Red heads and gays

red hair

Both homosexuality and having red hair occur in approximately 2% of the American population.

There are people on both sides of the same sex marriage issue for whom they are not intimately effected. Of course no matter in which direction this issue is resolved the ripple effect will have an impact on everyone’s life in some degree.

I want to ask my readers what do you think the other side is missing or not understanding? Why do you think they are unconvinced that your view is correct?


  1. Red hair is not a choice – it is genetic.

    Homosexual behavior is always a choice.

    The percentages of the population for them being the same has no bearing on anything.

    They are not unconvinced – they know we are correct. But they suppress the truth so they can indulge their most base desires.

  2. I don’t even know where to begin on why unbelievers and believers (note the pope’s comments today) support homosexuality. I have to think about it some more…

  3. We don’t support homosexuality. We’re simply sick and tired of people who beat it until it’s mush. It’s not your splinter. Worry about the beam in your own eye and allow the homosexual to deal with his. I believe that the consistent expounding, analyzing, and beating this dead horse is to simply avoid dealing with your own sins, which I am willing to bet are PLENTIFUL.

    • Warrioress,

      It is the homosexualists who are shoving it down our throats, which is why it is such a big fight. They are the ones who are demanding societal approval, redefining what marriage is, and going after anyone who doesn’t want to approve by making sure they are fined, jailed, lose their jobs, etc. They are the ones who are forcing it upon our kids in the school systems. They are the intolerant ones. They want to reorder society to their perversion.

      Yes I can say that. The Bible says that. God says everyone knows because HE put it in them. Rom. 1:18-32 tells the story. Are you saying God is a liar?

      They know they are wrong just like murderers and adulterers know they are wrong. And those who support homosexuality are indeed promoting immorality.

  4. btw..that “you” was a general “you,” Zanspence. It wasn’t directed at just you, but everyone reading for whom the shoe fits.

  5. Glenn, you simply cannot make a statement like “They are not unconvinced – they know we are correct. But they suppress the truth so they can indulge their most base desires,” and have even a particle of credibility. Not everyone who disagrees with you is immoral and fraudulent. You simply cannot speak for all homosexuals — much less know them all to be liars. Period. Some modesty, please, just a little. I feel like I am obliged to belabor something so painfully obvious that it should be embarrassing.

  6. No, Glenn, I’m not saying God is a liar, though it is truly fascinating — truly — that you would oblige me to answer such a question.

    Here’s what I’m doing, with reference to John’s original question: I’m suggesting that you might be mistaken about homosexuality being always in every instance a “choice.” I’m further suggesting that you may be not only mistaken, but insufferably arrogant, to conclude yet further that all homosexuals *know* they simply “chose” to be homosexuals and actively suppress that truth in order to “indulge their base desires.” I’m even suggesting (brace yourself) that you may not be privy to the precise, fixed and eternal meaning of God’s revelation to human beings. I’m further suggesting the possibility that God may not have confined His sole revelation in words to the languages of ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek two to four thousand years ago, and thereafter declined forevermore the use of words to reveal Himself. And I guess as long as I’m on a reckless roll here, I’m suggesting the possibility that science has much to teach us and much work yet to do, and that the intricate nuances of human sexuality are far from settled as a scientific proposition, but that we certainly know a great deal more now than we did two thousand years ago, and that some of this knowledge may properly incline us to a measure of humility before we presume to pass categorical and eternal judgment on people who do not hurt others.

    • Kendrick,
      Instead of raising straw men, and then making ad hominem attacks about me being arrogant, etc, try reading what I actually said.

      Did I say “homosexuality” is always a choice? NO. I said homosexual behavior is always a choice. Now, if you think people have no choice but to have homosexual sex just because they are attracted sexually to someone of the same sex, then you are the one with the problem. NO ONE has to have sex. Sexual relations (except in rape) are always a chosen activity.

      They KNOW such behavior is wrong because it is implanted in them by God – morality is what is planted, that we do know right from wrong. In order to practice such behavior anyway, they have to suppress the truth about it being wrong. God has made it clear in Scripture that homosexual behavior is wrong, that He finds it to be an abomination. Now, you can claim all you want that perhaps God just didn’t tell us everything, but you are wrong in this case. He plainly told us. No ifs, ands, or buts. Homosexual behavior is wrong.

      It doesn’t matter is sometime in the future they discover that there is a genetic defect in the brain which makes one sexually desiring of one of his own sex – no one is forced to act on such desires.

      I don’t pass eternal judgment on anyone. I merely state what God says about such behavior.

  7. I think that more than anything else on play is our natural tendency to be compassionate. I know gay people who are very nice. I like them. I wish there was a way for me to just give them what they want without worrying about how what they want will affect things. Those who would just give it to them are missing that consideration.

    Marriage is specifically designed to address the need of society to deal with one type of human interaction: one of a sexual nature between one man and one woman. A strictly business relationship between one man and one woman doesn’t have the foreseeable impact of one that is sexual. Neither does a sexual relationship between two men or two women.

    What the other side is missing is the fact that individuals don’t need marriage as much as society needs marriage to be in place for people who may become parents naturally. Especially accidentally.

  8. Glenn, you are certainly correct to take me to task for conflating homosexuality and homosexual behavior, and I apologize, but you lack standing sir to complain about ad hominems. One must do equity to seek it.

    Let’s take your distinction at face value. If we must love homosexuals and hate homosexual conduct, then whether homosexuals actually have sex is none of your freakin’ business, anymore than you should be abstractly and vocally aghast at all those heterosexuals committing sexual acts outside of marriage, or not! Wouldn’t you sound silly? Think about that. The shrillness of your rhetoric about homosexuals suggests that your distinction is really an artifice. (I think this might have been Warrioress’ point, though I don’t wish to speak for her. Though I will say, Glenn, it may be my imagination, but I think you’re getting better at the tone, which is very much appreciated if true. I haven’t followed all the threads in all the posts, but you seem to approach the issue with more measured words.)

    Put another way, who are we to presume that homosexuals, even homosexuals who wish to get married, are actually having sex? I know that sounds counter-intuitive (especially when gay culture sometimes overtly parades sexuality, which deserves no more respect than Miley Cyrus or the parading of any sex), but my point is a thought-experiment really. One of the reasons you and so many others like you don’t expend tons of time spewing bile about out-of-wedlock fornicators is because we simply don’t talk about it as a society. It’s considered unseemly (except when a public figure in a sex scandal is guilty of yet another hypocrisy, and even that gets tiresome). Why can’t we treat homosexuals exactly the same way? They get married and their sex life, if any, is and ought to be a private affair. Seriously. If anybody makes sex public, homo or hetero, we get to object. Beyond that, none of our business!

    And by the way, I just handed you, conservative2cents, a route to the compassion you wistfully referenced. I think you’re sincere in wishing that. So why can’t gays be treated effectively exactly like everyone else — with a fictive wink, if you wish, and RESPECT? What compels you to think, every time you meet one of those nice homosexuals, “oh dear, they must be having sex, which is sin, which I must condemn”? And how does gay marriage affect the salutary social consequences of heterosexual marriage? Why can’t many heterosexuals and most homosexuals not have biological children without thereby becoming second-class?

    These seem indisputable propositions: (1) marriage is NOT only about children; and (2) any people who don’t have children in a marriage have no effect on those who DO have children (unless those people CHOOSE to worry about married people who don’t have children, and frankly, if you’re busy raising children, that would be a laughable waste of time).

    • Kendrick,

      Again, you misrepresent me. I don’t care what sexual behavior people want to practice. If they are unbelievers they have to first be brought to salvation before they can begin to understand the sinful aspect of their behavior.

      My problem is that they demand that we sanction their behavior. THEY demand a redefining of what marriage is, THEY demand punishment for those who don’t want to sanction it. THEY demand our kids learn all about their perversion is school. THEY demand it be accepted as normal in society. THAT is why we are fighting it. They tell us to keep out of their bedroom all the while forcing us to know what they do in their bedrooms, and forcing us to give it sanction or be punished.

      How is my “rhetoric” “shrill”? I’m simply stating the facts of THEIR demands which we should NOT have to sanction!

      The only purpose of homosexual relationships is homosexual sex. If fake marriage isn’t going to include sex, then why call it marriage? Real marriage always includes sex (or at least is intended to). If fact, why do they have to identify by their sexual proclivities. By their very doing so they are announcing that they practice homosexual behavior. After all, they are not homosexual, they are people who are attracted to members of the same sex and who participate in homosexual behavior.

      Let them do what they want. Let the zoophiles do what THEY want. But don’t demand that I have to sanction it, and don’t demand government sanctioning it. It is destructive to society.

  9. I never said anything about what I think about homosexuality or homosexual acts. I’m talking about homosexuals desiring to change what marriage is. It is and has been defined as the union of one man and one woman FOR A REASON. Marriage IS about a sexual relationship (between one man and one woman). But, it is such because that’s the type of human relationship that usually produces children. We need two people who engage in baby making activities to be responsible. We need them to promise to stay together. WE NEED them to have an institution that lays out their rights and responsibilities, because the natural expression of their love for each other MAY result in something more than an orgasm!

