Home > family, fathers, Marriage > Pro-Marriage, not anti-gay

Pro-Marriage, not anti-gay

December 31st, 2010

Some of our commenters seem to be surprised that the Ruth Institute is “transitioning away from its anti-gay advocacy…. Why is there an article about abortion here?” Actually, if you look over the life of this blog, you will see a lot of discussion about abortion, contraception and artificial reproductive technology. You will also see discussions of divorce, cohabitation, out of wedlock childbearing, abstinence education, adultery, the demographic winter, what makes for a happy marriage, welfare policy and much else. The common thread is marriage: the significance of marriage to society and to children, and all the social, legal and cultural practices that affect marriage. You will see very little about homosexuality per se.

No offense to you all, but we’re just not all that interested in you all.

I wrote two books, one in 2001 (Love and Economics) and one is 2005 (Smart Sex: Finding Lifelong Love in a Hookup World) (both available at the Ruth Store.) Neither of those books say a single word about same sex marriage or homosexuality. I wrote a chapter for a book called The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market, And Morals. My chapter was called, “Why unilateral divorce has no place in a free society.” I personally have been concerned about divorce, out of wedlock childbearing, cohabitation and abortion for a long time. Maggie Gallagher has written several books on similar topics. David Blankenhorn’s book Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem, had a huge impact on the public discussion about the family in America.

We (Maggie, David, and others more so than me) just about had people convinced that kids needed their dads, and that marriage is a social good. Then same sex marriage errupted onto the public stage and took up all the air in the room. And incidently, same sex marriage advocates called into question all the arguments and data about the significance of marriage for childern and society.

Look for instance, at the number of people who answered my question about whether kids need a mom and a dad: the advocates of same sex marriage inevitably said, “no.” Sometimes they were restrained enough to say, “no, not necessarily.” But all too many of them just made a blanket statement on the basis of personal experience, “no, kids don’t need a mom and a dad. In fact, my dad was such a jerk, kids are better off without their natural fathers.” A far more humane response to those personal experiences would be to call wayward dads to greater accountability, and to reform the laws to encourage and support fatherhood. But, all too many advocates of same sex marriage have argued themselves into a corner of denying all significance to biological fatherhood or even motherhood.

We, Maggie, David and I, got dragged into the debate over same sex marriage kicking and screaming. We care about same sex marriage because we believe that redefining marriage as the union of any two persons will harm the institution of marriage, not particularly because of anything same sex couples do or don’t do. In the past, the legal and social institution of marriage has provided structure to people’s lives, helping them to avoid some socially destructive actions and steering them toward socially constructive actions. We think that the legal redefinition and all the social practices that will inevitably follow, will reduce to near nothing the capacity of marriage to structure people’s lives and shape their decision-making.

It is very revealing, and I must say, troubling to me, that whenever I make arguments along those lines, same sex marriage advocates seem to change the subject rather than deal with it. But that is a subject for another time.

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  1. Sean
    December 31st, 2010 at 12:19 | #1

    “In the past, the legal and social institution of marriage has provided structure to people’s lives, helping them to avoid some socially destructive actions and steering them toward socially constructive actions.”

    I’m racking my brain but how on earth are these virtues not equally applicable to same-sex couples? Don’t they deserve structure, freedom from socially destructive actions, and encouragement toward socially constructive actions???

  2. Sean
    December 31st, 2010 at 12:22 | #2

    “It is very revealing, and I must say, troubling to me, that whenever I make arguments along those lines, same sex marriage advocates seem to change the subject rather than deal with it.”

    And whenever one of us points out that same-sex marriage gives same-sex couples more secure relationships, their children greater security and respects our nation’s constitutional guarantee of equal protection for all citizens, you just shrug. No explanation required, I guess.

    Screw the kids of same-sex couples, eh?

  3. Jamie
    December 31st, 2010 at 23:28 | #3

    @Sean

    It is interesting to note, as well, that pro-proponents seem to favor laze-fair, except of course on moral issues.

  4. Screwtape
    January 1st, 2011 at 07:39 | #4

    Where do same-sex couples get their children? The answer is by action of the state whereby children conceived in the natural way are placed in same-sex households, possibly to satisfy a political agenda, which must deprive the children of either a mother or a father, making them half-orphans by the action of the government. See http://www.marriagematterstokids.org/

    Same sex relationships run themselves. Indeed, they owe their current legal status to privacy rights. When children are involved, their inability to sustain themselves is manifest. An island or city composed entirely of sexually exclusive same-sex couples would be demographically unsustainable. Their perpetuation must therefore be demographically dependent on the heterosexual population. This sterility, moreover, is the result of a preference which is not considered by the homosexual culture to be either a handicap or an unfortunate disability which might be treatable either now or at some future date. A society which values privacy rights might reasonably choose to ignore this preference. However, there is no compelling reason for society to grant this preference and dependency the special status traditionally given to married couples unless, of course, society values a preference for sterility and negative population growth. The same right of privacy that benefits same sex couples as noted above also limits the ability of the state to impose intrusive tests for sterility not the result of manifest sexual preference. Moreover, if society decides to grant marriage status of same sex couples, it is hard to discern a reason why it would not grant that status to polygamous families, unless again it values families that cannot produce children over families that do. It might be argued that society has an interest in compelling sexual exclusivity on all couples, but the strong enforcement of that interest is opposed both by privacy rights and the homosexual culture.

    The socially constructive action that society has a compelling interest in is the responsible procreation of children (without which society cannot sustain itself) and the attachment of those children to their natural parents for the very long and expensive nurturing period children require whenever that is viable and to a situation similar to a natural parental family (ideally to their own natural extended family) when it is not. There is no compelling societal interest in making other relationships long lasting or permanent, any more than it needs to make friendships or corporations long lasting or permanent.

  5. Marvin N
    January 1st, 2011 at 08:10 | #5

    Happy New Year to you, Sean. I’m glad you’re here to keep them honest. (As if that were possible.)

  6. Fred
    January 1st, 2011 at 09:20 | #6

    Sean, the children of gays and lesbians will not be more secure if we make believe that their same sex parents are “married.” I’m all for allowing same sex couples and their children to have legal protections, but we don’t have to redefine marriage to do that.

  7. chrisse
    January 1st, 2011 at 09:55 | #7

    @Sean
    Screw the kids of same-sex couples, eh?
    As it is impossible for same-sex couples to procreate naturally, it is impossible to “screw” these non-existent kids. In fact, individuals who profess same-sex attraction require the State to intervene to create artificially the situation whereby they have non-biological children attached to them. Hence the debate. You are creating a problem to demand a solution.

    Two situations occur whereby same-sex couples can have a child whereby at least one would be the real parent, the biological parent. A formerly heterosexual man or woman who has their own biological children from a heterosexual relationship, and has now decided they are not heterosexual (or claim to be bi-sexual). Of course, they could change their mind again and voila, they are now heterosexual. What percentage of the approximately 4% of the population that are homosexual would be. They would be the exception.

    The other situation is where advances in science have enabled the non-natural production of children and the State enacts laws to enable people to “buy” children as if they were commodities without any requirement to at least have the intention to provide a natural family environment. In order to do this, it is necessary for the State to enact laws, and indoctrinate society that the biological mother and the biological father have no superior benefits to the welfare of children. The State must play Caeser and decree that mother nature got things wrong and Caeser knows best.

    Proponents of same-sex marriage have to create the problem in order to demand their solution, ie same-sex marriage.

  8. chrisse
    January 1st, 2011 at 10:12 | #8

    @Sean
    I’m racking my brain but how on earth are these virtues not equally applicable to same-sex couples?
    For the simple reason that you are ignoring the essential purpose of marriage, that is, why the concept ever originated in the first place: the natural outcome of heterosexual activity is children; the natural purpose of heterosexual activity is procreation. Sexual pleasure is part of that to encourage procreation, not the essential purpose.

    The responsibility for the care and provision of children produced as a result of heterosexual activity led, naturally, of its own inherent design, to the social mores around marriage across all civilisations and all historical time (pre-historic we can only speculate on).

    I realise that it is difficult for the incredibly enlightened mind of 2011 to imagine how people without letters after their name ever knew anything without being told by people with letters after their name, but somehow they did :)

  9. January 1st, 2011 at 10:40 | #9

    MARRIAGE SHOULD BE SACRED FOR ALL AMERICANS.
    ALL of America’s best experts on family, mental health and children agree that America would benefit if same-sex couples could have civil marriage.
    The National Library of Medicine scientific research publications all confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individual’s ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.
    Sexual orientation is similar to left-handedness: biological, unchangeable, innocent. We used to think left-handed was evil (Latin for left is “sinister”), and force lefties to use only their right hand, even though they never really changed. Research reveals variable hormonal levels in pregnancy permanently affect a child’s neural circuitry for sexual orientation and gender identity: a little more testosterone in fetal girls’ brains from an adrenal condition can cause <50% to be lesbian, 10% to be transgender. Sharing the womb with a boy co-twin (amniotic fluid has some of his testosterone) causes <15% of girl co-twins to be lesbian. These girls also have the bone structure and physical coordination of boys, so they are good in sports, thus the stereotype.

    Less testosterone for boys' brains from mother's blocking antibody from having many older brothers causes <15% of boys to be gay. These boys can have the physiology/verbal skills like girls, and excel in language and visual arts, thus the stereotype. All innocent.

    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

    The American Anthropological Association confirms that keeping marriage for heterosexuals only is detrimental to our culture and heritage, and not essential for the preservation of our societal order.

    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality. There is no further reason to discriminate, except ignorance or bigotry. SO WHY WOULD ANYONE FIGHT THIS??????

    Think of what you would want for yourself or your your family. Why would anyone take a stand that goes against the policies of America's child, family and mental health experts?

  10. Brandon
    January 1st, 2011 at 12:29 | #10

    @Sean
    Strawman.

    I think it is fairly obvious that neutering marriage would benefit same-sex couples and the children they care for. The question is “At what cost?” Gallagher, Blankerhorn, Morse, and others argue that neutering marriage will accelerate or impede the reversal of the trend toward the deinstitutionalizalization of marriage, which will entail huge costs to society. If the short term gain for same-sex couples and dependents comes at the price of long-term harm to society (which has nothing to do with homosexuality by the way), which includes themselves, it is not good public policy. Their legitimate needs will have to be met in some other way.

  11. January 1st, 2011 at 13:34 | #11

    Here are the references for my writing submitted just a bit before:
    American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
    http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/sexual_orientation_gender_identity_and_civil_rights

    American Psychiatric Association
    http://archive.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/200502.pdf

    American Psychological Association
    http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/gay-marriage.pdf

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/118/1/349

    National Association of Social Workers
    http://www.socialworkers.org/diversity/lgb/062804.asp

    American Anthropological Association
    http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Statement-on-Marriage-and-the-Family.cfm

    Child Welfare League of America
    http://www.cwla.org/programs/culture/glbtqposition.htm

    North American Council on Adoptable Children
    http://www.nacac.org/policy/lgbtq.html

    American Psychoanalytic Association
    http://www.apsa.org/ABOUTAPSAA/POSITIONSTATEMENTS/MARRIAGERESOLUTION/tabid/470/Default.aspx

  12. chrisse
    January 1st, 2011 at 15:10 | #12

    @Kate O’Hanlan, MD
    Would these be the same experts who were proclaiming sexual relations between children and adults not necessarily harmful and that it was society’s attitude that caused the harm? Alfred Kinsey has a lot to answer for. In the 1970s and 1980s they were supporting paedophilia, now they are supporting same sex marriage with the obvious right of adoption.

    Kate, do you accept “adult sexual relationships” with children as normal sexual behaviour too?

  13. Fred
    January 1st, 2011 at 16:08 | #13

    @Kate O’Hanlan, MD

    1. Please cite your studies. I’ll be happy to demonstrate their limitations to those here without a scientific background.

    2. APA and others considered homosexuality “normal” as a matter of politics. With enough lobbying, they could consider bipolar, MDD, and other conditions “normal.”

    3. I do think same sex attraction has a biological basis. However, just because one HAS A biologically predisposition, doesn’t mean one has to act upon it.

    4. No one is being discriminatory by refusing to alter the definition of marriage the same as it has been through all of recorded human history.

    5. Construct any legal protections you want for your relationship — that’s fine. However, don’t expect us to call it a marriage — that would simply be a lie.

  14. Jamie
    January 1st, 2011 at 16:38 | #14

    @chrisse

    It is called ADOPTION, CHRISSE. Or perhaps they were made the legal parents by the child’s deceased parents.

    You are being foolish. The people Kate refers to are scientists who have done research on sexual orientation. Seriously, the American Psychological Association is the only legitimate association of psychology in America.

    Tell me where you are getting your data that homosexuals are inferior. And no Bibles or common sense. Psychology often disproves common sense.

  15. Sean
    January 1st, 2011 at 19:37 | #15

    Brandon, what harms do you perceive, when same-sex marriage is legalized? Even the Prop 8 defense witness said America would be a better place when same-sex marriage became legal, and America’s gay families would be better off!

    Unless and until you and your allies against marriage equality can articulate the harms that will befall our country when same-sex marriage is legal, your odds of maintaining marriage for straight people only are slim.

  16. January 1st, 2011 at 23:32 | #16

    Thanks for asking Chrisse. My thinking is that our current civil marriage laws should apply to all same-gender adult couples in the same way that they now apply to opposite gender adult couples.
    Pedophilia is often confused with sexual orientation. Pedophila is a learned proclivity (usually pedophiles were themselves molested) that is not orientation-bound. Pedophiles molest both genders even though 98% of pedophiles are heterosexual males. Sexual orientation is an innate (not learned, entirely unchangeable) attraction to one or the other gender, and is permanently fixed int the brain circuitry during the first trimester of pregnancy.
    Below are the national organizations’ policy statements and explanations about their endorsements of same-sex civil marriage. They seem quite sound to me. Please visit the websites below:
    American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
    http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/sexual_orientation_gender_identity_and_civil_rights

    American Psychiatric Association
    http://archive.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/200502.pdf

    American Psychological Association
    http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/gay-marriage.pdf

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/118/1/349

    National Association of Social Workers
    http://www.socialworkers.org/diversity/lgb/062804.asp

    American Anthropological Association
    http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Statement-on-Marriage-and-the-Family.cfm

    Child Welfare League of America
    http://www.cwla.org/programs/culture/glbtqposition.htm

    North American Council on Adoptable Children
    http://www.nacac.org/policy/lgbtq.html

    American Psychoanalytic Association
    http://www.apsa.org/ABOUTAPSAA/POSITIONSTATEMENTS/MARRIAGERESOLUTION/tabid/470/Default.aspx

  17. January 2nd, 2011 at 09:13 | #17

    Thanks for your question, Chrisse. I accept and support the marriage laws as they are currently written, simply revised to include same-sex adult couples along with opposite sex couples.

    Below are the references for my writing above. Please visit these websites, as they are more eloquent and research-based than my short writings, and they represent national consensus from national groups. not outliers or fringe thinking.

    American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
    http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/sexual_orientation_gender_identity_and_civil_rights

    American Psychiatric Association
    http://archive.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/200502.pdf

    American Psychological Association
    http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/gay-marriage.pdf

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/118/1/349

    National Association of Social Workers
    http://www.socialworkers.org/diversity/lgb/062804.asp

    American Anthropological Association
    http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Statement-on-Marriage-and-the-Family.cfm

    Child Welfare League of America
    http://www.cwla.org/programs/culture/glbtqposition.htm

    North American Council on Adoptable Children
    http://www.nacac.org/policy/lgbtq.html

    American Psychoanalytic Association
    http://www.apsa.org/ABOUTAPSAA/POSITIONSTATEMENTS/MARRIAGERESOLUTION/tabid/470/Default.aspx

  18. Sean
    January 2nd, 2011 at 10:23 | #18

    “As it is impossible for same-sex couples to procreate naturally, it is impossible to “screw” these non-existent kids.”

    Wow, children being raised by same-sex parents are non-existent? It’s not enough to demonize gay people but now you want to diminish their children? I’m curious, are the adopted children of infertile couples also “non-existent”? The depths of hatred, and the acceptable collateral damage, of homophobes is astonishing!

  19. January 2nd, 2011 at 11:52 | #19

    Sean, why not Civil Unions defined as “marriage minus procreation rights?” In what way would those fall short, as far as giving all the rights and benefits and protections and obligations of marriage except, obviously, not protecting a right to procreate offspring together?

  20. chrisse
    January 2nd, 2011 at 12:37 | #20

    Jamie and Sean, your replies have not addressed the issues raised. Name-calling, ignoring the argument, suibstituting your preferred argument onto the other. Projecting onto others your own insecurities is not valid.

    My argument is that there is no naturally occuring situation whereby same-sex attracted people have children. There are the extremely rare exceptions in family breakdown whereby a homosexual family member may be the only person to take on the care of the children – extremely rare for a group that are at most only 4% of the population. Other than that the State has to re-define what it is to be human to create the problem it then needs to force by law in order to normalise. If psychiatrists/psychologists can come up with yet another theory for chatterers in order to justify this, all the better; however as with the previous theory on adult/child sexual relations they came up with, their theorising is not stable enough to justify re-defining what it is to be human due to the damage these theories cause.

    My argument is that as a woman, homosexual males mimicking heterosexual sexual activity substituting the vagina with the anus is derogatory and hateful towards the very essence of what it is to be a woman – a disordered state of mind. From what I’ve seen from your arguments so far, I have no right to be offended by this. I disagree. However, this issue was only raised in response to your resorting to argument by name-calling in order to silence the debate.

    In order to get the solution you want, you have to artificially create using the State playing Caeser the problem.

  21. January 2nd, 2011 at 15:51 | #21

    Sean
    You are twisting people’s words.
    “It is impossible for same-sex couples to procreate naturally” does not equal “children being raised by same-sex parents are non-existent,” as you surely know.
    Cut it out. Now.

  22. Sean
    January 2nd, 2011 at 17:33 | #22

    @Chrisse

    “My argument is that there is no naturally occuring situation whereby same-sex attracted people have children.”

    Ok, so what? Why did procreational abilities suddenly become important, and where were you when infertile couples and elderly couples decided to get married? This is a red-herring issue: you’ve found something same-sex couples can’t do, and put it front and center, where it never was before. No state has ever asked a couple to reproduce in order to get, or stay, married. Why segregate same-sex couples from the non-procreational subset of eligible couples to marry?

    “the State has to re-define what it is to be human to create the problem it then needs to force by law in order to normalise.”

    This one takes today’s numbskull award! Gay people aren’t human? Since when does reproducing make someone human? How are infertile couples, elderly couples and couples who don’t want kids supposed to take that?

    “In order to get the solution you want, you have to artificially create using the State playing Caeser the problem.”

    Huh? How is a committed same-sex couple getting married “artificial”? Marriage is a creation for of the state, in modern times. The state already “owns” marriage and determines who may and may not marry. In fact, prohibiting same-sex marriage actually increases the burden of the state, as Massachusetts noted, because it has to keep separate sets of rules for married same-sex couples and married opposite-sex couples, for purposes of federal benefits. States that use domestic partnerships and civil unions instead of marriage, for same-sex couples, face these same kinds of administrative burdens.

  23. Sean
    January 2nd, 2011 at 17:35 | #23

    @JRM:

    My point is that the children of same-sex couples stand to benefit from marriages many advantages to couples and children, just as much as the children of opposite-sex marriage. The security of a legalized relationship is important for children. If you oppose same-sex marriage, then you oppose security for the children of same-sex couples. And I can’t imagine why, other than a hefty income advocating this sordid public policy.

  24. Sean
    January 2nd, 2011 at 17:41 | #24

    This may be a newsflash to folks at NOM but a lot of families, parents and siblings of gay people want their gay children and gay sibling to find love and security in their lifetimes, and a big part of that means having a formal, committed relationship with someone they love. If they love someone of the same sex, so be it. I’ve seen the heartache in my mother’s eyes when she sees two of her grandchildren raised out of wedlock by my brother and his partner. I worry about what those kids think about a society that tells them their parents are defective and not worthy of what other kids’ parents have. They’re still a little young to completely process this kind of rejection, but soon enough, they’ll be curious and express themselves as to why society doesn’t like their dads.

    I wish you people could come to terms with the heartache you cause for so many people, not just the gay couples you seem to have so much disdain for.

  25. Jamie
    January 2nd, 2011 at 18:10 | #25

    @chrisse
    The uh, theory to which you refer was developed by Freud. It has, and never had, a scientific basis. He didn’t research, he didn’t experiment, he just thought. Such was the terrible nature of pre-behaviorist psychology. Luckily, we threw them all out. He actually believed that men wanted to sleep with their mothers, simply because he did. Anyway, I can see where your distrust came from. I felt very much the same way until I began researching it. These are not theories, ma’am, they are conclusions reached through legitimate research. I will not, however, be accused of trying to end the debate via name calling. You have a right to be offended, but that does not mean that your offense is legitimate. I can be offended by another’s religion, and that is my right. But that does not mean that my offense is legitimate. Now, I cannot make this more clear. Homosexuals of either sex do not attempt to mimic heterosexual behavior. I am a woman, and I have never felt that homosexuals are trying to substitute the anus for the vagina, nor that they hate women. I honestly haven’t the slightest idea of where you get that idea from.

    Back to psychologists. We are, yes, redefining what it means to be human everyday. Everyday, we learn more and more about humans that goes against all common sense. We aren’t creating problems. I have looked at these studies and I assure you they are legitimate.

    I truley have to know why you feel that A) Homosexual males are mimicking heterosex and B) why you feel you should be offended by this?

    Homosexuals have (in almost all cases) involuntary feelings for their own sex, same as heterosexuals for the opposite. They can control who and what they desire as much as you. No-one has the right to make them follow their holy book. Now, how can these homosexuals, making love to each other, engaging in the most meaningful act we humans can engage in with one another, offend you? And how can tow women copulating not? Should it not offend men?

    @Jennifer Roback Morse
    “It is impossible for same-sex couples to procreate naturally” does not equal “children being raised by same-sex parents are non-existent,” as you surely know.

    Chrisse was the one who made that conclusion, ma’am. Sean simply restated it.

  26. Mark
    January 3rd, 2011 at 06:19 | #26

    Kate O’Hanlan, MD , Welcome! Nice to see some rational information! Met you several years ago and was impressed with you then.

  27. Mark
    January 3rd, 2011 at 06:40 | #27

    chrisse: “Would these be the same experts who were proclaiming sexual relations between children and adults not necessarily harmful and that it was society’s attitude that caused the harm?”

    Please do not so loudly proclaim your ignorance. There is a huge difference between same sex attraction and pedophilia.

  28. Sean
    January 3rd, 2011 at 07:53 | #28

    “Why would anyone take a stand that goes against the policies of America’s child, family and mental health experts?”

    What a great question! Anyone at NOM/RI care to take a stab at that one?

  29. Frank
    January 3rd, 2011 at 08:04 | #29

    Jennifer,

    In the spirit of the New Year, it would be awesome if you acknowledged that the folks who support gay marriage are overwhelmingly pro-marriage, too. I’ve said several times on this blog and others that my (heterosexual) marriage is the centerpiece of my life, and I can point to a hundred different ways it’s good for both me and my community. This is *why* I support gay marriage.

    And my arguments have their echoes in the writings of a number of prominent gay marriage advocates, from Jonathan Rauch to Andrew Sullivan to Rob Tisinai (who sometimes comments here). Folks I know you’ve read. Neither they, nor I, think of marriage as a “pointless vestigial social institution”. And you will never catch us arguing that marriage is insignificant to children or society, or writing that “kids would be better off without their biological fathers,” or “denying all significance to biological fatherhood or motherhood.”

    I appreciate that you and the rest of the bloggers on this site are civil, thoughtful, and make your arguments from concern for society rather than bigotry. But it would be great if you could recognize exactly who opposes you, and why we oppose you.

  30. Bob Barnes
    January 3rd, 2011 at 08:09 | #30

    Jamie :
    @Sean
    It is interesting to note, as well, that pro-proponents seem to favor laze-fair, except of course on moral issues.

    And here of course is the example of the anti-gay rhetoric that is always used by the NOM crowd. Why do you even try to suggest that there is nothing anti-gay about about the anti-SSM movement?

  31. Bob Barnes
    January 3rd, 2011 at 08:16 | #31

    Brandon :
    @Sean
    Strawman.
    I think it is fairly obvious that neutering marriage would benefit same-sex couples and the children they care for. The question is “At what cost?” Gallagher, Blankerhorn, Morse, and others argue that neutering marriage will accelerate or impede the reversal of the trend toward the deinstitutionalizalization of marriage, which will entail huge costs to society.

    Yes, they argue but have no proof, cause there is no proof. We saw in the Prop 8 trial not one witness could produce anything to prove such a silly statement.

  32. Mark
    January 3rd, 2011 at 09:48 | #32

    Oh, and Ms. Morse, if NOM would stop spending large amounts of money to overturn same-sex marriage in places like New Hampshire, I might buy your statement that you are not anti-gay. But, until then, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

  33. Ruth
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:08 | #33

    @Jennifer Roback Morse
    “My chapter was called, ‘Why unilateral divorce has no place in a free society.’”
    Making it much more difficult for one spouse to end a divorce is truly our most important marriage issue.
    As they stand now, our marriage laws represent progress over a period of thousands of years. Ending a marriage should contain huge legal disincentives, since its impact on society is so great.

  34. jake
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:46 | #34

    This is a series of outrageous lies on the part of the author. Shame on her. She makes her living, as does Maggie Gallagher (who does not seem ever to use her married name which strikes me as odd seeing as how she’s always lecturing everyone else on how they should be living but does not seem to follow her own advice) and the Brian person mentioned here. NOM has not released either its income tax returns, a federal offense, nor its lists of donors even it has been ordered to do so in court.

    NOM and the so-called Ruth Institute have launched a torrent of deceit on Gay Americans as we try to go about our lives. A torrent of the most vile and deceitful filth has been dumped on us by this author and her cohorts. Her view of marriage is a fantasy with no basis in either history or fact. But she cannot be argued with. Because she makes too much money spreading this garbage.

    Shame on you.

  35. January 3rd, 2011 at 11:32 | #35

    Sean, you are the one preventing same-sex couples from getting the legal protections and social recognition they and their kids need. When you ignore my suggestion, you ignore them. Those kids don’t need their parents to have procreation rights to create biological offspring together, but apparently that’s all you care about. You are being incredibly cruel, and dishonest.

  36. Mark
    January 3rd, 2011 at 12:53 | #36

    Ruth: “Ending a marriage should contain huge legal disincentives, since its impact on society is so great.”

    Yes, because keeping a man or woman in an abusive relationship is SO much better than divorce.

  37. Jamie
    January 3rd, 2011 at 13:55 | #37

    @Bob Barnes

    I’m sorry, are you suggesting I’m anti gay marriage? I legitimately do not understand what it is you are trying to say. But I agree with you; have you seen the videos of NOM president fighting to show his tax returns etc? Funny stuff.

    @John Howard

    You sir, are slandering Sean. Quit trying to make him out to be the bad guy. You are not even making sense. You whole gametes thing has no basis in natural law either. So, please, stop.

  38. Brandon
    January 3rd, 2011 at 14:16 | #38

    Sean :
    Brandon, what harms do you perceive, when same-sex marriage is legalized? Even the Prop 8 defense witness said America would be a better place when same-sex marriage became legal, and America’s gay families would be better off!

    The harms would be those which we already see from the deinstitutionalization of marriage, say in the ghettos of some inner cities where the marriage culture has all but disappeared. Ms. Morse highlighted increased fatherlessness in this post. These are the standard answers. I don’t have anything to add to what the authors mentioned in this post have already. I refer you to their works.

    One small clarification to your paraphrase of Mr. Blankenhorn. His exact language was “I believe that today the principle of equal human dignity must apply to gay and lesbian persons. In that sense insofar as we are a nation founded on this principle, we would be more, American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.” Future of Marriage, p.2 So the statement is qualified. America would be “more American” on that day, but then he explains in the rest of the book his concerns about the effects on marriage in the long run.

    Unless and until you and your allies against marriage equality can articulate the harms that will befall our country when same-sex marriage is legal, your odds of maintaining marriage for straight people only are slim.

    I don’t see that there has been any problem with natural marriage proponents articulating the harms. There is plenty of that on this site. What I see is that the arguments are routinely ignored or distorted. Instead the attention is given to those who instead focus on the homosexuality.

  39. Brandon
    January 3rd, 2011 at 14:19 | #39

    @Brandon
    Corrections:
    “…what the authors mentioned in this post have already *said*”
    “… instead focus on the homosexuality *issue*”

    gotta read what I write before I post it.

  40. Mark
    January 3rd, 2011 at 14:38 | #40

    John Howard: Marriage is not a contract solely for procreation rights.

  41. Brandon
    January 3rd, 2011 at 15:04 | #41

    Bob Barnes :
    Yes, they argue but have no proof, cause there is no proof.

    Yes, unfortunately a cultural change like the deinstitutionalization is something that can take a long time, like a generation or two. It would be nice if we had conclusive proof either way about the effects of legalizing SSM. There are several countries that have legalized SSM, but only for a decade at the longest. The proof there is inconclusive at best, mostly because the time is still too short. So while we don’t have much empirical proof that legalizing SSM would be harmful, we don’t have much to say that it won’t be either.

    What we don’t want to do is repeat what we did with no-fault divorce. We made a sweeping change to marriage. Experts played cheerleader about how great it would be. But now several decades later, 1/4 of all Americans are children of divorce and there is growing concensus on the ill effects of that change in public policy. Reversing the damage seems almost impossible. It’s not like it was impossible to foresee the consequences of no-fault divorce. But there was scant empirical data to prove theoretical conjecture and few people actually argued against the policy.

    We saw in the Prop 8 trial not one witness could produce anything to prove such a silly statement.

    Is the court really the place to settle these kinds of questions? What about the statement is silly?

  42. Sean
    January 3rd, 2011 at 16:51 | #42

    “Sean, you are the one preventing same-sex couples from getting the legal protections and social recognition they and their kids need.”

    Yeah, right, I’m the reason same-sex couples can’t get married, and their kids can’t enjoy the same family security that the kids of opposite-sex couples get. It’s all my fault. NOM and the RI have nothing to do with it, and their various hate allies.

  43. Leland
    January 3rd, 2011 at 17:48 | #43

    @Sean

    “Why would anyone take a stand that goes against the policies of America’s child, family and mental health experts?”

    What a great question! Anyone at NOM/RI care to take a stab at that one?

    Someone already has, if you’ll think about it, Sean. See number 2 of Fred’s comment:

    @Fred

    2. APA and others considered homosexuality “normal” as a matter of politics. With enough lobbying, they could consider bipolar, MDD, and other conditions “normal.”

    So exactly which “ …policies of America’s child, family and mental health experts…” are you and Dr. O’Hanlan talking about, Sean? Those appearing in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual now? Or before 1973? Is it your position that homosexuality actually was in fact a mental disorder for as long as “…America’s child, family and mental health experts…” continued to define it as such? Do you contend that changing the DSM magically altered the nature of homosexuality?

    Would either of you care to recount for us how gay ‘activists’ used counterfeited credentials to gain entry to the APA’s 1970 and 1971 conventions, engaged in storm trooper tactics to disrupt the proceedings, shouted down and physically intimidated any speakers who contradicted their position on homosexuality, and made it clear that they would continue to make it impossible for APA conventions to function in the future until they got what they wanted?

    Or would you rather just discuss the Appeal to Authority Fallacy?

  44. chrisse
    January 3rd, 2011 at 19:44 | #44

    It is clear that the same-sex marriage proponents only have emotive and innovative arguments to support their position which can only be sustained within our current caustic society with its artificial human rights concepts which don’t simply ignore natural law, but seek to replace natural law with an imagined Frankenstinian utopia.

    So they rely on the now meaningless terms – bigot, hater. I’m sure they’ll start with the racist canard soon, racist means nothing or anything you want now as well.

    They also rely on projecting their own cognitive biases into the arguments of those opposing same-sex marriage.

    It’s really simple. Never, in known human history, have their been same-sex relationships for the purpose of raising children. There have been same-sex relationships as a method of pure sexual pleasure to avoid pregnancy, examples would be the ancient Roman and Greek Empires. There have been same-sex relationships where the culture is dysfunctional, example is today in Afghanistan where the separation of the sexes has led to young boys serving as “girls”, complete with girly appearance. But for the procreation and raising of children, never.

    This is because it is against Mother Nature’s design, and is a disordered expression of our human nature. If it offends you to be told you are disordered, so be it. Many people with a disorder do not like to hear that. However, being told it is disordered is not the same as being told you are hated.

