Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Does Gay Marriage Threaten Religious Freedom?

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

A while back, Mary Ann Glendon, Professor of Law At Harvard University, wrote this with regard to gay marriage:

Religious freedom, too, is at stake. As much as one may wish to live and let live, the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don’t go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles.

I find the threat of religious intolerance and discrimination so obvious, so likely, that I find it hard to believe others don’t see it as clearly. Many proponents of gay marriage already (falsely) see gay marriage as a civil rights issue, so with that view in mind, it’s a small step to conclude that religions that teach against homosexuality or gay marriage, are just like a religion that would teach, say, racism or sexism.

In other words, proponents of gay marriage currently have a very difficult time distinguishing between bans on actions and bans on non-actions. Do you think this will get better after gay marriage is allowed? No, it clearly will get worse, especially with the next generation. After gay marriage is allowed, with each passing generation, more and more people are going to (falsely) see a ban on gay marriage as equal to a ban on race, or gender, or nationality. Let me ask you this, how would you see a religion that bans black people from its membership? If there were such a religion, there would have already been people who would have tried to remove the tax exempt status from that religion, who would argue that any politician who belongs to that religion be removed from office, and who would publicly chastise members of that religion, right?

What’s to make you think that the same thing wouldn’t happen to religions that continue to teach against homosexuality and homosexual marriages? Religious people who believe that homosexuality is wrong, whose religion does not allow gay marriage, will be reduced to (the same level as) those members of today’s society that are for racism. Sure, they are allowed to speak publicly, they still have free speech rights after all, but like racists today, they will be rebuked by society, seen as a fringe group of individuals that are out of the mainstream, that don’t deserve to be heard. In short, members of the Catholic Church tomorrow will be seen as members of the KKK today.

I normally shy away from conspiracy theories, but allow me to break one of my rules and float a conspiracy theory on this. Some of my conservative comrades believe that the primary motive behind several proponents of gay marriage, specifically those groups of people that absolutely hate religion, is not to give gays the ability to marry, but the hope that allowing gay marriage will further push religion into the far corners of society. In other words, their primary motive behind gay marriage is not because they care about gays, it is not because they want gays to be recognized publicly, it is primarily because of their dislike for religion. They know that by bringing in gay marriage, they are indirectly pushing out religious politicians from public discourse and thereby furthering their secular utopia.

Either way you look at it, it is so abundantly clear to me that those who (falsely) view gay marriage as a civil rights issue, which will certainly be more people if gay marriage is allowed, will logically follow through on their views, and with time, religions that teach against homosexuality or against gay marriage, will be no different than KKK members today. Some proponents of gay marriage look forward to this day consciously, others do not. Either way, allow gay marriage and the road is clearly paved in that direction.

Still think it’s unlikely? Well it looks like it is already starting to happen in Canada.

Link via Cella’s Review who has more on this.

Is Gay Marriage A Civil Rights Issue?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

It is my pet peeve when people equate gay marriage to civil rights. To say that people against homosexual marriage, or homosexuals in general, are modern day racists is to miss a fundamental error of racism and to ignore that difference is to lower the significance of the evils of racism and sexism.

There is a fundamental difference between someone’s sexual behavior, and say someone’s skin color, or nationality, or gender, or stage of development, things that do involve civil rights. And that difference is that homosexuality is defined by ones actions where as true civil right issues are not.

For example, I am Mexican, and no matter what actions I take, even voting Republican 😉 , I am still going to be, and always will be Mexican. In other words, there is no action whatsoever that I can do that will change the fact that I am Mexican and there is no action that a non-Mexican can do that will make one a Mexican. The same is true for race, gender, and stage of development.

That cannot be said with homosexuality. Homosexuality is defined by its action, or to say it another way, it is a behavioral attribute. And like all other actions, it can be analyzed, and scrutinized; no action is without analysis.

Maybe with an example, this can be better understood.

I once read, although I can’t verify, that in the past Muslims outlawed writing with your left hand. I think it had something to do with a verse in the Quran that states that your left side is dirty or something (or it could have been false propaganda, either way it is just an example). For one reason or another, they outlawed children from writing with their left hand. In kindergarten, or the equivalent of that, the Muslim teachers were required to force children, whether left handed or right handed, to write with their right hand.

