Monday, December 5

Why We Need a Marriage Amendment Part I

This first post on the Marriage Amendment will lay out why we must reject homosexual marriages. Future posts will look at why our Wisconsin Constitutional amendment is needed specifically. It may seem rudimentary or repetitious to write out these posts but many still wonder and they will be on file to link back to for future posts.(Note: first post has been changed from giving my own personal opinion to a policy position.)

1. It Defies Nature and History

The natural order of things tell us that homosexual marriage is not correct. It is bulls and cows not bulls and bulls or cows and cows that produce calves. It is a goose and a gander that form their happy little family. From the beginningof time, it has been families with a one man and one women that have formed the building blocks of society.


The additional problem with recognizing a homosexual relationship as marriage is not only is this moral evil being committed but society is asked to recognize it as legitimate, right, and on the same footing as the marriage between a man and wife. I am forced as a member of the society that hands out marriage licenses that such actions are correct to the point that they should receive special privileges. In effect, I'm forced to be an accomplice.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.
This argument has never been understood for reasons I can't figure out. The logic follows like this. If everyone could have the benefits of marriage there would be no benefit at all. By changing that meaning of marriage to include homosexuals, we take away from the meaning of traditional marriage and endanger its very existence. Take citizenship as a similar example. Just about anyone can become a citizen of the United States just as anyone can marry a person of the opposite sex.Yet, the reason that citizenship carries something special in it is that it is bestowed only upon those who have the necessary requirements that we have laid down. If we were to bestow American citizenship on every person in the world without regard to whether they share what we consider to be American principles we have effectively destroyed the citizenship of every American. The same is true with marriage. Open it up to "any two people who love each other" and we destroy the whole institution.

If I could say "I'm married" in Texas (and in Wisconsin so long as no judges come along to make things up) everyone knows that means I've got one wife with whom I've made a special commitment be joined together 'till death do us part. Now if I said "I'm married"in Massachusetts people would only know that I love some other person whether it be man or women. Hence by allowing other relationships to be included under the relationship of man and wife we have struck a fatal blow at the original relationship between man and wife.

3. It's all about the Children
Children deserve a stable family. They don't always get one, but they still deserve it. Today we recognize that many children live in broken families that only have one parent, or many other arrangements that are less than ideal. That doesn't mean the state, the society, should work to endorse and encourage more of this type of situation. It should be apparent by the inability of procreation in a homosexual marriage that it does not raise kids well. To think that a child will not have a mom or dad if homosexual marriage is allowed should confirm our rejection.

4. It reduces marriage to attraction

Do you see where this leads? If I'm attracted to my cousin can I marry her? My sister? My mother? My dog? Two wives? If love or attraction is the only thing that defines marriage all is lost. You can even marry yourself. (I'm not kidding!) Marriage is more than just liking someone. Marriage is about forming a binding and lasting creating family that brings together the complimenting strengths of man and wife as one flesh. Again, doesn't this show how the whole institution of marriage is at stake?

I'm not talking about every man being divided from his wife, but the we are building the casket for an essential aspect of our society. If you have not already done so take a look at your family (you all have one) and see if it is worth protecting.

Note: I feel impelled by the way that many misinterpret the debate about homosexuality to add the obvious fact that while I may speak frankly about how wrong I feel the act to be, I will continue to have a brotherly love toward those who are still involved in these types of relationships, hoping all the while that they are freed from it. This debate is not against any group of people but against an action they commit.

16 Comments:

Ben Brothers said...

Lucas: well argued. I would raise a few questions about your points.

3. It should be apparent by the inability of procreation in a homosexual marriage that it does not raise kids well.

Does this same standard apply to heterosexual couples who are unable to have kids? If they adopt, or use fertility treatments, are their kids raised with less love?

4. It reduces marriage to attraction.

On what basis do you conclude that gay and lesbian couples are unable to love each other on any level other than "attraction"?

But my biggest objection is with point 2.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.

Please explain how your argument is different from the one advanced forty years ago in the South, replacing "homosexual" with "inter-racial", without an appeal to authority that "racism is wrong but homophobia is okay".

Finally, do you see a marriage primarily as a covenant between two people and God, or as part of a societal "institution" that, for the good of society, must adhere to your preferences, with any deviation therefrom leading to what James Dobson calls the collapse of Western civilization?

PaulNoonan said...

1. God said that homosexuality is wrong.

We do not outlaw everything that we consider to be evil in this country. We leave decisions up to individuals. Just because you (or God, for that matter) believe something to be wrong, it does not follow that we should outlaw that activity. This is a free society.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.

