General Question

Answerbagger's avatar

Is homsexuality learned or determined by environmental factors, or predetermined biologically?

Asked by Answerbagger (332points) May 30th, 2011

Just curious what people think…....

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

88 Answers

Luiveton's avatar

It’s both, actually. Some people just choose to be gay. (I have a friend like that.)
And some are born with it. Probably runs in the family, or just luck, I don’t know. Either one works.
However there are some similar problems that are similar to homosexuality where children are born with hormones that are higher for the different sex. This is usually fixed by either having a sex change or changing genitals.
Blah. :)

rebbel's avatar

Born with it? It’s not a disease or disorder, as far as i know.
And choose to be gay? Or choose to have sex with someone of the same sex?

BarnacleBill's avatar

Sexual orientation is a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. Sexual identity is different than sexual orientation.

Jude's avatar

I didn’t chose it.

Luiveton's avatar

@rebbel Yes, as in, ‘born gay’.
And yes, they sometimes ‘choose’ to be gay. Yeah that’s pretty much what it’s all about.

wundayatta's avatar

Genetic. Boys know as young as 7 and 8. No way that could be socialized. It’s innate.

Everyone knows homosexuality is found under the orange tree.

Jude's avatar

@wundayatta I’ve got your oranges right here. ;-)


rebbel's avatar

I understood you meant born gay, but the with it in your sentence confused me.

MilkyWay's avatar

You never exactly choose to be gay. You just are.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I believe some people just are without being exposed to it first. I believe others assume it of themselves it due to exposure and some practice it by choice. In my experiences then I’ve come to believe there is a huge gray scale between the black and white of homo/straight. Some people know right off where they are and others need to do a bit of exploration first.

Answerbagger's avatar

But children at 7 or 8 aren’t interested in sex, so how would anyone know their sexual orientation at that age?

marinelife's avatar

Homosexuality is genetic.

Luiveton's avatar

@queenie Some people do. Not because the majority of people are ‘just’ gay means you can assume whether they choose it or not. Some people just do.

WasCy's avatar


I would agree that one could “choose to have sex with” any number of partners, regardless of true affinity, but I don’t agree that one could choose to be “attracted to” one sex over the other. You’re either homosexual / heterosexual / bisexual / (whatever else there may be), or you’re not. You don’t “choose” attraction.

Jude's avatar

I have not met one person (in my entire life) who chose to be gay. And, I have been around a fair amount of gays and lesbians.

JLeslie's avatar

I think both happen. I don’t care why someone is gay, I think it shouldn’t matter.

Luiveton's avatar

@Jude Well I have. And in your life you have not met as many homosexual cases as there are in the whole universe. Sorry.
@WasCy I know a person who chose to be gay.

JLeslie's avatar

Environmental factors, which was asked by the OP, is not the same as choosing in my opinion.

wundayatta's avatar

Children of 7 or 8 aren’t interested in sex??? I’m sorry, but while many kids may not be interested or may not know anything, some children are interested in sex, and some experience “feelings” about who they like and in what way they like them. It starts much earlier than you, apparently, think. Even earlier than 7 or 8, in fact. Kids are often engaged in play that looks sexual to adults, and it is considered normal.

WasCy's avatar


I doubt that very much.

amujinx's avatar

@Answerbagger Most homosexuals that say they knew at 7 or 8 are talking about that they knew were attracted to males and not females. I had a crush on a girl when I was 6, but it meant nothing about sexual orientation to me at the time. All I knew was that I found the person attractive. Now I could read into it more.

