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  #1    
Old February 1st, 2014 (12:24 PM).
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http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html

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The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage

ADAM KOLASINSKI


The debate over whether the state ought to recognize gay marriages has thus far focused on the issue as one of civil rights. Such a treatment is erroneous because state recognition of marriage is not a universal right. States regulate marriage in many ways besides denying men the right to marry men, and women the right to marry women. Roughly half of all states prohibit first cousins from marrying, and all prohibit marriage of closer blood relatives, even if the individuals being married are sterile. In all states, it is illegal to attempt to marry more than one person, or even to pass off more than one person as one’s spouse. Some states restrict the marriage of people suffering from syphilis or other venereal diseases. Homosexuals, therefore, are not the only people to be denied the right to marry the person of their choosing.

I do not claim that all of these other types of couples restricted from marrying are equivalent to homosexual couples. I only bring them up to illustrate that marriage is heavily regulated, and for good reason. When a state recognizes a marriage, it bestows upon the couple certain benefits which are costly to both the state and other individuals. Collecting a deceased spouse’s social security, claiming an extra tax exemption for a spouse, and having the right to be covered under a spouse’s health insurance policy are just a few examples of the costly benefits associated with marriage. In a sense, a married couple receives a subsidy. Why? Because a marriage between two unrelated heterosexuals is likely to result in a family with children, and propagation of society is a compelling state interest. For this reason, states have, in varying degrees, restricted from marriage couples unlikely to produce children.

Granted, these restrictions are not absolute. A small minority of married couples are infertile. However, excluding sterile couples from marriage, in all but the most obvious cases such as those of blood relatives, would be costly. Few people who are sterile know it, and fertility tests are too expensive and burdensome to mandate. One might argue that the exclusion of blood relatives from marriage is only necessary to prevent the conception of genetically defective children, but blood relatives cannot marry even if they undergo sterilization. Some couples who marry plan not to have children, but without mind-reading technology, excluding them is impossible. Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them. The marriage laws, therefore, ensure, albeit imperfectly, that the vast majority of couples who do get the benefits of marriage are those who bear children.

Homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society, so there is no reason for the state to grant them the costly benefits of marriage, unless they serve some other state interest. The burden of proof, therefore, is on the advocates of gay marriage to show what state interest these marriages serve. Thus far, this burden has not been met.

One may argue that lesbians are capable of procreating via artificial insemination, so the state does have an interest in recognizing lesbian marriages, but a lesbian’s sexual relationship, committed or not, has no bearing on her ability to reproduce. Perhaps it may serve a state interest to recognize gay marriages to make it easier for gay couples to adopt. However, there is ample evidence (see, for example, David Popenoe’s Life Without Father) that children need both a male and female parent for proper development. Unfortunately, small sample sizes and other methodological problems make it impossible to draw conclusions from studies that directly examine the effects of gay parenting. However, the empirically verified common wisdom about the importance of a mother and father in a child’s development should give advocates of gay adoption pause. The differences between men and women extend beyond anatomy, so it is essential for a child to be nurtured by parents of both sexes if a child is to learn to function in a society made up of both sexes. Is it wise to have a social policy that encourages family arrangements that deny children such essentials? Gays are not necessarily bad parents, nor will they necessarily make their children gay, but they cannot provide a set of parents that includes both a male and a female.

Some have compared the prohibition of homosexual marriage to the prohibition of interracial marriage. This analogy fails because fertility does not depend on race, making race irrelevant to the state’s interest in marriage. By contrast, homosexuality is highly relevant because it precludes procreation.

Some argue that homosexual marriages serve a state interest because they enable gays to live in committed relationships. However, there is nothing stopping homosexuals from living in such relationships today. Advocates of gay marriage claim gay couples need marriage in order to have hospital visitation and inheritance rights, but they can easily obtain these rights by writing a living will and having each partner designate the other as trustee and heir. There is nothing stopping gay couples from signing a joint lease or owning a house jointly, as many single straight people do with roommates. The only benefits of marriage from which homosexual couples are restricted are those that are costly to the state and society.