    I honestly don’t care that gay folks are having sex. If it’s a sin, it’s theirs to deal with. But to say that sexual attraction, for sexual attraction’s sake is a reason for marriage to exist for any two people is to deny that greater concerns come from heterosexual attraction that necessitate greater societal notice.

    I have compassion for gay people who honestly want to share in the aspects of marriage that childless heterosexual couples enjoy. I get it. But those aspects (love, attraction, etc.) are not why WE PREFER that heterosexuals marry.

    I want my daughters’ future mates (if their men) to want to MARRY them. Not because their relationship is “better” than homosexual relationships. Not because God approves of it, and not homosexual relationships. Because I don’t want some punk knocking up my daughter without having stood in front of a large crowd and PROMISING not to leave BEFOREHAND.

    THAT’S what marriage is for!

    “You promise? How about you? Yes? Yes? Ok good. NOW, you can go have sex!”

  10. c2c, I cannot dispute your own reasons for considering the possibility of children important to a definition of marriage, and I certainly cannot, and would not, challenge what you want for your daughters. But I confess I still fail to see how that necessarily excludes gay marriage. Why can’t it be both-and instead of either-or? What, in your own preference for and celebration of heterosexual marriage, is actually injured, or even threatened, by gay marriage?

    Moreover (as a secondary point), if, as you hint, your point is to emphasize the importance of having sex within the context of a formal commitment, doesn’t gay marriage do precisely that? In fact, doesn’t marriage actually provide a heretofore unavailable formal stability for gay relationships?

  11. I’m emphasizing the importance of having sex within the context of a formal commitment WHEN the sex is likely to produce children. It’s a huge part of marriage. You seem to want to deny that. I believe you must deny it. If its not important, then let’s just allow any three, four or fifty people to “marry”. Why not? If procreation is not the reason one man and one woman (the type and number of people it takes to make a baby) has been the type of human relationship covered by marriage, why put a number of people on the definition? One man plus one woman equals two. That makes sense when we ask “why two?”. Is it coincidence that m/f sex produces children and that marriage has been for m/f sexual relationships? I don’t think so.

  12. If we must intellectually deny the importance of reproduction to marriage in order to see gay relationships as the same and equally worthy(?) of marriage, what happens when we deny it legally? Who knows what unintended consequences will arise from changing the construct that has been a very important measure dealing with child protection?

  13. c2c, we appear to have reached the point of saying the same thing to each other. This is useful for the sake of clarity of position, if not persuasion, and I thank you for the dialogue. I respect your view, but still do not see why you feel obliged to ADD the element of exclusivity to your conception of marriage. It is simply not necessary to your argument, if you are being intellectually honest. I can grant you most of what you argue — e.g., the importance of reproduction to marriage AND the importance of having sex within the context of a formal commitment — without taking the next step and insisting that marriage CANNOT expand to include couples who cannot or do not want to have their own biological children (putting aside the possibility of adoption). Put another way, I can support gay marriage without “intellectually denying the importance of reproduction to marriage.” It’s rather like you’re saying that eggs are crucially important to a proper breakfast, therefore adding biscuits destroys the proper concept of breakfast.

    Glenn, I admire your steadfastness, and your last post is probably the most succinct statement of your position I’ve seen. But, back to my thought experiment, you can’t pretend anymore that you’re not hung up on the sex. You plainly DON’T distinguish between homosexuality and homosexual behavior: “The only purpose of homosexual relationships is homosexual sex.” The purpose of my thought experiment was to put aside the sex, the way we routinely put aside the sex as to heterosexual relationships… the way we take pleasure in sweet young heterosexual couples without instantly conjuring the copulation, because so many other aspects of their relationship properly command our attention and admiration. This putting aside you cannot do. Okay. At least own that. The courtesy you routinely extent to your heterosexual family and friends (putting aside the sex) is not a courtesy you’re willing to extend to homosexuals.

    And there’s the rub. Homosexuals have been persecuted, demonized, beaten and even killed for so long. They’re sick of it Glenn, and they’re fighting back — often fiercely, sometimes unfairly. All they’re really asking for is precisely the respect you decline to give them — respect of a sort that permits them to live their lives quietly the same way you do, on the same terms you enjoy, without hurting anyone. Give them that, and who needs Gay Pride Parades or any other in-your-face desperately frustrated insistence on common humanity? You appear to prefer martial language in describing your own frustration, so if this is a war, it’s a war you (or your ideology) started. And it’s a peculiar war as well — given the substantial number of things in modern society that you, as a conservative Christian, find distasteful and even hostile to your beliefs, yet tolerate (assuming you’re not in fact doing jihad on everything unChristian you see). That’s what living in a pluralistic democracy is all about.

    Respect. That ends the war. It’s really that simple.

    • Kendrick

      NO, I am NOT hung up on the sex. Don’t pretend sex isn’t involved if people identify themselves as homosexual. Sex is what it is about, or else they wouldn’t do so. Yes the behavior is not the same as the “orientation,” but with out the behavior, there is not demand for fake marriage, no “pride” parades, no demands of recognition for their perversion. Nothing. The behavior is a result of the “orientation.”

      It isn’t the same as normal people. No “heterosexual” goes around demanding you accept what they do in their bedroom – they don’t speak of it at all. Yet if someone says they are “homosexual” there is only one reason – to let you know of their sexual proclivities. I don’t care – don’t tell me. You cannot “put aside the sex” with homosexual relationships – that is the foundation of said relationships. You cannot pretend otherwise.

      I disagree with your comment about my not having courtesy to “homosexuals.” Balderdash. I have worked with many of them in my job. I don’t have any problem with them as people. My problem only arises when they demand I sanction what they do. I’m sure no pedophile or zoophile would demand sanction, and adulterer doesn’t demand sanction, etc, yet those who practice homosexuality do.

      I cannot respect their sexual proclivities. But I have never persecuted them, have never harassed them, have never sanctioned it. They want tolerance but give none. They don’t want to live quietly – their stated goals since the 1960s has been the destruction of marriage and re-orienting society. They want nothing more but to force societal approval and sanction. And that is not “equal rights” or tolerance. THAT is what is simple.

  14. Kendrick,

    I’ll try to say it a little differently.

    There are all kinds of human relationships that are good for the individuals involved. If a man has amorous feelings towards another man and they are reciprocated, good for them. If I enjoy the company of my life-long golf buddy, good for me. If I decide to swear off women and live with a string of bachelor roommates, that’s my prerogative.

    But… If I decide to live with a woman and have sex with her, the mere possibility that it will result in children makes that relationship a whole lot different than any other human interaction I engage in.

    We don’t say that golf buddies or bachelor roomies, or a brother and sister who share a home (without sex) should be able to marry. Why not? Couldn’t these relationships be considered to be as fulfilling and important and legitimate as a childless actively sexual heterosexual married couple’s? What’s the difference? THE CHANCE that children will be produced.

    The exclusivity derives from the difference.

    Legal marriage is not intended to celebrate what amounts to not much more than a really good friendship. It’s intended to lay out the rights and responsibilities of a certain type of people engaged in a certain activity that has a very unique potential outcome.

    As a renter, one may not purchase a homeowners insurance policy on the structure in which he lives. Why not? Is it because the law discriminates against renters? No. It’s because he has not engaged in home ownership. Homeowners insurance is not for him. That’s all. Do you ask, “Why may we not define ‘home ownership’ to include people who we don’t need to have the rights and responsibilities that come with homeowners insurance?”?

    Legal marriage is less a matter of what those who may seek it want than what society needs to be in place for potential natural parents.

  15. Kendrick,

    Getting back to John’s original question: “What do you think the other side is missing?”.

    I think you’re missing the purpose of legal marriage.

    Please answer my question. Why is the number two involved in marriage, if not because it takes two to produce children?

  16. First and foremost, thank you both for your continuing civility. I know this is a conservative Christian website. I respect that. I know I’m challenging some of your core beliefs and I don’t do that lightly, and I hope never disrespectfully. I know I have pushed buttons. Thank you for engaging me nevertheless. In a way, I’m trying to see if dialogue is really possible, because sometimes the divide seems so deep. That’s one reason I sometimes focus on tone. Also, I have red(dish) hair so I’m doubly sensitive on this topic. :)

    Much of my response to you both is contained in my previous message because I believe it contains probably my most complete answer to John’s original question, which I now paraphrase this way: what irrevocably divides us absent a fundamental change in world view? (I prefer that formulation to “what is the other side missing?” as the latter suggests we must come up with some stuff the other side didn’t think of, and I’m sure you both have thought about all of these variations on the issue.)

    I have two answers to the irrevocable divide question, I think, from the two of you (tell me if I misrepresent this summation): c2c’s focus is on the procreative aspect of marriage as essential to its definition, and Glenn’s focus is on the sin of homosexual conduct, or evidently avowed homosexuality at all (and thus its disqualification for marital rights). I get that I cannot change either of those world views or challenge the internal consistency of the ideologies that generate them. Even challenges based upon a different kind of Christianity or a different kind of conservatism wouldn’t constitute a challenge to your logical consistency.

