Home > Uncategorized > We have some questions of our own.

We have some questions of our own.

December 4th, 2010

The Prop 8 trial will be full of questions. Here at NOM and the Ruth Institute, we have a few questions of our own. We think the People of California, those people who had the audacity to vote for Prop 8, are on trial here. We are proud of our involvement in Prop 8, and we are proud to stand up for those voters. So, here are a few questions for those who are so eager to redefine marriage.
1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?
2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?
3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?
4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?
5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?
6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.
7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

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  1. Sean
    December 5th, 2010 at 06:50 | #1

    “Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?”

    I don’t think it matters, since it is legal in all 50 states for single people and same-sex couples to raise children. Outlawing same-sex marriage doesn’t mean that children get raised by a male parent and a female parent, it just means that a bunch of kids get raised outside of wedlock. That’s bad for the nation’s children.

    “Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?”

    I don’t think marriage is being “redefined,” just the right to marry expanded to same-sex couples instead of just to opposite-sex couples. But I think making life better for same-sex couples and their children is reason enough to legalize marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

    “Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable”

    I don’t think it matters. Same-sex couples can legally raise children in all 50 states and will continue to do so since there seems to be no effort to stop them. If you want to make same-sex parenting illegal, you can start the effort to do so. Otherwise, forcing children to be raised outside of wedlock is cruel and immoral.

    If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    It doesn’t have to be legally defined. People can self-certify if they’re in love or not, as they do now.

    “Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?”

    Since it’s legal for straight or gay couples to seek third-party individuals for reproductive assistance, obviously children don’t have a right to be raised only by their biological parents. We also know that parents routinely put their children up for adoption, so again, evidently there is no right to be raised by biological parents. I think this issue is already settled.

    “What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.”

    This is one of marriage’s purposes, but obviously infertile and elderly couples can marry, as can couples who refuse to have children. Obviously, marriage can have more than one purpose. An important purpose is to attach two unrelated people together in a committed relationship and creating a stable family unit, with or without children.

    “When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?”

    Married or not, parents have legal responsibilities for their children. It sounds like you really want to make divorce illegal for people raising children, not such a bad idea. Prohibiting same-sex marriage doesn’t accomplish your stated goal of giving children access to their biological parents.

    I think people who marry, straight or gay, generally consider themselves more than “friends.” Although the creation of easy divorce certainly makes commitment less of an issue, most people still consider marriage a serious undertaking, reserved for those who enter the marriage with at least the intent that it last forever.

  2. Leo
    December 5th, 2010 at 12:23 | #2

    By Sean’s logic it doesn’t matter if children are raised out of wedlock because it is legal in all fifty states. What Sean doesn’t consider is whether there is any benefit beyond mere legality that arises from having both a mother and a father.

    Sean sees some obligation owed to children by their parents, but is vague on that obligation is.

    Sean does see a societal interest in creating family units (or various sorts), but doesn’t explain why society has that interest.

    Sean sees multiple purposes in marriage, but routine objects to proposals that would create separate institutions based on different purposes. If a truck or a bus or a boat have different but sometimes overlapping purposes, it is logical for the law to treat them differently.

    Sean would limit marriage to only those who intend their marriage to last forever. This is an interesting concept, but one the law cannot easily address.

  3. Sean
    December 5th, 2010 at 13:32 | #3

    “By Sean’s logic it doesn’t matter if children are raised out of wedlock because it is legal in all fifty states.”

    No, Sean’s logic is that prohibiting same-sex marriage does exactly nothing to ensure that children get raised by opposite-sex parents: it is legal for same-sex couples to raise children, so they do; it is legal for single people to raise children, so they do; it is legal for married parents to divorce, so they do.

    If you want to ensure that children are raised by opposite-sex parents, there are things that you can do to make that happen. Prohibiting same-sex marriage isn’t one of them.

    “Sean sees some obligation owed to children by their parents, but is vague on that obligation is.”

    Raising them isn’t one of them, evidently: biological parents can put their kids up for adoption, they can divorce and one parent can move away, they can destroy them in the womb before they’re born, etc.

    “Sean does see a societal interest in creating family units (or various sorts), but doesn’t explain why society has that interest.”

    The interest is that family members take care of each other, so that the government doesn’t have to.

    “Sean sees multiple purposes in marriage, but routine objects to proposals that would create separate institutions based on different purposes.”

    Because there’s no need for separate institutions. They are created solely to give same-sex couples lower status. That’s unacceptable legally and morally.

    “Sean would limit marriage to only those who intend their marriage to last forever. This is an interesting concept, but one the law cannot easily address.”

    You can outlaw divorce and make adultery (that is, second marriage) illegal. You get one shot at marriage. Redefining marriage from a lifetime commitment to a “so long as I feel like it” commitment has completely changed the purpose of marriage and has contributed to the very change that now makes marriage appealing and useful and legally suited to same-sex couples.

  4. December 5th, 2010 at 14:02 | #4

    “obviously infertile and elderly couples can marry, as can couples who refuse to have children. ”

    Not if they’re siblings. in other words, it isn’t their ability or desire to have children that matters, but their right to have children. If they don’t have a right to have children, they are never allowed to marry, and if they do, they are always allowed to marry.

    Sean has responded to this point by making the claim that same-sex couples should be allowed to procreate offspring together.

    Dr. J, have you noticed that Sean and Mark and all the other same-sex marriage activists brazenly claim that we cannot prohibit same-sex procreation? Do you agree with them, or do you think there are rational reasons to prohibit that type of relationship from procreating offspring?

  5. Sean
    December 5th, 2010 at 15:18 | #5

    “Not if they’re siblings. in other words, it isn’t their ability or desire to have children that matters, but their right to have children.”

    They can’t get married because they aren’t allowed to have sex. If a brother donated sperm to a sperm bank, and his sister used it to get pregnant, I don’t think any laws have been violated. Married persons aren’t allowed to get married for non-sexual reasons: they are already married. Underage persons aren’t allowed to marry for non-sexual reasons: they’re deemed too young to make a competent marriage decision.

    It is certainly ok to limit who may and who may not marry, but the reasons for doing so have to be related to a rational public purpose. There is no rational public purpose in prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. But keep scrounging; maybe you’ll come up with one.

  6. Bill
    December 5th, 2010 at 15:29 | #6

    “Sean sees multiple purposes in marriage, but routine objects to proposals that would create separate institutions based on different purposes. If a truck or a bus or a boat have different but sometimes overlapping purposes, it is logical for the law to treat them differently.”

    Leo, by this I take it you mean that if a heterosexual procreating couple is a bus (or a truck) and a heterosexual non-procreating (due to age or choice) couple is a boat, we should treat them differently. That is, let the procreating couple be legally married, but bar the non-procreating couple from marriage, since, as boats, they should be satisified with a civil union. Right?

  7. Bill
    December 5th, 2010 at 15:34 | #7

    I’m curious. What percentage of members of the National Organization for Marriage have ever divorced?

  8. nerdygirl
    December 5th, 2010 at 20:30 | #8

    1. No. Children need parents. If they have their biological mothers and fathers, then good for them. A good parent is better then a bad parent. A good single mom is better then a mom and abusive father. Two attentive fathers are better then an inattentive mom and dad. I am more for encouraging good parenting amongst all family types then one family being the ideal.
    2. Not necessarily. Quite honestly, there’s always going to be some trashy people who exploit the law to their advantage. If the only reason to not legalize gay marriage is because a few trashy people will get married for tax breaks, then we are letting the lowest common denominator of society define the law. Screw that.
    3. I kinda find parents to be at least somewhat interchangeable. But I am a woman who doesn’t fit into rigid gender roles. Some people fit gender roles better then others, and I am not interested in ostracizing people for fitting or not fitting into traditional gender roles. Also, to the second part of the question, I identify as straight, and while some women are very, very attractive to me, they lack penises. For sex/relationships, I want a man (trans or not) with a penis.
    4. No. You’re being obtuse.
    5. Of course children have a right to be with their parents. But if their parents are found to be unfit, or if their parents sign away rights to them (i.e adoption) thats a whole other ball game. None of us are advocating gay couples stealing babies from straight couples, and insinuating it as such is insulting to both sides of the debate.
    6. In the modern era, I find the purpose of marriage to be one of love and commitment to another person. For myself it would be love, commitment and the intention of starting a family. But thats just me. I have friends who are married who have no plans to have children. For them marriage is just showing the depth of their love and commitment. And thats fine. Marriage is different things to different people.
    7. As far as the law is concerned, marriage really is just a registry of friendships. As neither party is particularly interested in having the government investigate the validity of relationships, this point comes across as rather petty of you.

  9. Mark
    December 6th, 2010 at 05:57 | #9

    John Howard: “Dr. J, have you noticed that Sean and Mark and all the other same-sex marriage activists brazenly claim that we cannot prohibit same-sex procreation? ”

    No, actually, what I say is:
    1. This is a ridiculous discussion. We are talking about same sex marriage, same sex procreation is a completely different discussion

    2. If same sex procreation were possible, why should the government prevent adults from deciding their own future?

  10. Mark
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:01 | #10

    “We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.”

    So, Ms. Morse, how does adoption fit into this scenario? Aren’t you, in essence, stripping (or as some on this site say, buying) a child from it’s natural parents and family?

  11. Sean
    December 6th, 2010 at 13:39 | #11

    Be careful what you wish for: if you say that marriage’s purpose is to join bind parents to their biological children, you essentially outlaw marriage for adoptive parents and also remarriage (parent and step-parent). I realize the Straight Supremacy/homophobia crowd will do just about anything to keep marriage away from “the gays,” but seriously, the list of collateral damage just keeps growing!

  12. bman
    December 6th, 2010 at 14:43 | #12

    Sean :
    Q2: Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    Sean: I don’t think marriage is being “redefined,” just the right to marry expanded to same-sex couples instead of just to opposite-sex couples. But I think making life better for same-sex couples and their children is reason enough to legalize marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

    Looks like you did not answer the question.

