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Friday, May 16, 2008

My Arguments Against Gay Marriage

With the California Supreme Court ruling yesterday, the highly emotional and explosive debate over gay marriage has been unleashed again. It took me a long time to take a stand on this issue and my own position took a long evolution. In fact, I was initially inclined to agree with the other side.

In order to make a proper argument first we must all understand the roots, history, and intention of marriage. First, marriage is an institution so old that it pre-dates much of written history. Its purposes ranged...

Marriage has been around since before recorded history. One obvious reason for it was the creation of offspring. But a far more important reason for marriage was the cementing of alliances. Difficulties abounded in the ancient world, and the more allies you had the safer you were. Marriages were the preferred method for sealing alliances between families, clans, tribes, and ultimately nations.

Now, while some of these functions have devolved, it is beyond argument that one of the main functions of marriage is to set the model for the stable family unit. Marriage has never merely been creating a union of two people for love, alliances, or even bringing to families together. Marriage and children have been interlocked together for as long as the institution has been around.

In other words, the main function of marriage is to define the stable family unit as one mother, one father, and children. While other functions and uses have come and gone, marriage and children have gone hand in hand since its creation.

Redefining marriage into anything but ONE man and ONE woman will also redefine the best and most stable family unit. The breakdown of the family unit has lead to an explosion of many of the biggest ills we have: higher crime, drug use, and all sorts of other emotional problems. Now more than ever, the stable family unit, one mother, one father and children, must be protected and cherished at all costs.

Thus, the first argument against gay marriage is that it won't simply redefine an institution that goes back before recorded history but it will also redefine the stable family unit. If marriage can be between two men or two women, then so too can the stable family unit be defined as such. Gay couples aren't merely looking for protections afforded married couples. They want their union defined by the term marriage. If it is protection gays are looking for, then I am all for it. I favor states creating non sexual civil unions, though those unions can't be limited to gay couples. Siblings that live together should also be able to protect each other's assets in the case of death for instance. That isn't what gay marriage intends to do. Gay marriage intends to elevate the gay lifestyle on par with the heterosexual lifestyle.

This leads right into the second argument against gay marriage. The gay lifestyle is inherently unequal to the heterosexual one. PC or not, the gay lifestyle doesn't lead to procreation. Without children society dies off. Elevating the gay lifestyle to an equal plane with the heterosexual lifestyle means that procreation is no longer a vital part of society. If you look at the demographic trends of Europe you will see that much of the continent is dying off because most of the continent has stopped procreating. The startling trends in lack of procreation in Europe didn't just happen to coincide with Europe's push toward secularism including legalization of gay marriage in many parts of Europe. In fact, it happened as a result of it. The last twenty years have seen an explosion of secularism in that continent and at the exact same time the continent has seen a significant drop in procreation. The stable family unit is the bedrock of a stable society. If a family unit can be defined by anyone however they want, then chaos ensues and Europe is Exhibit A of that result.

The next argument is the slippery slope argument. This is the one most looked at with condescension by proponents of gay marriage, and yet, not one has answered it to me with satisfaction. In fact, if anyone can satisfy this fear for me, I will become a proponent of gay marriage. If marriage is redefined to include gays, how can anyone tell me that is the end of the redefinition. If the arrangement of the sexes is no longer important, then why is the number or any other part of it important. If I have twelve girlfriends, why can't we all get married. We are all adults and in love, and thus our union should be recognized by marriage just like a gay union. My buddy, his friend, and their two female lovers also want their union defined by marriage. Why is the gay lifestyle included in marriage but the swinger lifestyle is not. The reason this argument is so vital is because once you redefine marriage there are all sorts of unintended consequences. You can't redefine it once and then guarantee that this is the last time it will be redefined. Any argument made for gay marriage can just as easily be made for polygamy, swingers, transvestites, and any other alternative lifestyle that similarly feels aggrieved.

In fact, the most common legal argument made in favor of gay marriage is by invoking the 14th amendment

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

In other words, everyone is treated equally under the law. Thus, if heterosexuals are allowed to marry so should homosexuals. Well, if homosexuals are also allowed to marry, then why shouldn't polygamists, swingers, and transvestites also receive the same "equal protection under the law". The reason that proponents can't answer this is because by their argument they all would. If the 14th amendment means that homosexuals are allowed to marry because of equal protection, then all alternative lifestyles must receive the same equal protection.

In fact, the proponent's condescension and inability to answer this portion of the argument comes down to one simple fact. The gay lifestyle receives a great deal of sympathy from many quarters while all these others are nearly universally seen as freakish and wrong. Not only is that a silly and childish view, because it is the freaks that are most in need of 14th amendment protections.

The next argument is a counter argument. Proponents of gay marriage say that marriage is a right. This is similar to the argument that proponents of socialized medicine make. Anytime anyone wants the government to sanction something the turn it into a "right". Whether it's minimum wage, social security, abortion (through the so called right to privacy) or universal health care, all sorts of so called "rights" have been created by people even though there is no such right in the Constitution. Creating rights out of thin air is dangerous and has all sorts of unintended consequences. This creates bloated government, new laws, and all sorts of new special interest groups and lobbies. The simple fact of the matter is that there is no "right to marry" anywhere in the constitution. If there was, I would have long stopped being single. Thus gay couples have more right to create a marriage out of their relationship than do swingers, polygamists, and transvestites. Marriage pre dates this nation and always it has been defined as one man, one woman, and children.

There is my arguments against gay marriage and I welcome all debate on the matter.


scott said...

I agree with your argument as I have argued almost along the same lines. The third argument is my favorite. I have used it before. It puts the gay rights proponents in an uncomfortable position. I like to take it one step further though.
I say that the Gay lifestyle is a sexual preference, just like S & M or bestiality. If you give recognition to one then you have to give equal recognition to all. Imagine NAMBLA petitioning to marry little boys or get special right and recognition. How is that any different from Gays?