Some argue that the link between marriage and procreation is not as strong as it once was, and they are correct. Until recently, the primary purpose of marriage, in every society around the world, has been procreation. In the 20th century, Western societies have downplayed the procreative aspect of marriage, much to our detriment. As a result, the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences. When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities, leading to broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years. Homosexual marriage is not the cause for any of these pathologies, but it will exacerbate them, as the granting of marital benefits to a category of sexual relationships that are necessarily sterile can only widen the separation between marriage and procreation.

The biggest danger homosexual civil marriage presents is the enshrining into law the notion that sexual love, regardless of its fecundity, is the sole criterion for marriage. If the state must recognize a marriage of two men simply because they love one another, upon what basis can it deny marital recognition to a group of two men and three women, for example, or a sterile brother and sister who claim to love each other? Homosexual activists protest that they only want all couples treated equally. But why is sexual love between two people more worthy of state sanction than love between three, or five? When the purpose of marriage is procreation, the answer is obvious. If sexual love becomes the primary purpose, the restriction of marriage to couples loses its logical basis, leading to marital chaos.

Interesting perspective. Most people are for legalising homosexual marriage simply for the sake of "equality", but have any of you considered exactly what it would entail outside of a religious context?

Would like to hear your thoughts.
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  #2    
Old February 1st, 2014 (12:45 PM).
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Another one of those, "Marriage is meant to make families" people, eh? Alright, I can take a crack at this one.

First and foremost, marriage is not about propagating families, it is about uniting two families for various of reasons. Whether or not a child is born of said marriage does not matter, for if that was the case, then anyone not wanting kids, who are sterile, or who use any form of contraception, could not then legally be married, simply because they do not meet the "standards." Furthermore, marriage was often used to keep two warring tribes from killing each other, or to join two people in love. There was no need for a child to be born in order for the couple to stay married, and in fact, there were several same-sex marriages recorded before religion spread, which, on its own, discredits this article completely.

In modern day society, no one is hurt if two guys marry each other. There is no cost to the state for the marriage, as taxes are in fact paid the same. All the exemptions do is allow someone to have a bit more money at the end of the week, but they will most likely owe money if the minimum amount of taxes to be paid is not met. As for the health insurance, yes, the spouse can be covered under it, but at the same time, the rate of that insurance increases, and last I checked, unless you were on government-funded health care, like Medicaid, it would be the couple that pays for the health insurance, and not the government. So, by stating in their article that married couples receive a subsidy to be married is false, and quite frankly, not well researched.

Thus, the article posted is in fact flawed not only in structure, research, and logic, it is also full of factual errors, and cannot be used as any sort of argument against same-sex marriages.

On a side note: While it is illegal in many places to marry your first cousin, that does not stop people. Albert Einstein married his first cousin, as did several other well-known historical figures, including some United States Presidents. Thus, comparing the two is, again, based on poorly researched materials.
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Old February 1st, 2014 (12:47 PM).
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That whole post is based around the idea that the single purpose of marriage is having children. I completely reject that idea, therefore all his arguments are invalid for me.

I think that the whole purpose of marriage his creating a family, where (for better or for worse) a person can share a life with others, get help and support, get rights by default without havinf to fill in a dozen separate formularies. "Propagating mankind" sounds terrible, as if the Government said "I'm just giving you these rights because I want you to make babies, otherwise gtfo".

Quote:
Western societies have downplayed the procreative aspect of marriage, much to our detriment. As a result, the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences. When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities, leading to broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years.
[citation needed]

I was raised in a "broken home". I don't know my biological father. The man I call my father lives 500 km away from my home anyway. And you know what? I'm damn happy with my life. I got a professional career before leaving Uni with two degrees, and I love every minute of it. There are many other reasons why society is "going wrong". Hell, I even reject the notion that society is worse than it was many years ago. We are freer, richer and smarter than we have ever been. The general quality of living standard in Western countries has reached levels never ever seen before. I reject the notion that we are going downwards.

And with an overpopulated world, I fail to see why making babies is so necessary either. Maybe centuries ago when the death rate was ginormous at very young ages, certainly not now.
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Old February 1st, 2014 (01:11 PM).
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Well I have to say, this is the best secular argument against gay marriage I've seen, though that's not saying much. There's still a ton of flaws with this argument.

