Prop 8 Struck Down

The issue of same sex marriage is a hotly debated emotional topic.  I believe that is one of the main points of contention, namely that it is an emotional topic.  It can often be difficult to argue one way or another for a point of view when your emotions are so involved.  This does not mean you cannot make a reasonable case for your point of view.  Aside from the political aspects of this decision, it’s social ramifications are also great.  Some will see this as a political victory, others as judicial activism. But is there good reason to restrict marriage to one man and one woman?

First I will address some of the common arguments proponents in favor of same sex marriage and the reasons I believe these arguments fail.  Then I will cite information people are very rarely exposed to.  This information though readily publicly available is systematically ignored for what I believe are political reasons.  I am under no illusions that my view is socially unpopular, and accordingly will be labeled with cruel names by people who regularly champion tolerance.  It is my experience arguments in favor of traditional marriage are wholly ignored by those proponents of same sex marriage.  The introductory paragraph or two is read then the information is not addressed, and in place of rebutting the arguments, slogans are offered. 

I am fully aware my next statement will at first not sound quite right, but after you hear me through I think you will begrudgingly have to agree.  Even with same sex marriage banned, everyone has the same rights and restrictions, regardless of any demographic differences.  This is a fact, let me explain.  Everyone has the right to marry any person of the opposite sex, who is of proper age, and who is free to marry.  This is as true for heterosexuals as it is for homosexuals.  The main point of contention here is the claim I can marry anyone I want to as a heterosexual, a freedom the homosexual claims is not granted to him.  But I also cannot marry anyone wish.  I may not marry a friend, who is also a man for tax, health care, and property purposes, or for love for that matter.  If I wanted to marry a close relation (as defined by my state) I am restricted from marrying that person as well.  What is being asked for is the state (or federal government) to take an interest in my sexual attraction and emotional commitment to the person I wish to marry.  As it stands currently, my marriage licence application did not have a section asking if I am attracted to or am in love with my perspective wife.  Nor should they.  Even though love is a factor for marriage, it isn’t the only factor.

If the government should be promoting relationships, which it does through tax breaks and such, then it ought to be promoting the healthiest relationships.  Fidelity is a big part to sustaining a healthy relationship.  While among heterosexual relationships studies show that that 75-81% of married men and 85-88% of married women had never broken their marriage vows (1).

However studies also confirm that fidelity among homosexual males is dismal in comparison.  Studies have repeatedly shown 43% of white homosexual men had sex with at least 500 partners and 28% had sex with at least 1000 partners (2). The Journal of Sex Research reported most homosexuals have between 100 and 500 sexual partners within their lifetime. 10.2%  had between 501 and 1,000 sex partners, 15.7% had more than 1000 sex partners within their lifetime (3). Studies conducted by pro-homosexual groups corroborated these findings, 24% of those homosexuals surveyed admitted having had more than 100 sex partners in their lifetime. And many of those had more than 1000 sex partners (4).

According to Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam”, AIDS 17, 2003, homosexuals considering themselves monogamous admitted to having up to eight additional partners per year. Other studies confirm this phenomenon: Ryan Lee, “Gay Couples Likely to Try Non-monogamy, Study Shows”, Washington Blade, August 22, 2003; David H. Demo, et al., editors, “Handbook of Family Diversity”, New York, Oxford University Press, 2000; David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, “The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop”, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1984.  One report showed that only 2.7% of homosexual men had only one partner during their life time, (5).

Monogamy among homosexual male couples is virtually non-existent.  It is the exception, not the rule.  Putting aside the monogamy of same sex couples, what about the duration of the relationship itself.  The commitment to the partner regardless of extra-relational partners.  The facts on the duration of the relationships fare no better.  A study conducted in 2001 revealed 66% of first marriages last ten years or more, and 50% last twenty years or longer, (6). Another study in 2002 discovered 70.7% of women married between 1970 and 1974 stayed married for at least 10 years, 57.7% stayed married for at least 20 years (7).