    But I do believe you’re on the wrong side of history, and that a generation or two from now, your conservative offspring will see this issue more as I do. I know that’s not an argument, and I wouldn’t expect you to be swayed by it. Moreover, it has the whiff of smugness and I apologize for that. I think it belongs in this conversation nevertheless because I believe we’re driven historically toward greater inclusiveness.

    And yes, insofar as inclusiveness necessarily includes tolerance, it should work both ways. I believe the legal judgment against the photographer is wrong for example. The photographer made clear in that case that she would have been willing to photograph the couple in any other context — portraiture for example, or even a commitment ceremony, just not a gay wedding — which is to say, her objection was not to the sexual orientation per se, but to her own memorialization of that sexual orientation in a wedding ceremony. That should have satisfied the human rights statute at issue (and should have signaled to the couple that whatever the law, find another wedding photographer, seriously). If it ever reached the point where a gay couple couldn’t find a photographer to photograph their wedding because all the photographers objected to gay marriage, then we’d have a problem, in my opinion. That’s why I can’t condemn the statutes that include sexual orientation as a protected class in questions of public accommodation.

    But once the smoke clears in all these skirmishes and demands and counter-demands for tolerance, I believe gay people should enjoy the right to marry and live as married couples, and that it will seem obvious that they should in due course.

    More specifically to your points, Glenn, honestly, I believe you are consistent in your exposition, but I cannot find common ground, especially when you persist in using words like “perversion,” contrasting gays to “normal people,” and throwing in a pedophile reference (comparison?) for good measure. I don’t understand how you can imagine that “you don’t have a problem with them as people” when you so cavalierly consign them to abomination. Correct word, yes? It is always and forever impossible to sit down and forge even the slightest common ground, barely even hello actually, when the unshakable first assumption is the abomination of the other side. That’s it. No way to dislodge it, no way to get past it. And that world view will be the first, in my view, to disappear from the larger social dialogue. I and many others will not miss it. Meanwhile, enjoy your consistency.

    c2c, you haven’t disavowed the sin/abomination narrative, but you haven’t used it either, which retains the possibility of a dialogue starting-point. Your second-to-last post does help to clarify your position, admirably, so thank you for your patience. Your sort of summary question, however, puzzles me: “Why is the number two involved in marriage, if not because it takes two to produce children?” I can think of so many answers, most of them variations on two people and only two people (hence the two) wanting to get married and commit themselves to one another in that formal way. I understand that you don’t want marriage to be light or casual or merely friendship-based. But I can’t understand why the CHANCE of procreation — which is to say, a theoretical possibility — MUST be dispositive in defining marriage for everyone. Indeed, with infertile couples, for example, it’s not even a theoretical possibility. So you actually have to step back even more remotely into abstraction: a man, like he is, and a woman, like she is, just not this man and this woman, could theoretically have children, therefore marriage should only be between a man and a woman. What logical symbols yield that result?

    I confess I don’t see how your homeowners analogy helps you, at all. Actually, renters can and do sometimes purchase homeowners insurance, or pay the premiums for it, directly sometimes and virtually always indirectly. But to your point (I think), the definition of “home ownership” certainly does NOT depend on the possession of homeowners insurance. It is entirely possible to be a home owner without having homeowners insurance, as millions did before the invention of homeowners insurance and as many still do.

    And finally, even if “society needs marriage to be in place for potential natural parents,” why no one else? How is marriage as a place for potential parents threatened by some marriages as a place for people who are not theoretically potential natural parents (again putting aside the question of adoption)? You explain your premise eloquently. But the leap to your conclusion simply doesn’t follow.

    Thank you both again for the dialogue.

    • Kendrick,

      Again you put words in my mouth. I don’t focus on the “sin” aspect of homosexual behavior – I focus on being forced to accept it as a normal part of society, being forced to accept it or be punished, having it forced on children as normal in schools, etc. Why is this so difficult for you to understand?

      No one is on the “wrong side of history” when it comes to truth. Homosexual behavior will always be wrong, deviant and perverse, no matter how many people in the world will choose to accept it, no matter how many laws are made punishing those who refuse to sanction it. If the Nazis had won WWII, would we have been on the “wrong side of history” to still fight against their extermination of Jews?

      No one denies the “homosexuals” any right to “marry” or live as “married” couples; we just don’t want them redefining the word/institution and then demanding state and private sanction.

      Whether you find “common ground” in my factual and truthful terms is irrelevant. The truth is still the truth. Men and women are not biologically, physiologically, or psychologically designed for homosexual relations. It is medically, psychologically, emotionally dangerous.

      Your type always get “icky” when we compare homosexuality to pedophilia, but both are claimed “orientations,” and if one must be accepted then no logic can deny the other. After all, why shouldn’t a pedophile have the right to marry and have sex with the one he loves?

      I never consign anyone to “abomination,” let alone do so “cavalierly.” As noted, all people are sinners in need of a savior, and it isn’t homosexuality or robbery, or adultery, etc which send people to “abomination.” It is their failure to accept a savior. It is GOD who calls homosexual behavior an “abomination,” not me. God also considers adultery an abomination – so is it okay if I say an adulterer is participating in sinful sexual activity? Guess what – adulterers don’t demand I sanction their behavior, they don’t demand laws punishing those who refuse to sanction their behavior, they don’t have their lifestyles taught in public school etc. So I treat homosexuality the same way I treat adultery, but somehow I’m evil, intolerant, etc with homosexuality and not with adultery?
      Oh, and did you forget my comparison with bestiality? Same thing. But only the “gay” people have the right to force their sexual immorality and deviancy on me.

  17. Kendrick, I don’t focus on the sin aspect because it’s not the purpose of legal marriage to show approval of what some of us may see as the “God-approved” arrangement. Legal marriage is not a celebration of anything. It’s a contract.

    Maybe I haven’t made the last leap clear. I see the likelihood that m/f sex will result in procreation as the only reason society should prefer that any two people in a personal relationship be bound together legally. It is why marriage is and has been one man and one woman.

    You agree that we should prefer that a man and woman engaged in a sexual relationship SHOULD marry, I presume. Like me with my daughters. I want their future sexual partners (assuming they’re men) to promise not to leave, because the children they’re likely to produce will need mom and dad to be there. I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s to show that there is a preference when we’re talking about m/f sexual relationships. Rightly so.

    Our view of an institution that has such a unique reason to be so preferred is damaged by including types of people who don’t have the same unique potential.

    Isn’t there a point at which adding to the definition dilutes it so much that those who actually need marriage don’t see the point any more? “Marriage isn’t just about procreation. It’s about love, so we should allow gay couples to marry. It’s about companionship, so marriage should include golf buddies. It’s about two people living together and helping each other, so it should include bachelor roomies and a woman who lives with her ailing father”. What human relationship can’t be covered when we take procreative potential out of the equation? “Any two people” becomes “SERIOUSLY! ANY two people for any reason THEY WANT”.

    At some point, it becomes “about” anything and everything and somewhere in there is procreation, which (I suggest) is the number one consideration, but begins to be forgotten or overlooked.

    You at least grant me that procreation is important to m/f marriage, unlike most ssm proponents I’ve argued with. Most of them argue endlessly that marriage IS NOT AT ALL about procreation. Their minds have already been wiped of the idea that we should prefer that men marry their female sexual partners BECAUSE they’re likely to produce children, just like I say society’s collective consciousness will be if we insist on including anything other than one man and one woman.

    In the case of those ssm proponents , it’s not a case of the slippery slope. They’ve slid down the hill. They’re there already. You say you can’t imagine how adding might harm anything. I have seen it! It’s a bad thing to forget that men and women SHOULD marry BECAUSE they are likely to produce children. And that’s where we’re headed as a society. We’re forgetting something important.

    You talk about the wrong side of history. Only history will show that. But, so far, our history has been that of preferring that men marry women, regardless of whether or not Bill and Larry play golf together or share a home. This latest bout may seem like an enlightened evolution of society, but I doubt it. I think that whatever society decides will only be what is decided. Not necessarily what is right. And if what I say will happen happens, then I’m on the better side, and you’re on the worse side of the issue. Not that your intentions aren’t good. Just that I foresee problems if we only do what seems to be the compassionate thing regarding same sex marriage.

  18. Kendrick,

    I wonder where it ends. If the definition of marriage is altered to suit homosexuals, why not alter it to suit polygamists? Of course I realize such arguments are generally regarded as “slippery-slope fallacies,” but our legal system is highly influenced by precedent, thus it is a legitimate question. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Furthermore, Conservatve2Cents is right to concern himself with the procreative possibilities of a relationship before it is given the legal distinction in question. Government involved itself in marriage as a way to encourage procreation, which, I think you’ll agree, is important to any nation that wishes to remain a nation. There is simply no reason, therefore, for government to encourage (through acceptance) relationships that cannot produce children.

    Now, you may wonder why infertile couples are allowed to marry. Simple. It is not merely incidentally impossible for homosexual couples to produce children, it is impossible in principle. With a man and a woman, infertile or not, procreation is always possible in principle.

