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Same-Sex Marriage

A term used to describe a legally or socially recognized marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender.

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It's About Equality Not About Love

  • Dec 3, 2009
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Same-Sex Marriage.  That big controversial issue that some people look up and say, "Why is this an issue?" and others who respond by saying, "It's an issue because God condemns it."  Well, okay, God condemns it (just like he condemns divorce--but no one is jumping up to make that illegal now, are they?), and that's okay.  People are entitled to their beliefs.  In an interview with Oprah, Jon Stewart remarked, "Well, I was against it at first but then I found out it wasn't mandatory."  Now, I'm not using Jon Stewart as a catalysts for the issue itself, but I rather like that statement.  Even though it was said in good humor, Stewart is right.  If Same-Sex marriage became legal it's not like you'd suddenly HAVE to marry the same sex.  The bible condemns other things as well.  It condemns drinking alcohol and wearing mixed fabrics (no, I'm not kidding read the book of Leviticus--and not just the rules of sex, you're not supposed to wear two different clothes made by two different animals... so if you find yourself wearing a leather jacket with wool socks... you're sinning).  Now, we tried outlawing alcohol once and it didn't work so well.  Now imagine outlawing mixed fabrics.  I mean, for the sake of hilarity I'd LOVE to watch an episode of Cops in which a guy gets chased down for wearing mixed fabrics, but a lot of people--Christians included--would never make such a ridiculous law.

The debate is very strange because the only real reason anyone seems to oppose it is on the grounds of religion.  Mostly Christian.  So we'll talk about that a little later, but let's also talk about something else..  Those who are for Same-Sex Marriage also have their own little problems that anyone can read into.  And let's start there.

I like to think of Same-Sex Marriage as an equality issue.  The number one reason I hear as to why we should allow Same-Sex Marriage, however is rarely based on the equality issue.  At least when I first got involved in the debate in 2003.  In 2003 the big outcry for it was, "If two people love each other they should be able to get married."  I hated hearing that as the big reason to say, "Let gays get married."  You would never, for example, let two five year old children marry just for the sake of them loving one another.  You'd wait until they were older and mature.  But more than that, there's so much more to marriage than just love and there's so much more to getting married than just love.  I would agree.  If two people love one another they should be able to marry--but love is never the sole condition of marriage.  Life isn't a Disney Film where "True Love" wins just for the sake of it being love.  We're living in the real world. 

The biggest argument against Same-Sex Marriage is actually that it isn't approved of by God.  There's that whole, "The bible condemns homosexuality," thing.  I've never gotten a chance to speak about religion here on lunch.  So I'll be quick and to the point.  I'm not a very religious guy.  If you asked me whether or not I believed in God I'd tell you that I do (although God and Religion do NOT go together exclusively for me).  But religion isn't important to me and it has never played a major role in my life (if you had to put a label on me, I'm Agnostic).  I also happen to be one who believes that religion is a private thing.  A VERY private thing.  As such, it is morally wrong to force one's religion on anyone.  This would also mean I'm against making a law with the only backdrop being religion.  Yet it is always striking that outside of the, "Well God says it's wrong," thing, there's not much in the way of standing against Same-Sex Marriages.

It seems like those who are digging for a reason outside of the bible are more disturbed by the idea of homosexuality rather than the idea of homosexuals getting married.  In that case these people are actually losing sight of the issue.  Others seem to think it'll lead to a slippery slope of immoral behavior.  Like the next step would be you'd have to let people start marrying their horses and cows.  It wouldn't lead to that at all.  That's a fallacy argument.  It's called The Slippery Slope.  The Slippery Slope argument basically says that one problem is just the tip of the ice berg that will eventually lead to bigger badder problems in the future.  And people always like to phrase it in such a way that we can't stop the bad stuff from happening once that first bad thing has. 

There was once a time when it was illegal to have mixed marriages.  A white man could only marry a white woman, for example.  This wasn't that long ago.  Many people look at this now and it seems kind of silly.  We might say this about Same-Sex Marriage if it becomes legal and God doesn't kill us with an Asteroid.

The reason the debate seems silly isn't really for the sake of people using the Bible to serve their own Political Agenda (who's bright idea was it to mix Politics and Religion anyway?), it's mostly because it ignores a basic component of marriage that most people are quick to dismiss.  The legal aspect of it.  God condemns Same-Sex Marriage.  We get it.  So... don't get married in a church.  And a Chruch has every right to turn you away... and Father Whoever doesn't exactly have to be there to recognize your marriage.  On the other hand, however, the court house isn't a church.  We let people get married through the court system too.  In this sense, you'd have a hard time arguing that it's a Holy bond.  And if truth be told, for some people it really isn't.  Atheists and Agnostics get married too.  Same-Sex Marriage may not be "legal" but it isn't ILLEGAL.  If we are to uphold the separation of Chruch and State... then the State can't deny your marriage on the grounds of religion.  And if we are to believe that people have the freedom of religion... then that also means that one should be able to be free of religion as well.  I'm not asking you to abandon your religious beliefs, mind you.  Only to accept that upon the establishment of our nation they separated the church and state for a reason.  Some people just don't care about basing our laws off of religious text.  Murder isn't against the law because the bible condemns it, for example.  It's against the law because we know it's morally wrong.  You'd have the hardest time in the world convincing anyone that murder would be legal were it not for the bible.

