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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Failure to Support Gay Marriage Immoral?

I recall last week that a certain blogger named Justin seemed to think that opposition to same-sex marraige is immoral. I don't recall how they laid out exactly how such opposition is "immoral" or even if he tried to at all, but as with other commenters in the blogosphere, perhaps he thought that just saying that it was just made it so.

Robert Knight's recent article mentions a couple of reasons that may suggest to the average reader, that a case could be made that gay marraige could be viewed as "immoral".


"Utah, which had a Mormon population that advocated polygamous unions, was denied statehood until it passed a law ensuring that only one man, one woman marriages would be legally recognized.

The key case was Murphy v. Ramsey (1885), in which the Supreme Court upheld Congress' right to make polygamy and bigamy illegal in U.S. territories and a requirement for statehood. The court said:

"For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement."

WORLD magazine culture critic Gene Edward Veith notes that the homosexual drive to gain marital benefits is destroying marriage itself as people abandon commitment and embrace the "gay" notion of serial monogamy with "sex partners": "This sort of reductionism -- a spouse is nothing more than a sex partner, so a sex partner is the same as a spouse -- misses the point of what marriage is and what its role in society amounts to....Marriage is being defined down..."

Hoover Institute research fellow Stanley Kurtz has chronicled the acceleration of societal uncoupling from marriage in Sweden:

"Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock....Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more. Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood."



Knight links to a report by the group Mass Resistance which chronicles an extensive list of questionable outcomes since gay marraige was instituted in the state of Massachusetts. Some examples from the list might be debatable insofar as if they're "immoral" or not. However, who among us could possibly argue with the following?



"Since homosexual marriage became “legal” the rates of HIV / AIDS have gone up considerably in Massachusetts. This year public funding to deal with HIV/AIDS has risen by $500,000. As the homosexual lobby group MassEquality wrote to their supporters after successfully persuading the Legislature to spend that money: "With the rate of HIV infections rising dramatically in Massachusetts, it's clear the fight against AIDS is far from over."

Citing “the right to marry” as one of the “important challenges” in a place where “it’s a great time to be gay”, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped produce The Little Black Book, Queer in the 21st Century, a hideous work of obscene pornography which was given to kids at Brookline High School on April 30, 2005. Among other things, it gives “tips” to boys on how to perform oral sex on other males, masturbate other males, and how to “safely” have someone urinate on you for sexual pleasure. It also included a directory of bars in Boston where young men meet for anonymous sex.

Given the extreme dysfunctional nature of homosexual relationships, the Massachusetts Legislature has felt the need to spend more money every year to deal with skyrocketing homosexual domestic violence. This year $350,000 was budgeted, up $100,000 from last year."


I don"t mean to throw too much information out there at this time, so I'll stop right there. I believe that a good starting point would be to entertain explanations as to why the opposition to a practice that has seen AIDS cases rise in it's wake, increased domestic violence, increased levels of illegitimacy in countries where it was adopted and has led to questionable subject matter to students that is arguably not age appropriate could in any way be considered "immoral. What are your thoughts on the matter?





And please, I don't want this discussion to devolve into an accusation that those who are not supportive of the idea of gay marraige are trying to keep people who love each other apart from one another. We're talking about the effects of such a sweeping change as it relates to society. For example, what are some of the benefits to a society that redefines monogamous marraige to that of the "notion of serial monogamy "?

14 comments:

His Lordship The Gun-Toting Atheist said...

Marriage is a prison. Not sure why anyone would ever want to get married.

Celibacy = Freedom.

GentleSkeptic said...

Aside from the fact that I think you missed Justin's point entirely, I think you might be interested to read the interview with Louis Marinelli, who, after spending five years publicly fighting SSM (and a stint last year as NOM's spokesperson and strategist), has recanted and now supports SSM. Much of what he says touches directly on your "questions."

Scroll down for the full exchange. Here's a taste.

I think a lot of work needs to be done for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, to change the culture of promiscuity in our country and we would be doing ourselves a favor to focus our energies on that instead of singling out and lying the blame on one of the many guilty parties. However, until the day comes that homosexual sex does not continue to spread HIV at alarming rates as it does today, I must stand by my comments that, from a public health stance, homosexuality is a harmful to society. Having said that, the health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men is irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage. I was guilty of and apologize for this insensitive and inappropriate rhetoric.

Lastly, I came to understand the difference between civil marriage and holy marriage as in the sacrament of the Catholic Church. Let me rephrase. I understood that but either willingly chose not to accept it or just didn’t see it. Regardless, I see it now and the significance of that is as follows: Once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage, there is not one valid reason to forbid the former from same-sex couples, and all that is left to protect is the latter. Indeed Christians and Catholics alike are well within their right to demand that holy matrimony, a sacrament and service performed by the Church, recognized by the Church, remains between a man and a woman as their faith would dictate. However, that has nothing to do with civil marriage, performed and recognized by the State in accordance with state law.


His new blog is here: http://conservativedispatch.org/

JD Curtis said...

GS, how did I know from the beginning that you would be 'all in' when it came to the topic of Radical Gay Activism?

