Social Question

jerv's avatar

What is the real reason for opposing gay marriage?

Asked by jerv (28665 points ) January 16th, 2010

Most of the arguments I’ve heard against same-sex marriage boil down to either diluting the value of marriage or that marriage is all about having/raising children.

On the first count, it seems to me that a real marriage is founded on two people loving each other enough to make a lifelong commitment, and that if you want to go with the traditional view of marriage then it’s solely about property rights and thus more of a commercial transaction than a religious institution. Not to mention that it’s hard to enforce such anti-homosexual discrimination without running afoul of the First Amendment protections on freedom or religion and (by extension) the freedom to have a different belief system that allows two consenting same-sex adults to be together.

On the second count, does that mean that heterosexual couples that have no desire or ability to reproduce should also be barred from marrying? What about couples that merely cannot afford another mouth to feed; are they also prohibited from tying the knot? And where is the proof that same-sex couples who raise kids “turn their kids gay”? Most of the gay people I know had straight parents, and the few people I know that had two same-sex parents are all straight.

So tell me, what is the REAL reason to perpetuate such discrimination?

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209 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

I wish I knew

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Mainstream, big bucks religion. The biggies feel marriage ceremonies belong to them as if the “heathens” never had any to celebrate and signify partnerships. I mean c’mon, there were no marriages between two people before the advent of Judaism and Christianity. sheesh.

wonderingwhy's avatar

fear of change?

Harp's avatar

Ignorance

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I totally support gay marriage, so the only reason I can think of for those who oppose it is that they think it will undermine the traditional family of man and wife, and the moral fabric of society, since the foundation of society is the family. But I think for the opposers, they will argue too that we will have to give gay couples the same benefits normally afforded to heterosexual couples and their families. It’s a money thing, basically. I am more concerned with issues like the growing problems with delinquent children in our society and the homeless. I think problem youth and crime are more important issues to deal with than gay marriage.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Harp perhaps I’m overly indulging in my need to find conspiracy but, I’m not sure any of the opposition groups can plead ignorance on this one. I can only posit at the why but I’m pretty sure they know.

Though whatever the justification, “Ignorant” certainly seems to fit.

Blackberry's avatar

Religion and brainwashing people at a young age. Have you seen the documentary Jesus Camp? It’s just sickening.

jerv's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Is that why the Pagan celebration of rebirth turned into Easter and the gift-giving and log fire of Yule got turned into Christmas?

jrpowell's avatar

fires up my list

ETpro's avatar

Bigotry. If inequality doesn’t impact me, those “other” types that need suffer from it should just change and be like me. I’m perfect, therefore anyone with ‘otherness’ is imperfect and should either be like me or die..

wonderingwhy's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES I guess then my question to them is, how exactly does that undermine the “traditional” family?

Harp's avatar

Very good article in the latest Newsweek entitled The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage in which a life-long Republican, who is fighting for gay marriage in the courts, takes an honest look at the issue.

He addresses @wonderingwhy ‘s question this way:
“In what way would allowing same-sex partners to marry diminish the marriages of heterosexual couples? Tellingly, when the judge in our case asked our opponent to identify the ways in which same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual marriage, to his credit he answered honestly: he could not think of any”.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I not only support gay marriage but any form of marriage involving consenting adults. The only legitimate business that society has in regards to marriage is ensuring that minor children are cared for.

I think that the oppositions arguments are religious-based bigotry. Fearing loss of control, this is the holdout of the old patriarchal system. The so-called “nuclear family”, as the only option, is dead. The opposition refuses to recognize this and goes on quoting verses from the Old Testament.

Great question, Jerv.

borderline_blonde's avatar

@Blackberry That documentary was downright disturbing, but highly recommended. I felt like “saving” all of those kids by sticking them in a van and taking them to foster homes.

Leanne1986's avatar

I fear the people that may be able to give us some insight here (ie: those that are against gay marrige) will probablly avoid this question for fear of being attacked.

laureth's avatar

Most people are not gay. If they’re grossed out by the idea of gay sex and don’t know any actual gay people (or don’t think they do), I could see where there would be an “us vs. them” mentality going on.

kfingerman's avatar

Why? Because people are afraid of change and of things they don’t understand.

Mark my words, in 10 years gay people will be able to marry in this country. In 50 the fact that they once couldn’t will sound as archaic as segregation does today.

nikayamo's avatar

ITS ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE!!! Its because it is totally unnatural, and the government likes to ban unnatural things.

tinyfaery's avatar

@nikayamo What a great rational and well-supported argument.~

ucme's avatar

Bigotry & ignorance.

MissAnthrope's avatar

All of the “reasons” make no logical sense when you start teasing the threads apart. It’s been proven that gay parents raise great kids, that they’re just as committed as hetero couples, and no one can say how exactly gay marriage undermines hetero marriage. And it’s not natural? B.S. Look to nature and you’ll find homosexuality in just about every animal species in nature.

So, what it boils down to is ignorance, bigotry, and fear.

daemonelson's avatar

This is an argument I tend to use. Following from the reproduction bullshit, why aren’t sterile people banned from marriage?

Not to mention, this will all just bugger off in a while. Every form of progress in society gets resisted for a little while.

@tinyfaery And I agree, @nikayamo‘s argument was the best here.

laureth's avatar

My mother in law used the “gay people can’t have kids” reason a LOT in her arguments, until my husband pointed out to her that since she’s 70 and married to a guy who must be about 80, that their marriage should also be null and void in that case. She hasn’t used it since. :)

Mamradpivo's avatar

They hate gay people. End of story.

jerv's avatar

@nikayamo Then how do you explain SUVs, plastic, McDonalds food, the Internet, and Vista?

Jude's avatar

I’d love to marry @MissAnthrope. I think that it’d be loverly. Gotta problem with that?

;o)

MissAnthrope's avatar

<blushes>

life_after_2012's avatar

i think religon plays the biggest factor

Sarcasm's avatar

@nikayamo So if I legally change my name to Eve, can I get gay married? Cause then it will be <guy’s name> + Eve.

Seek's avatar

If I weren’t already married, I would totally get gay-married to a chick friend just to piss my fascist Christian family off. Srsly.

Owl's avatar

I’m for it 110%, and I’m proud to be part Fluther when I see these kind of broad-minded responses… with one particularly sad exception.

ubersiren's avatar

There’s probably not one real reason. Ex: My dumbass atheist democratic Obama supporting brother-in-law opposese gay marriage because he says that marriage should be reserved for those who can have children. Wtf? This argument makes no sense whatsoever on any level. If religion isn’t his motive, then why does he think this way? His father is extremely homophobic, so maybe that’s where he gets it from? I’m not sure I understand that either, since he loathes his father and strives to be nothing like him… I’m not really sure he has a real reason. He just does.

filmfann's avatar

The real reason people oppose gay marriage is disgust with the gay lifestyle.
If they REALLY wanted to protect marriage, they would outlaw divorce.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

By the childbearing argument, our marriage would not have been be valid. I had a vasectomy many years before marrying and my lady was incapable of bearing children.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

I don’t support gay rights, in the sense that I don’t see the government as possessing any right to regulate marriage. As long as no one besides themselves, the consensual parties involved, is being hurt, or otherwise victimized, I believe people should be able to just about whatever they wish.

However I use to oppose for a long time, and still don’t look upon it favorably, it’s not due to being a bigot, or being a “homophobe”, because, to be honest, I’m entirely disgusted at the notion of two men getting down.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Anon_Jihad: is it because of two men or two women doing the exact same things hetero couples do with their clothes off or because you suspect homo’s have secret kinds of sex?

MagsRags's avatar

@Anon_Jihad how do you define “homophobe” in such a way that your disgust does not fulfill the definition?

ucme's avatar

@Anon_Jihad The attention you crave will surely follow. Why else would you post that entirely deliberate, provocative, & archaic closing remark?

laureth's avatar

Personally, I’m disgusted by the idea of lots of particular people having sex: my in-laws, my mom, people I’ve met at the grocery store, Bob Dole, Pat Robertson, etc. – but my job isn’t to prevent them from getting married, it’s to keep my dirty mind out of their bedroom.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Anon_Jihad You are entitled to your beliefs, but not entitled to impose them upon others by legislation.

ETpro's avatar

@Anon_Jihad So if somebody said I am not a bigot, I just hate all people with skin color darker than mine that would make perfect sense to you? Your closing remark self identifies you as a bigot. That is what bigotry means.

Judi's avatar

This is the core of the opposition. Religious groups see the behavior as immoral. Even if they realize it is not their obligation to dictate the behavior of those outside their church, they are afraid that a law like this would lead to them loosing their tax exempt status if they refused to marry gay couples in their church.
It’s always about money.

laureth's avatar

Judi, the churches won’t have to marry them, any more than they have to marry any particular hetero couples now. Lots of churches refuse to marry, say, non-attending couples, or couples with mixed religions.

dutchbrossis's avatar

religion, ignorance

Judi's avatar

@laureth ; I’m not saying they are right, I am just pointing out their logic. There is also an issue with tax exempt status and hiring with the big mega churches.

bea2345's avatar

The real reason is, I think, fear. Many different religions, sects and denominations compete for their populations; and some are losing adherents. In addition, the anti-gay lobby (for lack of a better term) seems to have religious conservatives firmly on its side; and very vocal it is. Religious groups are scared of the consequences of supporting gay rights – loss of the conservative, moneyed support, loss of membership, etc. Mine is a country where a policy on gay rights – and on gender issues generally – is urgently needed, because of the implications of the HIV epidemic (the West Indies have the dubious honour of having the second highest infection rates in the world – the first is Africa).

As far as Christianity is concerned, in its present form it has little to offer gays (I cannot speak for other religions). That could not have been the original intent of the founders.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

According to dictionary.com Bigotry is defined as such: stubborn and complete is intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

I just said they gross me out. I don’t hate them in anyway, I don’t think they’re somehow lesser people. Way to take my words and twist them far out of proportion. Congratulations Fluther on taking a hop, a skip, and a long jump away from intellectualism.

Plus if you read my post with a half decent degree of perception, you would see that I stated that I believe that gays already have the right to be married and no one should be able to tell them no.