This is what makes the debate over Same-Sex Marriage more difficult for some more than others.  America has a lot of Christians, but also lot of people who interpret things differently.  What about the people who are of different religions (if you're a Buddhist, for example, you probably aren't against Same-Sex marriage) or who are in fact Atheist or Agnostic?  How are you going to convince those people--especially an Atheist--that Same-Sex Marriage is wrong without using the bible?  Many have tried but the results have often been arguments that make little sense to throw out there, or making arguments that have nothing to do with the debate over the marriage aspect.  Let us take an example of an argument.  I live in Colorado and attend school in Denver.  One day our school sponsored a debate on Same-Sex Marriage.  They invited Dr. James Dobson to speak for the opposition.  So he did so without referring to the bible.  His angle was that you can't allow Gays to marry because children needed a mother and a father in order to be raised well.  This is well and good, but I couldn't actually figure out where he was connecting the dots (but give Dr. Dobson credit, he is all about the Family, after all).  It's an argument that really is often used for whether or not same-sex couples should be able to adopt, but it doesn't actually play into same-sex marriage much at all (not everyone who gets married will decide to have children, for example--and there are other reasons one may not have a mother or father--abandoment, divorce... untimely death etc.).  If a gay couple decides to get married and has no children... the argument won't hold water.  I like to think Dobson knows this (he's not a stupid man) but I'm also willing to bet he thought making an argument outside of his religious beliefs would be much easier.

One solution proposed was letting people vote on it.  And that also seems fundamentally wrong.  Imagine, for a second, that we let people VOTE on whether or not to give African Americans equal rights in the 60's. Imagine if we took a VOTE on whether or not to let women vote.  I know some of this sounds laughable now, but back then do you really think equality for African-Americans would've flown well in the 60's (especially because under "Separate but Equal" people believed it was equal?).  You have a mess of people who even now STILL don't think letting women vote is a good thing.  When it comes to ones rights it's hard to say, "Let them vote on it."  Our Bill of Rights is supposed to give rights to EVERYONE.  There's just something fundamentally wrong about saying, "We are the land of the free," but then saying, "Oh, except for the gays and lesbians."   You don't put people's rights and freedom to a vote. 

There is also the idea of giving gays their rights without the benefit of marriage.  Domestic Partnerships, this is called.  This would allow gays ane lesbians to say... visit a sick or dying partner in a hospital and make major health decisions.  A husband and wife are allowed to do this sort of thing and all they need as proof is a wedding ring.  Hell, you don't even need that.  I was in the hospital in 2007 and a friend of mine wanted to visit me so bad after visiting hours she simply said she was my fiance.  Well, it worked--the hospital considered her family.  Gays and lesbians DON'T have that benefit, however.  The benefit is there for them... if they're willing to fill out a lot of paperwork and then show it to the hospital, but the point is that they really shouldn't need said paperwork to begin with.  Heterosexual couples don't.

Again, Same-Sex Marriage is about equal rights.  It isn't just about love and making sure their relationshps are fully recognized.  It's about ensuring that they have the same rights as others.  Religion can be a convincing argument... for those who are religious.  But you can be Christian without actually being religious.  This is why you see some supporting it.  They hold their religious beliefs to themselves.

Some states have already allowed Same-Sex Marriage and none of them have seen any threat to heterosexual families in the slightest.  In fact, I almost forgot those states allowed it because nothing has changed.  This brings about the other argument that holds no water.  The idea that heterosexual couples will somehow be threatented.  If you weren't threatened by them simply dating the idea that suddenly you'll be threatened by them getting married seems more absurd the more people say it.  Each and every time I've heard someone say this I've been amazed that they can never say how.  It's a threat to heterosexual marriage... but they can't actually say how.  Which means one could probably guess that they're playing on the fears of people who already fear homosexuals. 

It's like this... if a divorced father tells his child who fears the Boogeyman that his Mom is getting married to a guy like the Boogeyman... yes, that child is going to be scared of his stepdad.  Even if he's nothing like the boogeyman at all (or rather, what the child's perception of the Boogeyman is).  Yes, of course you're child is going to fear his new daddy if he's already scared of the boogeyman in this instance.  The father is simply playing on his childs fear of the Boogeyman to make him think his stepfather is an asshole.  The stepfather might not be an asshole though.  The father doesn't have to explain just how bad the stepfather is in that case.

The "It's a threat to heterosexual marriage," argument is a lot like that.  The people who believe that usually have some sort of fear of homosexuals to begin with.  If you already have a negative perception of homosexuality and all that jazz then you might find that the threat to heterosexual marriage holds water, but if you start digging below the surface and find yourself having to explain why... most people can't, and what you end up getting is people digging for an excuse and drawing illogical conclusions.