I believe it is genetic by the way.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Answerbagger: Most kids I knew, myself too, we were all sexually aware at under 10yrs old. We also knew which kids crushed on their own sex before we knew to call it by any name. Children are brilliant little creatures to assess and filter information even if they don’t use the same vocabulary as adults.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Luiveton, people who “just choose it” are most likely bisexual. Or homosexual and choosing not to deny it. Not all people who are homosexual are stereotypical. Many get married, stay married for a long time, have children. But are gay.

missingbite's avatar

I always ask the same question to people who really believe it is a choice. At what point did you choose to be straight? Most give me this bewildered look, like, WTH! Sure some people can choose to have homosexual partners and some may have hormones that make them like both. But it is genetic unless someone was abused as a child and really messed up.

cookieman's avatar

I believe that everyone’s sexuality is in flux while growing up. At some point, one simply knows which sex they are attracted to. I think this is determined by genetics primarily although I’m sure environment plays some smaller role.

At what age this attraction is solidified is clearly different for each person. Some may know in grade school, others try to work it out well into college. Heck, I know a guy who didn’t figure it out until he was in his 40s.

I honestly think if society (and families) was more generally accepting of homosexuality, young people would commit to their sexuality sooner. I think it’s fear and uncertainty that sometimes delays what should be a perfectly natural process.

Jude's avatar

At 7, I was had crushes on my female friends, teachers and babysitters. No interest in boys. I thought that they were smelly and threw rocks at them. ;)

Luiveton's avatar

All of you have a point I guess. Maybe they were always homosexual but decided to openly admit it then?

@Jude I know this is stupid, but are you a girl or a guy? Girl right?

Jude's avatar


Neizvestnaya's avatar

For kids, it’s more simple because they like what they like. As adults then we factor in all sorts of stuff. An adult can ask themselves if they can go forever only sexually engaging their own sex and not feel at odds or only the opposite sex. If they feel they couldn’t make it through life having sex with just one then they are some degree of bi.

I’ve always thought most people’s choice has to do with how they act out their sexual attractions more than how they feel them in the first place.

kheredia's avatar

All of my gay friends say that they just started becoming attracted to the same sex around their teen years, the same way that a heterosexual starts to feel attracted to the opposite sex. It’s not a choice, it’s just the way they are. I even have a couple of gay friends who tried to be straight but it didn’t work out very well for them.

Facade's avatar

I think a person’s sexuality is innate in them. Whether or not they act on their desires is what makes it look like they can choose to be one way or another. I think anyone who says they or someone else chose to be or not to be gay is mistaken. I can’t choose to dislike men or not to like women. If I see a sexy man or a nice pair o’ tittays, I’m going to be attracted, and I can’t change that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What confuses me is we have a woman in town who started out as a guy, dated girls in high school, was a star athlete in in school, then had a sex change operation when he was in his 30’s, and now she’s a girl who acts like a guy. She drives a road grader. She’s awfully crude. She told me, “I’m a bitch pimpin’ a road grader!” or something like that. She does NOT look like a woman in any way shape or form, except she let her hair grow really long, but there is no style to it at all. She dresses like a guy, too in jeans and cowboy boots.

Rumor has it that drugs created some sort of imbalance in his brain when she was a he. IDK. I just know she confuses me.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Nobody chooses it. Nobody asks for their sexuality. I don’t think it’s genetic either. I believe it is environmental. They aquired an attraction to the gender they are attracted to.

ninjacolin's avatar

It’s hard not to say both or even to say mostly one or the other. But if I was to take a bet as to which plays the dominant role, I would probably put $5 on environmental factors. That works for becoming heterosexual or homosexual, btw.

I can’t imagine how one would qualify that dominance though. I guess you would have to ask one of two questions:

A) If the genes were the same but the upbringing was totally the opposite in terms of whatever influence over sexual preference occurred in the person’s life up til the point of their admission of preference… would they still choose the same preference?
If yes, then it would have that preference from “birth” as per se.
If no, then it would be clearly be a matter of environmental influence and upbringing.

B) On the other hand, what if the upbringing was exactly the same but the genes were a little different in one instance. Would they have the same preference by that time of their admission of preference?
If the answer is yes that they keep the same preference, then clearly the environment was the cause.
If no, then clearly the genes were the cause.