Ivan's avatar

@dutchbrossis

No need to be redundant.

/JOKE

MagsRags's avatar

@Anon_Jihad according to Dictionary.com Homphobia is defined as unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality.

Disgust and antipathy sound synonomous to me. And I realize you did not express opposition to gay marriage, based on what sounds like libertarian grounds.

GingerMinx's avatar

I think it is fear. People seem to like to think that everyone else is just like them so they can feel ‘normal’.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

Antipathy is a bit strong, but sure use it. So I take that back, I’m a homophobe who thinks gay people should be treated no differently than other people and should have the exact same rights other people do, and should be able to marry to their hearts content.

wilma's avatar

I have seen, (heard) 2 different groups against Gay marriage.
One being the religion group.
The other is those who do not oppose Gay unions at all and are very supportive of them, but want a union between 2 people of the same sex to be labeled something else.
In other words a legal union between a man and a woman to be labeled “marriage”.
A legal union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman to be labeled “u pick something”.
They say both unions should have the same legal benefits but are distinguished from each other in name only.
This is the argument that I have heard when discussing it with some friends of mine. They are not bigoted people and we have mutual gay friends (and family) that we all like very much.

casheroo's avatar

I view my marriage as a legality. yes, it’s an act between my husband and I that signifies a commitment, but I’d be dumb to say there aren’t many legal benefits to it. I think it’s ridiculous. I hate it, but do support a private churches view on not marrying gay people..fine whatever. I didn’t get married in a church, that meant nothing to me. I went to the courthouse for the paperwork, then to a chapel (in Vegas)...filing the legal paperwork just like anyone else though. I don’t see why this would even bother anyone. It’s really just a legal contract. I honestly can’t wrap my brain around any sort of argument against it.

MagsRags's avatar

@Anon_Jihad fair enough. Thanks for sticking round and for clarifying. You feel how you feel, but you’re not trying to mess with other people’s civil liberties in support of your personal biases.

lloydbird's avatar

Herd instinct (If I don’t agree with so and so, they will no longer be my friend), misguided religious conviction (Herd instinct again) and perhaps an over compensation for and inability to deal with latent same-sexual tendencies.

Zuma's avatar

The only people who are against gay marriage are fundamentalist Christians who feel that it is somehow “un-Biblical” to allow same sex couples to marry. They are of the mistaken belief that marriage (which is basically a legal institution governing inheritance and certain property rights) is the same thing as the sacrament of matrimony, which is a a religious blessing and official recognition of the vows of exclusivity a couple exchange.

About 19 months ago @daloon posed the question on Askville and the debate raged on for 1327 long, bitter posts. None of the arguments in favor of banning gay marriage were rational, even in the peculiar logic of bible thumpers.

Basically, in their view, homosexuality is an “abomination” (i.e., ritually unclean). They don’t want gays to get married for the same reason why the members of exclusive country clubs don’t let just anyone in—i.e., they felt it would “cheapen” their marriage to let “faggots and queers” (i.e., sinners) into the club.

Never mind that it is mighty un-Christian for one group of Christians to dictate to all the others who can and cannot get married.

Leanne1986's avatar

@Zuma I assume you meant that the only people against gay marriage are the fundamental religious? Christianity isn’t the only religion that opposes gay marriage.

Zuma's avatar

@Leanne1986 Other fundamentalists may be opposed to homosexuality and hence, to homosexual unions, but fundamentalist Muslims, Jews and Hindus play no discernible role in the anti-gay marriage politics in America. That is almost the entirely the province of evangelical Christians, and Mormons (who are also an evangelizing religion).

Leanne1986's avatar

@Zuma OK, I’m not in America so can’t talk about American politics very much. I just assumed the OP was talking about people in general not just Americans.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

1) Religious and informal societal indoctrination [IN] teach us what is “normal and acceptable.”

2) We are extremely ambivalent [Am] about the sexual practices (S) of others. __(despite what one might think)__ [Am(S)]

3) We are biologically programmed to fear what we don’t understand (Ig).
(Ig) ==> (F)

D) Ignorance about other sexual behavior [IG(S)] , amplifies the Fear [F] to Revulsion about other sexual practices [R(S)].
IG(S) + F ==> R(S)

When combined with religious and societal Indoctrination about sex , Revulsion about other sexual preactices turns to hatred [H].

[Indoctrination about sex plus Revulsion about sex ==> Hatred about sex
[IN(S) + R(S) = H(S)]

Indoctrination and Hatred about others sex practices ==> Homophobia [HPh]

Homophobia [HPh]==> Malicious Discrimination [D] ==> Violation of Human Rights ==>

HPh ==> D + V

Conclusion:

Indoctrination about what is normal sex when combined with ambivalence about sexuality in general and ignorance produces not only fear but revulsion. This revulsion combined with our indoctrination results in not just hatred but Homophobia.

Combining indoctrination with homophobia results in malicious discrimination and attempts to enshrine the violations of human rights into laws (e,g, Prop 8 in California).

Nothing justifies homophobia, hurtful discrimination and violations of human rights!

It is still possible to explain why it occurs!

augustlan's avatar

Props to @Anon_Jihad for explaining himself. I wish he felt differently, but am glad he isn’t letting his disgust morph into discrimination.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone is against consenting, loving adults getting married. I truly wish there was some logic behind those who oppose gay marriage. It is always easier to argue with logic than ignorance.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Indoctrination about what is normal sex when combined with ambivalence about sexuality in general and ignorance produces not only fear but revulsion. This revulsion combined with our indoctrination results in not just hatred but Homophobia.

Combining indoctrination with homophobia results in malicious discrimination and attempts to enshrine the violations of human rights into laws (e,g, Prop 8 in California).

Nothing justifies homophobia, hurtful discrimination and violations of human rights!

It is still possible to explain why it occurs!

The short form of the answer for those intimidated by the longer answer above!

avvooooooo's avatar

Bigotry.

The end.

ETpro's avatar

@Anon_Jihad You are right, I read more into your original answer than was there to read. I apologize. Having negative feelings about homosexuality doesn’t make one a bigot, acting on those feelings to try and control the behavior of others who are doing you no harm is where the line to bigotry gets crossed. I have feelings too. I’ve seen images of specific sex acts that I found disgusting. But as long as the individuals involved consented to the act and were hurting nobody with the possible exception of themselves, I felt no urge to legislate their behavior out of existence. I just look away and avoid that sort of image in the future.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

A stranger told me that she opposed gay marriage because men wouldn’t marry women any more because the sex would be better with another man. I wonder if that’s not far from the truth for women, and straight men think they will be overrun by solicitations from an army of gay men that will appear out of nowhere and try to “make” them gay.

I think people don’t understand the fluidity of gender, and sexual orientation, and fear the unknown. And we live in a very competitive society. If I’m right, I win. Even if it’s not a competition.

lynfromnm's avatar

I’ve tried to understand this myself many times. I think it comes down to fear of whatever large-scale social changes may result from legal recognition of gay marriage. I don’t know what changes are being imagined – that hetero sex will die out? That there will be no next generation? That if we all have the same rights the economy will fail? Jesus won’t return? I really don’t get it at all and can only guess at the reasons for opposition, because the reasons people tell me make no sense at all.

jerv's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I’ve been hit on by many a gay man but I’m still 100% straight, so that doesn’t fly. Maybe that stranger heard too many guys say that she was such a bad lay that they would rather have had a man?

@Dr_Lawrence That makes sense if all of those statements are true. However, I don’t get the ambivalence, ignorance, or indoctrination parts of that argument. Maybe I’m just a little too abnormal myself to understand those, or maybe it’s those differences that make me so tolerant.

lilikoi's avatar

Ignorance, plain and simple.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Pandoraboxx Re: the stranger’s comment:
Any straight man who finds sex with a man preferable to sex with a woman would not make a suitable husband for most women anyway. Their attraction to men would likely lead them into to same-sex relationships whether they were “married” to a woman or not.

ubersiren's avatar

@Anon_Jihad : You opposing gay marriage will not stop two men from “getting down.”

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Jerv Many people believe what they are taught by the religion with which they grew up or by the societal attitudes to which they (choose) to be exposed. Both these sources of beliefs are what I refer to as Indoctrination. (This is an operational definition, not an assumption)

Western society talks about how sophisticated and accepting people are about sexuality. The inconsistencies between what people do and what they claim to believe supports my statements about the existence of ambivalence about sexuality. (This is an observation, not quite an assumption)

The level of ignorance about the role of sexual behavior in other people’s relationships seems hard to fail to notice. (Again more an observation of the verbal behavior of many people, not quite an assumption)

Anybody else disagree with my definitions. observations, assumptions or conclusions?

jerv's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Must be a “theory of mind” thing that keeps me from getting the indoctrination thing completely; it’s just too far from my own experience for me to imagine. I get the “ambivalence” part though since it’s no secret that hypocrisy is basically an American institution.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence, @jerv, I never said that the reason was rational. I thought at the time that the woman thought most men were into anal sex, and that sex was a motivator for marriage. And, in a traditional church model of abstinence prior to marriage, perhaps it often was/is. People got married to be able to have sex in a socially accepted context. It’s a whacked way of looking at marriage, but if you make the assumption that falling in love is a given, and the purpose of marriage is procreation, then the idea of sex for enjoyment, and men possibly getting more enjoyment out of sex with another man, and not understanding that sexual orientation is not a “choice”, then I could see how you could get to that conclusion, erroneous as it is at every turn.

@jerv, this was a very churchy woman, in her mid-60’s, married to the same man since her 20’s. I could not swear to it, because I generally don’t have conversations about sexual history with very many people, and certainly not a stranger, but I would be willing to bet that there was not a lot of history there to base anything on, other than her marriage. I am in my early 50’s. All my friends were married right after college, and there was not too much going on in the way of extensive experience. The whole conversation came about in a doctor’s waiting room over a magazine article. She asked me what I thought, and then returned the favor.