Again, holding onto the idea that it's about equality, then your own personal feelings on homosexuality in and of itself are, in some cases, rather invalid when you think about it.  Let's say you don't like your next door neighbor, for example.  And you've got a good reason for it.  Maybe he does certain things you find immoral (perhaps he smokes cigarettes and you don't like that)... but none of the things he does break the law in any way, shape or form.  You don't like him, but you don't use your dislike of him as an excuse to take away his rights, do you?  You may even find he's not that Christian about what he does (he swears like a sailor, drinks, has been divorced and is now bringing different women home every night for you-know-what and wears a bunch of damn mixed fabrics all the time--what an asshole!).  But you understand that he has the perfect right to do what it is he does.  You dislike him--hate him, even--but you still recognize that under the laws of our country he is still able to do whatever it is he does because the stuff he's doing that urks you isn't illegal.  You just don't like him (and hey, he might not be an asshole at all... you just might be filtering what you see through your perception and own emotional dislike of the guy).  But you wouldn't beg your state to pass a law which restricts his own individual liberties. 

The point is, you don't have to like gay marriage to extend the right.  They're citizens of this country.  We talk about giving everyone equal rights but often times we keep looking at one particular group and say, "Except you guys."  My point is simple: I don't see any reason why this right can't be extended to same-sex couples.  I understand the context of religion, but if we're talking through the state and legal system there's no real reason not to allow it.  Again, if you don't want to wed a Same Sex Couple in the church... do it legally through the court system.

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December 05, 2011
The review is well conveyed. There is nothing in the 10 Commandments which even remotely forbids gay relationships per se. Here are the Commandments.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.

My Analysis: This commandment has nothing to do with sexuality.

2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

My Analysis: Again, this Commandment does not appear to cover sexuality.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

My Analysis: Again, this Commandment deals with holding the Lord's name sacrosanct.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

My Analysis: The Sabbath is not a work day.

5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
My Analysis: This Commandment deals with parents and not sex partners.

6. You shall not murder.
My Analysis: This Commandment deals with a crime against humanity.

7. You shall not commit adultery.
My Analysis:
The Commandment deals with honesty in highly personal relationships which is gender neutral in the language of the Commandment itself.

8. You shall not steal.
My Analysis: You can't take something which isn't yours- period.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. My Analysis: You cannot disparage your neighbor falsely with knowledge of the truth.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

My Analysis: You cannot covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. The limiting factor is that you cannot covet ANYTHING THAT IS YOUR NEIGHBOR'S. Conclusion: Once you look at the list dispassionately, predispositions in sexuality are not forbidden in any way.
July 12, 2011
I think same-sex marriage is fine but I do have to pose the question: If same-sex marriage is okay, what's wrong with polygamy?
March 18, 2010
Nicely put and well though out. Good job
February 03, 2010
"It's About Equality Not About Love".... really? The way I understand it, esp. in the western world, most people get married for love (or sex, I guess). And I had it ingrained in my upbringing that one should marry for love. Now, we normally don't have to ask a man & woman why they wish to get married. We assume they marry for love. I haven't known many who are gays & haven't gotten to ask a gay couple why they want to marry. I'd think they'd say it's about love as well. So, why is it "It's About Equality Not About Love"? If you're discussing about the legal aspect of it, then I'd assume you've to redefine the term "marriage". Couple calls one another husband & wife. Do gay couples call one another husband and wife? I'm just curious. It's great discussion that you presented here, but I do not think the world is ready for gay marriages. I do agree with Donna's comment. I think that's the only way to legalise it for gays. That way, it'll not be confusing for everyone concerned, especially the children!
January 23, 2010
regarding Queenie's comment...I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone wanted (and did) marry a horse or a dog. People have all kinds of fixations these days! With regards to same-sex marriage, legalize it and give it a different terminology other than "marriage." Call it whatever you like, but don't call it marriage....that's between a man and a woman.
January 01, 2010
I don't see it as an equality issue. I really don't care one way or the other about legal benefits. Where I see a problem is with the legal definitions. I think your first assumption that it has to do with "God condemning it" misses the real point of the opposition of religious organizations on this issue. Although I am not a church-goer, I understand the concerns the church would have with the legal definition here. A contractual situation that is called something other than "marriage" would be preferable and resolve the issue. The problem (in my mind) with changing legal definitions lies in money. If a non-profit church refuses to recognize the "Law" regarding same-sex marriage and refuses to perform the ceremony, will they then be viewed as discriminating and lose their non-profit status? It is a slippery slop when you start mandating change. It really starts getting into the church and state issue. Why can't there be a different legal definition and terminology that could prevent potential challenges to the church later? Just my opinion on the matter. There has to be a middle ground that it seems neither side has been able to completely agree on. Standing on the sidelines watching.
January 08, 2010
I read this before but I withheld commenting until now. This is one VERY slippery slope. I live in San Francisco, and I've heard a lot of people make arguments about this topic. Some of my co-workers are gay, we have gay relatives and even some of my friends are gay, and surprisingly they're happy with DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP and even went as far as saying they really don't care about a piece of paper to celebrate their love. Oh, they're also Christians, and they even go to church and accepted for who they are. They say its a lifestyle choice and I was surprised when they said they didn't care about a piece of paper. Now if its a choice, then it is a choice and they don't have to be that way, right? (or is this wrong?) Now I am all about equality and frankly I wouldn't care about how this issue turned out. The Media always gives us the information about the Pro-same sex marriage side while the other side hasn't been covered. I am sure there's a valid reason why Prop 8 was upheld. I say for same-sex marriage to be really be accepted, cover everything; I don't have all the info but I can tell you why Prop 8 passed. (Prop 8 is the law in Cali that bans gay marriage)