  45. chrisse
    January 3rd, 2011 at 19:52 | #45

    @Mark
    Yes Mark. We know that homosexuals are now sacred cows whose behaviour must be protected at all costs – even to the cost of children.

    Of the 4% of the priesthood who were alleged to have sexually abused children, the majority of that 4% were active homosexual males. And it was ephobelia, not paedeophilia, but paedophilia sounds so much more horrible when you don’t really care about sexual abuse and just want to attack the Church. Of course, it goes without saying that ephobelia within the heterosexual community is protected (something I also argue against).

    Of the 96% of the remaining priesthood, there are men who would be considered homosexual but are keeping their vows with devotion.

    Now, you will say I am claiming all homosexuals are paedophiles. I am not. I am demanding that the issue of adult male attraction to post-pubescent boys (ephobelia) be discussed before we start handing over children to them. The only reason for the focus on same-sex here is because that is the topic I’m responding to.

  46. Heidi
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:13 | #46

    @ John Howard: procreation is a constitutional right. If you want to deny some the right to procreate, you’d better start working on amending the Constitution.

  47. January 4th, 2011 at 09:42 | #47

    Sean, you’re the reason same-sex couples don’t have Civil Unions with all the benefits and protections and recognition of marriage except the right to procreate offspring together, using their own genes. If you accepted that same-sex couples should not have the same rights as married couples, and started promoting the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise instead of insisting on equal procreation rights with someone of the same sex, it really would lead to a breakthrough, starting right here on this blog, which would help those families and their children.

    It’s just a matter of wanting them to have the protections they need, rather than wanting to have same-sex procreation rights. Which do you want? “Both” isn’t helping them, and it is a really bad situation.

  48. January 4th, 2011 at 09:46 | #48

    Heidi, yes, procreation is a constitutional right, but not with anyone. Not with siblings, not with children, not with someone you’re not married to (though that’s a different argument), and not with someone of the same sex. All people have a right to be straight and marry and procreate, but some people just don’t accomplish that, or desire that. I am not married and procreating, but I sure have a right to try to do so, if I wanted to. Same with Mark and Sean.

  49. January 4th, 2011 at 09:51 | #49

    Jamie, I’m not slandering Sean, he has admitted he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to procreate offspring together, whenever a lab offers them a way to do it. Having that right is his top priority, more important than getting all the other benefits with Civil Unions with federal recognition for every same-sex couple in the country.

  50. January 4th, 2011 at 09:57 | #50

    Mark :
    John Howard: Marriage is not a contract solely for procreation rights.

    Did I say “solely”? Procreation rights are the essential component of marriage though. We shouldn’t strip everyone’s procreation rights from their marriage and make it possible to prohibit a married couple from using their own genes to procreate offspring. All marriages should be allowed to procreate offspring together, same-sex couples should be prohibited from doing that.

  51. Bob Barnes
    January 4th, 2011 at 10:52 | #51

    @Brandon

    Yes, the court is the BEST place to settle such matter. In the court you have back what you say and with evidence. So far the Pro SSM is batting a thousand… you let me know when when the opposition has something stronger that opinion, gossip and thinly veil religious demagogy.

  52. Sean
    January 4th, 2011 at 11:12 | #52

    Leland, I think children deserve a little more consideration than merely sweeping away the advice of experts. On what basis do all reputable medical organizations that advocate for same-sex marriage have it wrong? Because they don’t support your point of view?

    It reminds me of NOM’s revenge against Iowa judges. When one points out that all seven Iowa Supreme Court judges, plus a lower court judge, found that Iowa’s constitution required treating gay Iowans equally as straight Iowans, NOM went ballistic, claiming they were “activist” judges, “legislating from the bench.”

    It’s hard to believe that all eight judges misunderstood Iowa’s constitution! But I guess if you’re in the faith-based realm, you practice believing all sorts of unlikely things!

  53. Vast Variety
    January 4th, 2011 at 12:11 | #53

    “say in the ghettos of some inner cities where the marriage culture has all but disappeared. ”

    The loss of the “marriage culture” in those areas has nothing to do with same sex couples and more to with poverty. Allowing two guys to get married does no harm to the institution of marriage. In fact it strengthens it as it provides a legitimate path of gays and lesbians to avoid the more destructive activities that are side product of a society that demonizes and shuns them.

    “Where do same-sex couples get their children? The answer is by action of the state ”

    Same sex couples can get their children through almost as many different ways as heterosexual couples can. That includes natural procreation, adoption, as well as the more clinical options like artificial insemination, and surrogates. If you want to be technical about it Heterosexual couples get their children also through an action of the state. That action being the filing of a birth certificate.

  54. Jamie
    January 4th, 2011 at 12:44 | #54

    @chrisse

    “Now, you will say I am claiming all homosexuals are paedophiles. I am not. I am demanding that the issue of adult male attraction to post-pubescent boys (ephobelia) be discussed before we start handing over children to them. The only reason for the focus on same-sex here is because that is the topic I’m responding to.”

    Cool. It has been. Homosexuals are no more likely to engage in pedophilia than heterosexuals

    This is because it is against Mother Nature’s design, and is a disordered expression of our human nature. If it offends you to be told you are disordered, so be it. Many people with a disorder do not like to hear that. However, being told it is disordered is not the same as being told you are hated.

    Cept, its not a disorder. What you are saying is, quite frankly, untrue. Your beliefs are wrong.

  55. chrisse
    January 4th, 2011 at 13:53 | #55

    Heidi :@ John Howard: procreation is a constitutional right. If you want to deny some the right to procreate, you’d better start working on amending the Constitution.

    I’m sorry, did this “Constitution” of yours come down from some higher source? It is a human created document which requires you to take it out of its context and time and insert into it what was never intended or imagined.

    Where in this constitutional right to procreate do you get the right to artificially create human beings for the whims of individuals who reject the natural design of mother nature for humans to procreate?

    Where in this constitutional right to procreate do you get the right to deny the rights of the unborn to be treated as human beings with their own rights or whatever limited rights you decide to allow them, such rights being of less value and subjugated by rights you create for individuals you choose?

  56. Mark
    January 4th, 2011 at 14:04 | #56

    chrisse: “We know that homosexuals are now sacred cows whose behaviour (sic) must be protected at all costs – even to the cost of children.”

    Not sure where this came from, but chill a bit. Homosexuals are no more sacred cows then heterosexuals it just is that YOU see a big difference because you do not feel gays are the same as heteros, that gays are somehow inferior. Sad.

    “I am demanding that the issue of adult male attraction to post-pubescent boys (ephobelia) be discussed before we start handing over children to them. ”

    What about the issue of adult male attraction to post-pubescent girls? Your obvious disgust and hatred for gays has you so clouded, you are speaking nonsense. STUDY AFTER STUDY shows same sex parents are just as good as opposite sex parents. That is ALL that matters, not your attempt to derive some absolute truth about homosexuals from a group of priests in a religion that has lost all touch with it’s creation.

  57. Jamie
    January 4th, 2011 at 15:28 | #57

    @chrisse

    Way to avoid the point.

    I’m sorry, did this “Constitution” of yours come down from some higher source? It is a human created document which requires you to take it out of its context and time and insert into it what was never intended or imagined.

    Its the law of the land, not your Bible, which, I feel compelled to inform you, holds no sway in the legal, logical, or ethical fields, beyond the value of what is stated in there. Ergo, it is not holy, and yeah, I’m going to say it was probably not written by God, or divine in any way, shape or form. I’d value the painstakingly written Constitution, which was designed to protect and empower us, over your religious text. Should have figured you for being pro-original intent.

    Congrats, you win the unempathetic, moronic, and foolish awards. No, that is not ad hominem. I am not attacking your argument via your character, I am doing the opposite. Its not a logical fallacy to say that because a man argues to kill all Jews he is a genocidal monster, nor to say that because a man believes that the earth is flat, he is uneducated or ignorant. Also, based on your previous statements, I’d say that you are pretty hateful and angry, and unreasonably so. When I kiss a girl, it is not to make a mockery or to mimic heterosex interactions, nor is it a symptom of a disorder, and neither is it when too men kiss.

    God, I am so curious to hear what you think of transexuals, pansexuals, and the transgendered and genderqueer.

  58. Heidi
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:02 | #58

    “Where in this constitutional right to procreate do you get the right to deny the rights of the unborn to be treated as human beings with their own rights or whatever limited rights you decide to allow them, such rights being of less value and subjugated by rights you create for individuals you choose?”

    Excuse me chrisse, but don’t talk to me about depriving children of rights. My youngest daughter is not my biological child, but she is my biological niece. Her mother, my sister, is a drug addict who cannot care for her own children, and her father is a drug dealer. Neither of them are capable of or willing to take care of their own child, so my partner and I stepped in to care for this beautiful infant. We would very much like to be married, and my daughters would like for us to get married, but unfortunately, people who are closed-minded and cruel have prevented that from happening.

  59. Alex
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:06 | #59

    @chrisse
    Is purpose of civil marriage merely procreation? It is not. It is legal recognition of the relationship of an exclusive adult couple (with the possibility of procreation for some of these couples). In reality people get married for a variety of reasons. Everyone agrees that same-sex couples cannot procreate, but many other types of couples that can legally get married also cannot procreate. Additionally, marriage is not needed for procreation, and many well-adjusted children grow up in single-parent or same-sex parent-couple households. While it would be very nice for all children to grow up in a household with both their mother and their father, that is simply not realistic in many situations, and that issue has nothing whatsoever to do with whether it should be legally permissible for same-sex couples to get married.

    Many same-sex couples who choose to get married do not have, or intend to have, children, so the issue of proper living arrangements for raising children is irrelevant for those couples. Some couples might legally adopt children (usually rescuing those children from horrible situations created by their biological parents), and those children (according to the American Pediatric Assocation) usually turn out very well (better off than if they had not been adopted). Other same-sex couples have children resulting from prior heterosexual relationships. Those heterosexual relationships are usually only the result of gay people hiding (or trying to repress) their sexuality due to social pressures (not because they were ever straight). Former New Jersey Governor, Jim McGreevey is a good example of this situation, and his poor ex-wife suffered because he needed to appear heterosexual for his political ambitions. He had sleazy liasons with men while married, but now he finally is in an honest relationship.

    As to your concern as a woman about gay men not having vaginal intercourse, bear in mind that gay men are men who are only attracted to men. I am not sure if you know any gay men, but if you do, ask them what they are attracted to. The gay men I know tell me that they are only attracted to masculine features. They are not substituting the anus for the vagina. They are simply having sex with the person to whom they are attracted. By the way, it is also possible for heterosexuals to have anal intercourse, so this issue is not about gay people. Lesbians, by the way, do not usually have anal intercourse. Basically, I’m telling you that you don’t need to worry that gay men are “insulting” women

  60. Heidi
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:07 | #60

    You see, we didn’t have to create a child to have one of our own. The biological heterosexual parents failed this child. Good thing she had us to love, protect and raise her. Now, she’s a happy and healthy child with two moms: Mama Heidi and Mommy T. But, if I or she wanted a biological child, we have every right to go find some sperm and make it happen. Alas, I am infertile, but still, the point remains. Of course, being infertile, nothing would prevent me from marrying a man off the street tomorrow. But heaven forbid that I marry the one person that I love. The hypocrisy and cruelty of your side astounds me.

  61. Leo
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:08 | #61

    Sean asks “Why did procreational abilities suddenly become important?”

    I would ask why did they suddenly become unimportant? Humanity is always just one generation from extinction, and a society that does not reproduce itself is doomed. The fertility rate has fallen below the replacement rate in Europe and the U.S. That fact is only masked by immigration from countries with traditional marriage.

  62. Heidi
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:09 | #62

    Mark, Jamie, Sean, et al., I applaud you for fighting the good fight with reason, science, logic and compassion. Unfortunately, those opposed to equality don’t seem to understand any of these qualities.

  63. Leo
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:23 | #63

    Vast variety writes

    “Same sex couples can get their children through almost as many different ways as heterosexual couples can. That includes natural procreation…”

    A same sex couple cannot do that without the aid of a third party. That third party is the actual father or mother. This is like polygamy but with the legal exclusion of one of the parents and the legal deprivation to the child of its father or mother and the legal deprivation of that parent to the child.

    Filing a birth certificate does not create children. Heterosexual sex does. It is the only kind of sex that does. The filing of a birth certificate recognizes a natural fact that predates the modern state. It does not make a state-imposed reassignment. There is a fundamental difference. The people have the right to alter a government that does not or cannot recognize such a difference. Otherwise, the state and the courts become all powerful and the people mere slaves of the state.

  64. Sean
    January 4th, 2011 at 18:47 | #64

    I, for one, want to take this opportunity to applaud fertile opposite-sex couples for their child-producing abilities! What a gift to society, to create a child. Yes, I realize most of you are having sex and spending billions annually on birth control and abortion to AVOID creating a children, but no matter.

    Still, your selfless act of creating children for society has not gone unnoticed by me. You deserve to be rewarded, perhaps with a medal or something. Your relationship deserves special status, evidently, even if you never produce or can’t produce, a single baby! Since most marriages lack children, I’m still struggling to understand how marriage is about procreation. Oh well, I’m stay tuned, and try to learn.

  65. Jamie
    January 4th, 2011 at 18:50 | #65

    @Heidi

    Heidi, if there are two people on this blog I truly admire, it is you and Nerdygirl. Always level headed, logical, and very open minded. The world would be better with more women like you. Good luck with your partner and your adopted children <3

  66. Jamie
    January 4th, 2011 at 18:56 | #66

    @Leo

    Filing a birth certificate does not create children. Heterosexual sex does. It is the only kind of sex that does. The filing of a birth certificate recognizes a natural fact that predates the modern state. It does not make a state-imposed reassignment. There is a fundamental difference. The people have the right to alter a government that does not or cannot recognize such a difference. Otherwise, the state and the courts become all powerful and the people mere slaves of the state.

    I will not be a slave to the will of the masses. I will not let you decide what rights I have.

  67. Tim
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:27 | #67

    You do realize that anyone reading your blog has access to Google and can very quickly find evidence that you are in fact very interested in gay people and that your anti-gay views extend quite a bit beyond marriage, don’t you? What a bunch of b.s.

  68. Tim
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:49 | #68

    #8 wrote: ” The fertility rate has fallen below the replacement rate in Europe and the U.S. That fact is only masked by immigration from countries with traditional marriage.”

    #8, you may have missed the recent alarming news that the world’s population increased by nearly 1 billion people over the past decade. Clearly, humans are reproducing at unsustainable rates. If the human race is going to be extinct (and it’s silly to suggest, as you do, that it could happen in one generation) it will likely be due to over-population, not from under reproduction and certainly not from the existence of same-sex marriage. If the “human extinction” angle is the best you have in your opposition to same-sex marriage, then it’s clearly time to accept that you have in fact lost the debate.

  69. Leo
    January 4th, 2011 at 22:21 | #69

    Humanity as a whole will not become extinct because traditional marriage cultures continue to reproduce. What will disappear is a culture that does not value procreation. Those cultures will be replaced by cultures that do. The failed cultures will have lost the debate. Cultures can change drastically in a generation and disappear in a generation or two. Those individuals who leave no posterity will not be represented in the future gene pool. Their personal genetic lines will become extinct. Winning the debate in such a situation is a kind of Pyrrhic victory.

  70. Brandon
    January 4th, 2011 at 22:31 | #70

    Bob Barnes :
    @Brandon
    Yes, the court is the BEST place to settle such matter. In the court you have back what you say and with evidence. So far the Pro SSM is batting a thousand… you let me know when when the opposition has something stronger that opinion, gossip and thinly veil religious demagogy.

    Just to be clear, the subject matter of my previous comment was whether SSM will contribute to further deinstitutionalization of marriage. If we can settle such questions by simply going to court then perhaps the court is also the BEST place to determine policy for healthcare or the economy?

    It is clear from your characterization of the arguments against SSM that you have not taken the time to understand them. Belittling the arguments does not make them less valid. If you don’t agree with them, why don’t you address them and show why they are not true?

  71. Brandon
    January 4th, 2011 at 22:56 | #71

    Vast Variety :
    “say in the ghettos of some inner cities where the marriage culture has all but disappeared. ”
    The loss of the “marriage culture” in those areas has nothing to do with same sex couples and more to with poverty.

    I did not say that SSM had anything to do with it. With respect to poverty, the loss of marriage culture is a contributing factor. Kay Hymowitz has written extensively on this. Here is a short article that hits the main points of her arguments: The Marriage Gap

    Allowing two guys to get married does no harm to the institution of marriage. In fact it strengthens it as it provides a legitimate path of gays and lesbians to avoid the more destructive activities that are side product of a society that demonizes and shuns them.

    Why does SSM not harm the institution of marriage? That’s a bald assertion. What destructive activities are we talking about? How does helping gays and lesbians avoid destructive activities strengthen marriage?

    If you want to be technical about it Heterosexual couples get their children also through an action of the state. That action being the filing of a birth certificate.

    Really? Where do heterosexual couples get their children where there aren’t birth certificates? You probably didn’t mean that as you actually wrote it.

  72. January 5th, 2011 at 05:55 | #72

    Heidi, that situation with your niece is exactly the same situation as John Lennon’s. He was raised from infancy by his Aunt Mimi, because his mother and father were both unfit (I’m not sure if they were drunks or what). He wrote “Julia” and “mother” about his mom “You had me, but I never had you.”

    My point is, Mimi didn’t call herself his mom, John didn’t call Mimi his mom, and you shouldn’t call yourself your niece’s mom. Your niece will not think of you as her mother, she’ll think of her mother as her mother and you as her aunt. That is nothing to be ashamed of or hide or cover up.

  73. January 5th, 2011 at 10:10 | #73

    Jamie :
    I will not be a slave to the will of the masses. I will not let you decide what rights I have.

    Your selfish irresponsibility is leaving a wide swath of destruction in its wake. Insisting on a right to attempt same-sex procreation is very cruel to children, and will cost us huge amounts of money and result in loss of liberty and cause irreparable catastrophic harm to the environment.

    You also sound just like an 19th Century plantation owner demanding the right to own slaves, on the eve of the Civil War. Don’t put us through that again, just accept that there is a thing known as government, and a common good, and things more important than total freedom to do whatever you want. You don’t have a right to do whatever you want, especially when it comes to creating other people.

  74. January 5th, 2011 at 10:15 | #74

    Heidi, my comment was probably insulting, I apologize. I should commend you for taking in your niece and giving her a stable home. And I even think it’s OK that you are doing it as a lesbian, and with another woman. That’s probably a better situation than being single or having a live-in boyfriend.

  75. Alex
    January 5th, 2011 at 11:06 | #75

    There would be no impact on straight-people marriages if gay people get the right to get married. Straight adults all in love with other straight adults (of the opposite sex), and they decide to get married. Gay adults also fall in love with other gay adults (of the same sex), and they would decide to get married. This issue has nothing to do with children. We are talking only about adult marriages. Also, please provides evidence that legalizing same sex marriage will “deinstitutionalize” marriage.

  76. January 5th, 2011 at 11:50 | #76

    Alex, allowing people to marry someone of the same sex means either allowing people to procreate with someone of the same sex, or it means that marriage doesn’t protect the right to procreate offspring together. Actually, if we allow people to procreate with someone of the same sex, that also leads to straight couples losing their right to use their own unmodified gametes, because it says that marriage’s right to procreate offspring are satisfied by using modified genes. Even if no straight couple is actually prohibited from using their own genes, they all will be coerced by social and medical pressure into screening their genes and substituting modified gametes, or better gametes from a stranger. The only way to protect everyone’s right to procreate with their own genes is to prohibit same-sex marriage and limit procreation to joining the unmodified gametes of a man and a woman.

  77. Heidi
    January 5th, 2011 at 12:36 | #77

    John Howard, thank you for apologizing. Right now, my niece knows us as her moms, and she feels like our daughter. We have never told her what to call us, in fact, we started out referring to ourselves as Aunties, but she spontaneously started calling us mommy, mom and/or mama at age 2. We’re not about to tell this beautiful angel that she can’t do that. Yes, some day she will know about her biological parents, but she will always know that my partner and I are there for her as her real family. Children of same-sex parents, however they are brought into the family, love their parents and family just as much as the children of biological parents and heterosexual adoptive parents and we parents love our children just as much too. This is another reason why we want to marry: to tell the world that we are a loving family too.

  78. Alex
    January 5th, 2011 at 13:01 | #78

    John Howard: Your comments raise the following questions or responses:

    “Alex, allowing people to marry someone of the same sex means either allowing people to procreate with someone of the same sex” —This is not biologically possible. Couples of the same sex either don’t have children, or they add children to their household through adoption, a surrogate, or artificial insemination (many straight couples also use these methods to add children, by the way, so this comment has nothing to do with same-sex marriage). Please note that gay couples (even without the right to marriage) can already legally adopt or have a child through a surrogate or artifical method, and legalizing gay marriage has no bearing on this.

    “or it means that marriage doesn’t protect the right to procreate offspring together.” —The right to procreate offspring exists for everybody now, so legalizing same-sex marriage has no impact on the rights of individuals to procreate. Your comment here makes absolutely no sense.

    “Actually, if we allow people to procreate with someone of the same sex, that also leads to straight couples losing their right to use their own unmodified gametes, because it says that marriage’s right to procreate offspring are satisfied by using modified genes. Even if no straight couple is actually prohibited from using their own genes, they all will be coerced by social and medical pressure into screening their genes and substituting modified gametes, or better gametes from a stranger. The only way to protect everyone’s right to procreate with their own genes is to prohibit same-sex marriage and limit procreation to joining the unmodified gametes of a man and a woman.” —First, you must have a really wild imagination to assume that two guys getting married would lead to laws prohibiting straight couples from naturally procreating or even lead to social pressures causing straight couples to engage in genetic engineering. Please turn off the Sci-Fi channel. Furthermore, your conclusion has no relationship to your arguement’s premise. Existing laboratory-based procreation methods and genetic engineering methods that may, or may not, be possible in the future has nothing to do with legalizing same-sex marriage. Today, unmarried gay couples, unmarried straight couples, and married straight couples are able to use artificial insemination. Genetic engineering may or may not (we hope not) become possible in the future, and straight and gay couples would both be able to use it, regardless of the existance of legal gay marriage.

    In the real world of today, gay and straight couples both have the legal right to add children to their household through adoption or artificial inseminiation. Some straight couples (but not all) also have the physical ability to add children to their household through sexual intercourse. The ability to add children to the household has no bearing on the ability to marry. Children are a periferal issue. Marriage is about two unrelated people sharing their adult lives with eachother (hopefully for the rest of their lives).

  79. January 5th, 2011 at 14:03 | #79

    Alex: “This is not biologically possible.”

    Sure it is possible, it has already been done in mice, though not in a way that would be acceptable to any gay couple or lab to do on humans. But conceptually, it is possible.

    “Please note that gay couples (even without the right to marriage) can already legally adopt or have a child through a surrogate or artifical method, and legalizing gay marriage has no bearing on this.”

    True, those things are not rights of marriage. Marriage is the right to create offspring of the marriage. It should always protect the right and the social approval of creating biological offspring together. Adoption and using modified or substitute gametes don’t satisfy the right of marriage to have children. Saying they are equal completely negates the right to use the couple’s own genes.

  80. Alex
    January 5th, 2011 at 14:52 | #80

    @John Howard
    “Marriage is the right to create offspring of the marriage.” —That is an interesting “circular arguement,” but it is also untrue. Marriage has no bearing on the right to create offspring. Single people have the same right to create offspring as married couples have. Your statement, however, is irrelevant to the question of whether it is ok for gay couples to have the legal right to marry. The right of straight married couples to have and raise their own children is not affected by the legal rights of gay couples.

    Furthermore, I must take issue with your statement that “Adoption … don’t satisfy the right of marriage”. Many married (gay and straight) couples can only have their children through adoption or other non-procreative means. Your statement implies that their households are somehow not a proper famiy. Is that what you intended to say? I hope not.

    As to lab mice and other things that are “conceptually possible”, let’s please focus on the real world, and remember that legalization of gay marriage would have no impact on the ethically questionable activities of some scientists with lab mice.

    I am sorry, but your arguements against gay marriage are very fanciful. More importantly, they fail to justify any moral opposition to the legalization of same sex marriage.

  81. bman
    January 5th, 2011 at 15:32 | #81

    @Heidi

    Heidi :
    …But, if I or she wanted a biological child, we have every right to go find some sperm and make it happen. Alas, I am infertile, but still, the point remains. Of course, being infertile, nothing would prevent me from marrying a man off the street tomorrow. But heaven forbid that I marry the one person that I love. The hypocrisy and cruelty of your side astounds me.

    Marriage presupposes monogamy but begetting a child with a third party undermines the principle of monogamy.

    The individual right to beget a child with a third party does not mean government should formally approve a marriage model that expects non-monogamy as a normal variant.

    Also, the individual right to use a sperm bank does not mean society wants to encourage more of that practice. Indeed, I think society would not want to encourage more of that practice, which is a valid reason to not vote for same sex marriage.

    Whatever behavior society wants to encourage more of is what it should formally approve, and not just everything for which an indivual right may exist.

  82. Alex
    January 5th, 2011 at 16:41 | #82

    @bman
    “The individual right to beget a child with a third party does not mean government should formally approve a marriage model that expects non-monogamy as a normal variant.” — The right to same-sex marriage does not inherantly lead to “non-monogamy”. Most gay couples do not have children and do not plan to have children. Only one third of lesbian couples and one fifth of gay male couples have children. The gay couples that do not have children do not need to be “non-monogamous” Furthermore, adoption and artificial insemination as a way to add children to the household do not lead to “non-monogamy”, so your arguement is invalid.

    I am disturbed that all of the arguements against gay marriage are about gay couples’ abiltiy or inability to have children, since gay couples seek the right of legal marriage largely for other reasons, and since most gay couples do not have children, and since many straight married couples also do not have children. I am still searching for a valid arguement against the legalization of gay marriage, but I cannot find one.

  83. Jamie
    January 5th, 2011 at 19:49 | #83

    WE SHOULD DENY GAYS THE RIGHT TO MARRY THE ONE THEY LOVE BECAUSE SOCIETY SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE THEIR PORNIFIED BEHAVIOR AND THEIR RISKY USE OF GAMETES!!1!!1!

    seriously, I’m pretty fiscally conservative, but don’t the people on wallstreet endanger our society with reckless spending more than roughly 5% of the population marrying and using donated/modifed sperm/eggs?

  84. January 5th, 2011 at 20:13 | #84

    bman, there’s no “individual right” to use sperm donors or third parties to reproduce. The only way there is a right to procreate is with one’s spouse, using each other’s gametes. That’s the only way there an actual “right” to procreate. Every other way is a transgression, and violates the rights of the child, the parents, the grandparents, and the community. We could execute people who create people any other way, if we wanted to, but it’d be disruptive to do that. We choose to deal with unmarried procreation using other measures, but just because we don’t punish it doesn’t make it a right.

  85. January 5th, 2011 at 20:36 | #85

    Alex: “Marriage has no bearing on the right to create offspring. Single people have the same right to create offspring as married couples have.”

    Wrongo! Married couples have a right to create offspring, single people do not actually have a right to do that, they do it without having a right to. Also, the real relevant point is that marriage should always approve and allow the couple to conceive offspring together, no married couples should ever be forced to use donor gametes or modified gametes or forced to adopt. Can you imagine if the Lovings had been allowed to marry but on the condition that they do not miscegenate, they do not create offspring together? That would have been absurd, though it was in fact suggested by eugenicists at the beginning of the 20th century.

    And I am absolutely saying that being forced to use donor gametes or forced to adopt instead of being allowed to have true genetic biological offspring with your chosen spouse is not a proper family, it is unacceptable. It is not fair to the children, and it is not fair to the couple. There is nothing wrong with being childless, it is wrong to manufacture or steal or purchase children. It is good to take in children that need stable homes, but that shouldn’t be seen as the same as having children of your own, it doesn’t make you a father or mother, it makes you a caring generous person.

  86. Jamie
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:57 | #86

    @John Howard

    “We could execute people who create people any other way, if we wanted to, but it’d be disruptive to do that. We choose to deal with unmarried procreation using other measures, but just because we don’t punish it doesn’t make it a right.”

    Dude, you are completely hilarious. Like, I come here often to see the things you say.

  87. JThieme
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:06 | #87

    Jamie – I edited your comment. When I see name calling, it will be removed.

  88. Jamie
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:20 | #88

    @JThieme

    Cool, will you edit lies too? Like the ones chrisse says? I’m sorry I offended him. I get a bit offended by being told i have a mental disorder, or a sexual disorder. Ill just deny his rights! ILL PUT IT IN THE CONSTITUTION.

  89. JThieme
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:32 | #89

    Jamie – I had to edit this one too.

    Whether or not you offended him, I do not know, and I am not going to evaluate every post to make sure it is completely factual. I look for politeness.

    If you don’t like what people say, then my best suggestions are: counter other people rationally; sharpen your thinking skills; be passionate about your cause without being emotional; and avoid name calling. You will win more respect this way, I believe, than with other tactics.

    I am not happy that I had to edit two posts in a row Jamie. Please be more careful.

  90. Alex
    January 6th, 2011 at 17:57 | #90

    @John Howard

    John Howard: Your comments are getting very entertaining. Where do you get the idea that “Married couples have a right to create offspring, single people do not actually have a right to do that, they do it without having a right to” from? When The US Constitution was being read today, I did not hear that mentioned. In my state there is no law against single people having children. From your statement, any single woman who gets pregnant better hurry and have an abortion, because she does not have the right to create offspring.

    On to your main point: “the real relevant point is that marriage should always approve and allow the couple to conceive offspring together, no married couples should ever be forced to use donor gametes or modified gametes or forced to adopt.” There is link between permitting same-sex marriage and any laws that would force married couples to use donor gametes or adopt. Same sex couples would simply go childless (most choose to do that, by the way) or they would adopt or use artificial insemination. Opposite-sex couples would be able to do those things as well, or if they are medically and physicially able, they would have children from sexual intercourse. Legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states plus the US territories would bring no harm to opposite-sex couples.

  91. Ruth
    January 7th, 2011 at 00:58 | #91

    @Alex
    “Legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states plus the US territories would bring no harm to opposite-sex couples.”
    Legalizing same-sex marriage would bring harm to same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples, children, seniors, and people everywhere in the world who are aware of US laws.
    When perversion is celebrated the whole nation suffers, as does that nation’s influence in the world.

  92. January 7th, 2011 at 10:50 | #92

    There is a link, SSM would strip conception rights from all marriages, whether same-sex procreation is prohibited or not. If it is prohibited and same-sex marriages are left standing, that would mean that marriage does not protect the couple’s right to attempt to conceive genetic offspring together. A married couple could be told they must use substitute genes.

    And if same-sex procreation remains legal, then that would mean that using genetically modified gametes is equivalent to using the couples unmodified gametes., whether SSM is prohibited or not

    To preserve the right to procreate with our spouse using both our own unmodified genes, marriage must continue to protect the right to conceive (no marriages can be legally prohibited from conceiving offspring), and using modified genes must also be prohibited.

    It’s simple: if we allow same-sex procreation, we should allow same-sex marriage, and if we allow same-sex marriage, we should allow same-sex procreation. Marriage approves procreation. That’s always the way it has been, that’s always been what’s understood. But we shouldn’t allow either, of course.

  93. bman
    January 7th, 2011 at 12:18 | #93

    @Alex

    bman: The individual right to beget a child with a third party does not mean government should formally approve a marriage model that expects non-monogamy as a normal variant.

    Alex: The right to same-sex marriage does not inherantly lead to “non-monogamy”….

    Your statement is technically correct but its also correct that same sex marriage does not inherently lead to “monogamy”.

    It would seem, then, that same sex marriage does not inherently lead to monogamy or to non-monogamy, making “same sex marriage” flexible either way!

    This marks a significant difference between “same sex marriage” and marriage in inherent meaning.

    Within western society monogamy is inherent to the meaning of marriage, but its not inherent to the meaning of same sex marriage.

    The following article from Psychology Today, Are Gay Male Couples Monogamous Ever After? explains how gays often claim to have a “monogamous” relationship when its actually a non-monogamous relationship by normal definition.

    …I began working with a gay male couple who told me that they were monogamous. After several months, however, they informed me they had had a three-way. When I asked if they had changed from monogamy, they said, “No”…“We are monogamous. We only have three-ways together…I quickly learned to ask what a couple means when they say they’re monogamous…”

    Of course, “a thee way” is not a monogamous relationship even if gays see it as monogamous by “their” definition.