RAWRxRandy's avatar

There is none. Some people just don’t like it but they’ll soon die out and the smart people will thrive. :D

Zuma's avatar

Here are the actual reasons given in other debates on the subject:

It’s not part of God’s plan:
. God created Adam and Eve, male and female.
. Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman is the normal and natural method of bonding because it corresponds to the design of our bodies, and is the way offspring are created.
. Vaginal intercourse is healthy and natural; anal intercourse is prone to disease.
. Leviticus says a man who lies with a man… shall be put to death because it is an “abomination.”
. Sodom and Gomorrah (God disapproves).
. Homosexuality is a “vile passion” (Romans 1:26); in the same category of sinners as idolaters, drunkards, extortioners, the murderers of mothers, kidnappers, liars, and fornicators (Corinthians 6:9; Timothy 1:9).
. Marriage is a fundamental social institution that does not exist just for the emotional satisfaction for two individuals but for the good of the whole community; so it is selfish and self-indulgent for gays to engage in a union that is cursed by God.
. Any society that allows gay marriage risks God withdrawing his protection from the nation or the community and sending actual punishments, such as Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, earthquakes in Haiti, etc.
. They find sight of two men kissing “disgusting”, but not two men punching each other in the face.

It would undermine the foundation of society:
. Homosexuals can’t reproduce.
. If you allow homosexuals to marry, then you would have to allow polygamy, marriages between brothers and sisters, between humans and animals, and between live people and dead people.
. If it were allowed as an option, so many people would adopt it, the human race would die out.
. It would undo centuries of tradition.
. It would destroy the “core values” of Christians.
. Homosexuality is a perversion; it is immoral because it is contrary to nature.
. The purpose of the anus is not homosexual gratification.
. Being raised by homosexuals would ruin the lives of children because it would cause emotional instability and confusion.
. Homosexual are child molesters and can not be trusted around children.
. The majority of society find homosexuality to sick and disgusting, and the majority rules.

Homosexuality is a choice:
. Allowing gays to marry would be to condone it as a society; young children might decide that being gay is okay, and might decide to become gay.
. Shaming gays and keeping them out of sight helps to keep homosexuality from spreading.
. Reparative therapy can change a person from gay to straight, so choosing not to submit to this therapy and to remain gay is a choice.

Civil unions are good enough:
. Full marriage would imply full legitimacy to homosexual unions.
. Civil unions and marriage are just two different terms for the same thing.
. Civil unions are separate but unequal; there is a cloud of doubt over the legitimacy of these unions; this shows homosexuals that they are second class citizens, beholden to the tolerance of the majority; which, in turn, keeps gays from feeling confident enough to “flaunt” their sexuality openly.

Gay marriage is anti-family:
. Heterosexual marriage has been around for centuries; therefore it is the only “true” form of marriage.
. To force heterosexuals to include gays in the institution of marriage would force them to change their “core values.”
. The traditional disapproval, historic prejudices and “homophobia” are legitimate and exist for good reason; gays are sick, perverted, mentally unstable, sexually predatory, and makes men weak and effeminate.
. Thus, allowing gays to marry would be anti-family and contrary to the national defense insofar as gay men would not transmit the martial values (toughness, strength, independence, willingness to engage in violence, etc.) that are necessary to turn boys into “manly” men.
. Allowing gay marriage is a form of social engineering that may turn all men into docile girly-men, metrosexuals, or outright queer.

It’s a slippery slope:
. Next it will be okay for gays to serve openly in the military.
. And straight men will be “forced” to shower in front of gay men.
. Homosexuality will be taught in schools, and children will get the idea it is okay.
. Society’s morals will be corrupted and everything will go to hell.
. It just ain’t right.

One of the most striking things about these “arguments” is that they are not arrived at by any rational process. A visceral hatred, fear or disgust toward homosexuality is the starting point, and the rest are just rationalizations after the fact.

Sarcasm's avatar

So many of those arguments are just absolutely depressing to know that someone, somewhere out there, believes it.
If gay marriage is legalized, everyone will go gay and the entire species will die out? I don’t know about whomever thought that up, but my lack of homosexual desire is not caused by the fact that homosexuals can’t get married.

jerv's avatar

@Zuma Thank you for the comprehensive list! many of those reasons don’t stand up to logic, but you are correct that those are reasons for opposition, so I have to give you +1GA for the comprehensive nature.

I still don’t get it because at least to my mind a real reason (in the sense of “justification”) would stand up to reason (in the sense of “rational, logical thought process”), but I will concede the point that we live amongst a whole lot of irrational, illogical people who make judgments based on sound-bites as opposed to reality and will readily dismiss any actual facts that conflict with their personal bias.

@Sarcasm Oddly enough, if most of those people were allowed to select the gender of their children, they would prefer a son to carry on the family name. Now, if everybody has boys, who are they going to marry?

Violet's avatar

@nikayamo and who says it’s unnatural? You? Your views are unnatural, and Un-American
“the government likes to ban unnatural things.”.. but it is legal in many states.

ETpro's avatar

@nikayamo Careful there. The pendulum has already swung to tolerance as opposed to support for inequality in much of the world. It is obviously swinging that way in the USA as well. So as soon as your view falls into a minority, your own theory says it is OK for the Government to ban YOU!

Violet's avatar

@ETpro I love it! I think your government should ban people who oppose gay marriage!!!

Anon_Jihad's avatar

Thank you to those who gave me a comment a second look, I appreciate it. My opinions on matters are controlled and defined by my emotions, while my political views have been formed through logical and critical thinking, an ongoing process, that I’ve tried strongly to always keep my emotions and opinions out of.

Violet's avatar

@Anon_Jihad it is still wrong/hateful/rude of you to say: “However I use to oppose for a long time, and still don’t look upon it favorably, it’s not due to being a bigot, or being a “homophobe”, because, to be honest, I’m entirely disgusted at the notion of two men getting down.”

avvooooooo's avatar

@Violet It is not at all “wrong/hateful/rude.” Its honest. You might not find that on other websites, but here we try to respect people’s honest opinions when they’re not truly hateful. This isn’t.

ETpro's avatar

@avvooooooo Kudos for defending the Fluther culture, but I’m with Violet on this issue. @Anon_Jihad admitted that it was homophobic after first saying he wasn’t a homophobe. The feeling he expressed is the very definition of homophobia. He’s just not acting in a bigoted fashion on that feeling.

Let’s put it in a different context. What if someone says I am not a racist and I support equal treatment for all races, but that other race over there doesn’t smell good and their looks are disgusting to me. That’s someone who has come to the logical conclusion that under the law, equal treatment for all should be the standard. But they are certainly not devoid of racism. They just have it under logical control..

avvooooooo's avatar

@ETpro He says he doesn’t like the behavior. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t like bestiality and necrophilia, I can say that, there’s nothing wrong with me saying it. Its not the definition of being phobic to say you find a behavior disgusting. We’re allowed to like and dislike things. Just because people who sleep with animals and dead people aren’t protected groups, its somehow more acceptable to admit that I find a certain sexual practice gross. But its really the same thing. Just another sexual practice that people can like or dislike without being called “phobic.”

Violet's avatar

@avvooooooo
” Its not the definition of being phobic to say you find a behavior disgusting.”
that is exactly what being phobic means!

avvooooooo's avatar

@Violet You really need to educate yourself. “Phobias” are fears. Being “phobic” is being afraid of something. Look it up. Finding a behavior disgusting is something else entirely.

Main Entry: pho·bia
Pronunciation: \ˈfō-bē-ə\
Function: noun
Etymology: -phobia
Date: 1786

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Main Entry: ho·mo·pho·bia
Pronunciation: \ˌhō-mə-ˈfō-bē-ə\
Function: noun
Date: 1969

: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

Violet's avatar

@avvooooooo don’t be rude. He sounds homophobic to me.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Violet When you don’t even know the meaning of the word, how can you tell someone that they are something?

Violet's avatar

@avvooooooo you’re wrong, rude, and off topic. I’m done talking to you

avvooooooo's avatar

@Violet I’m right, not at all rude, and completely on topic. What you don’t like is that I’m better informed and actually know the meaning of terms you throw around all too easily without knowing what you’re actually saying.

ETpro's avatar

@avvooooooo We’re mixing terms here. I did not say he was expressing a phobia, I said he was expressing ‘homophobia’. That has a specific definition that is different from the word phobia. Princeton’;s dictionary defines it as: “prejudice against (fear or dislike of) homosexual people and homosexuality.”

Prejudice means “A prejudice is an implicitly held belief, often about a group of people. Race, economic class, gender or sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and religion are other common subjects of prejudice.”

Dislike means:
disfavor: an inclination to withhold approval from some person or group
have or feel a dislike or distaste for; “I really dislike this salesman”
a feeling of aversion or antipathy; “my dislike of him was instinctive”

So @Anon_Jihad defined himself as having homophobia in his original answer.

Violet's avatar

@avvooooooo ETpro just proved you wrong. Maybe you should go educated yourself.

ETpro's avatar

@avvooooooo & @Violet Didn’t I have to referee a fight between you two not so long ago?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Stop with the personal remarks, folks. Let’s get back to the actual topic.

Response moderated
Response moderated
avvooooooo's avatar

@ETpro As I endeavored to explain in my previous post, there is indeed a difference between expressing dislike for a behavior and expressing dislike for a group of people who engage in that behavior. I can say that I dislike people eating boogers. That does not mean that I dislike the entire group of people that eat boogers, I am not boogereaterphobic.

By your definition and mine, homophobia has to do with disliking the group of people. When @Anon_Jihad said “to be honest, I’m entirely disgusted at the notion of two men getting down,” he was not expressing disgust for a group of people but merely a behavior that they engage in. As he made abundantly clear, he does not have a problem with the people, but merely the idea of certain behaviors. He dislikes the small percentage of their lives that homosexuals spend engaged in certain behaviors, but not the people as a whole. Again, by your definition and mine, that does not make him homophobic in the least. Prudish maybe, homophobic, not at all.

You can try and say that disliking a behavior that a person engages in is the same as disliking a person, but that simply doesn’t follow. The saying “I love you, but I don’t love what you do” which applies to disliking behavior but not the person doing it is an idea that can be loosely applied here because it is roughly the same concept.

mammal's avatar

i always think this is a conundrum because, the Christian Religious cannon is seemingly clear on the subject of Homosexuality, insofar as the very concept is considered irreligious and sinful. Why then would you want to subscribe to an institution, that harbours homophobic sentiment and even preaches Homophobia to all and sundry. Btw is it possible to have a gay muslim marriage?