    To accommodate your exception here is the same question: “If the right to marry was expanded to same-sex couples is it beyond dispute that it would have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?”

    The intuitive answer is, “No, its disputable. “

  13. December 6th, 2010 at 15:01 | #13

    “1. This is a ridiculous discussion. We are talking about same sex marriage, same sex procreation is a completely different discussion”

    We shouldn’t make procreation and marriage separate issues. Marriage should always approve and allow the couple to procreate offspring together. We should not approve and allow same-sex couples to procreate offspring together. There has never been a marriage that was not allowed to procreate offspring together. It was always considered absolutely synonymous: To allow marriage meant to allow procreation. That’s why anti-marriage laws were called anti-miscegenation laws, they were intended to prohibit whites and blacks from procreating together and “mixing genes”, and they worked in concert with fornication laws and co-habitation laws that punished unmarried procreation. The proposal of the eugenicists like Dr. Saleeby in 1914, and Margaret Sanger 10 years later, that we could allow marriage but prohibit procreating, and separate marriage from procreation, was forgotten following the Nazi eugenic atrocities. Virginia did not even consider the idea that the Lovings could marry as long as they used donor sperm from a black man, and the Supreme Court understood that the issue was their procreation rights, that’s why they based their case on Skinner, which was about a person’s right to procreate with their own genes. Marriage always means the couple is allowed to procreate and always should mean that. I do not want that approval withheld from my marriage, I want the same seal of approval to procreate offspring that every married couple has enjoyed since marriage was invented. I don’t want my right to procreate with my wife equated to a same-sex couple’s right to procreate, who cannot possibly procreate ethically.

    “2. If same sex procreation were possible, why should the government prevent adults from deciding their own future?”

    Because it is not their own future they are deciding, it is the future of a future citizen, whom we are obligated to protect against unethical and unsafe methods of conception. It’s also the future of society, which will be very different if people are allowed to make children from genetically engineered embryos. Society has an obligation to secure the blessings of liberty to its posterity, we doesn’t have to stand aside and let people do whatever they want to do. Statutory rape laws do not only protect the rape victim, but also the future child and the families and community of the couple. Incest laws are valid and essential laws, we don’t say that adults should be allowed to decide their own future.

  14. Mark
    December 6th, 2010 at 16:55 | #14

    bman: ““If the right to marry was expanded to same-sex couples is it beyond dispute that it would have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?”

    Of course there may be some long term social consequences. But you are convinced that they would be negative, I am not. In the history of the US there have been time when expanding rights (women right to vote, Blacks civil rights, for example) have lead to long term social consequences. Some can be viewed as positive and some may be viewed as negative. But it is not right, fair, equitable, nor moral to deny people their rights out of fear of “what may be”. And that is what those supporting Prop 8 are all about.

  15. Sean
    December 6th, 2010 at 17:38 | #15

    “If the right to marry was expanded to same-sex couples is it beyond dispute that it would have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?”

    I guess there could be negative outcomes but:

    1. They have not been articulated
    2. Negative outcomes do not, in themselves, carry weight; legal principles do though. Freeing slaves caused significant economic damage to slave states and to individual slave owners. We did it anyway. Legalizing mixed-race marriage created significant social burdens for mixed-race couples and their biracial children. We did it anyway.

    I honestly think that legalizing mixed-race marriage placed an undue burden on children produced in these marriages, who are/were sometimes rejected by relatives and disliked by society. But this further demonstrates that marriage is about adults, not about children. Sad or not, children’s needs are subordinated to adults’ needs, whether those adults are straight or gay.

  16. Sean
    December 6th, 2010 at 17:41 | #16

    “There has never been a marriage that was not allowed to procreate offspring together.”

    That describes the mountain you are trying to climb in prohibiting married couples, straight or gay, in procreating by whatever means is available and legal.

  17. bman
    December 6th, 2010 at 20:24 | #17

    @Bill

    Bill: I take it you mean that if a heterosexual procreating couple is a bus (or a truck) and a heterosexual non-procreating (due to age or choice) couple is a boat, we should treat them differently. That is, let the procreating couple be legally married, but bar the non-procreating couple from marriage, since, as boats, they should be satisified with a civil union. Right?

    I view it as two classes, the opposite sex class is the procreative class, and the same sex class is the non-procreative class.

    If we view that as “trucks” and “boats” respectively, infertile couples would be in a truck subcategory since their body design is still that of a truck and not a boat.

    Do infertile opposite sex couples become same sex couples because they are infertile?

    Clearly not, therefore they remain “trucks.”

  18. Bill
    December 6th, 2010 at 22:16 | #18

    If the main purpose of marriage is to provide a stable home for the raising of children, then it would seem to me — according to the logic of many on this site — that all couples who plan to have children be allowed and encouraged to marry and all couples who do not plan to have children obtain civil unions, or some other legal but lesser status of partnership, since their intention in coming together is not the higher calling of providing a stable home for children, but merely to enjoy each other’s companionship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The mere fact that their bodies are “designed for” or “capable of” procreating, does not seem to be reason enough to give them marriage licenses. Since they’re not doing the heavy lifting of parenting. Of course this would mean that gay couples who plan to have children or already have children should be welcomed and encouraged into the marriage fold, while straight couples who have no intention of reproducing biologically, adopting or using reproductive assistance, should be barred from calling their relationship marriage. Right?

    Otherwise, it really does seem that you’re just discriminating against gay people because they’re not “like” you. There are a number of families headed by gay couples at our children’s school. These children are not perceived as being any different from their classmates. If you did not know that their parents were gay, you’d never be able to tell by interacting with them in class or on the playground. Because they are children. Young citizens. Human beings. Yet you would stigmatize them by denying marriage to their parents, putting them in a separate class and broadcasting all their friends, “Sorry, those kids don’t deserve to have married parents.” This is what we are talking about here. Not theoretical possibilities. But real children, real families. American citizens. Who, under Prop 8, are treated differently. Singled out in a very real and public way, in front of their peers, as having parents who are by law unworthy of, and therefore unable to access, marriage. Un-American, it seems to me. Pretty plain and simple.

    The Yes on 8 campaign catered primarily fears of gay people and fears of children learning about gay people and gay families. As if this knowledge would taint them, stain them, hurt them. And yet at trial they’ve abandoned that strategy because it is plainly nothing but blatant antigay bias. The real damage being done to children was done to the 37,000 children in California whose parents are no longer allowed to marry.

  19. Sean
    December 7th, 2010 at 07:59 | #19

    “I view it as two classes, the opposite sex class is the procreative class, and the same sex class is the non-procreative class.”

    Lots of problems here.

    1. Over inclusive: not all opposite-sex couples can or will procreate. Merely looking like a couple can procreate is of no concern to the government. Actually procreating is of concern, as the state has an interest in seeing children cared for so it doesn’t have to do so.
    2. Under inclusive: many individuals in same-sex relationships reproduce and therefore the state’s interest in seeing a child cared for kicks in. If the state is concerned about children being cared for after birth, that concern should apply equally to the children of same-sex couples as well as the children of opposite-sex couples.
    3. Why is the procreative distinction even relevant? The state doesn’t appear to care if you procreate or not (hence legal abortion and legal birth control, among other things) but rather, who is taking care of a child that is produced? Since same-sex couples also raise children, and married couples are better positioned to take care of a child, same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

  20. December 7th, 2010 at 09:45 | #20

    Sean, so you seem to agree that marriage means we can’t prohibit couples from procreating by whatever means is available and legal. Indeed, there are no illegal methods of procreating, because marriage rights are so compelling. Marriage makes a compelling claim to be allowed to access whatever technology is available. Indeed same-sex marriage makes it a virtual lock that any attempt at banning use of modified gametes or stem cell derived gametes, or requiring that they come from a man and a woman, would be ruled unconstitutional because such a ban would put up an insurmountable obstacle for married same-sex couples. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t declare any same-sex couples married, because that opens the door wide open to stem-cell derived gametes and genetic modification. Same-sex marriage is incompatible with an effective egg and sperm law that preserves natural conception and equal conception rights.

  21. Sean
    December 7th, 2010 at 13:19 | #21

    “Yet you would stigmatize them by denying marriage to their parents, putting them in a separate class and broadcasting all their friends, “Sorry, those kids don’t deserve to have married parents.” This is what we are talking about here. Not theoretical possibilities. But real children, real families. American citizens. Who, under Prop 8, are treated differently. Singled out in a very real and public way, in front of their peers, as having parents who are by law unworthy of, and therefore unable to access, marriage. Un-American, it seems to me. Pretty plain and simple.”

    Well said, Bill. Travel around conservative/religious/Straight Supremacist/Homophobia advocacy websites dealing with this issue and be shocked at the collateral damage these people are willing to accept, including innocent children, in their war on gay people. It shocks the conscience.

  22. Bill
    December 7th, 2010 at 19:15 | #22

    John Howard,

    Modified gametes? Stem cell derived gametes? Really? What, are we in science fiction land now?

    Children being raised by gay people come from the same egg/sperm combo other kids come from, whether they were born into previous hetero relationships, adopted or are the product of assisted reproduction. The same as those kids whose biological parents are married, never married, have married and divorced, or who are adopted by married (or unmarried) hetero couples or brought into the world through biological assistance by (married or unmarried) hetero couples.

    There are a ton of kids out there, most I’d say, who do not live with their married biological parents. If you compile the available data for California for instance, you’ll find those “ideal” households comprise only 14% of all California households.

    You really seem to be stretching really far to keep gay people from having the same rights that are available to Britney Spears and any drunk couple who stumbles through Vegas. Gametes?

  23. December 8th, 2010 at 11:40 | #23

    Yes, Bill, we are in science fiction land now. Though it is not fiction that people like Sean demand that same-sex procreation remain legal. And it is not fiction that researchers are working on it. And it is not fiction that procreation is an inherent right of marriage, and that it is negated by being given to same-sex couples. And it is not fiction that prohibiting it would be good public policy and allow us to extend recognition and protections to same-sex couples via Civil Unions.

