Wednesday, December 28

Why Homosexual Marriage Destorys Your Marriage

It always comes back. I can never write enough it seems about how allowing homosexual marriages will destroy the rights of those who are already married. It really surprises me because it seems like such a universal concept in understanding constitutional rights and responsibilities: when you allow those who have a fundamental and destructive difference to enjoy the rights that another group enjoy, the first group's rights will be destroyed. This isn't just about homosexual marriages.

Let me try and give some examples. As I said in a comment, if we gave frogs the right of citizenship--even one frog the right of citizenship--we would strike a blow against the citizenship of every other American. Froggy would now be able to vote (diluting the effect of your vote), have a right to life (your two-year-old could be convicted for killing a frog), be free from unreasonable search (DNR couldn't look inside his home), etc. I know this all sounds crazy but is the point coming thru? Letting froggy attain the rights of citizenship even tho he is fundamentally and destructively different destroys the rights of all the rest of American citizens.

Take another example. Harvard gives out degrees to those who graduate from Harvard or to those it deems worthy of them. Now Harvard is perfectly free to start handing out degrees to anyone who graduates from highschool, but by doing so Havard would expect to hear an outcry from its alumni because their degree would be worth much less. Their "right" to the benefits of a Harvard degree was destroyed when others were freely tossed degrees.

Back again to the issue at hand. If I were given a marriage license because I love my computer (which I'm not sure I do at this moment seeing my keyboard just quit on me) I hope we can all agreethat traditional marriage would be destroyed. The issue then, is not if allowing a new group (homosexuals) to enjoy a right can destroy the rights of those who already hold that right (married couples), but if there are fundamental and destructive differences inherent in homosexual marriages that will destroy traditional marriage.

I believe there is, and that is what the debate should be about.


Lucas said...

Note: This post was accidentally deleted when I fixed some typos in my post.

Jake said....
Lucas, one problem with your argument is that the rest of us don't think homosexuality is a "fundamental and destructive difference". It's just the way some people are, and what's wrong with that? To slur an entire group of people as "destructive" is a mean-spirited thing to do, and you don't (because you cannot) back up your insults with facts. They're our friends and our neighbors and our co-workers. Who cares why two people fall in love? On whom does the posited "destruction" fall? Not me, and not anyone else I know. I doubt you have been "destroyed" by the existance of gay people, either. How about a little charity towards people who are different from you?

The other problem with your argument is the false analogy. Your analogies to frogs and college degrees fail because they concern the allocation of a fixed good -- power, either to direct the course of our government, or to command economic influence in proportion to one's education. Marriage does not work that way. So I ask again, how is traditional marriage altered or harmed in any way by allowing equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians?

Jenna said...

Amen. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Lucas said....


Thanks for the encouragement.


I know we disagree over whether homosexual marriage is helpful or not. That wasn't so much the point of my post so much as to demonstrate that letting additional members gain the rights of another group CAN produce the destruction of the original group.

I admit that I don't quite understand your argument of why the analogy doesn't work. Could you explain a bit more? The way I see it there is lots of allocation of "fixed goods" in a marriage (i.e. all the benefits and privileges that the state recognizes in marriage.

PaulNoonan said...

I've left a similar comment before, but the analogy is bad because in your frog and Harvard arguments (especially the Harvard argument), the rights enjoyed by Havard graduates and citizens have value due to scarcity. The Frog analogy is extremely bad because if frogs were granted citizenship it wouldn't affect anyone because frogs do not have the capacity to enjoy the benefits of citizenship, and unless you're arguing that gay people are akin to frogs, (and I don't think you are) this analogy is bunk.

The value of Harvard degrees, on the other hand, is based on scarcity. But marriage is not like this. The social benefit of marriages comes does not derive from the scarcity of marriage. The very fabric of marriage itself provides social benefit. The commitment, the ideal environment for child-raising, the stability, etc.

Scarcity has nothing to do with marriage because marriage is not a scarce resource like a Harvard degree is. In fact, as marriage grows more widespread its value increases.

I ask every time I comment, and I will aks again, because no one has ever, ever, ever, answered this question.

I am married. If a gay couple got married, it would have no effect on my marriage whatsoever. Is there anyone out there reading this that would be affected by it?



Ben Brothers said...

