Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics


I Support Same-Sex Marriage. Why Don’t You?

posted by hfields

I think the Facebook group called “Against gay marriage? Then shut the f*ck up and don’t get one” says it best. Here in NY, Governor Paterson (of whom I am not, generally speaking, a fan) has put a resolution calling for a vote on a bill allowing same-sex marriage on the state’s agenda. That makes me just a little bit more likely to vote for him.

I cannot imagine another ethical position to take other than supporting our fellow citizens’ right to marry. To criminalize love, to deny a portion of our society equal rights under the law, simply because of your fears, prejudices, or religious views, is despicable to me.

I don’t see how my marriage is devalued by someone else’s. Instead, I feel it is strengthened by the knowledge that the institution is so desirable that gays and lesbians will fight tirelessly against an enormous backlash to have access to it. 
Now, I understand that many of us have religious reasons to believe there’s something inherently wrong about same-sex marriage (or even same-sex partnerships of any kind). I don’t share them. But more than that, I believe our country was founded, not solely on Christian principles, but on the principle of religious freedom. No one religion should get to dictate the actions of our entire nation’s people. No religion at all, theoretically, ought to have a say (ahem, separation of Church and State) in matters of law. 
If you’re a religious authority with a problem marrying homosexuals, fine, don’t do it, but why should society as a whole ban the practice because of your beliefs?
Why on Earth would anyone be against it? I honestly want to hear something, anything, that would make the counterargument make the slightest bit of sense to me. If you’re against gay marriage, please explain your position. I want to understand how you can look your fellow humans in the eye and tell them they are second-class citizens and unworthy of the same civil rights as yourself. 
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John

posted November 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm


Well said. Here’s hoping your compassion and common sense eventually seep into Rod Dreher’s thick skull.



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John

posted November 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm


Well said. Here’s hoping your compassion and common sense eventually seep into Rod Dreher’s thick skull.



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Cranmer

posted November 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm


A similar – and equally bankrupt – argument could be made for legalizing drugs. “If you don’t like heroin, don’t take it.”
What is despicable is the effort by a vocal minority to foist their views onto the whole of society.
Indeed this begs the larger question of what constitutes a civil right. Voters in 31 states have spoken clearly on that issue.
Ultimately it is the myopia of the pro gay marriage movement that dooms it to failure.



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Hillary Fields

posted November 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm


Except, Cranmer, you haven’t given a good explanation as to your actual objection to gay marriage. Unlike heroin, it doesn’t kill you, isn’t addictive, doesn’t make you a junkie… what is the problem? I do like the question you’ve asked about “what is a civil right”, but I don’t know that this is a case of majority rules. Not everyone has to be disabled for the rights of the disabled to matter. Not everyone needs to be a racial sub-group in order for their rights to be respected. If even a small percentage of Americans have a disability, we make sure they are taken care of under the law. If I’m a Jew and 70 percent of Americans are Christians, I’m not forced to convert. So why must gays submit to the will of straight people?