    You are right that using lab-created gametes hasn’t been done yet. The Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise wouldn’t affect anything that people do now to have children, it only bans things that at this point are science fiction. It would improve the lives of every gay couple raising children tremendously. And it would strengthen the public’s understanding of marriage and rescue it from Vegas trivialization.

  24. Sean
    December 9th, 2010 at 09:26 | #24

    “Though it is not fiction that people like Sean demand that same-sex procreation remain legal.”

    Well actually, Sean isn’t demanding that it remain legal but rather have a rational public purpose for outlawing it. The same reasons you keep giving for why “altered gametes” is a bad thing apply equally to opposite-sex couples. If you want to outlaw “altered gametes” do it for all sexual orientations, not just gay people. As with marriage itself, there’s no rational public purpose for excluding same-sex couples.

  25. December 9th, 2010 at 21:09 | #25

    No matter how it is done, same-sex procreation would be unethical and require labs to manipulate and create gametes that don’t represent any actual existing person. Same-sex procreation is not viable unless modified gametes are created. A ban on using modified gametes does not affect any person’s right to use their own gametes, which means it doesn’t affect any hetero couples right to procreate with their own genes, and which means it completely rules out same-sex couples from procreating with their genes.

    The way to stop demanding that same-sex procreation remains legal is to say: “OK, I accept that same-sex couples should not be allowed or approved to procreate together.”

  26. Mark
    December 11th, 2010 at 11:31 | #26

    John Howard: “same-sex procreation would be unethical ”

    Why unethical?

    “Same-sex procreation is not viable unless modified gametes are created.”

    Uh, not sure what you mean by “modified gametes”.

  27. December 13th, 2010 at 08:32 | #27

    Unethical because it uses money and energy and resources that are diverted from actual sick and hungry people and uses them up on something completely unnecessary. Animal experimentation is only justified in the face of great human suffering, which is not the case here. It’s unethical to create people intentionally, and it’s very unethical to start creating people using lab-created gametes that don’t even come from an actual person. It’s not just the incredible risks of harms that would be faced by someone created from such a radical experiment, but that’s a major factor as well. It’s also unethical because it would harm equality to start making people from modified gametes, it would make the world much worse, and fail to make it better, for no good reason.

    “Modified gametes” refers to lab-created egg and sperm that contain a genetic payload that is not identical to the gametes that the person would have if they had their own healthy gametes. Without modifiying the genes of one partner, but just trying to force two unmodified eggs or two unmodified sperm together, a same-sex couple cannot create a viable fetus, due to the genomic imprinting being non-complementary. It develops without a placenta or other major defects that result in early miscarriage. (I assume that those experiments were done on animals) That’s why new gametes need to be created that have been modified to have the reverse imprinting.

  28. aimai
    December 16th, 2010 at 06:22 | #28

    I agree with Sean completely. I hasten to add that I am a happilly, monogamously, married, heterosexual, mother of two young children. The entire list of questions that begins this blog post was well answered by Sean. I see no problem in society expanding official government recognition to same sex couples and same sex parents. What individual churches want to do is their own business but I, for one, prefer to live in a world of full equality for all our neighbors, friends, and relatives. I’m raising two children to be good friends, neighbors, lovers, spouses and, I hope, parents and citizens as well. The many gay people we know as teachers and aquaintances are no worse, and sometimes quite a bit better, in their jobs than the heterosexual people we know–they have to be because otherwise the prejudice in this society forces them out. The ugliest divorces and the meanest parents? Almost routinely straight couples. The worst behaved kids? The children of straight couples–just by the numbers.

    I want to see my children happilly married and raising happy families. I really don’t care whether that is with a same sex partner or an opposite sex partner. The core issues in ethics and morality, to me, don’t begin and end with mere biology. Anyone who reduces their focus from the question “how shall we live together” to “what part goes where” is really missing the boat.

    aimai

  29. Joseph A
    December 16th, 2010 at 08:36 | #29

    1. Children need adults who love and care for them, who raise them to become responsible citizens. None of which requires a particular gender.
    2. The only long-term consequence to allowing same-sex marriage will be that the ultra-religious will longer have the right to label gay as lascivious perverts.
    3. Many families in the United States lack a male father figure; by your reasoning all of those children should be removed from one-parent households (widows, divorces) for lack of a second gender authority figure.
    4. Love is not a legal term. Marriage is.
    5. Children have the right to be nurtured and protected. Again, neither of these have a gender requirement.
    6. The essential purpose of marriage has been redefined in the 21st century. We no longer need large families; therefore your argument is fundamentally a flawed one.
    7. Children will remain attached to those adults who raise them, regardless of their biological relationship. Step-parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, legal guardians, etc.

    In short, Doctor, every single “argument” you make is an outdated, strawman attempt to hide your true hatred of gay people.

  30. JBL in Maine
    December 16th, 2010 at 09:06 | #30

    1. Yes, because there are no empirical data to support that contention. Plenty of children grow up without one or both of their natural parents in adoptive households, and many children are raised by natural parents who abuse them.
    2. Yes.
    3. Yes. The “follow-up” question makes no sense as it conflates gender roles in parenting with sexual roles in an adult relationship. Gender is irrelevant to parenting, but it is of paramount importance in sexual relationships. I’m surprised this has to be pointed out to you.
    4. No.
    5. Yes, which is why ensuring their parents have the right to be married is so important.
    6. Publicly, to provide legal societal protections, both for the couple and for any children who might become part of their family either through childbirth or adoption.
    7. The same way they always have: through family relationships and loving attachments.

    Now I’d like to ask you a question. My husband and I were not blessed with children. Do you think our marriage is simply a registration of friendship, to use your term?

  31. Michael
    December 16th, 2010 at 09:10 | #31

    “Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?”

    Because………..ummm………wow. Just….wow. Really?

  32. Kara
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:03 | #32

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?

    Yes, as extensive scientific evidence has shown (that was discussed during the original Prop 8 trial) that it doesn’t matter what the sex of the parents are. I’ll ask you a question, do you seriously think that by denying the truth of scientific evidence it will magically make it untrue? Do you believe that if you don’t believe in it enough, the truth will magically disappear? Is that also the basis behind denying climate change?

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    Yes because once again, evidence shows us that allowing same-sex couples to marry has absolutely no impact on heterosexual couples. Case in point: the state of Massachusetts. Allowing same-sex couples to marry does not invalidate heterosexual marriage whatsoever and if anything, it encourages long term commitments between individuals that love each other and also encourages developing family units within a committed, state sanctioned relationship. How can encouraging committed, monogamous relationships have a negative impact on society as a whole? Straight people are still going to get married and have kids like they always have. Once again, do you believe that denying scientific data will suddenly make that scientific data untrue?

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?

    In today’s society, yes. Gender roles are non existent in today’s society as we have women being the bread winners in the family and men being stay at home dads. If you’re oh so worried about interchangeable genders and gender roles, then why aren’t you pursuing laws that would ban women from making more money then men or ban men from being stay at home dads. And the second part just shows out completely out of touch and irrational the individual writing this article is. If you do not understand why a masculine woman would not be fitting for a gay man, then you do not understand homosexuality at all.

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    No. Just because that statement is true, why does it automatically mean it now must be a legally defined term? This question makes absolutely no sense…

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?

    Of course, and being the child of a same-sex couple has no difference in this whatsoever as they are perfectly capable (as science has shown) of providing children with an excellent upbringing.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    The only public purpose of state sanctioned marriage is to have your relationship recognized by the state so that individual is now considered a part of your family, even though they are not blood related and thus are given the beneficial rights of marriage.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    If you think that allowing same-sex marriage is “reducing marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships” you are once again not understanding the fundamentals of homosexuality as it is obviously much more then merely a friendship. A couple, a family doesn’t need governmental recognition to be attached to each other. That comes from the heart.

  33. Kara
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:15 | #33

    @John Howard
    This is idiotic. No one that’s gay and is attempting to have children with their partner are trying to do that using two eggs or two sperm. They get the egg or sperm from someone else. This is the same process that many heterosexual couples use on a daily basis to attempt to have children if they cannot do it naturally. If you want to outlaw that practice because you view it as unethical, that’s fine, but at least be equal opportunity and ban it for all…heterosexual or homosexual.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a single same-sex couple that’s attempted to magically make a baby using two eggs or two sperm.

  34. Corey Schmitz
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:36 | #34

    It’s fascinating that despite so many people being so riled up about what other people are doing in their own homes, you can’t provide one single piece of objective information that shows how gay marriage could possibly hurt the family structure in America. Just one little peer-reviewed study, is that so much to ask? I guess so.

  35. December 16th, 2010 at 11:55 | #35

    If a single mother raises her child with her sister, her aunt, or her mother… is that going to scar the child for life? Or is it different because of what they do and don’t behind closed doors?

    And if family & parenting is is so heterosexually oriented, how do you explain all the heterosexual couples who have raised homosexuals?

    Some people are good parents, some people are bad parents, and where you stick your hot dog or ham sandwich doesn’t make a lick of difference in whether or not you’ll be a good or bad parent.

  36. Leonora
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:15 | #36

    Came here from TPM via Slog to answer #3: “Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?”

    These are two assumptions, one is partly wrong, and one is completely off.

    Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. A lesbian parented household will be different than a straight parented household which will be different than a gay parented household. Different doesn’t mean less good. Each type of family has its own strengths. Gender IS irrelevant to how good a parent someone is. What matters is love, support, and patience in my view.

    However, gender is not irrelevant in terms of sexual attraction, obviously. Most people are attracted to one gender over the other, that’s just how it is.

  37. JBL in Maine
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:42 | #37

    I must say, this is a fascinating exercise in seeing the misconceptions in the thought processes of the anti-equality forces.

    The questions posed here have shone a light on how how they believe those who favor marriage equality think.