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@ETpro What I did was concede the point, and corrected myself. I don’t come here believing myself to be all knowing and always appreciate the opportunity to become less ignorant.

Was my comment rude? To a degree perhaps, but it’s rather irrelevant, as I was answering the question, as that was my real reason, before I formed the view that their right should be as protected as mine. I was explicitly answering the question as directly as I could,

laureth's avatar

@mammal – Countries that live under Sharia law (Islamic law) often treat gay folks worse than we do in America – i.e., execution, prison. Supposedly, homosexuality just doesn’t exist in the Muslim world. So, probably no gay marriage. :(

Judi's avatar

A couple of years ago I read a news article about a male rape victim who was visiting an Islamic country (Saudi Arabia I think.) he reported the rape and HE was arrested and put in jail. The behavior was illegal even if your a victim.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Okay guys.. I made a deal with denidowi. If you’ve been in the thread which showcased his anti-homosexual stance (see first response), he attacks homosexuality with great vigour. After a bit, he came back to double his attack (see one and two). I have given him a chance to defend his stances here, and if he doesn’t do so, well, I’m going to write him off as a troll. I’m just announcing this here so that you know that he’s coming, and so that he knows that I’m serious.

MagsRags's avatar

There was a documentary released last year on the topic of gays in the Muslim world called A Jihad for Love – I would like to see it, but I doubt my local Blockbuster has it on the shelves and I don’t rent enough DVDs to make Netflix worthwhile.

mammal's avatar

@MagsRags that sounds like a fascinating documentary.

denidowi's avatar

@Saturated_Brain – Give us all YOUR definition of a “troll”

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@denidowi Somebody who makes baseless assertions which attack any group of people/things on baseless grounds on the internet, seemingly for the fun of it. When asked to clarify their stances and use logic to support themselves, they refuse to do so and still insult freely, seemingly thinking that they have the higher moral ground.

In other words, you.

Goodbye troll

liminal's avatar

@mammal for me the question is why does the government engage in any sort of debate that treats marriage as anything more than a contractual relationship? Why does government “subscribe” to any religious institution’s practice of marriage?

jerv's avatar

@liminal Good point! I’ve wondered that myself, but I think it has something to do with taxes.
As to why my wife and I pay less taxes now than we did nine years ago before we tied the knot… well, I’m stumped unless the tax code also has a religious bias that promotes marriage. I mean, I can understand a tax break for dependents (children, disabled, or elderly people) since the more support they get from their parents/caregivers, the less money the government has to pay to take care of them. However, why a married couple with no kids gets a tax break is beyond me.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Saturated_Brain He has been promoting hatred and disdain of homosexuals, women who work outside the home, and scientists who won’t conform to his twisted dogma. He is being carefully monitored by the moderators, managers and owners. He will slip up and be disappeared. I’m sure his misconduct has caused trouble on other sites and I believe he has been banned elsewhere.

Zuma's avatar

@jerv I don’t think it has anything to do with taxes. We blow 100+ times the tiny subsidy people get for being married on a single day of the war in Afghanistan.

As for the government subsidizing marriage (as opposed to dependents) it is in society’s interest to encourage people to settle down and care for one another, since it promotes social support systems that lessen people’s dependence on the state. That, however, is an argument for gay marriage, not against.

bean's avatar

I think it’s a population thing… don’t want to encourage the idea of two people of the same sex to get married, because sometimes things might go out of balance and reproducing might become an issue or become a low precentage, but I have nothing against it.. doesn’t affect me, why shouldn’t they be able to get married D:

Sarcasm's avatar

@bean I realize you say that you aren’t saying you oppose gay marriage, but…
How exactly will the marriage status of homosexuals have ANY effect on population? They won’t be making babies regardless of whether they’re married or not.
Hell, marriage status doesn’t have any affect on whether or not heterosexuals have babies these days either.

denidowi's avatar

I hope that everybody here can see this one-eyed “Hate and Ganging up vendetta” that this guy @Dr_Lawrence has virtually every time I speak.
You’ll note, for instance, that I have said nothing on this thread about homosexuality. Yet look at his severity and his openness of provocation.
You know… this guy is the perfect example of the proverbial “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”, and he’s not bad at pulling the wool over many other people’s eyes either, especially that might be younger or more susceptible to his style.
He uses his PhD, his years of experience and persuasive language to shut down others whose points of view are obviously stronger or more authoritative than his own.
I think it frightens him to think there must be someone superior
Anyway, I’ll leave it to yourselves to see just how he goes about using/abusing his powers and experience

Silhouette's avatar

There is no REAL reason. Whatever it is that makes one human being feel superior to another is at work here. Us vs them is the root of all evil.

bean's avatar

@Sarcasm the law doesn’t want to encourage the idea of two people who are the same sex getting married, obviously two people of the same sex are going to have no babies, why are you pointing that out? it’s that reason why they don’t want to encourage two people of the same sex being togather.. no babies… if togather or not, they don’t want to encourage that idea… some times it’s the little messages that make their way through society… by stating ‘NO, this is the law’ we automatically see the wrong side of things… it’s media, it’s the government… you get programmed to think alot of things… and most people get programmed to think what is wrong, and what is
right… I’m just trying to explain what I see of both sides… do you have a problem with people who like to see two sides of an issue? why are you pointing out ‘i realize you don’t oppose gay marriage but..’ how does that add to your explanation of what is right here… maybe you don’t understand the idea or concept of popularity control? or you don’t understand the concept of the media and censorship, or subliminal news… we don’t see much news or hardly anything to do with the issue of gay marriage or about two of the same sex couples… it’s not an issue at the moment.. all we know is, or have been told is its wrong and thats the end of it. why do you think the way you do? what evidence have you to initiate that i may be wrong? do you create these laws? what right have you to judge my opinion with out any real proof that what i say may possibly not be considered as a real reason… I don’t judge your answer, I just throw mine into the bunch.
But hey, a man and a woman can be married… because it’s encouraged by law for two people of the opposite sex to be togather.

ETpro's avatar

@denidowi You certainly have not done what @Dr_Lawrence mentions in this thread, but he didn’t say you had. He said you had done so in many discussions here and on other sites. I presume he can provide links to show that this assertion is not an insult but a fact.

In my own opinion, your defense of your book and its ‘research’ on how the snake is the exact opposite of the human and therefore proves the Adam and Eve story has no merit. I have watched you brand anyone who fails to accept that postulate or presents evidence to the contrary as deluded, blind, unwilling to face facts and worse. In my mind, someone who holds an unproven and unprovable postulate as truth incarnate and derides all who fail to accept their revealed knowledge as blind or deluded is a “crank” and not a troll.

I have never seen you act the part of a troll. As long as the subject stays clear of your pet belief, you are perfectly pleasant in discussions. A troll, to me, is someone who is deliberately insulting and disruptive in every discussion they enter because they enjoy the fights they provoke and live for the controversy. I don’t think it’s fair to call you a troll.

I admit it’s possible your crack-pot idea might be right. As you have noted, the heliocentric solar system was viewed as a crack-pot idea when first introduced, and it turned out to be right. But the sad truth is that for every crack-pot idea that turns out to be right, there are billions that are really nothing but crack-pot ideas. Also, Nicolaus Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton based their ideas on very firm research. That research eventually vindicated their ideas as more and more people read their notes, replicated their observations of the phenomena they cited, and discovered they were exactly right.

Sadly, your 10 years of kinesthetic research proving the snake is the exact opposite of the human in ways no other animal is has all been lost and cannot be subject to peer review to either substantiate or discredit it. For some reason, you chose to withhold it from any peer review while conducting it. So the likelihood of you being the next Galileo Galilei based on this work is pretty remote. Hence the reception you get when you trash much of modern science in favor of your work and a vanity press book it produced.

Sarcasm's avatar

@beanobviously two people of the same sex are going to have no babies, why are you pointing that out?
Because you said, ”because sometimes things might go out of balance and reproducing might become an issue”.
it’s that reason why they don’t want to encourage two people of the same sex being togather.. no babies… if togather or not, they don’t want to encourage that idea
Yet we encourage protection (for heterosexual couples). We don’t discourage vasectomies or tubal ligations. We don’t discourage couples who are naturally infertile from getting married.
by stating ‘NO, this is the law’ we automatically see the wrong side of things” yeah. See how well prohibition worked with alcohol in the 20s. They totally learned it was bad. See how well our war on drugs these days is working with marijuana. Everybody stays away from that stuff.
And no, stopping gay marriage will not make them turn straight and have babies and happy families.

I’m just trying to explain what I see of both sides… do you have a problem with people who like to see two sides of an issue?”. Not at all. I don’t know where you got that idea from. Is it from the fact that I read your statements and am now trying to understand the reasoning behind them? It’s not like I insulted you and reported your answers and left you evil private messages.

why are you pointing out ‘i realize you don’t oppose gay marriage but..’ how does that add to your explanation of what is right here” Because I don’t want you to feel like I’m personally attacking you. I want it to be understood that I am going after the opinions you have posted and that I am trying to understand them.

maybe you don’t understand the idea or concept of popularity control?” Correct. I haven’t even heard the term popularity control before. Please explain it.

why do you think the way you do?” In this shithole of a world, there is one rule by which I live, and think everyone should live. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. I think that’s even in the bible. You know, that book that over 70% of Americans say they’re in love with.
The right to marry someone that I love. That’s how I wish to be treated. As a heterosexual male, that’s how I am treated.
So, as that rule that I bolded above states, I treat others the same way. I wish for everyone else to be allowed to marry someone that they love. That’s how heterosexuals are treated. Unfortunately, that’s not how homosexuals are treated.

what evidence have you to initiate that i may be wrong?” Are you really asking for evidence on why homosexuals should be allowed to marry?
do you create these laws?” My government, here in the USA (I don’t know where you live, as your profile doesn’t mention it) is by the people, and for the people. If I wish, I could be the one to create the laws. There are other people out there who are trying to make the laws, and keep getting thwarted by bad ideas.

what right have you to judge my opinion with out any real proof that what i say may possibly not be considered as a real reason
Are we still talking about gay marriage here?

tinyfaery's avatar

Can I just say I appreciate how some of you keep the discussion alive and continue to argue for my benefit (not that that is your goal). I have no patience for such ignorance and bigotry anymore. Thanks.