Now, of course we all agree that this is wrong. But would we say this is a civil rights issue? I don’t think we would. Banning someone from writing with his or her left hand, while the ban may be wrong, it is still a ban on an action. On the other hand, how would you go about banning someone from ‘being’ a female? Or ‘being’ a fetus? Or ‘being’ Mexican? Or ‘being’ Black? You can’t, since there is no action associated with either of those classifications. In other words, your gender, your stage of development, your nationality, and your race (no matter what Michael Jackson thinks), are non-behavioral attributes, they are not defined by actions, but writing with your left hand and homosexuality, is. Or to put it another way, the Muslims ban on left-handed people is very different than, say, the Mormon Churches ban on black people in the hierarchy.

To give another example, the Catholic Church teaches that it is a sin to have sex before marriage. All of us may think this is too harsh, that it is undoable; that it is impossible to achieve, shoot, some may even think it is legalistic. But nobody would place that sin on the same level as say, a teaching that says it is a sin to be Black, or a sin to be a male, or to be Mexican. In other words, we all can distinguish between bans on actions, and bans on non-action characteristics. Someone who thinks homosexuality (the actions involved) is wrong is on a very different level than someone who thinks being Black is wrong. So the civil rights comparisons do not fit.

The minute you say homosexuality is a civil rights issue, you have moved from the free-will ethics (free-will is a basic fundamental criteria of ALL ethics, regardless of religion or non-religious views), to the view that actions are no different than non-action traits. This would be a radical departure from previous views on ethics, and frankly, would be a fundamental error. You can say that a ban on an action is good, or that it is bad, or that it is stupid, or that it is superstitious, but the minute you say that it is like a ban on a non-action characteristic (your gender, race and nationality), you have moved to a level that makes ALL ethic discussions moot. One can make ethical judgments on whether writing with your left hand is bad, or whether having sex before marriage is bad, or whether wearing a condom is bad, and whether having sex with someone of the same sex is bad, but it would be absurd in ethics to talk about whether it is bad to ‘be female’, or ‘be Mexican’, or ‘be Black’, ethics presupposes an action involved, an action that comes from, either by allowing or willing, the person.

Arbitrary bans against gender, nationality, or race are very different than bans against homosexuals. One is clearly a civil rights issue, and the other is not.

Should Civil Unions Only Be Restricted To Gay Couples?

Friday, April 29th, 2005

Why should civil unions be restricted to only gay couples? The purpose of civil unions is to give gay couples legal recognition (i.e. hospital visitation privileges and insurance rights) based on their circumstances, not their sexual orientation. Since that is the case, than the same legal recognitions should be given to all relationships that are in the same circumstances, regardless of sexual relationship.

Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, writes:

In other words, domestic partnerships, if states elect to have them, should be nondiscriminatory and inclusive. They should be available to people based on needs, not on sex. The law certainly should not discriminate in favor of those unmarried people who are in sexual relationships over those with the same needs who, though committed to caring for each other, are not sexual partners. Widowed sisters living together and looking after each other, or an unmarried adult son taking care of his elderly father, may have the need for domestic partner benefits such as hospital visitation privileges and insurance rights.

A constitutionally sound domestic partnership law would not discriminate against such people by excluding them from eligibility simply because their relationships are not sexual–just as a nondiscriminatory and inclusive law would not undermine marriage by treating unmarried sexual partners as if they were married.

In other words, we should allow the same civil union to, for example, two (or more) friends, regardless of sexual intimacy and genders, who wanted to provide mutually for one another and who may also have the need for domestic partner benefits, such as hospital visitation privileges and insurance rights.

Things To Keep In Mind When Discussing Gay Marriage

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Jane Galt has a post on gay marriage that everybody should read. While she doesn’t argue against gay marriage per se, she does address some of the very commonly heard arguments in favor of gay marriage. She addresses them in a way that an economist, especially a conservative/libertarian leaning economist, can understand.

I would paste some of the more important points but that would take away from the coherency of her arguments. It is better that you read it all to get the full force of her point. More so, strongly recommended reading for you conservative/libertarian leaning readers who are in favor of gay marriage.

Steve Verdon, who I got the link from, has more. In addition, I have blogged on why I am against gay marriage here.