    Perhaps some will have the courage to read the actual answers to the questions (as opposed to preconceived answers) and allow themselves to consider how much they have misunderstood about the reasoning of those who are pro-equality, and possibly even how much they’ve gotten wrong. But then, I’ve always been an optimist.

  38. JBL in Maine
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:46 | #38

    @Corey Schmitz

    As Judith Martin observed, “Indeed, Miss Manners has come to believe that the basic political division in this country is not between liberals and conservatives but between those who believe that they should have a say in the love lives of strangers and those who do not.”

  39. Jeff J
    December 16th, 2010 at 13:00 | #39

    “7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?”

    This gets to the essence of the matter. This is not about protecting children or families. NOM is fundamentally about the idea that no same-sex relationship is anything more than a mere “friendship.” At its core, NOM is about demeanding the emotional, family and financial commitments that same-sex couples make to each other. It is about cruelty and inhumanity to one’s fellow man. It is about refusing to stand in the other person’s shoes. It is treating the emotional commitment of any same-sex couple as nothing more than animal lust. It is as fundamentally uncharitable and un-Christian as it is possible to be.

  40. Charles
    December 16th, 2010 at 13:06 | #40

    None of these questions deal directly with marriage, only child rearing, which is of course different. Moreover, none of them address the question of whether the state may discriminate against two people entering into a legally binding contract because they cannot–or choose not to–reproduce.

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers? I seriously believe children need to grow up with supportive, caring, and loving parents.

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples? This isn’t a substantive question, it is a yes or no question that requires an implied follow-up to make an argument. And yes.

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner? What the hell? to the first, no, gender has certain implications upon child rearing. No one ever said, ‘gender is irrelevant to sexual or romantic preferences’, and does that really masculine woman have a penis? What is a really masculine woman? Do you really think gay men look like masculine women?

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?
    Again…huh? Who is making that argument? What’s the argument here? No one is saying there should be a law that states, ‘love makes a family’, as it would make a family which lacks loving relationships illegal.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents? I’m not sure what you mean by ‘right’ here–it implies if parents aren’t caring then there’s a rights violation, which in turn implies some sort of coercive force should be utilized to rectify the situation. Ought all children be raised in a loving environment? Of course. Gay marriage in no way prevents this.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.
    Of course you don’t think that, because if you did you would object to childless marriages.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers? Are you seriously equating a childless marriage to, ‘friendship’?

  41. Jack
    December 16th, 2010 at 13:19 | #41

    @bman

    The fact that it is disputable does not imply anything. Everything is disputable. The fact is, that kind of question is posed with the sole purpose of casting the opposition in a bad light. It is akin to the old saw, “When did you stop beating your wife?” It isn’t really a question, but more of an insinuation, and can just as easily be turned around on you. One could just as easily ask, “Do you seriously believe that it is beyond dispute that marriage should be only between a man and a woman?” That question is just as valid, and just as meaningless.

    My wife and I have been happily married for 12 years now, and we are baffled by the apparent desperate need of people like yourself to keep other people from sharing what we have enjoyed. I have watched people like you fighting tooth and nail to keep a segment of our citizens from what should be their basic rights, and I have yet to see anything substantive being offered to support your position. A lot of supposition, a lot of innuendo, a lot of extreme cases, and a lot of outright lying. If you can’t support your position with basic common facts, then perhaps your position needs to be reexamined.

  42. Leonora
    December 16th, 2010 at 13:52 | #42

    Decided to quickly answer the other questions as well just to put my two cents in:

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?

    Yes. I think that, for the most part, a healthy two-parented household is better than a one-parented household but I don’t think gender matters in parenting ability. The only thing that really sucks about it is the prejudice my kids will inevitably face because they have two moms. And it’s people like the ones who run this blog that keep that prejudice alive. That’s the only thing I worry about.

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    Yeah, this makes no sense. Marriage has been redefined over and over again. In biblical times, polygamy was the norm. Throughout thousands of years, marriages were arranged based on property. It’s only in the last 100 years that marriage has been all about love and the nuclear family. Straight people redefined marriage and now it’s something that gay people want to be a part of. Churches can refuse to marry gay people til the end of time for all I care. You don’t have to welcome us into your lives at all. I want to get married in New York surrounded by people that love and support me. I don’t want you haters around me. Live and let live, you know?

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    “Love makes a family” is a slogan implying that a parent’s love for their child is more important than their gender. Legally, we wish to be able to get civilly married. That’s it.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?

    I’m not sure what you mean by this question. I believe children have the right to be safe, loved, supported, helped, and encouraged. If you’re referring to a child’s right to have a relationship with their biological parents, I personally agree with you (I’m pro-open adoption), but then you must be against straight couples who do closed adoptions. I feel everyone should be free to make that choice. The most important thing is for the child to be loved and cared for, biology comes second.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    What about straight people who choose not to have children? They’re still allowed to marry. I think the essential purpose of marriage is different for everyone. It’s up to the couple why they decide to marry. I’m not sure what you mean by the “public” purpose. Most people choose to get married in a public fashion (in front of friends and relatives) for reasons of their own.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    Marriage will not be reduced to anything. Gay people are getting married much in the same way straight people are: in front of friends and family. Gay people get married for the same reasons straight people do. The reason I want to marry my girlfriend is because I love her. I’m not sure what you mean by “govt. registry of friendships”. It’s not about friendship (though many consider their significant other to be their best friend). It’s about love and romance, feeling connected to someone on a deeper level than anyone else. Wanting to be with someone forever. Marriage is marriage.

  43. Casey
    December 16th, 2010 at 15:21 | #43

    Dr. Morse,

    I look at your CV: a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester, time at University of Chicago, Yale University, George Mason University, Cornell Law School. WOW! That is so impressive and I really mean that.

    But then I read things like “If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described ‘gays’ insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?”. And I wonder how it’s possible that someone with so much intellectual pedigree doesn’t know the difference between ‘gender’ and ‘sex’. How could you not distinguish between a butch woman and male genitalia?

    And then I wonder, as a woman who has adopted a child and is active in the foster program (again, something I really admire and applaud!), how can you ask these questions about children needing their mothers and fathers? Can’t you see that a great parent is a great parent, regardless of biology?

    My instinct says that a highly educated woman who is biologically and not biologically the mother of many children would know better than to ask such silly, almost hypocritical, questions. I think you really know the answers to all of these questions. I like to believe that, in your heart, you can see what you’re doing is wrong and that time will lead you to love and acceptance of everyone.

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?
    I don’t. For years I was raised by my mom and dad together and then separately after their divorce. Later I was raised by my mom and stepdad and my dad and my stepdad (my dad’s partner). My little brother was raised by my mom and stepdad. My little sisters were raised by my dads. The consistency my siblings and I have had is that we had parents who cared enough to praise us, love us, discipline us, teach us, and build us. I have an uncommon family, but we love each other as much, and probably more, than any other family I know.

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?
    The only social consequence, besides making life better for same sex couples, is that hateful bigots like yourself will no longer have a platform to spread hate. Are you afraid that something terrible is going to happen to society or are you just afraid to admit that you’re wrong?

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?
    Yes, I do believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and you do too or you wouldn’t be cycling foster children through your home or adopting someone else’s baby. Gay men want a male partner because they are attracted to male genitalia. Gay men wouldn’t want a butch woman because she doesn’t have male genitalia.

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?
    Love does make a family. Don’t you belive that yourself? Don’t you love all of your children, biological and otherwise? Aren’t they part of your family while they’re with you? When you are caring for a child that isn’t biologically your own, but is legally in your care, what do you have but love? We can’t make love a legality, but it sure would be nice if that were a requirement for marriage.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?
    No children do not have any rights that adults are bound to respect. When I was little, I often wished that “Because I said so” was illegal for parents to say, but it’s not. Children don’t have rights because they are not capable of making such decisions on their own. A legal guardian – parent or otherwise – is required for just this reason. But I’m sure you knew that already since you’re the legal guardian of up to eight children at a time.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.
    That isn’t correct. So many couples either choose to not have children or are not capable of having children. You’re mixing a religious point of view into a political argument.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?
    If your marriage is a friendship then I’m very sorry for you and you should have thought about marriage a little more carefully. If your marriage is full of mutual love and support, then you know exactly how a partnership feels between a gay couple.

    Dr. Morse, please look in your heart and search for the truth. Stop this hateful campaign against your fellow human beings. Think of all the time and energy you spend on this and imagine if you put that exact amount into feeding the poor or helping the homeless. Why waste your life on the negative when there’s so much good to be done in the world? You only have one chance here on Earth. Is this really how you want to spend it?

    Have a very happy holiday.

    Casey

  44. Dean
    December 16th, 2010 at 15:43 | #44

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?

    It´s a prejudice, obviously. Why do you use the word ´mere´ here? It is an obvious attempt to diminish the seriousness of the issue, and to excuse the prejudice. Your position, as other commenters have noted, ignores the reality of single parent households, as well as non-traditional parenting, like for example when grandparents, relatives, or other care-givers become parents. And check this recently published article out while you´re at it – we´re doing great! http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20100607/kids-of-lesbian-parents-are-well-adjusted

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    No, it WOULD have long term social consequences, both positive and negative, I´m sure, depending on your position vis a vis the issue. I´d err on the side of respect and social progressivity myself, and believe in broad social equality.

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?

    Yes, they are interchangable, and even more, single individuals can be both mothers and fathers. Unless you´d like to start defining what makes a mother and what makes a father? It´s a slippery, ignorant slope you´re on. It´s a matter of stepping out of narrowly defined roles, not clinging to some undefined idea of what ´normal´is. Would having two breadwinners in one family be confusing to you? What is even more disturbing is that you confuse parenting and sexual desire in your questions. How I parent my child has nothing to do with who I want to have sex with.

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    No, I don´t. I haven´t seen anyone who has attempted to do that either. You´re over-reacting! Or maybe you´d like to propose this?