  19. Terrance,

    I’m not sure that government involvement is due to their desire to see more babies. People have sex and children out of wedlock all the time. I believe that government’s involvement is more about assigning responsibilities of those who create the babies. In family law, the husband is seen as the most likely father of the wife’s children. Because it’s understood that that’s what marriage is: the union of one man and one woman who engage in baby making activities.

    But you’re right that no other configuration of two people involved in sexual activity have even a chance to produce children. And that’s the point. We need to prefer that opposite sex couples marry. It’s best for us when they do. All other non-baby making interactions don’t necessitate this type of legal consideration.

  20. Glenn, more than anyone else I’ve observed on this site, you complain about people putting words in your mouth. I think it’s because you so often try to have your rhetorical cake and eat it too. You try to disavow any ill will or hostility toward “those people,” insisting that it’s their fault for getting in your face and insisting on things, while at the same time embracing the most vile, polarizing and de-humanizing language possible to characterize them — or perhaps more precisely, casting yourself as the neutral instrument of God’s wrathful denunciation. Don’t you see how that’s a non-starter for anyone who doesn’t share your particular view of God’s wrathful denunciation? And more importantly, Glenn, at risk of straying too far off-topic, I just believe it’s massively inappropriate for anyone to quote God arrogantly. If you’re going to presume to quote God — an activity already suspect epistemologically — then you should at least do so mindful of the massive presumption of the wee creature quoting the Creator, especially when harnessing the Creator for the purpose of judging and condemning His creatures. Perhaps there is wisdom in the tradition of pride or hubris being considered the original and most dangerous of the deadly sins.

    c2c, wow, if legal marriage is not a celebration of anything, but simply a contract, then all the more reason to maximize the freedom of people wishing voluntarily to enter into that contract — especially since we agree that a marriage “contract” carries particular social and cultural significance. That said, I think I understand the essence of your argument better, which is also Terrance’s point: the slippery slope. Terrance, yes, slippery-slope arguments are suspect, and for a good reason, but I don’t disavow them categorically. History sometimes validates them, sometimes dramatically. Winston Churchill, contra Neville Chamberlain, tried to make the slippery slope argument regarding Hitler’s early predations in Austria and Czechoslovakia. The entire containment doctrine during the Cold War was precisely a slippery slope argument — and a decent one in my view.

    Slippery slope arguments become most dangerous, I believe, when employed to exclude people from a right or liberty enjoyed by others. Then, you are essentially saying, so sorry good people, you might deserve this right or liberty, but we just can’t risk it because some day in the future people will clamor for even more people to get that right or liberty. So, sit tight and accept your second-class lot. Note the difference. In my examples above — WW2 and the Cold War — the slippery slope argument was employed to warn against the imminent LOSS of liberty for vast numbers of people. And it was a more precise prediction based upon the stated ideologies and behaviors of the enemy, rather than a vague warning about what some future democratic polity might do. (One could even argue that slippery slope arguments based on fear of what future democratic polities might do are per se invalid because whatever a future democratic polity does is ipso facto legitimate by virtue simply of doing it democratically — but I’m not trying to make that argument here.)

    Note that the foregoing is one of the reasons I favor gay marriage as a democratic or legislative proposition, but NOT as a judicial (or more precisely, constitutional) proposition. The campaign to find a constitutional right to gay marriage, and thus install gay marriage by judicial fiat, fairly conjures the slippery slope argument because, yes, Terrance, the legal system is highly influenced by precedent, and because we’re no longer entrusting the question to the people, and never can again. So, c2c and Terrance, your slippery slope arguments do have some resonance, even for me, in the context of constitutional argument — but not in the context of legislative argument. I can’t imagine the contorted agony of trying to explain to a gay couple, with a straight face, that I’m voting against their right to marry because it might lead to some future votes where even more people get to get married.

    • Kendrick,

      Logic fallacy! By using the correct terms for homosexual behavior, that does not make one have ill will towards them. I call an adulterer and adulterer, and yet one was my best friend; no ill will towards him as a person – but I don’t soft-soap the behavior. That the problem with people like you – if someone refuses to use politically-correct language, and calls a spade a spade, why it just has to be “ill will.”

      Is it really “dehumanizing” to call perversion, “perversion”? Isn’t rather more dehumanizing to participate in homosexual behavior? You make the practitioner to be a victim of the person accurately describing his behavior!

      I have NEVER cast myself as an “instrument of God’s wrathful denunciation” any more than I cast myself as an “instrument of the Founding Fathers” when I cite what the Constitution says. Don’t shoot me – I’m only the messenger.

      I don’t quote God arrogantly or presumptuously – I quote what the Scripture accurately says. And He calls us to cite the Word! To claim this is hubris is total nonsense, with you trying to take the moral high ground.
You favor fake marriage. But there is no justification for it except emotions. Society has rightly condemned homosexual behavior for thousands of years because of its corruptive effect on society, and the medical and emotional hazards of such behavior. AH, but “it isn’t fair” to deny them a “right” to redefine words! Tell me how you can justify same-sex fake marriage but not justify three-some marriages, or 10-people marriages, or person/animal marriages! You cannot logically do so, because the very same reasons you give for same-sex fake marriage apply to any other goofy union.

      And don’t give me tripe about animals not giving consent – they don’t consent to being eaten or used for pets either!

  21. Kendrick, you know that my slippery slope argument is not that the next string of other than 1m/1f groups will have an opening to marry. I mention the other groups (roomies, etc.) only to show that there are other human relationships that don’t have the societal impact that one of a sexual nature between 1m and 1f.

    My slippery slope argument is about what will happen to the way we see marriage. I think harm will be done, especially if we have to diminish our understanding of the importance procreation has in marriage.

    By the way, I’ve told gay family members my thoughts on the matter to their faces. And I kept as straight a face as when I tell my kids they may not have ice cream for breakfast.

  22. Here’s the deal. Potentially procreative couples need legal marriage. That’s not just some random thing pulled out of nowhere when legal marriage was thought up. “Any two people” IS random. It’s arbitrary.

    It seems to me that ssm proponents think that one man and one woman is what’s arbitrary. Does that make sense? “Why only them?”, as if there is not this huge difference staring us in the face!

    I think you’d agree that marriage is a good thing for m/f couples. And that it’s preferable that they marry because they will probably produce children. Without considering any other human relationship, we can say that we prefer m/f couples to be married, rather than to produce children out of wedlock. Right? So is it a coincidence that marriage serves to fill that need? I think it would have to be, if we can truly say that any two people should marry.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think marriage is designed to do just that.

    So, if there is a significant difference between the type of human relationship we’ve allowed to be called a marriage and any other that we have not (potential procreation being that obvious difference), the other human relationships, no matter how similar, cannot be said to be the same, or even similar enough to be considered to be needing the same legal consideration.

    The thing that makes a homosexual couple’s relationship significantly different than a heterosexual couple’s, makes their relationship exactly the same as a couple of golf buddies. We don’t need either to promise to stay together forever.

  23. Conservative,

    Originally, government only involved itself in the practice as a way to encourage procreation and the stability traditional family units can bring. Now days, no, the intent has nothing to do with procreation,. “Bastard” is like a term of endearment now days.

    • That’s true. But that’s different than establishing legal marriage to encourage procreation, which is what I thought you meant.

      • I wasn’t very clear in my original reply. I’m always on the run when replying, so…

        Certainly government has reason to encourage procreation within a stable family unit, hence the reason for marriage. So, yes, government does need to encourage procreation, if for no other reason than to increase the native born population, but they need to do so in a way that maintains stability in society.

        So my point is that if government is no longer concerned with that aim, then they should get out of the marriage business completely.

  24. Glenn, “political correctness,” like any rule of comportment, can be abused, or contorted and turned into its own vehicle for power-tripping. That does not make it, in itself, more than a rule of comportment, to which one may subscribe politely, or not. Often, what you reflexively ridicule as political correctness is simply an extra measure of humility, a sensitive nod to history, or one more moment of thoughtfulness. Sometimes, as in our brief engagements, it becomes a polite way of saying — given the set of assumptions you bring to the conversation, there is no meaningful way to have a discussion. I have granted you self-consistency, except with your most peculiar insistence never to be characterized as vilifying gay people — perhaps because they are human beings and you elsewhere sincerely emphasize the sanctity of human life. I have shown how your distinction between homosexuals and homosexual behavior breaks down in the most basic language you adopt for this discussion. I have suggested that this basic language, these first assumptions, can be neither dislodged nor gotten past. And that makes meaningful discussion of gay marriage, as a policy proposition, impossible. I don’t know how I can put it more politely.

    I did quickly review the link you provided, and it is an excellent exposition. Though I need to study it more carefully, I already disagree with certain of its arguments — yet it is a conversation I could have. Could I at least get you to see the difference between the way those three authors approach opposition to gay marriage and the way you approach opposition to gay marriage? Are they simply being “politically correct”? Is conservative2cents herein simply being “politically correct”? Are these conservatives less sincere or perhaps simply less candid than you?

    • Kendrick,

      Ah, there goes the moral high ground again. NO, “political correctness” is NOT “simply an extra measure of humility, a sensitive nod to history, or one more moment of thoughtfulness.” It is nothing more than redefining every thing to make it all very “sanitary,” and make people into victims when other refuse to kowtow to PC.

