “marriage” (there is) , and if the definition of it must, at least in a religious sense , involve male and female (and I agree that it must), and if that thing called “marriage ” was truly created by God (and it most certainly was), then how would what you say ever ever be possible?

    calling the “law of gravity” the “law of levity” or vica versa would change what? Nothing at all. a rose by any other name is still a rose and smells as sweet.

    You seem to be saying something entirely contradictory!

    Please do explain.

  4. Karen Grube
    May 14th, 2010 at 15:45 | #4

    Again, you’re joking, right, fws? Let me put it simply. Over millennia every truly successful society – by just about any criteria you can use to measure success – has had at its core a respect and concern for the nutruring of its children within the bonds of a traditional family, as shown by their marriage traditions, the traditions surrounding child birth, and how they raise their children and pass along those traditions.

    So the BETTER question to me is what do we lose by devaluing the traditional family and deconstructing marriage. We lose the core relationships that hold us together, we lose the single most important way to teach children in a loving, intimate environment (the family home) what it’s like to interact with members of the ‘opposite’ sex. We also teach them that the selfish needs of ‘mommy and mommy’ or ‘daddy and daddy’ are more important than their own childhood needs. And we send a message to them that they are not important in the overall scheme of life. Isn’t that enough?

  5. Arlemagne1
    May 14th, 2010 at 15:56 | #5

    You wonder how a self described conservative can say that society is entitled to ask what benefit we have from a particular policy.

    Let me explain.

    The need to ask about the benefits of a particular policy transcends political labels of all types. All policies, whether in government, in personal life, all decisions, all courses of action, etc. have costs and benefits. It’s a simple fact of life.

    If we are going to enact a policy and incur the costs, we MUST inquire as to the benefits. It’s the only way to know if the proposed policy is beneficial or not.


  6. Arlemagne1
    May 14th, 2010 at 15:57 | #6

    You ask how the government can redefine marriage. It can to the extend the government is in the marriage business. The government is, in fact, in the marriage business as it grants marriage licenses, administers divorce, etc. So, the government’s definition of marriage exists.

    The question you should be asking is “how much does the government’s definition of marriage affect the conduct of the populace?” (See how much more accurate this is?)

    The answer to this better question is: “Enough to matter.” Hence our objection to marriage redefinition.

  7. Arlemagne1
    May 14th, 2010 at 15:59 | #7

    One last thing, I am not a christian.

  8. Issara
    May 16th, 2010 at 14:45 | #8

    After a cursory glance at this thread, I see no distinction drawn between the religious/social institution of marriage, and the legal framework that allows two people mutual access to resources, benefits, and other ‘business trappings.’ The former is an intimate relationship between two people and their God, while the latter is merely a series of man made documents drawn up to bestow legal rights, such as health care, financial merging, etc, between two people. I see no compelling argument given for how altering the legal framework that allows two people to sign a series of documents in any way affects two people’s relationship to each other and their God. What I do see is a series of fantasy scare stories in the ‘think of the children’ vein, that neglect the universally accepted statistic that Christian divorce rates are identical to non-Christian national rates: 33%. Furthermore, they neglect all evidence which points to the fact that abused/neglected/single parent children are vastly more likely to come from a hetero home than a gay home. I wish that concerned Christians would spend more time putting their faith in God, and less time wasting everyone’s time with easily debunked arguments and inaccurate statistics.

  9. Karen Grube
    May 18th, 2010 at 23:33 | #9

    Issara . . .

    You’re joking, right? First of all, the ONLY union that can produce children naturally – without the interference of an outside third party- is the union of a man and a woman. THAT is why successful societies over millennia have supported traditional marriage with their laws and their traditions. We do this because it it is central to the preservation and the success of society as a whole.

    Besides that, the main point you’re missing here is that THE PEOPLE HAVE MADE THIS CHOICE over and over again! We have decided to support traditional marriage, like it or not, and it is our right to make that decision. We have said NO to gay marriage, in election after election. We do this because we instinctively know there is something unique and special about the relationship between a man and a woman and the children that relationship can produce. It’s how and why we were created as male and female! We instinctively KNOW – and social science supports the idea – that children do best when they are raised and nurtured by parents of both sexes, not one.

    And you can’t possibly buy the lie that this push for gay marriage is ONLY a push for legitimizing gay unions. If that were the case, then there would be no push to force groups like the Boy Scouts to allow gays to join, no attempt to sue companies that don’t want to photograph gay weddings, for example, and no trying to force companies to hire cross-dressers in postiions where they have to serve the public, which is likely to jeopardize theri business, no attempt to teach our kids in our pubic schools that gay sex is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’, and there would certainly be no attempt to force the acceptance of the gay lifestyle on our military. To all of this, we say NO! And we say that with our votes, our phone calls trying to get our legislators to listen to us when we say NO, and with our support for legal organizations that work to defend traditional marriage.

  10. Heidi
    May 26th, 2010 at 12:12 | #10


    It is the U.S. Supreme Court that will have the last say on this, and as an attorney, my bet is that the Court will decide that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is superior to your vote to discriminate against people based on the arbitrary characteristic of sexual orientation. Once upon a time, the states clamored for their right to discriminate against people on the basis of race, another arbitrary characteristic. The U.S. Supreme Court shut them down too.

  11. Karen Grube
    May 26th, 2010 at 14:56 | #11

    Nope, Heidi, I very strongly believe that the Supreme Court will support the states’ right to make these decisions for themselves. That is their general leaning when the Constitution isn’t clear about something, and it absolutely has no provision for defining marriage. They are most likely to leave the conduct of marriage to the states. Besides that, race is not a choice, choosing the gay lifestyle is.

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