Quote:
Why? Because a marriage between two unrelated heterosexuals is likely to result in a family with children, and propagation of society is a compelling state interest. For this reason, states have, in varying degrees, restricted from marriage couples unlikely to produce children.
This is essentially an argument from teleology. That means it's arguing that there's a "purpose" to marriage that should be recognized and reinforced. The flaw with this kind of argument is that just because there's a teleology to marriage, doesn't mean that there aren't benefits to it beyond the teleology that the person here is proposing. For example, there are other benefits to two people getting married besides producing children, like the fact that they're more likely to stay together and be less promiscuous, cutting down on STD's. Also, I think it's flawed to say that procreation should be subsidized, because procreation isn't necessarily a good thing in all cases.

Quote:
Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them. The marriage laws, therefore, ensure, albeit imperfectly, that the vast majority of couples who do get the benefits of marriage are those who bear children.
When gay marriage is legal, it will also be rare. In fact it'll probably be rarer than elderly marriages, since only about 4% of the population identifies as gay or bisexual. So this argument equally applies to gay marriages.

Quote:
However, the empirically verified common wisdom about the importance of a mother and father in a child’s development should give advocates of gay adoption pause. The differences between men and women extend beyond anatomy, so it is essential for a child to be nurtured by parents of both sexes if a child is to learn to function in a society made up of both sexes. Is it wise to have a social policy that encourages family arrangements that deny children such essentials? Gays are not necessarily bad parents, nor will they necessarily make their children gay, but they cannot provide a set of parents that includes both a male and a female.
Even if you believe that children need a mother and father, the fact is that gays can adopt whether gay marriage is legal or not. So if they're going to raise children anyway, wouldn't it be better for the children if their parents were allowed to get married?

Quote:
Some argue that the link between marriage and procreation is not as strong as it once was, and they are correct. Until recently, the primary purpose of marriage, in every society around the world, has been procreation. In the 20th century, Western societies have downplayed the procreative aspect of marriage, much to our detriment. As a result, the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences. When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities, leading to broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years. Homosexual marriage is not the cause for any of these pathologies, but it will exacerbate them, as the granting of marital benefits to a category of sexual relationships that are necessarily sterile can only widen the separation between marriage and procreation.
The only thing that has weakened the value of marriage in our society are things that are destructive to the institution of marriage, which is divorce and the tendency to do things like have sex and have children outside of wedlock. Gay marriage, by definition, encourages a subset of the population to get married, which is additive to the institution as a whole.

So yea...that's my argument against that. My personal view on same sex marriage is that--at least in the US of A--it should be taken out of the federal government entirely, and left to the states. Overall I'm supportive of the idea of same sex marriage, so I would vote for it to be legal wherever I live (fortunately it's already legalized in my state. Woot!), but I'm not comfortable with the idea that right now in the US, 9 unelected people have complete and full control over this issue.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (03:09 AM).
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The purpose of Marriage is mostly to have children and to continue the family Line! This has been accepted by the society and these rules strengthens it!
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (04:03 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Aashutosh Kumar:
The purpose of Marriage is mostly to have children and to continue the family Line! This has been accepted by the society and these rules strengthens it!
You couldn't be more wrong. Last I checked, two people did not have to be married to have kids. Also, when two kingdoms close to war married their sons and daughters to the other kingdom, I am pretty sure children and family weren't the reasons why. Oh, and then you have the child-brides, who are incapable of bearing children until several years later, marriage for business takeovers, marriage to swear fealty, marriage to gain citizenship, and several other forms of marriage that either take place, or have taken place.

Simple fact of the matter is that your logic is devastatingly flawed, as I have just listed several reasons why marriage exists. Add into those that a person's reproductive organs do not magically start to produce sperm/release eggs once they are married, and your post is essentially just a weak argument.

As for being accepted by society, wrong. Very wrong. See, society does not care about who gets married, so much as how it will affect things. And guess what? Marriage rarely ever affects anyone outside of the two being married, with exceptions being royalty, as some nations still rely on the royal families.

And how do those rules strengthen it, exactly? Simply put: it discriminates, and therefore does not strengthen anything, but weakens it instead.