A study done not long ago, a 2003/2004 survey of homosexual lifestyles by a homosexual organization no less, reported 15% of same sex relationships lasted longer than 12 years and only 5% of those lasted longer than 20 years (8). Homosexual men exceedingly less likely to be in monogamous long term relationships, in fact the average length of a homosexual partnership is approximately 1.5 years (9).

Without going into the health issues associated with homosexual behavior which far out proportion their heterosexual counter parts. Stats for which can be found easily at the Center for Disease Control website.  A site which can be considered unbiased. We see based on relationship factors, same sex relationships are not on par with heterosexual relationships. For the state to endorse homosexual relationships as equal to and appropriate for state motivation is unfounded by the evidence and is done so strictly for political appeal.

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(1) Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey”, Journal of Sex Research 34, 1997; E. O. Laumann et al., “The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States”, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994; and “Sexual Habits of Americans Have Changed Dramatically in Ten Years: New National Survey Finds Both Men and Women More Committed and Caring”, PR Newswire, August 4, 1994
(2) A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, “Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women”, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978, pp. 308, 309; and A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, “Sexual Preference”, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1981
(3) Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men”, Journal of Sex Research 34, 1997
(4) “Sex Survey Results”, Genre, October 1996, as quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners”, Lambda Report, January 1998
(5) Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile”, The Journal of Sex Research, Volume 34, 1997
(6) Matthew D. Bramlett and William D. Mosher, “First Marriage Dissolution, Divorce and Remarriage: United States,” Advance Data, National Center for Health Statistics – May 31, 2001
(7) Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields, “Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996” Current Population Reports, P70-80, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. February 2002
(8) “Largest Gay Study Examines 2004 Relationships,” GayWire Latest Breaking Releases, http://www.glcensus.org/
(9) Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 – 2003
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Comments

  1. I realize you wrote this a long time ago, but I still want to point a few things out.

    “Fidelity is a big part to sustaining a healthy relationship. While among heterosexual relationships studies show that that 75-81% of married men and 85-88% of married women had never broken their marriage vows (1).

    However studies also confirm that fidelity among homosexual males is dismal in comparison. Studies have repeatedly shown 43% of white homosexual men had sex with at least 500 partners and 28% had sex with at least 1000 partners (2).”

    If I sleep with 10 or 10,000 men before getting married, I would still be able to say I have never broken my marriage vows. If I divorce my husband, which many religions allow, and then sleep with 10,000 men I could still say I never broke my marriage vows.

    Also you compare married heterosexual to un-married gay males which is not a fair comparison. What about the life styles of single heterosexual males (or females too)? What about the lifestyles of lesbians, who were also not mentioned? And is it really fair to group people based only on race and sexual orientation when making comparisons? Isn’t it possible that other variables exist that could create a spectrum of sexual behaviors regardless of sexual orientation?

    Many heterosexuals I’m sure have sex lives you would find disgusting as well (disgusting meaning in particular having numerous numbers of sexual partners), or go through a period of time in their life in which you would find their life style disgusting, but they are still allowed to marry because it is recognized that regardless of previous lifestyles they still have the capacity to sustain a committed, monogamous lifestyle. So why do people feel this capacity only exists in heterosexual lifestyle?

    What is really needed is studies done comparing homosexual marriages (that are legal in states like Connecticut) to homosexual marriages to get usable data. Also, a study on if having the right to marry changes the culture for even non-married members of the homosexual community. When comparing sexual communities you have the heterosexual community who since the first marriage have always had the right to marry to usually a group clumped together as anyone falling outside heterosexual monogamy who for most of history has not had the right to marry. But it goes further then this, monogamy among heterosexuals had millenniums to develop as the norm in most cultures (and it still hasn’t reached all cultures). Not only that but we set up a society that gives people status based on monogamous marriage. Heterosexual marriage is something people are taught their entire lives to aspire to. Now take homosexuality. It is only within the past few decades homosexuals have been allowed by society to publicly “come out of the closet” with out fearing major penalties (such as risk of loosing job or being discriminated against in housing). Homosexuals have always been around, we just haven’t seen them because we have shunned them into hiding. Shunning people into hiding has major impact on people, psychologically and culturally. Are shunned people going to form public, monogamous relationships with people they are actually attracted to or participate in an underground hook up cultures so they can satisfy sexual needs with out public stigmatization and penalties? Is a culture continually reinforced for centuries going to disappear over night, especially with people who want to deny homosexuals equal rights remaining extremely vocal? If an anti-marriage movement started, saying that marriage was archaic and obsolete, would we expect marriage rates to completely disappear or even be significantly less within a few decades? How I see it is no, we wouldn’t because cultures don’t change over night. But what I do see are people fighting to change culture, change their culture so it resembles better the monogamous culture that is respected by society and it is people outside their community pushing hardest to keep them from reaching that because we want it to remain an “us” and a “them” and enjoy being exclusive in what relationships we consider should be worthy of marriage status.