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?

    Of course they do. They´re called laws.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    You can see how well that works. It´s called divorce. Seriously? So if the purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another, how does a narrow definition of who a mother or father or child is help? Do you think that abiding by this definition will guarantee that there won´t be problems in a family? There are many public purposes for marriage – let´s leave those to the individuals who engage in them. I´m not inclined to police it myself.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    Through love and respect for individuals who have showed them the same.

  45. December 16th, 2010 at 16:11 | #45

    Say: thanks to all you guys for coming over here! I’m honored by the attention!

    What I mean by the essential public purpose of marriage is this: why does society need or want an institution like marriage in the first place?

    Marriage as a social institution, (not as a private good,) exists to provide an institutional structure, that is, legal, social and cultural norms that attach children to their biological parents. If we don’t agree that this is a good thing and indeed a necessary thing, the public purpose of marriage really goes away.

    And no, that is not some quirky religious point of view. That was pretty much the universal view, right up until the day before yesterday.

    BTW: why do you guys assume I hate you? You say a lot more mean things about me than I say about you.

  46. December 16th, 2010 at 16:39 | #46

    @Mark
    Mark:
    Adoption is currently a child-centered legal and social institution that exists to give children the parents they need, not to give adults the children they want.

  47. December 16th, 2010 at 16:55 | #47

    @Sean
    “But this further demonstrates that marriage is about adults, not about children. Sad or not, children’s needs are subordinated to adults’ needs, whether those adults are straight or gay.”

    Speak for yourself Sean. The ancient and near universal prohibition on adultery places limits the behavior of adults, for the benefit of children. The presumption of permanence in marriage placed limits on the behavior of adults for the benefit of children.
    And don’t give me the tired nonsense about how we want to prohibit divorce. Actually we woudl like to see some sensible restraints on divorce. The fault-based divorce system that existed throughout the US prior to 1968 was not a “prohibition.” It was a set of legal rules that discouraged divorce and marital misconduct, for the benefit of children. Can you guys honestly say that the presumption of impermanence that we now have, has been beneficial to society and to children?
    and don’t change the subject by bringing up the old trope about domestic violence either. A fault-based divorce system says you can get a divorce for “cause:” domestice violence, including child abuse, counts as a valid “cause” for divorce.
    Marriage used to be about children. Now it is about adults.

  48. Paul
    December 16th, 2010 at 17:37 | #48

    “Marriage as a social institution”

    Although a right to marry is not listed in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has held that such a right must necessarily reside with the individual rather than with the state or society.

    I suspect that you know that your statement is false, but willfully wish to confuse and mis-inform others.

    @Jennifer Roback Morse

  49. Paul
    December 16th, 2010 at 17:45 | #49

    @Jennifer Roback Morse

    “Adoption is currently a child-centered legal and social institution that exists to give children the parents they need, not to give adults the children they want.”

    This isn’t true at all. Not even the least bit. People that WANT to adopt seek the services of an adoption agency and pay a fee in order to adopt a child that they WANT. Most people that adopt also WANT babies and toddlers while thousands of older children under state care that NEED parents are left without.

    Now you are just being dishonest.

  50. Paul
    December 16th, 2010 at 17:55 | #50

    @Jennifer Roback Morse

    “The ancient and near universal prohibition on adultery places limits the behavior of adults, for the benefit of children.”

    Wow! really? for the benefit of the children? So a husband can screw around on his wife as much as he wants until she pops out a child?

    I’m pretty sure most of the women that have divorced their husbands because they cheated did it for themselves, not their children. I don’t really see how having sex outside your marriage affects the child, I do see how it affects your spouse. And if marriage is intended to unite a child with their biological parents, as you noted above, isn’t is counter-intuitive to allow divorce if the husband cheats? I mean, 70% of men cheat on their wives, so it’s pretty much a given that this would end the marriage and separate the biological parents from the child.

    I think you need to work on your arguments a little more. They really are simply irrational.

  51. Emmanuel C.
    December 16th, 2010 at 18:04 | #51

    My response to these questions:

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?

    ANS: It is not myth. Since the beginning of human existence. Children always needed a mother and father. You can look at entire world cultures. In fact, if you look at Amazonian tribes, their family is centered on union between a man and woman.

    It would do harm to the children if they are deprived of mother and father.

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    ANS: It does have long term consequences which will probably take the entire development grow of a child. You know that children often imitiate adults. If they are raised by a gay couple, he will likely be taught that gay couples are ok. I know one child who was raised by a gay couple, and she noticed that her father brought in many multiple partners in the house. She felt very uncomfortable about it.

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?

    ANS: Mothers and fathers have role that are vital to the development of the child. No gay couple can serve replacement for heterosexual couple.

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    ANS: Family is more about love. It is about community, and support of spouses and raising children. Gay love is false love based on lust.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?

    ANS: Children have rights as adults. They are to be respected. They cannot be denied a mother and father.

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    ANS: Marriage is only between a man and a woman. Anything else is not a real marriage, especially if it is gay marriage.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    ANS: I do not think government should be issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. I personally believe that marriage should be limited with Church, Temple, or Mosque. You have civil authorities decide who marries, you can open doors with all sorts of immorality such as gay marriage and polygamy.

  52. Sean
    December 16th, 2010 at 19:04 | #52

    “Marriage used to be about children. Now it is about adults.”

    Exactly. That’s what I said. But marriage has been a lot less about children than you want to make it. It suddenly becomes about procreation because that’s the thing same-sex couples can’t do. If marriage were about children, married adults wouldn’t be allowed:

    1. To use birth control
    2. To use abortion
    3. To put their children up for adoption if they don’t want them

    In terms of children, marriage was society’s way to get otherwise irresponsible straight people to care for their children, so society wouldn’t have to. This is looking out for society’s interests, not children’s.

    If you really cared about children, you’d insist that same-sex couples with children have the right to get married, in order to provide their children with more secure and stable households.

    So you don’t really care about children, do you?

    And do tell: how is any of this affected when same-sex couples get married?

  53. Sean
    December 16th, 2010 at 19:10 | #53

    “why do you guys assume I hate you? You say a lot more mean things about me than I say about you.”

    I think the assumption that you hate gay people and their children comes from what appears to be a single-minded career devotion to stopping gay and lesbian couples enjoy full citizenship rights, and the security of marriage. The children of same-sex couples would be much better off if their parents could marry. Maggie Gallagher’s articles give a great many reasons why married couples, and their children, do better in life than unmarried couples and their children.

    Denying a right to a minority group, that you insist on having for yourself, smacks of hatred and bigotry. So that’s where the “you must hate gays and children” thing comes from.

  54. Mark Kopacz
    December 16th, 2010 at 19:48 | #54

    @Sean
    I don’t think she used the term biological.

  55. bman
    December 16th, 2010 at 19:48 | #55

    Jack :
    Jack: The fact that it is disputable does not imply anything. Everything is disputable. The fact is, that kind of question is posed with the sole purpose of casting the opposition in a bad light. It is akin to the old saw, “When did you stop beating your wife?” It isn’t really a question, but more of an insinuation, and can just as easily be turned around on you. One could just as easily ask, “Do you seriously believe that it is beyond dispute that marriage should be only between a man and a woman?” That question is just as valid, and just as meaningless.

    I think your response would be effective if the question was asked with the intent you stated.

    But I think you misunderstood the intent in this case.

    In question #2, the intro article asked: “Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?”

    When I first saw question #2 I did not think it was meant to insinuate.

    Upon reading it, I immediately recalled previous claims by gay supporters in this blog that they are smarter than all their opponents and that all others are ignorant.

    What do you say to such a person?

    You ask a question that might reveal the bias, and that is how I saw the intent behind question 2.

    Jack: My wife and I have been happily married for 12 years now, and we are baffled by the apparent desperate need of people like yourself to keep other people from sharing what we have enjoyed. I have watched people like you fighting tooth and nail to keep a segment of our citizens from what should be their basic rights, and I have yet to see anything substantive being offered to support your position. A lot of supposition, a lot of innuendo, a lot of extreme cases, and a lot of outright lying. If you can’t support your position with basic common facts, then perhaps your position needs to be reexamined.

    This informs us regarding your opinon but without any supporting facts to attend it.

    In your opinion, I represent those, “[trying] to keep a segment of our citizens from what should be their basic rights…”

    I, however, see it as: “to keep [men who have sex with men] from [having government formally approve their harmful lifestyle to the public] and [to keep public schools from promoting a harmful sexual behavior as being wholesome to our youth].

    To me, that should not be portrayed as a basic right of citizens.

    You will of course say its not about that.

    There is an old saying that “a white glove can hide a dirty hand.” I think the difference between your position and mine, is that you are for the white glove, and I am against what’s under the white glove.

    Anyway, here are two links that help explain this:

    NPR Interview on Gay marriage law and the Schools

    Section: V. SUBSTANTIAL OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE IDENTIFIES INCREMENTAL STRATEGIES CONNECTING STATE RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE TO CONSTRAINTS OF PARENTS’ RIGHT TO DIRECT THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION – Brief of Amicus Curiae The Hausvater Project.pdf

  56. Mark Kopacz
    December 16th, 2010 at 19:53 | #56

    @Mark Kopacz
    Correction: she did use it in one post but then qualified it.

  57. Richard Munro
    December 16th, 2010 at 20:31 | #57

    Sean :“Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?”
    I don’t think it matters, since it is legal in all 50 states for single people and same-sex couples to raise children. Outlawing same-sex marriage doesn’t mean that children get raised by a male parent and a female parent, it just means that a bunch of kids get raised outside of wedlock. That’s bad for the nation’s children.

    THIS ARGUMENT is a red herring since no matter what happens a very small and insignificant number of children will be raised by “Gay” couples. i can’t really believe the writer cares about the common good (i.e. our nation’s children).