I'll tell you guys a story; I know someone who worked with a friend of mine who was a supporter of same-sex marriage, she changed her mind; just because she had to pull her kid from school because the kids were going on a field trip to watch a gay wedding (can't remember if it was their teacher who was getting married). Remember gay marriages were being held before Prop 8 passed. I think things like this should be taught by parents, don't you think? But as a supporter, one needs to remember that these things may happen. Another story is the fact that Mayor Newsom blatantly said "whether you like it or not" in a news conference when the Supreme Court first approved same-sex marriage that led to Prop 8. Instead of reaching out and calling for unity, he mocked the people who created the first ballot-approved amendment to marriage that was reversed. I too, am concerned about what Coldsteel said. But there is a separation of church and state. So the church shouldn't be sued for discrimination since it is against a religious belief; but I guarantee someone would try just for the hope of being paid off by money.

This is a social issue and while I love the way you elaborated the issues in your review, Sean, I wish the media would cover both sides and be neutral; then we can really see both sides. People may finally see the arguments when it gets broadcast in youtube soon. (there's another lawsuit against Prop 8) I guarantee you it isn't just because the "Bible says so" and I sure would like to know before I cast my vote in the future. The amazing thing is, when someone is against same-sex marriage they are immediately labeled as the 'bad guy'. One person's car was vandalized because he had "Yes on 8" sticker on his bumper and the man who owned the car retaliated by punching the one who vandalized his car; yet, the man whose car was vandalized was made out to be the bad guy by the media. The Miss America contestant was harassed/criticized just because she opened up on her opinion about the issue. Whatever happened to freedom of expression? Why? is it a fact that this persons discriminates or is it what the media would like us to believe? They want equality yet they forget ‘freedom of expression' and a right to one‘s own opinion. They want discussion, let the media give neutral coverage, both sides speak w/out fears of retaliation. I am quite unhappy how this social issue has been covered by the media. It appears so one-sided. (maybe I'm just not watching the right shows?) The media likes to play God sometimes. (another discussion for later)

I wish all people would be granted ALL RIGHTS; let all be happy. This needs more discussion. I am undecided on this issue but I can definitely tell you why Prop 8 passed, because of the moms who didn't want their kids to witness a same-sex wedding at the time, and Newsom's arrogant remarks. I can tell you, it would take more than a law to change people's feelings. I am Asian (well Filipinos are Asian right?) , and often discriminated against. I work harder, and always have to prove myself; DESPITE laws against discrimination, I experience discrimination. CHANGE needs to come from everyone.

This is a slippery slope that goes beyond the word ‘marriage'. Great fair level-headed review, Sean and Coldsteel made a good point as with others.
January 08, 2010
damn that is a long comment LOL!
January 08, 2010
I would hope that people who oppose Same-Sex Marriage don't look at it and make it seem as though they're bad people.  I'm simply asking what arguments are out there.  I mean, I understand the bible, but for whatever reason there's not a lot more out there.  Someone said it would lead to beastiality.  That's not the media manipulating it... that's actually what some radio host said... on his show.  Not every issue has an equal amount of facts and support on both sides.  That doesn't necessarily make the side with less obsolete... but as I said before, we're not simply talking about feelings and what one believes, we're talking about the rights of a group of people.  There are a great deal of people who still think it's apalling that we let people marry outside their race, but since we've allowed it I haven't seen the sky falling. 

I understand that The Bible isn't the only reason.  For example, for some it boils down to a moral standpoint.  This idea that the ideal family has a mother and a father.  It's the way we've often viewed a family.  On the other hand I view it as an equality issue because I do see it as being about one's rights.  Married people do have benefits that unmarried couples don't (I have to look into common law before that).  I just realized that I mentioned Domestic Partnership but didn't actually go into it.  I'm actually for Domestic Partnerships so long as it grants the same rights and privilages as married couples.  As I said, to me the issue is about rights more so than about love in and of itself.  Yes, you marry someone you love, but I think it's unrealistic to think that people don't enjoy the legal benefits of marriage as well.  So sure, I'm for Domestic Partnerships if it grants those same rights.  I guess what I'm saying is that I DO support Gay Marriage, but from a legal standpoint.  As far as legal definitions go... we do change them.  Because as langauage grows... it changes.  Definitions have changed all through history.  We just recently changed the Legal Definition of what a Hate Crime is to include Gays and Lesbians.  