    Even with the right to marry not all homosexuals would marry, many fighting don’t want to marry but want the right to. The fight for marriage equality isn’t about lessing the commitment of marriage, but changing who one can legally commit themselves too. It’s not fair to assume homosexuals won’t respect fidelity in marriage by looking at how people, who are not married, act. Especially when those individuals looking to get married very likely do not have the same lifestyles as others in the group, even arguable the majority of the group, but are simply lumped into statistics because we view sexual attraction or orientation being the only factor motivating how one conducts themselves sexually.

    • These responses need to be scaled back, its hard to adequately respond to such long comments, so I will be brief.

      Promiscuity is the norm for homosexual men, not the exception as it is in heterosexuals either men or women. The promiscuity among homosexual men continues, as I cited, even when they are in “committed” relationships, that is relationships they themselves consider exclusive as comparable to marriage.

      There is no restriction on who can make loving commitments to, Kelsey. Even in states which do not allow same-sex marriage, homosexuals can commit to eachother, they can even find churches who would perform cerimonies. That is not the issue, they want the title “marriage”.

  2. What about Lesbians? Did you look at all at lesbians? After all, they are excluded too by not allowing same-sex marriage.

  3. What about the heterosexual divorce rate? Marriage is supposed to be a life long commitment, but 50% of marriages end in divorce. This helps skew results because as long as you get a divorce you are no longer viewed as being “promiscuous” because you’re single. And is it really the best thing for society to just automatically get a divorce if one person cheats?

    Also, with out marriage, the legal recognition of a union, it’s a lot easier for relationships to be more fluid. There’s no big divorce process being a deterrent for ending the relationship. So people can easily split, stay together, or break up and then get back together if someone is “promiscuous”. This happens in the dating scene all the time through out the sexual spectrum. People bothered by promiscuity, who refuse to be with a cheater, will just end the relationship if and when it happens promiscuity occurs. But there are other couples who stay together because there desire to be with each other gives them the strength to work out their issues. This happens in committed, non-married heterosexual couples as well, who define themselves as committed as if in marriage, but they aren’t included in studies because society only recognizes married couples as truly committed and don’t see these people but feel their homosexual counterparts are a perfect group to compare to married couples. So it would be fairer to compare committed homosexual couples to committed heterosexual couples who aren’t married, and leave married couples to be compared to each other.

    • And with the elevated divorce rate caused by making it easy to get a divorce (no fault) more and more children are being born out of wedlock, and more single mother households which is a breeding ground for poverty. Do you really want to argue for the benefit of further trivializing marriage? You can try to make false comparisons if you wish, but promiscuity by heterosexual singles which are analogous to that of homosexual singles is the furthest thing from the norm. The amount of partners homosexual men is incredibly high as the rule, not the exception.

  4. Same-sex marriage is not trivializing marriage! Also, for the third time I will mention you have purposefully left out lesbians because studies have shown that lesbians have just as high of rates of fidelity as heterosexual couples, if not higher. But of course you would never purposely not include statistics that would show your logic to be unfair to a major portion of the same sex community.