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Cruz Control

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm


The silence here so far isn’t surprising, since same-sex marriage opponents really don’t have many intellectual arguments. Their best one–that marriage is about providing support and stability for raising children–falls apart because they refuse to apply it to childless heterosexuals or gays with kids. Heterosexuals get to benefit no matter what and gays cannot regardless of how many children are involved.
95% of the world is heterosexual and sees gays as THOSE PEOPLE. Since we only experience the world through our own eyes, it’s easy to believe that our group is superior. That’s the basis of sexism, racism and religious persecution and many people just don’t take the time to examine why they think the way they do. How could gay people ever form relationships and families just as good as ours? They’re gay!
Same-sex marriage opponents don’t have good answers to many key questions, particularly in a society designed to err on the side of freedom.
They can’t explain how the marriage of a same-sex couple weakens heterosexual marriages or why no erosion has been noted in any of the places where gays are, in fact, married. (Like the state with the lowest divorce rate of all, Massachusetts.)
They can’t explain why it is good public policy to promote stability and responsibility among heterosexuals, but not among homosexuals. Gays are going to exist, after all, married or not.
They can’t explain why the moral views of churches that oppose same-sex marriage should outweigh those of churches that affirm them.
They can’t explain how treating same-sex couples equally in any way prevents others from expressing their disapproval or teaching their children their moral views.
They can’t explain what denial of marriage rights is supposed to push gays to do. Marry a heterosexual? Chastity? Conversion? What’s the legitimate public policy goal being promoted?
They can’t explain why fans of “freedom” and “limited government” suddenly support government coercion when it comes to the private lives of gays.
They can’t explain why gay citizens should have to argue their worthiness to access the same rights and responsibilities they take for granted.
They can’t explain, if it’s about “the definition of marriage”, why they have also consistently fought against civil unions, domestic partnerships and all other forms of recognition for gay couples.
They can’t explain why they are focused on stigmatizing 5% of the population, but haven’t advanced a single initiative to prevent the biggest threat to marriage there is: heterosexual divorce.
So they play on emotions, instead, producing scary ads about indoctrinating children and reinforcing the stereotype that gays are not “like us.” Emotionalism works for a while, but as more people know gay couples and the public debate forces examination of these arguments, equality is winning out. Even in a world where 95% of the population is heterosexual, the electoral trend is very clearly moving in favor of equality.



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Steve Allen

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm


There’s a difference between objecting to gay marriage, which I do, and legislating against it, which I think is a waste of time. I think it’s impossible to legislate people into submission to any view point to which they are opposed. People only tend to obey laws they agree with. (eg, drugs, tax laws, speed limits…)
However, if you ask for my reason for being ideologically opposed to gay marriage, it hinges on my world view that we are more than a race of random molecules dangling in a vacuum. If God exists, then I believe we owe our existence to Him, and are therefore accountable to Him. That’s why I do not support gay marriage. It may not satisfy your criteria for a good reason, but it’s mine.
That does not mean that I will be hostile or violent towards those who enter into gay marriage. (Nor will I use expletives to defend my point of view.) It would be silly in the extreme to expect anyone with an opposing world view to mine to accept the standards implied by mine. But by the same token, I cannot support theirs.



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Sue Laubscher

posted November 12, 2009 at 12:41 am


All sin leads to death..no qoestion… and this one will too. So to say it won’t kill is to simply deny the truth. We will all die and that’s the overall effect of living in a fallen world, but God promises we will not meet a sudden and unexpected death if we walk in His ways. The bible calls homosexuality an abomination . I come from a very debauched life and my personal testimont is that such a lifesstyle has severely compromised my life and it is clearly not in one’s eventual interest to live a “gay” lifestyle. I can also add it is not at all “gay: as it is full of sorrow, hurt, betrayal, guilt, regret and so much more. The only “happiness” one gets is momentary and my prayer is that this will speak to many. There is a way out of this web of deceit and pain…God who created us has shown this and it is true. My own life is now improving every day as I walk with Him out of the valley of death a debauched life leads one into. I share with great love and deep compassion, never judging as how can I? I was in a worse situation.



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Joe Schmoe

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:02 am


Cruz Control, where did you get your statistics stating that 95% of the world is heterosexual…your delusional mind perhaps? As far as research dictates, the % is much much higher. Sue L….who the hell are you to judge who and when a person will die. God never told us, except perhaps in your delusional mind, that all who are good will not meet a sudden and unexpected death. Where do you Bible belt right wing morons get your principles…it’s a shame you have children because children will listen. I am a gay man who has been lovingly partnered for 15 years. I am also a practicing Catholic. God has shed his light on us. especially me continuingly…We are all made in his own image…perhaps God is gay!