Hmm… I guess this little exercise is helping me to refine my perspective:
Persons aren’t merely what they’re born as genetically. Nor are they merely what they’ve learned. Rather, they are exactly the combination of the two. To modify or remove one or the other would give you an entirely different person than the subject you were asking about in the first place. Hence, there can’t be said to be a dominant influence, genes vs environment since both were environmentally necessary for person in question to become what he will.

Looking deeper at the situation though… given the fact that genes are themselves circumstantially inherited by the specific parents that conceived the individual, even genetic make up would have to be considered an environmentally influenced occurrence. There’s no significant reason to neglect that fact. So, yea, I guess I now have my answer. I’m going to default back to my general explanation of individual being: Nurture is your Nature.

My conclusion: Sexual preference is determined by environmental factors both predating genetic conception and ongoing all your life.

ninjacolin's avatar

hmm.. someone owes me $5..

MissAnthrope's avatar

From the research I’ve done on the subject, in addition to my own personal experiences, I feel pretty positive that the determining factor for homosexuality (or any sexuality) is biological. I’m not convinced it’s genetic, per se, or maybe only indirectly so; my feeling is that it has a lot to do with womb conditions, such as sex hormone levels contained therein during gestation, which would explain a lot. One, the rate of homosexuality within families increases greatly depending on relationship—those who have shared a womb, particularly during the same pregnancy, such as with twins, are much more likely to be gay than with relationships that are less close.

If environment determined sexuality, then gay parents would be turning out gay kids like crazy. Any gay person will tell you that the sexuality of those around you has little influence on your own attractions and desires. Think about it.. if you’re straight and were surrounded by gay people, do you really think your mind would be changed? No, of course it wouldn’t.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I helped too, Jude!

missingbite's avatar

@MissAnthrope I agree that you have a GA as well with one exception. Environment can have an affect if it is abuse on a small child. Obviously teens and adults have already determined their sexuality with biology, but a sexually abused child could easily “choose” to be gay when they really aren’t. IMHO

ninjacolin's avatar

@MissAnthrope “If environment determined sexuality, then gay parents would be turning out gay kids like crazy.”

Whoa, careful there. Not necessarily.. at all.

“Environmental factors” aren’t merely a question of whether your parents are gay. There’s an innumerable amount of environmental factors that could play a part.

To name a few potential factors: What games you play as a child. What rewards you get. What role models impress you. What TV programs you watch. What lessons and ideas you subjectively gleam from various media.

ninjacolin's avatar

good point about the Genes vs Biology thing, though. I shouldn’t confuse those two differences.

@MissAnthrope said: “if you’re straight and were surrounded by gay people, do you really think your mind would be changed? No, of course it wouldn’t”

I don’t think I can recall any full homosexuals who converted from heterosexuality but definitely know some converts to bisexuality. Oh wait.. actually, I think I’m wrong about that. I think I do know some who gave up heterosexuality.. interesting.. Immersion has a huge impact on future desires. Why? Because future desires are born out of your past experiences.

Can you imagine an otherwise heterosexual male child being born in a world of gay men having never met nor heard of a woman in his life. How do you think he would turn out?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ninjacolin He probably wouldn’t worry about it at all, but he’d be the last generation to live on earth.

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, of course he wouldn’t worry about it! He would just grow up with the customs of his society. Biology gives us a brain, a clean slate to be filled by future experience. We use doorknobs not because our brains natural tend towards doorknob usage but because they serve popular historical purpose in our subjective memories.

Being homosexual is exactly as “natural” as being right-wing politically.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@ninjacolin – Your hypothetical situation is not an equal opposite. We live in a world with men and women. Gay people are raised in straight homes, yet turn out to be gay. We figure out we’re gay (or straight) by being attracted to the individuals we’re attracted to. In this world, there are women and men, so gays and straights can figure it out. In your scenario, there are no women, so yes, it would probably be exceedingly confusing. However, as I said, these are not equal opposite situations and therefore cannot be compared like this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know, @ninjacolin….when it comes down to the bottom line, isn’t sex for reproduction?

ninjacolin's avatar

@MissAnthrope the problem I’m pointing out with your conclusion is that Gay people raised in Straight homes does not prove that people aren’t environmentally influenced to become gay.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Dutchess_III there are no rules about what sex is “for” written in any of the laws of nature.
Sex is often performed by creatures resulting in reproduction. Sex is perhaps more often performed by creatures not resulting in reproduction. So, who can say what it’s really for.