Zuma's avatar

@denidowi Do you have an actual argument to make? If so, please get on with it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Ignorance. And denial of the fact that all people are equal and capable of loving one another.

jerv's avatar

@Zuma Re: “I don’t think it has anything to do with taxes. We blow 100+ times the tiny subsidy people get for being married on a single day of the war in Afghanistan.”
Well it was only a guess.

denidowi's avatar

@ETpro – Let’s assume you are correct re my responses to others’ oppositions:
That does not mean I take out Vendettas wherever I see another particular person in another thread.
It does NOT mean that I attempt to Gang bully this person from place to place.
It does not mean that I attempt to provoke them with the ulterior motive of having them removed from the site.
I don’t chase around all his answers to see all the faults and cases I can bring against him…
It does not mean that I try and claim them to be ‘hate-mongers’
I mean, for those who really can read this guy, it is he who really is the real Hater.
As I said above – a Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

He was cleanly outgunned in the very first engagement upon a matter, and has been chasing his childish revenge since… but not by using logic and clear argument, which is a shame, because he claims to be a PhD over a few timesLOL!

ETpro's avatar

@denidowi I thoroughly agree that you aren’t a troll. I said that in your defense. The behavior you are describing is that of a troll, and I have know you now on two separate Social Q&A sites and NEVER have I seen you do that.

However, it was @Saturated_Brain who invited you into this thread or at least said that s/he had done so, not @Dr_Lawrence. So I don’t see how this particular invitation equates to @Dr_Lawrence following you around and harassing you. He posted his comment before you even entered this thread.

I myself don’t follow you around, so he may well be doing so in threads I haven’t been part of. If he is, the Moderators will take note of it and act apporpriately. But as far as I can see he is innocent of any such charge in this particular case.

jerv's avatar

I just want to say for the record that my experiences with @denidowi are that he is an overall decent guy with a few ideas I consider strange and many opinions I don’t agree with, but he isn’t an asshole or a troll. Sure, he may be stubborn, and he definitely has some “old-fashioned” ideas about certain things, but just trust me when I say that he actually is a good guy.

That said, I still haven’t figured out how same-sex couples are different from childless-by-choice heterosexual couples in most regards that many opponents of gay marriage use as justification for their views.

And if we want to claim that it’s just unnatural then how is it that Nature allows such things to happen? Should we have the same scorn and derision for diabetics, cancer victims, and others with “unnatural” genetic predispositions? If so, then who decides what genetic “aberrations” should not be tolerated? I remember a little German guy with a mustache tried that about 70 years ago….

ETpro's avatar

I’m one man who has been married to one woman for 35 years now. So obviously that works for me. I haven’t tried being married to a man, so I don’t know how I’d do with that. But if it suits someone else, that’s fine with me.

However, I do live in Massachusetts, and as the first US state to allow Gay Marriage, I have had a chance to observe what has happened and compare it to the arguments advanced against it. I can tell you this categorically.

The sky didn’t fall. Churches were not forced to perform gay weddings if that was against their beliefs. Public schools are not indoctrinating the young in homosexuality. Heterosexuals did not suddenly turn gay, divorce their partners and marry someone of the same sex. The birth rate did not plummet. Gays didn’t start preying on the young. In fact, almost all the big pedophilia cases since the change have involved heterosexuals. Nobody started campaigning for the right to marry animals, or their siblings, or three people or any other such thing.

The arguments most of the religious conservatives used against gays being treated equally under the law were, in plain and simple terms, lies. What’s more, I think many of the people making the most shrill arguments knew they were lies. It reeks of hypocrisy when someone feels their religious beliefs are so right and important that they need to use the law to force others to comply with certain tenets of their religious beliefs, but they themselves disregard others (Thou shalt not lie) in the push to control the behavior of their brother. Mathew 7:5 says, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

MagsRags's avatar

@jerv nooo! Not the Hitler analogy! By Godwin’s law the thread is over and you have lost! And you have reason on your side

ETpro's avatar

@jerv. I too have known @denidowi for a good while now, and I second your opinion. If the moderators are listening, I give him my vote of support as being a person of overall decency who has some strongly held beliefs and defends them vigorously, perhaps even without clear logic at time, but who does not act in any mean-spirited way. He is very unlike my understanding of what a troll is.

laureth's avatar

By the way, psst! In case anyone on Fluther doesn’t know, I’m living proof that gay people can have kids.

Since gay people can, in fact, have kids, whether through pregnancy or adoption, the “having kids” argument is moot. However, if they do have kids, preventing the parents from marrying each other does nothing good for the kid. It only insures that one of the parents that the kid has probably known and loved all their lives has no legal ties to the kid, and can’t therefore serve as guardian, see them in the hospital (or vice versa) should something horrible happen, and can’t do any number of things that parents need to be able to do for their kids. And, frankly, if “family values” are someone’s reason for opposing gay marriage, this sounds counter-intuitive when a family is all that these people want to be.

denidowi's avatar

Well, @laureth – perhaps the law should simply be tighter on Gays not taking in children [full stop] or it is against the Law-type approach.
It is just Not fair to infants and young ones that they should have to be exposed to that type of environment… tossed in with the fact, they HAVE to miss out on influence and training of both a mother and father [male&female leadership and unity in the home]
Now you might say, ‘Well look at the number of single parents’!
That is true… it is no blessing to children in that sense either, but NEITHER situation is beneficial: is it??

The other thing that also needs remembering too is that single people are still capable of at any moment, entering into a heterosexual relationship, which often DOES benefit toddlers.

You also forget that 10 years ago [I am not sure of current research, but…], many studies were reported to show that the ‘average’ long-term homosexual lived to their 40’s.
So what if they didn’t take infants in until they felt “settled” at [say] 35 or 40 years old??
Surely, sickness and death can also create instability and personal havoc in a young one’s life.

To be honest with you, I am not worried about the couple wanting to pledge their inter-personal allegiance.
My concern is the ramifications on other people – particularly, the innocent and (genuinely) powerless of society.

casheroo's avatar

Super emotional pregnant person here is crying over the ignorance in some of the posts. Boohiss!!!

@denidowi My son is only 2.5 and I’ve told him that Mommy’s and Daddy’s get married…and so do Mommy’s and Mommys, and Daddy’s and Daddy’s. I don’t ever want it to be a foreign concept to him, and even if they aren’t legally married, they should be allowed and it should be viewed as a valid marriage (in my mind, if you are a gay couple who are married..then you’re no different than my marriage to my husband.)

laureth's avatar

@denidowi – My mom actually gave birth to me, and she’s a lesbian, too! Isn’t that interesting? :) I don’t know how you would prevent her from having “taken me in” unless you want to control the reproductive activities of… basically everyone. (Interestingly, in 1971, she had one-shot hetero sex in order to get pregnant because that’s what you had to do back then. Isn’t it ironic that your ideology would have you ban gay people from ever chancing a hetero encounter?)

As far as it being beneficial, though, I must say that the un-beneficial things were either things that had nothing to do with her being gay, or were what society at large did to me (fights, spitting, custody battles, etc.) because she’s gay. In other words, if society weren’t full of creeps and jerks, there wouldn’t have been any problems about growing up with a gay parent.

And Mom? She’s pushing 60 now.

denidowi's avatar

@laureth – I believe you were saying that your own personal relationship is gay: is that correct??

@jerv – I thank you and Etro for your sustaining votes even though, like all people, we have our clear differences of opinion ...
But I wanted to say, Jerv, that I agree that it is also probably unnatural for hetero couples to deliberately opt out of having children.
I mean, it’s only because we have gone so far with technology today that we have such powerful choices; although couples tried the rhythm method and various other means at their disposal 100+ years ago, they did not have safer condoms, nor birth pills and various other contraceptive methods… but besides this, this is one time we can look to the animals and say, “Well births are by nature… and in ‘higher animals’, that means male and female”

I have been watching a series called, ‘Meerkat Manor’ , a 10 year study of one particular 40-strong ‘family/society’ of meerkats and their rival groups and interaction with other life…
It is most notable that the ‘higher’ up the life chain we go re the species, the closer we get to male-female “parentage” of the offspring and the responsibilities as humans have lived and accepted them for 1000’s of years.
I wonder what the Creator meant by giving us all these examples around us to learn from??

laureth's avatar

@denidowi – no, I am not gay. But I do appreciate all the examples of homosexuality in nature (that, if there is a Creator, were made thereby) showing us that it’s not unnatural. ;)

denidowi's avatar

Why is that, @laureth ??
Perhaps I could better ask: Are you married to a woman??

laureth's avatar

Why is what?

laureth's avatar

Oh, by the way, natural contraceptives have been around for ages and ages. There have always been herbs, pessaries, and the like, that discouraged conception. In fact, a lot of women (and some men) were killed outright for knowing about them and daring to try to help women who didn’t want to have any more kids – often, that’s what charges of “witchcraft” were about. The church thought herbal knowledge was “evil magic,” and taking instead the dust from a saint’s grave was Real Medicine. Just because the church chooses not to recognize knowledge or let their people use it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

denidowi's avatar

Well, that’s a good sideline to throw us off the real issues as they have been placed before you, laureth… but Hey… now let’s deal with them.
The Higher mammals for instance – ever closing on the traditional familial life of man… you marital status is another… we have no address from you on these…
Yet they centralize the issue
i know you would prefer to deflect them, but Hey… one day you really do have to stand up and be open and CountedLOL!

laureth's avatar

I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I am addressing the issues you’ve brought up, but would be okay with addressing any other ones you have, too.

laureth's avatar

Higher animals and male-female parentage. Okay. Do you mean except for the ones where the male is only there once, to impregnate, and then lets the female raise the young? This happens very much in “higher” animals, including man. Then there are primates, including bonobos (which have sex in all kinds of combinations – check ‘em out) who are our closest relatives. Chimp females in heat have sex with every male member of the band. Lions in prides have one male controlling the territory of many females, which I suppose is like a harem. Same with gorillas, for that matter. And lots of them will not have babies (or do away with the babies) if the population is too many – but humans aren’t supposed to do that, according to your religion, I bet. So, since “higher” animals have all kinds of family structure, why is it that you would seek to limit human families (other than your own) to the mould you imagine, and that form only?