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David

posted November 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm


The fact that one person’s religious mandates are “despicable to” the writer does not amount to a morally persuasive argument to establish laws that flout those religious mandates. If marriage is a religious institution our First AMednment bars lasw that interfere with freedom to practice. If, on the other hand, marriage is a civil insitution, it confers a set of financial benefits that society agrees are worth payign the extra dollar for. At least one of the following two assertions is true: Either the ability of a state to grant full economic benefits to domestic partners makes the distinction “marriage” of no significance, or the social benefits of marriage (having children with fathers, who are less likely to get involved in drugs or crime; enhanced longevity; enhanced productivity) have not been shown present in same-sex unions. There need be neither religious foervor nor the despising of those who do not sip from your ideological cup.



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Thom Hunter

posted November 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm


On the surface, gay marriage appears as a positive because it affirms two people who love each other. Obviously, however, it also affirms being gay. As the Bible is very clear that homosexual sexual activity is sinful — not being tempted, but acting out — then it stands to reason that gay marriage is not ordained by God. There is nothing in the Bible which affirms marriage between two people of the same sex. As much as we might yearn for it, it’s just not there and can’t be conjured up to make us feel better. We’re not to be guided by our desires, but by God’s design.
Marriage between a man and a woman in a monogamous relationship is the only example provided by God in His Word. It is the building block of civilized society and the basis of procreation. A homosexual union is not a marriage. Gender mattered to the Creator and it should matter to us in at least the matter of marriage.
I want men and women to be happy, even those who are attracted to the same sex, as I have been. However, happiness comes not so much from seeking what we think will make us happy as it does from conforming to God’s will for His people.
Thom



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Hillary Fields

posted November 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm


Thom H – nicely said, except, we don’t all believe in the same god, nor should we all be required to. America wasn’t founded to only support the beliefs to which one group subscribes. Those who call the U.S. a Christian nation would steal from us the very freedoms upon which this country was founded. And, even among Christians, there is room for different interpretations of the Bible, so who is to say we should all conform to one orthodoxy? Why should one man’s beliefs impose upon another’s freedoms?



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Hillary Fields

posted November 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm


David – just because a tradition like marriage is not a religious one to all people, that doesn’t mean it has no weight or sentiment to those who would abide by it. So having a different kind of union for some than for others, whether or not it comes with the same societal benefits, is still setting apart one group and calling it less valuable than the rest. Separate, but equal? I hardly think so. If some can only be domestic partners under the law, then we should all have that title and status, not single out some and make them feel excluded. As for the societal benefits of marriage upon households with children not being shown with homosexual couples, I’d like to see these studies you mention. Have there been exhaustive studies of same-sex unions? If so, did they show they are worse parents than straight people? Perhaps, if they were allowed to marry, we’d actually be able to get an accurate survey.



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Jenna

posted November 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm


The bible, is in fact, um FICTION, HELLO? And although some of the “characters” very may well have existed, the majority of it is embellished… for example, Jesus was most likely a North African magician. Also, Christianity was a religion started for people who were rejected from all the other more “superior” religions. So American’s against gay marriage who say it is because of the bible are in fact, relying on a work of fiction for rejects who believed in magic tricks.



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Jenna

posted November 12, 2009 at 8:25 pm


I made typos! Americans no apostrophe. There are probably others.



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Solomom

posted November 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm


Thom said “Marriage between a man and a woman in a monogamous relationship is the only example provided by God in His Word”
Thom lied.
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines
not that Thom’s lies about the bible have any bearing on civil marriage under the laws of a secular nation



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Thom Hunter

posted November 13, 2009 at 11:43 am


Hillary,
You ask the question about whether there have been exhaustive studies of same-sex unions. I doubt it. It’s not been necessary up to this point because same-sex unions were not generally accepted as normal. Children deserve to have a mother and a father for their own development of gender identity. It is in large part the breakdown of the traditional family that has led to an at-least perceived increase in those who consider themselves gay . . or at least struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. We’re always discussing these issues as if there are only two groups: those who are not gay and glad . . . and those who are gay and glad. There is a significant other group: those who have same-sex attraction issues, but believe that acting on those temptations is not biblical.
While is it is true that we are all free to choose our own beliefs, marriage has been both a civil and religious institution. We do not need to re-define the word “marriage.” It has always been understood to be a union between a man and a woman.
As to the person who commented about Solomon, it is a favorite ploy of many to reflect on Old Testament customs to support New Testament living. We are, after all, under a New Covenant. Solomon may have been wise . . . but 700 wives? His wisdom obviously was limited in some areas.
Jenna: You seem authoritative when you declare the Bible fiction. Can you cite something to back you up on that or did God reveal it to you personally that He just penned it for fun and entertainment.



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LutheranChik

posted November 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm


All the metaphysical tapdancing going on here fails to address the fact that 1)marriage is NOT both a religious and secular institution — atheists and the irreligious as well as many thousands of other Americans who do not follow Christianity are legally married with no questions or asterisks; and 2)anti-gay-marriage people like to say that it’s not about rights and benefits but the word or idea of marriage that they want to keep exclusive to male-female committed relationships…but that isn’t true; they want to instead penalize committed, faithful same-sex relationships by denying them the legal protections and benefits that married heterosexuals enjoy, or at very least forcing gay people through extensive and expensive legal wrangling to attain an inferior counterpart to what married heterosexual couples enjoy automatically.
I’m a partnered gay person. We’re Christians who play an active role in our church — I in fact am a commissioned lay minister. We are good citizens; we’re taxpayers; my partner is a disabled vet who served this country honorably, at great cost to herself. We take our vows to one another seriously indeed. We have a very normal middle-class family life. But we, unlike our heterosexual married neighbors, are not automatically entitled to hospital vistitation, or power of attorney, or government survivor’s benefits, or one another’s health insurance access, or other legal protections. We’ve had to cobble together piecemeal, at a financial cost, a rough equivalent of some of these things, while others are just not possible at this time.
How is denying us the protections and rights of married people “protecting” married people? How is extending marriage rights to us taking something away from you? Or are you just saying “nyah-nyah-nyah” to my partner and myself by wanting to keep these perks for your own households? What’s your goal? The equivalent of making me lower my eyes and step off the sidewalk for you? Somehow “schooling” us to a point where we say, “This is too hard,” and walk away from our relationship? What are you saying to me and my household, really? — using the free speech that my partner ruined her health to defend for you?



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Kaiser

posted November 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm


Marriage has both civil (civil union) and religious (religious union) traditions.
Any two people should be able to enter into a civil union in this country. Period. A civil union is government construct, and we should not have our government discriminate based upon beliefs.
If a church wants to go out and start “Marriage 2.0″ or “Real Marriage ™” or “No Gays Marriage” or “We don’t like gays and hope they all die and it’s a sin Marriage” or even “Yummy brownies served after the ceremony Marriage” and only perform the ritual according to their specific beliefs, then I encourage this. This should be done.
I do not encourage them messing with the civil institution of civil unions (which can be colloquially called “Marriage”). They should execute their cultural beliefs within their culture, and the government should execute its powers and laws according to it’s culture (which is one of non-discrimination for things like race, gender, sexual orentiation, etc).



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Thom Hunter

posted November 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm


LutheranChik,
Truly, I did not mean to offend you. I, like you, have a set of beliefs that come from my understanding of what the Bible says and what I believe is God’s intent. However, it isn’t my intent to demean you, wish you harm, want to make you seem inferior, school you, or cause you to give up on what you believe out of futility. My personal position is what it is and is firm, as is yours. Like you, I don’t see myself abandoning that. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you and accept you as one of God’s children. I do.
My issue is not whether you and your partner get the perks. That truly is a civil decision. I really meant to limit my comments to my personal beliefs, based on my interpretation of both Old and New Testament scriptures. I happen to be a person who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction my entire life and I am not unsympathetic in the least. That’s the entire point of my blog. This is a difficult cultural issue for all denominations. While the Lutherans have been splitting on it; Southern Baptists like myself, are still pretty much in agreement. I just believe that while being tempted is not a sin, acting on it — engaging in homosexual sex — is. I don’t say that to judge, as we are all sinners. I just say it because my reading of God’s Word — and you and I are both Christians — tells me it is. My role, as a Christian, would be to love sinners; Christ’s role would be to open their eyes if need be.
My son is an Army Ranger. Like your partner, he risked and continues to risk his life so that all of us can express ourselves freely. If I hurt you, I apologize.



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LutheranChik

posted November 14, 2009 at 8:57 am


Thom: This is a free country, and you’re free to affiliate with/submit yourself to the authority of any religious organization you wish, even one that makes you ashamed of your God-given sexuality and attempts to force you to make a choice between “holiness,” in its perception, and the good gift of sexual intimacy within the context of a committed relationship with a true partner in life. However, it is not your denomination’s place — despite its cultural aggression and seeming need to elect itself America’s national church — to force its sectarian beliefs about sexuality upon a religiously diverse nation, NOR — and I don’t want this to sound mean — is it your place to advocate against legal marriage for your fellow gays and lesbians because legitimizing your gay sisters’ and brothers’ committed relationships makes your life harder as a celibate gay person. That would be tantamount to a conservative Muslim man advocating for mandatory women’s hijab in this country because seeing women in street clothing makes him personally uncomfortable, or for a “dry” denomination like yours pushing for a renewal of Prohibition because you don’t believe in drinking. Short answer: Not. My. Issue. We all work out our own personal integrity issues in a diverse world. My being legally married, or its legal equivalent in terms of rights/privileges/responsibilities (and, yes, one assumes those in a legal marriage as well…this isn’t all about entitlements), as Jefferson might have said, neither breaks your leg nor picks your pocket…but you and your coreligionists’ denying us these things hurts us financially and socially.



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Anitra Freeman

posted November 15, 2009 at 6:48 pm


“Children deserve to have a mother and a father for their own development of gender identity.” What “gender identity” is that, Thom? “Feminine” girl who plays quietly with Barbie dolls and “masculine” boy who plays noisily with Tonka trucks?
What about the couple who both work in a factory and like to sit together after work, drink beer, watch football, and cuss out the referee? Are their girl children learning the right “gender identity,” or do you think they should not be allowed to raise girl children? What about the couple who are both long-haired vegan peaceniks? Are their boy children learning the right “gender identity,” or do you think they should not be allowed to raise boy children?
Thing is, gay people will still exist and will still form pair-bonds and will still raise children, whether or not their marriages are made legal and their rights are legally protected. It will just be harder on them. An increase in pain and loss and difficulty is not going to make them stop being gay.
Whether or not you accept your own sexuality, Thom, a growing number of people have decided to accept theirs, and to live by the same standards of loyalty, care and responsibility that should apply to people of all variations in sexuality.
This is not a question of what “normal” and what is “abnormal.” It is a question of what force we can rightfully use to make other people live as we consider “normal” and stop them from doing what we consider “abnormal.” The one consistent guideline is that whenever allowing the exercise of a right causes more damage than restricting it would cause, we restrict it to the extent necessary to protect the rights of others.
Until someone comes up with a better case than “little girls won’t learn to be normal little girls and little boys won’t learn to be normal little boys,” there is no just reason for restricting the rights of same-sex couples.



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wry

posted November 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm


Everyone is wanting to talk about what the Bible says about marriage. If the Bible does affirm homosexuality please tell me where. Verse and reference please. If it does not, please tell me where, verse and reference please. I am not looking to discuss any dogmatic references to marriage or Christian Doctrine regarding the sanctity of marriage that may be out there. Put your traditions and “personal beliefs” aside for just a minute. What does the word of God say regarding the issue? I am not asking what it does not say. What do the words penned many thousands of years ago say about marriage?
God did not say that he only loved straight people, he said that he love the world! (John 3:16) I believe God’s love is just as goof for me as it is for someone that is homosexual. I am still exploring the issue of homosexual marriage from a biblical and theological standpoint. Respectful help from both sides would be of some assistance. Thanks.
FYI, I am a Christian. I will give more specifics later if anyone is curious.
Thanks.



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Bella Benedict

posted February 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm


Pretty nice place you’ve got here. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.
Bella Benedict
alessandra escort milano



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