Giorgios Hospitality Group said...

Ok, you can not argue against gay marriage until you understand gay people.

I did not choose to be attracted to men, did you decide one day you were attracted to women? I love the person I am, therefore, I am not going to live a life of fear (like many gay people). When you start comparing gay people to people that harm animals or other people, you send a message that it is wrong to be gay. I am a teacher, where I am the co-sponsor of the Gay-Straight Alliance and when people like you give these harmful arguements you send signals to my students that they should somehow change who they are. I am sure you know the stats about teen suicide in relation to gay and lesbian youth. Stop the hate.

Being gay is normal, just ask any professional psychological association.

All of your arguements are the tired and worn out arguments from those on the right who stand against gay people and do not have a clue about what it means to be gay. Have you ever talked to a gay person? If you did, you would realize it is not a lifestyle.

Why do you argue against my rights? Why do you care if I marry a man? Life is too short for you to stand in the way of people and the people they love.

mike volpe said...

With all due respect, I never said that being gay was a choice, or that I know what it is like to be gay.

What I do know is that besides attacking my arguement as "tired and worn" you never explain how they are.

If you can show me where in the Constitution there is a RIGHT TO GET MARRIED, then I will change that part of the piece.

No one is saying you should change your lifestyle, but I am saying that your lifestyle is not conducive to the institution of marriage.

Anonymous said...

I'm against gay marriage, but the restrictions that have been placed on the LGBT community are ridiculous. Hate crimes need to be recognized for what they are so that the gay community is protected, and we need to allow them visitation rights, regardless of orientation.

Lumping this issue in with socialized medicine is silly- the rest of the civilized world decided a long time ago that people have the right to free health care. That's very different than a lifestyle choice. Personally I believe that gays choose to be so, and have every right to do so. But alot of people don't choose to be sick, and they have the right to get better without going into debt.

mike volpe said...

With all due respect, I don't live in the "rest of the civilized world" but in America. If you want socialized medicine move to Europe, but don't tell me that we must have socialized medicine because they have it there. It is easy to pay for everyone's health care, when the U.S. provides your military for you which is what happens in most of Europe. Spain has lots of extra money for health care given that their flimsy military is backed up by the full force of the U.S. military.

Whether or not gays have less rights is another issue. A hate crime adds an extra layer of punishment on top of a crime already comitted and furthermore it forces the law to interpret thought. That is an awful slippery slope and frankly affords them protection others don't have.

Anonymous said...

When I look at America and its history, the direction of the country has always been progressive, recognizing that those who are different have the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (and yes, I know the Declaration of Independence isn't law). But, in principal, the USA has always been about equality for all people, or so I see it.

I believe that civil unions, while a step in the right direction, aren't enough. It comes down to 'separate but equal' with regards to marriage, in my opinion. And homosexuality is not a choice, and it is not necesarily a lifestyle. I am heterosexual, but many of by friends are bisexual, gay, or lesbian; they did not choose to be that way, and they do not live in some isolated other lifestyle from mainstream American society. They are Americans, living an American lifestyle.

As for your concern about the slippery slope, I would say that the line does need to be drawn somewhere, and that line should be drawn with professional medical and psychiatric analyses in mind as to what is literally harmful and what is not. If more than two people want to get married, and they do truly love each other, then I, personally, do not see the harm in letting them marry.

Marriage is not a right as defined by law, but I think it should be. It is a symbol of the right to love and be loved. Plus, it would allow more children to be adopted into caring families. The traditional way isn't necesarily the right way. Homosexuality has always existed, but only in recent years have people felt comfortable coming out and declaring it openly. It's not new, but the idea of it being accepted is new. I think we should move in a direction towards acceptance and tolerance rather than closed-mindedness and resistance to change that seems inevitable, given time.

mike volpe said...

Jonathon, with all due respect, yours is the sort misguided compassionate arguement that is just flat out dangerous. First of all, if you think that marriage should be a right, then try and ad an amendment to the Constitution. You won't find much success as trying to define any person as being given the RIGHT TO GET MARRIED.

This is not about whether or not being gay is a choice. I never said it wasn't.

This is about whether or not it is wise or right to redefine an institution that has been around for longer than written history in a radical manner.

Marriage is not merely about identifying a commitment but much more importantly about identifying a proper family unit, one man, one woman and children. That seems to be totally trivial to anyone that is a proponent of gay marriage.

If you are of the opinion that any lifestyle is all right for marriage well that is just a scary thought. If after marrying gays, we then move on to polygamists, swingers, and transvestites then our society will crumble.

Anonymous said...


You say: "homosexuality has always existed, but only in recent years have people felt comfortable coming out and declaring it openly. It's not new, but the idea of it being accepted is new."

You need to read up on history, my friend. In ancient Greece (Athens to be specific), homosexuality was seen as the activity of the educated. There was none of this "coming out" business, that is a modern invention. In ancient Rome, too, rampant and unabashed homosexuality lead in large part to the moral and subsequent societal decay of the empire. The only pro-gay marriage arguments I've seen in this chat are based on emotions or are ad hoc attacks, which are both logical fallacies. Kudos to Mike Volpe for heading such a civilized and intelligent debate.

Scotty said...

As though your arguments aren't weak enough, you spelled the world wrong in your title.

mike volpe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike volpe said...

Typos are easy to fix Scotty, however it is quite revealing when you proclaim my arguments are weak without pointing to any of them specifically or pointing out why they are weak.

It is obvious that you disagree, however you just don't know why I am wrong, and thus all you can do is point out a typo and use that as some sort of a bludgeon. Typos happen however they are not a reflection of a bad argument. If an argument is bad, you must be able to break down how and why it is bad. Simply stating that you don't like a set of arguments without pointing out what it is that you don't like is the sort of thing a third grader would do.

