Monday, June 12, 2006
Marriage Part Deux
I know that the amendment didn’t pass this time. I know it will be brought up again and will fail again in Congress. That does not mean that the issue is history.

45 states and Puerto Rico have prohibitions against same-sex marriage on the books.

This is going to continue to be an issue in the states (where the argument belongs) for a very long time, so, let’s look at the issues logically – get our facts together so that we actually have something to say on the issue besides, "because it’s like slavery…" which is not a cogent argument but a fragment and is not going to get anyone a forensics award.

1) If we’re going to talk about same-sex marriage, let’s talk about it. The President has not once said the word gay or lesbian or homosexual in relation to the discussion, he keeps talking about protecting marriage from activist judges. I’m pretty sure that activist judges are not asking for the right to marry. Let’s have this discussion out in the open, where it belongs.

2) The 18th amendment is the only amendment to the Constitution that reduces the rights of Americans and we have the 21st amendment repealing it.

3) This issue is not about marriage, it is about whether being gay is a choice or not.
If it was about marriage, we would be discussing the rates of divorce and adultery at the same time, but we aren’t.

If it was about marriage, we would make it harder than getting a Blockbuster card (which, I can attest, it is not. Getting a Blockbuster card requires much more identification, not to mention a credit check)

If it were about marriage we would be talking about strengthening the marriages of those people who are married, not preventing new people from getting married which might, in fact, strengthen marriage.

4) "Marriage between one man and one woman does a better job protecting children better than any other institution humankind has devised," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "As such, marriage as an institution should be protected, not redefined." If we are to agree for a moment that having a mommy and a daddy is an optimal environment, then we must allow for environments that are not optimal. We allow one parent, which is suboptimal in their view. Is it, in the child’s best interest to be raised by a mommy and daddy who are meth addicts, or would we prefer one of them to leave, get into treatment, get custody and take the child away from an unhealthy environment. If we are to bar "less than optimal" environments, we must start looking at all of the other hideous conditions that children are subject to growing up and deal with some of these as well.

5) The right wing pundits insist that there is a slippery slope. There is no slippery slope. Being married to another consenting adult is the issue here. Being married to more than one person is a choice. Children and animals are not consenting adults.

6) The people have spoken! If 45 of 50 states have prohibitions against same sex marriage then the people must want to prohibit same sex marriage and who are the activist judges to overturn this? The argument here is that if that was the case, minorities who were useful in the status quo (i.e., slavery, voting rights and miscegenation), women would not have the right to vote and there would still be slaves in the Southern states. The vast majority of Americans do not believe in miscegenation, yet this was something that state voters passed throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The Supreme Court in overturning the constitutionality of mixed marriage wrote in 1967:

Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the 14th Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.

Furthermore, in 2000, when Alabama finally overturned its state law against miscegenation, fully 40% of Alabamans voted to keep the ban. Should we return to racist laws because our society is still flooded with racists?

7) The President said on 06/05/06 that "Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure." How, Mr. President? How does it undermine the family structure? Do two men sitting down to a home cooked meal together with their adopted child undermine the family structure? Does having excellent health insurance coverage for a woman’s partner and her children undermine family structure? Can you explain to me how recognizing two loving parents as bonded for life and entitled to the same rights as their next door neighbors undermines family structure?

"Traditional marriage is the cornerstone of a healthy society." said President Bush, and I agree. In fact, according to multiple studies (Waite & Gallagher, 2001; Murphy et al, 1997; Schoeni, 1995; Smith, 1995; MacLanahan & Sandefur, 1994 – I can go on and on) married people live longer, are healthier, earn more money, work harder and save more than their unmarried counterparts. While many of us have been sharing a bed with our same-sex partner for decades, why not honor this kind of stability?

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Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Yah know, I can almost buy the economic argument against same-sex marriages. Easy, I SAID "ALMOST". But the whole "undermining family values" argument just doesn't make sense to me. If I'm Catholic (which I'm not), does that undermine the Buddhists? Am I being to simplistic?

Blogger Uccellina said...

What is the economic argument against same-sex marriage? I am teh ignorant. I'm trying to imagine an economic argument against same-sex marriage that wouldn't logically extend to heterosexual marriage, and so argue against the institution of marriage itself.

Blogger Faith said...

The only economic argument I have found against same-sex marriage is that it will cost employers more to cover same gender partners. Right now many, though not all employers cover nothing other than married partners. Others can get away with reduced benefits for same gender partners. So, for now, these employers are getting a free ride.

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

yup. That's the economic argument. Basically, the infrastructure doesn't exist to support insurance for domestic partners; pretty much the same reason they don't cover people "who live in sin".

Blogger K8 said...

I particularly agree with 3 - I've heard many arguments against gay marriage saying it goes against what marriage is defined as, that it somehow violates the idea of marriage. So what exactly does divorce do? I don't feel that their argument is about the sanctity of marriage - it's about same sex couples. And 4 - there are so many same sex couples who create happier families that the standard nuclear family.

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