Next time you wish to speak something, be sure to have facts and hard evidence. And, just so everyone knows, Bible verses and sermons from religious leaders do not count as either one.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (05:27 AM).
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Also, what is widely considered acceptable or moral changes over time. It's a fact that in most Western countries, gay marriage is nowadays considered moral and acceptable by a majority of people. It's pointless to argue that X years ago it wasn't, because society changes and laws can be modified along. Setting in stone a morality from centuries ago will only make you lose touch with reality.

I always love the slippery slope arguments, as in "if we legalize gay marriage, then next step will be legalizing X". Well, if by then society considers X as something legal and acceptable, I don't know why we should stop our future us from stamping their seal of approval on it.

There are many things that are wrong no matter how you look at it- murdering, stealing and all those things that hurt people directly and cause pain, suffering and hate in society. But two people loving each other and getting specific rights from the Government? I don't know how that hurts anybody. At all.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (05:45 AM).
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Married, gay couples would be more financially and legally stable to adopt a child whose biological, legally able to get married, parents who didn't want him/her or could not look after her.

So yeah, that's the 'not a family' argument out the window.

Also he implies that gay marriage is for 'sexual love'. No, it's for love. Sex and sexuality are not all that love entails, and for many they play just a minor role (and for asexuals, none at all, I suppose).
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (04:13 PM).
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The whole argument is based on the faulty premise that the sole purpose of marriage is to "propagate society" (which is such a nonsense phrase it flags up the fact that whoever wrote this has absolutely no idea what they're talking about).
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (04:45 PM).
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Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:
Interesting perspective. Most people are for legalising homosexual marriage simply for the sake of "equality", but have any of you considered exactly what it would entail outside of a religious context?
So it's hard to take the article seriously but it's also hard to take this quote seriously because thinking about it in "equality" terms is thinking of it outside of a religious context. It's looking at a societal norm and how people react to the term "married" vs. "partnered" or whathaveyou.

The article is also fundamentally flawed from the beginning because it doesn't touch on the legal benefits that the government grants people who are legally married in comparison to being common-law or whathaveyou. It briefly talks about hospital visitation and inheritance which can be done by a will (lovely straight person answer to a serious societal problem) when there's a lot more than that.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (05:23 PM).
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Most of you declaring the premise of the article flawed are talking from a social perspective, whereas his argument is entirely from a governmental perspective -- that is, the state does not value a union for the sake of people's happiness, it values the union for how it contributes to the system as a whole. Legal benefits are incentives for this, and he claims that as homosexual marriages do not contribute to society in the way the government would prefer (which is in fact procreation), it has no reason to encourage pursuit of or even offer such benefits.

Quote originally posted by Moogles:
So it's hard to take the article seriously but it's also hard to take this quote seriously because thinking about it in "equality" terms is thinking of it outside of a religious context.
There's no need for your offhand condescension. What I meant was marriage is frequently considered a religious institution, and people usually want equality within that framework (for the sake of). I'm asking about considering it from a practical standpoint, specifically where the government is concerned.

For the record I'm not saying I agree with the article. I'm just interested in hearing responses to this particular point, sans personal feelings.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (08:52 PM).
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Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:
Most of you declaring the premise of the article flawed are talking from a social perspective, whereas his argument is entirely from a governmental perspective -- that is, the state does not value a union for the sake of people's happiness, it values the union for how it contributes to the system as a whole. Legal benefits are incentives for this, and he claims that as homosexual marriages do not contribute to society in the way the government would prefer (which is
in fact procreation), it has no reason to encourage pursuit of or even offer such benefits.
Which still doesn't make it any less flawed.

Quote:
There's no need for your offhand condescension.
You can take your tone policing ******** and shove it.

Quote:
What I meant was marriage is frequently considered a religious institution, and people usually want equality within that framework (for the sake of). I'm asking about considering it from a practical standpoint, specifically where the government is concerned.
I honestly don't think many gay people want it for the equality in the religious framework like you're saying. The reason people are bringing it up from a social perspective is because most people want equality on the social level. The reason I say this is because whenever a state in the united states ends up legalizing gay marriage there are always huge photosets of very happy couples being married out of a courthouse. Whether or not it's seen as equal in the religious framework is honestly very secondary in most gay people's minds. It's about legal benefits and societal stigma being erased.