Anonymous said...

Citations needed. Please state your factual sources concerning the "historical institution" of marriage.

Yahoo answers is not a valid source, but rather an opinion of another uneducated jerk-off.

Equal protection means just that.

Slippery slope? Yes, you are arguing that multiple-adult marriages should be valid as well. --- Therefore all marriages should be banned, correct? This is the basis of your argument? Did you fail debate in high school?

Divorce has done more harm for marriage than same-sex marriage ever will.

Procreation has nothing to do with legal marriage.

Historical "marriage" has nothing to do with civil marriage.

I'm confused as to why you try to connect the State allowing adults to sign a legal document, granting them equal rights to other people who do---with the ancients, or even Europe procreating? Even your Abraham, Issac or Jacob. (Read your bible much?)

All I see empty arm waving and fanatical knee jerking. I see no valid arguments against same-sex, or even multiple-person marriage in this blog. Why are you wasting our time?

Your arguments are empty.

Anonymous said...

If you give recognition to one then you have to give equal recognition to all. Imagine NAMBLA petitioning to marry little boys or get special right and recognition. How is that any different from Gays?

Scott, if you don't know the difference between consenting adults over the age of 18, and relationships between adults and children, then you really either need your head examined, or a visit by the FBI. "How is that any different from Gays?"

In a word: Adults.

Anonymous said...

If you can show me where in the Constitution there is a RIGHT TO GET MARRIED, then I will change that part of the piece.

Mike Volpe, you don't know your Constitution very much.

Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

As the United States Constitution does not currently prohibit Same-sex Marriage, then that right belongs to the States---or to the people.

This is what is known as the "State's Rights Amendments". Currently the GOP is really BIG on State's Rights---until they are inconvenient for them. Then they want the Federal Government to have the "right" instead.

mike volpe said...

All right, lots of discussion suddenly on this piece. Let me address each of the last three one at a time.

Let me address the first.

that is the google search for marriage children and it comes up with over 6 million references. So that should put the rest the idea that marriage wasn't created primarily as a stable family unit.

Second, marriage, again, was created long before the United States was. It was created primarily to function as the stable family unit for raising children. That is just plain facts. There is no "equal protection". There is no right to be married. There is no right to be a doctor either. If you go to medical school and go through all the training you get the letters behind your name. That is how it works.

If a man and woman get together and want to spend the rest of their lives raising their children they get married. That's how that works.

Finally, trying to take cheap shots pointing out that my argument is weak is in fact a sign that your argument is weak. If my argument is weak just point out its weakness. You don't need to say my argument is weak. Let your own point speak for itself.

Now, onto the second argument.

Mr./Ms. Anonymous, you don't know reading comprehension very well. I said there was nowhere in the Constitution that gave a right to marry. You pointed out the tenth amendment which says that anything that the Constitution doesn't specifically state is given to the state. That doesn't give gays the right marry. That allows states to recognize gay marriage if they choose. If state legislators want to create legislation to create gay marriage that is their business, however I would be opposed to it for the reasons that I gave.

Anonymous said...

The high number of anything that is a Google search proves nothing in regards to the legal status and battles in court determining whether sex is a valid reason to deny people signing a state legal document.

If Google numbers meant anything, the Google search for "Miserable Failure" turns up 679,000 items... most of which relate to Bush being a Miserable Failure. I ask you, does that prove that he is?

Heck, a Google Search for "Impeach Bush" turns up 1,620,000 items. This proves that Bush should be impeached, right?

Using Google as your argument only proves that something is searchable. So what? Again, Mike Volpe, this is not an argument. It's not even a "fact" that's relevant to marriage, the family, or children.

Now you say that marriage was "Created" as a stable family unit. READ your history, or even your bible if you use that as a historical document. Marriage wasn't created as a family unit, it was created as a means of property ownership for men to own women. And own them they did! Sometimes multiply so!

Do you think laws against adultery were for men? No, it was to keep the women in line, and to keep other men away from her. And to keep other men from sleeping with another man's property, er, wife.

There's your marriage. The concept of modern marriage, having anything to do with love, is only about 200 years old. Before that marriage had to do with contracts, property, not having bastard children, etc.

Since you push marriage as being so pro-children, and I always get annoyed when people try to take away my Rights (1st or 2nd Amendment) with "Think of the Children!"... Not all marriages end in children. If an elderly couple get married, they're not going to have children. Some heterosexual couples choose NOT to have children, and some are sterile and unable to do so.

I don't see you saying that heterosexual couples, unable to bear children because of age or sterility, should be denied the "right" to get married.

Lastly your arguments are week because they are hollow arguments empty of any actual fact.

Claiming that marriage is for the children is flawed, because it isn't just about the children. It's about two (or more!) adults signing a legal document from the government that simply grants to each other certain rights and protections that would otherwise be difficult to sum up in a single document.

The Constitution *grants rights*, but doesn't, and shouldn't, deny them for a minority of people. Otherwise we have mob rule. That's why we have the "balance of powers" here. Just because a majority of people can vote on something, doesn't mean that it's good for everyone.

Heck, bring back bans on interracial marriage because that's bad for children. Can you imagine how confused a half-white, half-black child must be with a Negro father and a White mother? Think of the children!

But... we've already fought that fight and won. If a straight man can choose to sign a legal document with his straight woman partner, denying a gay man the "right" to sign a legal document with the partner of his choice is discrimination, and under the idea that we're all created "equal"... well it doesn't take a Supreme Court Justice to see that what's fair is to allow any two adults, who choose to do so, to get married.

That's what "Fair" means. That all people, who chose to do something, get to do so. Not a majority, leaving out one group based on skin color, sex, literacy, or even intelligence for that matter. Fair means Equal for everybody.