Mandating change isn't the slippery slope argument, though.  Not if you want to go by the idea of what I meant by "Slippery Slope."  The Sliperry Slope Argument states that doing one thing will lead to more progressively worse things.  The reason the "Slippery Slope" argument is illogical is because we don't actually KNOW worse things will happen.  I'm not stating that worse things will happen or that it will lead to a Slippery Slope.  In short, mandating change doesn't necessarily mean bad things will come from it either.  As I said, I'm still waiting to hear what bad things have happened in these states because of allowing same-sex marriage and I haven't heard anything.  In short, I don't mind that people are against it (the idea of beating up someone for being against Gay Marriage is absolutely terrible) but in the long run I keep hearing about how doing so is going to ultimately lead to the destruction of the nation (an argument that gets used for... everything).  

I do agree that laws don't often change feelings.  But even so, I still think that whether or not say... two men decide to get married has very little to do with how I feel about said men getting married.  I still face discrimination, but I do believe that perhaps the legal benefits of a same-sex couple would be more likely to be recognized if they could get married... or if they could get into Domestic Partnerships or something like that.

Sorry for the lengthy reply.
January 08, 2010
I would guarantee the slippery slope. If it becomes the norm...you heard it here first. I don't know about the beastiality issue...but I can say that there will be other ripple effects and challenges. At the very least there would be bigamy challenges and very likely there would be assaults on the church. I watched a church get seized after it lost its non-profit status for telling parishioners that they did not have to pay taxes. Separation of church and state would not protect the non-profit status of a church if it is assailed on an equal rights foundation. I will give one unrelated but decent example. The Salvation Army was sued in New York for firing a spanish woman who couldn't speak english. It was a discrimination based complaint, even though she was fired because she couldn't communicate. They paid for her english lessons and she chose not to attend. They tried hard, but ended up letting her go. Although they did not lose their NP status, they did lose the lawsuit. I bring it up because it is a discrimination issue. In the USA English is the official language...so how is it discrimination to fire a person who can't speak it? It is the language in which business is supposed to be conducted. It is a demonstration of the slippery slope of definitions changing.
January 08, 2010
Oh, going back to Domestic Partnership in Cali; as far as I know it does give them all the benefits which would come from marriage. There's already domestic partnerships here, I've processed enough paperwork for new hires to know that. I guess the reason why I said the media is biased is because in my observations, the other side is only covered either in the A.M. news or the P.M. news for a limited amount of time while the one side gets full media coverage with interviews and everything. (I know they're probably motivated by ratings). I guess what I'm really trying to say that maybe instead of arguing, both sides need to listen to what the other says. Maybe they need to make amendments to the proposed law to approve same-sex marriage itself (I haven't read it) whether to enhance or disenhance. (I dunno) And I agree society won't collapse just because this was approved. The judge in the new prop 8 trial may allow the trial to be shot/televised. Now, the opposing side is concerned that people who would testify would be intimidated. That sometimes is the state of mind here in Cali, the opposing side are the ones who are afraid. It's curious how things get turned around here. The opponents of the law even wanted lists of names as to who financed Prop 8. Is this harassment? This action drives more people to reject it. Anger breeds more anger. Me, I have to look more into it before I finally cast my vote. As I've said, I am still undecided now because I feel that I don't have all the info but I do want everyone to be equal. I just want to make sure what it is I am voting for. I never voted (at all) on the last one. I heard something about an election again for 2011.

However, I also think that this should be more than a statewide affair. It should be national. I read on the paper that a gay woman couldn't petition for her spouse (married here), and while the state respects/recognizes the marriage, the Immigration bureau doesn't, so one of them got deported. Now that makes me angry! It isn't right for a couple to be kept apart because of a technicality.

This discussion is terrific.
January 08, 2010
Except the definition of "Slippery Slope" hasn't changed so far as anyone knows (language changing is often a gradual thing, not a snap, when I talked about how the definition of a Hate Crime was changed, that's because they literally went into the book and changed it--legally; when I talk about language changing, however, most times it's a bit more gradual), and the definition of the "Slippery Slope Argument" hasn't changed either, but the Slipper Slope argument often doesn't work because there's no way of saying things will happen.  When I say Slipper Slope Argument, it's important to understand that it usually ends with it being the downfall of something.  I don't think that say... a Church getting sued for discrimination is really a slippery slope.  Again, though, I can't see into the future, which is why I'm not assuming too much on that part.  Just because something can happen doesn't usually ultimately mean it will.

I can understand how people might jump to the conclusion that allowing gay marriage would allow other things to happen, but there's nothing that says you must let those other things happen.  I'm trying to figure out how the idea of Gay Marriage and Bestiality are the same thing.  They're not the same thing.  I don't think we're that disorderly that we'd allow ANYTHING to happen just because we allowed ONE thing to happen.  