  58. Richard Munro
    December 16th, 2010 at 22:10 | #58

    One issue which has not been mentioned here is the damage done to our democracy which is based on popular sovereignty when a public policy issue as important as marriage is voted upon by over 7 million voters (twice!!!)and then overturned by a single judge who should have recused himself. One can try to sneak around the people and pervert democracy but there will be a price to pay. Elites may appease Gay Activists but the American people do not like to be ruled by unelected liberal oligarchs.

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?
    Of course, there are as many opinions as there are men and women. But precisely for that reason we must consider the opinion of thousands of years of tradition. Marriage is “the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Of course, there may be persons who want to “play act” at marriage for their own purposes and such people are free to do so. But that is no reason why society should recognize their hedonistic unions as legal marriages. There are many studies which show children born out of wedlock are more at risk for dropping out of school and of poverty. Children who have the deep “bench” of a traditional family ARE better off. What do I mean by that? Marriage at its best is a public promise not only by the bride and groom but also the two families that the children who might issue from that union will be cared for and educated. Of course, people may marry for other reasons than having children but the main reason for marriage has always been to protect the mother and the children especially to insure their legal status and their inheritance of property. Experience shows that children flourish best, socially and educationally with the support of a traditional family which includes not merely the spouses but aunts and uncles and grandparents. In the case in which the father or mother is absent the most successful families are where an adult relative steps in such as the grandfather or grandmother. Children need their mothers and they need a male role model also (preferably their father).

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    The worst aspect of so-called Gay marriage is that is will be a legal Pandora’s box. No one really knows what effect it will have on future society or the educaiton and security of chiildren but I fear it will not be good.

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?
    If anyone thinks men and women are interchangeable they are really quite mad. It is true that modern technology has blurred the lines between the sexes but we are not likely to see many women working in the most dangerous jobs or serving in the combat arms of the US Marines. Men and women are different and complement each other.

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    Friendship is not a family. Friendship is a kind of love (philia love) and it can be and should be part of conjugal love. But conjugal love is by definition only love between husband and wife. A father cannot have conjugal love for his daughters or sons or even with his mistress. In our Western tradition monogamous marriage is the norm and the ideal. Relationships that occur outside of that union have always had less prestige and less respect than those tht occur inside of the marriage union. And the reason for that is clear; marriage was created primarily to ensure the continuation of family life, to take care of the wife and the children and ensure that the husband and his family meet their responsiblities.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?
    There is no question that biological parents and their immediate families have a greater moral and legal right to educate and care for children than anybody else including the State. The State come into existence AFTER the family and BECAUSE of it not the other way around. Does anyone really believe the USA could have become a great nation if it had not strong families and fertile families in its colonila and early national period?

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.
    Jennnifer of course is right. Marriage has a PUBLIC PURPOSE. It is a very PUBLIC ACT; it is by its nature NOT a private, secret act only between two people. The essential purpose of marriage is to attach fathers (and their families) to the mothers and to the children so that the children can be protected, educated and nurtured while they are incapable of being independent.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    If we abandon our committment to traditional marriage it would be more than sad it would be a great tragedy. It would mean that our government no longer is a government of the people, by the people and for the people but a government of oligarchic elites who change the law at their whim for their own purposes without any consideration except their own wills and hedonistic pleasures.

    I have peacefully coexisted with a society which too easily allows divorce and abandonment of children.

    I have peacefully coexisted with a society which allows great evil -allowing 3rd parties to undermine parental authority by being able to grant abortions to minors without the knowledge and consent of their parents and legal guardians. I will never stop believing that a state which allows this monstrosity is corrupt and evil and thereby loses much moral authority. I will never stop praying that people make better choices -choices that do not corrupt the morals of minors and choice which do no snuff out innocent human life.

    But I can peacefully coexist with legal abortion for adults as a matter of freedom of conscience as horrible and inhuman I believe that choice to be. As hard as it is I try to respect the belief that “abortion” is just another form of birth control and a “private matter.”

    Perhaps, the Elites will impose so-called Gay marriage on the American people. That is always a possiblity.

    I always said that if Prop 8 had lost it would be easier to live with because at least then it would have been the will of the majority of the people of the state of California as it has been the will of the people of California that there are virtually no restrictions on access to abortions even for minors without parental consent.

    But I can say this and I do not believe I am alone in this: if Oligarchic elites impose so-called Gay Marriage on me and the rest of the American people against our traditions and against our laws and against our votes and against our wills I will be left with a profound sense of alienation to the government to the point at which I will not longer care if the state lives or dies.

    When the Bold State becomes tyrannical and no longer represents the will of the people and no longer respect the sovereignty of the people then the social contract must be considered dissolved.

    I do not care what private consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes or what lifestyle they adopt. But I do care what kind of society and nation I belong to and swear allegiance to.

    There is a breaking point at which the man of conscience must, with heavy heart, accept the fact that he no longer has a country. My people came to this land with very little only by their strong faith, and their desire to work and be free. They did not expect the society at large to change for them but they did expect to live in a ordered society and a decent society in which a person of faith could live and swear allegiance.

    The bottom line is that there ARE some things which are indecent and unseemly and deeply offensive to public moral values.

    I do not believe, for example, that articifical birth control is deeply offensive to public moral values though public nudity and sexual exhibitionism are deeply offensive to public moral values and therefore iimproper and unacceptable.

    Of course, liberal activists who have no respect for tradition, our constitution or moral decency will accuse me of being intolerant and strongly partial only to my faith tradition and only my values.

    But that is not so; like most Americans I willing to live and let live with people with whom I work (I have no interest in gossip or people private sex lives).

    But I draw the line when it comes to protecting children, protecting their mothers and protecting this nation. The good of the nation comes before me as an individual, and as a man the good of my family and my wife and children come before me. I consider myself to be a loyal and true man, a man who would lay down his life for his friend, his wife, his family,his children, his country. Because that is what a real man does. He knows he is only part of something much bigger than he is and if necessary a real man is prepare to make many sacrifices even the supreme sacrifice.

    We have little. We are not great people. But we have great dignity and pride as husband and wife. If that dignity is offended or disrespected by a Bold State which no knows limit and no restraint then it will be a very sad day indeed.

    So sad that It would change me irrevocably and alienate me irrevocably from the flag and the land I served and I loved.

    Yes, I served the colors and gladly because I thought this nation, under God, stood for something. Something decent. Something called Democracy a governent of the people, by the people and for the people. This is not a small thing. It is a very big thing.

    That is what is at stake here. This is not just about Prop 8. It is about government realizing that its powers are limited and somethings are sacrosanct. That’s right sacrosanct:something sacred and inviolable. To me living in a decent society means living in a society that respects marriage as between one man and one woman who freely consent to join in matrimony. I could never live in a society that did not believe that traditional marriage and the traditional family was not the essential sine qua non for a decent society.
    There are some things which are morally wrong and harmful to civil society. Polygamy is intrinsicly evil and would destroy our social fabric utterly. A cult of childlessness in marriage would also destroy our society and culture utterly. To me marriage means openness to children and is about protecting children and their mothers. Not all marriages will result in children of course but most should or a society is as doomed as Sparta was when it broke up the rhythym of family life with its amoral and tyrannical laws.

    Yes, this is not about something small. It is about freedom.

    Our freedom to choose the kind of government and society we want to live in.

    I will never support or accept a government which seeks to impose undemocratic, indecent and immoral mores on me and my family.

    Never.

    Say what you will, do what you will but that is the bottom line. This is one line the Bold State cannot cross and if it does it will forever change my relationship to it and therby lose all allegiance and moral authority. And these are not idle words. In this I am not alone husbands and wives like me and my wife are legion. We are the real America because we built the country and know the future belongs to us and our chilldren and grandchildren. So I am not concerned about freedom and dignity for ME ALONE but for posterity. My true concern if for the survival and success of liberty and our Union. If we fail to protect marriage then I believe our society is doomed. That’s what is really at stake here. The survival and success of our Union as a decent place for families and their children.

  59. Big Jim
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:29 | #59

    By the same token as question #3, is it okay if I have sex with a man as long as he’s really feminine? I swear I’m actually thinking about chicks, but dudes are so much easier to get in the sack.

  60. Ryan
    December 17th, 2010 at 13:06 | #60

    you people are wrong and misinformed. What other people do in their bedroom is none of your business, nor is it your responsibility as individuals or as a coalition to tell people whether or not they have the right to marry or raise children with anyone else. How would you like it if someone said that right-wing upper class fundamentalist Christians not be able to procreate for the better of the human species as a whole. I’m sure if the world were to have a vote the majority of us would have a bigger problem with your white washed conservative view of the world than they would with gay marriage. What about parenting? How well could you and a partner of your choosing possibly support and provide for a child that was born gay? What about one that choose to follow a different religion than you or, god forbid, no religion at all? My money would be on those kids growing up far more resentful and maladjusted than any kid who was teased because he had “two daddies.” Especially in light of studies done (o know not science, immediately ignore :O), that have shown that children with same-sex parenting show no more maladjustment than those with two parents or a single parent. Just one more thing, why do you want the rainbow so bad anyways? When you wear it people will still assume you’re gay.

  61. bman
    December 17th, 2010 at 13:51 | #61

    Paul :
    JRM: Marriage as a social institution

    Paul: Although a right to marry is not listed in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has held that such a right must necessarily reside with the individual rather than with the state or society. I suspect that you know that your statement is false, but willfully wish to confuse and mis-inform others.

    When did it become “false” to refer to marriage as a social instution?

    Looks like you got all confused inside your own argument!

    By the way, the Funk and Wagnalls 1955 edition says,

    “Marriage, a social institution involving the uniting of men and women in a special form of mutual dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining families.”

    And,

    “Marriage is essentailly a social practice, entered into through a public act, and reflecting the purposes and character of the society in which it is found.”

    You mentioned the right of the individual to marry, but you failed to mention they marry in accordance with how society has defined marriage, not how the individual defines it.