It's nice to see an anti-same-sex marriage argument that isn't filled with "But God Said in the Bible..." However, when you remove religion from the equation you are left arguing from the standpoint of your own personal paranoias and nothing more.

If you're against gay marriage, don't marry someone who is gay. But until you become gay, don't deny others the choice to marry the partner of their choosing. Really, when it comes down to it, there's no straight marriage out there that is affected by gay marriage.

I even asked my wife, if gays getting married somehow diminished the vows we made to each other... And you know what she said? No!!! Also, we're sterile... so... Hey! No kids! Gonna come and take our marriage away from us now?

mike volpe said...

How about this then. The overwhelming majority of marriages have children. That doesn't just happen but rather it happens because marriage and children were created for each other.

This is NOT about your marriage, but rather about the institution of marriage and the proper family unit.

Again, no one has shown me that there is a right to get married.

Marriage is now and has since its creation been defined as one man and one woman and leads to children. That is the way its been since the creation of the institution.

The reason is that the proper and best family unit for rasing children is one man and one woman.

Anonymous said...

How about this then. The overwhelming majority of marriages have children. That doesn't just happen but rather it happens because marriage and children were created for each other.

First off let me scoff at marriage being "created" for anything. If you're going to point to a book of folk tales and fables as your proof why your view of marriage is right, and all else is wrong---then you've already lost.

Your book of fables has Jacob working 7 years in an attempt to marry the woman of his dreams... Unfortunately after 7 years the eldest daughter still wasn't married, so he must marry HER and work yet another 7 years to marry the woman of his dreams. He is successful! But 14 years of working for a man to marry two of his daughters... Surely marriage was created for the children here?

And what about Onan? His brother died, while married, and he didn't have any children. So, Onan was supposed to follow his brotherly duty and impregnate his sister-in-law. Were they married? Doubtful. But he was supposed to give her a child in his dead brother's place. Well, he thought he'd pull out at the last minute and "spilled his seed on the ground." God was angry and smote him dead.

Why? Because he didn't give her the children, outside of marriage, that he was supposed to do.

Surely, there must be better examples of Marriage being Created for the Children in your holy book! Oh wait, there is!

David was a king, and he fell in love with a beautiful woman while she was bathing. He called her to him and sexed her up a little... breaking both his AND her marriage vows. She became "with child" and David tried to get her husband to bed her so that he'd think it was his. He wouldn't, but instead stayed with his military unit.

So what's a King to do? Since he was a soldier in his army, the King had the husband moved to the front of the battle.. and he was killed.

Mind you, God was very sore with David... but at which point? He'd already had several wives by now, surely another one was okay??? OH yeah, lots and lots of children died over this one...

Well, never mind Solomon and his hundreds of wives and concubines... Or is that the "made up" part of the Bible that you just kind of skip over. He was supposedly "very wise" right? Heck, two wives can be a difficulty.. but hundreds?! I didn't see God smiting Solomon, but instead gave him great wisdom.

Oh wait yeah... he wasn't married to any MEN. You have to go back to David and Jonathan for that sort of thing.

In short, using your book of stories as proof that marriage was "Created" for any purpose really shows how flawed it was to begin with.

This is NOT about your marriage, but rather about the institution of marriage and the proper family unit.

The thing is, it's not about your marriage either. It's about legal protections for thousands of couples who were married in the State of California this past week and their children.

What you need to do is separate the concept of what a "Civil Marriage" is and what a "Religious Marriage" is. If your church wants to not marry blacks, Jews, gay, transexuals, polygamists, it's free to do so under the idea that churches have Freedom of Religion. Of course my church also wishes to perform "Religious Marriages" as well, since they believe that God sanctions love between two people regardless of sex. (Before you throw your Bible at me, do you also keep kosher, don't eat pork, don't cut your beard, and don't wear clothing made with mixed fibers?)

What the state grants is "Civil Marriage". The state is supposed to be free of religious restrictions or sanctions. Now, I feel like I'm teaching a 5th grader here, so bear with me.

The First Amendment (Bill of Rights, you know) starts out with Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Now... if we start making laws supporting religious views, whose are we going to use? Yours? Mine? A group of Wicca folks? Maybe the Buddhists would like some input?

But wait... Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion. Now, you can argue until you're blue in the face that the Constitution doesn't have the phrase "Separation of Church and State" in it. And you're correct, but the concept IS in there.

So... you can be against "Religious Marriage" all you wish, and you are free to deny any two persons in your church that wish to get married. But once you talk about "Civil Marriage" we're talking about legal documents, contracts, and what not...

And when we start talking legal contracts... we start talking about privacy. And if two homosexuals wanna get married by signing a state document that says so... that's none of your business. Privacy. We do have a right to Privacy.

Again, no one has shown me that there is a right to get married.

As I'd said before, the United States Supreme Court said that people have a right to get married. Marriage is a basic human right. They said so! If nobody has the right to be married, then we should stop all marriages (from the state) right now! Your church can do whatever it wishes, call whoever wants to be married "married"...

But if, as you claim, there's no "Right to be Married" thousands of people who have FOUGHT for that right disagree with you. Since 50 years ago when whites weren't allowed to marry Indians, Chinese or Black... they thought it was important enough to demand for that "Right"... And today, people who are of the same-sex feel that this "Right" is also important enough to fight for.

Marriage is now and has since its creation been defined as one man and one woman and leads to children. That is the way its been since the creation of the institution.

Again, see my first section. See, Jesus spoke out against divorce. I won't bother hunting down chapter and verse, but John McCain, he's been married and divorced. Heck, Newt Gingrich is on his.. what.. fourth wife now? Good Christian Married men working on their second or third marriage are violating what Jesus said about marriage.