Update: Greg Krehbiel has more.

Quote Of The Day

Monday, April 18th, 2005

“The aim of marriage and its raison d’etre is to (1) civilize men and (2) protect women. That’s it….Inside every woman there is an arcadia of emotional weakness that requires defending. Inside every man, anger lies in wait, and it requires a lifelong quell. These are fundamental truths that are borne out every day in every nation. An eon of gender-equalizing situation comedies will not change them. They are only subdued, and the world concurrently made more harmonious, when one force repels the other….Marriage should not be amended to allow for same-sex bonds. It never existed for that purpose, and it never will. Marriage is alive and well because it does its job- making the world more peaceful: combining fire and water and producing harmony. Sometimes, as historians have documented, the product of lifelong peace is a mutated sense of values and an overarching wont to relativism. Those who have never known, writ large, the world of rough men and vulnerable women, suffer under illusions that it cannot exist. Those with eyes open, one ear towards voices of ancestry, and an even moral keel continue to resist gay marriage because it has no place in the institution whose name it takes. And they will win”. —Joe Malchow, a student at Dartmouth College, writing in his blog, Joes DartBlog, on “Same Sex Marriage And 1900”

A Case Against Gay Marriage

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Before I begin with my case against gay marriage, I want to make a note that my argument is based on the act of homosexuality, not the person. In addition, I make no judgement, good or bad, about homosexuality in general. The gay marriage debate is perceived by many as a debate about gays. It is not. It is a debate about marriage.

Why I Am Against Gay Marriage (more…)

Quote Of The Day

Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

“Regular church attendance has been a reliable predictor of voting behavior among whites, with church goers disproportionately voting Republican. Among blacks this has not been the case…. Gay marriage, and claims equating the gay movement to the civil rights movement, has been a wake-up call. Black pastors and their congregants are waking up to the fact that the liberal agenda that they have been supporting all these years does not liberate but denigrates, dehumanizes, and enslaves. They are beginning to see the liberal agenda, the welfare state agenda, as a moral problem, undermining the dignity and responsibility that makes men and women free” — Star Parker, president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education

John Kerry And Gay Marriage

Friday, August 13th, 2004

With the recent resignation of Democrat New Jersey governor, announcing his homosexual affair, and the recent California Supreme Court decision voiding homosexual certificates I thought it a good time to discuss Presidential Candidate John Kerry’s view on homosexual marriage.

A few months ago there was a bill going through the senate that would have created a constitutional ammendment defining marriage as only between a man and a women. Kerry used the states right argument to argue against it. Arguing that we should let the states decide instead of forcing at the federal level. That’s odd he would use that argument because when a bill came through the senate pushed through by Bill Clinton, called the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing for the exact same thing, Kerry voted against it. A bill that was passed with 85% of the senate voting in favor of it, with both Democrats and Republicans voting for it. However Kerry, being the extreme liberal that he is, voted against it.

In case anyone still has any doubts Kerry is for gay marriage, read what he wrote when he voted against the Defense Of Marriage Act. He seems to be clearly on the side of gay marriage.

As for my personal opinion on gay marriage, I take the same stance as Robert George, Professor at Princeton University, he writes,

It is important to protect the substance of marriage, but a sound amendment need not, however, forbid states from enacting certain forms of domestic partnership. It need only ensure that laws do not treat nonmarital sexual relationships as if they were marital by making such relationships the basis for allocating benefits. An amendment protecting the substance of marriage would ensure that neither the federal government nor the states may predicate benefits, privileges, rights or immunities on the existence, recognition or presumption of nonmarital sexual relationships.

In other words, domestic partnerships, if states elect to have them, should be nondiscriminatory and inclusive. They should be available to people based on needs, not on sex. The law certainly should not discriminate in favor of those unmarried people who are in sexual relationships over those with the same needs who, though committed to caring for each other, are not sexual partners. Widowed sisters living together and looking after each other, or an unmarried adult son taking care of his elderly father, may have the need for domestic partner benefits such as hospital visitation privileges and insurance rights.

A constitutionally sound domestic partnership law would not discriminate against such people by excluding them from eligibility simply because their relationships are not sexual–just as a nondiscriminatory and inclusive law would not undermine marriage by treating unmarried sexual partners as if they were married.