Not so. You claim in this post that marriage derives it's value from scarcity power, and you make the analogy to US citizenship.

Plasma TV's are worth about $3000 right now, due to their scarcity. They also provide high entertainment value due to their technological advancement. It is likely that by next year the mean price will be around $1000, however, such sets will provide the same level (or, more likely, an increased level) of entertainment value. This increase in supply will make society better off.

Your view of marriage is very zero-sum. It's as if we're talking about stock. You are better off if you have the right, and if the right is limited in supply. Marriage, however is more like a television. It is the benefits of marriage (sharing, combination of assets, division of labor, the ability to raise children, and the expression of love) that provide marriage with it's societal value. It is not scarcity.

And like plasma TVs, society would be improved if the barriers to marriage were reduced, not increased. This is common sense. You are also incorrect in your analysis of a grant of citizenship to everyone on earth, but that is a separate issue.

3. It's all about the Children
It is not all about children. Children raised in single-parent families, on average, tend to have more trouble, but it is difficult to see how allowing homosexual marriage would increase the number of children in single-parent families.

If you are arguing that marriage should not exist if child rearing isn't a concern, I know some infertile nmarried couples who would like to have a word with you. I also know a few who have, quite rationally, decided not to have children, who would also like a word with you.

Perhaps you do not want homosexuals raising any children. Fair enough, but it is difficult to see how outlawing homosexual marriage will prevent this. It is quite easy for lesbians to produce children, and even if adoption is not an option, it is quite possible for gay men to have kids through private arrangement.

This would simply provide a more stable home for those children.

Children are a part of marriage, and an important part, but they are not the end-all, be all.

4. It reduces marriage to attraction

Doesn't anyone believe in love anymore?

Guess what? Right now people abuse heterosexual marriage all the time (See: Spears, Britney). People abuse institutions on a regular basis, but this is no argument to outlaw that institution. That is like arguing that we should have a speed limit because some people may speed. In fact, your arguments about incest and beastiality are arguments against allowing marriage of any kind.

The fact is that there is a fairly substantial market for homosexual marriage bewteen two consenting adults, whereas there is a very small market for those interested in dogs or sisters. Also, marriage is a contract, and dogs can't, as a purely technical matter, consent, ergo it is impossible to marry your dog in any circumstance.

You're going to have a few sick weirdos, but no government act will correct that problem.

I am married. No one else's marriage has any affect on my marriage. None. Not one iota. If you are married, and other people's marriages can affect your marriage, I assert that your marriage is sucks, and that you should get a divorce.

This matter is none of your, or the governments, business.

Lucas said...

Lucas: well argued. I would raise a few questions about your points.

3. It should be apparent by the inability of procreation in a homosexual marriage that it does not raise kids well.

Does this same standard apply to heterosexual couples who are unable to have kids? If they adopt, or use fertility treatments, are their kids raised with less love?


I would say you are mixing specifics when we should be arguing about the broad overreaching institution or definition of marriage. Nature (i.e., God’s created order) dictates children come from a man and wife relationship. Even if it doesn’t happen every time that still constitutes a reason for that specific type of union. Just because gunpowder doesn’t always fire a cannon doesn’t mean it’s not the best way to do it, but you can be certain that sand and gravel will NEVER fire the cannon, hence you can be fairly certain that it sand and gravel is not the way to fire a cannon.

4. It reduces marriage to attraction.

On what basis do you conclude that gay and lesbian couples are unable to love each other on any level other than "attraction"?


I’m just repeating what I hear. That’s what those who support homosexual marriage always say. I.e., “If they love each other why shouldn’t they marry?” I’m just showing were this argument goes. If they want to use different grounds, fine.


But my biggest objection is with point 2.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.

Please explain how your argument is different from the one advanced forty years ago in the South, replacing "homosexual" with "inter-racial", without an appeal to authority that "racism is wrong but homophobia is okay".


“Inter-racial” marriage is hardly something you can define. We all came from Adam and Eve so race is really just a broad generality like saying someone has long fingers or big feet. Once you start to actually try and define an “inter-racial” marriage you find that such a distinction is really manufactured. In a sense every marriage is “inter-racial”. We are all created equally in the image of God, BUT also created with two different sexes. And this is where we demonstrates the difference. To say that two men or two ladies cannot marry is NOT a manufactured difference. Last night I was reading in my devotions from Mark 10:6 which makes this point ever so clear. It says, “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.’”