      I do not vilify “gays.” I vilify homosexual behavior, and I vilify the activists who want to shove their ideology down our throats. That is a big difference from your charges.

      I’m not interested in how other people soft-soap what same-sex fake marriage is. I will always report the facts – that it is a fake “marriage,” and that it is a corruption of society. Some conservatives do indeed want to play too much PC but I don’t play that game.

  25. c2c, I confess I’m not sure which argument you’re making (or both?). Are you seeking to preserve traditional marriage against expansion into any other sort of union, and using procreation as the way to that preservation? Or are you saying expansion of marriage rights will inevitably diminish the importance of procreation in our society? Or both?? These are distinct arguments, and some of our conversation has, I think, confused them.

    I keep saying, for example, some version of “so what?” Why does it matter to married heterosexual couples, doing the important job of procreating, whether other people also get to get married, whether or not these other people wish to, or can, procreate? You appear (it seems to me) to keep side-stepping that question. Even if I grant you that potentially procreative unions are the most important type of union for society to solemnize with marriage promises — i.e., that more is genuinely at stake for procreative unions — that (it seems) simply locates procreative unions on the far side of a continuum. It doesn’t knock all other types of union altogether off the continuum. Even if gay people have less “need” of the solemnity of marriage, from a macro-social perspective, that doesn’t dictate that they be excluded from that solemnity, and the many benefits they (and society) would derive from that solemnity.

    In short, you are persuasive on the distinctiveness of procreative unions, but not on their entitlement to exclusivity.

  26. @Kendrick
    What you seem to be missing, or c2c is not explaining well enough; is that the Governments interest in marriage and granting benefits to people that enter into it is to encourage procreation within a family unit. It is in the best interest of society as a whole for men and women with children to be married and remain in the family unit. For this reason, the government has decided to give benefits to those that will live in this way. The homosexual relationship is of no interest to the government because their unions only affect the individuals. It has no impact on society, therefore the government has no reason to give benefits to encourage their unions. It is important to recognize that marriage laws have nothing to do with right or wrong, can and can’t or in any way limiting the freedoms of people. They are benefits given to citizens to encourage them to live in a way that is most beneficial to society as a whole. That is why homosexual unions haven’t been included and don’t need to be included. There are other laws that determine illegal relationships that a person can be criminalized for, homosexual relationships is not one of them. They are free to be together, free to have a marriage ceremony and free to live out in the world as they are. They just can’t receive government benefits for their relationship because the government has no incentive to encourage homosexual relationships. They have incentive to encourage heterosexual relationships because of the potentiality for having children and the negative effects on society that is caused by children without both parents. The reasons I think people have a hard time seeing my view are:
    1. They feel marriage laws are about right and wrong. When in reality they are about the government encouraging an ideal that is beneficial to society. It isn’t illegal to be gay or for gay’s to be married. It is just not recognized for government benefits.
    2. They feel marriage laws shouldn’t discriminate. In reality, marriage laws were created to discriminate, to encourage an ideal that protects the best interest of society as a whole.

  27. I agree with TerranceH, if the governments aim is to no longer about procreation within a stable family unit, then it has lost any purpose for endorsing marriage. As a society, with high divorce rates and casual attitude towards marriage, we already have begun to destruct the governments original purpose to endorse marriage. We don’t need to destruct it further. The government might as well stop endorsing marriage and put that money to better use rather than waste money on something that isn’t working as intended.

  28. My point is not to solemnize anything. I’m not saying that potentially procreative couples are better than any other human interaction that should be rewarded with marriage. I’m saying that they NEED marriage. We need to understand that. We need them to understand that.

    We need potentially procreative couples not to hear the rhetoric “Marriage IS NOT about procreation”, or the more benign “Marriage isn’t JUST about procreation”.

    The message should be “You need to be married because your relationship might produce children”. Marriage should be understood to be specifically for that. Keeping it exclusive to potential parents (natural) helps to reinforce this understanding.

  29. Perhaps government should get out of the marriage business, but as long as the government is in the marriage business, we’re stuck with figuring out how that benefit should be allocated. I feel like I have granted everything that has been argued about the importance of procreative unions. I suppose the impasse is that I cannot see how the importance of procreative unions is diminished by allowing gay couples to marry, and you all see an inevitable dilution of the importance of procreative unions. I do think, however, you’re too quick to dismiss *any* social benefit from gay marriages. Society benefits from the stabilization of these relationships. I think this audience is receptive to the proposition that encouragement of monogamy is also a good thing, however spotty the success across the board. Government has just as much interest encouraging stabilization and monogamy of gay couples as it does heterosexual couples who cannot or choose not to have children (once again putting aside the question of adoption).

    • Homosexual “monogamy” has been demonstrated to be quite rare.

      Society NEVER has any benefit promoting any relationships which are deviant and destructive to society. Homosexuality – as well as all sexual immorality – is destructive to society.

      “After examining he sexual practices of more than 80 primitive and more advanced societies, [Professor J.D.] Unwin concluded that sexually permissive behavior led to less cultural energy, less creativity, less individualism, less mental development, and less cultural progress in general. Primitive societies with the greatest sexual freedom had made the least cultural advances. Those with stricter limitations had made the greatest progress. Among civilized societies, the same rule held. Those with restrictive sexual codes had made the greatest cultural strides, and when ore permissive sexual standards appeared, cultural decline set in. Unwin said there was no known instance of a society that retained as high a cultural level after relatively relaxed sexual standards replace more rigorous ones (although he conceded that it might take several generations before the debilitating effect was clearly manifest).

      “William Stephens, after studying 90 primitive cultures, wrote that the tribes lowest on the scale of cultural evolution have the most sexual freedom. Sigmund Freud, surprisingly to some, associated cultural advances with limitations on sexual activity. Arnold Toynbee, celebrated student of world civilizations, declared that a culture which postpones rather than stimulates sexual experience in the young is a culture most prone to progress. Will and Ariel Durant, after a lifetime of studying world history, wrote in “The Lessons of History” that it was imperative to maintain rigorous sexual restraints upon the young.”
      Dr. Reo M. Christenson, AFA Journal, Nov/Dec 1998.

  30. Kendrick,

    The probability that m/f sex will produce children is the most compelling reason to address THOSE relationships. It’s the only reason government should be involved in such a personal relationship.

    Is it better for gays to be monogamous than to be promiscuous? Sure. I guess. But it’s better that we treat each other in some ways than others. So what? Should governments issue BFF licenses? Should I promise to forsake all other carpool partners? It’s not WARRANTED!

    M/f couples who decide not to have children still might. It’s better that they are married just in case.

    Infertile couples may still have children. I went to high school with two guys who were adopted because their parents thought they were infertile. Each of these guys’ parents went on to make little brothers for them. Two families around the same time in a town of 15,000. And those are only the ones I know about.

    To say that potential procreative ability is a huge reason for marriage even to exist makes sense. It makes more sense when we see that it’s been reserved for the only type of human relationship that has that potential.

    Before people were pushing to redefine marriage, it was understood that marriage and procreation were linked. It’s not a new concept. It’s what marriage is for.

    At weddings, people ask, “So, when will you have children?”. Now that the couple has married, the stage is properly set. Now, it’s not only seen as the best possible situation. It’s EXPECTED! Because marriage IS about love, and that kind of love leads to sex, and sex between men and women is how babies are made.

    The question “Why not other people?” Is the wrong question. The question should be “Why one man and one woman?”. The answer is because they build families, SOMETIMES accidentally.

  31. c2c, thanks for the dialogue. You continue to strengthen your argument on the importance of procreative unions, but not (to me) your argument for their marital exclusivity. You keep citing unique and special things about procreative unions, but then simply leap to the proposition that government ought not confer the substantial benefit of marriage on anyone else. Why not? The compelling specialness of procreative unions simply is not by itself justification for exclusivity. Would it comfort you to create a new category called, say, Matrimony Licenses (which would operate for all intents and purposes like current Marriage Licenses), but carve a special recognition sub-category called Marriage Licenses limited to m/f couples? I sense that this word play would not comfort you, i.e., that you’re not simply arguing for ownership of the word “marriage” — but that appears to be the logic of your position.

    Yes, the question is “why one man and one woman?” and we’ve answered that question with solid justification for that kind of coupling. Then, “why not other people?” certainly does become a fair question.

  32. @Kendrick
    The answer to “Why not other people” is because it is a waste of government resources to provide benefits to people when there is nothing to gain for society as a whole. It also downplays the importance of men and women getting married for procreation and the importance that both parents are to the raising of children. The proper way for gays to attain government benefits to marriage is to lay out a complete argument of why it would be beneficial to society for them to be married. Not to themselves, but to society.

  33. Kendrick,

    Why not? Because it’s not warranted. I can tell you that there should be a societal preference that m/f couples marry. I know that they are likely to produce children. I also know that same sex couples will not. The potential for procreation is THE ONLY thing that makes government intrusion even palatable.

