Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk


Big gain in support for same-sex marriage

posted by Mark Silk

The latest Pew survey
on attitudes about same-sex marriage shows a more striking shift than
indicated by the Pew Forum’s headline: “Support for Same-Sex Marriage
Edges Upward.” Yes, support edged up four percentage points over last
year, from 38 percent to 42 percent. And opposition edged down five
points, from 53 percent to 48 percent. In other words, the gap between
supporters and opponents was more than halved, shrinking from 15 points
to six. Now, for the first time, less than a majority of Americans
oppose SSM. That’s significant news.

Among regions of the country, only the South now opposes SSM, by a
full 20 points. Among religious groups, only white evangelicals and
black Protestants are significantly opposed. (Mormons doubtless are as
well, but the survey does not register them.) Democrats are in favor and
this year, in a 12-point turnaround, so are Independents (by a single
point). Republicans remain a remote outlier, though even among them
support has edged up from 19 percent to 24 percent.

All this has taken place during a period of apparent conservative
resurgence. No wonder the GOP and its Tea Party allies are keeping mum
on SSM.



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Comments read comments(15)
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Kiro

posted October 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm


If marriage is redefined so that it is not linked to procreation, then it stands to reason that it must also be redefined so that it is not about distributing the benefits our society grants to couples, for the purpose of enabling them to start a family.
So how will these benefits be distributed in the future?
And what of the children who will be losing what is currently their legal right in all 50 states – the right to a relationship with their real parents, mother and father, to be severed only in the case of legitimate crisis? What happens to the notion of what’s best for the child, when parents’ right to have a parenting experience trumps the legal precedent of “child’s best interest”?



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Mark Silk

posted October 9, 2010 at 8:43 am


The premise is mistaken. Marriage is not now defined as linked to procreation. If it were, marriage benefits would be denied to elderly people who get married without the possibility of procreating.



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Panthera

posted October 9, 2010 at 10:34 am


Kiro,
I have a question for you.
Now, I understand that you feel it is your good Christian duty to deny me civil and human rights in the US – got that.
The basis for you opposition is rooted in your personal Christian convictions. Got that, too.
What I would like to know, is how you can , as a Christian, support the propagation and dissemination of outright lies? Do you not also have a duty to inform yourself of the reality of what granting gays full human and civil rights entails? Do you not have a duty to acknowledge the genuine legal status of marriage in the US?
Not the religious meaning (to you), but the legal definition?
By all means, continue to oppress my civil and human rights wherever you can – it obviously gives you great satisfaction. Do not, however, claim you are acting as a Christian while intentionally using false information and perpetuating lies. You can’t have it both ways.



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Kimball

posted October 10, 2010 at 6:32 am


Mark,
Why stop with so-called same sex marriage? We can take a poll in a few years and find out how many people are for group marriage. Then you might be able to write a column advocating three men and four women be involved in a marriage. And, of course, don’t forget the polygamist male who is happy with six or eight wives.
Once you depart from the bounds of traditional Judeo-Christian morality, all bets are off.



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Mark Silk

posted October 10, 2010 at 9:46 am


Actually, Kimball, it’s an empirical question whether accepting same-sex marriage puts us on a slippery slope to public acceptance of all kinds of “non-traditional, non-Judeo-Christian” marital arrangements. Polygamy is a bit of a problem here, since it’s been accepted in various “Abrahamic” societies. Be that as it may, I’ve seen no evidence of increasing acceptance of such arrangements in jurisdictions that now recognize same-sex marriages. I regularly poll my students on these matters, and while the vast majority consistently supports same-sex marriage, an even larger majority opposes polygamy.



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kenneth

posted October 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm


I’m surprised no one brought up bestiality yet. There’s almost always some moronic blathering about how people are going to marry their dogs in droves if we start on the dangerous slide of giving gay people their human rights.
ALL of the Prop 8 crowd’s concerns about “natural law” or Church teachings are transparently hollow because it it clear they only care about gay “violations” of that law. Not only do we allow elderly or medically infertile people to marry, we allow people to marry who are perfectly capable of reproduction but choose not to. Young people with elective sterilization get married all the time. Many tens of millions of divorced people remarry, which is nothing more than state-sanctioned adultery in the church’s eyes.
The latest polls also show that huge percentages of heterosexual people also engage in all of the same “disordered” acts as gays. Yet you won’t find any campaigns to outlaw these things. Not a single dime has been raised and spent, nor a legislator lobbied to advance laws against hetero violations of these teachings and natural law. They’re not the least bit concerned about “protecting traditional marriage.” They’re concerned about keeping gays “in their place”



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Kimball

posted October 11, 2010 at 8:37 am


Mark, I respectfully have to say that you missed my point. Logically and legally, there is scant defense against other forms of “marriage” if one abandons the traditonal view which the majority of societies have held since the foundation of the world. Up in Canada, a group of Mormon offshoot polygamists were not prosecuted for their behavior. Since Canda allows so-called SSM (actually it is pseudogamy), it seems to me that the Canadian authorities would have been in a difficult position to do so. Once law allowed one form of non-traditional union, how could other forms be prosecuted.
Polygamy was not God’s ideal. Matthew 19:8. Furthermore, it is not widely practiced in most societies today. Yet if the liberals and libertines continue to push this so-called same sex marriage, polygamy or even group marriage for those desiring it would be the next logial step. Or maybe we can find a guy who wants to marry his female great Dane. Who knows what could occur in our courts?
You seem to be reducing marriage to a simple contractual agreement. That may be a good secular point but it is not a religiously justifiable point.