Like I said, I'm still waiting to hear all the horror stories of what happened to the other states which allow Gay Marriage.  I'm not proposing things would be perfect.  I can't imagine anyone who would be that silly.  I just think this idea that allowing Gay Marriage is going to somehow really damage the nation is just strange.  We said the same thing when we wanted to integrate schools... we say those same things any time major change happens.  They made similar slippery slope arguments when they talked about even such things as letting Women or African Americans vote too... nothing catastrophic happened when we allowed those things.  Within the states that have allowed gay marriage... how has it been, you know, really damaging?  People reported their lives were unaffected and unchanged by Gay Marriage passing in their state.  If you look at other nations abroad--legalizing Gay Marriage didn't lead to any terrible happenings.  I'm not dismissing your idea that a Church might be sued or something like that, I just don't think it's as likely.  And if Gay Marriage were to become legal who is to say a Church would all out refuse?  They might not.  I know in my idea I said a Church COULD but I never said they WILL.  Churches might go along with it as well.  You never know.  In the event that they don't wed a couple because of that... there's no guarantee they're going to get sued.  We live in a nation where its inhabitants are always itching to sue someone (frivelous lawsuits happen all the time--doesn't make it right, but they do).  There's just no guarantee that churches will be sued.  And if one or two are sued over this, that's hardly enough to damage the entire nation as so many seem to think it will.

My question is, with the places that allow Same-Sex marriage what has happened that has really damaged these places?  I'm not talking individuals, mind you.  What I mean is in say... Massachusetts, which has allowed Same-Sex marriage since 2004... how has it damaged the state in and of itself?  And are those damages happening because Same-Sex marriage was allowed? 
January 08, 2010
My point is not about lawsuits...although that is a very real issue that will definitely arise at some point as the issue gains ground. I would not compare this issue to the others you mention because it is not about changing the law, it is about changing the definition of marriage. If you allow a civil union without changing definitions, then everyone wins. It is more about the effect that changing the definition will have a definite impact on the church. You can mark this date down on your calendar and say I called it. As the issue expands a churh will certainly be sued for refusing to perform the ceremony. The lawsuit will not be about monetary settlements, it will be about destroying the right of the church to have their own belief system apart from the "law." The church will likely lose non-profit status, which is enough to kill the church in and of itself...even without a monetary settlement, which islikely to ensue as well. The problem with this issue is that it is devisive. I personally don't see what is wrong with the happy medium...civil union...which allows for the legal rights without putting the church in a position to have to defend itself further down the road. And the argument that you can't tell the fututre doesn't work with me...I will guarantee it. Just the lawsuits could kill churches even if they lose. I am not a church-goer...although you might think so from my defense of the church...but this issue will lead to an encroachment on the church. We have flipped the entire concept of separation to prevent believers from expressing their own beliefs and are right back to the situation that the settlers were in when they fled England. The state is dictating the method of worship. The idea of separation wasn't meant to coddle people or prevent worship, it was intended to free people to worship how they wanted. It was to keep the government from establishing a national church with a set of rules that everyone has to play by. I don't like the government to keep eroding those rights away, which is why I oppose the change in definition regardless of my own status.
January 09, 2010
Everyone else seems to think this will lead to terrible disastrous things in the future.  I just want to know what in the world people are basing that off of considering the places that actually do allow gay marriage haven't suffered drastically BECAUSE of Gay Marriage--not even their churches.  I'm not suggesting that a church couldn't be sued or something, only that it won't be this huge downfall.  I might be misunderstanding you, but it just seems like you're saying, "This will lead to the downfall of the church through lawsuits."  I really don't think that'll happen.

I never said there was anything wrong with Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships either.  As I keep stating: the reason I am for Marriage is because of the legal benefits bestowed with marriage.  You seem to think I'm totally not for this happy medium.  I am: AS LONG AS THE LEGAL BENEFITS ARE THERE!  But that doesn't mean I suddenly say, "Naw, I'm not for gay marriage."  But in some states Gays and Lesbians can't even do that.  I can be for Gay Marriage and settle for The Civil Unions thing.  If that were to happen (and even many people aren't for Civil Unions, either) then I'd be totally fine.  Don't think I won't settle.

I personally haven't flipped the concept of worship around.  I'm for separation of church and state, I'm not for totally denying worship or anything like that, but I'm also not in support of banning something or making it illegal off the basis of ones religion... because what may be religiously acceptable for one group of people may not be religiously acceptable for another... that's why we have choice.  You're allowed to drink alcohol if you choose, but you're allowed to refuse to do so off of your own Faith... what would cross the line is if you walked into a bar and told others they couldn't do it because of your Faith.  The separation of church and state, in my mind, means that one is allowed to worship and organize their religion but doesn't give them the power to enforce their religion.  We're supposed to go to Church and Worship on our own volition, not be forced into it.  You have quite a few people in the Government who are of the idea that everyone in this country should be Christian.  I don't really think I'm trying to prevent worship.  I actually don't know that many who want to prevent worship.  I do, however, know people who believe it isn't anyone's business to tell them how to worship either.