Without even going to the source that you cite, does his argument basically boil down to (re: health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men)..

'Don't worry about AIDS because it will primarily just affect the homosexual community'?

I don't mind addressing the other main point that he raises, but please answer this one first por favor.

Theological Discourse said...


Having said that, the health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men is irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage.

No it isn't. JD even posted data on why it isn't irrelevant in the last homosexual marriage thread.

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/open_monogamy/


"The recently published Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco, looked at the relationships of 566 committed gay couples (males) over a three-year period. The study showed that 47 per cent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others. An additional 8 per cent of couples were split: one person favored sex outside the relationship and the other expected monogamy. Only 45 per cent described their relationships as monogamous.

Proponents of “marriage equality” sing their refrain over and over: “Our relationships are just the same as yours.”

Not even close. While just 7 per cent of Americans believe that adultery (sexual infidelity by married, heterosexual partners) is morally acceptable, Dr Hoff’s report emphasizes that nearly 50 per cent of gays in committed relationships specifically affirm sexual infidelity. Other research shows shockingly higher rates (75-95 per cent) of non-monogamy in long-term gay relationships"


Of course, leave it to an atheist to NOT do all the relevant research.

JD Curtis said...

The reason I included the last paragraph in the above entry GS is because I didnt wnat this to devolve into arguments based on emotinal response, but rather reason.

For all the bowing to the alter of empiricism that skeptics partake in, I find it odd that when confronted with some hard numbers that oppose their worldview, one of the first things that they do is lob appeal to emotion fallacies at you.

At least thats been my experience anyway.

GentleSkeptic said...

Let's say your hard numbers are valid, even though they only indict one-half of one-half of the population in question, based on men-only in a small portion of the urban Bay Area.

What you seek to do is leverage a broad tendency (not even a majority tendency, mind you) of one part of a group to withhold a specific liberty from all individuals who can be associated with that group. In other words, you'd withhold marriage from monogamaous and disease-free lesbian couples in Ohio because 46% of gay men (in San Francisco) say that they prefer open relationships.

As usual, I can trust you to fixate on gay men.

We could also argue that the "criminal lifestyle" leads to objectively higher rates of drug use, addiction, criminal behavior, incarceration and death, therefore we should withhold marriage from all individuals with criminal convictions, maybe even arrests, because the criminal lifestyle is clearly not aligned with traditional norms of health and marriage. As you know, of course, criminals and convicts can get married, even while incarcerated on death row. So, you'd afford convicted and hardened criminals that which you'd deny working, tax-paying citizens. Conservative, indeed.

So it's not really that the "numbers" buttress your "empirical" argument, it's that your willingness to make them try reveals your… dare I say it?… bigotry.

I have long believed that when principled conservatives grasp the reality of gay people, and engage them, they will become among the most vociferous supporters of marriage equality. Because conservatism, in its best sense, is not about bigotry; it's about reality, and the best ways we can support responsibility, family and inclusion within a political structure of limited government. Marriage equality does all those things, costs nothing, and helps millions. It is an accessory to limited government, not an attack on it. It's pro-family and anti-balkanization. It's one of those moments when a minority seeks conservative values to achieve dignity and respect. It's only fear and fundamentalism that stand in the way. And it's reality and faith that will ultimately bring the wall of government discrimination crashing down. link

"Liberty for me, but not for thee" sayeth JayDee.

JD Curtis said...

you'd withhold marriage from monogamaous and disease-free lesbian couples in Ohio because 46% of gay men (in San Francisco) say that they prefer open relationships

Couple of things here.

I believe the 46% figure that you cite is on the low side. Other studies have indicated significantly higher numbers.

Also, you semed to have glossed over something and simply on to talk about lesbianism.

Particularly, do you agree that those involved in relationships in which (at least) one partner is involved in numerous sexual relationships with numerous partners on an annual basis constitutes a relationship quite different than what has been historically understood to define the word "marriage" as it is viewed in the west?

Once you answer this, I don't mind examining the "lesbian" example that you cite at all.

As usual, I can trust you to fixate on gay men

Ouch

On your other point, there are conservatives (and especially libertarians) who believe that the government shouldn't be in the marriage business at all. But pragmatically speaking, I don't see that ending anytime soon. Do you?

Justin Vacula said...

I posted, "I will argue that gays and gay allies are acting in an immoral fashion when they support the Catholic Church and Catholic groups even if the local groups are affiliates of national organizations and even if the local groups don't publicly take a stand on certain issues."

You're strawmanning me.

GentleSkeptic said...

…do you agree that those involved in relationships in which (at least) one partner is involved in numerous sexual relationships with numerous partners on an annual basis constitutes a relationship quite different than what has been historically understood to define the word "marriage" as it is viewed in the west?

Guess what? I (sort of) agree with your oversimplification of history and marriage. But here's the thing: as much as you and I may both disapprove of infidelity or the morality of open relationships, infidelity is not illegal. Cheating on your spouse or consenting to extra-marital affairs are not crimes. They are also not barriers to civil marriage, if you're straight. Period. And people who do commit real crimes can still get married.