Anther way of putting it is that an “inter-racial” marriage law was a law that by its very definition could hardly be applied. It denied a basic reality of human equality inherent in the definition of “race”. Therefore, to say that you couldn’t marry a person of another race was not going to destroy marriage because there was in reality no distinct difference between the two. We CAN not only tell the difference between a man and a women, but we KNOW there is a difference and even a more significant difference to couple two of them in marriage. Thus we can say that to include homosexual relationships will destroy a marriage but to include “inter-racial” marriage will not.

To let Mexicans become citizens does not destroy our citizenship they aren't much different. To let frogs become citizens would.


Finally, do you see a marriage primarily as a covenant between two people and God, or as part of a societal "institution" that, for the good of society, must adhere to your preferences, with any deviation therefrom leading to what James Dobson calls the collapse of Western civilization?

Does this have to be an either or question? I believe that marriage is a covenant between a man and wife and God, as well as a societal institution. This isn’t anything novel. I believe that murder is wrong because man is made in the image of God, but I also believe that murder is wrong because of the societal harm it creates. Same with marriage.

Thanks for the civil debate Ben!

PaulNoonan said...

I like the implication that I wasn't civil. No name calling, no ad hominem attacks, just well reasoned points (a few spelling mistakes, but hey, it was a long comment), but apparently that's not civil.

Very nice.

Lucas said...

Paul,

Ans. #1. On doctrinal issues of right and wrong, I agree. On civil I disagree. If the gov't doesn't punish civil evil what DOES it punish? See Romans 13. I think you would even agree that gov't should punish those who hurt others, and that is what I am also trying to show.

Ans. # 2. My objection is not on a scarcity to power. I believe everyone should be able to marry. I also believe that it could be possible under ideal circumstances to have every person become a US citizen and my citizenship would not be diminished. My objection is that when the STANDARD or definition is changed other marriages are destroyed. If one frog became a US citizen your citizenship would essentially be damaged becuase what it means to be a US citizen has changed, but if even if 100,000 qualified people become citizens this year that does not destroy your citizenship.

Ans. #3. At least we don't have society endorsing homosexuals raising children. I'm not asked to endorse it.

Lucas said...

Paul,

I was just replying to each comment in order. You can have my thanks for a civil debate...at least with the first post. ;)

Lucas said...

Whew! I can already feel that this will be a marathon!

PaulNoonan said...

I think you would even agree that gov't should punish those who hurt others, and that is what I am also trying to show.

I do agree with this principle, but I still don't see how allowing homosexual marriage hurts people. But you cover that in point 2, so moving on...

My objection is that when the STANDARD or definition is changed other marriages are destroyed. If one frog became a US citizen your citizenship would essentially be damaged becuase what it means to be a US citizen has changed, but if even if 100,000 qualified people become citizens this year that does not destroy your citizenship.

Would it, or is this just the scarcity argument in frog's clothing? If frogs became US citizens then I would be required to respect the rights of frogs. The reason that this strikes me as abhorrent is because frogs are clearly inferior to people. Less consciousness, less intelligence. They would not even understand.

However, if some animal or machine achieved a human level of consciousness, would I be in favor of granting citizenship? I most certainly would.

Will this happen? Perhaps not. But incumbent in your analogy are two principles:

1. That I would be forced to sacrifice rights with the granting of this "new" right, and

2. That this sacrifice on my part would not be justified due to the inferior nature of the recipients of the right being granted.

I suspect that we would disagree on point 2, but that being said, even if I were to grant you that homosexual marriages are the equivalent of citizen frogs, with regard to marriage, I am not required to make any sacrifices to accomodate this "new" right.

If a frog is a citizen, I can't buy swampland, use them as bait, or keep them as pets. This is an infringement of my rights. Where is the similar infringement if homosexuals have marriage rights?

I can't think of a single one.

#3. At least we don't have society endorsing homosexuals raising children. I'm not asked to endorse it.

OK, let's assume that children aren't an issue. Doesn't that strengthen my case?

And I think this is largely true. If a homosexual couple wants to have a child, there is little that the law can do to stop them, and the status of homosexual marriage, I believe, would have little to no affect, so let's ignore that.

You made analogy of a canon firing to distinguish childless couples from homosexual couples, making the point that Ben was arguing a specific vs. a general. I don't think it's quite so simple.

After all, what if a heterosexual couple knows that they are infertile and decide to marry. This does happen. Can we not state that broadly outlawing this practice would be perfectly analagous to outlawing homosexual unions? It's easy:

"Those people that cannot procreate are prohibited from entering into marriage."

Wouldn't that "protect marriage" using a general category akin to outlawing homosexual unions? It still allows an exception for those that become infertile after marriage. And it would be easy to test for, as most (but not all) states still require a blood test to get married.