    Legal marriage is not meant to say “this is a good and wholesome relationship and all others are not”. You seem to think that it is. You seem to think that because a relationship is based on romantic love, that alone should warrant government attention. It doesn’t.

    There has to be just cause. Procreation is it.

    There are m/f couples who are not allowed to marry. Siblings, for example. Why? Because of reproductive concerns! If it were to be for romantic love alone, incestuous marriages would necessarily be allowed. Wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t their argument be the same as same sex marriage? “We love each other. And marriage isn’t (just) about procreation”.

    This isn’t a slippery slope argument. It’s to say that the “marriage isn’t about procreation” argument is obviously flawed, at best. At worst, it’s a lie.

    If you would allow gay marriage, but not bachelor roomie marriage, then by the logic of the SSM argument, you’re discriminating against them! “Why only ‘loving’ relationships?”, they might ask. One thing marriage is not ONLY about is romantic love. And they’d be right! Why only those? Why only two? Why not give marriage over to anyone who wants it, simply because they want it?

    Each time we add to it because “marriage is not just about this or that”, we dilute its meaning. That’s not a good thing.

  34. Thank you all for the continued interest. As a general proposition, society benefits from coupling. I agree that the primary social and cultural benefit of coupling is to provide the framework for a family. But procreative potential is simply not the ONLY social benefit from coupling. Not to diss people who live alone (especially as I am one), but coupling is generally better for society. Coupling pools resources, lends synergy to socially useful goals, promotes emotional checks and balances that civilize social interaction, contributes to varieties of stability, reduces the incidence of needing public assistance, doubles parenting (in the case of couples who cannot or do not wish to have their own biological children), and yes, hopefully harnesses sex drives, that is, monogamy. (Glenn, your argument regarding the rareness of monogamy among homosexuals is rather like supporting laws that make it criminal to teach slaves to read, and then insisting that African Americans are too savage for the vote. BAM! Okay, your turn. Let it fly.) And probably a hundred or a thousand other benefits if you count things like, less likelihood of becoming a loner psychopath preying on society. I just don’t see how you all can argue that ONLY heterosexual procreative coupling has a sufficiently worthy social benefit.

    Of course, not all couples need or want to get married. Most notably, it is a lifelong commitment. “Bachelor roomies” do not generally wish to make a lifelong commitment. Society has an interest in formalizing lifelong m-f, m-m and f-f commitments.

    If you all really wish to argue that gay marriage “dilutes” the meaning of marriage, then technically, I cannot dispute you. You appear to be arguing that the only social benefit worthy of marriage is heterosexual procreative unions. Therefore, adding any other social benefit to the equation indisputably “dilutes” the meaning of marriage. Adding anything else to the mix is a metaphorical act of dilution. But this is a very technical achievement, and obviously not the one you want. If you want to argue that gay marriage “destroys” or even “damages” marriage, then I respectfully believe you have a greater burden of showing that gay marriage does that than you have met.

    • Kendrick

      My question may have gotten buried so I’ll ask again. Why did the government begin to incentivize and subsidize marriage in the first place?

    • Kendrick,
      Your logic is about as illogical as it gets. Comparing what I pointed out as a FACT about homosexual couples not being “monogamous” with the issue of not allowing slaves to learn to read is about as bizarre as it gets!

      The plain and simple fact is that homosexuals do not “couple.” Their “equipment” does not connect. It’s like trying to put to male plug ends together, or two female plug ends together. They can just as well “couple” with an animal for the same sexual gratification.

      They have no physical or spiritual union of the two becoming one. There is no benefit at all for society to give sanction to such groupings any more than, as has been pointed out by others here, sanctioning the grouping of best friends. No societal benefit is derived from approving homosexual pairing. Period.

      Any “lifelong commitment’ they may have between themselves doe not need to be sanctioned and blessed by the State. The only “benefits” the derive is tax deductions or social security benefits (sucking off the government teat), and if that is what they are after then it proves they only want the sanction for money and to force societal acceptance. Every “benefit” they claim other wise can be done via legal contracts.

      The real agenda has been spelled out by the homosexualists for fifty years – destroy marriage and family as institutions, indoctrinate our children, etc.

      Again, homosexual behavior has demonstrated health risks, psychological/emotional hazards, and state approve pairs with children deprive the children of either a mother or father and teach them a depraved, perverted, and skewed view of human sexuality, leading to more promiscuity.

      And, of course, you cannot approve same-sex unions without at the same time approving any other grouping of people, or people and animals, because the logic holds the same for all.

  35. @Kendrick
    I am going to say well done to you. You are the first person that I have seen take the actual arguments against gay marriage and understand them as they truly are and then give a reasoned argument for why it may be beneficial to society for the government to endorse gay marriage. I’m not sure how strong it is, i’ll let the other guys respond to that. You do have to weigh those benefits against the pitfalls to come to a concrete conclusion. The pitfalls would be; health issues (STD’s, anal cancer, etc), domestic violence, the affect it has on forcing the government to allow more undesirable marriages and the affect it has on the view of traditional marriage. There is also the problems of the government taking things too far and forcing people to participate in the ceremonies unwillingly (preachers, photographers, caterers, etc). The ultimate question is; is it more beneficial or more detrimental for the government to encourage gay marriage. Ultimately, it should be decided on by the public since it is about what is beneficial to the public. Despite what gay marriage proponents say, that is the lawful way of proceeding with the issue.

  36. Wiley, thank you for your kindness. If your final point is intended to support a legislative, rather than a judicial, resolution, I say bravo. I agree.

    John, it’s unclear whether your question is rhetorical or an open-ended fact question. If the former, then I invite you to make your point. If the latter, then it would take some research to know for sure, but preliminarily, I think European states first got involved a few centuries ago in an attempt to prevent marriages that parents did not approve (arranged marriage being the norm). In America, I think the colonies required some form of “registration” (perhaps as a form of census-keeping?) but full-throated marriage laws emerged as a means to prevent interracial marriage (and in some cases other categories of “undesirable” marriage, such as mental defects and drunks). Eventually, governments mostly got out (or were forced out) of the business of “fitness” determinations, but still used legal marriage to determine eligibility for certain benefits and privileges. I’m sure you and others can flesh out this history capably (and the role of the Church is a separate parallel question).

  37. Glenn… really?? It comes down to anatomical rectitude? Do you see how your argument (uniquely among the participants in this otherwise civil discussion) appears so hung up on the sex act? And then how that hang-up takes you so bizarrely far afield with statements like homosexualists want to destroy marriage and families, indoctrinate our children, and generally usher in depravity and darkness? But to be sure, you’re not hostile to homosexuals as people, at least not the quiet ones who know their place.

    All of your arguments about the decline of civilization apply with vastly greater force to heterosexuals because heterosexuals constitute a vastly greater swath of the population. Shouldn’t your anger and disgust be proportional? Moreover, marriage is designed precisely to curtail “permissiveness,” therefore gay marriage could partially arrest the corrosion you lament. That is one reason I argue that gay marriage is ultimately a conservative solution.

    And finally, I think you’re a bit too quick to dismiss my comparison to laws prohibiting the teaching of reading to slaves. How can you seriously decry the rarity of monogamy among homosexuals when you decline even to extend them basic dignities, including, critically, the one institution — marriage — precisely and solemnly designed to encourage monogamy?

    • Kendrick,

      You are so disingenuous to claim it is NOT about the sex act. THAT is what defines homosexuals!!! THAT is how THEY define themselves. If they didn’t practice homosexual behavior, then there would be no same-sex fake marriage, no “pride” parades, no demand for schools to teach it, no demand for sanction by the government and no demand for approval by the citizenry.

      I am not the one hung up on the “sex act,” it is those who are shoving down our throats who are hung up on it and want to be defined by it. How is it “uncivil” to discuss the truth? Again, you claim the moral high ground of civility because you want to pretend homosexual behavior isn’t at the root of the whole discussion.

      The Homosexualists themselves have made the claims of desire to destroy marriage and family, to indoctrinate our youth, etc, and then you vilify ME for citing THEIR claims?!?!?!?

      My disgust at “heterosexuals” who practice sexual immorality is there also, but THEY aren’t the ones demanding state sanction and societal approval for adultery, fornication, necrophilia, bestiality and so forth. ONLY the homosexuals demand state sanction and personal approval with the punishment by the state for refusing personal approval. I treat all sexual immorality the same when it comes to the people practicing it.

      Take a look at the studies, and you will find that it is RARE that same-sex unions – legal or otherwise – maintain sexual exclusivity within the relationship. SO, NO, same-sex fake marriage, redefining what marriage is, will NOT solve the problem. All you do is put homosexual relations on a par with NORMAL relations.

      Your comparison with black and ‘gays” is still apples and oranges. Skin color has nothing to do with the fact that they are people with all the same rights and privileges as any other person. Sexual behavior is always chosen, and sexual perversion should NEVER be sanctioned in any way.

      It’s the liberals’ continual comparison of racism with homosexuality which continues to discredit the arguments for the logic fallacies that they are.

  38. John, I confess I don’t yet understand your point. Perhaps you could make it? I’ve said that perhaps government should get out of the marriage business, but as long as they’re in it, we’re obliged to decide how to allocate that benefit. And I think married couples — i.e., partners making a lifelong commitment — are a net social good, so government promotion is rational. Does that address your concern?