As I've said previously, I believe that religion and whatnot is your business that's a more private matter.  But we're talking a public thing.  It just seems like you're saying a lot of bad things will happen (specifically to the church) by allowing gay marriage, and I'm arguing that it probably won't be so bad at all.  I could be wrong.  I can only base the idea that not a whole lot of bad will happen off the fact that it hasn't been this disaster in the states which allow it.  That's my only point.  There are some (not all) opponents who seem to think (and not even based of religious beliefs) that allowing gay marriage will lead to a lot of destruction.  It's been the argument for all sorts of things in the past.  Now I'm simply asking that if Gay Marriage were allowed... what would be the negative national impact?  My point is... what if it really isn't all that horrible that a lot of people keep making it out to be?  The five states which allow Same-Sex marriage haven't seen any negative effects as a direct result of allowing Same-Sex marriage.  In short, I don't even think that it would kill chruches through Lawsuits anymore than I believe it'll kill the nation.  Although that's definitely a good point to make.

I am, on the other hand, open to Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships.  I never said I wasn't.  But that doesn't mean I can't be in support of this either.  Like I said, to me it's the rights bestowed upon by marriage that's important.  That's what my angle on this whole thing is.  This is why I do support Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships.  I'm not sure if I made it clear that I do.  But I don't want people to misunderstand why I support Gay Marriage.  I don't particularly care about the "Love" argument, but I do care about the part that ensures equal rights.  As in, gay couples being able to have the same benefits as straight couples.  What they DO with those rights is no business of mine or anyone else's, but they should at least have access to those rights.  Marriage would do that.  Of course so would Civil Unions... which even heterosexual couples do (though they still call it marriage) when they don't want to get married in the church.  I'm in support of that.  Again, though, even that seems to be a point of contention with certain opponents.  It's certainly a happy medium, but even with said happy medium there's still going to be some sort of divide among people.  In the end, unfortunately, there really are certain groups of people who really just think that Gays and Lesbians shouldn't have any rights.  Period.  Can't deny they're out there either.
January 09, 2010
I would not base the liklihood of future actions on laws that are active in only five states. Lawsuits in those states would kill any chance of same-sex marriage from ever passing in neighboring states if that course of action were pursued. It is when it is national law that the envelope will be pushed. I also don't view this issue as a public matter...it still remains a private matter. That is my biggest issue. I have family members and friends who believe what they believe on this issue and I am fine with that...as long as they don't FORCE me to accept their beliefs. I accept THEM. What aggravates me are the activists who cram it down my throat. Because I don't agree with some of their goals and should not be judged by anyone (they do, trust me). If they were less ignorant in their approach, acceptance might be more widespread. But some (it may be a relatively small percentage) go for the shock effect and I am 100 percent against that. I don't walk around wearing my heterosexuality on my sleeve and I really don't care to know what other heterosexuals think or do in the privacy of their homes. I am not saying that all churches will be challenged...some will even allow same sex marriage. But changing the definition of marriage to include same sex changes the game. If a church performs marriage are they going to be required to perform same sex marriage if they do traditional marriages as well? If they refuse, they will be labeled as bigots, homophobes and discriminators. The results will likely be catastrophic in terms of legal standing...I honestly fully believe that without pause. Every other issue goes that direction as my previous posts point out examples of. Civil Union? Yes. Marriage? No. That belongs to the church and heterosexuals (by church definition). Does that make me a bigot? Absolutely not. I do not judge people on their beliefs. But don't force me to change mine...and redefining the definition of marriage is forcing me to change my beliefs. All the other issues of women's voting rights, etc are window dressing. It is not the same issue. Framing the debate in that format calls the opposition bigots.
January 09, 2010
Looking at those five states is a point of reference.  I'm not using it as an entire representation, only to say that it shows the POSSIBILITY that we'll be fine.  It isn't meant to represent everything.  Like I said, I'm not looking for perfection.  A lot of the arguments against it are based on things that haven't happened within the confines of this issue.  This is why it's harder for me to accept that a lot of terrible things will happen because nothing terrible has happened in the places which allow it.  Five states, sure, but what about the fact that it's allowed all over Europe too?  And once again, nothing bad happened as a result of making Same-Sex Marriage Legal.  Again, my question still stands: What would be the negative national impact of allowing Same-Sex Marriage? 

If you REALLY want to go back through the definition of marriage, though... it has already undergone changes.  People used to describe marriage as passion (some still do... for example a Writer might be married to his craft of writing).  It wasn't even until 1996 that we decided we had to make it a legal definition to define it as being between a man and a woman with the Defense of Marriage Act.  So even our current legal definition isn't even that old.  Like I said, people who lack faith or have no faith at all are allowed to be wed--even through the church.  So does the word really belong to the church when we've used it so casually outside of the church?  I'm not just talking about you and me, here, I'm talking about as a nation.  We use it to mean passion... Marriage even has a BUSINESS definition and connotation (when two businesses merge they are said to be married). 