  62. Faggot4you
    December 17th, 2010 at 20:27 | #62

    THIS IS JUST A SICK AND TWISTED WEBSITE…..WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK YOU’RE DOING? DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT GAY PEOPLE AREN’T JUST GOING TO GO AWAY. WE ARE HERE, AND HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE THE BEGINNING. IF ITS THE WHOLE MARRIAGE ISSUE YOU ALL ARE HAVING ISSUES OVER, WELL YOU’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO REALIZE THAT SOONER OR LATER GAY MARRIAGE WILL HAPPEN. ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME….PEOPLE LIKE HARVEY MILK HAVE OPENED DOORS TO GAY RIGHTS, MARRIAGE, EQUAL HOUSING AND EQUALITY FOR ALL GLBT PEOPLE. ALL WE WANT IS JUST WHAT EVERY PERSON WANTS, A DECENT LIFE, SOMEONE TO LOVE, A FAMILY AND EQUAL RIGHTS….THE SOONER YOU ALL REALIZE THAT YOU CAN’T STOP THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT, THE BETTER OF YOU ALL WILL BE….PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU ALL BLESSED BE!

  63. Faggot4you
    December 17th, 2010 at 20:34 | #63

    @Faggot4you
    OH AND TOO DOCTOR JENNIFER MORSE…..YEA I SEEN YOU ON ANDERSON COOPER TONIGHT….YOU MIGHT BE WINING THE FIGHT ON MARRIAGE AT THE MOMENT, BUT YOU WILL NEVER WIN BACK THE RAINBOW….THE FAGOTS WILL FOREVER AND ALWAYS HAVE THAT……IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE GAY PRIDE RAINBOW…..SINCE THE DAYS OF THE STONEWALL RIOTS THE GLBT PRIDE FLAG HAS BEEN THE SAME, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A SIGN OF EQUALITY, AND NOT YOU DR MORSE, OR ANYONE ELSE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY!

  64. WakeUpAmerica
    December 18th, 2010 at 10:12 | #64

    Regarding comments you made, Doctor, about gays not owning the rainbow symbol, I don’t believe they have ever claimed to own it. However, let me point something out: You and your hypocritical followers also do not own the cross, God, or the American flag. I personally am outraged at the “fundies” hijacking of OUR flag and OUR God. Wait, you can have your god; he is not the God I pray to and in whom I have faith. Have you looked in the mirror to see if you have the mark of the beast?

  65. Shannon
    December 18th, 2010 at 10:21 | #65

    1. Do you seriously believe it is a “myth” or mere “prejudice” that children need their mothers and fathers?

    First off, I did not need my father.  I am a working full-time student who has never been in trouble with the law, and who concerns herself primarily with law and society.  It would be hard to be more of an upstanding citizen.  What did my not having a father have to do with this?

    Those who research this subject are correct to consider the fact that a single-parent household almost always has a significantly lower income than two-parent households, and the findings of any difference between children in single-parent households versus two-parent households are generally chalked up to this important class influence issue.  As for same-sex couples, if marriage is such an important part of the family to Christians, why would they allow their ideology to be the cause of the prohibition of marriage for these families?  Since married parents are at a legal, economic and social advantage, would one not want this advantage for families and children with same-sex parents?  Or would one put their ideology above the welfare of these children?  When ones own nation denies that their parents are indeed a legitimate couple, or legitimately their parent, do you not think that this has an impact?  When children are unable to get benefits from both of their parents because the state refuses to acknowledge them as parents, do you not think that this has an impact?  The propaganda created by right-wing “Christian” groups, along with the effect of both social and legal discrimination on same-sex parents and their children, is a subject worth studying.  I am confident that one truly interested in the family would be more than willing to use their resources for this research. 

    In addition, certainly one would not throw the bible in the face of battered women and children who make the decision to save their bodies or their lives from the negative impact of an abusive husband and father – therefore the patronizing tone of this question, towards those who do not have both a mother and a father, is highly un-Christian.  The idea that one calling themselves a Christian would add this insult to injury to mothers and children who left abusive situations sickens me.  These families do not need any further propagation of the idea that their children should be expected to fail for not having fathers, especially while they are already at a strong economic disadvantage due to their lowered household income.  The fact that a so-called-Christian would be willing to further negatively impact these children is disturbing enough, but the fact that one would do this “in the name of the family,” simply because they do not want for children to be able to live in homes with two loving mothers or two loving fathers, is beyond heartless, beyond un-Christian, and beyond anti-family.

    2. Do you seriously believe that it is “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage will have no long term social consequences, except for making life better for same sex couples?

    Was it “beyond dispute” that redefining marriage from an institution of same-race couples to a color blind institution would have no long term social consequences?  Of course not.  The end of anti-miscegenation laws brought a great change to society.  The mixing of families of different races has helped, and will continue to help, bring racial discrimination to a close.  The legalization of same-sex marriage will have the same effect.  While the propaganda that anti-miscegenation laws protected intra-racial marriage was found to be utterly misleading and only used as a basis for discrimination, much like the propaganda of your institution will be found to be in the near future, it is the acceptance of interracial marriage that is one of the most touching effects of the death of a truly racist era in American history.  Now children born to interracial couples can be part of a family that is no longer discriminated against by the government.  I can only hope this for the children of same-sex couples.

    3. Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?

    I am not quite sure you understand what homosexuality is, or even what heterosexuality is, if you are asking the latter question.  It is so far beyond clear that it does not deserve answer.

    To come back to the former question, it is not that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting, it is that the most important aspect to parenting is creating a loving and supportive household for your children.  While I was primarily raised by my mother, with helpful influence from my sister and aunt, I found a “masculine” figure to look up to in my community.  I always looked up to my best friend’s father as a warm and considerate person, and he was one of the people who taught me what it meant to be a good person, regardless of my gender.  Is the impact of a father who is not a warm and considerate person of better influence than that of a neighbor or uncle or whomever who is a good influence on a child?

    4. If you believe the law should be that “love makes a family,” do you seriously propose to make “love” a legally defined term?

    Not at all.  It does, however, seem as though you seriously propose to make the Christian view of marriage, an institution that is older than your religion, the legal definition of marriage in our country.

    5. Do children have any rights that adults are bound to respect? Not just the right to not be injured, but positive rights to care and relationship with particular adults, namely their parents?

    I firmly believe in this ideal.  This is why I believe that one’s parents, whether they be adopted parents, same-sex, opposite-sex, et al., should have the same rights to care for their children properly as any other parents do.  It is certainly ones parents that have the strongest impact on ones upbringing, and they should be legally recognized in order to be able to do so to the best of their ability.  This relationship with ones parents should also not be challenged by those who bully them in school, or those who bully them in the press, arguing that their parents are not a legitimate couple. 

    6. What do you think is the essential public purpose of marriage? We think the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    I believe that the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach parents to their children and to one another.  I do not believe it should be denied to specific types of caring parents simply due to another person’s discomfort with their healthy relationship.

    7. When you have reduced marriage to nothing but a government registry of friendships, how exactly do you think children will be attached to their mothers and fathers?

    I would never reduce marriage to that, so I cannot be the one to answer this question. Perhaps those who still support arranged marriage, as was once popular within the context of Christianity and Catholicism, and is still supported by some offshoots of Christianity, can answer this question for you.

  66. bman
    December 18th, 2010 at 10:24 | #66

    @Casey

    Casey: …hateful bigots like yourself…”

    Its morally wrong to falsely accuse an individual of hate and bigotry based on a stereotype you hold.

  67. December 18th, 2010 at 20:49 | #67

    This post was really informative for me. For years I have been very pro gay marriage, even volunteering and phone banking in favor of it. But lately I have had to ask myself some hard questions. You really struck me when you said;

    “Do you really believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that gender is irrelevant to parenting? If gender is really irrelevant, why do self-described “gays” insist on having a male sex partner? Why isn’t a really masculine woman just as acceptable as a male sex partner?”

    It doesn’t make sense that gay marriage advocates say gender is irrelevant in marriage yet so relevant in their sex life.

    Also I never thought about the children’s rights angle. As the mother of three boys I do believe that children have the right to a mom and a dad and anything less is neglectful (of course single parents do their best when one parent has fled the scene and that’s not the single parent’s fault, yet still an uncontrolled hardship on the children).

    Thank you for this post! I have had a hard time talking about this issue with my pro gay marriage friends and I now have some important questions to pose to them the next time the issue comes up!

  68. Paul
    December 20th, 2010 at 15:02 | #68

    @bman

    It was never true to refer to marriage as a social institution. It’s a personal right, and it belongs to the individual, not society.

  69. Paul
    December 20th, 2010 at 15:08 | #69

    Eris Wilder :
    This post was really informative for me. For years I have been very pro gay marriage, even volunteering and phone banking in favor of it. But lately I have had to ask myself some hard questions.

    Really? The post asked 7 questions and was less than 414 words, but it changed you from a marriage equality supporter (for years!) to being against marriage equality? It’s almost – well – unbelievable!

  70. Paul
    December 20th, 2010 at 15:15 | #70

    bman :
    @Casey

    Casey: …hateful bigots like yourself…”

    Its morally wrong to falsely accuse an individual of hate and bigotry based on a stereotype you hold.

    It’s morally wrong to judge an entire group of people and use our Nation’s laws to deny them civil rights, handicap their lives, and express your moral disapproval, based on a prejudice that you hold.

  71. bman
    December 20th, 2010 at 19:41 | #71

    Paul :
    @bman
    It was never true to refer to marriage as a social institution. It’s a personal right, and it belongs to the individual, not society.

    I quoted an encyclopedia that said marriage is a social institution. You merely re-asserted your opinion that it was not.

    So, it seems you must now say the encyclopedia “lied” too.