One note: the "Jake said" attribution in Lucas's first comment was actually mine. I agree with Paul about the inanity of the frogs analogy, but allow me to explain myself a bit more. If frogs can vote, my vote becomes less important in proportion to the increasing number of enfranchised frogs. This, I assume, is the point you were making, and I agree with it. The power to choose our government is a fixed good. If more people share that power, each individual's share of the power is less. (*)

Marriage is not like that. Marriage is not a fixed good. It is renewed and made greater with each individual marriage. If I visit my wife in the hospital, no one else is prohibited from doing so on that account. If I leave my estate to my spouse upon my death, my neighbor's estate is unaffected. If I can file taxes jointly, my neighbor's tax return is unaffected. If two guys can get married, it does not alter my ability to get married. If two women can raise a family together, my ability to raise a family is not lessened. Do you see? The privileges and rights of marriage are not fixed goods.

(*) - This is not always a bad thing. As a straight, white, land-owning male, my "power" would be greater if we still restricted the franchise to people like me. But I would not in a million years argue for homophobic, racist, sexist, or classist discrimination on the grounds that it might be good for me. Into this category I place the minor monetary costs of marriage equality: survivor benefits from Social Security, for example. If it is right and just to do a thing, the monetary costs are secondary to the moral imperative.

Lucas said...


1. A newborn does not need to be able to enjoy all the benefits of citizenship to be called one. But since they have what we consider the essential for citizenship (personhood) and no destructive fundamental difference we conclude that they can be called citizens. Even so we could call a frog a citizen even tho he couldn't enjoy all the benefits of citizenship and it would destroy the present rights of citizens. A citizen does not need to enjoy the right to have them. And my issue isn't only about voting either with frogs. It is about my right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. All are diminished if a frog becomes a citizen. Are these rights just about power? I hope not. If ten more people can vote in Wisconsin that does not diminish my right of voting. If some frog or if someone living in China votes that does destroy my right. The question again is: Is there a fundamental destructive difference between those who have the right and those who do not. If not they can be admitted, if not excluded.


Note: Sorry about the comment mix up.

You said "Marriage is not like that. Marriage is not a fixed good. It is renewed and made greater with each individual marriage."

First, please define your type of "marriage" here for me. I'm so mixed up about how this term is used when we don't follow traditional marriage. Can everyone in the state marry? Can I marry my sister?

Second, there certianly are "fixed goods" (I would rather say fixed rights) that are diminished with the introduction of homosexual marriages. For example, if homosexaul partner has the right to decide a medical decisions the rest of the family is denied in some degree that right. If homosexual public employees are granted partner benefits, taxpaying heterosexual couples will have to pay for them.

For some reason I still find this soooo basic. If I shoot someone how does that affect you? Directly and indirectly thru the structure of society it always does.

Your very last sentence I think is exactly what I am saying: the question is if it is correct, not if it will affect others.

PaulNoonan said...

If Frogs are become sentient enough to appreciate citizenship, I would argue that they deserve it. Newborns do not diminish your citizenship rights any more than frogs do. Until they actually use the rights that they have, they are not cutting into anyone else's, they merely have the potential to do so. Frogs have no such potential.

Just because you declare frogs to be something else does not make it so. If we passed a law declaring that frogs are actually cod, the market price of cod would not decrease. If, on the other hand, some genetic engineer found a cheap way to convert frogs into cod, the market price for cod might very well decline. Simply stating that calling frogs citizens would devalue the citizenship of others misses the point of what citizenship means. It is not a title, it is a series of rights and responsibilities.

If an entity cannot appreciate said rights, they are not a citizen no matter what we call them, and if they CAN appreciate them, then they deserve citizenship.

Citizenship is not about power, it is about protection from power.

Even if I grant that the first part of your analogy is correct, it is still a bad analogy, for the reasons that Ben and I explained. When a Chinese citizen votes in an American election illegally it essentially cancels out an American vote. When homosexuals marry, what is the corresponding right that is destroyed? Who is disenfranchised?

And still, no one has ever answered my question.

Jake said...

I wish I could take credit for that post was very good.

666 said...

Did you know what the divorce rate is in the country? It's been steadily increasing. I doubt that you can tie this to gay marriage.

What are you really afraid of? What do you think Jesus would say about this? What really is marriage? Isn't it a legal committment between two conscenting adults? What about two gays getting married at the court house? Would that work for you?

Have you seen Brokeback Mountain?