One thing is certain, reproduction is certainly one of the potential side effects.. but so is fun. :)

@WasCy I’ve been hoping you’d turn up again. ;)

WasCy's avatar

I’m trying to imagine a world where a child could be born into a world of 100% gay men and never even learning that he had a mother. What kind of warped experiment is this?

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, the last woman died giving birth to a cult of of anti-humanitarian gay men.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ninjacolin… It’s for reproduction. It just is. It’s way fun, too, especially for humans, but when all is said and done, it evolved #1 for reproduction. Making it fun just makes people want to do it more often.

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s not a choice. Those brain chemicals that start going wonky when you feel an attraction can’t be controlled consciously and is therefore, not a choice.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@ninjacolin – I simply don’t consider the environmental factors you listed as being influential on one’s sexuality in the most basic terms, by which I mean one’s actual orientation and not one’s opinion or even cognition thereof. I am guessing that you and I have fundamental differences in how we view sexuality.

To some degree, the factors you listed are influential, but culturally. As a gay person, I speak from my own experience of never having had a choice in the matter, despite the fact that it was a difficult and painful struggle for me. I’ve always been gay. I had crushes on girls waaaay before I even knew what sex was, like age 4. So, my point here is that from where I stand, no amount of music, video games, TV, or movies was going to make me a straight girl. You see what I’m saying?

All it takes is for straight people to stop for a minute and really think about it. Think about yourself and all the questions you have about gays, just replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘straight’. I assure you, your answers lie there.

ninjacolin's avatar

“All it takes is for straight people to stop for a minute and really think about it. ”

That’s how I’ve come to my conclusions about you people. :) and I do mean people! meaning, I don’t think you’re any different than I am. I trust that your sexuality was as influenced as mine was.

Perhaps we’re having semantic challenges in explaining our points of view, but ultimately I’m sure we mean to be describing the same thing.

No one has a choice in the matter. Our environments dictate each of us whether for homosex or hetrosex.

ninjacolin's avatar

@MissAnthrope said: “the rate of homosexuality within families increases greatly depending on relationship—those who have shared a womb, particularly during the same pregnancy, such as with twins, are much more likely to be gay than with relationships that are less close.”

If this biological environment has influence to instantiate gayness then the opposite biological environment also has influence which might instantiate heterosexiness. Then add the social/cultural influences on top of that.. This is why I say while we may have varied environmental influences we still have the same amount of influence.

HungryGuy's avatar

Current scientific thinking believes it’s largely biological. Studies have shown different brain chemistry between heterosexuals and homosexuals.

But what difference does in really make? I believe that people have the right to be what they are (whether by choice or by nature) and to live any way that is peaceful and mutually consensual.

Now, that said, one question that has not been asked is: which is the cause, and which the effect? Does different brain chemistry cause “gayness?” Or does being gay alter one’s brain chemistry over time?

ninjacolin's avatar

Clearly both. Consider the concept of the connectome as one neurologist has been studying it. Paraphrased:

Like water flow is controlled by the shape of a riverbed, brain activity is controlled by the neural pathways. However, like a riverbed is modified over time by the flow of water, neural pathways are modified by brain activity.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @missingbite that sometimes childhood experiences influence sexual preference. We now know the brain is pliable, not only does our brain affect who and what we are, but we also affect how the neurons in the brain and the neural paths are laid down. I know several gay men who had very early childhood experiences with older men. Either the gay men saw something in the boy already gay, or some other bazaar coincidence. Mostly I think it is horrific of course, the pediphilia whether boys or girls.

I also believe @MissAnthrope point that the environment of the womb affects the development of the baby. Which is not genetic, but also that genes do or can affect the possibility of being gay also.