  72. ginoc009
    December 21st, 2010 at 16:50 | #72

    Shannon,

    <>

    Actually, it really does deserve an honest answer. Because the same sex marriage question is watered down by both the whole LGBT idea and by homosexual behavior itself. The burning question is what does the gay movement stand for? Are homosexuals and their allies just flag waving Americans who want monogamous relationships, or sexual libertines who want no limits? Because that’s the dichotomy they’ve created in their culture. I live in San Francisco where on the day of the Gay Pride Parade I’ve witnessed devoted couples marching for marriage rights and couples marching for polyamory. Which one is deserves to be recognized by the law? I honestly don’t think they know. And what about those pesky bisexuals? Where are they going to fit into this?

    Furthermore, if you go around to the various booths at the Gay Pride Day info fair you will find sadomasochistic displays and sexual acts being performed in front of children in strollers.(And not by just a few people mind you, but thousands. I’ve got the video to prove it. All the under the banners reading, “BUD LIGHT PRESENTS LEATHER ALLEY!” BROUGHT TO YOU BY WAMU! BEN AND JERRY’S! etc. etc. No one condemns or stops them for their lewd conduct, not even the nearby SFPD, because that would be making a “judgment on one’s lifestyle,” on the day where they want to “celebrate their differences.” )

    Frankly, after years of living in this city and observing the homosexual political movement, it’s clear they want what they want and they really don’t know why. Like dogs chasing cars, what will they do when they achieve “marital equality”? How many more divorces will there be? How will the already overstressed courts react to all the various subtleties in child custody cases? How many cases of needless fraud will pop up all in the name of equality? (i.e. straight roommates getting marital benefits for being “gay”. i.e. the Chuck and Larry idea) Really, what’s the point? Those homosexuals that can stay committed, are still living a 2 + 2 = 5 lie.

    Yes, that’s a harsh judgment based on fact. Try as he or she might, a homosexual cannot conceive a child without a member of the opposite sex. Whereas it has been proven that mixing genes only benefits the human race, no one has ever produced a child from a homosexual act.

    <>

    Your theme of meanie weenie Christians making homosexuals and their children feel bad is an irrational argument. As with all societal disputes, most traditional marriage defenders don’t intend to pick on individuals but simply call attention to a philosophy that’s sending truth into a tailspin. Yes, people say rude things on both sides, but that’s not what we’re arguing in court.

    Just because you may drink a soda pop in your car while listening to the stereo doesn’t mean a car is defined as a living room. A chair is not a car either, though you may sit in both. And yes, there are plenty of good-hearted homosexuals who understand childrens’ needs. That doesn’t give them the right to define an apple as an orange. Your letting your emotion cloud the truth. You didn’t have a father helping you throughout your life, and you survived, good on you. But how does that take away from the truth that a man factored in your creation you and that you carry his genes in you? We must strive for the ideal in the laws otherwise, we might as well drive 100 mph all the time. In residential neighborhoods too. After all, some people may be in a hurry and can’t obey the laws.

    The very definition of marriage still means the joining of a man and a woman. Why do we join? To declare our love for one another and propagate the species. Society can’t survive otherwise.

    Secondly, for such a spunky and well-intentioned researcher, you seem to be conveniently forgetting that Christians aren’t the only ones who want to maintain the traditional definition of marriage. There are 1 billion Muslims and another 1 billion Hindus who also hold the same view. (Funny how you don’t call the Muslims out in the same surly manner.)

  73. Martha
    December 21st, 2010 at 17:31 | #73

    Ask the kids. The young children I’ve met who have homosexual parents are very shy, withdrawn, and not happy kids like other kids. In fact, they almost act like abused kids. It’s really sad when they come over to your house and wistfully say they wish they had a mom or a dad, when they see your heterosexual marriage/family. They always want to be over hanging at your house rather than their own. The young adult I worked with with two mothers had NO idea how to act with her boyfriend, and was completely helpless because she’d had no real male role model.@Sean

  74. Martha
    December 21st, 2010 at 17:34 | #74

    OUTSTANDING comments, Richard. Beautifully put.@Richard Munro

  75. bman
    December 21st, 2010 at 18:25 | #75

    @Paul

    Casey: …hateful bigots like yourself…

    bman: Its morally wrong to falsely accuse an individual of hate and bigotry based on a stereotype you hold.

    Paul: It’s morally wrong to judge an entire group of people and use our Nation’s laws to deny them civil rights, handicap their lives, and express your moral disapproval, based on a prejudice that you hold.

    Casey accused an individual of hate and bigotry based on a stereotype Casey has for people who oppose same sex marriage. I said that is morally wrong to do.

    You quoted my statement to Casey and said its wrong to, “judge an entire group.” Yet, how did my statement “judge an entire group?”

    My statement dealt with a specific comment Casey made. It said nothing about an entire group. Your reply to my statement doesn’t even apply to my statement!

    Additionally, your reply contains several false presumptions.

    First, same sex marriage is not a civil right just as polygamy or incest would not be a civil right.

    Second, disapproval of a behavior that merits disapproval is not the same thing as “prejudice.”

    Third, although I have made statements elsewhere that “judge an entire group,” that, in itself, would not establish prejudice. When a behavior merits disapproval, the group that models the behavior also merits disapproval. For example, disapproval of stealing (a behavior that merits disapproval) is not “prejudice,” and the group classifed by that behavior (stealers) can be rightly disapproved based on the behavior of “stealing.” So, the mere fact “a group was judged,” does not imply prejudice.

    In my view, the behavior of “men having sex with men” is unfit to approve to youth in the public schools. The group that models that behavior would be “men who have sex with men” (MSM). In my view, they would merit the same disapproval as the behavior since they are defined by the behavior.

    By the way, the MSM group is not defined by “orientation” but by behavior only. Inmates who practice MSM behavior in prison would be included in the MSM group. If they stopped MSM behavior upon release, they would no longer belong to the MSM group. The same holds for bisexuals, and or homosexuals. If they do not practice MSM sex, they are not included in the MSM group.

    In summary, your comment about “judging groups” did not apply to my actual statement and its not “prejudice” to disapprove a behavior that merits disapproval, or to disapprove a group that models such behavior.

  76. bman
    December 26th, 2010 at 18:28 | #76

    @Corey Schmitz

    Corey S: …so many people being so riled up about what other people are doing in their own homes…

    Your comment misrepresents gay marriage opponents. They are not trying to intrude on the privacy of others.

    Rather, they seek to protect society from the bad moral effects of a PUBLIC gay marriage LAW.

    Its the “public effect” of a gay marriage LAW that is at issue.

    A gay marriage law intituively subverts or undermines the following areas of public interest:

    - respect for God at the social level
    - the spiritual meaning of marriage
    - the biological meaning of marriage
    - moral norms that benefit the public welfare
    - natural conscience
    - common sense
    - purpose of sexual anatomy
    - impartiality of law
    - moral development of youth
    - normal sexual development of youth
    - physical health of youth
    - mental health of youth
    - self dignity
    - freedom of religion in business
    - freedom of religion in education
    - freedom from homosexual curriculum for school children
    - parental rights to morally steer children
    - parental instincts to protect children from carnal influences
    - majority rule in government
    - traditional family structure
    - children who know their father and mother
    - American tradition
    - the social order

    The list is by no means exhaustive but already there is plenty to be concerned about.

    Also, how could something undermine so many vital areas unless it was intrinsically immoral?

    The list is based on tracing a gay marriage law to its logical conclusion by way of thought experiments that include several presumptions.

    These presumptions include:

    Law affects public morality through formal and informal channels

    A gay marriage law would permeate all areas of law

    An uneven application of a gay marriage law would not be long tolerated by the courts

    Public schools will systematically train students to morally accept homosexuality, which implies moral rejection of Christianity

    Children generally model what they are taught.

    For an explanation of how and why a gay marriage law affects public schools see Prop
    8 Legal Letter to Station Managers
    .

    Especially note the comment by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals that establishes the link between gay marriage law and the public schools:

    Given that Massachusetts has recognized gay marriage under its state constitution, it is entirely rational for its schools to educate their students regarding that recognition.

    Indeed, whoever votes for same sex marriage effectively votes for children to be taught “homosexuality is moral” in the public schools. Most people do not think they are voting that way, but that is one of the public effects a gay marriage law would have.

    And while no one can predict the future with certainty, a same sex marriage law points toward a police state where government threatens to take custody of children away from religious parents simply because they teach marriage is between one man and one woman.

    Quebec seems very close to that even now. See the article Quebec Uses Homosexuality to Drive Totalitarian Agenda

    Also, Forced Education in Homosexuality and Evolution Leads to Exodus of Mennonites from Quebec

    In sum, the public effect of a gay marriage law is the issue.

    A gay marriage law seems to be intrinsically immoral because it logical subverts accepted morality in many areas.

    There is a logical relationship between a same sex marriage law and the public schools that cannot be avoided to where a vote for gay marriage is a vote to teach everyone’s children that homosexuality is moral, which implies teaching children to morally reject orthodox Christianity.

    And, lastly, a same sex marriage law seems to contain seeds of tyranny, as Quebec seems to show.

  77. December 27th, 2010 at 12:04 | #77

    @Kara

    It is indeed idiotic to be demanding the equal right to create offspring with someone of the same sex. Just cause you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it isn’t being researched (unethical animal research in labs all over the world, wasting tons of energy and money), and children are being led to believe that it will be possible someday, thanks to idiotic Transhumanists and Postgenderists who preach with religious fervor that it is inevitable and important and good. They’re very wrong, and we need to make a federal law that stops genetic modification and making people who are not the offspring of an actual living man and woman, same as everyone else has ever been.

  78. Melly
    December 27th, 2010 at 16:26 | #78

    The underlying purpose of the “Gay Rights” agenda is to legally silence the majority of people who believe homosexuality is a unacceptable, alternate lifestyle. I have no problem with a homosexual couple having equal legal rights to inheritance, insurance, ect, but that is not going to be enough. They want to vilify my religious beliefs and quell my objections to having my children taught that what I see as sin… (and we are all sinners), as good and acceptable and equal to a heterosexual marriage. I will not have the right to defend my religious beliefs and my children will be told I am a bigoted homophobe.

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