Quote:
For the record I'm not saying I agree with the article. I'm just interested in hearing responses to this particular point, sans personal feelings.
I won't speak for everybody but I certainly knew that.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (03:12 AM).
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Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:
Most of you declaring the premise of the article flawed are talking from a social perspective, whereas his argument is entirely from a governmental perspective -- that is, the state does not value a union for the sake of people's happiness, it values the union for how it contributes to the system as a whole. Legal benefits are incentives for this, and he claims that as homosexual marriages do not contribute to society in the way the government would prefer (which is in fact procreation), it has no reason to encourage pursuit of or even offer such benefits.
Personally, I disagree with the idea of the government regulating who can and can't get married based on how much it feels they'll contribute to society. Something about that just seems kinda...Orwellian to me. But I'll grant this for the sake of argument.

I don't think marriage contributes to society by encouraging procreation. People can easily procreate without marriage. In fact, I'd argue that marriage actually mitigates excessive procreation. When two people are married they're more likely to moderate the number of children they have due to shared financial responsibilities and such.

I think the best benefit of marriage from a societal point of view is creating a stable environment for raising children. With that in mind marriage serves the same purpose for gay couples that it does for straight couples. Since same sex couples can raise children regardless of whether or not they're allowed to get married, it's best that their parents be able to get married.


Quote:
For the record I'm not saying I agree with the article. I'm just interested in hearing responses to this particular point, sans personal feelings.
I figured

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You can take your tone policing ******** and shove it.
Why do these discussions have to always get so mean? This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (04:15 AM). Edited February 3rd, 2014 by Limerent.
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I don't support gay marriage but if it's what a majority of people vote for in a referendum then i'd say the government is obliged to legalise it. Marriage has very little to do with procreation these days and I like it that way. 19th century values that a woman is property of a man to squirt out the babies is demeaning.

No, letting homosexuals get married does not have any government incentive, except it's serving the peoples wishes, isn't that what they're meant to do? Maybe if gay people could get married they would be content with society and be more productive workers, if you want to think in a robotic mindset.

In my experience there was nothing advantageous about being raised into a heterosexual marriage. If the gays converted everyone and people stopped having children then maybe it would be a problem, but I doubt that will be a problem.

I'd vote against gay marriage simply because i'm homophobic and old fashioned in the ideal that marriage should be between a man and a woman but I also agree with Went, we are not in some moral decline, we are evolving into a less discriminative and more freedom based society, yay.

Lol Aash, India has a dire population crisis, that mindset creates too many mouths to feed. At least gay couples are willing to "clean up your mess" as it were by adopting, not that i'd want to be raised by a gay couple

To reiterate I don't care for gay marriage myself but if that's what the overwhelming majority want then fine, i'll just be quiet and keep my prejudices to myself. At least it doesn't affect me at all, your love might not be understood by me but at least I know it's none of my business...
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (04:29 AM). Edited February 3rd, 2014 by Beloved.
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Marriage is more of a cultural thing, rather than a religious ordeal. As times change, everything else must change. I, for one, cannot wait for my state to recognize same-sex marriage so that I can call my partner my husband. Thanks to the most recent Supreme Court rulings, there is no way to stop equality from spreading to every state.

Also, I find it funny that so many people are claiming the federal government has no right to overturn state laws. They fail to realize that the state laws are only legal when they do not go against federal laws. Once two conflicting laws exist, the federal wins out, as that is how our government was designed.

And thanks 007_eleven. Sorry if I sounded a bit rude earlier, had a rough night at work with someone who harassed me all night.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (06:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Moogles:
Which still doesn't make it any less flawed.
So you've said, but you've only alluded to common-law marriages and I don't see why that should matter to the core argument. Again: what reason do you think the state has for offering benefits if not propagation? I can't see why else they'd offer incentives for a legal union otherwise.