I think there are women who are bi, who after being burned by men enough are happy to be in a lesbian relationship. More of a choice, but probably they were always open to a relationship with a woman, so born that way.

Then there are people who from the age of little know they are attracted to the same sex. Maybe when they are 5 they are not sure what it means, but at 12 they start to realize, it all starts to make sense and get more defined. They have no desire for heterosexual relationships. Always have been and always will be gay.

All possibilities, no one answer. What I find frustrating is trying to insist only one answer is right. If there is no judgement about being gay, why does it matter why? I hear quite a lot of compaints from bi friends who get pressure or are dismissed by the gay community. God forbid they date the opposite sex. Then of course the straight community not being accepting of so many things.

When someone says they are gay, my mind does not jump to the sex, it jumps to a desire for a romantic relationship with someone. Sure that includes sex typically, but it is so much more than that. Having a relationship with a man or women usually has different dynamics with each gender, different energy in the house. Some men are more feminine and some women more masculine, so it is all in a continuum, but my only point is, it is not just the sex it is the relayionship in total.

ETpro's avatar

I wish I had a better answer for you, but the truth is I don’t know, and if people wouldn’t constantly make such a big deal over “Nature or Nurture” I wouldn’t care.

As far as I know, there is no definitive scientific answer to the question yet. One thing that has held science back in its search is that so many approach this particular question not with a lust to learn, but with a passion to prove. They already know how they want the answer to come out for personal, religious, or political reasons; Naturally, when scientific exploration is blinded to conflicting results by confirmation bias, you don’t get valid scientific results very often. Instead, you get a plethora of junk science purported to be valid research, and sorting through all the junk science slows real progress.

I know for myself that from my earliest memories, I though girls were just ravishing. I liked them so much that, until I found out I really couldn’t do that, I wanted to be one as well as be with one. That’s an unusual gender awareness, but I know it wasn’t taught to me. It was who I was. But I have no idea how others feel about their gender identity and choice of mating partners. And neither does anyone else.

Why does it matter how someone ends up gay?. Are Baptists or Catholics somehow flawed because they weren’t born with the genetic code required for their creed? Is being a baseball lover as opposed to a football lover Nature or Nurture? Who cares? It’s how a person feels. How they got to that is immaterial, save as an academic study. How they came to feel as they do about gender issues has nothing to do with it being wrong for them to feel as they do.


I think that homosexuality, like heterosexuality is mostly biologically pre-determined, maybe 90 percent or more, and the rest is the result of one’s environment.

nikkiduq's avatar

To have an unbiased understanding about homosexuality, I really think one should read books on Psychology and Genetics that discusses homosexuality. Last I know, Psychologists and Geneticists still cannot conclude whether homosexuality is determined by environmental factors or biologically predetermined. But homosexuality (and bisexuality even) exists even among other animals.

WasCy's avatar

Although no one knows the answer to the question, until “genetics” can be proven with at least a “preponderance of evidence” it’s a political football.

That means that if homosexuality can “in measurable part” be determined to be caused by environmental factors, then those with a strongly anti-gay agenda can continue to attempt to legislate against, legally discriminate against and otherwise marginalize and ostracize homosexuals as “contributing to the ‘problem’ of homosexuality”. In other words, if there may be an environmental aspect to homosexuality (such as prison, for example, which is rife with homosexual behavior), then by rooting out those contributing environmental factors (including homosexuals themselves so goes the thinking) they might feel that we can “eliminate the problem” of homosexuality.

Some of this makes me wonder why those who do have a strong anti-gay mentality aren’t more in favor of prison reform and keeping people out of prison in the first place, but I digress.

So until “environment” can be proven to be the primary cause of homosexuality, I continue to think that it has genetic causes, in the first place because I can’t imagine anyone having “choice” in their sexuality, either homosexual or heterosexual, and in the second place because gays already have enough roadblocks to living normal lives without having to fight for rights that most of us take for granted.