    Also where are your statistics on heterosexual promiscuity? You have one statistic about number of people who claim to live up to marriage vows, which I have already discussed is not enough to hold up your argument. Ever heard of hook up culture? It is the culture of not engaging in relationships at all but instead randomly have one time, meaning less physical interactions of the sexual nature, and it is highly prevalent among white, heterosexuals. But you simply ignore this prevalent culture. The majority of people who get married also do not no to their wedding beds virgins. Heterosexual promiscuity is common! And you have no statistics saying it’s not! Show me the statistics that say heterosexuals don’t sleep around outside of marriage?

    And in the end it doesn’t matter when you get married if you have been with 0 people or 1,000,000,000 before you get married, you’ve found the person you want and are making a commitment to them then and there and the number of previous sex partners does not change the fact that you have the ability to make that monogamous commitment. Homosexuals aren’t arguing for the right to sleep around when married, but for the right to be married! Why do you assume they don’t know what that means, you think their fighting for the title “marriage” but it’s more then a title it’s equal recognition of their partnership. If marriage wasn’t a big deal to them, why would they be fighting so hard for their right to do it. No one want’s to devalue your marriage, they just want their relationship to weigh of equal value.

  5. Also I would like to point out that the Bell and Weinberg study was conducted in 1978 and published in 1981 and has been highly scrutinized by the academic community for decades. It only surveyed voluntary participants recruited from gay bars in the San Francisco Bay area, so not even close to being representative of the entire the entire homosexual community. This was also before AIDS. And there are many other complaints about the study as well. Yet this is the study most sited by anti-homosexuals when trying to make a point about the difference between heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity.

    • You’re right they should have forced people to submit to the survey, that’s the only way to get true answers to surveys, right? I suspect you wouldn’t change your mind even if you felt whatever survey was conducted in what you’d consider unbiased. Of course any survey which concluded negatively upon homosexuals you would consider biased. So unless you would be willing to concede my point if you felt the suevey was unbiased, this is a pointless objection.

  6. And I don’t want to seem presumptuous here, but I basically feel you got everything here from the Family Research Council , which isn’t biased or anything. That or your research is just remarkably similar to their article entitled “Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples”.

  7. No, they went into Castro and went “who feels like taking this survey”. It’s not about forcing people to take surveys, it’s about randomly selecting people to ask to take your survey, not just going to a population and asking for volunteers. You can’t do research like that, you don’t get a random sample. Two of the major rules of research is you have to get a random sample and do whatever you can to insure the study is as unbiased as possible, if you plan to generalize. And I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but Castro is a one of a kind place in this country. You wouldn’t go to Cancun, Mexico during spring break with surveys to find out what percentage of college students do things like party and then generalize it to everyone because it would mess up your results. All studies are at least a little biased, that’s human error, you can’t escape it, but this one was blatantly skewed, but anti-homosexuals don’t care about that because it supports the vision they have of homosexuals in their mind. Do you really feel any and all statistics that support your side must be good statistics? I’m not saying that it’s impossible that the anti-homosexual side might have fair statistics, I just want you to use the good ones if you want me to take your argument seriously.

    You’ve already formed your opinions on homosexual and but it seems you will use whatever statistics you find to support your claims, and you plan to hold those views no matter what I say. So don’t pretend you are some great neutral source. Don’t try to say I’m the only one biased here. I support your right to speak your opinions, but don’t expect me to just sit back and accept whatever “facts” you feel like putting out there.

    Oh, and homosexuals are people, not just some statistic. I have several gay and lesbian friends, and you’re right no matter how unbiased your statistics about promiscuity were I would still support same-sex marriage because in the end you want to deny my friends rights, so it gets personal. They don’t want to destroy the foundation of this country they just want the right to get married, so when rules are negatively affecting Amazing people, they’re wrong. If someone was denying you’re freedom of speech, it would still be wrong even if it was only affecting you, even if they claimed it was to protect some “greater good”. Look at the Westboro Baptist church, they get the right to protest at MILITARY funerals, which as wrong as I think it is, I understand they still have the right to do so. We can’t keep denying people rights just because others don’t like them.

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