And my marital status? I’m female, married to a male. Is it germane?

denidowi's avatar

Well @laureth – the point I was making is that the higher up the chain we go, the CLOSER to traditional human inter-sexual behaviour we get.
I don’t think I was proposing that we should replicate apes or meerkatsLOL!
But great %‘s of the family behaviour is inter-sexual. I thinkthat was the point i was getting at.

Thank you re your marital status, for we all need to be aware of these things, given your background, as you are presenting it.
Your complete life’s story in that regard would be an interesting one to follow… but that would take more than this linited medium.

laureth's avatar

Why do “we all need to be aware” of my marital status? It hardly relates. And the “traditional” human model that you’re talking about is true often, but not always – certainly not if you look at all the relationships that you would prefer not to see. Why, even in the Bible, multiple wives was common. :)

casheroo's avatar

@denidowi I really don’t see what @laureth‘s marital status has to do with anything..even her family background. She and I share the same views, and I was raised by heterosexual parents.

MagsRags's avatar

@denidowi we all need to be aware of these things, given your background, as you are presenting it.

You mean because @laureth‘s mother was lesbian that by your world view she should have been “recruited” to be a lesbian too? The research is pretty clear that that’s not how it works. Gay and lesbian parents are no more likely to raise gay and lesbian children than straight parents are.

ETpro's avatar

@denidowi I really think this mandate to be fruitful and multiply is part of the bronze-age culture and wisdom that spawned many of the great religious texts of the world today. Likewise the instructions in certain texts to smite the infidels that will not accept the one true God, to put them to the sword.

That be fruitful rule worked pretty well when the average life expectancy was 30 and most children died in their first few years of life. It promoted human survival, which must have struck the wise men of the day as a worthwhile endeavor worth passing on by word of mouth and, when writing came along, writing down for all to learn. But now life expectancy is pushing 80 years in developed nations and death rates among newborns and the young are minuscule. Now we are fighting things like pollution, dwindling vital resources and the possibility of CO2 emissions triggering catastrophic climate changes.

And smiting the worshipers of idols worked well too back when if you didn’t smite them they would quite likely smite you. In the bronze age and in the iron age, putting nonbelievers to the sword was used by several major religions to advance their hold on territory, wealth and the hearts and minds of men. Maybe that brought some form of order to an otherwise chaotic world. But we’re no longer in the bronze age or the iron age. Smiting now is done in real style. Hiroshima an Nagasaki got just a taste of what smiting means in the Nuclear Age. They were hit with 20 kiloton devices. Today’s H-Bombs are 50 to 100 megatons, or up to 5,000 times more destructive. And we have as many of them as the Assyrians had swords.

Most of the rules of morality taught by the great religions still make perfect sense today. But as times change, the way to survive in them does too. I think we need to look at some of the religious requirements in light of whether they fit today’s world or in fact hinder survival if applied in it.

I know that Psalm 127:3–5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” But the idea of having as many kids as possible may be one of those that is no longer a survival strategy, but one leading to unnecessary death.

In any case, to bring this back on topic, it is beyond clear that same sex marriage in no way threatens human reproductive activity to the point we are going to fail to produce future generations.

MagsRags's avatar

@denidowi I also need to ask you to clarify what you mean when you say it is “not fair” to the children of gay and lesbian parents that they should have to be exposed to that type of environment.

How do you imagine day to day life to be in committed gay or lesbian home? Do you picture orgies, child pornography, illegal drugs, drunkeness, domestic violence? What is the toxic element intrinsic to homosexual households as you picture it?

jerv's avatar

@denidowi
“You also forget that 10 years ago [I am not sure of current research, but…], many studies were reported to show that the ‘average’ long-term homosexual lived to their 40’s.”
That one has already been debunked both here on Fluther and by my own eyes, so please don’t embarrass yourself with that one again. Besides, if you are going by the Cameron study, I can see a few mathematical flaws and and a couple of HUGE logical fallacies in that one as well.
Of course, it is also telling that the only people who use those numbers are religious people who aren’t keen on homosexuality in the first place, which supports my claim that most people cherry-pick the internet for facts that support their argument without actually analyzing that information for themselves or otherwise engaging in anything approximating critical thinking.

Also, I fail to really see the ramifications. All of the LGBT people I know personally come from traditional households (two parents of opposite gender) while I don’t know any children of a gay couple that are themselves gay, so having two same-sex parents doesn’t appear to be relevant.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Couples who love each other and who have a stable relationship and good attitudes towards child-rearing are good candidates for adopting children. They should not be prevented from doing so just because they are heterosexual or homosexual for that matter.

Children who grow up to be gay or lesbian are often found to have been raised by heterosexual couples! I’m sure that children raised by same sex couples with turn out to be heterosexual.

There is no reason other than hateful homophobia to ban same-sex marriages, or to ban such couples from raising children in need of a good, loving home.

Those who insist that allowing same sex couples to raise children “is just Not fair to infants and young ones that they should have to be exposed to that type of environment” are applying their homophobic hatred to justify discrimination against same sex couples and to deny children the opportunity to be raised in a loving home.

Promoting cruel discrimination based on no rational, evidence based argument is little more than perpetuating hatred for the sake of doing so. That is what ignorant homophobic, hatemongers do.

Zuma's avatar

@denidowi “perhaps the law should simply be tighter on Gays not taking in children [full stop] or it is against the Law-type approach.”

Are you saying that there should be laws against gays talking to children?

“It is just Not fair to infants and young ones that they should have to be exposed to that type of environment…”

You mean a family environment in which homosexuals are present? These two remarks rather tend to imply that you think mere contact with homosexuals is harmful.

jerv's avatar

Just out of curiosity, how many people here have read The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage ?

laureth's avatar

I have, @jerv. Good stuff, and I’m socially liberal. :)

@denidowi – is it that everyone here “should know” my marital status and background because my pro-gay opinions might be “tainted” (or informed) by having been raised by a lesbian? Would it not follow that your opinions are tainted/informed by whatever background you have, too? If you were raised by a heterosexual family, would it make your pro-hetero opinion somehow less valid, as (I’m assuming) you think mine are?

Zuma's avatar

oops “talking to” above should be “taking in”.

denidowi's avatar

There’s @Dr_Lawrence – AGAIN – trying to edge his spin tht “HatefuL” is the word that is populist when speaking of religious matters or ethics.
WE just LOVE to bring the hate into it; don’t we, Doc??

Of course, anyone really understanding human behaviour and psychology will be smart to pick up that one merely reflects oneself with this type of Judgmental repetitionLOL

I think we really have you WELL nailed for who/what you are, Doc Lozza

denidowi's avatar

@laureth – No… you probably misread me in that assessment.
The reverse really.
As I said before, I would really need to study, quite intimately, your complete story.
On the extremely Miniscule amount we can only even access on here, it sounds quite marvellous!
I think, though, before we get ‘carried away’ and start making generalities via your one case, we do need to note that many great achievers of history have pulled through their social backgrounds also, and lived the better life despite it, not because of it.
Nevertheless, in MY mind, it is great credit to you that you have overcome that influence in your life, to choose against its thread.
So, even if you don’t think anything of it, I honour you for your considerable integrity, in all sincerity.
We are reminded, similarly, of Beethoven, for instance, whose father was a drunkard, and abusive, who awaoke him at 2am in the morning to practise his music after another night on the drink.
We are reminded of many great composers whose family had no music in them at all, and who discouraged their child from bothering with music… of bach, for instance, whose older brother locked away the music sheets so that young Bach could not get at them.
There are no doubt, aspects of each of our lives, wherein we have had to overcome considerable factors operating against us in matters where we have expressed the Greater Valliancy and chosen the More excellent way, despite all that was pitched against us!!

Nevertheless, I am of the belief that our Maker will decidedly not move in our favour if we choose without responsibility regarding the upbringing of our young ones and fail to secure them God-fearing [a term only] homes and at least, offer them that which is natural.

ETpro's avatar

@denidowi You call @Dr_Lawrence judgmental. Then you tell @laureth that she is to be commended as follows: Nevertheless, in MY mind, it is great credit to you that you have overcome that influence in your life, to choose against its thread. So, even if you don’t think anything of it, I honour[sic] you for your considerable integrity

This suggest that homosexuality is a choice when everything we know about it says it is not. It further says that those who are homosexual lack integrity and those wwho are not have it. Isn’t that judgmental as well?

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I’m really tired right now, I’ve had a really busy day, and will be feeling real crappy till tomorrow at the very least, but I really just want to ask this…

@denidowi Dear denidowi, through reading this thread, I have been swayed from my previous opinion that you’re a troll. Fine, you may not be a troll. But one thing I have to ask is:

Why did you not answer even one of my points I put forth to you?

Can you answer me at least this?

mattbrowne's avatar

Outdated, untenable dogmas. It’s not always just a matter of religion. Homosexuality was criminalized in China before 1997 for example.

RareDenver's avatar

@mattbrowne and as recently as 2001 although not illegal it was considered a mental illness in China

MagsRags's avatar

@denidowi your statement I honour you for your considerable integrity, in all sincerity. is difficult to take at face value when you immediately judge @laureth‘s childhood to be similar to growing up with a parent who is an abusive drunkard, based solely on the fact that her mother was a homosexual!

What specifically would be the considerable factors operating against her that @laureth would need to “overcome”? Other than the patronizing and unsupported by fact disapproval of her mother’s parenting expressed by those who think like you?

augustlan's avatar

I seriously cannot believe how @denidowi manages to twist the good into the bad… smiling and LOLing, all the while.

laureth's avatar

@denidowi – I didn’t choose to like men any more than you choose to like…whoever it is that you like. I had nothing to choose for or against – it all came quite naturally to me, like my brown eyes and my big feet.

However, if I had to choose homes in which I would not place children, and I had a choice between a loving home where the parents were a gay couple, and a heterosexual yet hateful home, I would choose the gay family every single time. Personally, I would choose to be raised where all kinds of people are loved and accepted for who they are and what they bring to the world, even if society thinks that family is somehow aberrant. (Perhaps love and acceptance are aberrant in this world anymore.) And if the heterosexual family insisted on teaching its children to bash queers, to think people of other races are bad, to think that their religion is the One True Way – I would see that home as a travesty, an “environment that we really ought not put kids into.”

Which brings us back to gay marriage. What is the real reason that people can’t support it? I can’t think of a good, logical one at all. To bash gay families as being a bad environment for children because society hates them is to create that hate yourself and spread it on the children. If you want those children to live in a positive environment when they leave that home, you must be the change you want to see in the world and not bash that family! The only thing I had to “overcome” about living with a lesbian mom, the only thing I had to “choose,” was to not dislike everyone in the world for the few that were taking turns crapping on us. I had to overcome the feeling that I would always be a social pariah, because of the way gay people are treated. I had to choose to not dismiss even people like @denidowi out of hand, the way they dismiss me and my mom. Those were the hard things. And allowing gay marriage to be legalized all over the country would go an extremely long way to making those challenges and choices minimal for the next round of children to come out of gay families. Because, @denidowi, those children will come, whether or not the parents are allowed to marry. Only you, and people like you, and the good people that support them, can make life easier for those children – not by taking them away from their loving homes and placing them with other families that will teach them to hate, but by granting those families the paper representing the legitimacy that they already have in their hearts and homes.

jerv's avatar

@augustlan I happen to be used to his style, so he doesn’t really irk me like he does some people. When we first met, he and I butted heads pretty hard, but we’ve managed to get along pretty well once we realized that neither of us were budging and just agreed to disagree.

MagsRags's avatar

Very well said @laureth – I wish I could give you lurve multiple times!

Zuma's avatar

@laureth I have just gone back and browsed @denidowi‘s comments for the past month and I have concluded that he is not a troll in the usual sense, but he is not to be taken seriously either. His convoluted and fragmentary sentences suggest a kind of global mental deterioration that goes beyond the usual inability to think logically one finds in religious cranks.

Judging by his comments, his thinking appears to be disorganized, solipsistic, and hemmed in on every side by religious delusions. In his world, any nonconformity to crudely stereotypical and antiquated sex and gender roles strikes him as “against God’s plan” and therefore a source of moral contamination and harm to others. His delusions also extend to a kind of scientific crack-pottery in which his “research” into kinesiology, snakes, and myth combine in a weird blend of religious magical thinking and paranoia.

I don’t think he means to be offensive; he’s just so out of touch that he simply doesn’t see how telling someone that they “appear to have turned out alright despite being raised by homosexuals” could be at all offensive. There is no point in reasoning with him because his delusional fixed ideas short-circuit his ability to think rationally about most of the subjects to which he seems to be drawn. I am sure he can be amusing and tolerable when he is bantering about trivia. But arguing with him on substantive issues only seems to strengthen his delusions by rewarding him with attention. He is, after all, preaching among the heathen on these matters.

laureth's avatar

@Zuma – I’ve read his stuff around. I’ve never said he’s a troll. However, there is virtue in the discussion if only because other people read it.

jerv's avatar

@Zuma Deni is no “spring chicken”. I don’t know his precise age, but he is a grandfather. That might explain his “antiquated” notions.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have eight grandchildren (so far) and I am open-minded and I am always ready to change any long held views I may hold when confronted with solid, empirical evidence that my prior knowledge no longer adequately explains things. My 102 year old grandmother still loves to learn new things, even if they conflict with what she already “knew”. Believe me she’s been tested and passed with flying colours!

Ignorance and stubbornness is what keeps people from discarding false “antiquated” notions.
Some old notions are still valuable, true and worth keeping because they still work and nothing has come forward that requires that they me discarded.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Eleven grandchildren here. It won’t be long before I’m a great grandfather. And I get bashed for being a flaming liberal, which is nonsense, I’m no such thing. But I hope I am at least not mired in the racist, homophobic thinking of the Old South where I was born and reared.

augustlan's avatar

<< Might “decide” to become gay, if @laureth were to join me. Intelligence turns me on.;)

Zuma's avatar

@laureth It doesn’t matter if you’ve said he’s a troll or not, you’re reacting to him as if he is one—i.e., using him as a foil to make your arguments to those who may be following. What I am trying to point out is that he is really a straw man, and as necessary as it may seem to defend yourself from his blithe insults, you are ultimately preaching to the choir and, in the process, possibly making him even more intractable.

Recent conversations here on Fluther have made me keenly aware of how many the regulars here are lonely shut-ins and people with actual mental illnesses. There, but for the grace of God, go any of us. So, I am just putting it out there that we should be mindful that there are such people in our community, and we should try to treat them as we would wish to be treated if we were in their place. Some are just having a bad day; others are in more serious difficulty.

I’m just advocating that we be more mindful of who is who and what is what so that we don’t get sucked into other peoples “issues” or become monolithic as a community. For example, a couple of months back I had a run-in with a fellow who whose sole interest in participating was lobbing hurtful, snarky insults at others. It gave him a sense of power to cause outrage and suffering in others. He eventually left after we pointed out (and he admitted) that he was a psychopath. Some of you were there and gave me crucial support when I was under attack, and that made all the difference.

We are now faced with a challenge of a different sort: someone who is possibly senile and seemingly unaware of the offensiveness of his remarks. He is very different from the kind of person who lures people into an intellectual mugging. In fact, he is quite the opposite. I gather from his remarks that being ganged up upon is not an unfamiliar experience for him. I think we need to be firm that the price of belonging to this community is mutual respect; and part of this is that he has to take responsibility for his own views; i.e., he has to admit that they stem from his interpretation of what God supposedly wants, and that he doesn’t speak for God. If he can not manage this and show respect toward homosexuals, then perhaps he would be more comfortable over on Askville where there are more people who seem to share his views.

If we simply Q & A with him on his own terms, then we get lured into being the trolls.

denidowi's avatar

The answer is, of course, that this is mere ‘falsity’ that a certain field of science is using to get its share of media attention right now, and, therefore, Funding of BillionsLOL!
It thinks that because few in the general public are able to access the specifics of these studies [that is, to watch the actuals taking place in experiment right before their very eyes] that it can manipulate results and read data according to the populist trends of the day – and we know which way those trends do move over recent decades.

Zuma's avatar

I rest my case.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Zuma Let us have pity on deniLOL because we assume he is delusional or incapable of respect for others. It is not that speaking for G_D entitles him to carte blanche. Is the consensus that if we should refuse to engage him because he can’t or won’t be civil? He urgently seeks a soapbox but if no crowd gathers around to gawk at his bizarre behavior, perhaps he will take his soapbox where he can better attract an abhoring crowd. The idea has merit!

Response moderated
Response moderated
avvooooooo's avatar

@denidowi

@Dr_Lawrence is not a moderator on this site. The list of twelve moderators can be found here.

jerv's avatar

@denidowi You are letting your temper get the best of you here, and that rather surprises me knowing how nice a guy you usually are.

mattbrowne's avatar

@denidowi – I’m a bit disappointed too. I know you can do better than this.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@laureth – I’ve been without internet for most of the week and I want to give you mad props for your part in this discussion. You’re one of my faves, anyway, but I have been very impressed with your responses in this thread. So, thanks. :)

@denidowi – It didn’t take me long to figure out, in another thread, that you are someone who is difficult to take seriously. You have interesting ideas, I will grant you that, but unfortunately, they have no scientific or factual basis. Not only that, but as someone pointed out, your thought process is all over the place and is not very logical.

In addition, people in this thread have attempted to engage you in a civil discourse about your beliefs, yet you have not addressed any of their points. Instead, you persist in spouting off antiquated religious beliefs. Not only does this make it impossible to have an intelligent debate/discussion with you, it makes it rather impossible to take you seriously.

I suggest you do some research on the subject and see for yourself. I don’t suppose you have a direct line to God, so I can’t imagine how you think you know the ultimate design or plan for human beings. Do you think God makes mistakes? Because saying homosexuality is an aberration or unnatural implies that God has made a mistake in his animal creations – don’t forget that homosexuality is a natural occurrence in most animal species.

I have a feeling you won’t address any of my points here, either, but I can just hear you saying, “Well, that is animals. We are higher beings with intellect and the ability to choose between right and wrong.” What you are failing to understand is that homosexuality is not a choice. It is something people are born with, much like it is something that animals are born with.

MagsRags's avatar

@denidowi has left the building and fluther. His fluther profile is no more.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Boy, a lot happens in a week. ;)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

re: @denidowi
If our Moderators have deleted him for his conduct, I wish to thank them.

If he could not stand the heat, I think he was wise to get out of the kitchen.
I objected to his nasty attacks on homosexuals and “feminists”, i.e. women who do not stay out of the work force and focus only on producing lots of babies.
His barely concealed distaste for non-whites and non Christians won’t be missed.

I wish him well, someplace else.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Just as you try not to speak ill of the dead, its nicer to not go off about departed fluther members, dearly or not.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

You are right @avvooooooo ! I wish him no harm and I will refrain from further comment on him.

I apologize for my conduct in my previous answer.

RareDenver's avatar

I miss @denidowi already

ETpro's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence & @RareDenver I dreamed the probably impossible dream of convincing him someday that Box Jellyfish with 24 eyes, each pair having a different function, are more opposite humans than are snakes. Of course, Deni said you’re thinking different, not opposite. But the dictionary defines opposite as, “used to describe things of the same kind which are completely different in a particular way. For example, north and south are opposite directions, and winning and losing are opposite results in a game.”

But what do dictionaries know when you can skip right past them and consult directly with God.

Yeah, I miss Deni too.

mattbrowne's avatar

It begs the question: Will the world be a better place when people from the religious right do not remain part of open forums (and rather stick to themselves)? Can debates help change their minds? Is it worth trying?

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne Very good question. Redemptions have been recorded, but are exceedingly rare. They generally have way too much ego and sense of tribe invested in staying the course.

laureth's avatar

@mattbrowne – in a forum like this, sometimes their ideas look especially ridiculous, especially to anyone reading with a critical eye. One would think that highlighting the ridiculous is a workable way to bring it into full relief for later readers who might hold those ideas themselves, too, as a sort of funhouse mirror for them to look into, but it’s apparently very easy for that sort of dialogue to be considered trollish, even by those who would appear to agree with the troll.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Honestly, it’s probably better that they mingle among the more informed people, even if they rub them the wrong way. It’s when they band together that they feed off each other, and they never get to or have to hear dissenting viewpoints that would let them know how totally off-base they are.