I'm not forcing you to change your beliefs, I'm simply asking what all these terrible things are that will happen and what if they don't?  I understand and respect your definition of marriage, but you're not the one in the control over whether or not that legal definition changes anymore than I am.  I'm not asking you to change your beliefs, only asking if it's at all possible for two different beliefs to coincide even when they do not agree?  I mean, let's say that on a National Level Gay Marriage actually does become legal.  Is that going to change your own personal belief?  I don't know about you, but it wouldn't change my belief of what marriage is.  There are laws I don't like and things which happen that I don't believe in, but it doesn't change that belief.  I'm still able to hold on to my beliefs.  I can't change your beliefs.  Only you can.

Again, my argument and question is what are these, as you say, "catstrophic" things that will be so detrimental to the nation?  Even from a legal standpoint.  I thought your argument from the church standpoint was really something to think about and I'm actually really curious about that one.  But on a National Level what are these legal catastrophes?  
January 09, 2010
European law is very different from the US. Also...we left Europe because we didn't like they way they were doing things to begin with. Your "definitions" of marriage or inaccurate. From the stand point of the church...the bible give very specific instructions about a man taking a wife..and the "Institution" dates back eons...not to 1996. The "other" definitions are not legal definitions they are terminology.
I am all for the legal protection of civil union. So why even argue what may or may not happen. Once the genie is out of the bottle, you cannot put it back. Look at abortion...it is a perfect example of the slippery slope. We went from changing the law to infanticide...which our current President supports. If a baby survives an abortion what rights does it acquire? Can we kill that child or is it still a fetus even though it survived. I do not like to bring that issue up because it invokes strong passions and I really could care less one way or the other...up until that point that you cannot kill a child. Obama says you can...or that you can let the surviving infant simply die. What??? Did anyone envision that when they changed the law...absolutely not...late term abortions were not even considered...so it was never even a possibility. Whey change the definition of marriage if you achieve the same thing through civil union? That is my point. It is an acceptable option for everyone...protects the church, provides legal rights for couples, and does not force the issue. I actually LIKE the idea of same sex civil unions if you have a couple that want to adopt...it provides much more stability than a lack of legal recognition of the union. I will leave this issue alone now...especially now that I raised the dreaded abortion issue. I fear I may have gone down a road I really didn't want to...but it is the best demonstration of my point. Changing the law has consequences...always.
December 10, 2009
Others have already nailed this one but I had to stop by irregardless to commend you on a job well done here Sean. It seems people frequently use the Christian doctrine when they want to avoid extending rights of equality to the gay community or when they are in need of some divine intervention themselves. Aside from that, many wouldn't touch the Bible with a ten-foot pole. The ongoing battle to grant human rights (to everyone) may not be anything new or revised as it seems we have been constantly at war with ourselves since the dawning of time. From granting freedom to slaves or fighting to allow women their voting rights, this is just one more uphill battle which seems to have virtually no end. When will we all be given the right to do whatever we want on God's green earth without such reservations? Nice job on your review.
January 08, 2010
I agree. Sean always presents the best reviews on topics like this. A very intelligent young man.
December 04, 2009
Ah, the slippery slope. Those who believe in it will simply point to the freeing of the slaves which led to the giving women the right to vote which led to letting the races intermarry which led to the point where we're considering allowing homosexuals those very same rights. Next stop may well be, as they see it, giving a man the right to marry Old Yeller. =)
December 04, 2009
Now that's an awesome comment!  I always love hearing what you have to say (er... reading, I guess)
December 05, 2009
Thanks. I saw a documentary  not long ago called ZOO about a group of guys who WEWRE into animals, specifically horses. One of them had this gorgeous grey stallion and they all used to get together for fun and games at his place. They thought that what they did was perfectly normal and should be legal. It wouldn't have surprised me if one of them wanted to marry the stallion down the road. The stallion had to be gelded after the cops busted them because he was too dangerous to be around people because of the way they used him.
December 04, 2009
Nice review. Very level-headed and fair.
November 19, 2010
I'm considering an essay on a similar subject.
December 04, 2009
Thanks for sharing your opinion, of which I agree. It is all about equality. Just like how men are fighting for equality in domestic violence and family law. It seems so simple, so obvious to egalitarians like me. But power and money make people greedy and that affects our laws in negative ways.
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Same-sex marriage and gay marriage are terms for a legally or socially recognized marriage between two people of the same sex.

The first country to allow same-sex couples to enter into legally recognized marriage was the Netherlands, effective in 2001. Since then, six other countries and seven U.S. states have followed suit, though voters in California revoked it through passage of Proposition 8. Proponents of same-sex marriage regard it as a human right to be able to enter into marriage regardless of sexual orientation. Those who oppose same-sex marriage often base their opposition on the perceived societal impact of same-sex marriage, concerns about indirect consequences of same-sex marriage, parenting concerns, tradition, or religious grounds. In 16 countries, and specific jurisdictions within 5 others, same-sex couples can join in a civil union but cannot marry. Additionally, Israel, the U.S. state of New York and Washington, D.C. recognize legal same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions but do not perform their own. Political and legal debate continues in over two dozen other countries and multiple U.S. states.
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