Currently same sex marriage is legal in Washington, D.C., thus once again bringing up the topic. I’ve written on this subject before, but I think it is worth writing about again.
While my own marriage ended in divorce and cost me half my stuff, I can (almost) understand why people would want to get married. After all, there are some financial and social benefits to doing so. In the case of same sex marriage, there is also the matter of it being seen as a victory for tolerance and a mark of social acceptance. In any case, there are folks who are very much for same sex marriage.
My view, which I have held consistently, is that same sex marriage should be legal. My main reason in based on the notion of the right of adults to enter into legal contracts. As I see it, the legal aspects of marriage (such as joint property, insurance coverage, and so on) are merely legal agreements that hold between adults and the sex of the individuals seems to be irrelevant. For example, a person should be able to designate the one person who can be on his/her insurance in what is now considered the spouse “slot.” The fact that the person holding the policy would have to pay the premiums would tend to help keep misuses down and, of course, married people would tend to use that “slot” for their spouses. As another example, if a person wants to form a joint ownership agreement and set rules for property division after a end to the contract, then that is easy enough to handle. People engage in business contracts with people who are of their same sex all the time.
Marriage, in a way, merely is a combo meal of legal rights and contracts. There seems to be no compelling reason to deny such contracts individually on the basis of sex and hence there seems to be no compelling reason to deny same sex couples the same opportunities to enter into such contracts (and, of course, end them in legal battles).
Of course, folks argue that marriage is not just a legal contract. Folks talk about sacred bonds and other such unicorn horns. They contend that same sex marriage violates the sanctity of marriage and hence must be opposed on either moral or religious grounds or both.
My stock reply to this has also been consistent. First, if same sex marriage is to be denied on moral grounds, then the same sort of standard must be applied across the board. That is, all immoral people must be denied the right to marry. Failure to use this standard consistently would, of course, unfairly single out same sex couples and this would be unjust. Second, while the state does have a stake in the legal aspects of marriage (law is, after all, the domain of the state) it does not have a legitimate interest in merely ethical and merely theological disputes. Third, if God didn’t want same sex marriage, He could either prevent them from taking place or just smite those who dare to do so. Since God does nothing, it seems safe to conclude that He is not overly concerned with the matter. The divorce rate does, however, suggest that God is not too keen on straight marriage.
Of course, the state does have a stake in ethics when the matter involves the potential for great social ills. It has been argued that same sex marriage will damage the social fabric, harm children and so on. This is, obviously enough, a factual issue. At this point, the objective evidence seems to be that allowing same sex marriage will, at most, simply make people who are against it angry and sad. This, however, is not enough harm to warrant the banning of same sex marriage.
My final, sarcastic view is that folks who are against homosexuality should be for same sex marriage. Up until I fell and tore my quadriceps tendon apart, the worst experience of my life was going through a divorce. Since pushing people off roofs is illegal, folks who hate homosexuals should be all for their getting married. True, some might end up happily married, but most will end up miserably divorced.
T. J. Babson says
I stand with Mike and Dick Cheney and against Barack Obama by supporting gay marriage.
Homosexuality is a symptom of a disease, not the disease itself. It’s trying to find a niche, a family. Then once a person gets the attention and interaction that everyone longs for, they can convince themselves further that its the cure. But the demons will be there still,as the drug and alcohol abuse rates amongst homosexuals show. As do the suicide rates and domestic violence rates (lesbian couples have the highest domestic violence rates). It’s amusing nowadays how many high school girls have decided they were born lesbian…pop culture anyone?
Getting maried won’t change anything for them. Personally, I think it’s just one more thing to whine about. They are the loudest minority group in the country.
I fully realize that I may get crucified for my views here.
“Third, if God didn’t want same sex marriage, He could either prevent them from taking place or just smite those who dare to do so. Since God does nothing, it seems safe to conclude that He is not overly concerned with the matter. The divorce rate does, however, suggest that God is not too keen on straight marriage.”
Apparently you don’t think we’re left to choose anything at all. Why is it not possible that God leaves us to make our own mistakes?
If you use the straight divorce rate as eveidence on God’s thoughts of marriage, wait until you see the homosexual divorce rates. It’ll be about 80%.
The average gay male’s life expectancy is approx 45 years old. This, despite higher education and income compared to the rest of our population. The proof of a moral code’s usefulness is easily measured by the practical outcome.
I think there is an objective morality that all cultures have and do observe in some form, from the beginnings of recorded history. Read The Abolition of Man for further.
God also gives those who would stand by and judge and cast stones a choice. Perhaps he’s leaving those who judge to make their ‘own mistakes’. . . I guess we’ll have to see what angle God’s taking on this at some later date.
Who’s casting stones? Not me.
Marriage has, through the ages, conferred stability on heterosexual relationships through the bonds of marriage.
Is it possible that the undeniably higher death rate you cite might be attributable in some part to the fact that marital stability is denied to homosexuals in most of the fifty states? And to the fact that society has historically forced this group to confine itself to clandestine, and by their very nature promiscuous relationships.
There’s a good chance the life outcomes for a group that must deal with such realities aren’t going to be nearly as shall we say ‘rosy” as those for the societally preferred group.