    • My point is irrelevant as of yet. There is a purpose to financially subsidizing marriage specifically as opposed to other cohabiting relationships. Do you know the government’s purpose for this?

    • No it doesnt answer because it excludes other non marital cohabiting (nonsexual) partnerships. If encouraging long lasting partnerships is important to the government, why is it only the kind where typically sex is involved?

      Im trying to get you to think about the kind of personal relationship the government chose to aid financially and why.

  39. John, okay, if my previous comments do not address your question (and I suspect they might), then kindly tell me, in your view, what is the government’s purpose in financially subsidizing marriage? I welcome your thoughts.

  40. Glenn, wow… I’m glad you’re an equal-opportunity disgust-monger. Seriously, no one is demanding “state sanction” for adultery, fornication, necrophilia, and bestiality because (among other reasons) heterosexuals can privately indulge those desires AND get legally married to their chosen partner. Only homosexuals are denied the opportunity to marry their chosen partner. And if a necrophiliac someday seriously insists upon the right to marry his or her deceased partner, then we can have that debate, and I will likely side with you. But that’s a different debate.

    • Kendrick

      So now I’m a “disgust-monger.” Guess what, I also find murder disgusting, and I find robbery disgusting, etc. I suppose you have no disgust for that which is immoral and damaging to society?

      Let’s see, heterosexuals can’t marry the one they love – their chosen partner – if it is a brother or sister, or a parent/child of the opposite sex. So you have a problem by claiming that differentiates homosexuals from heterosexuals.

      A homosexual can’t demand a square be called a circle either, so is that discriminating?

      They can’t “marry” the one they want because it isn’t marriage. Marriage has a definition in regards to a social institution which has been around for thousands of years. The ONLY reason why homosexuals want to be “married” is for societal approval of their unions as well as their sexual proclivities. No other reason exists, regardless of the lies otherwise

  41. John, thanks. I think we’re at least driving closer to your own point, which I can then try to engage. I don’t think anything I’ve said presupposes that government’s only interest is sex, or the involvement of sex. There are, for example, many asexual people, some of whom desire to get married. They have that right. In engaging c2c, Terrance, and Wiley, I’ve freely acknowledged that society’s primary interest in marriage is the encouragement of stable procreative unions — just not the ONLY interest.

    • Kendrick. You are speaking now and applying our culture anachronistically to the period of time in America when the government financially subsidized marriage.

      So why would the gov do this only for a marriage and no other long term cohabiting relationships, sexual or non?

  42. Glenn, again, incestuous relationships are a different debate. I don’t really know much about it, though I’ve heard of durable and healthy dynasties in history that were largely incestuous. But I’d probably still weigh in against incestuous marriages. In any event, different debate. And yes, Glenn, I think disgust is the primary informing principle of your position — which, as I said politely a long time ago, makes civil discussion about gay marriage as a policy proposition impossible. I get that you conceive yourself as a kind of spiritual warrior, who cannot afford to give the slightest quarter, like a good soldier, and honestly Glenn, more power to you, in your own warfare venue. Just don’t expect those of us who are thinking and struggling with issues outside the specter of imminent depravity and darkness to welcome your alarmist shrieking.

    • Kendrick,

      NO, incestuous marriages are NOT a different debate. If you say marriage has to include homosexual relationships, they you cannot logically and consistently deny incestuous ones – at least THEY are male/female!

      Disgust is NOT my “primary informing principle.” MORALITY is one, which is why I hold homosexual behavior to be in the same class as fornication or adultery or bestiality as far as sexual immorality goes – and we don’t give state sanction to any of them, except homosexuality and only because of emotional appeal rather than anything logical or rational.

      And it is indeed civil discussion. Just because I disagree with you about the value of same-sex relationships, or that I refuse to be politically correct when discussing them, that doesn’t make in uncivil. You keep making that claim so as to take the moral high ground – you are civil and I am not.

      It has nothing to do with being a “spiritual warrior.” It has everything to do with not wanting to sanction homosexuality, because when you cross that line you cannot logically or consistently deny the same sanction for any other sexual proclivity, no matter how perverse or dehumanizing.

      But you call it “alarmist,” all the while watching the polygamy movement demanding state sanction and allowance to “marry,” and while Germany has animal brothels for those who want sex with animals, and the psychobabblers claim that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation, etc. All these are on the heels of the success of homosexual activists.

      You want to see damaged societies as a result of your promotion of homosexuality? What has history shown?

      “After examining he sexual practices of more than 80 primitive and more advanced societies, [Professor J.D.] Unwin concluded that sexually permissive behavior led to less cultural energy, less creativity, less individualism, less mental development, and less cultural progress in general. Primitive societies with the greatest sexual freedom had made the least cultural advances. Those with stricter limitations had made the greatest progress. Among civilized societies, the same rule held. Those with restrictive sexual codes had made the greatest cultural strides, and when ore permissive sexual standards appeared, cultural decline set in. Unwin said there was no known instance of a society that retained as high a cultural level after relatively relaxed sexual standards replace more rigorous ones (although he conceded that it might take several generations before the debilitating effect was clearly manifest).

      “William Stephens, after studying 90 primitive cultures, wrote that the tribes lowest on the scale of cultural evolution have the most sexual freedom. Sigmund Freud, surprisingly to some, associated cultural advances with limitations on sexual activity. Arnold Toynbee, celebrated student of world civilizations, declared that a culture which postpones rather than stimulates sexual experience in the young is a culture most prone to progress. Will and Ariel Durant, after a lifetime of studying world history, wrote in “The Lessons of History” that it was imperative to maintain rigorous sexual restraints upon the young.”
      Dr. Reo M. Christenson, AFA Journal, Nov/Dec 1998.

  43. John, I’m honestly not being coy or evasive. I just don’t understand your last point.

    • Ok, ill spell out what should be obvious even though you already went over it with someone else.

      Government chose to financially subsidize only one kind of personal relationship: an opposite sex marriage. There is something unique about this coupling.

      It is a sexual relationship, and is very likely to produce children.

      Some things to consider…
      There are plenty of sexual relationships the gov could have subsidized but didnt. There are plenty of longterm relationships (sexual and non) the gov could have subidized but didnt. There are plenty of relationships that produce children (live-in lovers) the gov could habe subsidized but didnt.

      The only one the gov subsidized was a heterosexual sexual relationship where the partners made a legal commitment to be together forever. Ask yourself why? Also ask yourself why the gov never asks of potential marriage partners if they are sexually attracted to eachother and in love?

      It was to encourage having children. It was encourage men and women raising children in the home with both biological parents — the ideal environment for them.

      If sex and children are irrelevant why didnt the gov subsidize any personal relationship? If they arent important then why subsidize it in the first place?

      The point is the govs affirmation, subsidization, and legal recognition of heterosexual marriage was not arbitrary.

  44. John, okay, thank you for the courtesy of spelling it out, and forgive me if I seemed obtuse. And yes, now that you spell it out, I believe much of your position has been covered previously. But some further points and questions…

    1. Are you making a distinction between “subsidy” and simple legal recognition? I cannot tell, and don’t know whether you’re assigning more or less significance to one or the other.

    2. Actually, the government DOES routinely subsidize other kinds of relationships. For just one example, unmarried parents get tax deductions for dependents.

    3. Why doesn’t government ask potential marriage partners if they’re sexually attracted to each other and in love? For one, it’s absolutely none of their business. For two, it would be an impossible restriction to enforce. For three, sexual and romantic attraction can wax and wane. In a lifelong commitment, that’s not supposed to matter. The government’s interest in recognition (the reason for solemnizing or formalizing the relationship) is the lifelong commitment, not variable or volatile feelings.

    4. Sex and children are NOT irrelevant. Again, I acknowledge that society’s primary purpose in encouraging marriage is stable procreative unions. But that is simply NOT therefore the ONLY purpose.

    5. And finally, I completely agree: the government’s affirmation, subsidization, and legal recognition of heterosexual marriage was not arbitrary. It had good reason to promote stable procreative unions. But that does NOT mean the government’s original non-arbitrariness should forever bar any other consideration in a legal definition of marriage.

    • 1 the legal recognition is tied to its purpose.

      2 it is not subsidizing a relationship.

      3 “For one, it’s absolutely none of their business.” This is exactly my point and you make my argument for me. If its none of their business then marrying who one loves isnt of any concern to the gov. Therefore marriahe laws need no changing.

      4 if sexual relationship amd childbearing are not the only concerns why else encourage it? Again, the gov doesnt encourage or ‘recognize’ as official roomateships, cohabiting siblings or parent/child relationships. If it’s not sex then what else could it be?

      5 the need for a stable culture and society hasnt changed and neither has the need to encourage permanence in a home with parents and children, therefore there is no need for a definitional change.

  45. John, yes, actually, government most certainly is subsidizing a relationship — a parent-child relationship — when it gives non-married parents tax breaks for dependents. I don’t see how you can argue otherwise.

    Re “none of their business,” you asked why government doesn’t ask about sex and romance. You’re making a massive unwarranted leap from “government doesn’t (and shouldn’t) ask about sex and romance” (and I gave you at least three reasons), to “therefore government should deny the benefits and privileges of marriage to anyone except heterosexual couples.” What? Government also doesn’t (and obviously shouldn’t) ask whether potential married couples plan to have children. By your logic, therefore, government shouldn’t recognize heterosexual marriages. (Or even more bizarrely, perhaps government SHOULD ask and THEN deny marriage licenses to asexual couples, couples beyond childbearing age, or any other type of couple that did not intend or could not have children.)

    “If sexual relationship and childbearing are not the only concerns why else encourage it?” John, that’s like saying, if getting adequate protein is not the only concern, then why else encourage eating?

    And finally, I don’t believe a stable culture and society is threatened by gay marriage. Quite the contrary, I believe gay marriage will contribute to MORE social and cultural stability.

    In some respects, your observations seem to suggest that gays are simply asking to come to a party they didn’t get invited to, and it’s no big deal, and they should just get over it. But that “party” (obviously) has enormous social, cultural and political significance — ESPECIALLY to those of you arguing against gay marriage. So you can’t both celebrate the enormous importance of marriage AND treat gays like they’re trying to crash a wee private event.

  46. John, I’m obviously not confining myself in this engagement (which now spans around 70 comments) to “exceptions to the rule.”

    Further, is there something invalid about the particular instances where I do cite exceptions to the rule?

    And finally, I’m not sure what rhetorical point you wish to make with the phrase “changing marriage laws for everyone.” All laws, regulations, etc. by definition change law for everyone. That’s what makes them law (as opposed to, say, individual mediations or adjudications). The point in the first place is precisely that the laws apply to everyone, and when they operate, for example, to exclude unfairly or improperly, it is fair to seek their amendment.

  47. Kendrick,

    Marriage IS about sexual relationships. Gays want their romantic love (which almost always involves sex) to be recognized. It’s the way in which their relationships approach sameness with heterosexual romantic relationships. And if not for the one major difference of the potential for procreation, then the two would certainly be able to be called “the same”.

    So, yes. My argument hinges on sex. Procreative potential from sex should be the only reason to prefer that two people marry.

    I keep thinking about your insistence on agreeing with us that procreation is an important reason for marriage to be available to heterosexual couples. You even go as far as to say that it’s the primary reason. Then you agree that adding others who do not have the primary need for marriage will dilute it. And still you ask, “Why not?”.

    John and the other guys are right. There are lots of reasons not to include other relationships just because they are similar to one man and one woman in a sexual relationship.

    You say, “It’s not ONLY about procreation”. Fine. Let’s list some things marriage is about.

    Romantic love. Gay and straight couples share this. So do couples under the age of consent. So do those who would have multiple wives or husbands. So does an incestuous m/f couple. So do some pedophiles and their victims.

    Shared expenses. Gay and straight couples share this. So do roommates. So do a woman and her live-in father. So do any arrangement of people living in the same home.

    Raising children. Some gay couples and some straight couples share this. So do two brothers. So do a single mother and her live-in mother.

    Last, but not least! The PRIMARY reason to prefer that ANY two people get married….. Procreative potential! Only couples of the opposite sex who intend to and do engage in sexual relations share this! And even then, we don’t allow all of THEM to marry!

    It’s not about what marriage ONLY entails. It’s about the one thing that makes certain m/f couples different from other committed relationships.

    It’s not a coincidence that marriage is for some potentially procreative couples and not others. It’s not hatred of any other couple or threesome that made certain potentially procreative couples eligible for marriage. IT’S THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE to promote and foster responsible sexual activity of CERTAIN couples.

    Do you know why there’s no test? No question of romantic love when two people decide to marry? Because all that matters to society is whether the two people can or should produce children! Brother and sister: not eligible. We don’t want it. Man and man: not eligible. We don’t need it. Man and woman who are not close relatives: eligible. We’re ok with them producing children AND we’d prefer that they promise to stay together BEFORE they have sex, BECAUSE they’re likely to make babies.

    If you agree that procreation is an important part of the reason marriage exists, why dilute the whole by ignoring it? “It’s not only about” ANY of the many parts of marriage. So,what?

    Should any one part be reason enough to insist that a group of people who share it with married couples be allowed to marry? One part of marriage which we all share with married couples is breathing. I know it’s a stretch, but you seem to think that there is a low level of similarity that shouldn’t make the difference of inclusion.

    We’re saying that there must be a high level of similarity. Gay couples don’t meet it. No other human relationship does.

    And if you actually think marriage is important, specifically for m/f couples, then you should seek to preserve it as is.

  48. I think the problem here is not looking at the issue from the point of view of either hetero or homosexual demands. It must be looked at solely from the perspective of the state. John’s question is the starting point. Why does the state license, sanction and/or grant economic “advantage” to heterosexual unions only?

    I don’t know that it is accurate to say that one purpose is the encouragement of procreation. Rather, I believe (as to others, such as Jennifer Rorbach Morse) it because the heterosexual union is the one union likely to result in procreation. It is the “type” of union where that consequence is likely.

    The benefit to the state of this union is in tying both parents to each other and the children their union is likely to produce. From this simple dynamic flows the creation of all societies. (It did not occur from adoptions, as without the hetero unions there would be no children to adopt. Nor did it occur, or could it have occurred, from unions of same-sex couples.) The whole focus of the state sanctioning and licensing of hetero unions is based on the simple truth of the likelihood of procreation and the benefit to society of that family unit staying together.

    It also sees the obvious benefit of protecting the rights of the children born to these unions, that they know their parents and are raised by them. No study exists (to my knowledge) that even hints that children are not best served by being raised by their own parents. (Adoption by opposite sex couples provides almost all of the same benefits to the children.)

    In speaking of rights denied, from the perspective of the state, marriage laws have always been applied equally to everyone (particular since Loving v Virginia). The orientation of the participants was never on the license application. All that has ever been required is that there is one man and one woman, not closely related, neither currently married, both of legal age….as John suggested, love is not required, either.

    As to whether the state benefits in any tangible or measurable way by the union of any two people beyond those who are likely to procreate, I believe that is only an assertion that cannot be adequately supported to justify altering traditional marriage law. The culture can still encourage such uniting if the culture at large deems it a worthy endeavor, and “non-procreate-able” couples are free to bless society with whatever benefits their union might provide, if any, and if such blessings are in any way the purpose of their uniting.

    On a more personal note, I don’t believe that encouraging monogamy amongst those who should not unite in the first place has any real benefit for society. It simply doesn’t matter. If such people feel second class as result of their agenda being rejected, that’s their issue and they need to seek counseling. We rarely always get what we want, nor should we. This is just such a case. I would prefer that “progressives” cut the crap and stop pretending their are on some equally moral footing and instead do what we all must do and put righteousness above the self. I know this sounds religious, but if the non-religious insist they have a sense of morality, they need to defend their positions in something that doesn’t come off as akin to a whiny child demanding what he can’t have. That’s far more off putting and discussion ending than anything anyone like Glenn has ever done.

  49. Y’know it sucks when ya post a long comment, then hit the “Post Comment” button, only to find that while you were doing so, somebody just posted a comment that says pretty much the same thing (in a possibly a better way). Oh well.

  50. It sounds like a slippery slope argument to bring up the perfect sameness of gay couples and asexual acquainted people (bachelor roomies, etc.), but it’s not. It’s to show that there are good and legitimate relationships that don’t rise to the level of importance to society that would necessitate a mechanism like marriage.

    But, honestly, to say that gay couples should marry for all the same reasons anyone else might is only to say that there is no good reason to limit marriage to anything. In other words, it’s just not that big a deal.

    Isn’t that the stated goal of some “marriage equality” activists? To destroy marriage?

    I know there are good-faith ssm proponents who believe this is a matter of equality and justice and compassion. But there are some who know what will be the outcome (the destruction of marriage itself) if they have their way. I wonder which one Kendrick is.

  51. It a sense being a red head and being gay are similar I mean you can hide who you really are by dying your hair or pretending to be straight. I don’t think people would choose to be either. It’s something your born with. You can deny who you really are and live a miserable life or you can embrace who you are and realize society is cruel to those who are different. I personally have no problem with homosexuals getting married and think people should be more tolerant of those with differences. I mean we are all a little different some of us just hide it better. I don’t really think letting. homosexuals get married effects anyone but homosexuals. They are there weather you like it or not letting them get married or not really changed nothing.

    • Being a red-head is genetic, and is morally neutral. Even if we were to grant that homosexual orientation is genetic (no evidence of such has been found), it would have to be a genetic defect. And if the orientation was genetic, the behavior is always chosen.

      Homosexual behavior corrupts society, especially when it is given sanction by the state. if you think it harms no one, you need to view this video:

      It is causing great harm to many, many people.

      Prostitution is also there whether we like it or not, as is murder, theft, adultery, etc. But just because it is there in culture, that doesn’t mean it should be sanctioned.

    • Even the very homosexual sympathetic American Psychological Association admits they dont know why people are homosexual. It jad never been shown to be genetic beyond speculation.

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