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Kimball

posted October 11, 2010 at 8:43 am


Kenneth,
The fact that older people beyond child-bearing years marry is not a distortion of marriage. Obviously, children are a central purpose of marriage but their birth and nurture is far from the only purpose of marriage. Even younger couples are often infertile, but that does not negate the value of their marriages.
I do not know what your religous views are but you are going to have a hard time establishing the fact that any major world religion would indorse pseudogamy.



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Your Name

posted October 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm


Kiro,
“If marriage is redefined so that it is not linked to procreation”
Wrong tense. Procretion isn’t a requirement of marriage NOW. Not even for you betterosexuals.
“And what of the children who will be losing what is currently their legal right in all 50 states – the right to a relationship with their real parents, mother and father”
This, too, is a false premise. Gay people have been getting legally married in the U.S. (and elsewhere) for well over 6 years now, and not a single child has “lost” such a “right”. It has not happened and it will not happen because same gender marriage has nothing to do with any rights of any child. You’ve confused the institution of marriage with the institution of parenthood.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm


@ Kimball,
“Or maybe we can find a guy who wants to marry his female great Dane.”
Why is it that so many ‘self-described’ heterosexuals want to marry animals? ;{O)
Meanwhile, back at the Sanity Ranch,we are discussing human relations. Let us know when you want to join the sane, adult discussion, capable of comprehending the concept of “consent”.
You also seem not to understand that “religiously justifiable point[s]” are irrelevant to the discussion in a land that promises freedom of religion to all its citizens. Why do you hate freedom of religion?
“The fact that older people beyond child-bearing years marry is not a distortion of marriage. Obviously, children are a central purpose of marriage but their birth and nurture is far from the only purpose of marriage.”
Procreation is not a requirement of marriage in the first place. Secondly, you’ve failed to delineate any other “purpose” of marriage that elderly/non-procreative heterosexuals fulfill that gay people do not/can not.
DO BETTER!



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Kimball

posted October 12, 2010 at 8:55 am


Grumpy Old Person,
Are you attempting to defend heterosexuals who wish to marry their pets? I hope not.
Where did I say that children were a “requirement” of marriage? You misquoted me.
As far as other purposes of marriage, please read Ephesians 5:22-33 and I Cor. 7 for some Biblical answers.
I don’t know what your religious views are, but you will have a hard time justifying pseudogamy based on any major world religion.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm


“Where did I say that children were a “requirement” of marriage?”
You said they were “link[ed]”. I said makin’ babies isn’t required, therefore “redefin[ing]” marriage in order to make it “not linked to procreation” is redundant. People can (and do, apparently) procreate outside of marriage (or so I’ve heard), ergo it isn’t “linked” now.
As for marrying their pets, you brought the irrational beastiality comparison into the discussion (via the “Or maybe we can find a guy who wants to marry his female great Dane.” comment, which surprised me somewhat – I was half expecting the more baldly homophobic ‘guy who wants to marry his male great Dane’ slur) not me. So you go ‘defend heterosexuals who wish to marry their pets’. Meanwhile, we will continue to discuss consenting, adult, human relationships.
“Who knows what could occur in our courts?”
Um, perhaps the informed, rational, reasoning people who understand the legal concept of consent.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm


“As far as other purposes of marriage, please read Ephesians 5:22-33 and I Cor. 7 for some Biblical answers.”
Why on earth would I want “Biblical answers” while discussing a secular issue (civil marriage)? And why would I want “answers” from your particular Holy book? Why not the Book of Kells or the Book of Tao?
For that matter, why not from Dianetics? Scientology is a religion too, apparently. It isn’t the one I belong to, but I’m sure you don’t go to my church either.
Why do you hate freedom of religion?



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 20, 2010 at 9:42 pm


My apologies, to Kiro who was the one who actually said
“If marriage is redefined so that it is not linked to procreation”
Kimball just butted in.
As Emily Litella used to say, “Never mind.”



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm


“children are a central purpose of marriage”
Not to my middle sister. She had TWO marriages (both of ‘em in her Church, it should be noted) and neither produced any children. Ditto for my Aunt Emily, and for my friends Marge & Tom, and my nephew and his wife and …
Oh wait, the issue of procreation (aka the institution of parenthood) is simply a separate issue from the institution of marriage. You wanna talk about makin’/raisin’ babies? Start a different thread. This one ain’t about that.



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