We both seem to be relying on the harm principle here. There are tens of thousands of marriages that should, under your theory, be debasing my marriage. This has not happened. If homosexuals were married, it would continue to not debase my marriage.

My marriage, you see, is between my wife and I, and 3rd parties don't have any say on the situation.

Also, I believe in that chapter of Romans that Paul is talking to the city on a personal, and not a governmental level. When he advises against making no provision for certain lusts, he is speaking of those commandments listed above, and directing his ire at the populace, not at the government.

PaulNoonan said...

My humblest apologies for the "civil" crack. I waited for about 15 minutes to write it, but my previous comment was prety lengthy. I should have waited a bit longer.

Ben Brothers said...

Lucas, thanks for the reply. I find the argument about the dissimilarity of inter-racial marriage unsatisfying, and I still think your conclusions depend entirely on your own particular scriptural exegesis, which is an improper basis for civil law:

[Racist marriage laws] denied a basic reality of human equality inherent in the definition of “race”.

Can't we just as easily say that gay marriage bans deny a basic reality of human equality inherent in the definition of "sexual orientation"? Let's be clear here: the Wisconsin amendment has nothing to do with the sacrament of marriage as witnessed by any particular church or denomination. It has to do with the civil benefits of partnership: visitation rights, survivor benefits, health care, and so forth. It's not a religious issue; it's a civil rights issue.

I agree with Paul that "no one else's marraige has any affect on my marriage", which was the gist of my question about covenants and institutions. Where is the societal harm you posit? There's no evidence of any such harm from Canada, or the Netherlands, or Scandinavia, or the UK, or any of our more enlightened states. Massachusetts has the nation's lowest divorce rate, for example.

I also agree with you that marriage equality would change the "institution" of marriage; but change is not necessarily wrong. Your argument confuses "change" and "destroy". I'm trying to understand why you feel this way.

Larry in Gibbsville said...

Thanks to all of you for making some excellent observations, arguments and commentary on this issue. And I'm talking about both sides... It's not a black and white thing, hardly as simple as a lot of people are led to believe. I just wish my response to Lucas' argument was as good as what I've read here.

Dennis said...

Lots of interesting points already raised, and not enough time to weigh in on all of them. But, I do see one contribution I can make...

Lucas: "We all came from Adam and Eve"

Well, gee, so did all homosexuals (if you buy the Adam and Eve thing). The difference though, as I understand Lucas' thinking, is that homosexuality is a choice, not a genetically pre-determined preference. And honestly, none of us can possibly know that for certain. There is some interesting evidence that it may be genetic, but the jury is still out. Regardless, Lucas and others' arguments for outlawing homosexuality demand that it is a choice, therefore is something to be quashed. That argument loses it's legs if we learn that it's not a choice.

One interesting tidbit on the nature/nurture thing, hope to not muddy the waters too much. We're just through deer season. My brother shot a nice 6 pointer. A buck, right? He proceeds to field dress it - no testicles. He proceeds to examine further - teats, the full milk apparatus - the sexual organs of a female deer. Now, did this animal choose to exhibit male characteristics? I doubt it. But obviously God's world (if you buy that tag) does, on it's own, produce more than the simple male/female stereotypes Lucas would like to limit the world to.

Lucas said...

I don't want you to assume that I'm ignoring what you guys are saying, but I'm into finals so I can't respond here. However, I will respond to specific points raised again in future blog posts.

Lessica said...

In reply to your first point,God said that homosexuality is wrong, I think that if one is Christian than this is a perfectly valid reason for them to not approve of gay marriage.
However, I don't think that religious arguments can really be used to stop other people who do not follow that religion, as freedom of religion should also indicate a freedom FROM religion.

I suppose that your second point is understandable, but this is really more of an issue of these people having a committed and special relationship with somebody of the same sex that is legally recognized. A marriage should reflect such a relationship, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.

Number 3: It's all about the Children.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that not being able to have children means you cannot take care of them. I do not believe this to be true, since this would imply that infertile couples are not capable of taking care of a child, which in society has not proved true as many such couples have adopted and taken good care of the adopted child. There is no real evidence to show that gay couples are worse in parenting than other people.

4: It reduces marriage to attraction.
You may have heard things like “If they love each other why shouldn’t they marry?”, but you seem to be interpreting things the wrong way. They are not trying to say that any sort of love constitutes an acceptable marriage. They are just trying to express the fact that homosexual couples feel the same way about each other as a heterosexual couple would, and are expressing this feeling as "love".