ETpro's avatar

@MissAnthrope One of the traits or the right-wing authoritarian follower personality type is that they are extremely uncomfortable among otherness and tend to stay in flocks that follow their own beliefs almost exclusivity, They read or listen to or watch media that almost exclusively tells them what their ideology tells them. Ironically, one of their stock criticisms of liberals and progressives who actually spend time studying opposing views in hopes of discovering new truths is that we are “sheeple” brainwashed by the “librul” media.

wilma's avatar

Umm… you are still talking about him.

Back to @jerv ‘s question.
I think that there are people out there who are not haters. They oppose gay marriage because they think of marriage as a religious and sacred vow/act. They probably don’t think anyone who isn’t married in a church by their kind of minister is “really” married.
That would disqualify most of the married people that I know, including me.

I think that there are others out there who are also not haters, who as I said before, think the term marriage should apply to people of the opposite sex who are joined together legally and or spiritually. That people of the same sex, who wished to be joined together legally and or spiritually should also have that right and they should do that and “name” it something else. (I can’t think of an example of a name but I’m sure someone could) With the same rights and legal responsibilities as what “marriage” affords.

Then there are the haters, bigots, homophobes, etc. and I think that they come in varying degrees from the kindly people who think that it is sad or an affliction (but still do not hate) to the real nasty hate filled homophobe bigots

@jerv asked why people oppose gay marriage. Those are the reasons that I hear from people whenever the discussion comes up.

MagsRags's avatar

Hawaii may be passing a law allowing civil unions this term. It’s not full marriage but it would be a step in the right direction. I think it was a good idea to include the option for heterosexual couples to choose a civil union.

I’d actually like to see all states to offer a civil union option for gays and heteros alike. If it’s really all about children, maybe the religious right would be satisfied if we restrict marriage to those couples who intend to have children. Everyone else can have a civil union, including gays who don’t care to parent, senior citizen couples, infertile couples. Maybe most young couples should try a civil union for a couple years before committing to marriage. nah… they wouldn’t be satisfied

laureth's avatar

@MagsRags – if people are church-child-married for a certain amount of time (a few years, say, long enough for at least one to be born) and have yet to produce any, can the church then rescind their marriage? After all, it’s for the children…

MagsRags's avatar

Unless they apply for a dispensation?

Zuma's avatar

Everyone thinks they know what marriage is, but a lot of what they know just ain’t so.

When you look behind the “sacred union” aspects of “traditional” marriage you will find that, historically, the institution of marriage is primarily concerned with the disposition, use and ownership of women. It’s not something we like to talk about nowadays, but up until the 1920s, women in this country were considered the private property of their fathers. Hence, it was the marriage contract which transferred this ownership to her husband. It also specified certain inheritance rights, and the amount of her dowry settlement (which was a sum of money settled on the daughter in lieu of an inheritance). Daughters who had not received their dowry were entitled to part of the estate when their parents died, and if the couple died without children, the dowry was returned to the bride’s family.

If a woman died without sons, her husband had to refund the dowry but could deduct the value of the bride price; the dowry would normally have been the larger of the two sums. And since wealth is inherited through the paternal line, it is necessary for a man to know who the father of his children is. Therefore, any woman who is not a virgin at the time of marriage can not guarantee a legitimate heir, and so is considered damaged goods. Such women are considered tainted and “fallen” and were consigned to lives of prostitution, unless redeemed by a good man who is willing to overlook her transgression and lack of hymen.

Marriage confers the right to the fruits of the woman’s labor upon her husband, along with the sexual use of the woman herself, with or without her consent. (In many parts of the world it is still considered permissible for the husband to beat his wife for her refusal to have sex with him.) Any children born of the marital union becomes the property of the father, as does any fruit of the children’s labor. Women were forced to bear the children of their husband’s rape, and often resented the child as a constant reminder of their hated father; and they took revenge on the father by feminizing his sons or inciting enmities by playing favorites among siblings (something that was much more open in the past than in the modern world). (See, Philip Slater’s The Glory of Hera for an extended analysis of the dynamics of the ancient family as revealed in Greek myths.) So, before one goes imputing pathology to homosexual parents, one should take a close look at the pathologies produced by the traditional heterosexual family.

In societies in which women are chattel, all of the respectable females are somebody’s property; so having sex outside of marriage tends to become an unlawful infringement on another man’s property, and like any other transgression against private property, it is treated as a crime. Divorce in this context is out of the question because it constitutes an uncompensated loss of property—unless one of the parties is at fault in such a way as to disturb property arrangements—such as when a woman’s adultery casts a shadow over the legitimacy of her husband’s putative heirs, or she is unable to bear children due to infertility.

There is nothing in the traditional marriage vows that says anything about children or procreation. One would think that if the purpose of marriage was procreation there would be some mention of it in the wedding vows. But there is none—and no mention of child support either because children are chattel, and as chattel, the parents are not obligated to provide for their children. Rather, the children are obligated to provide for their parents. In fact, up until the Enlightenment, children were literally slaves to their parents. Hence, the emphasis on procreation in marriage has nothing to do with marriage itself. It has to do with making the family a paying proposition.

The idea that love and personal fulfillment have anything to do with marriage is a wholly modern invention. Up until the 1840s, most marriages were arranged by the parents with the acquisition and preservation of property and inherited rights and titles being the primary considerations. The Romantic movement, the industrial revolution and the relative freedom of American cities and the unsettled frontier provided opportunities for people to meet and marry for love. By the 1920s, this ethos was supplemented by a new psychological understanding of human motivations and needs. People married out of love because love represented personal fulfillment through a partnership between equals, and women were given the franchise in order to place them on an equal status with men. Divorce on the grounds of incompatibility became acceptable, as women no longer felt obligated to suppress their own legitimate needs for the sake of the marriage. The economic role of the family shifted from a unit of production to a unit of consumption.

Marriage has become something of an anachronism. People can now easily obtain sex outside of marriage, so marriage no longer defines the difference between lawful and unlawful sex. People can now divorce with ease, and do; so now marriage no longer confers longevity on a relationship. In this respect, modern marriages are exactly the same as domestic partnerships. The only thing that marriage confers on a relationship that a civil union does not is a sense of unqualified social legitimacy. And that is exactly why it is important to gays. Once gays have achieved the right to marry and serve openly in the military they will have achieved complete social acceptance in all ways that matter. They will no longer be legally second-class in these respects.

Why then do some people withhold their blessing of homosexual unions—and of homosexuals themselves? Part of it is ill-considered religious dogma, part of it is xenophobia, and part of it is the fear that if it were considered a legitimate and even desirable option they might be tempted. As I have explained at length elsewhere, normal male socialization inculcates attractions between males. But to discourage males from acting on these attractions sexually our society portrays men who are sexually receptive to other men as effeminate and unmanly. As a consequence, any positive portrayal of homosexuality, any loosening of social prohibition threatens to make such an image a live option.

The argument that homosexuality will somehow undermine the family, and hence the foundation of all civilization is way overblown. In ancient and modern Greece an estimated 60% of males were actively homosexual to some degree, yet overpopulation was a constant problem in the ancient world. Indeed, much of Western civilization is directly indebted to the Greek philosophers who invented philosophy, science and history, since cultivating the life of the mind was considered a legitimate reason for older men to attract young men. Our modern word “symposium” stems directly from the Greek wine party, at which philosophy and politics were discussed—and which has given the Western world much of its art, science and philosophy.

Those who would deny homosexuals the right to marry on religious grounds confuse marriage—which is a civil property institution—with the religious sacrament of matrimony. In traditional matrimony, the partners made their vows to God; so divorce amounted to breaking one’s sacred vow to God, and was accordingly taboo despite the misery of the union. By the way, the Catholic Church didn’t get around to making matrimony a sacrament until the Council of Trent in the 1500s; so the idea that marriage is a “sacred union” is of relatively recent coinage.

Nowadays people make their vows to each other (reinforced by a contract registered with the state); so “traditional” matrimony has already changed considerably since the 1920s. The idea that one is preserving some ancient holy traditional institution is pure, unadulterated historical revisionism. Divorce has been eroding the “sacred” nature of matrimony and marriage for decades, if not centuries.

So, all this fuss about traditional marriage is based on a collection of unexamined assumptions about some sanctified mythical golden age that never existed. Traditional marriage has fallen by the wayside for very good reasons: women are now considered the equals of men and not their property; people now marry for love rather than meekly accepting a property arrangement imposed on them by their parents; and because (mutual) personal happiness now takes precedence over any sacred vow. The idea that homosexuals pose some sort of threat to traditional marriage is entirely without foundation. Traditional marriage was abandoned long ago… and good riddance.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Zuma I respect the time and effort you put into researching and presenting your answer. I urge others to make an effort the read what she has to say.

filmfann's avatar

Hey, remember when @denidowi was a jelly here?

augustlan's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Psst, Zuma is a guy. ;)

bea2345's avatar

We are woefully ignorant of our histories. Thank you, @Zuma.

Judi's avatar

@Zuma ; Wow, you wrote an entire research paper. If I was your teacher I would give you an A! The only thing missing is the bibliography and that was always my least favorite part of research papers too.

bea2345's avatar

@Judi – the only parts of writing research papers that I enjoyed was the preliminary reading and the compiling of the bibliography afterwards. The actual writing was a chore. I often wonder if it would have been any different if I had had a word processor when I was an undergraduate.

Judi's avatar

@bea2345 , We would have made dynamite study partners!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Zuma Please accept my apology for using the incorrect gender specific pronoun in my earlier tribute to your diligence and level of analysis!

lilikoi's avatar

Control.

tigress3681's avatar

The most base reason that people are anti-gay marriage, is that they feel that choosing to have a same sex partner is immoral. That regardless of how one feels about the opposite sex, if you are going to marry, it should be someone of the opposite sex. Obviously this includes copulation activities as well.

@zuma nice job on the explanation!

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