Ya know what else he said about marriage? That it wouldn't be taking place in heaven. WAIT a minute?! If marriage is so great and wonderful and created for children---after death it means NOTHING?

Also... there are gay couples who have children. You're right, marriage IS for children, and the children of gay couples are no less important than the children of straight couples. Are you going to tell me that those children are NOT entitled to the same rights of having their parents (or parent figures) married and the state protections that come with that???

So the gays children are less important than straights children? They're just children! What have they ever done to you?

The reason is that the proper and best family unit for rasing children is one man and one woman.

Actually a better family unit might be two men and one woman. Get twice as much income. Or better yet two men and two women. Two men to bring in the income, and two women to trade off taking care of the baby.

The thing is, and your favorite Disney movies show this, no families are perfect "one man, one woman" families. Sometimes one or the other die. Do you propose enforced marriages (of the correct gender) to a widowed parent in order to fit in with your mantra that the "best family unit for raising children is one man and one woman"????

Real Life is that sometimes people die, people divorce, and yes sometimes people are gay. Sometimes people are even in group marriages, with lots of parents.

But... they don't all fit in your little narrow-minded view of what the world should be either. Peace should be all our soldiers at home and not out fighting and endless and unwinnable war... but we don't have that either.

The fact is that a lot of children ARE raised by widowed, divorced, and homosexual parents. They're going to be raised by those parents regardless of how you feel about marriage. And in some cases they're going to be raised by unmarried couples because they can't, or won't, get married. And you know what? There's a lot of good adults out there who were raised in a non-standard home who didn't turn out to be druggies or atheists.

And children are still going to be born... whether you agree with marriage or not. And as it's being established (and has been established) that marriage IS a basic civil right---especially if people stand up and DEMAND IT. And children will continue to need protection from anti-marriage-choice bigots like yourself...

It's a shame, really. Jesus said so much about loving your neighbor, that Christians seem to just miss the message and go straight for Leviticus. Listen to your God for once. He actually visited this Earth, and said a bunch of stuff.

Again... your arguments are empty and hollow. Unless you can get away from chanting a mantra, as if repeating something makes it true... and get some REAL FACTS. Google Numbers aren't facts, if they were the Loch Ness monster is real. Google it, you'll see...

mike volpe said...

First of all my argument is not religious but philosophical. As such I don't understand the biblical references.

Whatever the biblical references there are to marriage, the reality is that overwhelmingly marriage has functioned to define the proper family unit. Whatever other uses for marriage there may be, there is no doubt that its primary function is to define the proper family unit.

Again, the SC has said a lot of things but the only thing that guarantees a right to do all sorts of things, however in this country rights are those things that are in the Constitution. Drawing on some obscure case, that had nothing to do with gay marriage but rather a dispute among heterosuxual couples is NOT proof that there is a right to get married. There is a right to speak freely, own guns, and to have privacy in your home. Those are actually in the Constitution. All other supposed rights are rights only on the minds of their backers.

Then, you also use a very secular progressive argument that family is whatever you want it to be. Well, the best and proper family unit is one man, one woman and children.

Anonymous said...

You say "Well, the best and proper family unit is one man, one woman and children."

Please show facts showing this.

And even were this to be true, you could also argue that, from a philosophical standpoint "the best and proper family unit is one man, one woman all of the same race and religion." Because, surely biracial children have it very difficult.

But you are trying to define someone else's relationship by what your standard is of "right and wrong". And that doesn't work.

What I am most interested in is where in our system of laws this form of "Institution of Marriage" exists. Or where, in our government, documents, or laws, your restrictive brand of marriage and family is what is "institutionalized" so to speak. Other than pretty empty arguments about what you define marriage as, and clearly other people have defined it differently, I actually see nothing of substance.

Other than that you're against same-sex marriage because it goes against what you've made up, in your mind, without any religious prodding, what you think marriage is about and then you apply it to all marriages even if you don't even know the people involved.

Bottom line is this. If you're opposed to same-sex marriage, don't get married to someone the same sex as you. For that matter, be opposed to it for your children or for your family as well... But unless you can really show a compelling reason why you (or any other collective group of people) should get to choose for a minority of people who they get to marry---then why not stay out of it and let people marry who they choose?

Heck, when my wife and I got married my mom didn't get a choice in the matter. Now, if people were trying to make laws forbidding us to get married---people who didn't even know us--- I'd be angry and very up in arms.

Why? Privacy.

So please show how people don't have a right to privacy---actually the Supreme Court already decided that too in Lawrence vs. Texas ( And in Loving vs. (the State of) Virginia ( the Supreme Court declared that people DO have a right to get married.

So... again... what's your problem again? I've shown you already two pretty major court cases proving rights of privacy and rights of marriage---what more do you need?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. One thing. You feel you can dismiss a Supreme Court decision because you don't agree with it. The whole lie of "activist judges" when they rule how right-wing conservatives don't agree with.

The fact is, these United States is made up of laws. We have a balance of powers made up of three branches. The Presidential branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.

You may not like it, but the Judicial Branch (Supreme Court, and the like) are there to interpret The Law and The Constitution. If a person doesn't like a Court ruling, they are free to file an appeal. But the bottom line is, the Supreme Court is there to balance out the other sides of Law. Otherwise we'd have either rule by Mob/Majority, or when the case is that one party or group is able to hold both Presidential and Legislative branches there's still balance so that they don't run rampant in violation of the Constitution.

You may not like it, but it's fact about how our system of government works. It helps prevent tyranny of the majority. Well... you can see it working today. Slowly, but it's working.

Plymouth A said...

One point of confusion I am running into here - where in our laws do we say that transvestites can't marry? Last I checked there are plenty of transvestites already in heterosexual marriages. A man who dresses as a woman is still classified as a man under the law and thus can marry a woman.

Joe said...

First, Mike, I really appreciate you writing your argument in such detail. Thank you. I disagree, but you've at least helped me understand where you're coming from, and I really do appreciate that.

If you can show me where in the Constitution there is a RIGHT TO GET MARRIED, then I will change that part of the piece.

Mike, the right in the 14th amendment, and in fact says far more clearly in the California Constitution, doesn't say "you have a right to be married," you're absolutely right. What it does say is that you have a right to be treated equally under the law. That if the law says "we hand out candy bars to white people" that the law must also hand out candy bars to non-white people.

Now, the analogy here can be extended too far, I grant. It is totally reasonable to hand out candy bars to non-murderers, and to withhold them from murderers. That's because we find harm, harm that the government is explicitly given the power to condemn in the Constitution, in murder. In the Constitution, powers are balanced by rights and vice versa.

Marriage is a candy bar, it's a benefit given by the government, paid for by everyone (well, all taxpayers.) That's why the Supreme Court eventually decided that black and white folks could marry, because the Constitution's Equal Protection *does* demand equal access to candy bars.

However, you're right to say that there's no "right" to legal marriage. If the government wishes to withdraw any legal recognition for marriage whatsoever, then it need to not fear Equal Protection (for race, or any other reason) in doing so, it may simply do so at any time.


I have two questions about the children argument, if you don't mind:

First, would you have objection to extending the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples who are *already* raising children?

Second, would you have objection to withdrawing the rights of privileges of marriage from opposite-sex couples who are unable to have children--like my own wife (of 23 years) and myself?

Kindred Sparrow said...

So, Mike Volpe said this in his most recent comment: "Well, the best and proper family unit is one man, one woman and children."

This is your opinion only. Americans don't all agree about what is the "best and/or proper family unit". Each of us gets to make the choice of who to create a family with, based on what each of us believes is best and proper.

mike volpe said...

All right, anyone that argues against the idea that one mother and one father is the best way in which to raise children is extremely secular progressive.

That seems to be one of the arguments in favor of gay marriage. Defining a family as one man and one woman is wrong because a family is whatever its participants make of it.

Now, I frankly don't care how you raise your family however society should only recognize only one family unit, one man one woman and children.

Of course, it is absurd to argue that anything besides this combination would make the BEST family unit. After all, one man and one woman create life. For some reason the combination that creates the life is not in some minds the BEST combination to raise those same children. The two things to some are just mere coincidence and have no bearing.

Of course, it is exactly this redefinition of the family unit that makes most of those of us that are against gay marriage that make us most resistent to the measure. We don't want the family unit re defined and we see gay marriage as doing that, and apparently some here see it the same way.

As for the SC rulings, well, I am not dismissing anything. Each of us presents our argument. The audience will decide which is better. Each SC case was decided by judges with biases. The Constitution is clear in my mind. The only rights I recognize are those in the Constitution. There is no right to get married in the Constition and thus I don't recognize it as a right.

Anonymous said...

What about heterosexual couples who have no intent or desire to produce children? Should they be barred from marriage since the only function of marriage is to produce children?

mike volpe said...

You can't force someone to do something, however if it is one man and one woman that is a marriage.

Plymouth A said...

Ever heard the statement "it takes a village to raise a child"? Decades ago the best family unit to raise a child was considered to be a LARGE extended family, consisting of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, village elders, and older siblings. Simply "one man and one woman" seems grossly inadequate when compared to that ideal! So, no, it's not just liberal progressives who would disagree that "one man and one woman" is the ideal. Large extended families still live together and raise children in other countries.

And you still haven't answered my question about transvestites. What exactly keeps them from marrying under current law?

mike volpe said...

It takes a village is NOT something I believe in. No, I don't believe that are allowed to or should be married. Their sex is undetermined.

Plymouth A said...

Well you happen to be WRONG on that. A transvestite is simply a man who wears women's clothing or a woman who wears men's clothing. That's the definition. There is nothing in the current laws that prevents such people from marrying - most of them are heterosexual. I think the word you mean is "transsexuals" or perhaps "intersexuals". These people are ALSO not prevented from marrying under the current law. As it happens EVERY person gets classified as birth as being either male of female - even if there is some question a doctor will GUESS. And as such, whether you think such a person *should* be able to marry, the fact is that they currently *can*. So the "slippery slope" arguments that these people will start demanding rights if gay marriage becomes widespread is void. They already CAN marry. If you want to start TAKING AWAY their rights, that's an entirely different issue.

As for the "it takes a village" point, whether you personally believe it or not is irrelevant to the point I was making. You said ", anyone that argues against the idea that one mother and one father is the best way in which to raise children is extremely secular progressive."

I was pointing out that there are a very large number of people who believe "one man and one woman" is NOT the best way to raise a child and that these people are NOT secular progressives. I never stated nor implied that you were one of them.

mike volpe said...

Well then, it depends on who the transvestite wants to marry. If they want to marry a female and they are themselves male that is a legal marriage. Most transvestites want to marry those of their own sex which is why they dress in a different sex.

As for taking a village, extended family can only help in raising a child, the primary responsibility is now and always has been set upon the parents, the mother and the father.

Anonymous said...

Mike Volpe, One of your comments posted June 23, you said that "defining a family as one man and one woman is wrong because a family is whatever its participants make of it." I am only 17, but I can tell you that has WRONG written all over it. to me, that statement really stood out. I mean, it sounds good the thought that no matter your gender as long as you and your partner raise a family with traditional values like, be kind to others, don't be selfish, etc... but if you look deeper, you can see the true meaning is sugar coated. I mean, think about this, Gay activists talk about the "right" to get married, yet they further go on to talk about abtaining a marriage license. Marriage is a privilege NOT a right. Therefore, the state must have a standard for issuing a license. We don't give a licence to just anyone who wants to drive a car (which is good) just as we don't grant a medical license to just anyone. You must know basic information. This runs parallel with marriage. Marriage isn't a right, it's a privilege that the state can and should regulate.

mike volpe said...

Dani, that is very wise especially for someone in their teens.

If I said that, I certainly didn't mean it. I think I was countering something one of the pro gay marriage folks said.

That said, I agree that a proper family unit should always be defined as one mother one father and children.

I also agree that marriage is not a right but a privilege, and that you need to meet certain simple standards and all those are that the marriage consists of one man and one woman.

Plymouth A said...

You're wrong about transvestites. As I already said, most of them are heterosexual. But even if they were not, my previous assertion that a "slippery slope" argument does not apply is valid. A man who dresses like a woman who wants to marry a man is no different than a man who dresses like a man who wants to marry another man. They are both gay marriages. So there is no "oh noes if gay people get to marry transvestites will ask to marry next!"

mike volpe said...

Crista, not only am I not wrong, but you aren't talking about transvestitles but cross dressers.

Cross dressers are men that dress as women, and most of those men want to be with other men, and that's why they dress like women.

Transvestites are women that used to be men.

Anonymous said...

let me point out your false reasoning:

1. "Thus, the first argument against gay marriage is that it won't simply redefine an institution that goes back before recorded history but it will also redefine the stable family unit. If marriage can be between two men or two women, then so too can the stable family unit be defined as such."

You're right, but this is not an argument against gay marriage. Instead, it's the opposite; gay couples will redefine the false understanding of what a stable family unit can be. Gay couples can raise children just as well as heterosexual couples.

2. "The gay lifestyle is inherently unequal to the heterosexual one. PC or not, the gay lifestyle doesn't lead to procreation."

Inherently unequal? First of all, that means nothing. Second, if marriage only exists for procreation, then why do many heterosexual couples decide to not procreate?

3. and for the harbinger that will make "The Provacateur" a supporter of gay rights after all:

"if marriage is redefined to include gays, how can anyone tell me that is the end of the redefinition."

Well, I'll tell you: this whole issue is a public policy debate, not a moral debate or anything else. I can argue against polygamy for practical, public policy, social reasons that have nothing to do with arguments pertaining to gay marriage.

Transsexuals should be allowed civil unions as well-- this poses no problems.

This is an issue of civil rights.

don't appeal to history so safely for verifying bankrupt policies of today.

Old deeds for old folks.

Provacateur's reasoning is so sad I'm wondering why i've taken 5min of my life to write this. That said, I'll give him/her credit for not appealing to religion in any of the reasons. But, even so, the logic in play here stands in as its own form of mysticism.

mike volpe said...

I am not sure how any of what you say counters anything I have said. You proclaim that gays are just as fit as straight people to be parents. That is nonsense. The best environment for a child is one mother and one father. Gays don't provide that. Of course, gays can be excellent parents but everything else being equal the traditional family is best.

If the father is an alcoholic and the mother is mentally disturbed then of course I would rather have gay parents, but that's only if there are aren't straight parents around.

As to the argument that polygamists would want to marry, well you never addressed my point. If this is a civil rights issue, then all relationships need to be allowed to marry. You seem to make an argument that other relationships would harm society but dismiss those that make similar arguments about gay relationships.

As to your second point, it is critical. If gay relationships are inherently unequal that is the central reason why they shouldn't be included in marriage. Marriage is primarily an institution to define the best family unit. The best family unit has one mother and one father. Gays aren't a family because that lifestyle can't create children.

As to your point that many marriages don't result in children, that is based on what you mean by many. It is certainly a tiny number of all marriages. Most marriages do result in children and that is no coincidence.

Anonymous said...

"secular progressive"

Mike: You keep using that term... I dont think it means what you think it means.

mike volpe said...

I use it in the way that Bill O'Reilly uses it. That is those folks that don't believe our country is founded on Judeo Christian values and those that want to move our society far towards a secular society that not only doesn't want to recognize faith but also wants to redefine it in a secular manner that rejects all traditions.

That said, I strongly encourage any comment that references any great line from the Princess Bride and thus, major props for the reference.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for your post and for answering the brave Anonymous so patiently.

There is a fair amount of research done that shows that the very best-odds situation for a child is to live with his/her married biological father and mother. Jennifer Roback Morse used to work for the Hoover Institute at Stanford, and has collected an impressive body of research on this matter.

Whether or not a heterosexual couple has children is irrelevant. Gay couples cannot procreate naturally--it must be done by technological means, and the child is deprived of the diversity of the mother/father relationship. I also oppose no-fault divorce, and many other cultural factors that diminish the practice of marriage, and spend a fair amount of time encouraging couples to invest love and forgiveness in their marriages, to celebrate the diversity of male/female complement, and not to punish each other for being different, becuase it is the right thing to do, and has power to make this world a better place.

As you mentioned, there has been a tremendous social fall-out from the decline of the traditional family unit (crime, poverty, heartbreak). The very fact of the decline of the practice of traditional marriage has made it possible for gay marriage to even be discussed. The way I see it (and I believe you also) is that now, more than ever, because of the evidence of how broken families hurt people, we should focus on strengthening the very best situation for children (traditional marriage). Gay marriage rights supporters argue from a philosophical relativistic viewpoint that appears to think that marriage does not hold any real meaning (and given the divorce and cold-marriage rate in this country, it is hard not to see how we have gotten to this place), and so can be redefined to include gays.

If someone can't see that gay sex is not equal to heterosexual sex (mutual pleasure, procreation, is all contrived--there is a glaring lack of diversity--a commitment to what is like me and a revulsion against what is not-like-me), then the person is blind to reality, since he is coming from a relative place where reality can be defined beyond the limit of can be affected.

To the person who declared, "Adults, duh!" (more or less), that same argument was easily used even less than 30 years ago to argue against gay sex relationships. The violence against what is obviously natural law is so clear that it cannot be argued. Once people have swallowed the idea that natural law makes no difference when it comes to gay sex, then there is no arguing with them--that is why they are screaming and protesting at old ladies, because the argument can't be made rationally. If gay people have the right to marry because they love each other, why can't I marry my dog? Or my child? Or my brother? Really, it is only a matter of time until people come to accept alternate theories of real relationships. The problem is that I think there is a true north, and that as hard as it is to come to agreement on it, I think that ignoring the obvious in natural law will cause problems, as it is doing already in places where gay marriage is accepted (marriage rates declining, more promiscuous children, and btw, the incidence of suicide and psychological disorders among gays in those countries is still very high in spite of the acceptance).

Just my thoughts for now, thanks again, Mike,

Anonymous said...

slippery slope fallacy is only a fallacy. A fallacy is defined as a seemingly convincing argument that realistically is not logical sound. Why would you call your argument slippery slope if you know that it is a fallacy? If you are concerned about same sex marriage leading to other groups wanting to marry then straight couples should not marry either because by them having a chance to marry then eventually other groups such as same sex couples would also want to marry leading to your so called, slippery slope theory. There should be a line drawn somewhere but same sex marriage should not be one of them. No on hate!

mike volpe said...

I draw the line because one mother and one father is the best family unit and that is the one defined by traditional marriage. Once you open up marriage to gays, then all combinations have the same right to marriage. Either marriage is traditional, one man and one woman, or it is whatever anyone wants it to be. That is the slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

well done mike!

Anonymous said...

Not that mike volpe listens anyways. Endlessly repeating "one man and one women = best" isn't actually an argument, it's propaganda.

Then he's told a slippery slop fallacy and then commits it:

If we're at A, and we go to B, then if B COULD lead to C, then C COULD lead to D, B leads to D. Woulda coulda shoulda maybes and what if's is definition conjecture and meaningless.

At any rate, repeating your erroneous history endlessly doesn't make you right. No a man and women set up hasn't been the predominant family unit in history or cross-culturally. You want to talk about facts THAT's a fact. You repeat your false history as if it was otherwise but that's not going to chance.

You dismissively state "I don't believe in the village", but it's not a subjective issue either. You also take pot-shots at "secular progressives" while simultaneously dismissing biblical references. So here's the deal: pick an angle and stick with it. Make an argument by referencing facts and examples. Repeating your own idiolistic prejudices as fact is not an argument. It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this, and I agree on a lot of your points/arguments. It would have been good though, if you mentioned the biblical side to it as well. God created Adam and Eve for a reason, one of those reasons were to reproduce. It wasn't Adam and Steve it was Adam and Eve. Many times in the bible it says how much God dislikes homosexuality he even considered it WICKED. But on the other hand God does not hate homosexuals, he hates the sin but loves the sinner. I feel like a lot of Christians forget that even if someone is a homosexual we shouldn't hate them, God loves them as much as he loves straight people.

I agree how in your argument you said that gay marriage would open up doors for anyone or anything to get married, which is true. Which means that if someone wanted to marry their dog they could, right? since a dog does have the same legal standing. And that person and that dog have actual love. So who knows what people are going to say next.

Also income taxes are going to be increased to make up for the marriage tax benefits given to homosexual couples. Financial benefits are provided to married couples because they produce and care for children. Why should homosexual couples get the same benefits as men and women raising children?

The 50% divorce rate has already weakened the definition of marriage. We shouldn't be taking further steps to define what marriage is. A law allowing gay marriage would increase the number of joke or non serious marriages, such as a couple of friends who want to save on taxes. Every society considers marriage the joining of man and woman. It makes biological sense since only a man and a woman can pro-create.
Even the dictionary states that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Lets say that a gay couple adopt a kid. You have to consider the child's benefit. Many religiously conservative researchers have found that children thrive best when reared with a married mother and father. Boys and girls have needs that are uniquely met by parents of the opposite gender.

You have to also consider the teaching methods. If gay marriage is legalized, schools would be required to teach that gay marriage is equivalent to opposite sex marriage, starting as early as kindergarten. That would violate the beliefs of many parents.

We haven't changed straight marriage in the past, so why now?

Ashlyn said...

The dictionary states that marriage is between a man and a woman.
I'm sure it does. Right now, marriage is typically between a man and a woman because we are denying other humans the right to marry.

If the couple adopted children, they would be helping a child that needed a home and studies show that gay parents raise children just as well as heterosexual parents.

As to the argument of "It's been this way for so long, why change it now?" Well we had slavery for so long, why did we change it? We kept women in the homes and didn't allow them to work and remain respectable, why did we change that? Because these are just a couple examples of things in our society that have been immoral and wrong! Society changes. The world changes. We cannot deny equal rights in a country where we value our human rights any longer.

Changing marriage would not lead to bestiality or children getting married. Marriage would still have to remain between consenting adults. That means people of legal adult age who agree to the marriage. Bestiality or children getting married would never be allowed.

As to religion, we are a secular country. Any religious arguments are invalid in law. It is your right to believe what you want, but our laws must remain secular. If you think Christianity should be in the government, then remember this. A secular government keeps our country a Christian nation. People don't feel pressured into choosing to follow Christ. Also, sects of Christianity are very different from each other. We'd have to pick one sect of Christianity if we were to have a religious government and it would be the minority of Christians in power.

Here is information from the census:

If you compare the amount of Christians in the U.S. to the amount of Christians in any one particular sect of Christianity, that one sect is only a small portion Christians. Sects of Christianity are extremely different. Compare Catholics to Quakers or Methodists. Very different. We do live in a Christian nation, but if we allow religion into the government, chances are it won't be your religion or beliefs. Think about that.