I'm glad to see that there are Christians who are willing to talk reasonably about issues like gay marriage, and use rational arguments to express themselves.

Crawford's Take said...

It’s Time for Progressive Wisconsin to Stand Up for Humanity
Our Wisconsin State Constitution is in danger of becoming a discriminatory document. I refuse to use the language of the sponsors of the proposed Constitutional Amendment that seeks to make a section of our community scapegoats by declaring them second class citizens for political gain. By adding this language to our Constitution, Wisconsinites are making a choice on whether or not we will ever again be able to stand up and be proud of our Progressive history or be responsible for propagating hatred.

Let's cut through the extremist religious dogma and look at the real reasons this amendment is being presented.

This is the Republican Party at its ugliest. Using an issue that justifies hatred to try to gain some sort of political advantage on an election day is reprehensible.

I am a straight, married woman of mixed racial heritage. My mother is white and from Neenah, WI. My father is African American and from Key West, FL. An unlikely chance meeting led to them getting married 6 months after they met at the courthouse in downtown Milwaukee. At the time they married in the summer of 1966, it was ILLEGAL for them to get married in 38 states in the United States. They were in love and married against the general will of society in the island of Milwaukee where our Progressive tradition did not prevent their affirming that love and committing to each other legally.

At first it was hard. Their families were less than thrilled, they had to choose their friends carefully and when they went to visit my father's family in Florida, they couldn't stop to use the bathroom in at least 5 states because of the very real risk of being hanged for loving each other. The reasons they gave for miscegenation laws are not very different than the reasons given today against same sex relationships. Mixing of races was considered against the laws of God and nature, there were worries about "the children", it was dangerous to society, sexually deviant and perverted, and could endanger the very institution of marriage itself. Sound familiar?

Do we Wisconsinites proud of our independence really want to allow them to sell out our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family by voting to recreate the atmosphere of hate that this country left behind 30 years ago? Really, only the target of the hate has changed.

Today, my parents are themselves amazed by how the world has changed. They were pioneers in desegregation and watched this country grow in character through the example they and others like them set. They are still happily married after 39 years and have raised four amazing children and now have 3 amazing grandchildren.

You know, listening to the anger and hatred spewed by the people who testified in favor of the amendment is horrifying to me as a human being. The fact that they use Jesus and God as their justifications is incomprehensible to me. My God is a loving God and he loves all of his children. I hear the same horrible vocal tones in their voices that I remember hearing from a few crazies as a child when my parents went on a fishing trip or went to dinner on the "wrong" side of the city. Hatred has no place in our state or our Constitution. We as Wisconsinites have never been gullible sheep who would be easily played by a shameful display like this. Let us, the citizens of this great state tell those who would use hatred to control for political gain take a stand here and now on this issue. Nationwide let us stand up for what’s good and right in this world and tell them that Wisconsin is still a place where equality means something, love means something, tolerance means something, and we will not allow politics to be a Petri dish for hate. Next November vote “No” on the Discrimination Amendment and vote for those brave Patriots who voted against it; while you’re at it, make sure you kick the self-serving hatred mongers out!
posted by Crawford's Take @ 11:28 AM

Anonymous said...

Jumping on the bandwagon late in the game here. For brevity's sake I'll keep it short:

1. It Defies Nature and History

- Lots of critters in nature exhibit homosexual behavior, have sex for fun, change sexes, the whole 9 yards. Are they then not "natural"?
- Clothing (like a million other inventions) is not "natural" - should we all go nude then?
- Historically, homosexual sex was accepted in Greece and Rome, the cradles of Western Civilization.
- And yes, this is what used to be said about inter-racial marriage, and not so very long ago.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.

- I've never been able to understand this as anything other than a scare tactic. It's so laughable on its face that I don't know where to begin. If trad. marriage is a religious rite, then there should be no state involvement at all, either for or against gays being allowed to participate. (If the Church of the Flaming Queer wants to hold marriage ceremonies for its gay members, who would you let stop them?) And if it's simply a legal matter, then the 4th Amendment prohibits denying it to some people and granting it to others.

3. It's all about the Children

- My wife and I conciously chose not to have kids. Should we be forced to get a divorce? Wouldn't that be destroying a traditional marriage? Or are married men and women just to be regarded as human livestock, valued only for their ability to breed? Should marriages be dissolved once they stop having children or hit menopause?

4. It reduces marriage to attraction
- It seems to me your arguments reduce marriage to breeding.

Oh, and just because your god says it's wrong, doesn't mean mine does. Unless you propose to force me to follow your beliefs.