And we don't live in "the west," we live in America, a very specific post-Enlightenment iteration of the west, where individual liberty is supposed to be guaranteed by our constitution. So, I guess when straight married people cheat on their spouses, we should collectively scold them or maybe just look the other way or whatever, but, you know, marriage is private and consensual and everything. But if the gays cheat on their partners, well, then we should certainly withhold marriage altogether, because that just isn't marriage "as it is viewed in the west."

No matter how you slice it, JD, yours is a double standard. And your "numbers" don't fix this problem, whether they're pulled from the study you actually cited or magically inflated by ethereal "other studies." It just doesn't matter, because even if 100% of all gay men and lesbians insisted on open marriages, that is up to them, and they would still only comprise a small minority of the overall "married population." If you really believe that straight people interested in monogamy are going to be somehow dissuaded by married but promiscuous homosexuals, I think you overestimate our influence.

Further complicating the matter are the lots and lots of actual gay men and lesbians that don't behave promiscuously and who want monogamous relationships—like my own—as well as the state protections for that relationship that come with marriage.

…there are conservatives (and especially libertarians) who believe that the government shouldn't be in the marriage business at all. But pragmatically speaking, I don't see that ending anytime soon. Do you?

No, I don't. Which is why I believe that the distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage is critical. People should be free to opt into either without being compelled to embrace both… although you don't often hear of folks getting married in the church but not signing the certificate from the state. Which strikes me as just a tiny bit potentially hypocritical. But whatevs.

GentleSkeptic said...

Wow. As if on cue…

JD Curtis said...

will argue that gays and gay allies are acting in an immoral fashion when they support the Catholic Church and Catholic groups even if the local groups are affiliates of national organizations and even if the local groups don't publicly take a stand on certain issues

But I'm perplexed. Would it be immoral to support a group that you deem to be moral?

Theological Discourse said...

Gs is of course hitting 2 strawmen.

What you seek to do is leverage a broad tendency (not even a majority tendency, mind you) of one part of a group to withhold a specific liberty from all individuals who can be associated with that group. In other words, you'd withhold marriage from monogamaous and disease-free lesbian couples in Ohio because 46% of gay men (in San Francisco) say that they prefer open relationships.

As usual, I can trust you to fixate on gay men.

As usual I can trust you to show your utter contempt for logic and critical thinking by resorting to the same tired atheist fallacious reasoning.

Nowhere did myself or JD state 'ALL GAY PEOPLE IN AMERICA should not get married because of a small sample of gay people in San Fransisco.' The data was specifically thrown at the following assertion:

"Having said that, the health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men is irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage."

The data is evidence that health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men IS relevant to the issue of same-sex marriage because they don't 'settle down.' The data clearly shows that they STAY PROMISCUOUS. Did anyone use this data as proof or empirical evidence that all gays shouldn't get married? NO! that wasn't even on the table. The data was used as evidence that health issues facing promiscuous gay men DO affect gay marriage, specifically for gay men. No one even mentioned women, so why even bring it up? furthermore, where exactly is YOUR EVIDENCE to back up what you are saying? for such a skeptic that relies so much on evidence to come to conclusions you sure do have a habit of neglecting it, oh I forgot, you're a special pleading hypocrite and that only applies to RELIGIOUS CLAIMS and not anything else. Your laughable argument about JD cherry picking data and applying it to an entire group is just you knocking down an argument nobody ever made.

Now, for your other straw man. Who here is saying that gays shouldn't get married because it's immoral? I cannot for the life of me see anyone in this thread making such an assertion. So your whole 'MURDERERS GET MARRIED TO LOL!!!' yet ANOTHER straw man you've constructed. What a joke.

Now, I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I have 2 reasons why gays shouldn't get married. Reason #1: It is the glorification of sin, plain and simple. Homosexuality is a sin, celebrating, promoting it through marriage is simply wrong. Reason #2:(since we all know atheists such as GS will automatically reject reason #1) If you accept gay marriage you possess absolutely NO LOGICAL reason whatsoever to deny the right to change the marriage laws to suit incest couples, man grandma couples, bestiality couples or people that want to marry the same way the current marriage laws are being changed to suit gay marriage, why should their rights be denied?

So please respond GS to prove that you possess absolutely no clue what evidence is and how it applies to the first paragraph and how you possess no clue what a 'slipper slope argument' is and how it in no way applies to reason #2.

GentleSkeptic said...

Once you answer this, I don't mind examining the "lesbian" example that you cite at all.

I answered your question. Stop playing games and redirecting the discussion and start the examining that say you don't mind doing.

But I'm perplexed. Would it be immoral to support a group that you deem to be moral?

You're not perplexed, you're playing games and being disingenuous and evasive, as always. It's always, "I'll answer your question just as soon as you answer mine" with you; ALWAYS. But you never do, do you? You just throw out more "questions," redirect, dodge, run; then call it a debate and declare yourself the obvious winner.

Oh wait… my bad. You're JD. I'm expecting too much.

As you were, then.

JD Curtis said...

I don't mind examinng it at all. I DO have gente de visita esta semana though and blogging might be a bit spotty over the next couple of days though.