But this has caused me to consider one of my rare questions on Fluther…

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy Whenever a political movement seeks to define a minority as a “problem” and use the law to suppress the “problem” the burden of proof that there is a problem should be on that political group, not the minority. The Jews in Germany weren’t genetically disposed to be Jews. They are virtually indistinguishable from other Aramaic people genetically. They got the way they are through environmental influence. But there was no “Jewish Problem” and they were simply being used as a scapegoat. Thankfully, there are few Americans so homophobic that they would support a “final solution.” They do exist, though. The religious cult, the Family that has so much influence over right-wing legislators used a couple of Republican Senators as the messengers to suggest Uganda’s Kill the Gays legislation.

WasCy's avatar

@ETpro that is very high-minded and noble – and correct: “problems” should be clearly proven to be problematic before we attempt to use law to coercively “correct” behavior. Without a clear demonstration that homosexuality is somehow dangerous to individuals and/or to society at large, people shouldn’t “have a problem with it,” and we shouldn’t legally discriminate against the people who are homosexual, or homosexual behavior (within the bounds of public decency).

But the difficulty here is that in much of the country and the world – outside of Fluther, where the demographics are quite different – the “political movement” that considers homosexuality to be “a problem” is… individuals’ own families and associates.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy You could justify discrimination based on public opinion polls when they were on the side of discrimination, but they no longer are in the USA. A May 2011, Gallup Poll found 53% support same-sex marriage while 45% opposed it. We saw the same shift in recent years on Dont Ask, Don’t Tell.

Mind you, the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution should not have to pass muster in public opinion polls. Apartheid, miscegenation laws, and Jim Crow were as vile and reprehensible when the majority of Americans supported them as when we were badgering South Africa to abandon them. But even the public opinion has shifted on this. It’s time to let the world move on.

missingbite's avatar

@ETpro I would like to ask what percentage of the population is ok with multiple people marrying and having children. Where do we draw the line?

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I think as long as we think of marriage from a practical standpoint and not a religious or emotional one, then we can argue the line. Right now there are laws that address the marriage of two people, the laws have to do with property, money, and parenting. There is no reason two adults, any gender, cannot legally fit into already existing laws. When we get into multiple spouses, it is a whole new ball game, because the law does not address it.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie We are changing the law to allow same sex marriages because most places right now it’s not allowed. Where do we stop changing laws because someone feels discriminated against? Multiple spouses? You seem to have answered my question. Right now in my state same sex marriages are not allowed.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite Civil marriage is a contract between two people. If your state does not allow same sex marriage the only thing that has to be changed is allowing any two adult people enter into the contract. It is a legal contract. All percentages regarding property, money, all of it stays the same. Most states do not favor a man or a woman anymore in their marriage laws, people are treated as equals. When there is a divorce, divisions are based on mathematical equations, not she is the wife so she should get the kid, or get alimony, etc. It already is basically genderless. As far as I know it is the only legal contract that tries to dictate what gender can enter into it.

As far as poligamy, that would mean having to think through is everyone treated as equals? If the first couple given more? Does the first wife owe anything to the second should the husband die? What percentage? It is a more complicated issue. It seems even with that everyone should be equal in the relationship, but it is more complicated.

The marriage of two people is already addressed in every state, and nothing really needs to change, except allowing every citizen the right to be able to participate in such a union, gay or straight, black or white, Catholic or Jewish, etc. If I left up to the clergy, a bunch of people could not marry. My rabbi did not do interreligious marriages, neither does most Catholic priests. But, that is not for the state to determine, the state is not a religious organization, it is there to protect the citizens, including equal rights.

ETpro's avatar

@missingbite May I remind you that the Constitution is above the law and is the basis for the law. Since there is no provision for polygamy or polyandry now, there is no constitutional problem with laws against either/both. As @JLeslie points out, current laws do permit two-partner marriage, but in a discriminatory way that is not in compliance with the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. That’s what this debate is about.