Quote originally posted by Moogles:
The reason people are bringing it up from a social perspective is because most people want equality on the social level. The reason I say this is because whenever a state in the united states ends up legalizing gay marriage there are always huge photosets of very happy couples being married out of a courthouse. Whether or not it's seen as equal in the religious framework is honestly very secondary in most gay people's minds. It's about legal benefits and societal stigma being erased.
I get the social equality bit, believe me, I'm just saying it's irrelevant to the system that governs us. It would merely cost them more and offer nothing back other than people's happiness...and I'm sure you know that that has never been enough of a reason for our government to legalise anything.

And I see your point about the religious perspective. I guess I considered it a factor from seeing all of the "homosexuality is a sin" protests and the subsequent counter-protests and so on. Marriage does still carry the "holy union" title after all.

Quote originally posted by Moogles:
You can take your tone policing ******** and shove it.
lol, so abrasive. Not sure what there is to gain from being an internet tough guy.


Quote originally posted by zomgitscathy:
Personally, I disagree with the idea of the government regulating who can and can't get married based on how much it feels they'll contribute to society. Something about that just seems kinda...Orwellian to me. But I'll grant this for the sake of argument.
Doesn't sit right with many of us I'm sure, but in considering this article it did give me pause: the distinction between the people and the state is difficult to ignore. How much of what the government does for us is really for us, do you think? Or perhaps it's more of a "in your best interest" deal, considering the law is not about simply giving people what they want.

Quote originally posted by zomgitscathy:
I don't think marriage contributes to society by encouraging procreation. People can easily procreate without marriage. In fact, I'd argue that marriage actually mitigates excessive procreation. When two people are married they're more likely to moderate the number of children they have due to shared financial responsibilities and such.
Of course you could have children outside of wedlock, but wouldn't you assume that a married couple is more likely to do so? Financial burdens are no different in and out of marriage if in both scenarios people wanted to share a house, have kids, etc.


Quote originally posted by zomgitscathy:
I think the best benefit of marriage from a societal point of view is creating a stable environment for raising children.
I'd agree with you, but considering our staggeringly high divorce rate, I wonder just how strong the association between stability and marriage really is anymore. But then that shouldn't matter I guess...everyone deserves the right to get married regardless of the likelihood of success. Like you said, however, this is from a societal point of view.

Would the government care either way? Would that affect their decision to want people to get married?


Quote originally posted by O07_eleven:
No, letting homosexuals get married does not have any government incentive, except it's serving the peoples wishes, isn't that what they're meant to do?
Government? Serving our wishes?

I appreciate your honesty though. I'm sure you get a lot of flak for it.


Quote originally posted by Beloved:
Also, I find it funny that so many people are claiming the federal government has no right to overturn state laws. They fail to realize that the state laws are only legal when they do not go against federal laws. Once two conflicting laws exist, the federal wins out, as that is how our government was designed.
And that raises the bigger question, then: what reason does the federal government have for not wanting everyone to get married? Clearly it's not merely about our wishes, hence the article and its key argument.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (07:27 PM).
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One word: Welfare. Sorry, but in a lot of cases, producing offspring only results in a heavier burden on the federal government's aid programs.

Quote:
Most of you declaring the premise of the article flawed are talking from a social perspective, whereas his argument is entirely from a governmental perspective -- that is, the state does not value a union for the sake of people's happiness, it values the union for how it contributes to the system as a whole. Legal benefits are incentives for this, and he claims that as homosexual marriages do not contribute to society in the way the government would prefer (which is
in fact procreation), it has no reason to encourage pursuit of or even offer such benefits.
That's a lie right there. While the happiness of every citizen is not exactly on the President's personal agenda--they don't want a mob of discontent citizens. That leads to rebellion and anarchy. What you are failing to realize is that a government and its citizens are codependent upon each other. A government cannot simply do whatever it pleases without the approval of its people--especially not a first world country. I think you will find a remarkable pattern throughout history of the oppressed rising against their oppressor. Shocking isn't it? The concept of rights and liberties? The intrinsic desire for freedom? I mean, who knew humans felt that way?

Now, if you're wondering why I did not address anything else you've said, it's because you've said nothing else... changing the rhetoric does not equate to establishing more points.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (07:47 PM).
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Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:

Doesn't sit right with many of us I'm sure, but in considering this article it did give me pause: the distinction between the people and the state is difficult to ignore. How much of what the government does for us is really for us, do you think? Or perhaps it's more of a "in your best interest" deal, considering the law is not about simply giving people what they want.

Would the government care either way? Would that affect their decision to want people to get married?

Government? Serving our wishes?

And that raises the bigger question, then: what reason does the federal government have for not wanting everyone to get married? Clearly it's not merely about our wishes, hence the article and its key argument.
I couldn't agree more. This is why I think the government should just get out of the way entirely I think when you get right down to it, this entire article just shows why the government shouldn't be in the business of regulating our personal lives.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (07:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by ANARCHit3cht:
One word: Welfare. Sorry, but in a lot of cases, producing offspring only results in a heavier burden on the federal government's aid programs.
So you think that the burden of welfare supersedes the need for a new generation of workers?


Quote originally posted by ANARCHit3cht:
That's a lie right there. While the happiness of every citizen is not exactly on the President's personal agenda--they don't want a mob of discontent citizens. That leads to rebellion and anarchy. What you are failing to realize is that a government and its citizens are codependent upon each other. A government cannot simply do whatever it pleases without the approval of its people--especially not a first world country. I think you will find a remarkable pattern throughout history of the oppressed rising against their oppressor. Shocking isn't it? The concept of rights and liberties? The intrinsic desire for freedom? I mean, who knew humans felt that way?
Opinions are by definition not lies nor truths, they are perspectives. And keeping people content is desirable for the state, sure, but clearly we are content -- perhaps even complacent -- considering there is no hint of either rebellion or anarchy in the face of this and many other issues. Ignoring what they see fit but making us feel happy "overall" has always been the MO of the American government.

I would ask you to consider that same history and see how many things the government has done that we've been displeased with but not willing to do much beyond protests in the street. We are generally alright with the status quo, and thus the government does not feel a need to give us everything we want if it does not fall in line with the direction they wish to steer our country in. There is simply not enough societal pressure to do so.

Quote originally posted by ANARCHit3cht:
Now, if you're wondering why I did not address anything else you've said, it's because you've said nothing else... changing the rhetoric does not equate to establishing more points.
I was not wondering that. I am not the author of the article, nor am I in support of his argument.

All I asked was for perspectives on the key point (yes there was only one), and you have offered yours. I'm just continuing the discussion because I do not feel it has been properly answered.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (09:01 PM).
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Hmmm. The logic seems sound but is actually misplaced. States do have an interest in population growth/maintenance. They will fund and encourage population-boosting programs even when they are demonstrated to be ineffective - that's how important population is to the state. The government of Singapore, for example, promotes marriage and child-rearing to combat their population decline. However, there are many more countries that promote child-rearing with no explicit mention of promoting marriage. States generally encourage couples to have more children in their attempts to raise population growth, not encourage marriage. I feel that the author is creating a false association between population policy and marriage, since you can accomplish population policy with, well, population policy without touching marriage at all, which much of the world's countries interested in increasing their population demonstrate.

Also, I don't think this is so much a "Secular Case Against Gay Marriage" as a "Lack of a 'Functional' Case For Gay Marriage". Gay marriage doesn't do anything for the state, given we assume a conceptualization of the state as a sovereign entity represented by a government which is primarily concerned with survival in an anarchic world system. However, as I alluded in the first sentence, this is the /lack/ of a case for gay marriage in benefiting the state, not a case against gay marriage as if it harms the interests of the state. Thus, the conclusion I'd draw isn't that the state would be against gay marriage, but rather disinterested towards it.

The author argues marriage is associated with childbirth, and since the state has an interest in promoting childbirth, it should have an interest in promoting forms of marriage conducive to childbirth. I maintain that there are no empirical observations which confirm his point - he is mistaking association for causation. Why? Probably because of preconceptions and emotions of his own. But yeah, that doesn't mean the rest of you are off the hook either XP I feel a lot of these points are emotionally based and don't actually address the quoted material on its own terms. I paid heed to this before I typed down my thoughts:

Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:
Most of you declaring the premise of the article flawed are talking from a social perspective, whereas his argument is entirely from a governmental perspective -- that is, the state does not value a union for the sake of people's happiness, it values the union for how it contributes to the system as a whole.
We all have our feelings on the topic. It would be good if we tried to make our own arguments against him on his terms instead of dismissing them outright. A discussion should be 90% considering a viewpoint, 10% agreeing or disagreeing with it.
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Old February 4th, 2014 (12:25 AM).
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All that article says to me is that he's a bigot, but thinks he can get away with being a bigot with some form of legitimacy because he's not religious and has the ability to string together an intelligent-sounding sentence.

It might be from a 'governmental perspective', but it wouldn't be the first time pseudo-intellectualism has been used to cover an ulterior motive.
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Old February 4th, 2014 (03:42 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
All that article says to me is that he's a bigot, but thinks he can get away with being a bigot with some form of legitimacy because he's not religious and has the ability to string together an intelligent-sounding sentence.

It might be from a 'governmental perspective', but it wouldn't be the first time pseudo-intellectualism has been used to cover an ulterior motive.
His arguement had flaws, certainly, but I didn't detect any bigotry. Just because someone opposes your view doesn't make them a bigot. The author was not in any way abuse or vehemently opposed towards gays, it was simply an alternative viewpoint, not even his own, one person cannot represent the state. Even if the logic was flawed there was some attempt at reasoning, not just "HURDURR I hate gays because they're disgusting and unnatural".

The weakest and most biased point I read were the last two paragraphs where he tried to link marriage to procreation and how gays would be responsible for societies moral decline. A completely opinionated fail with no evidence, that made him sound like a religious nutter, lol.

Personally I detest a lot of LGBT because as a 100% heterosexual I cannot understand such things, i'm hardwired straight as much as you're gay, the thought of being attracted to men in that way repulses me. Gay marriage is a non-issue for me but I wouldn't vote yes for it, i'm not hopping on a bandwagon if I don't actually support something. If so many people want it as figures claim then it'll probably become legal without me.

Not sure if that makes me a bigot but I sure am narrow minded and selfish! I've got a traditionalist upbringing that marriage is between a man and woman, not for any religious reasons, for me that's just how relationships work.

I won't fight battles that don't concern me.
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Old February 4th, 2014 (03:53 AM).
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Quote originally posted by O07_eleven:
His arguement had flaws, certainly, but I didn't detect any bigotry. Just because someone opposes your view doesn't make them a bigot. The author was not in any way abuse or vehemently opposed towards gays, it was simply an alternative viewpoint, not even his own, one person cannot represent the state. Even if the logic was flawed there was some attempt at reasoning, not just "HURDURR I hate gays because they're disgusting and unnatural".
I agree, I mean, just because someone posits an argument against something doesn't necessarily mean they're making the argument because of hatred or bigotry. Calling people bigots just because they're voicing an unpopular opinion stifles free thought.
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Old February 4th, 2014 (04:41 AM).
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Quote originally posted by LoudSilence:
And that raises the bigger question, then: what reason does the federal government have for not wanting everyone to get married? Clearly it's not merely about our wishes, hence the article and its key argument.
Clearly, you have not heard of the most recent cases which have overturned, or challenged, same-sex marriage bans in just the past few months. So, like Utah, are still fighting to keep the ban, but the fact of the matter is that the federal government has already declared that part of the constitution illegal because it discriminates against a set group of people. It is the State-by-State governments that do not want people to get married.

Remember, there are technically 2 governments in the United States: State and Federal. Each state is allowed to make laws of their own, however there federal government makes laws for the country. When striking down a ban in a state, the federal government must have a sound reason for it, and lately they have been striking down same-sex marriage bans one by one. Each one needs a different suit filed against it, and then the federal court has to then listen to both State and People, and either correct its ruling, or reaffirm it.

And 007_eleven, I wouldn't call you a bigot. Insensitive, maybe, but we can't help how we are raised. No, bigots are more like most of the GOP, The One Million Moms(which has far less than one million), most of Utah's government, and a lot of preachers, pastors, and even some rabbi.
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Old February 4th, 2014 (05:02 AM).
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Let's not forget that there are many, many, many other countries around the Western world that have legalized gay marriages several years ago, with no side-effects of any noticeable kind. Essentially, this whole argument feels a lot like "the Government should deny rights to a particular group of people because they don't get anything directly out of it", which is really terrible.
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