    Another article, An Open Secret: The Truth About Gay Male Couples says,

    …the classic research of McWhirter and Mattison, reported in The Male Couple (1984) … found that not a single male pair was able to maintain fidelity in their relationship for more than five years. Outside affairs, the researchers found, were not damaging to the relationship’s endurance, but were in fact essential to it. “The single most important factor that keeps couples together past the ten-year mark is the lack of possessiveness they feel,” says the authors (p. 256).

    The gay community has long walked a thin public-relations line, presenting their relationships as equivalent to those of heterosexual married couples. But many gay activists portray a very different cultural ethic. Michelangelo Signorile [gay activist] describes the campaign “to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution completely–to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes, but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” (1974, p 3).

    Thus, same sex marriage would, “redefine the institution [of marriage] completely.”

    And, same sex marriage won’t be, “a way of adhering to society’s moral codes,” [such as monogamy] but will effectively transform the institution to conform to gay “moral codes,” i.e., non-monogamy.

  94. bman
    January 7th, 2011 at 12:20 | #94

    The above link to Open Secret is not working: Correct link is: http://www.josephnicolosi.com/an-open-secret-the-truth-about/

  95. Mark
    January 7th, 2011 at 14:10 | #95

    Ruth: “Legalizing same-sex marriage would bring harm to same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples, children, seniors, and people everywhere in the world who are aware of US laws.”

    First off, any proof to this ridiculous statement (especially the part about same-sex couples) and why it would be harmful?

    “When perversion is celebrated the whole nation suffers, as does that nation’s influence in the world.”

    I would think, Ruth, that there is more “perversion” in sexual activity outside of a committed relationship so to decrease “perversion”, one should strongly support SSM.

  96. Alex
    January 7th, 2011 at 15:49 | #96

    @John Howard
    I would love to see your link John Howard, but you didn’t post it. That said, there is no relationship between the legalization of same sex marriange and any laws relating to procreation. The gay marriage laws adopted in Massachusetts, Iowa, DC, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Spain, Canada, etc. do not prohibit or limit procreation for anybody. Nowhere is there a proposal for a law that is in any way related to gay marriage that prohibits procreation for gay couples, straight couples, etc. Gay and straight couples and singles have the right to procreation, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with the legalization of gay marriage. Please join us in the real world, where we know that gay marriage benefits society by allowing equality and liberty for all.

    @Ruth
    Ruth, sorry to tell you that gay relationships are not perversions. The American Psychology Association, many Christian demoninations, and a majority of the US population consider gay relationships to be perfectly appropriate. Am I to assume, however, that you feel everyone should succumb to your opinion of what is right and what is wrong? I personally consider the eating of red meat to be a perversion, and many intelligent dietitians and medical experts feel the same way (since it clogs arteries and makes us fat), but we’re not trying to pass laws banning it. Please remember that we live in the USA, and freedom and equality are fundamental principles. Legalizing same-sex marriage does not harm anybody, yet it creates equality for gay and straight couples.

    @bman
    Thanks for the articles bman. At least the first one is from a respected publication, but to cite Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, you are “drawing at straws”, given that is work is widely discredited by the psychology industry. Anyway, what these articles say is the same thing we already know about mainstream society. Some couples are prefectly monogamous for life, and others arent. Newt Gingrich’s affair and Rush Limbaugh’s multiple divorces are well known examples of non-monogamy. Affairs and “swinging” arrangements in straight couples are quite common. The Psychology Today article you quoted makes extensive reference to straight couple infidelity and divorce (while citing only one gay male couple), and the Nicolosi article shows that while many gay male couples are non-monogamous (based on discredited research) many others are monogamous for life. The bottom line is that non-monogamy is not a gay or straight thing, so legalizing same sex marriage would not take away the standard of monogamy from the institution of marriage (it may even bring it to gay couples, since they don’t have that standard now because they can’t get married). Legalization of gay marriage keeps marriage the same as it now is, but also makes it available to gay couples. It’s that simple.

  97. bman
    January 7th, 2011 at 18:15 | #97

    @Alex

    Alex: …but to cite Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, you are “drawing at straws”, given that is work is widely discredited by the psychology industry

    For your reply to have weight the reason for being “discredited” needs to be stated.

    The mere fact “the psychology industry” discredits something is not sufficient since that industry has itself been discredited by its far left political bias.

    Even the former president of the APA, Dr. Cummings recognizes this in the book he co-authored, Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm”.

    The book also includes chapters from expert contributors in a position to know what they are talking about .
    Here are some key extracts:
    “Psychology, psychiatry, and social work have been captured by an ultra-liberal agenda”
    “Misguided political correctness tethers our intellects”
    “Psychology and mental health have veered away from scientific integrity and open inquiry…”
    “The APA has chosen ideology over science, and thus has diminished its influence on the decision-makers in our society.”
    “…ever-proliferating therapies that are not only without validation but are irresponsible, and often later shown to be harmful….society spent a number of years sentencing fathers to prison based on false memories, followed by years of releasing them with the court’s apology, as accusers became aware of the implanted memories…”
    “…many [potential contributors to the book] declined to be included, fearing loss of tenure or stature, and citing previous ridicule and even vicious attacks…”
    “Political diversity is so absent in mental health circles that most psychologists and social workers live in a bubble. So seldom does anyone express ideological disagreement with colleagues that they believe all intelligent people think as they do.”
    “We must broaden the debate by reducing the ridicule and intimidation of ideas contrary to the thinking of the establishment in the field of psychology”
    “Much of the extant research that finds no negative effects of gay parenting on children has serious limitations, for example, small sample size, nonrepresentative and self-selected samples, reliance on self-reporting subject to social desirability biases, and lacking longitudinal data. These limitations are often downplayed by advocates, who also frequently fail to consider fully the potential importance of having both male and female nurturance and role models for children”
    “… medical and psychological diagnoses are subject to political fiat”
    “Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health”

  98. January 7th, 2011 at 18:24 | #98

    “Nowhere is there a proposal for a law that is in any way related to gay marriage that prohibits procreation for gay couples, ”

    I have been pushing for a federal law that limits creating of human beings to the union of the sperm of a living man and the egg of a living woman, using their unmodified gametes since 2004, starting my website eggandsperm.org after Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics recommended that Congress make a federal Egg and Sperm law in 2004. Missouri enacted a law in 2006 that prohibits implanting an embryo that was not conceived by joining the sperm of a man and the egg of a woman. Massachusetts enacted a similar “egg and sperm” law since 2005 (but didn’t define “egg” and “sperm” so artificial “female sperm” or “male eggs” derived from stem cells are still allowed, and thus same-sex procreation is not prohibited). Lots of foreign countries have such laws, and probably some other states do too. Margaret Somerville has called for a law.

    We need a federal law that prohibits same-sex procreation. It’s terrible that it remains legal and confuses people about their future and wastes money being researched. It would be even more terrible if it were allowed to actually be attempted.

    You are right that those laws don’t mention marriage, because they need to stop labs from doing stuff regardless of their DNA’s marital status. (Did you know that the word “gamete” comes from “gamos”, Greek for marriage?) It’s the Egg and Sperm law that would prohibit people from procreating with someone of the same sex, not prohibiting same-sex marriage. But marriage needs to continue to express approval and protect the right to procreate offspring, so it can’t be given to couples that are publicly prohibited from procreating offspring without it no longer expressing that approval and protecting that right. SSM would strip procreation rights from marriage if we prohibit same-sex procreation, or, it would make it impossible to prohibit same-sex procreation.

  99. Alex
    January 7th, 2011 at 20:55 | #99

    bman. Gee, Dr. Nicolosi Vs. the entire psychology profession….I’ll go with the whole profession. I realize it is not perfect, but at least it is not trying to destroy the lives of a legitimate group of people by denying their rights. By the way, please tell me the overall success rate of the “gay conversion” therapy groups. I am sure Dr. Rekers has successfully eliminated his need for luggage carriers.

    John Howard. Thank you for clarifying. You are trying to make laws banning same-sex procreation. Now I get it. If you were not trying to do that, though, we wouldn’t have the problem of prohibitions on procreation, now would we?

  100. Ruth
    January 8th, 2011 at 00:00 | #100

    @Mark
    Celebrating sin hurts the participants by locking them into a behavior that leads to death.
    We have no reason to celebrate or legitimize sinful behavior.

  101. Ruth
    January 8th, 2011 at 00:14 | #101

    @Alex
    I can see why you would be sorry to tell me that; it is depressing to advocate sin.
    I “feel” that the word of God be given the weight due its Author.
    You are asking others who do not agree with you, who believe your goals to be destructive to society, to agree with you.
    I do not agree with your goals; I oppose them.
    Your assertion that recognizing two men having sexual relations with each other as “marriage” would have no negative effects is rejected by me and by a great many other free and equal members of our society.

  102. bman
    January 8th, 2011 at 00:31 | #102

    @Alex

    Alex: Gee, Dr. Nicolosi Vs. the entire psychology profession….I’ll go with the whole profession….

    You still didn’t give a specific reason why his article would be “discredited.”

    Since you claim his article is discredited shouldn’t you at least quote something he said and show why its allegedly wrong?

    Maybe its easier to just ignore specifics and refer to group opinion, but that is how major errors take hold, as you may recall from the story about the Emperor’s New Clothes!

    An example of such an error was also mentioned in the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm”

    …ever-proliferating therapies that are not only without validation but are irresponsible, and often later shown to be harmful….society spent a number of years sentencing fathers to prison based on false memories, followed by years of releasing them with the court’s apology, as accusers became aware of the implanted memories…”

    Would you have followed “the entire profession” then, as well?

    The only way to protect yourself from following error is to engage the facts.

    By the way, recognized and respected leaders in psychology wrote the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm”.

    They are the ones saying:

    Political diversity is so absent in mental health circles that most psychologists and social workers live in a bubble. So seldom does anyone express ideological disagreement with colleagues that they believe all intelligent people think as they do.

    Given your refusal to provide a specific reason for why Dr. N’s article would be discredited, maybe you are in the “bubble” too!

    Alex: I realize it is not perfect, but at least it is not trying to destroy the lives of a legitimate group of people by denying their rights.

    Same sex marriage is no more a right than plural marriage, or marriage between first degree relatives.

    Alex: By the way, please tell me the overall success rate of the “gay conversion” therapy
    groups.

    That is not the subject we are on.

    We are dealing with the lack of monogamy in the gay community.

    So far, you have not sited any specific fact that would contradict Dr. Nicolosi’s article.

  103. bman
    January 8th, 2011 at 13:25 | #103

    Alex: …the Nicolosi article shows that while many gay male couples are non-monogamous (based on discredited research) many others are monogamous for life.

    Where does the Nicolosi article show, “…many others are monogamous for life?”

    Are you, perhaps, redefining “monogamy” like the gay couple who said a three way is “monogamy?”

    If that is your intent then your statement would be very misleading since people normally understand monogamy to mean “no outside affairs.”

    Using the normal sense of “monogamy,” the article does not appear to show, “many gay relationships are monogamous for life.”

    Instead, it shows gay relationships depend on “outside affairs,” not monogamy, for them to last beyond the ten year mark.

    Here are the key excerpts from the article:

    …the classic research of McWhirter and Mattison, reported in The Male Couple (1984)…found that not a single male pair was able to maintain fidelity in their relationship for more than five years. Outside affairs, the researchers found, were not damaging to the relationship’s endurance, but were in fact essential to it. “The single most important factor that keeps couples together past the ten-year mark is the lack of possessiveness they feel,” says the authors.

    William Aaron’s autobiographical book Straight [says]…Constantly the most successful homophile “marriages” are those where there is an agreement between the two to have affairs on the side while maintaining the semblance of permanence in their living arrangement. [p. 208]

    Gershman found that the majority of male couples he studied had agreed upon an open relationship, as long as the affairs were conducted discreetly.

    When McWhirter and Mattison published The Male Couple in 1984, their study was undertaken to disprove the reputation that gay male relationships do not last… the researchers were unable to find a single male couple that was able to maintain sexual fidelity for more than five years. They reported: “The expectation for outside sexual activity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexuals….”

    In a study of thirty couples, Hooker (1965, p. 46) found..only one couple in her study had been able to maintain a monogamous relationship for ten years. Hooker concluded, “For many homosexuals, one-night stands or short-term relationships are typical” (p.49).

    Faced with the fact that gay male relationships are in fact promiscuous, gay writers have no choice but to promote the message that monogamy is not necessary.

    McWhirter and Mattison believe that gays must redefine “fidelity” to mean not sexual faithfulness, but simply “emotional dependability.”

    Sexual sameness also diminishes long term interest and creates the need for greater variety, including other partners (Masters and Johnson 1979).

    Indeed, gay-activist social commentator Andrew Sullivan…says, “[Gay men] have a need for extramarital outlets.” (1995, p. 95).

    And so, the article does not seem to support your claim concerning it.

  104. Alex
    January 9th, 2011 at 10:24 | #104

    First, Ruth. I realize you don’t like gay relationships. No one is asking you to start liking them. The question is whether the dislike you and your cohorts hold for gay relationships can justify the denial for gay couples of the social and material benefits that straight couples enjoy. I realize you take your ideology very seriously, but you need to remember that this is an issue of law, and more importantly civil rights. As a somewhat parallel example, I am a vegetarian, and I find it morally objectionable for people to kill animals to get food. Meat may be more tasty then vegetables and legumes, but it is certainly not essential for proper nutrition. That said, I never protest when I go out for dinner with friends and they order meat dishes. I would not lobby for laws banning meat eating. I don’t eat meat, and thus, I adhere to my ideology, but I won’t try to bankrupt the meat industry or deny others the right to eat meat. You should also not support the denial of rights for gay couples because of your mere ideology.

    http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/01/29/half-of-all-gay-couples-non-monogamous

  105. Heidi
    January 9th, 2011 at 17:28 | #105

    Alex, thank you for your comments. Frankly, I’m getting tired of being called a pervert just because I love, respect and honor my partner, but alas, that IS Ruth’s point of view. But I guess if we’re in the business of legislating against “sin” (aka LOVE), we should really start looking at the sins of others and see whose rights we can take away on that basis. You’ve had a good idea with the meat-eaters. Maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to marry, since of course, their children are much more likely to be meat-eaters as well. Let’s start prohibiting second marriages too, since anyone who marries for a second time is committing adultery. Any other good ideas? I’m sure that when we’re talking about sin, we can do a lot in the legal arena to prevent all of those sinners from having full legal rights. Constitutional democracy you say? From Ruth’s perspective, America should be a theocracy.

  106. Heidi
    January 9th, 2011 at 17:30 | #106

    Excuse me. That should be constitutional republic.

  107. January 9th, 2011 at 22:36 | #107

    Alex :
    John Howard. Thank you for clarifying. You are trying to make laws banning same-sex procreation. Now I get it. If you were not trying to do that, though, we wouldn’t have the problem of prohibitions on procreation, now would we?

    Right, if we allow same-sex procreation (as we currently do, because there is no law against it, except in Missouri), then of course we should allow same-sex marriage. Any couple that we allow and approve of procreating together, we should encourage them to marry first.

  108. Ruth
    January 9th, 2011 at 23:42 | #108

    @Alex
    “…the denial for gay couples of the social and material benefits that straight couples enjoy.”
    You are grasping for something that can never be obtained.
    The Emperor does not become magically clothed by judicial fiat.

  109. Ruth
    January 9th, 2011 at 23:49 | #109

    @Heidi
    Your comments remind me of this excerpt from the poem “The Invitation” by George Herbert:

    “Come ye hither all, whose love
    Is your dove,
    And exalts you to the skie:
    Here is love, which having breath
    Ev’n in death,
    After death can never die.”

    It is my sincere prayer for you, that you might experience this love.

  110. Heidi
    January 10th, 2011 at 10:55 | #110

    Ruth, with all due respect, I have more love in my life than I could ever deserve. God has truly blessed me and my family.

  111. Alex
    January 10th, 2011 at 16:58 | #111

    bman:

    Your NARTH/Nicolosi article basis its conclusions on outdated research from the 60s and 80s. Very few gay couples could safely live openly in Small Town America during those periods, so there was not much of a basis for research of that period. I give the article credit, though, for at least mentioning recent (2010) research by stating: “In one recent study of gay male couples, 41.3% had open sexual agreements with some conditions or restrictions, and 10% had open sexual agreements with no restrictions on sex with outside partners.” What the research actually found is that approximately 47 percent of male same-sex couples are exclusively monogamous. Furthermore, the limited amount of existing research on lesbian couples show much higher monogamy rates. This shows that many same-sex couples are perfectly monogamous, and others are not. Similarly many opposite-sex couples are perfectly monogamous, and others are not. You can argue that a high percentage rate of non-monogamy among gay male couples living in San Francisco, where the study occured, makes for a fair comparison to the non-monogamy rate of opposite-sex couples throughout the US. That would not be a fair comparison, but let’s indulge. You would then find that the study revealed that at least 260 male couples in this San Francisco study are perfectly monogamous. Should they be denied the right to marriage because other couples have “flexible” arrangements? There are many straight couples with “flexible” arrangements sanctioned by their peer networks. Based on your arguement every couple in any culture where infidelity is stereotypically tolerated, the right to legal marriage should be denied. This would apply to Italians (ever seen The Sopranos?), French, conservative male politicians, and talk radio hosts. Take a look at this great article, and you can see that there are many cultures where resonably high degrees of non-monogamy exist: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10215858
    Do you really want to use generalizations about groups to deny the right of marriage to all members of the whole group?

    Also, a little about Dr. Nicolosi. He has been a lightning rod for criticism for his overuse of generalizations, stereotypes, and outdated research for years. Have you seen the youtube video of his failed Anderson Copper Interview? Here is a story about his research from the Salt Like City Tribune:

    “A national group that advocates “treatment” of homosexuality is being criticized for allegedly distorting a Utah researcher’s work to advance the theory that people choose their sexual orientation – a controversial notion rejected by mainstream psychology…Lisa Diamond, a University of Utah psychologist whose sexual identity studies suggest a degree of “fluidity” in the sexual preferences of women, said in an interview Tuesday that the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, or NARTH, misrepresents her findings.”

    Respectable scholars do not distort the research of others.

  112. Alex
    January 10th, 2011 at 17:00 | #112

    Sorry about the typo in my last post. I meant to say “bases” not “basis”. I’m sure there are others, but given this is an online forum, I realize grammar standards are not that high.

  113. Alex
    January 10th, 2011 at 17:12 | #113

    @John Howard
    John Howard. You make a circular arguement. Your attempt at a law banning forms of contraception other than through intercourse has absolutely nothing to do with same sex marriage. I would argue that there are definite ethical considerations regarding procreation (cloning should probably be illegal), but to specifically prohibit same-sex couples from having children runs contrary to better medical and phychological research, and is also unethical.

    Ruth:
    I assume you are a very nice person, but your dogmatic approach to public policy really scares me.

  114. January 10th, 2011 at 18:53 | #114

    Alex, it’s called a logical argument, not a circular argument. Just because there is no way for you to win doesn’t mean there is something wrong with my argument. There are two ways to respond to my argument: either to insist that same-sex couples should be allowed to procreate, or insist that married couples do not have a right to procreate. Well, three ways, you could agree that people should only be allowed to procreate with someone of the other sex, and agree that marriage should approve and allow procreation, and then agree that same-sex couples need the other protections of marriage more than the right to procreate, and then arrive at the conclusion that Civil Unions defined as “marriage minus conception rights” are the answer. There are thousands of actual couples that need protections, and you are throwing them under the bus for your ridiculous transhumanism fantasies.

  115. Mark
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:16 | #115

    Ruth: “Celebrating sin hurts the participants by locking them into a behavior that leads to death.
    We have no reason to celebrate or legitimize sinful behavior.”

    Again, another example of anti-gay speech.

  116. Mark
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:17 | #116

    Heidi, from everything I have read, God truly has blessed your family. All health and happiness to you!

  117. Alex
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:54 | #117

    @John Howard
    Your arguement is circular because you base it entirely on a self-created problem: a law you want to exist that prohibits same sex procreation, but you fail to provide a reason why this law you desire should exist.

    Same sex couples are now allowed to add children to their households, and they should be allowed to add children to their households. They add these children mainly though adoption, and that is a good thing for the affected children, the same sex couple, and society as a whole. Some couples (both same sex and opposite sex) add children through artificial insemination. Whether you think artificial insemination is good or bad is irrelevant to the right for gay marriage. It is legal, and I don’t think it causes any harm, so it should remain allowable for both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples. As I said before, there may be other methods of reproduction that may come to fruition via science in the future that should be banned for ethical reasons, like cloning or “designer babies”, but they should be banned for all couples regardless of gender.

    You have not explained why there should be a ban on same sex parenting….or same sex marriage. You have pointed out that some forms of reproduction that may exist one day in the future can have ethical problems, but that issue, which I agree is a valid scientific concern, has nothing to do with same sex marriage. My arguement remains that there is not justification for the denial of the right of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, and there needs to be a strong, compelling arguement for the rights enjoyed by the majority of society to be denied to a small minority group.

  118. Ruth
    January 11th, 2011 at 08:33 | #118

    @Mark
    No; an example of anti-homosex speech.

  119. January 11th, 2011 at 12:36 | #119

    Alex, perhaps you haven’t seen the many times I’ve explained why we need to enact a federal “Egg and Sperm Law” that would limit conceiving children to joining unmodified gametes of a man and a woman. Note that the law I’m talking about (which would be a lot like Missouri’s 2006 anti-cloning law) wouldn’t stop anything currently being done to “add children” to a household, it would only prohibit things that have never been done before to make a human being, such as cloning and genetic engineering. I agree that sperm donation and adoption are not related to marriage, but conceiving children together using the couple’s own genes IS related to marriage. It is the fundamental essential right of marriage, such that a marriage could not be prohibited from attempting to conceive offspring together.
    I’ve seen your position before: you not only deny that marriage protects the couple’s right to use their own genes to procreate offspring, but you also insist that same-sex couples should be allowed to use their own genes to procreate offspring. Both of those positions are completely unacceptable! Marriage should continue to approve and allow the couple to use their own genes to procreate offspring of the couple, it should not be rendered meaningless so that, for the first time in history, a married couple can be prohibited from creating offspring together. That would be a huge violation of fundamental rights and destroy the basis of equality and dignity. And people should not be allowed to attempt to procreate with someone of the same sex, because it would be completely unethical and violate the rights of the child, as well as waste money and energy and open the door to other forms of genetic engineering that would lead to, again, destroying the basis of equality and dignity and losing the right to procreate natural offspring.

  120. Alex
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:22 | #120

    @John Howard
    “Marriage should continue to approve and allow the couple to use their own genes to procreate offspring of the couple, it should not be rendered meaningless so that, for the first time in history, a married couple can be prohibited from creating offspring together.”

    Please explain how legalizing same-sex marrriage would in any way remove the approval and allowance couples now have to procreate using their own genes. Most couples are able procreate using their own genes by using a time-honored method called sexual intercourse. Some legally married couples, however, are incapable of procreating through sexual intercourse. Those include couples where one or both members are medically unable to reproduce, couples where both members are physically separated (institutionalized), and couples where one or both members had a surgical procedure done to make them infertile. Those couples are not, and would not be, disapproved or disallowed from procreating. They are medically or physically unable to procreate. While medical procedures may make some of them able to procreate over time, it would be ethically questionable to use cloning or genetic engineering for those couples to produce offspring that have both members’ genitic code. This is why Missouri has an anti-cloning law. Legally married same-sex couples are not different from infertile opposite-sex couples in terms of procreation capabilities. Natural procreation continues to be the legal and physicial ability of fertile opposite-sex couples. Infertile couples and same-sex couples can legally and physically adopt or use artificial insemination. Cloning, genetic engineering, and other possible reproduction techniques that may or may not exist in the future have nothing to do with same sex marriage. If they are unethical (like cloning and genetic engineering), they should be banned for everybody. Banning these practices, though, would not remove the legal right opposite sex couples have to naturally procreate.

  121. Alex
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:58 | #121

    @John Howard
    John Howard. Your website makes sense until you get to the following statement:

    “If we prohibit labs from attempting to create children that are not the union of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm, then same-sex marriages will not have a right to conceive children together, which would fundamentally change marriage and put all of our conception rights in jeopardy.”

    You provide no justification for this statement, and nothing to back it up. This is the fundamental cause for our debate. While there may have been a few questionable experiments using lab mice, it is a huge and illogical leap to link the remote possibility of the creation of beings without an egg and sperm to the rights and priviliges of marriage. If your concern is about the creation of children without the use of an egg and a sperm, then continue lobbying for that practice or any similar laboratory practice (like genetic engineering or cloning) to be banned. My prayers are with you on that. Leave gay couples out of this, since your problem is with these laboratory practices and not with gay couples forming marital bonds. If you are successful in getting laws passed that ban the laboratory based practices for everybody, it will have no bearing on the right of married opposite-sex couples to procreate. Your linkage between frankenstein-like laboratory practices and same-sex marriage is fanciful and illogical.

  122. January 11th, 2011 at 16:07 | #122

    “Please explain how legalizing same-sex marriage would in any way remove the approval and allowance couples now have to procreate using their own genes. ”

    It would do that if we also enacted an Egg and Sperm law that legally barred people from procreating with someone of the same sex. There would be married couples who were publicly prohibited from procreating, for the first time in history.

    “Those [infertile married] couples are not, and would not be, disapproved or disallowed from procreating. They are medically or physically unable to procreate.”

    Correct! They are approved and allowed to attempt to procreate, they just won’t be able to.

    “While medical procedures may make some of them able to procreate over time, it would be ethically questionable to use cloning or genetic engineering for those couples to produce offspring that have both members’ genetic code. This is why Missouri has an anti-cloning law.”

    Correct again, and I think stem cell derived “replacement” gametes should be prohibited, even if they supposedly were identical to the gametes the person would have if they were healthy. I think it is a bad use of resources and bad public policy, and there is too much risk involved. But then, I think all IVF should be prohibited, and people disagree and claim that it is a right of married couples in spite of the risk. The right to procreate does not mean that any and all technologies must be allowed, but banning technologies, even all technologies, does not take away any heterosexual married couple’s abstract right to procreate, they will not be punished if a baby is conceived from their genes, they retain the public approval of the concept of children being conceived from their union, even if they never have them.

    “Legally married same-sex couples are not different from infertile opposite-sex couples in terms of procreation capabilities.”

    Well, sure they are. Same-sex couples are publicly the same sex, whereas infertile couples are privately infertile, and publicly they have the same right to procreate that they would have if they were fertile. We are talking about rights, not ability. The infertile couple has a right to procreate offspring, the same sex couple does not (well, if they are married, then we’d be saying they do, but we should not say that).

    “Natural procreation continues to be the legal and physical ability of fertile opposite-sex couples.”

    Natural procreation is the legal right of all married couples, whether they are fertile or not.

    “Infertile couples and same-sex couples can legally and physically adopt or use artificial insemination.”

    Correct, but that has nothing to do with marriage, nor are those things rights.

    “Cloning, genetic engineering, and other possible reproduction techniques that may or may not exist in the future have nothing to do with same sex marriage.”

    Marriage should continue to approve and allow the couple to create offspring together. And couples that are allowed to procreate offspring together should always be allowed to marry. Any discordance just makes no sense. Why would we allow one but not the other?

    “If they are unethical (like cloning and genetic engineering), they should be banned for everybody. Banning these practices, though, would not remove the legal right opposite sex couples have to naturally procreate.”

    Correct again! But it would publicly prohibit same-sex couples from procreate. It would obviously conflict with marriage rights.

  123. Mark
    January 11th, 2011 at 17:05 | #123

    Ruth: “No; an example of anti-homosex speech.”

    Hate is hate, Ruth. You can attempt to color it differently, but it’s still unjustified hate. I truly hope your god forgives you because the God of Christianity will have little sympathy for your hatred of some of His flock.

  124. January 11th, 2011 at 21:05 | #124

    Alex :
    You provide no justification for this statement, and nothing to back it up. This is the fundamental cause for our debate.

    That is just a logical conclusion! If we prohibit attempting to create children that are not the union of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm, then same-sex couples won’t be allowed to procreate together. Do you agree with that? Are you trying to say that same-sex couples can be prohibited from procreating together, but still have a right to procreate together? I’ve encountered that cop-out before, but it’s not legally possible. The Supreme Court explained in Casey v Pennsylvania that there can’t be substantial obstacles put in the way of exercising a right, and declaring something completely illegal is a substantial obstacle. So you can only prohibit something if it is not a right. And if something is a right, then it can’t be prohibited. So, the cop-out doesn’t work, either it’s legal and a right, or it isn’t a right and isn’t legal. There is no wishy-washy escape where it can be prohibited, but still be an abstract right. And in this case, it isn’t a right. There is no right to procreate with someone of the same sex. It’s not a fundamental right found in history nor in the penumbra of privacy nor is it a matter of personal autonomy. It involves creating another person.
    So, with that established, that there is no right to procreate with someone of the same sex, then that would fundamentally change marriage to let a couple with no right to procreate marry! And if we were to do that, it would mean that any married couple could be prohibited from procreating, because marriage no longer expressed approval and protected the right to procreate. That would put everyone’s procreation rights in jeopardy. Where do I lose you?

    Now with

  125. bman
    January 11th, 2011 at 22:21 | #125

    @Alex

    I reviewed the report you and Dr. Nicolosi mentioned, Development and validation of the Sexual Agreement Investment Scale.

    You said this about the report, “What the research actually found is that approximately 47 percent of male same-sex couples are exclusively monogamous.”

    It appears, however, this number only refers to how many couples had “monogamous agreements” at the time they were surveyed.

    The objective of these interviews was to investigate THE AGREEMENTS that couples make about whether to allow sex with outside partners and to document factors that contribute to the maintenance of those agreements.

    Also, in the 1984 report an even higher number than 47% (66%) said they started out with the expectation of a monogamous relationship, yet none were monogamous more than 5 years.

    So, even though 47% had a monogamous agreement at the time of the 2010 survey, it does not imply a long duration, especially in light of the pattern reported in the 1984 study.

    Additionally, couples were allowed to participate in the survey if their “agreement” had been in effect as little as three months!

    To be eligible, participants had to have been in their relationship for at least three months….(page 3)

    Once again, then, the 2010 report does not tell us any thing about the average length of the monogamous agreements.

    And in that case, there is no conflict between the 2010 report and the 1984 report Dr. Niclossi cited which said, “…the [1984] researchers were unable to find a single male couple that was able to maintain sexual fidelity for more than five years.”

    When McWhirter and Mattison published The Male Couple in 1984, their study was undertaken to disprove the reputation that gay male relationships do not last. The authors themselves were a homosexual couple, one a psychiatrist, the other a psychologist. After much searching they were able to locate 156 male couples in relationships that had lasted from 1 to 37 years. Two-thirds of the respondents had entered the relationship with either the implicit or the explicit expectation of sexual fidelity.

    The results of their study show that of those 156 couples, only seven had been able to maintain sexual fidelity. Furthermore, of those seven couples, none had been together more than 5 years. In other words, the researchers were unable to find a single male couple that was able to maintain sexual fidelity for more than five years.

    You objected to this finding, however, by saying:

    Your NARTH/Nicolosi article basis its conclusions on outdated research from the 60s and 80s. Very few gay couples could safely live openly in Small Town America during those periods, so there was not much of a basis for research of that
    period.

    You claim the 1984 report is flawed because a representative sample could not be reached. That seems unlikely on the face of it.

    I think 1984 would have been a relatively safe period for gays, and the researchers could advertise in gay magazines or venues to reach a representative sample in a safe manner.

    Also, since the 2010 report you cited did not address average longevity, do you know of a more recent report than the one from 1984? If that is the most recent report on that perspective, then why can’t it be used?

    Doesn’t the APA to this day cite research from Evelyn Hooker done in the 1950′s? If 1950′s research is still OK for the APA, why isn’t 1984 research OK?

    Since the issue is whether the Nicolosi article I cited is flawed, the other points in your reply do not seem relevant at this juncture.

    The claim about the Utah researcher, also, does not necessarily affect the article I cited. Furthermore, your claim on that lacks specifics. Without specifics I’m inclined to grant “the benefit of the doubt” just because original authors often complain their findings were not used the way they intended. That, in itself, would not be misrepresentation if it occurred, but it might be called that.

  126. Alex
    January 12th, 2011 at 14:07 | #126

    @John Howard

    You continue to confuse the legal bundle of rights provided by the right to marriage with the right of people to procreate. Marriage has nothing to do with someone’s right or ability to procreate. It’s that simple.

    You can, and probably should, lobby for laws to be passed against genetic engineering, cloning, and other questionable methods of “creating people”, but marriage has nothing to do with these methods. I hope you are not arguing that these methods of creating people should become available to opposite-sex couples not available to same-sex couples. The problems you cited that would result from the stem-cell based reproduction method you mentioned involving experiments with laboratory mice would apply to opposite-sex couples the same way as they would apply to same-sex couples.

  127. Mark
    January 12th, 2011 at 14:17 | #127

    @bman
    The research done by Evelyn Hooker in 1950 was regarding the private lives of gay men. The 1984 report was looking at a much different phenomenon: gay couples. Remember, even today (2011) only 5 states legally recognize a same sex relationship. Is it really not surprising to find that without the legal, religious, family or community support, that many of these relationships may not last.

    As far as sexual fidelity is concerned, studies reveal that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship (Atwood & Schwartz, 2002 – Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy) so it’s not quite limited to a same sex relationship.

  128. January 12th, 2011 at 14:44 | #128

    Marriage has always approved and allowed the couple to procreate offspring together. It should continue to, procreating together should not become a separate independent right that married couples might not automatically always have. I don’t think you appreciate how vulnerable that protection is, how much pressure there is on couples to use substitute gametes to make children, or to not have children of their own. And I don’t think you appreciate how much value and dignity come from feeling the traditional universal historical approval to procreate that is officially bestowed by the authority of the state when a couple gets married. You want to dismiss the essential significance of marriage, but I insist on feeling the same official approval to conceive offspring with my wife that every single married person has ever felt throughout human history. To tell me that I am not being approved to conceive offspring when I marry and that I may or may not have a right to procreate with her using our own genes is completely unacceptable.

    Let me ask you if you accept that people have a right to procreate with someone, but only someone of the other sex. Do you accept that? You seem to, based on your accepting that I work on prohibiting genetic engineering, because that would prohibit procreating with someone of the same sex.

  129. Alex
    January 12th, 2011 at 18:52 | #129

    @John Howard
    “Marriage has always approved and allowed the couple to procreate offspring together.” While this is not stated law, producing adding children to the household is definitely something married couples can do. It is also definitely something unmarried couples and single people can do. Maritial is irrelevant to a couple’s ability to add children to its household. Technology is at a point now where the only way for a married or unmarried couple to procreate is by use of a male sperm and a female egg. If some process were to develop in the future that allows for human life to be created another way, then laws may be necessary then to ban that process for ethical reasons, but those laws should restrict the process, not the rights of couples to procreate. The “ability to procreate” is not the result of governmental rights; it is the result of biology. You said: “And I don’t think you appreciate how much value and dignity come(s) from feeling the traditional universal historical approval to procreate that is officially bestowed by the authority of the state when a couple gets married.”, but that “approval to procreate” does not come from The State. The state is simply creating a union of two people, but the approal to procreate comes from the couple’s own decision to have or not have children.

  130. Alex
    January 12th, 2011 at 21:12 | #130

    @bman
    @Mark

    Thanks Mark for reminding us that Nicolosi’s article attempts to incorrectly compare unmarried gay couples and their monogamy levels with those of married straight couples. Unmarried straight couples often do not develop monogamy “agreements” unless or until they are moving toward marriage. Some couples are doing that, and others are just in a casual, open relationship. I am personally aware of several straight unmarried couples that similarly have “open relationships” for various reasons, usually because they are with someone they don’t intend to marry. Gay couples are denied the right to marriage in most states, so we don’t really know how many gay couples are in a “casual relationship” and how many are in a “committed for life” relationship, since there is not a legally and socially recognized institution for committed gay couples in most of the United States. The 2010 research Dr. Nicolosi citied that showed that about 47 percent of the surveyed gay couples are in monogamous relationships does not consider commitment-level of those relationships. It did not find out what percentage of those couples wanted to get married to each other and what percentage just wanted a “steady mate”. Its purpose was to find out if coupling agreements could reduce the transmission of HIV. It found that a small minority of the surveyed couples were engaging in unsafe behavior and the majority were not, but it did not evaluate the relationship goals of these couples.

    One of the most interesting things about this research was its method of recruiting participants: “Active and passive recruitment strategies were implemented in community settings. Field research staff reached potential participants either by handing out study postcards or placing flyers and postcards in gay-identified social venues such as bars, clubs, and cafes, as well as in community health and HIV and AIDS service organizations and by placing advertisements in gay-oriented publications, Web sites, and listservs. Recruitment strategies were designed to produce a diverse sample in terms of race and ethnicity, as well as serostatus, in an effort to reflect the demographics of the San Francisco Bay Area.” (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2372/is_1_47/ai_n53518203/pg_3/?tag=content;col1) This means that a fair amount of the recruiting was held at places largely used by gay men for finding sexual partners (bars and clubs) as opposed to places largely used by gay men in committed monogamous relationships. (Admittedly, this is a much more difficult group to find. Stereotypically these couples are likely to be found shopping at garden supply businesses, Home Depot, or farmers markets; joining historic preservation committees; hosting dinner parties; leading neighborhood watch groups; etc. They are less likely to be found in large numbers at bars, clubs, cafes, community health and HIV and AIDS service organizations or to be reading gay-oriented publications, web sites, or listservs.) This is not a criticism of the 2010 research, because its purpose was to examine HIV-risk behavior. I do point this out to show the terrible flaw inherent in using this research to somehow claim that there is an abnormally high non-monogamy rate in gay couples. I earlier pointed out that, surprisingly, this research actually shows that there are a fairly large number of committed gay couples even in this research’s sample.

    bman:
    As for your request for me to specifically discredit Dr. Nicolosi’s article, please read about where I show that Dr. Nicolosi incorrectly concludes that research about gay couples and their HIV risk behavior somehow validates his reliance on 1984 studies based on social issues at that time. The documents discrediting Dr. Nicolosi’s overall work (especially his gay conversion therapy attempts are easy to find through Google, so if you want to see those, I suggest you go there). This article

    “I think 1984 would have been a relatively safe period for gays, and the researchers could advertise in gay magazines or venues to reach a representative sample in a safe manner.”
    —This statement shows how little you know about gay people. In 1984 the social and legal status of gay people was extremely low. In most states it was perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay or for a landlord to refuse to rent housing to a gay person. Surveys of the public from that time shows widespread disapproval of gay relationships. Now, on to your comment about using gay magazines or venues to reach a “representative sample” of gay people in that era. It would have mostly found people “looking for sex”, not people living in committed relationships. Can you imagine if a survey about married life for straight people was conducted in singles bars?

    “Since the issue is whether the Nicolosi article I cited is flawed, the other points in your reply do not seem relevant at this juncture.”—Actually the issue is whether gay people are monogamous or not and whether legalizing gay marriage would somehow convert marriage from an institution where monogamy is expected into one where it is not(@bman ). The professional reputation of Dr. Nicolosi has been a side issue (and that is what I was attacking, rather than that specific article….please re-read my earlier posts.). I admire your efforts to defend him, by the way.

    Here are some statements I found after a quick Google Search about Dr. Nicolosi. There are plenty more, but it’s getting late.

    “The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) also responded to Dr. Nicolosi’s statements by saying there was “…no evidence this sort of treatment works, and that it was likely to even cause considerable distress in the individual”. An RCP spokesman said: “There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.””–raelianews.org/print.php?news.374

    Also, please read the following about Dr. Nicolosi from his colleague: http://wthrockmorton.com/tag/joseph-nicolosi/

  131. Mark
    January 13th, 2011 at 07:37 | #131

    @Alex
    “Can you imagine if a survey about married life for straight people was conducted in singles bars?”

    Exactly the correct point. Thanks for putting it more succinctly. I always wonder how these studies get gay singles or couples to participate as those involved may face backlash from employers, friends or families even in 2011. I am not surprised that it is a skewed population (bars, clubs, etc.). It reminds me of the study, I believe it was in Washington state, which found 2% of population to be gay, not the 10% found by Kinsey. The study design required so much verification (names of employers, family members, etc.) that I am constantly amazed they found 2% of the people to say they were gay!

  132. January 13th, 2011 at 08:41 | #132

    So you are insisting that same-sex couples should have a right to procreate, and that marriage shouldn’t protect or affirm or convey any approval of procreating. Those are both unacceptable, ridiculous, ludicrous and offensive positions.

    As I explained, if something is a right, then there can’t be laws against it, so we’d have to allow same-sex couples to procreate using some sort of genetic engineering technology, we couldn’t ban genetic engineering technology because that would be a substantial obstacle put in the way of a right. But we can ban it if we accept that there is no right to procreate with someone of the same sex, just as there is no right to procreate with a sibling or a child. It is not a right found in history, nor a right that can be invented from autonomy, or privacy.

    Also, you want to wait until it is done to ban it, but the need for a ban is right now, while kids are growing up, so that they know what their future possibilities are, and not be led to believe that they might be able to procreate with someone of the same sex or change their sex and procreate as either sex someday. And, researchers should know that what is legal and where the boundaries of ethical research are, so that they can put their talents to good use and not waste money and resources. Saying we should stand by and let it be developed, and then that “laws may be necessary”, and saying that there is a right to do it, sure sounds like you don’t think it should be banned at all, and that you don’t understand why it would be unethical and bad public policy and a waste of resources and would threaten equality and dignity and reproductive rights.

    And you’re wrong that people already have a right to procreate without marriage. No, they don’t, it is illegitimate and unwise and bad for children. I thought you understood that marriage was good for children. Yes, people get away with it, we don’t stone people anymore, but it is not a right, it is not approved and celebrated. Marriage approves and celebrates and conveys thousands of years of tradition of rightness and legitimacy for procreating together. I am super offended that you want to withhold that approval from couples that say I Do and take on the vows and obligations and commitments of marriage, and tell them that it doesn’t matter, you don’t care, they could have had sex and procreated children before, without doing that, and they aren’t necessarily approved or affirmed or licit or legitimate now. It’s just spiteful, it’s disrespectful. I want to feel society’s approval and know that I am allowed to try to procreate offspring when I marry, I want marriage to mean something.

    Can you explain why siblings aren’t allowed to marry?

  133. Ruth
    January 13th, 2011 at 13:20 | #133

    @Mark
    Hate is hate, but some things are worth hating.
    God hates sin, because it leads us to death.

  134. Jamie
    January 13th, 2011 at 15:20 | #134

    @Ruth

    Loving my girlfriend hasn’t been killing me.

    And part of that love is sex

  135. Alex
    January 13th, 2011 at 16:06 | #135

    @John Howard
    Frankly, I am more concerned about the problems that will arise when humans develop the ability to grow their own wings and fly. What will be the speed limit? Will there be designated flight routes? What about collisions with birds? All of these things are of great concern. What will be the licensing restrictions? Will there be a legal flying age? Imagine crazy teenagers with wings flying recklessly through the sky. Let’s start passing laws now to take care of this before it gets out of control.

    Your comments are based entirely on science fiction and a severe misunderstanding of the law. First, marriage is unrelated to the right to have children. Please prove me worng by showing me a constitutional passage or statute that states that the right to have children is reserved for married people. You can’t simply say: “And you’re wrong that people already have a right to procreate without marriage. No, they don’t, it is illegitimate and unwise and bad for children. I thought you understood that marriage was good for children. Yes, people get away with it, we don’t stone people anymore, but it is not a right, it is not approved and celebrated.” It is not illegal for umarried people to have children, and as for its not being approved or celebrated, you are simply wrong. Baby showers and celebrations are held for children born to unwed parents all the time. It is very common and totally acceptable.

    Second, your concern about some science-fiction-based process to produce children is not related to gay marriage. It is related to unethical laboratory procedures that are not all that likely to be possible. If you are really that concerned about those procedures and their negative consequences (cloning, designer babies,etc.), get laws passed against these procedures. Those laws agains those procedures would not serve as a “substantial obstacle” to same-sex procreation because their illegality would be based on the harm the procedure would place on the resulting child and on society as a whole. There would be a very simple “rational basis” for such a law, leaving the issue neurtal to gay marriage. Furthermore, since couples (gay and straight) do not need to be married to procreate, these procedures, if legal, would be useable by gay or straight couples regardless of their marriage status.

    Third, your question about incest is comical. Much the same way cloning and genetic engineering are improper ways to produce children, incest is harmful to the future child that would be produced, because the child would be deformed. Laws against incest prohibit both marriage and sexual relations between siblings, because those actions have a victim in the form of the produced deformed child. Gay couples physically can not procreate, so there is no possibilty for the production of a child from gay sexual relations or from gay marriage, so there is no potential victim (deformed child) from gay marriage.

    John Howard, I am starting to notice that I am the only one responding to your posts, and I’m starting to wonder if all of the other readers of this blog are smart enough to realize that debating you, while amusing, is not the most productive use of my time. I am going to focus on other activities and leave you to your science fiction books and conspiracy theories. Have fun waiting for Frankenstein.

  136. Chairm
    January 13th, 2011 at 18:20 | #136

    John Howard, your reasoning and argumentation has improved much over the past several years. Your concern about what you call “same-sex procreation” would be more clearly expressed as a concern — both ethical and utilitarian — with genetic engineering and the manufacture of human beings. And, as you have pointed out, manufacturing human beings through the genetic manipulation of gamets of the same sex would indeed be monstrous on all counts.

    Society is being told today, by SSMers, that procreation is severed from marriage. They look outside of marriage to make this claim. Within marriage is the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity — for one obvious example — which begins at the core of the social institution and the special place that society has protected for that institution. The liberty to attempt to procreate together, as husband and wife, is one well worth defending and promoting in all discussions of marriage. SSMers don’t want to see the problems that would arise from equating, falsely, the one-sexed arrangement and the conjugal arrangement; and so they’d rather turn their backs and look at a brick wall when you speak about the dangers of falsely equating the manufacture of human beings with the liberty to procreate as husband and wife.

    Just as they insist that there is a right to ‘same-sex marriage’, the cannot permit there to be a right to marital procreation arising from the sexual basis of marriage. But clearly, in the discussions you’ve had with SSMers, they can imagine a right to human manufacture as a right to ‘same-sex procreation’.

    Words have meaning and so we, as a society, need to protect what ‘marriage’ stands for; and we ought to also make the distinction between procreation and so-called same-sex procreation. SSM is not marriage but merely a subset of nonmarriage; same-sex procreation is not procreation but human manufacture.

  137. Chairm
    January 13th, 2011 at 19:01 | #137

    Alex, your remark on sibling marriage stands at odds with your pro-SSM viewpoint.

    You said:

    “Laws against incest prohibit both marriage and sexual relations between siblings, because those actions have a victim in the form of the produced deformed child. Gay couples physically can not procreate, so there is no possibilty for the production of a child from gay sexual relations or from gay marriage, so there is no potential victim (deformed child) from gay marriage.”

    According to your viewpoint (please confirm, correct, or clarify):

    1. Unless procreation is mandatory, it is not a legitimate basis for marriage law.

    2. The opposite-sex sexual basis for eligibility is illegitimate.

    3. Marriage must be treated by the law exactly as SSM.

    The potential for harm that you cited as decisive when drawing lines of eligilbity does not apply to the one-sexed arrangement, as you readily conceded. Compared with opposite-sex sexual relations, same-sex sexual relations does not provide a like basis for drawing the line against incestuous SSM. There is a major and, according to your remark, a decisive difference based on sexual relations.

    However, given the great potential for the same kind of harm that is posed by what JH has referred to as ‘same-sex procreation’, each and every one-sexed arrangement, regardless of degree of relatedness, may be legitimately prohibited from forming a legal SSM. The potential for harm exists where the understanding is that the SSM status ensures that those SSM’d may lawfully pursue the manufacture of human beings.

    If that understanding exists outside of SSM as well as within SSM, then, your various remarks about procreation outside and within marriage apply with the same force as when you were advocating entrenching SSM in the law of the land. You’d say, and have said, that these are two seperate issues. And that further undermines your remarks regarding incestuous marriage because, in addition to points 1-3, your line of reasoning would remove from consideration all manner of sexual behavior as criteria for eligiblity to SSM/marry.

  138. Chairm
    January 13th, 2011 at 19:11 | #138

    Heidi said: “The hypocrisy and cruelty of your side astounds me.”

    Your false accusations abound but do not astound, not any more.

  139. Mark
    January 14th, 2011 at 09:13 | #139

    @Ruth
    “God hates sin, because it leads us to death.”

    Then define “sin” because, by your condemnation of gays, you OBVIOUSLY do not understand the word of God.

  140. January 14th, 2011 at 09:16 | #140

    @Alex

    “Second, your concern about some science-fiction-based process to produce children is not related to gay marriage.”

    I’m not concerned about some process, but any and every process that a same-sex couple might use to create offspring. I am concerned about any and all processes that create a person that is not the union of a man and a woman, which is the only way to create a person using unmodified gametes. Being allowed to procreate offspring is more than just related to marriage, it is the sine qua non right of marriage. A couple that does not have that right can not be declared married without utterly changing marriage, an unacceptable change to marriage. I demand that I be allowed to procreate with my spouse, using our own gametes. I’m not asking to be allowed to use any medical technology, I can accept being medically unable to procreate due to age or disease, but I cannot accept a legal ban on using our own genes, I cannot accept being told that I must use donor or modified gametes rather than our own, I demand approval in concept of procreating with my spouse.

    “It is related to unethical laboratory procedures that are not all that likely to be possible. If you are really that concerned about those procedures and their negative consequences (cloning, designer babies,etc.), get laws passed against these procedures.”

    That is precisely what I am attempting to do with the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise. I think it is the best way to get an effective law passed. Resolving the marriage debate in a principled way that the majority of the country and the president all favor is an important bonus, as well as being a good reason to pass an Egg and Sperm law.

    “Those laws against those procedures would not serve as a “substantial obstacle” to same-sex procreation because their illegality would be based on the harm the procedure would place on the resulting child and on society as a whole.”

    Of course they would be a substantial obstacle to same-sex procreation. They’d completely prohibit it entirely, make it legally impossible to do it, by any method, in principle, by definition. That’s a substantial obstacle, with no way around it.

    “There would be a very simple “rational basis” for such a law, leaving the issue neutral to gay marriage.”

    The thing is, if there is a right to procreate with someone of the same sex, then any laws that prohibit it would have to be struck down. And you do say that there is an equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex. That means that no matter how rational the basis for the law, it conflicts with a fundamental basic right to procreate so it would be struck down. The only way to prohibit same-sex procreation is to recognize that there is no right to procreate with someone of the same sex. That is the major area of disagreement you have with me, one shared by Sean and Mark and Barry and all SSMers. You guys are out of your gourds to say that there is an equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex. Where do you find such a right? In the penumbras emanating from your bong? In your sci-fi fantasy role-play games? Merely saying that some unsafe procedures could be banned without addressing the deeper abstract right isn’t acceptable, the issue is whether there is an abstract right, and then everything else flows from that: whether anything can be banned, whether the public has to fund research, whether kids are taught that it might be possible someday, and whether marriage should be available to couples that are allowed to procreate together.

  141. January 14th, 2011 at 09:49 | #141

    @Alex
    “First, marriage is unrelated to the right to have children. Please prove me wrong by showing me a constitutional passage or statute that states that the right to have children is reserved for married people. ”

    Well, the fornication and adultery statutes are constitutional (Lawrence only struck down private acts, and procreation is obviously public, and fornication and adultery can lead to procreation so therefore are public acts – the public has a valid interest in them that it doesn’t have in masturbation or sodomy.)

    Lawrence also showed the Court’s understanding of marriage as being, at minimum, at the most basic level, “about the right to have sexual intercourse” – yes it is about more than that, the court is saying, but in so doing they are confirming that it is certainly most essentially about that. And that means it is about the right to procreate.

    Yes, there are infertile-first-cousin-exceptions in some states, but those don’t change marriage, because the idea is that the state can give them this powerful right, the license to procreate, only because they assume that they won’t ever do it. That’s not the case with same-sex couples, because they would have to use technology, we can’t just assume they won’t procreate. That’s true now of infertile first cousins also, of course, with IVF. Those cousin compromises were written pre-IVF and should be replaced with my Civil Unions if the state is truly trying to prohibit first cousins from procreating. As it stands, they are allowing first cousins to procreate but simply assuming they won’t. They don’t sign anything promising not to use technology to procreate, and there is no separate law that prohibits them from using technology to procreate like I’m proposing for same-sex couples, but if there was, it would change marriage to allow them to marry but be prohibited from procreating.

    The thing about cousin marriage to note is that when cousins wanted to be allowed to procreate, they lobbied for marriage rights, and when some states allow first cousins to marry and other states don’t, what they are allowing is procreating offspring. It’s not a separate thing. Same with inter-racial marriage, the issue was procreation, it wasn’t separate. Allowing marriage means allowing offspring. That’s always been the case everywhere throughout history.

  142. January 14th, 2011 at 10:01 | #142

    @Alex

    “I am starting to notice that I am the only one responding to your posts”

    Right on schedule. This happens when SSMers realize that they are revealing some very radical demands, and they’d better keep their mouths shut or people will notice that they are insisting on an equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex. Whether that means raising same-sex couple’s rights to the level of man-woman marriages, or bringing man-woman marriage’s rights down to the level of same-sex couples, you never say, preferring to hold that card in your hip pocket in case you need to argue for marriage or for access to technology in the future. That fact is you want both, like all the eugenicists before you: you want to both deny that marriages should be allowed to procreate with their own genes, preferring separate procreation licenses, and you want to argue that same-sex couples should be allowed to procreate.

    Too bad you can’t just be straight with us, and bundle your demands together again. Whatever we decide on same-sex procreation is how we should go with same-sex marriage, either allow them both or prohibit them both. Don’t strip procreation rights away from everyone’s marriage.

  143. January 14th, 2011 at 10:07 | #143

    @Chairm
    “The liberty to attempt to procreate together, as husband and wife, is one well worth defending and promoting in all discussions of marriage.”

    As spouses, as a marriage. After all, it is the marriage that is reproduced, not either spouse, but their union becomes manifested in the bodies of their children. I say this because the way you cite the liberty, it seems like it could be a subset of marriages, and not marriage itself.

  144. Chairm
    January 14th, 2011 at 15:22 | #144

    I welcome the clarification, John.

    You are correct, of course, that we are sexually embodied beings and that human procreation is not something that the human being, acting alone, can accomplish or hope to accomplish.

    It takes the two sexes — man and woman — to perform the procreative act; and that is so whether the particular instance of that act by a particular husband and wife accomplishes procreation. They act as a single procreative organism.

    Thus, the liberty to attempt to procreate together is based on the nature of the procreative act, even when a particular act by a particular man-woman duo does not accomplish procreation. Marriage, as a right, arises from the two-sexed nature of humankind, the opposite-sexed nature of human generativity, and the both-sexed (or complementarily sexed) nature of human community. It does not arise from the pens of lawmakers, in fact, but from an essential liberty that pre-exists whatever governing athority presides at any moment in time.

    This liberty can and does exist outside of the social institution of marriage, however, its based expression and the best means for societal protection of this liberty is within the social institution of marriage; the core meaning of marriage combines the integration of the sexes with the provision for responsible procreation. And that has an overflow effect outside of marriage as we can see, for example, in statues newly written to entrench the sexual basis for the presumption of unwed paternity. Without a strong social institution of marriage, it is very doubtful that such an overflow would be manifested in our laws and culture.

    The prospect of replacing human procreation with human manufacture as a touchstone for freedom (through the current rhetoric of SSM argumentation) is as monstrous as you’ve described, John. And some SSMers acknowledge that even if they are bound by a sympathy for the gay identity group. I think they hope that identity politics will serve a limited purpose rather than drive society toward the entrenchment of human manufacture of the kind you have voiced so much concern about. But that, I think, is a naive approach to identity politics that history and common sense does not support.

  145. John
    January 14th, 2011 at 15:55 | #145

    @Ruth
    Your headline asserts that you’re not anti-gay, then you respond to a comment with the claim that the “goals” of the gay community are “destructive to society.” I don’t see any way that can be interpreted as not anti-gay.

  146. Jamie
    January 14th, 2011 at 16:27 | #146

    @Ruth

    I can see why you would be sorry to tell me that; it is depressing to advocate sin.
    I “feel” that the word of God be given the weight due its Author.
    You are asking others who do not agree with you, who believe your goals to be destructive to society, to agree with you.
    I do not agree with your goals; I oppose them.
    Your assertion that recognizing two men having sexual relations with each other as “marriage” would have no negative effects is rejected by me and by a great many other free and equal members of our society.

    Cool, shame I am not a free and equal member of your society, especially not as a woman born with a Y chromosome and a penis.

    Gay sex is decidedly not sin, for how can such a beautiful expression of love and closeness and caring be a sin? It cannot. God does not care for the gender of His children. And furthermore “I oppose your goals.” My goals are equal place in our society, the removal of stigmatization of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals, and ensuring their protection from hate crimes and workplace discrimination, and their coverage by healthcare companies.

  147. Alex
    January 14th, 2011 at 16:44 | #147

    @John Howard
    John Howard:
    I decided this is more fun than the work I brought home from the office, so I guess I’ll stick with these arguements for awhile more :-)

    “I’m not concerned about some process, but any and every process that a same-sex couple might use to create offspring.”—-No process exists, so you can relax now. If a process comes to exist through some wierd laboratory process, how would the prohibition of same-sex marriage stop same sex couples from using it? Same sex couples can now use IVF and surrogates to have children if they are so inclined (most are not so inclined, btw). The right to marriage has no impact on their ability to have children, much the same way that the right straight people have to get married has no impact on their ability to have children.

    @Chairm
    Chairm:
    “John Howard, your reasoning and argumentation has improved much over the past several years.” —-If that is the case, I hate to see what his reasoning and argumentation was like a few years ago.

    “The liberty to attempt to procreate together, as husband and wife, is one well worth defending and promoting in all discussions of marriage.” —What do you need to defend this liberty from? The ability/right of married couples to procreate is not at risk. Legalizing same sex marriage would have no impact on a straight married couple’s right to procreate.

    @Chairm
    Chairm:
    “The potential for harm that you cited as decisive when drawing lines of eligilbity does not apply to the one-sexed arrangement, as you readily [conceded] stated. Compared with opposite-sex sexual relations, same-sex sexual relations [does] do not provide a like basis for drawing the line against incestuous SSM. There is a major and, according to your remark, a decisive difference based on sexual relations.” —Sexual relations between consenting adult members of the same sex do not produce offspring (we all can agree with that, right?). Sexual relations between consenting adult members of the opposite sex have the potential to produce offspring. Sexual relations between consenting brothers and sisters also have the potential to produce offspring. The offspring produced by sex between unrelated straight adults have an average chance of being healthy. The offspring produced by a brother and sister have an extremely high chance of being deformed. Those resulting offspring would be the victims of a decision of a brohter and sister to have sex with eachother. The issue is the impact of the sexual intercourse, not the marriage. There are laws against intercourse between brothers and sisters to avoid there being a potential victim. The reason for laws against incest are to prevent the sexual act. Remember, it is sex that produces children, not marriage.

    John Howard:
    “I’m not concerned about some process, but any and every process that a same-sex couple might use to create offspring. I am concerned about any and all processes that create a person that is not the union of a man and a woman, which is the only way to create a person using unmodified gametes. Being allowed to procreate offspring is more than just related to marriage, it is the sine qua non right of marriage. A couple that does not have that right can not be declared married without utterly changing marriage, an unacceptable change to marriage. I demand that I be allowed to procreate with my spouse, using our own gametes.”—-Legalizing same-sex marriage would not affect your right to procreate with your spouse using your own gametes. All you need to do is make sure you both are fertile and are not using birth control. Enjoy yourselves trying, by the way.

    “I’m not asking to be allowed to use any medical technology, I can accept being medically unable to procreate due to age or disease, but I cannot accept a legal ban on using our own genes, I cannot accept being told that I must use donor or modified gametes rather than our own, I demand approval in concept of procreating with my spouse.”—No one is taking away your right to reproduce using your own genes. You have said earlier that your concern about future laboratory process to produce children is about the production of deformed babies, designer babies, or cloned babies. Is that really your concern, or are you just against same-sex couples using these processes? Would it be ok with you for opposite-sex couples (most likely infertile ones) using these processes? If so, you are being very hypocritical.

    “You guys are out of your gourds to say that there is an equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex. Where do you find such a right?”—I can’t speak for the others, but I am saying that gay couples deserve equal rights, and that includes the right to form a matrimonial bond with the individuals whom they love. Civil unions are a poor substitute for marriage, so your arguement for civil unions with limited rights is not the creation of equal rights for gay couples. I will restate that same-sex couples cannot procreate, and the methods you say are being developed that may make that possible are challengable on their own merits, so they will not make same-sex procreation possible because they will be illegal (they may not ever come to fruition anyway).

    “Lawrence also showed the Court’s understanding of marriage as being, at minimum, at the most basic level, “about the right to have sexual intercourse” – yes it is about more than that, the court is saying, but in so doing they are confirming that it is certainly most essentially about that. And that means it is about the right to procreate.”—-I don’t know how old you are, but hopefully, you were once told that it is totally possible to have sex and not procreate. You are making a leap in assuming that sex leads to procreation for everybody. It often does for straight people, but it never does for infertile or gay people.

    As I stated before, same-sex and opposite-sex couples have the right to have children using the latest existing technologies available whether they are married or not. Banning gay marriage will not stop same-sex couples from having children.

  148. bman
    January 14th, 2011 at 19:05 | #148

    @Alex

    Alex: The 2010 research…does not consider commitment-level of those relationships.

    It seems we agree the 2010 research did not look at longevity, and so it does not conflict with the 1984 findings.

    The question remains whether there is newer research on this, or is 1984 the latest study on the longevity of gay relationships.

    Its plausible that Dr. Nicolosi did not cite other studies newer than 1984 because there are none.

    The professional reputation of Dr. Nicolosi has been a side issue (and that is what I was attacking, rather than that specific article….please re-read my earlier posts.

    In my view, the credibility of the specific article depends on the credibility of the independent research Dr. Nicolosi cited in that article.

    I do not view the APA as credible, for example. If, however, you cited an article by the APA that was based on credible research by an independent source, I should recognize the credibility of the independent source, even though I do not accept the credibility of the APA.

    For that same reason, I view your attempt to discredit Dr. Nicolosi “in general” as moot, since it does not affect the credibility of the independent research upon which his claims are based.

    Alex: As for your request for me to specifically discredit Dr. Nicolosi’s article, please read about where I show that Dr. Nicolosi incorrectly concludes that research about gay couples and their HIV risk behavior somehow validates his reliance on 1984 studies based on social issues at that time.

    Although the 1984 and 2010 studies differ in purpose, they are both relevant to the monogamy question.

    Both report on monogamy, or the lack of it, for different reasons, but both point in the same general direction regarding it.

    Thus, each study acts to validate the other to the extent they correspond.

    bman: I think 1984 would have been a relatively safe period for gays, and the researchers could advertise in gay magazines or venues to reach a representative sample in a safe manner.

    Alex: This statement shows how little you know about gay people. In 1984 the social and legal status of gay people was extremely low. In most states it was perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay or for a landlord to refuse to rent housing to a gay person. Surveys of the public from that time shows widespread disapproval of gay relationships.

    I used the term “relatively safe.” The context was whether researchers would have been able to locate gay subjects in significant numbers.

    I don’t think your list of risks implies an environment where researchers could not do that.

    Alex: Now, on to your comment about using gay magazines or venues to reach a “representative sample” of gay people in that era. It would have mostly found people “looking for sex”, not people living in committed relationships. Can you imagine if a survey about married life for straight people was conducted in singles bars?

    I do not know how the 1984 study conducted its search, so the discussion on this point would be moot until that was known.

    However, Dr. Nicolosi said the authors were themselves homosexuals in the professional field whose purpose was to bust the “myth” that gays were non-monogamous:

    When McWhirter and Mattison published The Male Couple in 1984, their study was undertaken to disprove the reputation that gay male relationships do not last. The authors themselves were a homosexual couple, one a psychiatrist, the other a psychologist. After much searching they were able to locate 156 male couples in relationships that had lasted from 1 to 37 years. Two-thirds of the respondents had entered the relationship with either the implicit or the explicit expectation of sexual fidelity.

    The results of their study show that of those 156 couples, only seven had been able to maintain sexual fidelity. Furthermore, of those seven couples, none had been together more than 5 years. In other words, the researchers were unable to find a single male couple that was able to maintain sexual fidelity for more than five years.

    Given their motivation, and the fact they had much to gain by finding mongamous gay couples, we should presume they searched in a thorough manner based on profiling, such as you presumed.

    I also think we must presume the authors did not confine their search to bars and clubs, but, being in the professional field, also placed ads in the classifed sections of professional magazines to find others like themselves.

    The fact they wanted to “bust the myth” but instead “confirmed its not a myth,” is one the strongest arguments for the credibility of their findings that could be expected.

    Alex: The 2010 research Dr. Nicolosi citied…did not find out what percentage of those couples wanted to get married to each other and what percentage just wanted a “steady mate”. Its purpose was to find out if coupling agreements could reduce the transmission of HIV. It…did not evaluate the relationship goals of these couples.

    Agreed, but the 1984 study showed 66% of those surveyed intended a monogamous relationship at first, but 100% were non-monogamous after five years.

    So, even if we presumed a high number in the 2010 survey had the intent to marry, the 1984 study shows its an unreliable indicator.

  149. Ruth
    January 15th, 2011 at 00:23 | #149

    @John
    What headline was that?

  150. Chairm
    January 15th, 2011 at 01:54 | #150

    Alex said:

    “The issue is the impact of the sexual intercourse, not the marriage. There are laws against intercourse between brothers and sisters to avoid there being a potential victim. The reason for laws against incest are to prevent the sexual act. Remember, it is sex that produces children, not marriage.”

    That sounds nice and tidy but it is insufficient.

    First, it does not apply to the one-sexed arrangement.

    Currently marriage law treats marriage as a sexual type of relationship between a man and a woman. So what you described makes sense now but it would make no sense for SSM. I take it that you might make incestuous sexual intercourse a seperate matter from eligiblity to marry/SSM and I will return to that later.

    SSMers insist that procreation, which is two-sexed not one-sexed, is not a legitimate basis for eligibility to marry. They insist that the man-woman criterion is really a heterosexual criterion and that sexual orientation is not a legitimate basis for eligiblity. This is supposed to decide the matter in favor of changing the lines of eligibility, according to SSMers.

    Their arguments go even further. They declare that if something is not legally mandated in the law, then, it cannot be decisive for eligilbity. They say this for the purpose of discounting the centrality of responsible procreation and sex integration even though the law does include the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity and, of course, the man-woman criterion as well. Requirements exsist but SSMers reject them. And that is because these things do not fit the one-sexed arrangement. Their complaint is that these things are mere excuses for what they call an anti-gay law.

    If something does not fit the one-sexed arrangement, then, it would no longer be a legitimate basis for drawing lines of eligibility/ineligibility.

    You are probably aware that SSMers also insist that people’s intentions weigh heavily and since some married people intend not to procreate, even if they could, that heaps further destruction of procreation as the basis for marriage law, too. Well, of course, related people might sincerely enter a relationship with no intention of touching each other sexually; and of not procreating or at least taking steps to hinder the risk of procreation. They might change their minds or get surprised by a pregnancy, but intention still trumps. This fits the SSM argumentation very tightly.

    Given all this, it would be unjust sexual orientation discrimination to bar one-sexed arrangements based on the presumption of heterosexual sexual behavior, such as you described. And, since sexual behavior would not be mandatory, anyway, it would be unjust to treat SSM/marriage as a sexual type of arrangement that might pose the risk of harm that you said is decisive.

    So, the basis for the incest line would not justly apply to SSM; and the sexual basis for the incest line would not justly apply to marriage whose man-woman criterion would have been abolished.

    Incestuous sexual behavior and SSM/marriage would become seperate things. And that is what some SSMers have decided would ought to be the future of the line drawn against the eligilbity of some related people. It would be abolished.

    But perhaps the incestuous sexual behavior might remain out-of-bounds even though incestuous marriage would be brought within bounds. Society would live with the notion that an incestuous marriage is not a sexually incestuous type of arrangement. It could be but it would not be deemed so by default.

    Indeed, some SSMers who have surrendered marriage law to such reasoning have retreated futher: they’d blind the marriage law and the law in general to incestuous sexual behavior altogether and instead focus only on punishing incestuous procreation.

    That’s an odd approach given the way that underaged procreation is not often used as evidence of statutory rape even though underaged girls show up at abortion clinics or delivery wards with adult boyfriends. Somehow authorities find all kinds of excuses for not prosecuting the sexual transgressions that led to procreation in those cases.

    Of course, since most children of incestuous procreation are fairly healthy; and since here we are discussing, as per SSMer’s insistence, on consensual adult relationships, penalties against the parents would probably become unenforcable because that would bust-up families. Besides, people with known genetic problems are not penalized today for procreating even when their children are born with deformations and the like. And women are not penalized for procreating in their forties when the risks are elevated. And so forth. No doubt rationalizations will be found to avoid enforcement of laws against incestuous procreation.

    And then there is the phenomenon of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) in which related people become strongly attracted, sexually, and feel compelled to acknowledge and act on this orientation toward relatives. This also closely fits the gay emphasis of the SSM campaign in that related people are born related and the sexual attraction is derived from that inborn and imutable trait.

    Anyway, I think that the SSM campaign has promoted a change in how society regards marriage — and human sexuality — and that this would make marriage mean less and less and less. The same would go for the lines of eliglbility and ineligibility. If the core meaning of marriage is rejected, by the force of law, then, much else will be abandoned as illegitimate and unjustly discriminatory.

  151. Chairm
    January 15th, 2011 at 02:20 | #151

    Alex said (in reply to John Howard):

    “You are making a leap in assuming that sex leads to procreation for everybody. It often does for straight people, but it never does for infertile or gay people.”

    That leap is not made by John nor by myself but I’ll let John address that part on his own.

    On one hand you are wrong to suggest that gay people cannot procreate. Obviously, gay identity is not the cause of nonfertility. The lack of the other sex is what makes all one-sexed scenarios nonfertile — regardless of identity politics and regardless of sexual orientation. That lack makes nonfertility a constant in that scenario — a lone individual, a twosome, or a room full of persons of the same sex is always nonfertile.

    Human fertility is two-sexed, not one-sexed, obviously. So when you said that gay people never procreate, you probably meant that the lack of the other sex in a gay scenario would make that scenario nonfertile.

    Of course, as SSMers will point out, and as you are probably aware, some gay people go outside of the one-sexed scenario in order to procreate. Each lesbian who uses the sperm of a so-called donor make this concession to the facts of human generativity. The coming together of sperm and ovum is a sexual act, properly understood in the contest of procreation.

    You are also mistaken to claim that infertile couples never procreate. The first thing to understand, Alex, is that most married couples who experience fertility problems actually resolve these problems through changes in behavior. Of the small subset who resort to medical interventions, they usually do not use the more novel methods but actually seek ways to restore procreative abilities. Fertility is something that a couple, a man and woman, deal with as a couple because neither one of them can procreate alone. And that is true for those who use IVF/ARTs as well: most married couples, something like 93%, who partake of IVF/ARTs do not use the gamets of a third party. They do not go outside their marital relationship but use their own sperm and ova.

    Besides, most infertile married couples (we don’t have lots of good evidence yet on unwed couples) already have children; they experience secondary infertility.

    All that said, clearly, infertile couples can and do procreate. Some have bigger impediments or burdens that others. Some do not achieve pregnancy; others experienced mutiple miscarriages; and others decide to stop their pursuit of procreation and to attain children in need through adoption or foster care or serve their community in other familial ways. And of course there are some who are disinterested anyway.

    But please do not attempt to equate the hardships that infertile couples experience due to their disability with the choice to form a one-sex-short arrangement. There are highly significant differences that would be very cruel to disregard or to discount so deeply.

    Afterall, gay identity is not a disability whereas infertility certainly is. The choice to form a relationship that lacks the other sex may be a positive choice as experienced by some people, but infertility is rarely so.

    1. A gay identity does not preclude fertility (with the other sex).

    2. Infertility does not preclude procreation (as man and woman).

  152. Chairm
    January 15th, 2011 at 02:23 | #152

    Typo correction: “of the married couples who partake of IVF/ARTs something like 93% do not use the gametes of so-called donors”.

  153. January 15th, 2011 at 08:05 | #153

    @Alex
    “If a process comes to exist through some weird laboratory process, how would the prohibition of same-sex marriage stop same sex couples from using it?”

    It wouldn’t. But it would allow it to be prohibited, without changing marriage by stripping the approval and protection of conception rights from all married couples. The thing that would stop same-sex procreation is the federal Egg And Sperm law that would be enacted as part of the Egg And Sperm Civil Union Compromise.

    “If that is the case, I hate to see what his reasoning and argumentation was like a few years ago.”

    I think Chairm’s statement is more indicative of wearing through to finally dawn on what I’ve always been saying than any improvement in my argument or reasoning, or at least i’m not aware of what has changed. I started EggAndSperm in 2004 and it’s pretty much unchanged, look at the archives on the blog. Chairm, what specifically has improved? I want to be sure to keep the improvement, maybe improve my site.

    “What do you need to defend this liberty [of a marriage to procreate with its own gametes] from?”

    Well, currently Julie Shapiro is reviving eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s idea of procreation licenses, presumably coupled with forced contraception, which would screen out socially and genetically unfit couples from being allowed to procreate. They didn’t like that marriages were allowed to procreate by right. Even without that strict enforcement, couples can be coerced by social pressures into using “better” donor gametes or genetically modified gametes, which is just as bad even though the couple still technically has a right to use their own genes, it’s kind of like a gay man’s right to marry a woman – sure it exists, but it’s totally useless. We need to affirm that it is right and proper for a marriage to procreate with its own genes. Equating a married man and woman’s rights to a couple that is forced to use modified or donor genes does not affirm that, it undermines it, to the point that it becomes useless

    “The ability/right of married couples to procreate is not at risk.”

    Even the ability is at risk, because people are becoming less fertile, due to environmental factors, sexually transmitted disease, and delaying pregnancy. It is quite likely that a typical couple will not be able to procreate without outside help soon, so they will be at the mercy of labs, which could easily be regulated into requiring screening and not allowing children to be born with certain genetic markers or to parents who are deemed unfit or unworthy, or just poor. It’s quite likely that we’ll wind up with mandatory genetic screening and forced use of donor or modified gametes, because the insurance companies will insist, and the politics could easily shift to believe that parents don’t have a right to give birth to children who will suffer from genetic disorders, not if we are paying for it.

    “Legalizing same sex marriage would have no impact on a straight married couple’s right to procreate.”

    If we prohibit same-sex procreation with an Egg and Sperm law, then SSM would mean that marriage didn’t protect the couple’s right to procreate with their own genes. Marriage would now mean only a right to procreate using modified or donor gametes, not the couple’s own genes, because same-sex marriages are equal marriages, but aren’t allowed to procreate with their own genes, so how could man-woman marriages be?

    If we don’t prohibit same-sex procreation, then SSM would supposedly allow the couple to procreate with their own genes, but then genetic engineering would be legal, and that would erode the right to use unmodified genes. It would also say that the rights of marriage are satisfied even if the couple is forced to use modified genes.

    The only way to preserve the right to use our unmodified genes to procreate with our spouse, is to ban both genetic modification with an Egg and Sperm law, and by prohibiting same-sex marriage.

    “Is that really your concern, or are you just against same-sex couples using these processes? Would it be ok with you for opposite-sex couples (most likely infertile ones) using these processes? If so, you are being very hypocritical. ”

    I’m against all genetic modification, but the modification necessary for same-sex procreation is not even intended to make people healthy, it is entirely frivolous and wantonly risky.

  154. January 15th, 2011 at 08:10 | #154

    Alex, basically you have to see how offensive and radical it is to claim that I have no more of a right to procreate offspring with a woman than I do with a man. It insults me either way, whether a lab is ever able to do it or not.

  155. Alex
    January 15th, 2011 at 09:00 | #155

    @bman
    First let’s remember why we are having this “discussion.” It is because you make the claim that gay couples are not monogamous, and extending the right of gay marriage to gay people would somehow remove the expectation of monogamy from all marriages. As the person making the claim, you now have the burden to prove that this claim is true. So far, you have relied on claims from Dr. Nicolosi and a 1984 study. I have pointed out, and you have conceded that these studies are not comprehensive on this topic, and therefore, they are not adequate to back up your claim. Because of the age of the McWhirter and Mattison study (and it’s small sample size and method of obtaining that sample), and because its purpose (contrary to Dr. Nicolosi’s claims) was not to “prove” that gay couples are monogamous, but instead to provide an examination of various aspects of coupled relationships as the relationships age over time. It is highly inadequate to support your claim. Its findings about gay couples have strong parallels in straight couples, where over time the sex life can get stale and partners either learn new ways to keep their sex life together exciting, start having affairs, or divorce. For straight couples, there have been social structures for generations that help reduce the possibility for partners in such couples to seek sexual fulfillment outside their relationship. These include churches, peer networks, couples counceling, and even the extended family. For gay couples, these structures are only now just starting to form (2011), and they barely existed at all in 1984. The 2011 study that we have also discussed does not support your claim. If anything, it might serve as stronger evidence against your claim. Finally, you use Dr. Nicolosi’s reports as the foundation for your claim, but his credibility is questionable at best. He makes his living by providing “ex-gay therapy,” so his income and credibility depends on the need for people to think there is something wrong with gay people. This way, people who are gay will patronize his services. He has provided intersting interpretations of his source materials to support his goal of getting more people into “ex-gay therapy.”

    “I do not know how the 1984 study conducted its search, so the discussion on this point would be moot until that was known.”——-A quick google search reveals that “McWhirter and Mattison used the friendship network method to identify 156 couples” to study. (www.jstor.org/stable/3812199) This raises more questions about the validity of the study’s findings. It actually found that in gay society in 1984 (when the ability of a gay person to form a committed relationship was considerably more difficult than it is today), among a group of friends of friends, gay couple sex lives eventually got stale, and partners in gay couples started to have sexual encounters outside their relationship. It does not take a genius to know that the social ability to form a gay couple in 1984 was excessively difficult, and obviously much more difficult than the social abilities of straight couples.

  156. Matt
    January 15th, 2011 at 10:56 | #156

    The claim that the “pro-marriage” advocates are not anti-gay melts away when you look at their actions. Take Minnesota, for example. With Republicans in charge, they are preparing a constitutional amendment not only to ban marriage, but also to ban civil unions. Religious conservatives opposed gays serving in the military. They have traditionally opposed laws prohibiting employment discrimination. They advocated preservation of laws criminalizing gay intimacy. In short, they have supported ANYTHING anti-gay that they can get away with. And what’s worse, the scorched earth approach of National Organization for Marriages involves serial challenges to public disclosure laws (which benefit society). Love the sinner, hate the sin is a hollow talking point. By the Biblical measure, “by this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one to another,” the “pro-marriage” crowd is anything but identifiable as a group of Christ’s disciples. The rhetoric, the lovelessness, the disgust, used when speaking about gays, and the anything-goes approach to campaigning against gay marriage is short-sighted, not Biblical, and leaves a great many feeling like Christians are mean-spirited homophobes. And how can you blame people when you look at the incredulous radio and TV commercials put out by groups like NOM.

  157. January 15th, 2011 at 12:25 | #157

    Alex said:

    “The issue is the impact of the sexual intercourse, not the marriage. There are laws against intercourse between brothers and sisters to avoid there being a potential victim. The reason for laws against incest are to prevent the sexual act. Remember, it is sex that produces children, not marriage.”

    But marriage ALWAYS allows sex, and therefore procreation. Marriage must not become stripped of the right to procreate, it must continue to approve and affirm the right to procreate. When I get married, I want to feel the same approval of the state and everyone in society of my wife and I producing offspring, nine months from now, with our own genes, that every single marriage has enjoyed since the beginning of formal marriage. I don’t want that withheld, or told that I already had all the approval I was gonna get, I want real official grown-up adult same-as-everyone-else approval to go ahead and start procreating, immeditaly upon saying I Do to the vows and being declared man and wife.

    When I pointed out that Lawrence v Texas affirmed that marriage is, at minimum, “about the right to have sexual intercourse” means that it is about the right to procreate, you objected that sex doesn’t necessarily lead to procreation. No duh (and in the future, if you think you have refuted an argument by stating an obvious fact that the person probably is aware of, then perhaps you aren’t understanding the argument or aren’t addressing it in a good faith way): sex doesn’t always result in procreation, but allowing sex means allowing procreation because sex often does lead to procreation. If we weren’t fine with procreation, then we wouldn’t tell people to go ahead and have sex. And Saletan seemed to think that we could allow sex but then require that pregnancies be aborted, but that’s not good public policy, nor is mandatory contraception, which might not work. And those would both be unacceptable changes to marriage, if marriages could be forced to abort or use contraception. Terrible changes. Marriage must always approve of procreation. We should never approve of someone procreating with a sibling or with someone of the same sex.

  158. January 15th, 2011 at 12:41 | #158

    @Matt
    “Take Minnesota, for example. With Republicans in charge, they are preparing a constitutional amendment not only to ban marriage, but also to ban civil unions.”

    I’ve looked at that amendment, and it is another one that would allow CU’s as long as they did not give the essential rights of marriage. So, they’re another state that should define them as “marriage minus conception rights” and then they’d be recognized by the federal government as if they were marriages when the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise is passed, which would also affirm that all marriages must protect conception rights and prohibit non male-female conception, thereby stopping same-sex marriage in every state and preserving it as a man and a woman.

  159. StraightGrandmother
    January 16th, 2011 at 18:54 | #159

    @Mark
    Alex, if I might jump in here.
    I did look at that study about the promiscuity of gay men and it surprised me as it did nto seem to reflect the beahviour of gay men that I know so I researched it a bit. Here was my take away- Not only did they go in person to gay bars but while there they offered a free AIDS test if you would answer their survey. Now if you were gay and you were monogomous you would have no need to take an AIDS test so that eliminated a lot of monogomus gay men. The ones where were not in a monogomous realstionship probably thought the idea of getting a free AIDS test was nice so they took the survey. In addition to your point of not getting a sample from gay men who go to Home Depot and farmers markets the sample that they did ge,t in my opinion, was further compromised by offereing a free AIDS test. Offering a free AIDS test is an inducement that would attract gay men sexually active and not in a monogomous relationship.

    I am so glad to be talking about research and not religion, that is nice. Throw in a little talk on civil laws and I am happy to join the conversation.

  160. StraightGrandmother
    January 16th, 2011 at 19:13 | #160

    Ms Morse, you wrote right at the end of your article, “We care about same sex marriage because we believe that redefining marriage as the union of any two persons will harm the institution of marriage, not particularly because of anything same sex couples do or don’t do. In the past, the legal and social institution of marriage has provided structure to people’s lives, helping them to avoid some socially destructive actions and steering them toward socially constructive actions. We think that the legal redefinition and all the social practices that will inevitably follow, will reduce to near nothing the capacity of marriage to structure people’s lives and shape their decision-making. ”

    I am all FOR marriage, I have been married for 36 years. I think marriage is very very good for people. I think it is much ado about nothing that gay people can get married. Personally I do not think it changes the civil instituition of marriage. Now on a religious basis I do see how it would change it. Some religions do not permit drinking of alcohol yet we allow it in civil law in most places. Don’t those families simply have to raise up their children and teach them that although it is not against the law, in our family and according to our Bible we don’t drink. I can’t see how that is any different a situation then telling your children that although it is not against the law we do not approve of two men getting married in our family and according to our Bible it is not permitted. To me it is the exact same thing.

    I honestly dont’ think it hurts anything if gay people get married, it doens’t affect me in my marriage and it doesn’t affect how I would raise up my children (but they are grown now).
    It is to general to say that it will “harm the instituition of marriage” How? Specifically how? If gay people get married doens’t that just make more members to the instituition of marriage? I think your goal is to have more married people not less married people.

    Further more many gay people do create families, aren’t those children better off with their parents (gay or straight) are married? What about the children of gay couples? What is best for them, that their parents are not married? I sincerely hope and pray that you will at least anser my questions about what is best for children who have gay parents raising them. The reason why I sincerely hope that you answer my question about what is best for the children of gay couples is because I have asked this question a few times and not one peson EVER has come back and attempted to answer it. It is like everyone always wants to talk about the children, but they only ever want to talk about the children of hetrosexual couples, nobody ever talks about the children of same sex couples, what is best for them? Since nobody has ever tried to answer that question I am hoping you will be the first one, I really am hoping.

  161. Mark
    January 17th, 2011 at 18:02 | #161

    @StraightGrandmother
    “Offering a free AIDS test is an inducement that would attract gay men sexually active and not in a monogomous relationship. ”

    And they still got 50% who stated they were monogamous so looking at the data collection shows that, assuming data was collected more impartially, the numbers might equal those of hetero marriages.

    It’s always important to not just quote the results of a study but evaluate it’s data and methods. One of the most harmful “studies” in recent years was the “MMR causing autism” study. It was based on 12 children, 12. Hardly a significant number. When the children were evaluated and histories reviewed, some were already showing signs of autism PRIOR to the MMR. It was a terrible study, extremely small sample size and now seems to have had a motivation to support the authors financial endeavors.

  162. Scott Mcgowan
    January 17th, 2011 at 19:41 | #162

    From reading through these comments, all I can take away is that Christian moral superiority and what the bible says are the only basis for the argument against same sex couples being allowed to marry and procreate. If it’s about procreation then all hetrosexual couples past child bearing years and infertile couples should be denied the ability to marry as well because they don’t conform to the “natural” way of conception. If it about protecting the “sanctity” of marriage, then it’s the hetrosexual couples divorce rate that proves that it is a race already lost by no fault of the gay community. Do you really believe that by denying others a strengthening of the family will happen?

  163. January 18th, 2011 at 07:54 | #163

    @Scott Mcgowan
    “If it’s about procreation then all hetrosexual couples past child bearing years and infertile couples should be denied the ability to marry as well because they don’t conform to the “natural” way of conception.”

    They’re not prohibited from procreating, they just probably won’t. The correct analogy is to siblings and other man-woman couples that are prohibited from procreating, none of which are ever allowed to marry. We also should not allow same-sex couples to procreate, because it is unsafe and unethical.

  164. Alex
    January 18th, 2011 at 16:13 | #164

    It is nice to see intelligent comments from Straight Grandmother, Mark, and Scott McGowan.

    @Chairm
    @Chairm
    In response to Chairm:
    “Currently marriage law treats marriage as a sexual type of relationship between a man and a woman. So what you described makes sense now but it would make no sense for SSM. I take it that you might make incestuous sexual intercourse a seperate matter from eligiblity to marry/SSM and I will return to that later.”
    —–You are right that marriage law treats marriage as a sexual type of relationship (of course not all married couples have sex because it is either impossible due to physical separation or because the couples just aren’t having sex). That aspect of marriage applies to same sex couples and opposite sex couples. It makes sense for both types of couples. As to incestuous marriage/intercourse, sexual contact is a normal behavior of marriage, and straight intercourse naturally has the possibility of procreation. Gay intercourse does not. Your example of a brother and sister who promise to not have sex but still get married does not guarantee that they would not have sex and accidentally procreate at some time in their married live. The prohibition against incestuous intercourse and incestuous marriage is necessary to avoid the potential creation of offspring, and that offspring, because of highly likely deformities, would be a victim of the couple’s actions. Law is generally about prohibiting behavior that victimizes people. As an example, I drive a turbocharged Volvo. It is a very fast car with great handling. It’s also a Volvo, so it is very safe. Furthermore, I am a very skilled driver and can handle a car very well. I would love to have the right to speed, and I could promise that I would not get into an accident because of the aforementioned factors. Should I have permission to break the speed limit? No. I shouldn’t. Speeding creates the risk of an accident that would victimize others (the other drivers and/or the owners of the property I crash into). In the same manner, incest creates the strong risk of deformed babies. If two people want to have incestuous sex or get married (based on their sexual relationship), it is highly likely they will create a potential victim (a deformed child).

    Your argument that same-sex marriage is similar to incestuous marriage falls flat because there is no potential victim from consensual same-sex intercourse between adults. Marriage elevates that sexual relationship to a special status within society legally binding the two people as partners in their financial and legal affairs. Same-sex relationships are equal to opposite-sex relationships, so the right for the elevating of a couples status should be provided equally to straight people and to gay people.

    “But please do not attempt to equate the hardships that infertile couples experience due to their disability with the choice to form a one-sex-short arrangement. There are highly significant differences that would be very cruel to disregard or to discount so deeply.”

    —-While I agree that infertile couples are likely experiencing severe emotional distress because of their physical limitations, your statement here shows a very clear lack of understanding of the nature of sexual orientation. While it has not been proven that sexuality is inborn, the evidence is mounting that it is, and no one has been able to prove that sexual orientation is a choice. The groups that claim to be able to change people’s sexual orientation from gay to straight have a failure rate in excess of 70 percent, and their “successes” are bi-sexual people anyway. Gay people are different from bi-sexual people. Bi-sexual people can “sexually perform” with a member of the opposite sex. Gay people cannot without artificial stimulation. Gay people are not changing their orientation.

    @John Howard
    In response to John Howard:

    “’Legalizing same sex marriage would have no impact on a straight married couple’s right to procreate.’ If we prohibit same-sex procreation with an Egg and Sperm law, then SSM would mean that marriage didn’t protect the couple’s right to procreate with their own genes. Marriage would now mean only a right to procreate using modified or donor gametes, not the couple’s own genes, because same-sex marriages are equal marriages, but aren’t allowed to procreate with their own genes, so how could man-woman marriages be?
    If we don’t prohibit same-sex procreation, then SSM would supposedly allow the couple to procreate with their own genes, but then genetic engineering would be legal, and that would erode the right to use unmodified genes. It would also say that the rights of marriage are satisfied even if the couple is forced to use modified genes.”

    —-The problem you present here is created by your “Egg and Sperm Law”, so the solution is for your “Egg and Sperm Law” to not be adopted. Go back to the ‘drawing board’ John and seek a law that prohibits unethical laboratory procedures without getting same-sex marriage involded. Then everone’s problem here would be solved.

    “‘Is that really your concern, or are you just against same-sex couples using these processes? Would it be ok with you for opposite-sex couples (most likely infertile ones) using these processes? If so, you are being very hypocritical.’
    I’m against all genetic modification, but the modification necessary for same-sex procreation is not even intended to make people healthy, it is entirely frivolous and wantonly risky.”

    —-You did not answer my question. Try again, John.

    @John Howard

    “The correct analogy is to siblings and other man-woman couples that are prohibited from procreating, none of which are ever allowed to marry.”

    —-Actually, John, straight couples that are prohibited from procreating are allowed to marry. Death Row inmates are allowed to marry a member of the opposite sex even though they are prohibited from doing any act with their spouse that would lead to procration. As I said before, marriage is the legal elevating of a sexual relationship, but it does not guarantee the ability for sex to occur.

    Chairm, bman, and John Howard:
    I earlier stated that “Same-sex relationships are equal to opposite-sex relationships, so the right for the elevating of a couple’s legal status should be provided equally to straight people and to gay people.” Are you guys arguing that people should be unequal in the eyes of the law?

  165. January 18th, 2011 at 18:00 | #165

    @Alex
    “—-The problem you present here is created by your “Egg and Sperm Law”, so the solution is for your “Egg and Sperm Law” to not be adopted. Go back to the ‘drawing board’ John and seek a law that prohibits unethical laboratory procedures without getting same-sex marriage involved. Then everyone’s problem here would be solved.”

    Same-sex procreation is unethical and needs to be prohibited. Are you asking me to come up with a law that doesn’t prohibit same-sex procreation, but only cloning and human-animal hybrids and genetic modification? That’s not good enough, it is not only unethical itself, but opens the door too wide and would result in genetic modification being allowed.

    The Egg and Sperm law itself doesn’t have anything to do with marriage, it doesn’t mention marriage or prohibit same-sex marriage or preserve marriage. It is just one of the three laws in the Egg And Sperm Civil Union Compromise (the others are federally recognizing CU’s and affirming marriage’s procreation rights). All it does is limit procreation to a man and a woman. (Specifying “living” and “adult” man and woman would be good idea too, to stop use of frozen gametes or gametes of children. Ideally, we’d just specify “married” but stopping donor gametes is taking on a bigger fish than I think we are ready to do at this point.)

    It is the best way to stop all forms of human manufacture, rather than a piecemeal approach that addresses one procedure at a time.

    ” “‘Is that really your concern, or are you just against same-sex couples using these processes? Would it be ok with you for opposite-sex couples (most likely infertile ones) using these processes? If so, you are being very hypocritical.’
    I’m against all genetic modification, but the modification necessary for same-sex procreation is not even intended to make people healthy, it is entirely frivolous and wantonly risky.”

    —-You did not answer my question. Try again, John.”

    I am not just against same-sex couples using stem cell derived gametes or modified gametes. I am against all forms of intentional procreation, I think only married sexual intercourse done for experiencing mutual pleasure is ethical. I am against IVF and fertility drugs and non-pleasurable sex done with the intention of getting pregnant, even by married couples.

  166. Alex
    January 18th, 2011 at 19:57 | #166

    @John Howard
    John:
    In a wierd way, I kind see a benefit to laws agains procreation by any means other than sexual intercourse, only because I am concerned about world overpopulation. That said, none of your state concerns relate to same-sex marriage. Your concerns about alternative methods of producing children may offend many infertile couples, but they have nothing to do with whether gay couples can have the right to the exact same legal and social recognition as their straight counterparts. Go ahead and lobby for laws against other forms of procreation and do battle with the fertility advocates, but leave those who simply want the right to have relationship equality out of this.

  167. January 19th, 2011 at 05:56 | #167

    @Alex
    “—-Actually, John, straight couples that are prohibited from procreating are allowed to marry. Death Row inmates are allowed to marry a member of the opposite sex even though they are prohibited from doing any act with their spouse that would lead to procration. As I said before, marriage is the legal elevating of a sexual relationship, but it does not guarantee the ability for sex to occur.”

    Actually, death row inmates are only denied the freedom to get out of their cell and have sex with their wife, but they aren’t actually prohibited from ever procreating. They’re denied that freedom the same way they are not allowed to watch television or drive a car – because they are in prison, the point of that is for their liberties that they would otherwise have to be taken from them and denied them. If they escape, or if their sentence is commuted, it would not be illegal for them to have sex and procreate with their wife. In fact, the hope or expectation, however slight, that even death row inmates might someday be able to consummate their marriage is one of the four things that “taken together” protect their right to marry. The other three things are reasons also, all four of which are “taken together”, none being reason alone.

    Surely you can see that allowing marriage but physically prohibiting sex and procreation the way death row inmates are denied it would violate the rights of a marriage if they were not also being incarcerated and having their rights denied them because of punishment for a crime. So hopefully you aren’t seriously suggesting that marriages can be prohibited since prisoners are.

  168. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:30 | #168

    Alex said: “Your argument that same-sex marriage is similar to incestuous marriage falls flat because there is no potential victim from consensual same-sex intercourse between adults.”

    You misread.

    I did not say that SSM is similar to incestuous unions of husband and wife.

    I said that SSM provides no justification for the ineligiblity of related people. You conceded as much in your own comments.

  169. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:35 | #169

    Alex said: “That [sexual] aspect of marriage applies to same sex couples and opposite sex couples. It makes sense for both types of couples.”

    No, sexual consummation depends something that no one-sexed arrangement can do. And that is directly expressed in annulment provisions and in adultery-divorce laws. It is obviously true that the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity does not apply to the one-sexed arrangement.

    And, as openly conceded by SSMers, there is no proposal to make same-sex sexual behavior mandatory for those who’d SSM. SSMers insist that the lack of a legal requirement is decisive. (Just see the pro-SSM arguments against the centrality of procreation in marriage.) SSM is not a sexual type of relationship at law. So on that basis you have removed the incestuous line completely.

  170. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:39 | #170

    Alex, whether or not sexual orientation is a choice, forming a one-sexed arrangement is most definitely a choice. And as such it is not closely analogous with the condition and the hardships of infertility, as already explained. The choice to form a one-sexed arrangement is the choice to form a nonfertile arrangement; so comparison with infertile man-woman unions is really out-of-bounds.

  171. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:42 | #171

    The fact is that marriage and homosexual orientation are seperate matters. The marriage law is concerned with marriage, not other stuff like orientation.

    If your emphasis is on homosexuality, Alex, then, you are not really talking about marriage anyway. The SSM idea, as per the lack of a legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior and attraction, is not about a homosexual type of arrangement, afterall, but one that merely lacks the othe rsex. So, it turns out, you are not really talking about a homosexual type of relationship either.

  172. Alex
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:48 | #172

    Everyone: Please accept my appologies for the typos in my last post. I was multi-tasking whille writing it. Here is the corrected version.
    John:
    In a wierd way, I kind see a benefit to laws against procreation by any means other than sexual intercourse, only because I am concerned about world overpopulation. That said, none of your stated concerns relate to same-sex marriage. Your concerns about alternative methods of producing children may offend many infertile couples, but they have nothing to do with whether gay couples can have the right to the exact same legal and social recognition as their straight counterparts. Go ahead and lobby for laws against other forms of procreation and do battle with the fertility advocates, but leave those who simply want the right to have relationship equality out of this.

  173. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 09:55 | #173

    Alex, when it comes to equal treatment, the one-sexed arrangement (sexualized or not) is similarily situated with a wide range of types of relationships and types of living arrangements that populate the nonmarriage category. Equal treatment would mean that the gay subset of nonmarriage is not given special treatment over and above the rest of nonmarriage.

    Yet the SSM idea is promoted as doing just that.

    Think it through: If we have marriage, then, we necessarily also must have nonmarriage as well. What legitimatley differentiates marriage from nonmarriage — before you pin the label marriage on one but not the other? What legitimately differentiates the gay relationship you have in mind from the rest of nonmarriage?

    Remember, whatever you cite must be present with the one-sexed relationship that is gay but not present with the one-sexed relationship that is not gay. If gayness is the only difference, then, you are demanding special status on that basis only.

  174. January 19th, 2011 at 11:01 | #174

    @Alex
    “In a wierd way, I kind see a benefit to laws against procreation by any means other than sexual intercourse, only because I am concerned about world overpopulation.”

    That is a weird way of putting it. I think you use that phrase because you have mixed feelings. You remember that you do want to reduce procreation, and don’t mind laws that prohibit heterosexuals from procreating, but I think you would actually prefer to limit procreation in a more targeted way than a blanket ban on non-sexual intercourse methods, such as screening out bad parents from access to treatments, increasing contraception and infertility and minimizing the number of people who become heterosexual. And I bet you don’t want to limit access to IVF and non sexual intercourse methods in the case of homosexual couples that really want to have children. That would make for weird mixed feelings, I get it.

    You want to keep insisting that people have the equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex that they have with someone of the other sex. You object when I say that people only have a right to procreate with someone of the other sex, and you object when I say that married couples should never be prohibited from procreating, that marriage should always express public approval of the concept of offspring of the marriage from their own genes.

    The law I am pushing for is not targeted at same-sex couples, it is a blanket ban on conceiving people by any means other than sexual intercourse of the unmodified gametes of a man and a woman, albeit their sexual intercourse is allowed to take place in a petri dish. I am purposefully not trying to ban anything that is currently being done, because that would make the law much harder to pass. The law would ban new ways of making children that haven’t been done yet, such as genetic engineering and use of modified gametes and same-sex procreation, as well as cloning and human-animal hybrids.

    “That said, none of your stated concerns relate to same-sex marriage.”

    Sure they do. Marriage should continue to express approval of conceiving offspring, which same-sex couples should not be given.

    “Your concerns about alternative methods of producing children may offend many infertile couples”

    I don’t think they would be offended, since I am protecting their right to procreate and insisting that marriage continue expressing approval of them conceiving children together. You’re the one comparing them to two men. Well, maybe expressing my disapproval of intentional procreation would offend couples that are intentionally trying to procreate, but at the same time I’m trying to respect them just as much as procreative marriages.

    “but they have nothing to do with whether gay couples can have the right to the exact same legal and social recognition as their straight counterparts.”

    They can’t have the exact same right to procreate together as their straight counterparts. But they can have Civil Unions defined as “marriage minus conception rights” to give them exactly all the other rights.

    “Go ahead and lobby for laws against other forms of procreation and do battle with the fertility advocates, but leave those who simply want the right to have relationship equality out of this.”

    It’s all of you are insisting on equal procreation rights, and throwing all the couples who simply want all the other protections and obligations of marriage under the bus. Thousands of families are harmed every day because you reject the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise and keep demanding the right to procreate with someone of the same sex.

  175. Alex
    January 19th, 2011 at 12:13 | #175

    @Chairm
    So your arguement is effectively that gay relationships are not now considered marriage (in most of America), so they should not be marriage. You keep calling it “non-marriage”, but that is simply because Federal and state law (in most states) unfairly discriminates against gay people. You are simply wrong to say that enabling gay couples to enjoy the same rights as straight people is “special treatment.” In actuality, it is the straight people who enjoy special rights because they can marry whomever they love, but gay people cannot do that.

    Current unequal conditions be justified only if people were actually victimized by the equalizing of marriage rights. We all know that incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages, marriages to minors, and marriage to animals are situations where someone is highly likely to be victimized, so America justifiably prohibits those types of marriages. There is no likely victim created by same sex marriages (and being offended because you think being gay is a sin does not make you a victim), so there is no justification for not extending a right that straight people enjoy to gay people.

  176. Alex
    January 19th, 2011 at 18:11 | #176

    @John Howard

    John. You really have a wild imagination. Now you are trying to channel my thoughts:
    “You want to keep insisting that people have the equal right to procreate with someone of the same sex that they have with someone of the other sex. You object when I say that people only have a right to procreate with someone of the other sex, and you object when I say that married couples should never be prohibited from procreating, that marriage should always express public approval of the concept of offspring of the marriage from their own genes.”
    Please re-read my posted statement (with emphasis added): “In a wierd way, I kind see a benefit to laws against procreation by any means other than sexual intercourse, only because I am concerned about world overpopulation.”
    As you can see, I am pointing out a benefit to your idea of a law that limits procreation only to sexual intercourse. That is actually what you said you want your law to do, by the way. Your rational basis for that law was that it would avoid “designer babies” and cloning. Those are legitimate reasons for such a law. I will give you the olive branch by adding that population control is another reason.

    As such, here is a little newsflash for you: gay couples cannot procreate through sexual intercourse, but infertile couples cannot either. Both types of couples can (and do) adopt or use surrogates. For this reason, if you want a law against non-sexual procreation, it will be gay-marriage-neutral, but it will also harm infertile couples. Gay couples and infertile couples are very similar in this regard. Both types of couples are equally capable of being good parents (all other factors being equal: mental capacity, finances, emotional stibility, etc.), so why do you want to create a “separate, but not-fully equal” civil union status for gay couples? The better solution to the problems you are trying to solve is to simply allow for gay marriage and leave decisions of appropriate procreation methods to legitimate medical ethisists. You seem to be dancing around the issue of whether laboratory-based procreation methods should be available to infertile straight couples. Please give a simple “yes” or “no” answer to this question: Should laboratory-based procreation methods be available to infertile married straight couples?

    If the answer is yes, please justify why you think such methods should not be allowed for gay couples. I get the impression you somehow think that gay couples are inferior to straight couples. Is that true? Please give a simple “yes” or “no” response to that question as well.

    Furthermore, please explain what you meant when you said:
    “I don’t think (infertile couples) would be offended, since I am protecting their right to procreate and insisting that marriage continue expressing approval of them conceiving children together. You’re the one comparing them to two men.

  177. Chairm
    January 20th, 2011 at 05:17 | #177

    No, Alex, that is not my argument.

    I have invited you to say what makes the gay type of relationship different from the types of relationships and living arrangements that populate the nonmarriage category. It is a big category. Everything that is not marriage.

    I describe to you the core meaning of the social institution and the legal provisions that express that core meaning. I have asked you to do likewise for what you’d call SSM.

    Most of the people — the vast majority by far — in the nonmarriage category are not gay. So the term, non-marriage, is not defined by gayness, in fact, but really it is a matter-of-fact term that denotes stuff that is not marriage. If the core meaning does not fit this or that type of relationship or arrangement, then, that type is not eligible to marry.

    Society also draws lines around marriage that make ineligible types of relationships that might otherwise be eligible in other societies. I think I have already referred to first cousin marriages and to polygamous marriages.

    Alex, love would not be a legal requirement for those who’d SSM, right? Besides, what kind of love, how much love, and how come some people’s love is not considered when you show your favoritism for the gay subset of nonmarriage? How would government, on behalf of society, test people for this love?

    Alex, you have already acknowledged that there is no basis for making related people ineligible to SSM.

    Now, please state the reason to place out of bounds the polygamous-like one-sexed arrangement. Or group-SSM? What victims are you thinking about there? Likewise with the age limit?

    You referred to “likely victims” and that indicates that you are basing your thoughts on chance rather than certainty. Do you see the problem that brings into your remarks about the lack of forcing people to procreate in marriage? If likelihood is sufficient, then, your objection to the centrality of procreation has just been invalidated by your own view on polygamy, group marriage, incestuous marriage, and under-aged marriage.

    I am not looking for justification to not extend a right to marry; I am asking you for justification for treating SSM with the special status that is accorded marriage. If SSM is a rejection of the core meaning of marriage, as per the legal provisions I have cited, then, why might society treat that rejection on par with the status that the core of marriage merits?

    1. Marital status is a special status.
    2. This is due to the core meaning of the social institution, as a social institution.
    3. SSM rejects that core meaning and do not regard marriage as a social institution but rather as a private contract or somesuch.
    4. SSM must have a different core meaning — but what is it and how is it different from the nonmarriage category?
    5. If that SSM meaning merits it, society might accord it special status based on that meaning; and eligibility would be drawn around that meaning and the societal response to it.
    6. In other words, if there is no special reason, then, there can be no justification for special status — not for marriage and not for SSM.

    What is so special about SSM? Your gay emphasis strongly suggests that gayness is what you think merits special status. If tha tis not what you think, then, please state the core meaning of SSM such that it is 1) identical to marriage and 2) distinguishable from nonmarriage.

  178. StraightGrandmother
    January 20th, 2011 at 06:27 | #178

    Ms Morse,
    Perhaps you have been busy. Or perhaps I am not using the website correctly, maybe I should go and look for a comment that you made and use the reply feature. Perhaps you are just not reading the comments.

    I waited a few days and checked back hoping to see an answer to my very important question. I posted it here – January 16th, 2011 at 19:13 | #10 Reply | Quote

    I would like to stress that this question is very important to me.

  179. StraightGrandmother
    January 20th, 2011 at 07:58 | #179

    What happend to my last post? Oh well I will take the time to enter it again.
    A few days ago a left a comment with a question that is very important to me. It is really important as this affects people I love.
    I asked Dr. Morse to please answer my question, but maybe she does not read the blogs or is to busy. Can anyone who works for the Ruth Instituite please answer my question which was posted here? I come here looing for answers-

    January 16th, 2011 at 19:13 | #10 Reply | Quote

  180. January 20th, 2011 at 12:49 | #180

    @StraightGrandmother
    “The reason why I sincerely hope that you answer my question about what is best for the children of gay couples is because I have asked this question a few times and not one person EVER has come back and attempted to answer it.”

    StraightGrandmother, the answer is Civil Unions, defined as “marriage minus conception rights” and federally recognized as if they were marriages for purposes of federal law, and uniformly defined in all 50 states, with all the benefits and obligations and security of marriage except the protection of the right to create offspring.

    And I’ve had many drinks with disfellowshipped Jehova’s Witnesses, who were shunned by their parents and congregation because they couldn’t resist the pull of social life outside their religion. It is actually quite normal, there is a pretty big community of disfellowshipped JDubs, who choose to be “normal” even though it means their family has to shun them. That’s what happens when religious beliefs taught by parents come into conflict with the norms of society, which are shaped by the laws of the state. My friends would have a much easier time abstaining from alcohol and remaining JW’s in good standing and members of their family if no one was allowed to drink alcohol, but because the laws and customs are so based around alcohol being a normal thing, and because alcohol itself is habit forming and an escape from the pressures and pains of life, they chose to be normal over their families. Many children of JW’s are able to continue to follow the beliefs of their parents, but it’s pretty plain that most do not, most cannot.

  181. January 20th, 2011 at 17:42 | #181

    Btw, StraightGrandmother, I don’t work for the Ruth Institute, I’m just a commenter like you. I’d like to see Dr. Morse answer your question too. I don’t know who here actually works for the Ruth Institute, or in what capacity. It would be useful to know who all the moderators ans bloggers are, maybe with some information about their specific interests and expertise.

  182. Alex
    January 21st, 2011 at 13:24 | #182

    @Chairm
    @John Howard

    Chairm said:
    “Alex, love would not be a legal requirement for those who’d SSM, right?”

    —-Wrong. Love is the fundamental reason for marriage. Gay people love their partners (who happen to be of the same sex) the same way straight people love their partners (who happen to be of the opposite sex). The condition is identical in every way except for the gender of the person who is loved. Does government test the love of opposite sex couples before giving them a marriage license? It does not. The fact that two unrelated people pledge to share their lives together is adequate for the government to grant a marriage license. However, the criteria (in most states) that the pair of people be of the opposite sex gives straight people a right that gay people cannot get.

    “You referred to ‘likely victims’ and that indicates that you are basing your thoughts on chance rather than certainty.”

    —-Public policy is often based on risk (chance) rather than certainty. For example, laws against drunk driving are based on the increased risk of a car accident. This is why there are laws against sexual relationships, and the social recognition of those sexual relationships through marriage, involving couples where there is an increased risk of someone getting victimized. There is no increased risk of any person to be victimized by a gay marriage, so there is no reason to not permit it. Opposite sex marriage is simply a social institution where two straight people publicly profess their love for eachother and have their loving relationship legally recognized. Same sex marriage would simply be a social institution where two gay people publicly profess their love for eachother and have their loving relationship legally recognized. All of your other “non-marriage” relationships, like business partnerships, friendships, etc. do not involve love between non-relatives, so they are not qualified to become marriages.

    John Howard said:

    “I think you would actually prefer to limit procreation in a more targeted way than a blanket ban on non-sexual intercourse methods, such as screening out bad parents from access to treatments, increasing contraception and infertility and minimizing the number of people who become heterosexual.”

    —-John, you do have a wild imagination. I simply said “I kind of see a benefit to laws against procreation by any means other than sexual intercourse, only because I am concerned about world overpopulation.” Nowhere did I say anything about qualifications for parentage or the number of people who would become heterosexual. Those are your statements and yours only. I emphasized the words “other than sexual intercourse” in my reprint because that is what you said you are actually lobbying for because you are (justifiably) concerned about “designer babies”, cloning, etc. I added that your policy may have the benefit of reducing the world’s risk of overpopulation, but it clearly would not screen out bad parents nor have any impact on the possible future population of heterosexuals. It would, however, make procreation impossible for gay couples, because procreation is impossible with same sex intercourse, but also for infertile straight couples. Naturally, those infertile couples that want to have children using the latest medically available technology would be left out. You seem to state that this is not a problem because you “don’t think they would be offended, since (you are) protecting their right to procreate and insisting that marriage continue expressing approval of them conceiving children together.” Of course you are saying they would have the “right” to procreate, but they would not have the ability since they cannot conceive through sexual intercourse, which is exactly the same situation for same-sex couples. Either ethical medical technology can exist to make procreation possible for couples that cannot conceive through sexual intercourse, or not. You went on to say that I am “the one comparing them to two men” as if that is somehow offensive to infertile straight couples. Do you consider same-sex couples to somehow be inferior to opposite sex non-procreative couples? That is a simple “yes” or “no” question, and I would love to see your answer.

  183. January 21st, 2011 at 13:46 | #183

    “Do you consider same-sex couples to somehow be inferior to opposite sex non-procreative couples?”

    Yes, they are inferior because they do not have a right to attempt to procreate, society should not approve of them procreating or declare them equal in rights to other married couples, they do not have a historical right to try to procreate or to be approved of procreating, it would be unethical if they were to procreate, they should not have to commit to the obligations of marriage because they do not appear to the public to be a couple that might procreate, and they are the same sex so they don’t form a fully human both-sex marriage which brings equality to the sexes by becoming one flesh and one legal entity. They also normalize homosexuality which infertile heterosexual couples do not do when they marry, which results in more people being unable to love someone of the other sex, and therefore to more people demanding ART, which in turn leads to more people delaying marriage and discovering they are infertile when they do finally have procreative sex. That’s only a partial list, it’s hard to think of anything good about a same-sex couple.

  184. January 21st, 2011 at 14:03 | #184

    “Either ethical medical technology can exist to make procreation possible for couples that cannot conceive through sexual intercourse, or not.”

    It’s not like we have to either ban everything or allow everything, though. Some things, like genetic engineering and use of stem cell derived gametes, are different in kind from procedures that bring a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg together to make a pregnancy. Plus, there is the little matter of the right to procreate, which people only can have with someone of the other sex, as the sex they were born most likely to procreate as, using their own gametes. So that right would influence whether a couple can use a medical procedure or not. For example, we shouldn’t allow siblings to use IVF to procreate together, but we could allow them to procreate with people they marry using IVF (though I think we shouldn’t allow anyone to use IVF).

    And regarding the last line of my previous comment, I do think we should provide Civil Unions and support and respect for same-sex couples, in spite of the fact that it would normalize homosexuality a little bit, because I think society owes it to them after teaching in public schools that it is OK, and it would help them live healthy lives, and in the larger calculation, when combined with the effect of preserving marriage and stopping genetic engineering, would be better than the status quo.

  185. Alex
    January 21st, 2011 at 14:57 | #185

    @John Howard

    Your credibility just took a big hit when you made the following statements:

    Same-sex couples “also normalize homosexuality which infertile heterosexual couples do not do when they marry.”…”it’s hard to think of anything good about a same-sex couple.”

    You are effectively saying you are anti-gay. Bear in mind that the medical and psychological communities consider homosexuality to be perfectly normal, so your opinion goes against that of professionals that are considerably smarter on this topic than you. Based on this revealed bias, it now is very clear that you are just using the veil of medical ethics in your effort to restrict the rights of same sex couples.

  186. January 21st, 2011 at 15:56 | #186

    I only claim to be compassionate and practical, but certainly not pro-gay, or even neutral, when it comes to setting the environment that influences people to be straight or gay or values or rewards people for their lifestyles. I used to say it wasn’t anti-gay to oppose genetic engineering and same-sex procreation (and still say that on the website), but that was using an old definition of “gay” that assumed gays just wanted to be let alone to be intimate and love people of their own sex. In that sense, it is certainly not anti-gay to oppose genetic engineering, or gay marriage, especially while also promoting state recognition and protections for same-sex couples. But I’ve come to understand that my definition wasn’t entirely accurate, because there is also something intrinsic to the gay identity or the gay philosophy besides a desire for gay sex, there is also a deep sense that natural procreation is bad and random and animalistic, a eugenic transhumanist idealist desire to improve the way people are created and live and do away with marriage as procreation rights. I’d love to be proven wrong on that, but I have yet to come across a gay activist who accepts that people only have a right to procreate with someone of the same sex. You won’t even go that far when, you just say you “kind of” agree, but, what? Kind of don’t agree? Now, not all gays are gay activists, I know. And those are the people I had in mind when I said it was not anti-gay to be anti-genetic engineering.

    So I am not using a veil of medical ethics to restrict the rights of same-sex couples, I wouldn’t care about same-sex couples at all if I did not care about preserving natural procreation and equality and stopping eugenics and Transhumanism.

  187. bman
    January 21st, 2011 at 16:56 | #187

    @Alex

    Alex: First let’s remember why we are having this “discussion.” It is because you make the claim that gay couples are not monogamous, and extending the right of gay marriage to gay people would somehow remove the expectation of monogamy from all marriages.

    Basically correct.

    Alex: As the person making the claim, you now have the burden to prove that this claim is true.

    So far, the Niclosi article is the proof offered. Defending it is part of meeting the burden of proof.

    More proof appears later in this post, as well.

    Alex: I have pointed out, and you have conceded that these studies are not comprehensive on this topic, and therefore, they are not adequate to back up your claim.

    Inductive arguments are never comprehensive, yet they are often used by the courts and the average person to project probability or to decide the credibility of something.

    An inductive argument basically says, “Since X is true, then Y is probably true also.”

    I think the 2010 and 1984 studies are adequate for backing up my claim as part of an inductive argument.

    Alex: Because of the age of the McWhirter and Mattison study (and it’s small sample size and method of obtaining that sample)…It is highly inadequate to support your claim.

    While those things prevent a conclusive (deductive) argument from being made, they do not prevent a persuasive (inductive) argument from being made.

    You noted the researchers used “the friendship network” to locate subjects. That is not the same thing as going to the bars and clubs looking for monogamy in all the wrong places.

    Instead, it implies the authors, both homosexuals in professional psychology/psychiatry, would have put out a call to their circle of friends which spread by word of mouth until the target sample was located. This would have had a better potential for locating monogamous gays in long term relationships than searching bars and clubs.

    We also know the 1984 study surveyed 156 couples = 312 individuals, and that 66% started out with monogamous intentions but after five years 100% were in a non monogamous arrangement.

    Intuitively speaking, those are persuasive numbers.

    Out of 312 subjects, every single one was 100% concordant for non-monogamy after five years.

    Its far more reasonable, even compelling, to think they were 100% concordant because that is how male homosexual couples are generally, rather than think it was “an exception” to the norm.

    It also comes across as “special pleading” to claim there can be 100% concordance and it be “an exception” to the rule.

    Besides, its not like this is the only report of its kind.

    The following excerpt is from a book chapter on a gay website, Open Relationships in Gay Culture

    In the landmark book, The Male Couple, McWhirter and Mattison [the 1984 report we are discussing] reported that virtually all of their sample of long-term stable gay men’s relationships moved to be open. 9

    The same finding arises in several large national studies in this country, among them the Sex in America book.’10

    9 D. P. McWhirter and A. M. Mattison, The Male Couple (Englewood Cliffs,
    N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1984).

    10 R. T. Michael et al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (New York:
    Warner Books, 1994).

    So, per the excerpt, the 1984 findings have been confirmed by several larger studies.

    Here is another excerpt:

    A 1992 British research team found 72 percent of gay male couples were nonmonogamous after five years, recognized it as a culture norm, and suggested that open relationships be better incorporated into public health programs. 16

    Similar approaches have been recommended by AIDS public health authorities researchers in Australia. 17

    16 F. C. Hickson et al., “Maintenance of Open Gay Relationships: Some Strategies for Protection Against HIV,” AIDS Care 4(4) (1992): 409—419.

    17 S. Kippax, et al ., Sexual Negotiation in the AIDS Era: Negotiated Safety Revisited,” AIDS 11(2) (1997): 191—197; A.E. Grulich et al. “HIV Serostatus of Sexual Partners of HIV-positive and HIV-negative Homosexual Men in Sydney,” AIDS 12(18) (1998): 2508

    There is such a high level of non-monogamy that even public health progams are designed to expect it!

    Alex: ….its purpose (contrary to Dr. Nicolosi’s claims) was not to “prove” that gay couples are monogamous, but instead to provide an examination of various aspects of coupled relationships as the relationships age over time.

    Why isn’t Dr. Nicolosi correct as well as the purpose you stated?

    Alex: Its findings about gay couples have strong parallels in straight couples, where over time the sex life can get stale and partners either learn new ways to keep their sex life together exciting, start having affairs, or divorce.

    See Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples. Here is a key excerpt:

    MONOGAMY VS. PROMISCUITY: SEXUAL PARTNERS OUTSIDE OF THE RELATIONSHIP

    Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing:

    Married couples

    · A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.[9]

    · A 1997 national survey appearing in The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.[10]

    · A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.[11]

    Male Homosexuals

    Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

    · The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]

    · Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]

    · In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

    · A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners.[15]

    10. E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 1994 ): 216.
    11. “Sexual Habits of Americans Have Changed Dramatically in Ten Years: New National Survey Finds Both Men and Women More Committed and Caring” PR Newswire (August 4, 1994).
    12. Xiridou, 1031.
    13. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).
    14. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.
    15. “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998: 20.

    Also, if the 1984 researchers saw strong parallels between their findings and straight couples, why did they say this, “The expectation for outside sexual activity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexuals.”

    Alex: For straight couples, there have been social structures for generations that help reduce the possibility for partners in such couples to seek sexual fulfillment outside their relationship. These include churches, peer networks, couples counceling, and even the extended family. For gay couples, these structures are only now just starting to form (2011), and they barely existed at all in 1984.

    This seems true, but its hardly a compelling argument that gays will become monogamous given time.

    Hoff
    wanted to find out what motivated gay men to have open relationships and what motivated their negotiated sex agreements. She found that HIV prevention was not the No. 1 concern when deciding how and whom couples would allow into their relationship.

    Instead, men said open relationships were more honest to their nature, built trust among partners, and helped ensure a longer relationship.

    The key word seems to be “nature.”

    The inability of gays to sustain monogamy even though 66% intended to do so, strongly suggests something stronger than the will is at work.

    It reminds me of a verse that says sin takes mastery over those who yield to it (cf. Romans 6:16).

    By denying that homosexuality is sin, its possible many are yielding to sin, and actually giving homosexuality mastery over their lives.

    If this principle is true, psychology has no way to “discover” it because its spiritual in nature.

    Alex: Finally, you use Dr. Nicolosi’s reports as the foundation for your claim, but his credibility is questionable at best….>

    This was answered in my previous post. Your attack on Dr. Nicolosi’s “general credibility” is moot since it does not affect the credibility of the independent research cited in that specific article.

  188. bman
    January 21st, 2011 at 17:08 | #188

    Alex :
    John: Same-sex couples “also normalize homosexuality which infertile heterosexual couples do not do when they marry.”…”it’s hard to think of anything good about a same-sex couple.”

    Alex: You are effectively saying you are anti-gay. Bear in mind that the medical and psychological communities consider homosexuality to be perfectly normal, so your opinion goes against that of professionals that are considerably smarter on this topic than you.

    The spiritual state of homosexuality is outside their jurisdiction.

  189. bman
    January 21st, 2011 at 17:18 | #189

    @Alex

    Alex: Because of the age of the McWhirter and Mattison study (and it’s small sample size and method of obtaining that sample)…It is highly inadequate to support your claim.

    While those things prevent a conclusive (deductive) argument from being made, they do not prevent a persuasive (inductive) argument from being made.

    You noted the researchers used “the friendship network” to locate subjects. That is not the same thing as going to the bars and clubs looking for monogamy in all the wrong places.

    Instead, it implies the authors, both homosexuals in professional psychology/psychiatry, would have put out a call to their circle of friends which spread by word of mouth until the target sample was located. This would have had a better potential for locating monogamous gays in long term relationships than searching bars and clubs.

    We also know the 1984 study surveyed 156 couples = 312 individuals, and that 66% started out with monogamous intentions but after five years 100% were in a non-monogamous arrangement.

    Intuitively speaking, those are persuasive numbers.

    Out of 312 subjects, every single one was 100% concordant for non-monogamy after five years.

    Its far more reasonable, even compelling, to think they were 100% concordant because that is how male homosexual couples are generally, rather than think it was “an exception” to the norm.

    It also comes across as “special pleading” to claim there can be 100% concordance and it be “an exception” to the rule.

    Besides, its not like this is the only report of its kind.

    The following excerpt is from a book chapter on a gay website, Open Relationships in Gay Culture

    In the landmark book, The Male Couple, McWhirter and Mattison [the 1984 report we are discussing] reported that virtually all of their sample of long-term stable gay men’s relationships moved to be open. 9

    The same finding arises in several large national studies in this country, among them the Sex in America book.’10

    9 D. P. McWhirter and A. M. Mattison, The Male Couple (Englewood Cliffs,
    N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1984).

    10 R. T. Michael et al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (New York:
    Warner Books, 1994).

    So, per the excerpt, the 1984 findings have been confirmed by several larger studies.

    Here is another excerpt:

    A 1992 British research team found 72 percent of gay male couples were nonmonogamous after five years, recognized it as a culture norm, and suggested that open relationships be better incorporated into public health programs. 16

    Similar approaches have been recommended by AIDS public health authorities researchers in Australia. 17

    16 F. C. Hickson et al., “Maintenance of Open Gay Relationships: Some Strategies for Protection Against HIV,” AIDS Care 4(4) (1992): 409—419.

    17 S. Kippax, et al ., Sexual Negotiation in the AIDS Era: Negotiated Safety Revisited,” AIDS 11(2) (1997): 191—197; A.E. Grulich et al. “HIV Serostatus of Sexual Partners of HIV-positive and HIV-negative Homosexual Men in Sydney,” AIDS 12(18) (1998): 2508

    And so, there is such a high level of non-monogamy that even public health programs are designed to expect it!

    Alex: ….its purpose (contrary to Dr. Nicolosi’s claims) was not to “prove” that gay couples are monogamous, but instead to provide an examination of various aspects of coupled relationships as the relationships age over time.

    Why isn’t Dr. Nicolosi correct as well as the purpose you stated?

    Alex: Its findings about gay couples have strong parallels in straight couples, where over time the sex life can get stale and partners either learn new ways to keep their sex life together exciting, start having affairs, or divorce.

    See Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples. Here is a key excerpt:

    MONOGAMY VS. PROMISCUITY: SEXUAL PARTNERS OUTSIDE OF THE RELATIONSHIP

    Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing:

    Married couples

    · A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.[9]

    · A 1997 national survey appearing in The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.[10]

    · A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.[11]

    Male Homosexuals

    Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

    · The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]

    · Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]

    · In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

    · A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners.[15]

    10. E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 1994 ): 216.
    11. “Sexual Habits of Americans Have Changed Dramatically in Ten Years: New National Survey Finds Both Men and Women More Committed and Caring” PR Newswire (August 4, 1994).
    12. Xiridou, 1031.
    13. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).
    14. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.
    15. “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998: 20.

    Also, if the 1984 researchers saw strong parallels between their findings and straight couples, why did they say this, “The expectation for outside sexual activity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexuals.”

  190. Alex
    January 21st, 2011 at 19:01 | #190

    @John Howard

    John:
    You really have a delusional understanding of gay people if you think that “there is also a deep sense (among gay people) that natural procreation is bad and random and animalistic, a eugenic transhumanist idealist desire to improve the way people are created and live and do away with marriage as procreation rights.” I am not sure where you are getting your ideas–what conspiracy theories you are buying into, but this statement is not only untrue, it is insulting. Gay people are not seeking to change the nature of procreation, the way people are created, or to change the nature of marriage as it relates to procreation. It is well known that marriage is the institution of two unrelated adult people loving each other and forming a legal and social contract with each other that includes rights and responsibilities ensuring that these two adults commit to share their lives together. This is why there is almost always a reference to the “marriage covenant” or “marriage contract” made at wedding ceremonies, but there is rarely any reference to the production of children at wedding ceremonies. Parenthood is different. Usually it overlaps with marriage, but not always. Parenthood is the institution and the bundle of rights and responsibilities that include procreation and/or the raising of children. Parenthood can include a person who procreates but does not raise the produced children and/or the person who raises the children but did not procreate to produce the children. Parenthood applies to single people, unmarried couples, and married couples. You seem to have problems grasping that there actually is a difference between the two.

    Gay people and gay couples already have the right of parenthood. There are many ways they can become parents, but they are physically unable to use sex with each other to procreate. That is a reality all normal gay people accept. You and a few other fringe theorists are fixated on some fantasy that a way to produce children without using a female’s eggs and a male’s sperm is imminent. If something like that does come close to fruition, then we, collectively, can address any ethical concerns that may arise and make sure we don’t get cloning, designer babies, etc. However, those ethical concerns are exclusively related to those now non-existent methods of creating children, not gay marriage. Gay people are now fighting for the right of marriage, so that their coupled relationships with each other can have the same legal and social recognition as straight couples. There is no ethical reason to fight that. On the contrary, the notion of gay people marrying members of the opposite sex can cause huge problems for the person to whom the gay person is married. There are well documented cases, often involving politicians and religious leaders, of gay men who married unsuspecting straight women to gain the social benefits provided by marriage. The tragic result is that many unfortunate women after discovering that their husbands are gay had to join support groups, go into therapy, and find other ways to deal with severe emotional trauma they experienced. Gay marriage is the honest arrangement for gay people to get married to the people whom they actually love. The issue of gay marriage is not related to parenthood, no matter how much you want it to be.

  191. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 20:32 | #191

    Alex, you agreed with me that love would not be a legal requirement for those who’d SSM, and that the Glovernment does not test for love for those who’d marry, but you started by saying I was “wrong”.

    Perhaps you meant to say that I was correct.

  192. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 20:47 | #192

    Alex, you have confirmed that likelihood (i.e. chance) is a legitimate basis for lawmaking. Then, at the very least, you should not have no objections to the provision for responsible procreation that is at the core of marriage and marriage law.

    The sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity is the same for sexual consummation of marriage; and for annulment provisions in the law; and for adultery-divorce also. That sexual basis is not sex-neutral nor is it one-sexed. It is two-sexed.

    The man-woman requirement for eligiblity is thus justified.

  193. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 21:02 | #193

    Alex, you said that SSM is a social institution for gay people to profess love.

    Now, most of the rest of nonmarriage is populated by many types of relationships and living arrangements whereby people (most of whom are not gay) can profess love. So you have not distinguished the gay subset of nonmarriage from the rest.

    What kind of love would justify the special status of SSM?

    Alex you said: “There is no increased risk of any person to be victimized by a gay marriage, so there is no reason to not permit it.”

    Well, you referred to a prospective child of related people being a sort of victim. And that such a possiblity — of deformations — justified the ineligiblity of related people to marry. You have said that the one-sexed scenario offers no such justification.

    My question was about the one-sexed scenario. On what basis would you justify the ineligiblity of related people to SSM, if not this notion that procreation is likely to lead to vicitmization?

  194. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 21:20 | #194

    Alex,

    On what principled basis would consenting adults be ineligible to SSM? Or is there no such basis for drawing lines of eligiblity to SSM?

    You have referred to “couples” and that raises the obvious question: why limit the consent to SSM to just two individuals at-a-time? Why not threesomes, for example? Why not a series of two-person relationships, each its own SSM? The likelihood of love, consent, and wanting the special status of marriage would be present in these scenarios.

    When it comes right down to it, what do you think justifies the special staus of marriage in our society? And what is it about the gay relationship do you think justifies a status on par with marital status?

    Thusfar, I don’t think you have shown that gay love is superior to other kinds of nonmarital love. Nor that consent is a trump card. Nor that same-sex sexual behavior is of such societal significance that it must be treated identical to conjugal sexual relations between husband and wife. I know you have hinted that all three of these criteria make the case for SSM, however, perhaps you could just make the case explicitly.

  195. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 21:31 | #195

    Alex, I think you overstated things when you discussed marriages (unions of husband and wife) in which one or the other individual experiences same-sex sexual attraction.

    Sure, you can point to the much-publicized failures, however, the quiet successful marriages are derided by SSMers (not by you, thusfar) and so persons in these marriage do not make the headlines.

    What is the reason for you to suggest (perhaps you’d argue rather than merely suggest) that mixed-orientation marriages (for lack of another term) are loveless or less loving and so should be busted up? Are you not stereotyping ababout people whose marriages you know less about than they do?

    Marriage integrates the sexes regardless of racialist or sexualist identity politics; just as marriage does not impose racial orientation on husband and wife, marriage does not impose a sexual orientation requirement on husband and wife.

    SSM, on the other hand, segregates the sexes and is promoted in the name of gay identity; and usually insists that identity must be pure — the mixing of sexual orientaitons in marriage is tragic or undesirable. Thus SSM is a cultural construct that segregates based on sex and based on identity and based on sexual orientation.

  196. January 22nd, 2011 at 08:21 | #196

    @Alex
    As I said, “I’d love to be proven wrong on that, but I have yet to come across a gay activist who accepts that people only have a right to procreate with someone of the same[other] sex.” (whoops! meant to say “other sex” there, sorry.) So, will you prove me wrong by agreeing that people only have a right to procreate with someone of the other sex? Or confirm what I have come to understand about gay activists by demanding equal procreation rights for same-sex couples? I agree that most regular gay people probably don’t insist on procreation rights, but the gay activists involved in the debate seem to be Transhumanists first and gays second. And I stand by my contention that transhumanism is intrinsic to gay identity, though perhaps not to raw homosexual attraction.

    And you also confirm what I said when you say that gay marriage has nothing to do with procreation. That means marriage has nothing to do with procreation, which is a huge change to marriage, unprecedented in history anywhere in the world (except second marriages in china where both spouses already have one child, but that is 1) second marriages, which are not a universal right in the first place, and 2) due to the one child policy which is considered a totalitarian violation of human rights but even that allows the marriage one child, not zero like a you are saying would be perfectly OK. All marriages should be approved and allowed to conceive offspring from their own genes. No marriage should be forced to use donor or modified gametes, or even allowed to. Marriage is about using the marriage’s gametes to conceive offspring, being officially approved to procreate together.

  197. bman
    January 22nd, 2011 at 10:05 | #197

    @Alex

    Gay people are now fighting for the right of marriage, so that their coupled relationships with each other can have the same legal and social recognition as straight couples. There is no ethical reason to fight that.

    The question of ethics involves the question, “What is sin?”

    The Free Dictionary is a secular dictionary that defines sin as:

    A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate

    Would a same sex marriage law violate any moral or religious law?

    If yes, then such law would call sin good and be an unethical law.

    If we could put a behavior in a black box and judge it solely by what comes out of the box, what is attracted to the box, and what is repelled by the box, we could judge whether the box contains sin.

    If the box attracts or produces things like guilt, depression, disaease, shortened life span, a high trouble index, irresponsible behavior, gradual self destruction, promiscuity, carnality, misuse of the body’s natural design, alcoholism, drug use, pornography, obscenity, violence, willful opposition of moral norms, litigiousness (taking people to court) , licentiousness (it licenses sin), falsehood, manipulation of the legal system, imposing its view on the children of others, interferes with parental rights, and more; its reasonable to judge the box contains sin.

    If the box weakens the individual or public practice of things known to be morally good, such as respect for God, the natural order, the meaning of marriage, monogamy, descency, moderation, self control ; we can again conclude the thing inside the box is sin.

    Is it ethical to formally approve what is inside the black box, then?

    Sea Change in law:

    Laws are interpreted based on other laws. If a bad law is created it compels a bad interpretation of other laws that affects everyone. This is another reason why its unethical to vote for a same sex marriage law.

    Most who voted for a same sex marriage law in the past probably did not realize it but, because laws are used to interpret other laws, they effectively voted to allow everyone’s children to be indoctrinated to accept a whitewashed version of homosexuality. see link.

    Is it ethical to vote for law that would do that?

    When a gay marrige law was being debated in Maine, several law professors wrote the governor and explained how a gay marrige law would affect other laws, with the qualification that some effects are too far off to be seen at this time.

    They said a ssm law would create a sea change in the law that affects all society.

    Your post is typical of how gays portray gay marriage because you make it appear as if its just about the private relationship of gay couples, which is not a correct depiction of what is involved.

    Its about sea change in law and public morality that will impact all society, and which has many adverse effects, some of which can be seen, and others not yet known. Its not simply about a private relationship that hurts no one, as gays so often portray it.

    The lawyers who wrote the letter viewed an ssm law as inherently antagonistic to religious rights and they proposed extensive protections be added to protect religious freedoms.

    The problem with their “added protections,” however, is that (1) protections could not cover all situations and (2) it would make same sex marriage “unequal” to opposite sex marriage, making the added protections subject to an “unconstitutional” ruling, leaving no protections at all.

  198. Mark
    January 25th, 2011 at 18:02 | #198

    @bman
    “Its about sea change in law and public morality that will impact all society, and which has many adverse effects, some of which can be seen, and others not yet known. Its not simply about a private relationship that hurts no one, as gays so often portray it. ”

    OMG, you are right! The sky will fall, the seas will rise just like they did in Massachusetts. Well, ok, bad example. What about Iowa, California, DC? Er, no disasters. How about Canada? Nope, still there. Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Iceland? Wow, Norway is considered to have one of the highest standards of living and, with Iceland, the highest quality of life. All that and SSM. Hmm…..seems SSM really BENEFITS society.

  199. Alex
    January 26th, 2011 at 16:55 | #199

    Sorry I took so long to get back to everyone. My real life (outside of my new hobby of responding to blogs) is taking up so much of my time! Anyway, I went through the responses (12 pages on letter-sized paper). Some good comments. Thanks Mark for pointing out what really happens when same-sex marriage is legalized.

    @bman
    Bman:

    Your most recent post about sin as a proxy for ethics and its relationship to public policy is especially interesting. I don’t recall in The Constitution or in any of my law classes any statement where the doctrine of sin has any basis in determining public policy. After all one, what sins are universal to all Americans? I drive a car, so to the Amish, I am committing a great sin. Maybe we should outlaw driver’s licenses and all roadways designed for anything other than horse carriages. I also wear blended-fabric clothing, so I violate the holiness code in Leviticus. I have several Orthodox Jewish friends and professional colleagues, and I appreciate their tolerance for my sinfulness, and I am glad they are not lobbying for laws against pork eating, polyester, or trimmed sideburns. Obviously, they are concerned that their children see others wearing sinful clothes, eating sinful meats, having sinful hairstyles, etc., so, following your logic, they should really get laws changed so that their children are not exposed to such horrors. As for gay sexual relationships, it may be a sin to many religions, but it is not regarded as a sin other well-respected religions including the Metropolitan Community Church, the Unitarian Church, the Unity Church, the United Church of Christ, or the Episcopalian Church (that’s my religion, by the way). If we were to use sin as a basis for public policy, then what religion’s sin should be used as the basis? Yours?

    I can tell, bman, that you have a very limited perspective on the gay community and gay people in general, since you seem to only find sources for your comments from Fundamentalist Christian groups. I’m glad those groups are able to neatly change the context of other organizations’ research findings to help you make your statement that somehow permitting gay couples to marry will make straight people think it is ok to start cheating on their spouses. You provided some interesting assemblages of data to make your “persuasive” argument. All of the data you provided compared the sexual behaviors of legally married straight couples who had “taken a marriage vow” with the sexual behaviors of single, unmarried gay men of whom some are in relationships (we don’t know how serious the relationships are), and others are totally single and sexually free. Are the couples in relationships all strongly committed, devoted couples or are they just having a fling? I personally know of quite a few straight, unmarried couples that are also in open arrangements. Should this be a justification to ban straight marriage too?

    Your research citations fail to show that permitting same-sex marriage would in anyway affect the institution of marriage for straight people or for the gay couples that are fully committed to being monogamous with each other. What your findings show is that there are some promiscuous single gay men in the world, but those guys are not going to seek a same-sex marriage in the short term. Hopefully, some of them will settle down with someone and form a committed union in the future, and the right to legal same-sex marriage should be available to them when that time comes. The studies also show that there are some gay couples that are not monogamous. After all, they are not married, so monogamy is not an obligation,. These studies also show that there are gay couples that are monogamous in spite of the lack of a legal marital bond, and those are the ones for whom the legal right to marriage should be made available. Your questionable conglomeration of statistics provides no evidence as to why that right should be denied.

    @John Howard
    John Howard:

    You keep going in circles. It is simple. It is impossible for gay couples to procreate, so theoretical arguments about same sex procreation are as relevant to the gay marriage debate as the possibility humans growing wings on their bodies and flying is to FAA policy. It has nothing to do with gay marriage. If some technologies were to ever exist that made same-sex procreation possible, then we could debate the ethics of this at that time. Now, it is inappropriate to worry about science fiction and pass laws base on science fiction while pursuing equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    @Chairm
    Chairm:

    “The sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity is the same for sexual consummation of marriage; and for annulment provisions in the law; and for adultery-divorce also. That sexual basis is not sex-neutral nor is it one-sexed. It is two-sexed…The man-woman requirement for eligiblity is thus justified.”

    —That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Are you saying gay couples don’t have sex? Are you saying procreation is mandatory for marriage? You are sounding almost as illogical as John Howard (sorry John, you seem like a great guy otherwise).

    “Now, most of the rest of nonmarriage is populated by many types of relationships and living arrangements whereby people (most of whom are not gay) can profess love. So you have not distinguished the gay subset of nonmarriage from the rest.”

    —When you are referring to non-marriage relationships, with love, are you referring to blood relatives? If so, there are already legal and social relationships for those types of couples, so marriage is not needed for siblings or parent-children, grandparent-grandchildren, or other types of familial relationships. If you are referring to couples made of a pair of unmarried, but intimate, people, they actually do have, if they are opposite-sex, the right to get married if they choose to. Gay couples do not get that choice. That is fundamentally unfair.

    “When it comes right down to it, what do you think justifies the special staus of marriage in our society? And what is it about the gay relationship do you think justifies a status on par with marital status?”

    —State and federal governments currently give marriage a special status. I think it would be just as fair if the state did not confer a special status on married people, but it does. All straight people have the option, once they meet someone with whom they want to have a loving, affectionate relationship to have that relationship gain the special status of marriage with all of its benefits and responsibilities. Gay people do not have the option, once they meet someone with whom the want to have a loving, affectionate relationship to that that relationship gain the special status of marriage with all of its benefits and responsibilities. Gay relationships are just like straight relationships, except that they are with someone of the same gender. That is why the government should treat them equally to straight relationships.

    “Thusfar, I don’t think you have shown that gay love is superior to other kinds of nonmarital love. Nor that consent is a trump card. Nor that same-sex sexual behavior is of such societal significance that it must be treated identical to conjugal sexual relations between husband and wife.”

    —Gay love is not superior to other kinds of love the same way straight married love is not superior to other kinds of love. Other types of non-marriage couples, such as boyfriends and girlfriends, have the option of marriage if the relationship reaches a level of commitment for which marriage becomes desirable. The love relationships of blood relatives have appropriate governmental recognition. It is gay couples that are left out in the cold. Please explain to me why the conjugal sexual relations between a husband and wife are so socially significant in a way that does not apply to committed gay couples. Procreation is not an explanation, since marriage does not guarantee procreation, and it is not necessary for procreation. Tradition is not enough either, since tradition can never justify inequality. I await your response.

    “You have referred to “couples” and that raises the obvious question: why limit the consent to SSM to just two individuals at-a-time? Why not threesomes, for example?”

    —The answer to this is pretty obvious. Gay and straight people enter a relationship with one person at a time. Many gay and straight people go though a promiscuous period in life (college for straight people, post-coming-out for gay people), but eventually they find a single person to commit to. A 3-way or whatever is not a marital relationship. Human nature is such that a person gravitates to one special person for a long period of time. In a 3-way situation, one of the three people would be left out. As for multiple couple marital arrangements, that is called “swinging” in the straight world and is fairly common.

    “What is the reason for you to suggest (perhaps you’d argue rather than merely suggest) that mixed-orientation marriages (for lack of another term) are loveless or less loving and so should be busted up? Are you not stereotyping ababout people whose marriages you know less about than they do?”

    —I would not argue that a marriage between a straight person and a gay person should absolutely be busted up in every circumstance. There are situations when this arrangement can exist, but both partners should agree to that condition. The straight partner needs to be aware that his/her spouse is not attracted to him/her. Loveless marriages exist, after all, but they are hardly desirable for most people. These ‘mixed-orientation’ marriages are loveless because at least one of the partners is not attracted to the other. The partners may be very friendly to eachother, but they are hardly loving. Very few people would willingly enter such a situation, and this situation hardly serves the purpose of marriage—legal and social recognition of a loving, committed, coupled relationship. Unfortunately, to gain the social, professional, and/or legal benefits of marriage, gay and consenting straight people sometimes enter these “sham” marriages. Usually they get whatever benefit is needed from the marriage, and then they divorce. I once worked in a small, Midwestern town. There was this guy who ran his family cement company. He was “gayer than the ace of spades”, with lots of jewelry, gelled hair, and billowy shirts. He was married to this lady who was one of the meanest, angriest women I ever met. Once he found out how open minded I am (a rarity in that town, btw), he confided in me that he married this lady because that was what his father told him to do if he wanted to inherit the (very lucrative) family business. I found out ‘through the grapevine’ that he was a regular at a local truck stop, where he met guys for trysts. I told him to divorce his (clueless but unhappy) wife immediately, offer to pay her a fair alimony, let her find someone who would love her, and go look for someone to love for himself. I (luckily) got transferred to a big city, where I am very happy. I don’t know what became of that couple. Poor lady.

    The fact is that gay people exist in society (always have, and always will), and they seek to have loving relationships with whom they are attracted and have those relationships hold equal governmental status as the loving relationships of straight people. The current legal condition at the Federal level forces some gay to make a mockery of marriage by marrying someone to whom they have no attraction whatsoever.

    The above situation is not good, but it can be even worse when the gay person enters a marriage for the aforementioned benefits with an unwitting straight person. That straight person can become the victim of an emotional ruse. There are support groups in existence today for women who discovered their husband was gay. These women go “through hell and back”, but at least they usually divorce and move on with their lives.

    In the above situations, I am describing situations where at least one partner is truly gay, not bi-sexual. It may be possible for a bi-sexual person to fall in love with an opposite-sex spouse and get married and live happily ever after, but that person should reveal his/her sexual orientation to the spouse. On the other hand, suppose the bi-sexual person falls truly into love with a person of the same sex. Should that person still only have the option to marry someone else?

    “Marriage integrates the sexes…”

    —While opposite-sex marriage integrates the sexes, what is so special about that? Is it to equalize genders? Traditionally, straight marriage did the opposite. Now, conditions are better for many couples. With same sex marriage, gay men can marry other gay men, and lesbians can marry other lesbians, so there is not gender inequality involved here. I’m not sure where else you were going here, so you will need to elaborate.

    “…marriage does not impose a sexual orientation requirement on husband and wife.”

    —Actually, with normal marriages (not the ones I mentioned above), it does. In fact, homosexuality is immediate grounds for divorce in nearly every state.

  200. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:16 | #200

    Alex, you are confused.

    The sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity is two-sexed.

    This does not mean that “gay couples don’t have sex” nor doe sit mean that “procreation is mandatory”.

    You agree that same-sex sexual behavior is not mandatory for those who’d SSM. So how can you justify making some people ineligible based on sexual behavior that they may not engage in?

    You agree that love is not exclusive to that part of nonmarriage which is comprised of gay persons. So neither love nor same-sex sexual behavior distinguishes SSM from nonmarriage.

    You might want to hang your hat on relatedness, but some related people can and do marry. Please state why some related persons may not be eligible to SSM. Don’t rely on sexual behavior, don’t rely on procreation, don’t rely on love. Thanks.

  201. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:20 | #201

    Alex, I asked if you thought that marriage is a special status and you answered, yes. I asked if you think that special status for marriage is justified, but you did not answer directly; you implied that it was unjustified. Please confirm.

  202. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:35 | #202

    Alex you said: “The love relationships of blood relatives have appropriate governmental recognition.”

    Appropriate to the type of relationship, you mean? And how do you distinguish the related type from other types of relationships? By relatedness, an inborn characteristic (as per “blood relatives”, your own term).

    Assuming that you think that loving relationships come in differnt types, please state what makes the gay relationship type different from other one-sexed types of relationships. You could use related one-sexed love relationships as a starting place to draw out the difference(s).

    I think you are avoiding the obvious problem in your viewpoint. You think that the sexualized one-sexed arrangement is superior to the related one-sexed arrangement and, thus, you insist on eligiblity for the latter and ineligiblity for the former.

    And you do so without justification for drawing such a line.

  203. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:41 | #203

    Alex said:

    “Please explain to me why the conjugal sexual relations between a husband and wife are so socially significant in a way that does not apply to committed gay couples. Procreation is not an explanation, since marriage does not guarantee procreation, and it is not necessary for procreation. Tradition is not enough either, since tradition can never justify inequality.”

    We are discussing types of relationships.

    As a type, the union of husband and wife is a public relationship because it is a sexual relationship. The sexual basis for marriage is in embedded in our laws and is clearly present and experienced in our culture and traditions and customs. Not so for SSM.

    For instance nothing that an all-male or an all-female arrangement might do sexually can provide a sexual basis for a presumption of paternity.

    Now, you might imagine that a one-sexed arrangement is capable of sexual consummation, but would the basis be identical for the all-male and the all-female arrangement? Nope. And what would be the societal significance of same-sex sexual behavior, anyway? It is a private thing, not a public concern.

    Your discussion with John about “same-sex procreatoin” is relevant in this context.

  204. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:49 | #204

    Alex,

    Gay or not, you still need to justify ineligibility to SSM based on the number two

    “Human nature is such that a person gravitates to one special person for a long period of time. In a 3-way situation, one of the three people would be left out. As for multiple couple marital arrangements, that is called “swinging” in the straight world and is fairly common.”

    1. The line against threesomes is what would keep same-sex threesomes out of SSM.

    2. Multiple marriage is polygamous marriage. Swinging is something else.

    If you think swinging is multiple-marriage, then, clearly you are thinking of sexual relations and yet your own remarks suggested a rule: if it can occur outside of marriage, then, it is not a legitimate basis for eligibility/ineligiblity; if it is not necessary for marriage, then, it is not a legitimate basis for eligiblity/ineligiblity. You invoked this rule when you spoke of procreation and so if it is decisive, in your view, then, it must be applied to this as well. You also invoked the rule that if it is not mandatory, then, it cannot be a legitimate basis for eligiblity/ineligibility; and same-sex sexual behavior is not mandatory for those who’d SSM, right?

  205. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:55 | #205

    Alex, in response to a question about mixed-orientation marriages, you said that unless a person is sexually attracted to his wife or to her husband, then, “they are hardly loving.”

    When you refer to loving relationships, are you referring to only that subset that is sexualized? Why exclude the rest as “hardly loving”? I ask this not just in terms of mixed orientation marriages but also in the context of your previous remarks about relatives.

    In the meantime, there is no proposed requirment that would make same-sex sexual attraction mandatory for those who’d SSM. So you can’t draw lines of eligibility on that basis, right?

  206. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:57 | #206

    Alex, the federal law does not force people to form bad marriages. It does not say that gay people do not exist. I think you need to recalibrate your rhetoric.

  207. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 03:59 | #207

    Alex said: “In the above situations, I am describing situations where at least one partner is truly gay, not bi-sexual.”

    1. If they lawfully married, then, clearly the marriage law does not have a gay criterion for ineligilbity.

    2. You invoke the notion of the purely gay person. Please explain.

  208. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 04:04 | #208

    Alex, same-sex sexual attraction does not provide immediate grounds for divorce in nearly every state. You might want to re-check.

    Anyway, even if for the sake of discussion we said it was true, that would be provision for dissolution and not for formation of a lawful marriage. And, given that marriage is a sexual type of relationship, it would confirm the two-sexed sexual basis of the conjugal type of relationship. You yourself acknowledged that mixed-orientation marriages might be best dissolved for that reason alone.

  209. Chairm
    January 27th, 2011 at 04:20 | #209

    In response my observation that marriage integrates the sexes, Alex said:

    “[1] While opposite-sex marriage integrates the sexes, what is so special about that? [2] Is it to equalize genders? [3] Traditionally, straight marriage did the opposite. [3b] Now, conditions are better for many couples. [4] With same sex marriage, gay men can marry other gay men, and lesbians can marry other lesbians, so there is not gender inequality involved here.”

    I added the bracket numbers to help in my response:

    1. The nature of humankind is two-sexed, the nature of human procreation is opposite-sexed, and the nature of human community is both-sexed (or complementarily sexed). These are givens and society responds to this with marriage.

    2. Each of us born equal, of a man and a woman; marriage provides for responsible procreation whereby motherhood and fatherhood are united and protect and promote the birthright of each child to be known by, to know, and to be raised by her mom-dad duo (barring dire circumstances or tragedy).

    3. Traditions do vary, however, the core of the social institution has not: marriage bonds together the sexes both in terms of the family but also in societal terms. This is what makes marriage a foundational social institution of civilization. Its influence is extensive.

    3b. Other cultures and traditions (of the past or today) may feature different ways of integration; and some we might not approve of for our own society, however, the integration is at the heart of the social institution. For instance, polygamous marriage unites the sexes but it makes for a weaker form of integration between the sexes and tends to ward ffvoring men over women; and it creates segregative problems due to a “surplus” of male individuals. But where polygamy is allowed by major religions and cultures it was to help ameliorate certain social ills, also arising from sex segregative scenarios. Anyway, marriage integrates — how it does so may vary. The point is that marriage is a societal response to the two-sexed aspect of humankind.

    4. Where there is a lack of the other sex, sex equality is not possible. No one-sexed arrangement provides for sex equality within it. The scenario is one-sided. It is sex-segregative. Adding the other sex in a ratio of 1 to 1 would set the stage for sex equality within the relationship. This is so for any one-sexed arrangement and not merely the gaycentric or the sexualized version.

  210. Mark
    January 27th, 2011 at 06:34 | #210

    @Alex
    “It is impossible for gay couples to procreate, so theoretical arguments about same sex procreation are as relevant to the gay marriage debate as the possibility humans growing wings on their bodies and flying is to FAA policy.”

    OMG, I just spit coffee all over my PC! GREAT comment!

  211. January 28th, 2011 at 07:00 | #211

    It’s not impossible, a lab could attempt it today, doing the same kinds of things that produced the fatherless mouse in 2004 and the motherless mouse last year. Of course it would be totally unethical and should not be allowed, right? And yet you are asking us to declare there is a right to do it, you are demanding that we declare that same-sex couples have equal procreation rights to a married man and a woman. That is like going to the FAA and demanding that they issue runway permits to people and declaring an equal right to take off and land at airports right now, way before anyone has grown any wings, way before anyone has even done animal experiments.

    It is not too soon to prohibit same-sex procreation, it should be done sooner rather than later. Doing so will enable same-sex couples to get equal protections and recognition in all other areas much much faster. You prefer that all those families continue to suffer without security or recognition, just so that you can cling to ridiculous equal procreation fantasies. Give it up! It’s harmful and selfish.

  212. bman
    January 28th, 2011 at 09:18 | #212

    @Alex

    I don’t recall in The Constitution or in any of my law classes any statement where the doctrine of sin has any basis in determining public policy. After all one, what sins are universal to all Americans?

    The sin issue can be framed as a religious issue or as a public morality issue.

    Upholding public morality has a very strong basis in law.

    See the link: Public morality

  213. bman
    January 28th, 2011 at 10:29 | #213

    @Alex

    Alex @ John Howard: It is simple. It is impossible for gay couples to procreate, so theoretical arguments about same sex procreation are as relevant to the gay marriage debate as the possibility humans growing wings on their bodies and flying is to FAA policy. It has nothing to do with gay marriage. If some technologies were to ever exist that made same-sex procreation possible, then we could debate the ethics of this at that time. Now, it is inappropriate to worry about science fiction and pass laws base on science fiction while pursuing equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    Should society vote “transhumanistic procreation” into law in principle, on the grounds its “safe” because the technology is not yet available?

    To put this another way, the right to procreate is intrinsic to marriage, and so same sex marriage would presume a right to same sex procreation, which implies a right to the only possible means by which they could procreate, i.e, transhuman procreation.

    A wise man forsees evil and avoids it.

    A vote for same sex marriage is evil because its a vote for transhumanistic procreation in principle, whether the technology exists or not.

  214. Chairm
    January 28th, 2011 at 16:36 | #214

    The issue with “same-sex procreation” begins with the confusion whereby the manufacture of human beings is equated — legally, ethically, morally — to procreation within marriage.

    The SSM campaign and the SSM idea it promotes works day and night to entrench a confusion whereby nonmarriage is equated — legally, ethically, morally — to the conjugal union of husband and wife.

    So the two are connected by the socio-political deconstruction of the public ethics and public morality that justifies the legal principles that limit both the government’s hand and the actions of the individual.

    False equivalencies mount up until there is no basis for lawmaking left for protecting the innocent and the most vulnerable amongst us.

  215. Chairm
    January 28th, 2011 at 16:46 | #215

    Alex said, unthinkingly:

    “If some technologies were to ever exist that made same-sex procreation possible, then we could debate the ethics of this at that time. Now, it is inappropriate to worry about science fiction and pass laws base on science fiction while pursuing equal rights for gays and lesbians.”

    1. The technologies exist but are in the earliest stages of being fitted to the manufacture human beings. So your first point is mistaken.

    In other words, now is the time to debate the ethics of what is being developed today for use in the near future.

    2. Equal rights in terms of marriage do not depend on gay this or lesbian that. it depends on the core meaning of the type of relationship that society accords preferential treatment — it happens to be known as marriage.

    In other words, now is the time to discuss the societal respone to the core of civilization’s foundational social institution.

    3. On both points the SSMers here tend to abandon their stated standards and lean heavily toward a right to human manufacture and unequal treatment in favor of the gay identity group.

    In other words, now is the time for taking into account the dangerous mix of intrusive technologies and identity politics. if your stated standards, as invoked in your own comments, confuse nonmarriage with marriage, as they do, then, you need to reassess those stated standards when applied to the confusion of human manufacture and human procreation.

    Or you could just kick the can down the road and pretend that your gay emphasis empowers you to use double-standards that favor your own bias.

  216. Mark
    January 29th, 2011 at 10:42 | #216

    @bman
    “A wise man forsees evil and avoids it. ”

    And an idiot sees evil where none exists.

  217. bman
    January 29th, 2011 at 16:55 | #217

    Mark :
    bman: A wise man forsees evil and avoids it.

    mark: And an idiot sees evil where none exists.

    And that was from someone who seriously thinks trees may have a natural right to catch fish.

    link

  218. Mark
    January 31st, 2011 at 16:06 | #218

    @bman
    “And that was from someone who seriously thinks trees may have a natural right to catch fish. ”

    LOL, prove to me they don’t. Or prove to me that trees have any “natural rights” at all.

  219. Alex
    January 31st, 2011 at 18:14 | #219

    In response to Chairm’s multiple posts:

    “Alex, I asked if you thought that marriage is a special status and you answered, yes.”
    —-I still say yes, and go further to say that gay couples should be entitled to the same special status that straight couples are able to get through legal marriage.

    “I think you are avoiding the obvious problem in your viewpoint. You think that the sexualized one-sexed arrangement is superior to the related one-sexed arrangement and, thus, you insist on eligiblity for the latter and ineligiblity for the former.”
    —-The sexualized (actually, affectionate is the better word) relationship is already superior to the non-sexualized relationship in the law. Currently, only the sexualized 2-sexed relationship is legally recognized in most states leaving out the one-sexed couples that are equally affectionate and equally intent on building a coupled relationship. That is the point. Marriage is legal recognition of the affectionate relationship between two adults. Other relationships between adults, whether of both sexes or one sex, exist but are not marriage. These include blood-relatives, business partners, friends, doubles tennis team partners, etc. The institution of marriage is not for those types of couples. It is for affectionate couples.
    “As a type, the union of husband and wife is a public relationship because it is a sexual relationship. The sexual basis for marriage is in embedded in our laws and is clearly present and experienced in our culture and traditions and customs. Not so for SSM….For instance nothing that an all-male or an all-female arrangement might do sexually can provide a sexual basis for a presumption of paternity.”
    —-Glad to see we agree that marriage is a sexual relationship (but not in every instance, for example, a person on death row in prison can marry someone who is free, and they will never be able to have sex. That is why I used the word “affectionate” instead of “sexual”, but maybe I’m just being picky on details.) Now, onto your point here, you are saying that the sexual basis for marriage is not the case for same-sex marriage? I have a newsflash for you, Chairm, gay couples also have sexual relationships. The marital relationships they seek are public relationships, just like the relationships of opposite sex couples. Now, on to your final point, above: 1) where does the “sexual basis for the presumption of paternity” have any relationship with the issuance of marriage licenses? 2) does your expectation of a “sexual basis for a presumption of paternity” also apply to marriages between elderly people, infertile people, or death row inmates, or other people for whom paternity is not going to happen?
    “If you think swinging is multiple-marriage…”
    —-Actually, swinging is the situation you brought up in your earlier example, where you raised the question of “multiple” one-on-one marriages. You have already explained why these should not be permitted for either same-sex couples or opposite sex couples, so I will leave it at that. The recurring theme here is that if the marriage license is available to straight couples (all other things being equal…non-relatives, only two people, both adults, etc.) the same license should be available to gay couples. So far, no one can come up with a justification for why gay couples should not be entitled to marriage licenses, the same way straight couples are entitled to marriage licenses.
    “…there is no proposed requirment that would make same-sex sexual attraction mandatory for those who’d SSM. So you can’t draw lines of eligibility on that basis, right?”
    —-Please show me the requirement for straight marriages that makes opposite-sex attraction mandatory. For most couples, gay and straight, that sexual and affectional attraction (love) is the reason they want to get a marriage license. There is nothing, however, to stop a guy and a girl from getting a marriage license together just “for the hell of it” even if they have no attraction to each other. Remember Brittany Spears? These arrangements, while perfectly legal, are an insult to the sanctity of marriage, just the same way a marriage between a gay guy and a straight girl is. The gay guy is only capable of loving someone else, not the person to whom he is married. While this type of loveless marriage is perfectly legal, and it seems to you, perfectly appropriate, the marriage the gay guy should be having to the person whom he actually loves is illegal. Meanwhile, the straight girl is, unfortunately, married to a man that does not love her. Very sad.
    “Alex, the federal law does not force people to form bad marriages. It does not say that gay people do not exist. I think you need to recalibrate your rhetoric.”
    —-You misread my statement. I did not say Federal law “forces” people into bad marriages, but it definitely incentivizes them. For example, a gay man may enter into a “marriage of convenience” to benefit him or her. The couple may enter a legal marriage, both knowing each others sexual orientation, to get some benefit. They may conveniently marry so one of the two can qualify for the other’s employment health benefits or so one of the two can qualify for US residency. According to your postings, these marriages are perfectly ok. I find them to be a sham. I don’t blame the people who create these marriages for doing what they are doing, since they don’t have a choice. I once know a gay guy from overseas who married his partner’s sister, so he could be with the man he loves. I guess you think that is just fine.
    “…2. You invoke the notion of the purely gay person. Please explain.”
    —-It is very simple, some people are exclusively gay, and others are bi-sexual. Legitimate studies of human sexuality acknowledge this. I assumed you would know the difference between a gay person and a bi-sexual person. If you want me to explain further, please let me know.

    “…Adding the other sex in a ratio of 1 to 1 would set the stage for sex equality within the relationship.”
    —-Not if the people in the relationship are attracted only to members of their own sex. The equality of same-sex marriage already exists in that males would be able to marry males just as equally as females would be able to marry females.
    In response to bman:
    “The sin issue can be framed as a religious issue or as a public morality issue. Upholding public morality has a very strong basis in law.”
    —-First public morality and religion are two different things. Your Wikipedia post even said that laws equating public morality with religious instruction are found in a theocracy, which the USA is not. Public opinion, by the way, has fully shifted in favor of gay marriage according to recent poles. If, bman, your are against same-sex marriage, for religious reasons, don’t have one.
    In response to the same-sex procreation argument made by John Howard and supported by bman and Chairm:
    —-The story about a single mouse that survived a very complicated process while 10 of her siblings died raises a minimal possibility that some mad scientist somewhere may in the distant future create humans this way. At this time, that idea remains science fiction, and if it becomes technologically possible, it will likely be outlawed through the work of medical ethicists, anyway. Your laboratory scenario is one of medical ethics, not marriage. If that technology was to ever develop and become legal, it would be available to people regardless of their marital status. Legalizing gay marriage will have no effect on the issues of genetic engineering. None of you have been able to provide evidence that legalizing gay marriage would legalize the production of genetically engineered children. Today, unmarried people are entitled to use IVF, so if your science fiction nightmare comes to fruition, unmarried people would be able to create designer babies or babies from same-sex parents. To use the unlikely possibility that this type of procreation will be possible as your justification for denial of marital rights to gay couples is similarly unethical.

  220. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 22:43 | #220

    Alex, is affection a legal requirement for those who’d SSM? If not, why not?

  221. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 22:44 | #221

    Alex, is same-sex sexual behavior mandatory for those who’d SSM? If not, why not?

  222. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 22:52 | #222

    Alex, before a licensing scheme can serve its purpose, the type of relationship needs to be identified. The sexual basis for the presumption of paternity is related to sexual consummation, annulment, adultery, and so forth. Thus, it is the legitimate basis for drawing lines of eligiblity. I think you have already hinted you understand this much. Right?

    Yes this sexual basis does napply to the circumstances you listed. Why did you ask?

  223. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 22:54 | #223

    Based on your remarks regarding procreation, Alex, if something is not compulsory, then, it cannot provide a legitimate basis for eligiblity and ineligiblity for SSM. So, I do not think that your viewpoint agrees with your feeling that SSM, at law, is a sexual relationship. The lack of a legal requirement is decisive, right?

  224. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:09 | #224

    Alex, I did not introduce swinging into the discussion. You did when your responded to my question about polygamous-like SSM and group SSM.

    I did not offer a reason for the one-sexed scenario to be limited by the number two. I asked you to justify such a limit. You have offered nothing thusfar. So please do not think it is okay to leave it at that. The onus is on you to justify limiting the one-sexed scenario in terms of the number two — but also in the other ways you have incorporated into your viewpoint.

    * * *

    Alex said: “The recurring theme here is that if the marriage license is available to straight couples (all other things being equal…non-relatives, only two people, both adults, etc.) the same license should be available to gay couples. So far, no one can come up with a justification for why gay couples should not be entitled to marriage licenses, the same way straight couples are entitled to marriage licenses.”

    There is no straight criterion for eligilbity and no gay criterion ineligiblity.

    Two men show up to marry. They are ineligible. They both identify as straight.

    A man and a woman show up to marry. They are eligible. They both identify as homosexual or (to use the inclusive version of the identity) as gay.

    Another man and woman show up to marry. They are ineligible. They both identify as straight. They are consensually affectionate; they are mutually loving; they are otherwise not prohibited by law. The marital relationship is a sexual type of relationship, at law, unlike SSM; and, at law, if closely related people somehow get a license or hold themsleves out to be married, well, they’d transgress the incest laws even if they do not engage in incestuous sexual behavior. Indeed, even if they do engage in such behavior out of sexual attraction and romance. Either way, they are ineligible because the law has a sexual basis — a two-sexed sexual basis.

    Some related people may marry while others may not. Can you justify that? I can, but can you justify drawing a line based on relatedness when it comes to SSM? I doubt it.

    Likewise, some underaged people may marry while others may not; some previously married people may marry but others may not. The justification for this is found in the societal response to the core meaning of marriage — a core meaning that the SSM idea rejects. So how would you justify drawing like limits for those who’d SSM?

    Surely you are not relying on the arbitrary copy-paste? Would that not be hypocritical — to reject the basis for those limits and then to reanimate that basis after SSM is imposed? I think the flaw in your thinking is that your viewpoint demands a change to the basis for eligilbity; this is rather obviously in direct conflict with all the limits that are drawn around the very thing you reject as unjust. Okay, so, if it is unjust, state a replacement basis that justifies limits.

  225. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:12 | #225

    Alex, is there a gay requirement for those who’d SSM? If not, why not?

  226. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:39 | #226

    Alex, at law there is no such thing as “straight marriage”. There is no sexual orientation requirement. No identity group requirement. But there is a sexual basis, at law, as I have already thoroughly explained.

    You clearly assume that SSM would be treated as a sexual type of relationship, but not via a requirement for sexual attraction, sexual orientation, sexual romance, sexual behavior, or any other aspect of what SSMers insist is comprised in the gay identity. You have even reduced your SSM idea to an affectionate type of relationship but even at that there is no such legal requirement.

    Whatever the personal motivations of this or that person, marriage is a public type of relationship and it does entail a special status. You want the same for SSM but what is the special reason for special status?

    Alex said: “Remember Brittany Spears?”

    She got an annulment.

    Alex said that “marriage between a gay guy and a straight girl is” an “insult to the sanctity of marriage”. Why would you say that?

    Oh, because, according to you, “The gay guy is only capable of loving someone else, not the person to whom he is married. [...] Meanwhile, the straight girl is, unfortunately, married to a man that does not love her. Very sad.”

    Frankly, I think it would be very sad for you to presume to know more about their marital relationship than they’d know. Loveless? Really.

    You are stereotyping based on identity politics. That is very poor form, Alex.

    Since when is a gay identified person incapable of forming an affectionate relationship with someone of the other sex? Since when is love restricted by gay identity?

    People may choose to form relationships that you’d find repulsive, Alex, but that is an illegitimate basis for lawmaking, according to SSM argumentation. Right? It is illegitmate when people make the same sort of remarks about so-called inter-racial marriage, so why are you up on your hind legs when it comes to inter-orientation marriage?

    Alex said: “While this type of loveless marriage is perfectly legal, and it seems to you, perfectly appropriate, the marriage the gay guy should be having to the person whom he actually loves is illegal.”

    1. In terms of loveless marriage, there is no love requirement and that is decisive, according to your viewpoint.

    2. The lack of conjugal love (i.e. complementarily sexual love) is intrinsic to the one-sexed relationship by viture of the lack of one or the other sex. But does that lack mean the the gay relationship is necessarily loveless? I would anticipate that you’d say, of course not. Right?

    3. There is a long and honorable tradition of arranged marriage (with both bride and groom consenting to the marriage) and love grows within the conjugal relationship. The social institution is not merely a blank wall that individuals cast shadows upon; the institution influences those who enter it. So, what you might deem to be loveless, in some other scenario, can indeed become love-filled. Would you not agree that married couples can fall in and out of love and, if they persevere through difficult times, their marriage can actually grow stronger and more rewarding for their family? It happens quite a lot.

    4. I think you assume, mistakenly, that I propose that people who would rather form a one-sexed relationship forgo that option and instead marry. No, I don’t think people should form bad marriages knowingly; nor do I think they should form bad affectionate relationships — nor bad friendships — and so forth. Marriage is not one-sexed, but the choice to form a one-sexed relationship (gay or not, sexualized or not, registered with the government or not) is a liberty exercised, not a right denied. Indeed, no one is prohbiited from exercising that liberty in this country.

    5. You presume that the liberty of a gay person to form a union of husband and wife ought to be restricted, at least by cultural forces, and that this is perfectly appropriate. This is closely analagous with those who oppose, on a cultural basis, so-called inter-racial unions of husband and wife. Identity politics is a perverse influence on the culture, I think, and should not be given pride of place in our culture. But identity politics — racialist or gaycentric or whatever — is part of society and it is tolerated. I do not think it should be preferred — not in lawmaking and not in the culture at large.

    Look, if an affectionate one-sexed arrangement is desired, that is an option but it is not marriage. And even if it was gaycentric, it would still be similarily situated with the rest of nonmarriage.

  227. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:43 | #227

    By the way, Alex, you are exagerating when you say that the gay relationship is illegal. It is not. But neither is it marriage. You are offering the SSM idea and that is in direct conflict with the marriage idea. This conflict of ideas does not entail laws that make SSM illegal — not like polygamy which is criminalized and not like incestuous marriage which is invalid and criminalized. Perhaps you mean illegal in some other sense — a political sense?

  228. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:48 | #228

    Alex, studies do not show that some people are exclusively gay. You are confusing gay identity with same-sex sexual attraction. Two different things.

    If you can explain the difference between a gay person and a bi-sexual person, please do so. But before you make that effort, state why it is relevant to the affectionate type of relationship that you have in mind.

    Does this difference become entrenched in the law where SSM is imposed or enacted? I expect not, but my understanding of your viewpoint is incomplete until you state the relevance of the difference you offered to explain.

  229. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 23:58 | #229

    Alex quoted me, in part, as having said:

    “Adding the other sex in a ratio of 1 to 1 would set the stage for sex equality within the relationship.”

    Alex responded indirectly:

    “Not if the people in the relationship are attracted only to members of their own sex.”

    Alex, if an all-male relationship is comprised of men who are sexually attracted to women, that relationship would still be one-sided and lack the other sex; it would lack sex equality within it. Adding more men would not balance it. Adding women at a 1:1 ratio would give sex equality a starting chance.

    Alex switched from sex equality to something else:

    “The equality of same-sex marriage already exists in that males would be able to marry males just as equally as females would be able to marry females.”

    You may be trying to breath new life into the repudiated argument that a man cannot do what a woman can do — marry a man. Right? This line of thinking has been rejected even by pro-SSM court opinions.

    You are proposing the equivalence of different types of relationships. Not all two-sexed relationships are the equivalent of the union of husband and wife; and no one-sexed relationship is the equivalent of marriage. This goes back to the core of the conjugal relationship, as a type of relationship (as expressed in our legal system and culture) and the societal response to that core. See, the core is the stuff that makes marriage, marriage; and limits are drawn around that core based on a just response, on a societal level, to the special reason for the special status of marriage. But you reject that core; so the alternative you propose is not the equivalent of marriage.

  230. Chairm
    February 1st, 2011 at 00:16 | #230

    Alex, scientists are already working toward the sort of genetic engineering that John has expressed concerns about. This is not science fiction.

    1. “Gay marriage” is an oxymoronic term. But if people wish to form a one-sexed arrangement, they are free to do so, and free to call it whatever they like. It is a fiction to claim this is illegal.

    2. The SSM campaign works night and day to gut marriage of its core meaning; and to make nonmarriage the equivalent of marriage. This is an obvious precedent for doing the same to procreation — gut the word of its meaning and make human manufacture the equivalent of procreation.

    The connection is there, Alex, based on the rhetoric of SSMers far and wide. You referred to “this type of procreation”. It is human manufacture. And marriage does entail protection of the liberty of husband and wife to attempt to procreate together; it does not entail the right to human manufacture. If we can keep the distinction, then, we can better prevent the latter becoming entrenched as intrinsic to the SSM idea.

    Alex said: “Today, unmarried people are entitled to use IVF, so if your science fiction nightmare comes to fruition, unmarried people would be able to create designer babies or babies from same-sex parents.”

    Why do you think unmarried people are “entitled” to use IVF? Is it because no law has been enacted in our country to restrict it? If so, then, you are making one of John’s points for him.

    Anyway, IVF uses opposite-sexed gametes. Most (90% or better) of the married people who use IVF do not go outside of their conjugal relationship for gametes. However, regulation of the industry is almost nonexistent and so, again, your comment helps to make another of John’s points for him.

    But your own viewpoint, Alex, implicitly makes virtue out of percieved necessity. So the step to treating human manufacture as the equivalent of procreation is a rather short step; and if you insist that SSM be identical in law to marriage, then, the liberty to attempt to “procreate” together is part of the package, if we are to adhere to your argumentation and the confusion already manifest in your rhetoric on SSM.

  231. Mark
    February 3rd, 2011 at 16:03 | #231

    @Chairm
    “Frankly, I think it would be very sad for you to presume to know more about their marital relationship than they’d know. Loveless? Really.

    You are stereotyping based on identity politics. That is very poor form, Alex.”

    So, marriage isn’t based on love, necessarily. It doesn’t necessarily need to be sexual. It just needs a man and a woman. That seems to about sum up your definition of marriage, Chairm. At least from these last few pages of diatribe.

    “Gay marriage” is an oxymoronic term.”

    Hypocrite. You just accused Alex of doing the same thing with Britney Spears. How do you know a person is “incapable of forming an affectionate relationship with someone of the” same “sex? Since when is love restricted by a” straight “identity?” . Do you not even read your own postings?

  232. Chairm
    February 3rd, 2011 at 21:38 | #232

    No, Mark, as I have explained, the union of husband and wife is a sexual type of relationship, at law. Love is a wonderful thing in its many different shapes and sizes. However, according to you, the lack of a legal requirement is decisive and there is no love requirement in the law.

    Your view of SSM might be summed-up by paraphrasing your own remark: not based on love and not sexual but always one-sex-short of the union of husband and wife.

  233. Chairm
    February 3rd, 2011 at 21:45 | #233

    Mark, I did not say what you claimed. You misrepresented rather blatantly.

    I did not say that a person is incapable of forming an affectionate relationship with someone of the same sex. Whether or not you imagined that I said that is also irrelevant to the remark I made that “gay marriage” is an oxymoronic term.

    You yourself have not proposed a legal requirement for affection. So if you thought that “gay marriage” is an affectionate type of relationship, you were mistaken, as your own terms of argumentation would have it.

    I made no accusation regarding Alex’s comment on Britney Spears. I did say that she got an annulment. The marriage did not exist, according to the law.

    One might read what was actually written, Mark, before reacting and before clicking on the “Submit Comment” button.

  234. Alex
    February 4th, 2011 at 14:57 | #234

    Chairm:
    To be brief. All of your rhetorical questions about same sex marriage apply just as equally to opposite sex marriage. I would like to see your answers to each of your questions in defense of opposite-sex marriage, then I will provide my answers in defense of same-sex marriage. I am not saying this to oppose opposite-sex marriage. I, like most supporters of same-sex marriage, think that opposite-sex marriage and family formation is wonderful and great. The fact simply remains that opposite-sex marriage and heterosexual family formation is not suitable for some people, because they are not heterosexual so they are not attracted (sexually, affectionally, emotionally, etc.) to someone of the opposite sex. They want to marry a person of the same sex. Heterosexuals have the good fortune to have the legal right to marriage to the person whom they want to marry. There is no reason for the right of legal marriage to be denied to non-heterosexual people.

  235. Chairm
    February 5th, 2011 at 13:04 | #235

    Alex, the questions were not rhetorical. They arise directly from your remarks regarding procreation. You want to argue with certain rules invoked to deconstruct marriage; but when it comes to applying the same rules to challenge your SSM idea, you balked. Why is that?

    Sexual attraction is not a legal requirement; it can and does occur outside of SSM, too; so it is not as decisive as your keep claiming, given your own terms of argumentation stands against your emphasis on sexual attraction.

    There is no reason to treat your favored subset of nonmarriage as superior to the rest of nonmarriage. You have not come up with anything, thusfar, and depend solely on the arbitrary exercise of governmental power to grant special status based on gayness rather than on the societal significance of whatever you have claimed to be definitive of the one-sexed arrangement you advocate.

    Your rhetoric, Alex, has been revealed to be empty of substance. Unless, of course, you intended to argue for eliminating the special status of marriage in our society. If so, sayso, and we can proceed from there.

  236. Chairm
    February 5th, 2011 at 13:14 | #236

    Alex,

    You emphasized affection, same-sex sexual behavior, gay identity, and sexual attraction; yet none of that is found in proposals for legal requirements for each and every instance of a one-sexed union that you say is a form of marriage.

    On the other hand, marriage does have legal requirments that you reject and I have shown that marriage is a sexual type of relationship, at law, and that the sexual basis for this does not apply to the one-sexed arrangement. You openly conceded as much.

    So your problem belongs to your own view of SSM. You have set your SSM idea against the marriage idea and fallen short. You cannot deny the results of your own argumentation. The problem, the profound problem, of your SSM complaint and your proposed remedy to that complaint belongs to you, not to me.

    Your complaint and your demand for that remedy does not live up to your expectations; that is a burden not on the shoulders of marriage, nor of marriage law, nor of the defense of the foundational social institution of civil society. You carry that burden.

    Nonmarriage is a broad enough category that your vague SSM idea fits into it quite obviously. You need to rethink this issue and support equality within the nonmarriage category of relationship types. Leave marriage alone and focus on the type of relationship you think merits protections — but don’t privilege the gay subset while demanding that lines of ineligiblity/eligiblity be justified by others — you need to justify, if you can, the line you want society to draw between SSM and the rest of nonmarriage.

    You have a lot of basic work to do. Bluffing, brazening it out, is an implicit concession that you rely on Government to force on society what you cannot articulate and justify. Poor form, again, Alex.

  237. Chairm
    February 5th, 2011 at 13:23 | #237

    The questions, if answered sincerly by yourself Alex, produce results you cannot tolerate. Ask those questions of marriage and the defense of marriage wins.

    No straight identity requirement in marriage law. No affection requirement; no sexual attraction requirement; no mandatory sexual behavior requirement.

    However, the law clearly includes requirements that are very reasonable and have withstood the test of time. To recognize marriage, as a type of relationship, it is necessary to acknowledge the two-sexed nature of humankind, the opposite-sexed nature of human procreation, and the complementarily-sexed nature of human community. This is what marriage deals with. Hence, in our legal system, traditions, and customs, the union of husband and wife is a sexual type of relationship, public for that reason, and is privileged because of the societal response to the core meaning of this social institution: sex integration combined with provision for responsible procreation.

    This does not mean that the law forces people to marry; nor does the law force people to procreate; nor does it force people to engage in sexual behavior; nor does it reorganize society by identity politics; nor does it make this or that sexual orientation mandatory. These are the things that you complain about but then go ahead and argue in favor of when it comes to the gay subset of nonmarriage. In your effort to avoid being anything but indiscriminate, you end-up removing all reasons to discriminate between marriage and nonmarriage; you end-up showing that you have no just reason to discriminate between SSM and the rest of nonmarriage.

    You failed to directly address the argument against your viewpoint. Why is that, Alex, given your professed certitude? Please explain.

  238. Mark
    February 7th, 2011 at 12:56 | #238

    @Chairm
    First, what do you mean by “at law”?

    Secondly, “the union of husband and wife is a sexual type of relationship,”

    Really? In ALL cases? or, is it just presumed? Because the EXACT SAME STANDARDS APPLY FOR SSM.

  239. Chairm
    February 7th, 2011 at 22:11 | #239

    At law means within the law, as the law regards it, as the legal system treats it. You have insisted on legal requirements, Mark, so it surprises me that you questioned what this meant.

    The union of husband and wife is indeed a sexual type of relationship in our legal system. We are discussing the type of relationship, Mark, and we are not pretending that government (or either of us) is all-knowing and all-seeing and can peer into the marital bedroom of each and every husband-wife duo. But a solid presumption as reasonable as the presumption of paternity shares the same sexual basis as sexual consummation of marriage, annulment, adultery-divorce, and so forth.

    But you reject that sexual basis in your argumentation.

    Meanwhile, there is no proposed legal requirement that would guarantee with 100% certainty that all instances of SSM would be sexualized. You, Mark, have rejected the sexual basis for consummation, for annulment, for adultery-divorce, and for the presumption of paternity. So this is not really relevant to your SSM idea, afterall.

    On the other hand you have also pointed at genetic testing for paternity which has the same sexual basis as the presumption of paternity and for sexual consummation; you have pointed at “the genetic reason” as justification for limiting eligilbity; and you have pointed at concerns about some types of sexual behavior that would justify limitations on eligibility. You have done this without 100% guarantees. Perhaps you have second thoughts.

    There is no sexual basis for presuming that a man would impregnate another man; nor to presume that a woman has been impregnated by another woman. Whatever an all-male or an all-female arrangement might do sexually is irrelevant to the sexual basis for the presumption of paternity. You might concoct some nonsexual basis for a presumption of “parentage” but that would not put sexual behavior back into SSM as a type of relationship. Parentage is not proposed as a legal requirement for eligibility to SSM, anyway. Thus there is no justification to presume that those who’d SSM have also consent to shared “parentage”.

    What would constitute sexual consummation of an all-male arrangement? Would the behavior be exactly the same for the all-female arrangement? Neither could possibly fulfill the sexual basis for consummation of the union of husband and wife. So different standards would apply, by necessity. On the other hand, if the lowest common denominator is sought, then, there would be no sexual basis for treating the three scenarios as identical in the law.

    No sexual basis means you cannot use sexual behavior as a legitimate basis for eligiblity/ineligiblity.

    It follows that you cannot justly draw limitations on consent to form a sexual relationship of this or that kind. And so age limitations are also put into doubt.

  240. Mark
    February 8th, 2011 at 17:52 | #240

    @Chairm
    “Meanwhile, there is no proposed legal requirement that would guarantee with 100% certainty that all instances of SSM would be sexualized. ”

    So SSM has to be guaranteed sexual with 100% certainty, but OSM can be presumed? Wow, talk about a double standard. Now who is advocating for a totalitarian government?

    “No sexual basis means you cannot use sexual behavior as a legitimate basis for eligiblity/ineligiblity.”

    So, you have admitted that sexual behavior does not matter in OSM nor SSM. So why deny gays and lesbians the right to marry if sexual behavior cannot be used for eligibility or ineligibility?

    Now, if what you are saying is that you do not recognize same sex sexual behavior as legitimate, then join those in the past who did not consider interracial sexual behavior as legitimate. Because you do not value it is not a justification for denying rights to gays and lesbians.

  241. Chairm
    February 9th, 2011 at 03:14 | #241

    Mark, I merely applied your own standard regarding the lack of a legal requirement.

    Mark said: “So SSM has to be guaranteed sexual with 100% certainty, but OSM can be presumed? Wow, talk about a double standard. Now who is advocating for a totalitarian government?”

    I see. You think that a legal presumption is an arbitrary act of governmental authority. But you are mistaken.

    The sexual basis for the legal presumption of marital paternity is the same for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and so forth. This coherency justifies the presumption. And, as a rebuttable presumption on a case-by-case basis, it does not make Government a tyrant who’d unilaterally intrude into the marital bedroom of each and every union of husband and wife.

    If marriage was not a sexual type of relationship under the law of marriage, then, the legal requirements I’ve described would be trivial or fully applicable to nonmarriage in all instances, as per your own terms of argumentation. But that is not the case, in fact. Quite the contrary.

    Meanwhile, you would not impose a legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior nor for gay identity, yet your emphasis on both is loud and clear in your rhetoric even as it is abandoned in your argumentation.

  242. Chairm
    February 9th, 2011 at 03:22 | #242

    Mark the answer to your question is no.

    You asked: “So, you have admitted that sexual behavior does not matter in OSM nor SSM. So why deny gays and lesbians the right to marry if sexual behavior cannot be used for eligibility or ineligibility?”

    No I admitted no such thing regards the union of husband and wife.

    But you have proceeded on that very basis, as per your own viewpoint of the law and SSM, and so you cannot now use sexual behavior for drawing lines of eligiblity and ineligiblity to SSM. Your stance on incestuous sexual behavior is worse that weak and incoherent: it is unjustified for SSM.

    Mark said: “Now, if what you are saying is that you do not recognize same sex sexual behavior as legitimate, then join those in the past who did not consider interracial sexual behavior as legitimate. Because you do not value it is not a justification for denying rights to gays and lesbians.”

    If you can tell me what constitutes “interracial sexual behavior” without joining the racialists whose criteria were used in the anti-miscegenation system, do so. If you cannot, then, you might see that the sexual basis for the human institution of marriage is open to the entire human race.

    Whether or not I value certain behavior is irrelevant at this point: you have made it irrelevant given your own argumentation regarding SSM. But you have made very relevant your gay emphasis and that points directly at the proposal that government be used to press identity politics into marriage law — which is closely analagous with the pressing of racialist identity politics into marriage law under the anti-miscegenation system.

    You stand accused by your own terms of argumentation, Mark.

  243. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 13:00 | #243

    @Chairm
    “If you cannot, then, you might see that the sexual basis for the human institution of marriage is open to the entire human race.”

    So same sex individuals can marry each other? Nice of you to admit it.

  244. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 13:03 | #244

    @Chairm
    “If marriage was not a sexual type of relationship under the law of marriage, then, the legal requirements I’ve described would be trivial or fully applicable to nonmarriage in all instances, as per your own terms of argumentation. But that is not the case, in fact. Quite the contrary.

    Meanwhile, you would not impose a legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior nor for gay identity, yet your emphasis on both is loud and clear in your rhetoric even as it is abandoned in your argumentation.”

    Blah, blah, blah. You obviously don’t understand your own hypocrisy nor are you even correctly comprehending my posts. Your circular, pointless arguments are tiresome. Come back when you can post something rational (and in fewer than a thousand words).

  245. Chairm
    February 9th, 2011 at 20:13 | #245

    1. You emphasize gayness as key to the SSM idea.

    2. You have conceded that there is no legal requirement for gayness for those who’d SSM; and you have insisted that the lack of a legal requirement is decisive.

    3. SSM is not a gaycentric type of relationship; you have conceded it is not a sexual type of relationship due to the lack of a legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior.

    Thus, the gay subset of nonmarriage is not distinguished by gay identity nor by same-sex sexual behavior; your gay emphasis does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage even according to your own argumentation.

  246. Chairm
    February 9th, 2011 at 20:17 | #246

    Mark, your failure is on the record.

  247. Mark
    February 12th, 2011 at 08:59 | #247

    @Chairm
    “Thus, the gay subset of nonmarriage is not distinguished by gay identity nor by same-sex sexual behavior; your gay emphasis does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage even according to your own argumentation.”

    Blah, blah, blah. Your record is stuck (and incoherent).

  248. Mark
    February 12th, 2011 at 09:00 | #248

    @Chairm
    “Mark, your failure is on the record.”

    LOL, another false accusation. Please, feel free to PROVE it. Oh, that’s right, you haven’t been able to support any of your claims so far, why should this be any different?

  249. Chairm
    February 14th, 2011 at 21:50 | #249

    Mark, your “LOL” reactions make your remarks look childish. It is up to you how you present yourself, of course.

    You do not deny your gay emphasis. You assert it anyway, so there is no need here for me to prove what it already established as fact.

    You conceded there is no legal requirement for gay identity, same-sex sexual behavior, same-sex sexual romance, same-sex sexual attraction — not in SSM laws and not proposed by the SSM campaign nor by yourself. This is established now as fact.

    The lack of a legal requirement is decisive, you have maintaned. This is established fact also.

    Thus the three claims made in my previous comment are very well supported.

    The legal requirements in marriage law are reasonable; they are not 100% guarantees. The lack of such guarantees does not transform into the lack of legal requirements. This is basic stuff that you have trouble grasping, apparently, in your rush to disagree. And you have yet to accurately represent the disagreement, anyway.

  250. Chairm
    February 14th, 2011 at 23:01 | #250

    I had said that the “If you can tell me what constitutes ‘interracial sexual behavior’ without joining the racialists whose criteria were used in the anti-miscegenation system, do so. If you cannot, then, you might see that the sexual basis for the human institution of marriage is open to the entire human race.”

    Mark, dumbfounded, said: “So same sex individuals can marry each other?”

    The sexual basis of marriage is not fulfilled by a scenario that is one-sex short of a husband and wife. But the husband and wife are members of the one human race and are not divided as subspecies of humankind.

    Besides, Mark depends on the racialist identity politics of the anti-miscegenation system to sort people by supposed racial categories of sexual behavior.

  251. Mark
    February 15th, 2011 at 15:15 | #251

    @Chairm
    “You conceded there is no legal requirement for gay identity, same-sex sexual behavior, same-sex sexual romance, same-sex sexual attraction — not in SSM laws and not proposed by the SSM campaign nor by yourself. ”

    To paraphrase you: you conceded there is no legal requirement for straight identity, opposite-sex sexual behavior, opposite-sex sexual romance, opposite-sex sexual attraction — not in OSM laws and not proposed by the OSM campaign nor by yourself.

    So none of your points stand either, apparently.

    “The legal requirements in marriage law are reasonable; they are not 100% guarantees. ”

    Whoa, a sudden change in direction for your previous statements. But, how are they reasonable and why do they restrict marriage only to OSM?

  252. Chairm
    February 16th, 2011 at 02:37 | #252

    I have gladly agreed that there are is legal requirements that would make straight identity mandatory for eligilbity to marry but you keep pressing that into the marriage law where it does not exist.

    Likewise, with romance and sexual attraction.

    On the other hand, sexual basis for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and presumption of paternity are in our legal system under the laws of marriage. That sexual basis does not fit the one-sex-short scenario.

  253. Chairm
    February 16th, 2011 at 02:45 | #253

    Typo correction:

    I have gladly agreed that there is no legal requirement that would make straight identity mandatory for eligilbity to marry but you keep pressing that into the marriage law where it does not exist.

    Likewise, with romance and sexual attraction.

    On the other hand, the sexual basis for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and presumption of paternity are in our legal system under the laws of marriage. That sexual basis does not fit the one-sex-short scenario.

    There are legal requirements that the SSM idea cannot tolerate. But these requirements, and my points, stand quite well even under the severely anti-marriage terms of argumentation. You can try to stack the deck against marriage, Mark, but the SSM idea fairs much worse than you pretend. The SSM idea is clearly defeated by your terms of argumentation. The contest is not even close.

  254. Chairm
    February 16th, 2011 at 02:52 | #254

    Mark said:

    “Whoa, a sudden change in direction for your previous statements. But, how are they reasonable and why do they restrict marriage only to OSM?”

    Not a change in diretion, Mark.

    From the earliest days of our exchanges on this blogsite, Mark, I have been saying that your terms of argumentation are unreasonable and arbitrary while the laws of marriage are reasonable and justified. I’ve rebuked SSMers, such as yourself, for demanding 100% guarantees from the law.

    You keep misrepresenting my viewpoint, my comments, and the marriage law. This comes through, Mark, and tarnishes your advocacy for the SSM idea.

    You might yet do better.

  255. Mark
    March 1st, 2011 at 19:56 | #255

    @Chairm
    “You keep misrepresenting my viewpoint, my comments, and the marriage law. ”

    LOL that is because they are vague, unclear and not consistent. Also, they are irrational.

  256. Chairm
    March 4th, 2011 at 00:14 | #256

    LOLing your way to further misrepresentation is not how ‘you might yet do better’, Mark. It is just more of the same.

    The marriage law is not vague: a man and a woman form the relationship of husband and wife. You object to the specificity. You would render the law more vague not less vague.

    The one-man-one-woman requirement is consistent with the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity, consummation, annulment provisions, and adultery-divorce, and so forth.

    Clearly, no one-sexed scenario can fit that sexual basis. Whatever an all-male or an all-female scenario might do sexually, it cannot form the basis for presuming a woman the father of another woman’s child; nor for presuming a man the impregnator of another man. Sex difference makes the difference.

    Indeed, my comments have been precise, cler, and consistent: marriage integrates the sexes, provides for responsible procreation, and does these two things (at the least) in combination. The coherency of the social institution and of the special status of marriage in our laws and culture does not carry over to the one-sexed scenario.

    Reasonable terms of argumentation match the reasonable basis for lawmaking. Your argumentation, however, uses terms that are severe when testing the marriage law but far too lenient when testing the SSM idea. That is a double-standard born not of marriage and marriage law but of a proposed deconstruction of the social institution of marriage, a grab for special status based on the very thing you claim is not a legitimate basis for lawmaking (gay identity, sexual orientation, and sex difference), and a vague type of relationship that is indistinguishable from the rest of nonmarriage.

    No matter. You are free to continue to misrepresent adn to thus tarnish your own advocacy of the SSM idea — and idea that you have failed to make stand on its own merits and demerits.

Comments are closed.