If you feel strongly that we should permit any number of adults to marry, float that as your own issue. Convince people that’s a worthy idea on its own merits. Don’t confuse this one with it.

_zen_'s avatar

One day, someday, there won’t be any more questions like this on fluther.

It will be a regular old day, a fun day, could be a rainy day or a sunny day. But like John Lennon’s Imagine – there just won’t be a need for them.

It won’t matter what you think, what has been “proven” or not, what one’s knowledge of science is, and his personal understanding of genes, hormones and environmental factors (mine is close to zero, e.g. – I’m not a Doctor or scientist).

It just won’t matter.

I am not gay. I am attracted to women. I also don’t think it’s entirely black and white, and those who call themsellves bi or bi-curious, or “just tried something one drunken night in college” are any different from those who did not.

We are very, very complex individual human beings. We are exposed to, or not, so many things that factor in with the biology. We are not walking hormones, we are not robots. We are people.

I don’t completely agree with Simone, e.g., on the whole gender thing – but then, what do I know? Maybe she’s right.

The first poster here, a noobie (welcome to fluther) @Luiveton thinks it’s both – some are born that way, some choose it. He has a friend who chooses to be gay.

I say, bottom line, I wish for a tolerant, better society when one can be born that way, because God makes no mistakes (just kidding, Gaga) – or choose it, or experiment – or not even think about it – in short – a society where it becomes a non-issue.

Let’s start with Fluther. Here, we are all jellies.

Luiveton's avatar

And yes, I agree. Anything’s possible, right?

missingbite's avatar

@ETpro Where in the Constitution does it even mention marriage? Last time I checked it didn’t.

@JLeslie If all we are talking about is monetary or personal goods, then it is just a contract between two people. All states can and have set up contracts with multiple partnerships.

Bringing the Churches into the fold is a whole other can of worms.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite That is what civil marriage basically is. Laws that govern the rights, obligations, and entitlements of the individuals in the union. Anyone can write up legal contracts to try to protect themselves in a partnership, whether it be two people or six people, but marriage comes with a bunch of automatic stuff that covers two people for now, and they don’t need to write up a long contract and pay lawyers, they can just sign their names on the marriage license, pay a nominal fee, and boom, married and protected. They sign the license without ever reading the contract basically, all sorts of laws come along with being married.

There are things that cannot be done outside of marriage. For instance, my husband applied for his green card when we were married, gay couples cannot do that, there is no legal contract in a relationship or partnership that will allow for it.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I understand that. My point is where do we draw the line. There is nothing in the constitution that talks about marriage, civil or religious. If we decide not to discriminate against homosexual marriage (which is not allowed in most states now) we will have to address others ideas of what a marriage is.

I am not saying I am against it or for it, just that it opens up more options. Take away all government involvement like tax breaks for all “married” people and let it go if that is what the argument is.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite When you say “let it go,” do you mean let go of civil marriage altogether?

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie Sure. Keep the government out of marriage all together. Then there won’t be a debate over who can have what. All are equal. No one gets tax breaks for marriage. Leave it up to the people involved to decide who gets what. I know this will never happen People are way to irresponsible for that and the government wants control.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I don’t have a strong opinion regarding that suggestion. I guess there are some practical reasons why the government gets involved in marriage, but for sure there is an argument for the government not to be involved in our personal lives in such a way. People seem to couple up naturally, or even maybe it is just how we are socialized, but it happens a lot in our culture, and the laws governing marriage tend to protect more than anything, which I like. But, I would certainly be open to hear opinions on both sides about why government should sanction marriage or not. What I cannot accept is the government deciding which two adults can get married.

HungryGuy's avatar

@zenGreat Answer!

_zen_'s avatar

Thank you my friend.

ETpro's avatar

@missingbite I’d be fine with keeping the government out of marriage altogether so long as the union that controls thinkgs like responsibility for children, equitable distribution of jointly acquired assets in divorce, rights and duties during the union ans tax advantages of the union inure to civil unions, which are the purveiw of the government, and as such are administered under the Equal Protectin clause.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther