Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make Sense—and Isn’t Fair

I took a lot of slack recently, for saying I’m against gay rights. In a 2,000 word piece, my disagreement with the concept of gay rights was a passing reference of all of three words—exactly three words.

A slogan on a t-shirt
is not a reasoned argument.
The extent of my “homophobic rant”?

“Gay rights—no.”

From the reaction of a surprisingly large number of people, you’d think I’d called for every homosexual to be rounded up and put into Black Marias with no tailpipes. And since I have identified myself philosophically as a conservative Catholic (though not spiritually, as I do not believe in God), a lot of people took my objection to gay rights to mean that I was some close-minded Bible-thumping bigot who hates all gays for the mere fact of being gay.

Amazing, what people will infer out of thin air.

I don’t have an issue with homosexuals or homosexuality. My own sense—which seems to be confirmed by science—is that homosexuality is an inborn predisposition, no different than, say, alcoholism or left-handedness: There isn’t much a person born with the characteristic can do about it.

Those with an inborn predisposition—any inborn predisposition—can choose to not carry out the urgings of their predisposition: That is, they can choose to repress their predisposition. Alcoholics go to AA meetings precisely so as to repress the urge of their predisposition to drink themselves to death; my grandmother (born a lefty) had her left hand tied to her belt when she was taught to write in the 1930’s.

But though people can repress their predisposition—whatsoever that predisposition might be, be it positive, negative or neutral—they can’t choose to have or not to have their particular predisposition. As Lady Gaga says, they were born this way.

As an inborn predisposition which I do not share, I am indifferent to homosexuality, to the same degree that I am indifferent to left-handedness or alcoholism: Two other traits which I do not share. (Parenthetically, I’ve always suspected that those who belligerently “hate the gays” are secretly afraid that they themselves might be gay; but that’s for another post.) And just as I think that people who are left-handed or alcoholic should not be discriminated against, I think it’s wrong to discriminate against homosexuals qua homosexuals.

But what I am saying is that homosexuals should not receive certain privileges that society has deemed befit some citizens and not others.

Like the benefits of marriage.

Our society grants married people certain rights and privileges—certain benefits—which homosexual couples believe they ought to receive as well. These privileges center mostly around economic benefits, such as worker health insurance covering both spouses and their children, and not just the worker; pension benefits; inheritance benefits; income tax benefits; and other such rights and privileges.

Hence the contemporary discussion about homosexual marriage: Those in favor of homosexual marriage believe that gays are being denied certain “rights” that straight couples are enjoying by virtue of being in a heterosexual union.

Since they consider this discriminatory—that straight couples have certain rights, privileges and benefits that are denied homosexual couples seemingly by virtue of their sexual orientation—they are not arguing for the elimination of those said rights, privileges and benefits granted to straight couples. Rather, they are arguing for expansion: They want gay people to receive those self-same rights, privileges and benefits that straight married people receive.

In other words, “equality”: Straight couples get these goodies—so gay couples ought to get ‘em too. Therefore, gay marriage ought to be legalized—and all the benefits, rights and privileges that straight couples enjoy ought to be granted to gay couples too.

This is the current argument in favor of “gay rights” and homosexual marriage.

But this is a flawed argument—because it misses the point about why straight married couples have certain rights, privileges and benefits that nobody else gets:

Children.

What is the point of marriage? In other words, why does marriage—as an institution and as a social construct—exist?

Simple: Protection—for the woman, and for the children that she bears.

Marriage is not a “right”, much less a “human right”: Marriage is a contract. A contract between a man and a woman that obliges both parties to certain duties, responsibilities and obligations—the principal obligation being that a husband must provide for his wife and their children, and cannot abandon them at will; and that the wife must bear the husband’s children exclusively, rather than some other man’s.

That is the core obligation of marriage.

Why does this obligation exist? Because throughout most of human history—I’m talking since the origin of the species, not just the last couple of hundred years—it has been a practical impossibility for a woman to bear and raise children on her own, unassisted, while simultaneously providing food, shelter and clothing for herself and those children. None but an idiot would question this: For most of human history, it was the case that either the woman or her children—or more likely both—would not long survive, if she did not have substantial help.

Enter the husband: By way of social pressure, the man who knocked up the woman was the man who had to take care of the woman and her kids—who were after all his kids too.

Why was there social pressure on the man to take care of the children? Because if he did not do so, it would either fall on the society as a whole to take care of the woman and the man’s children; or those children (and perhaps the woman as well) would likely die.

No society—be it a small tribe or a modern super-state—can long survive if the children do not survive. Children are a society’s future—literally.

At the same time, no society—no matter how rich—can long survive if it is obliged to care for childbearing women and their offspring.

So all societies—especially poor societies—have pressured men to enter into a binding union with the mother of their children, and obliged them to thus provide for the woman and their children. In modern socieities, that pressure is legal—court-ordered child support payments and whatnot. In poor and ancient societies, that pressure was and is informal—but no less compelling for it, up to and including social debarment, and in some cases even death for the deadbeat dad.

The rationale is simple: All societies—especially poor societies—cannot dedicate resources to providing food, clothing and shelter to women bearing children. Someone has to take care of the woman and her children—the father of those children. Thus all societies have pressured the father of those children to marry the woman and thus become a “husband”: An individual with certain binding responsibilities, principal of which is the care and protection of the woman and their joint children.

By the same token, all societies—especially poor societies—have pressured women to remain strictly monogamous: If a man suspected that his wife’s children were not his own, he would not have the incentive to care for his wife and her children; he might even abandon them. And so those children would either not survive, or would become a burden to the society that tried to protect them. Those children are society’s future—but they are also a huge burden, if the society is obliged to provide for them.

This is the reason that adulterous women are stoned to death in poor countries: It’s not that they “fear a woman’s sexuality”, or some such feminist balderdash—it’s that in those poorer societies, they want to send the clear message that adultery is not tolerated. By explicitly denouncing adultery—up to and including the killing of the adulterous woman—the society is reassuring the men that the children born of their wives are indeed theirs. And therefore, the poor society will not have to deal with the consequences of abandoned women and dependent children.

(This explains why it’s no accident that societies penalize adultery in inverse proportion to the society’s median wealth: The richer the average person in a given society, the less the opprobrium on adultery. Consider the situation in the West, compared to the Middle East.)

So again, all societies—especially poor societies—have a vested interest in making sure that the man cares for the woman’s children: Thus all societies, especially poor ones, pressure women to remain faithful to their husbands, and pressure men to stay with and provide for their wives and children.

Those are the two obligations that men and women enter when they get married. It’s certainly not romantic, and it’s certainly not PC—I can practically hear the supersonic scream of feminists throwing a hissy-fit over the above few paragraphs—but remember: The truth only smiles. Just because you don’t like the truth doesn’t make it any less true.

Now, how does this relate to gay marriage?

It ought to be quite obvious: Modern society recognizes that it is in its own best interest to foment childbearing. Thus heterosexual married couples enjoy certain rights, privileges and benefits that have been granted by our society in order to help raise children—and hopefully encourage more children.

After all: Children are a society’s future—literally.

Thus the state grants married couples tax incentives for each child they have, while obliging employers to grant health care insurance and other benefits not just to the worker, but to the worker’s spouse and children. The state guarantees that a woman’s job will still be available after they have given birth to a child—and guarantees that the woman will have the paid maternity leave in order to have the child without financial strain. (Well, maybe they don’t guarantee it in the U.S.—but in civilized countries, they do.) The state gives priority to spouses with dependent children insofar as pensions, inheritance, and other issues arising from the death of one of the spouses.

In short, the state bends over backwards to grant childbearing, childrearing heterosexual couples all the breaks.

Some might object to this argument and say, “Straight couples get these benefits as soon as they are married—not when the straight couple has kids. So since they get these rights and privileges when straights marry, why shouldn’t gay couples get them when they marry as well?”

This is not a serious objection, for the obvious fact: Straight married couples are presupposed that they will have children in the near-term future. It is only among the educated classes—precisely those people now making such a hullabaloo over “gay rights”—that couples marry without the presumption that they will have children. The vast majority of straight couples marry with the firm expectation and intent to have children. Thus these benefits begin to accrue the second the straight couple marries because there is the presumption that children will arrive shortly. And of course, the biggest financial benefits of straight marriage accrue with the actual birth of children.

Why do societies do this? Grant all these rights, privileges and benefits? Again, it ought to be quite obvious: This entire regime of rights, privileges and benefits are aimed at encouraging childbearing and childrearing.

Because to repeat, and with feeling: Children are a society’s future—literally.

The vast majority of people in a given society—most of whom are busy raising children—thoroughly approve of this regime. Don’t believe me? How popular are tax breaks for couples with dependent children? Or conversely: How long would a government last that put a tax on kids, say $500 a year per brat?

See what I mean? Society’s relationship with the married heterosexual couple—and therefore the state’s relationship with the married heterosexual couple—is all about encouraging them to have kids: The more the merrier.

Now, here comes the interesting bit: Homosexual couples—by definition—cannot have a common biological child.

One or the other person in a homosexual couple might well have a child, or several children from previous relationships. But that child or children will have been fathered or mothered by some other person—patently of the opposite sex—who will be obliged by society (as embodied by the state’s judicial system) to care for those children. Those children will not be the responsibility of the homosexual partner.

Similarly, a homosexual couple might adopt a child. But it is not self-evident that a homosexual couple will do so—and in point of fact, most do not, even long-lasting homosexual couples.

Since a homosexual couple can never have a common biological child, society has no vested interest in granting both members of a gay couple the same benefits that it grants straight couples: Gays can’t have children, and if either does have children, it’s with someone else, and thus those children are legally protected by the mother or father of those children outside the homosexual union.

In fact, since all marriage benefits are granted for the sake of childbearing and childrearing—and not capriciously for the mere fact of being married—and since gay couples cannot bear children, and thus cannot raise biological children of their own—there is no reason for the society to grant special rights to gay couples.

Thus I see no reason why those rights, privileges and benefits that married straight couples receive ought to be extended to gay couples.

Thus I do not see why gay couples should be allowed to marry.

Furthermore, though I see no positive reason to allow gay people to marry, I do see a substantial negative reason why gay marriage ought to be proscribed.

All of these rights, privileges and benefits that married straight couples receive have a cost—a high cost. There are many people and organizations who bear this cost specifically—for instance, the worker’s employer, who pays for maternity leave; the insurance company that covers the spouse’s and children’s health care costs; the government, which receives less tax revenue due to tax breaks for each child; and so on.

But in aggregate, it is the society as a whole which has to bear these costs of marriage. That is, all of us subsidize straight couples—even us childless single-folk. We as a society are willing to bear these costs because we want to encourage childbearing and childrearing. Because to restate the obvious yet again: Children are our collective future—literally.

However, if gay couples are allowed to enjoy the benefits of straight couples, then they are burdening the society with an usufructuary cost which they are not entitled to—and should not be entitled to. After all, they cannot have common biological children. Any child that they raise is someone else’s child, or a child who would have existed with or without them. Therefore, they are taking from society as a whole, while not giving what the society expects—which is more children.

(Of course, this line of argument gets awfully nasty when you get to cases of heterosexual married couples who cannot have children: Should society economize, and therefore strip them of the benefits of marriage? Well, maybe society should: It might seem like society is kicking the childless couple when they’re down—and it is—but at the end of the day, a society’s resources are limited, no matter how rich it might be. Then again, this might be a self-correcting problem: Childless couples tend to get divorced at a higher rate than couples with dependent children, thus annulling the benefits of marriage: Of divorced couples, over two thirds are childless.)

So to sum up:

On a practical level, since gay couples cannot have children, they should not receive the rights, privileges and benefits of straight married couples—because although those benefits begin to accrue at the time of marriage, those benefits were specifically instituted to aid with childbearing and childrearing, and not for the mere fact of being married. That is, those benefits have a purpose: To foment and make easier the tasks of childbearing and childrearing, which gay couples—by definition where the case of childbearing is concerned—cannot or do not carry out.

And on a fairness level, why should we as a society shoulder costs which make a homosexual couple’s lives easier, but without the concomitant expectation of children to carry on the existence of the society?

These are the two reasons why gay couples should not be allowed to marry: They do not fulfill the society’s expectations of childbearing and childrearing. And they inflict a cost that the rest of us have to bear, for no other reason than that they are gay.

These are the reason why I am opposed to gay marriage.

135 comments:

  1. Not very laissez-faire of you. People can do whatever they want as long as it isn't a crime (the act or threat of aggressive violence against another person).

    http://www.xaviercromartie.com/

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  2. Great post GL! Bookmarking this post for future reference.

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  3. If technology is created that allows two men (or two women) to reproduce by combining their DNA in a lab would you then allow those individuals to get married?

    If so, your argument above is at least consistent, although I highly disagree with it.

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  4. To Xavier,

    First of all, there are many crimes that are not violent or a threat of violence. Second, people CAN do what they want as long as legal, BUT socity does not have to approve of it or give their blessings. A guy can go home everynight and have sex with a plastic doll, but will you grant him and his doll a blessing and economic advantage because they are in love? And who are you to say that can't be love? Or the woman and her dog? She is not breaking any laws, is in love iwth Fido, so they want a ceremony and tax benefits.

    Gonzalo has balls to say what he thinks, and I happen to agree. The purpose of marriage is to have and raise children to be a benefit to society. AND, even in adoption, the most helathy, well rounded relationship is a child with a mother and father, not two of one.

    DJH

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  5. LOL, GL.

    further to my parenthetical remark in my comment to the original post that contained your "homophobic rant", i don't think that society should be "fomenting" (what a peculiar word in this context) children. thus in the context of your argument, anybody should be able to marry anybody and nobody should get any kind of socially-sponsored goodies as a result of marriage.

    but at the same time, yes everyone should be entirely responsible for their own behavior and the societal ramifications of their own behavior and thus, rather than the carrot for entering into a marital contract, there should be the stick for deadbeats who create children and do not care for them.

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  6. Xavier said "Not very laissez-faire of you."

    LOL so it would be "laissez-faire" to advocate for an expansion of government? Your logic is completely twisted. The truly "laissez-faire" thing would be for governments to not recognize heterosexual marriages either. I like how Gonzalo saying "the government should not intervene here" is somehow not "laissez-faire" enough for you. Gay people can enter into private contracts to support one another if they so choose. But NO you want BIGGER government because that's more "laissez-faire" LOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

    Nice one Gonzalo, you hit this one out of the park. Though of course the crybaby liberals and socialists will not like it as they do not really care for reality (they prefer their own imagined reality).

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  7. I think your argument proves too much. If marriage exists only so that governments can subsidize child rearing or bearing, then you don't need marriage. To subsidize child bearing, it suffices to hand out checks to every romeo and octomom on the planet, requiring only genetic proof of parenthood. To subsidize child rearing, it suffices to grant tax breaks or credits to anyone with dependent children.

    So perhaps it's marriage itself that doesn't make sense and isn't fair.

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  8. You had the balls to say it, Gonzalo, bravo. But the brainwashed politically correct sheep will crucify you for that.

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  9. Your argument is pretty much dead on, as long as you limit yourself to societies where membership is somewhat voluntary.

    In contemporary, continent spanning giganto states, with what is in practice no realistic possibility of exit, the state and society are entirely separate entities. Which is why such states should get out of the marriage business altogether, gay or otherwise.

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  10. I agree with your position; but you seemed to have missed a senario that I am familar with. Two women "marry" and one agrees to be artificially inseminated from a sperm donor. She carries the child and gives birth in due course. Should not this couple receive the benefits of a married couple since they have provided society with a child that it would not otherwise have had?

    I suppose it can be argued that any other couple could have had this child, but the fact is they did have him and continue to raise him as a couple. I am not, by the way, arguing that this arrangement is as good as a marriage between a man and a woman. I think it has many drawbacks. It does, however, meet your basic requirement for marrige, that of providing society with another member.

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  11. further to my parenthetical remark in my comment to the original post that contained your "homophobic rant", i don't think that society should be "fomenting" (what a peculiar word in this context) children.

    No children, no society.

    The Japanese and Europeans are suffering from a lack of children, and their societies are at risk of collapse. It's not just that you have to have someone wipe your rear end at 80 (Logan's Run anyone?), but you have to have new 20 year olds to make up for your lack of productivity at 50 to 60. Europe is importing its workers from the Middle East, and Japan exported its low-end factory jobs to China and Taiwan.

    In 15 years, we will be next. Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security will be equal to total government expenditures, and within 5 more they'll be larger than GDP. Because we quit having kids, and killing the ones we did have, we don't have the growth to sustain the lifestyle we've been living.

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  12. I didn't advocate bigger government you stupid cunt. I'm an anarcho-capitalist. I said gay people can get married if they want to because it's not a criminal (aggressively violent) act. Any supposed economic benefits from marriage are irrelevant to this discussion. Go review your college logic textbooks, gentlemen.

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  13. Take a look at the population growth curve over the past 200 years.
    Then take a look at the coal and oil/gas production curve over the past 200 years.

    They are almost identical ! What do you think will happen when peak oil starts to kick in?

    First, through energy efficiencies, we will get a population overshoot relative to the declining energy curve. Then we figure out that the population growth is unsistainable, and you get mass starvation.

    It takes 5 to 10 energy units of oil to obtain 1 energy unit out of food.

    So, all these new babies ... I would rather not that people make too many of them.

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  14. Gonzalo "Archaeological Anthropologist" Lira gives his spiel about why marriage exists, and builds onto this made-up quicksand an extrapolation of what marriage ought to be. You think you're smarter than that, and your "Yawn, I don't hate homosexuals" covers you. Sorry: you're a good old-fashioned bigot, passing off opinion as knowledge.

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    1. Couldn't agree more with you.

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    2. Changing the historically established and understood definition of marriage is Orwellian 'newspeak' affirmed. Go ahead and call a moving train a hug and see if reality bites you.

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  15. Hello Gonzalo, this is a very thoughtful post. Your main argument is that the principal social purpose of marriage is bearing and raising children in a proper union. As you've stated, a woman who gives birth to a child by her partner is expected to raise the child of only that man. I suppose that this is what you mean by proper union.

    It is an evident implication of your post that homosexuals couples are not capable of raising children, therefore they should not be granted the privilege of enjoying marriage.

    By this logic, does it not follow that you should deny the privilege of marriage to couples who are unable to raise children in a proper union?

    Why are you not arguing that couples who fail to bear children after a certain period of time should forfeit their marriage license? You should also be arguing that once the couple finishes raising all of their children, they should also be required to file for a divorce. Suppose that Mr and Mrs. Smith are in their sixties and they had four adult children who live happy and successful lives. The Smiths fulfilled the core purpose of marriage, so just force them to get divorced, right?

    Clearly, Gonzalo, there is something very deeply wrong with the argument that the core purpose of marriage is reproducing and raising children in a proper union. There are other functions of marriage that are just as important and possibly more important. It is the goal of any society to maximize utility or help people be happy. The institution of marriage helps people do that and even childless marriages maximize do that. Because straight people are allowed to maximize their happiness by getting married, gays should be allowed to do likewise.

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  16. @Xavier

    God you are such a dumb fucking shit I wish I could reach through the screen and choke your stupid ass to death.

    READ THE ARTICLE YOU DUMBASS. It relates to whether the government should extend benefits to gays who get married. The entire article is about government's recognition of marriage, and the subsequent provision of GOVERNMENT BENEFITS.

    I QUOTE FROM THE ARTICLE:

    But what I am saying is that homosexuals should not receive certain privileges that society has deemed befit some citizens and not others.

    Like the benefits of marriage.

    Our society grants married people certain rights and privileges—certain benefits—which homosexual couples believe they ought to receive as well. These privileges center mostly around economic benefits, such as worker health insurance covering both spouses and their children, and not just the worker; pension benefits; inheritance benefits; income tax benefits; and other such rights and privileges.


    I personally don't care if two gay people have a ceremony, put rings on each other's fingers, and go about acting as a married couple. THAT RELATES TO PERSONAL FREEDOM AND IS NOT WHAT THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT SO GO FUCK YOURSELF, IT IS ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT/SOCIETY EXTENDING BENEFITS TO MARRIED GAY COUPLES.

    Is this clear enough you stupid piece of shit? Stop plugging your shitty blog, go fuck yourself, and burn in hell.

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  17. In that case, a married couple shouldn't receive said benefits upon union, but upon the birth of their child(ren).

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  18. Gonzalo - this is not about homosexuality or gay oppression or gay rights, it's all about you.
    Why, because there is no such sentient being on this planet who is an Atheist Catholic.
    You say you are an Atheist merely for the sake of relevancy. You are trying to separate and yet defend your mental imprinting of Catholic cosmology because that's all your mortal intellect can presently (you're still young, I can tell because of the women you hang with) comprehend.
    You have intellectually matured beyond your imprinting but you are stuck just outside the Vatican gates of hypocrisy.
    Once a Catholic always a Catholic.
    I can say this because I too am an X-Catholic (and left handed who was accosted, no not sexually, but violently with a stiff hard ruler for this perversion of nature by a French Priest) and I understand how early childhood conditioning lingers throughout life.
    Being a lil' older than yourself, I can suggest that you accept your obsolete/hypocritical moral conditioning and reject it because it's a lot like family sins.
    If one is aware of family conditioning, sometimes known as family sins, and one's sectarian religious/moral conditioning (Catholicism - yea, I know, it's the one true religion handed down from Jesus himself) one will become embarrassed by the conditioning in your being and at the same time scoff at them and not be controlled by them.
    All in good time my friend.

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  19. To the people who complimented me on discussing this issue openly, thanks! Very kind of you to say.

    Re. the other comments so far:

    Xavier Cromartie doesn't make much sense. His original comment—“Not very laissez-faire of you. People can do whatever they want as long as it isn't a crime (the act or threat of aggressive violence against another person).”—is wrong on multiple levels: First, I’ve never stated anywhere that I’m laissez-faire. Second, the statement “people can do whatever they want as long as it isn't a crime” is a tautology. Third, there are self-evident crimes which are not based on "act[s] or threat[s] of aggressive violence against another person”; consider fraud, or libel.

    Anonymous at 3:50pm wondered if two gays who could somehow meld their DNA into a child would qualify as a “marriage”. My answer: Maybe—but since it’s not a practical possibility now or in the foreseeable future, it’s a moot point.

    Lee said, “If marriage exists only so that governments can subsidize child rearing or bearing, then you don't need marriage.” But I never said that: I said that marriage is a contract between two people, one of whom guarantees paternity, the other who guarantees support and protection, marriage being specifically created in order to protect women and the children she has. Government benefits are a fallout of this contract—not its raison d’ĂȘtre.

    Anonymous at 6:21pm says that I should consider a lesbian who has herself artificially inseminated, and then she and her partner raise the child. Obviously, the child is not a common biological child, even if the non-birthing lesbian “mother” adopts the child. Furthermore, it cannot be presupposed that all lesbian couples, most lesbian couples, or even a mere substantial minority of lesbian couples will jump through these hoops in order to create a biological child of one and the adopted child of the other. So the hypothetical is too much an outlier case to be considered for the general purpose of determining whether society should allow or not allow lesbian marriage. Still, interesting.

    Xavier Cromartie again. This time, what leaps out is his self-identification as an “anarcho-capitalist”: Capitalism depends on the upholding of property rights. Anarchists explicitly reject both property rights, as well as any government that would uphold property rights. Which leaves me as confused as if he’d stated, “I’m a right-handed left-hander who is not ambidextrous”. My answer is: Huh?

    Anonymous at 8:15pm puts me down with an ad hominen attack, without addressing any of the points I made in the piece.

    Aleksey’s comment was frankly dishonest: S/he begins by saying—as if restating my argument—that I am in favor of a “proper union”. Then s/he takes this concept—that I never used, and which Aleksey has created—to create an argument I never said, and from it draw criticisms of my argument which in fact is not my argument—it is Aleksey’s distortions of my argument. Aleksey’s entire comment is an effort to distort-so-as-to-defeat. But Aleksey never addresses any point I actually said—s/he only addresses points s/he claims I said, but did not in fact either say or allow to be inferred. Shameful, really.

    poopyjim just goes on an obscenity-laced rant against Xavier Cromartie, who in fairness started the obscenities. To both: Please use better language.

    Anonymous at 10:05pm says, “In that case, a married couple shouldn't receive said benefits upon union, but upon the birth of their child(ren).” Possibly, yes. I also in the post explicitly touch on the subject of a married straight couple who cannot bear children. Please read the post.

    I rarely if ever do this, but for this post, I’ll be periodically responding to questions and comments—but so long as they’re interesting.

    GL

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  20. Left-handed alcoholic lesbianDecember 12, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    I'm screwed.

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  21. Left-handed alcoholic lesbian said...

    I'm screwed.


    lol.

    At least you’re having more fun than a right-handed, teetotaling straight guy.

    (Wait—that’s me!)

    Cheers,

    GL

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. Gonzalo, you have overlooked my main argument. The criticism of your argument on the grounds that children must be raised in "proper union" was merely a secondary claim. It was not my principal contention.

    As you may see, an overwhelming majority of statements in my post addressed the issue of whether raising children is the core purpose of marriage. Only several sentences were dedicated to the concept of "proper union". I confess that I may have misunderstood you on that point, but that is because I deemed this concept to play a rather marginal role in your argument, that is why I have dedicated only a small portion of my post to that issue.

    You can completely ignore that I said anything about "proper union", in fact I would prefer that you do that. In three sentences my argument can be summarized as follows. Raising children is merely one and not the most important purpose of marriage. Therefore, it is a mistake to deny marital privileges to people who are incapable of reproducing children.

    It is pretty clear to me that you have argued that gays should not be allowed to marry because raising children is the main purpose of marriage. Was this not your argument? If so, it is only fair that you address the argument that I have summarized in the previous paragraph.

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  24. For the sake of the argument, let's pretend that I agree with you that raising children is the main purpose of marriage. In that case, would you not have to recognize the distinction between reproducing children and raising them? No homosexual couple is capable of reproducing children, but many homosexual couples are competent parents. By the same token, many heterosexual couples will reproduce children whom they will not be able to raise. Therefore, homosexual couples are capable of serving the core purpose of marriage by raising children.

    If it still seems that I somehow misinterpreted your argument, definitely let me know. I am certainly trying to understand your position. To the best of my knowledge, your argument was based on the premise that raising children is the core purpose of marriage. That is what I am responding to.

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    1. "...but many homosexual couples are competent parents."
      Perhaps, but the demand for babies overwhelming exceeds the supply in adopting agencies, and the heterosexual prospective parents far more exceed gay parents. Whether you like it or not, heterosexual parents are a better option for the baby, all other factors being equal. So why should a baby placed in less than ideal homes?
      Isn't making the baby a guinea-pig for gender experimentation a form of child abuse... for the selfish sake of so-called equal rights?

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  25. I love your controversial subject blogs, GL. They always show how much DEPTH there is to you.
    PS: I bet this short comment gets the questions coming too: "(though not spiritually, as I do not believe in God)" Soon as I read that I thought; "Oh wow, tell more! Lol!
    Keep up the good work!

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  26. There is biotech already in the pipeline whereby two women could have a child who is the product of both of their DNA: bone marrow stem cells used to create sperm and egg-to-egg fertilization. There was some clearly politically motivated back tracking on the former, but the researcher had already said it would work with both genders oblivious to the shitstorm such a statement would invoke.

    So, there is your 'for the children' justification. I also note that the few political attempts to 'un-marry' childless hetro couples are derided as cruel and immoral.

    The bottom line here is that as long as the govt is in the Marriage Business it is Constitutionally required to provide Equal Protection Under The Law and all the various 'social custom' and 'for the children' arguments are just so much tribal bullshit. This also applies to Polygamy and Polyamory. As long as the participants are Consenting Adults, let folks marry however they choose to do so.

    By the same token, if a religious organization does not condone a particular form of marriage, then they should be free from any obligation to perform it.

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  27. PS On the flip side, it is theoretically possibly for two men to have a child using both of their DNA. Strip the DNA out of a donated egg and have one man's DNA implanted in the 'empty' egg and then fertilized by his partner. I believe this has already been done with two women. For now a woman would have to carry the child to term, but a temporary 'manwomb' implanted in a male abdomen is also theoretically possibly. We're just not there yet.

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  28. As a gay man (if a 23 year-old can be considered a "man" these days), I have to say your post was very logical. You take into account the history of marriage as a social contract and NOT as a religious contract, which is, in my opinion, the right thing to do, since one concept clearly predates the other. Unfortunately, I still can't really agree with your ideas.

    Everything you say makes perfect sense for a society that is in the midst of expansion and really needs to keep growing. In other words, your ideas fit a traditional society perfectly. But our modern Western societies do not fit that traditional "ideal" - and I use the term loosely. Yes, marriage developed as a social contract to both encourage the production of children and ensure that these children were brought up to maturity so that they, in turn, might one day produce offspring. BUT, society has evolved. Marriage is no longer about children for most people. The majority of people get married in order to share their lives with those they love. Children are an afterthought. To argue that the traditional idea of marriage should be maintained or enforced despite the fact that society no longer needs or wants it is like saying that the public school system should have remained a boy's club where men could be raised in a homosocial environment in order to curtail the potentially "feminizing" effects of the Victorian cult of domesticity, despite the fact that said cult died out even before the end of the 19th century! Institutions should and must evolve with societies or they risk falling by the wayside!

    If you told all couples who wished to marry that the purpose of marriage is explicitly the production of offspring and that they will have to produce an heir in order to justify their marriage, they would either look at you like you're crazy or simply choose to not marry at all! Furthermore, I can't understand why society wouldn't just withhold the rights and privileges of marriage from couples who obviously cannot (or should not) produce children. Elderly people marry all the time, as do sterile people and people from low socio-economic backgrounds who lack the resources to provide for even one child, but society still grants them the rights and privileges of marriage. Isn't that a little ridiculous if marriage is just about children? And if we are willing to extend those right and privileges to people who can't or shouldn't produce children anyway, why not extend them to homosexuals?

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  29. Aleksey still doesn't get it.

    He writes, “For the sake of the argument, let's pretend that I agree with you that raising children is the main purpose of marriage. In that case, would you not have to recognize the distinction between reproducing children and raising them? No homosexual couple is capable of reproducing children, but many homosexual couples are competent parents.”

    With regards the first sentence in that statement: “[L]et's pretend that I agree with you that raising children is the main purpose of marriage.”

    I have not said that raising children is the main purpose of marriage. I said that marriage was a contract between a man and a woman, whereby the man pledges to protect and provide for the woman and the children that she bears, while the woman pledges to bear only the man’s children. Thus they raise their common children within the contractual bonds of the marriage.

    With regards to Aleksey’s statement, “[W]ould you not have to recognize the distinction between reproducing children and raising them?”

    In fact, I did make the distinction quite clearly, and multiple times, when I referred to “childbearing and childrearing”.

    For Aleksey’s third statement, “[M]any homosexual couples are competent parents.”

    I certainly have not denied this—a homosexual couple is as capable of raising a child that is not biologically theirs as well as any pair of heterosexual married people raising an adopted child.

    All of Aleksey’s objections to my argument rest on misinterpreting the “purpose of marriage” part of my argument.

    I think Aleksey is misunderstanding my argument when he assumes that the social benefits of marriage—whose purpose is to assist in the raising of children—is the same as marriage itself. And therefore, Aleksey is inferring (erroneously) that I am equating the purpose of marriage with the raising of children.

    Raising children is not the purpose of marriage: It is a byproduct of the contract between a man and a woman who enter into a marriage. The purpose of the marriage contract is to insure fidelity on the one hand (which will thus guarantee that the children born of the marriage belong to the man), in exchange for protection and sustenance from the other (which will thus guarantee the survival and prosperity of the children born of the marriage that belong to the woman).

    This contractual, reciprocal obligation is the purpose of the marriage. The raising of children is a byproduct and effect of this contract—but not the end of the contract itself.

    GL

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  30. Hello,

    An argument against gays made by a philosophically conservative "Catholic" who does not believe in "God". Please. (And is Lady Gaga really an "authority" you want to cite about anything?)

    The culture of Latin Catholicism: a mixture of political authoritarianism, social and economic repression, and you've got the world of 18th - 19th Century Southern Europe. A sprawling creep show of churches, landed estates, ignorance, violence, and poverty.

    In the 21st Century this all comes back as a noxious postmodern collage of religious movements and organizations, corporate patronage, along with a stream of sophomoric academic "reasoning" about sex, child rearing, the role of women, the authority of those placed above you by God, and drumroll please, natural law.

    The US Supreme Court is now stuffed with Opus Dei catholics. Good luck with that. By the way, I've always wondered if those justices wear the little metal chains with the little sharp edges around their thighs known as "cilices". And guess what, they're not Ron Paul libertarians. And New England town meeting government is definitely not their ideal.

    Life would have been so much better if Pope Benedict had stayed at Tubingen, taught theology, remained forgotten, and enjoyed good German beer along the beautiful Neckar River. Maybe had sex with a student or three, gay boy straight girl, either way, yes, it would have been far better for him and the rest of us. By the way, his predecessor should have made a career in the theatre.

    Today religion is cynically used by self proclaimed atheists as a means to bring back a time more to their social and economic liking. This is the core meaning of Nietzsche's dictum, God is Dead. God and Religion are "dead" because they are now no longer employed or believed in as a means for the salvation of the soul, see Mother Theresa, but openly and nakedly used as instrumentalities of power.

    About the gay gene, in the Greco Roman World, there was no such category as "homosexual", there were people who had sex and people who didn't. The gender of the person you had sex with was a quasi non remarkable personal choice. Aside from some joking, nobody seems to have thought too much about it.

    Same sex relationships were common. Just one example: boys in Sparta were expected to form sexual relationships with older soldiers. Question, did all those guys have the "gay gene"?
    OK, the "300" in the movie were all just so butch looking. And I certainly do hope they took some time out for their wives and wern't just exhausting themselves with their fellow soldiers. But still, did the entire Spartan army have the gay gene? Maybe gay gene and natural inclination arguments are not such good explanations as they may superficially appear.

    Based on the historical record, the truth is that sexual behavior and mores are mostly a product of the cultural norms and expectations of the times. There was the classical culture of the Greeks and Romans, and a bit down the coastline there was the world of Leviticus. But the gay gene people would have you believe that these peoples were, what, genetically different? That's nonsense.

    This morbid obsession with same sex relationships may characterize our own epoch, but not others, not even within the context of our own Western Civilization.

    The famous statue of David in Florence, in all it's dignity declares it's stance toward the future, the coming world to be made, not by God but by man; apprehensive, with a desperate yet elevated courage, the greatest artistic expression of the coming greatness of the West. And when you look at it, guess what you're looking straight into, boys! So get over it.

    I hope you all have enjoyed this comment. I've certainly had fun writing it.

    Regards,

    Unna

    p.s. I mean, how else are you supposed to deal with a post like this?

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    Replies
    1. Has anyone considered what it means to truly love? Love is more than getting something for yourself. Love requires giving of yourself for the good of the other. A true friend wants what is best for the other. A large part of our society primarily worries about themselves. You say that "God is dead". You might want to think about that one. I believe that He is most definitely not dead, and you would not have life without His love.

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  31. It's an interesting but flawed argument because it presupposes there are no other benefits to society from marriage other than children. In fact there are many other reasons to promote stable coupledom (heterosexual or otherwise) for the benefits of society as a whole, including improved mental and physical health and better use of scare resources.

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  32. Dear god thank you for this post GL.

    I live in Seattle the Gay Rights capitol of the world. Gay people are everywhere-- they're all fine, no problemo, adults are entitled to make their own decisions. Go ahead.

    But for crying out loud people--Leave Me Out Of Your Gaynesss! It's not my issue and I am sick to my toenails hearing about your Gay Rights and your Gay This and Gay That, Your Gay Parades and Gay Film Festivals and your Gay Bars and your Gay Rights Movement and your Gay Friendly Neighborhoods andonandonandon.

    Shut_up_please.

    Be gay. Be happy. I don't give a shit any which way. Just get out of my face and live your life.

    Can you do that for me please?? Just go about your business, be gay, and STFU.

    P.S. And stop closing the damn bridges so that I can't get anywhere because you're having some kind of run for some kind of gay thing. It's my bridge too! I hate you when you close the damn bridge on a Saturday afternoon and nobody can get anywhere. This is NOT helping your cause. Knock it off.

    gardener1

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  33. Try as I might, I cannot help but return to this blog. The quality of your thought is remarkable. God has blessed you with a powerful mind and your influence is growing. Like all super intelligent creatures, you have sadly fallen into the trap of hubris that denies the obvious fact of a creator - God.

    It saddens me to think of what you could accomplish if you were willing to see past your own wisdom. Read, don't skim the following from Roman 1.

     18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
     21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

     24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

     26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

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  34. Gonzalo, thanks for clarifying your position. Your contention was that marriage has two purposes. To minimize the possibility that I am misinterpreting you again,I will quote the passage that I will be analyzing in this post.


    "The purpose of the marriage contract is to insure fidelity on the one hand (which will thus guarantee that the children born of the marriage belong to the man), in exchange for protection and sustenance from the other (which will thus guarantee the survival and prosperity of the children born of the marriage that belong to the woman)."

    (1) Ensuring fidelity between a man and a woman: guaranteeing that the couple are raising the children to whom they birth. (2) Providing protection and sustenance to the woman and children involved in the marriage.

    Fair enough, why did you choose to define marriage in such a way? I believe you have stated your justification for the second purpose of marriage. You claimed that one must be a fool to deny that childbearing women did not need assistance from men. At length, you've asserted that it was simply a historical fact that the childbearing women needed the protection of marriage that you were discussing.

    I see one significant problem with that justification. The social and political circumstances of those societies greatly differed from that of ours. The concept of "rights for women" is very new and has been regarded as culturally heretical until the 20th century. It is reasonable to assume that one of the main reasons why women desperately needed the assistance you had in mind is that their opportunities to support themselves were quite scarce. Today, we live in a world where a significant percentage of lucrative jobs are occupied by women. Surely most women would benefit from the protection and sustenance of marriage, but that does not apply to all. It is not obvious that the condition of "needing help" applies to enough women to justify the proposition that providing "protection and sustenance" constitutes one of the two main purposes of marriage. If that is your justification of the second purpose of marriage, I find it unpersuasive for the aforementioned reasons. If that is not your justification, I am eager to know what it is.

    With respect to the first principle, I don't understand the social benefits of defining marriage as a contract of fidelity. What is the advantage of having children raised by parents who reproduced them? It is manifest to me that adopting parents are normally just as competent as parents who raise their biological children. It seems to me that a marriage of fidelity is only one possible way of raising children in a socially beneficial way. There is no compelling reason to prevent parents from raising children in other ways.

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  35. Maybe your choice to define the purpose of marriage in the way that you did had little to do with the endeavor of maximizing the social benefits of the institution. If that is so, what was the rationale that guided your thought process in defining the purpose of marriage? What fundamental premises are you working with? To truly understand your views, it would be helpful to shed light on the unwritten premises that underpin your argument.

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  36. gonzalo
    you pick and chose your historical facts like the religous right pick and chose which laws of scripture are and are not of god. and your understanding of the reality of today is the same as those of religious right who think, that even with christ, we are still under the old covenant.

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  37. Really good post.
    Bravo for directly addressing the issue.

    An interesting aside that fits in the same discussion is the current birth demographics.

    300 years ago it was undeniable that rich successful people had more kids than the really poor. This helped society because whatever genetic or cultural inheritance might contribute to societal success was amplified by this dissimilar birth rate.

    Today in modern first world counties this is reversed. High education, high success people are having very few kids and the poor underclass is having a lot more kids. So if there is any genetic or cultural aspect to success that is being selected against and overall the quality of the Children (IE the future) is going down.

    Any thoughts or comments on this point?

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  38. Whoaa! I learned not to talk or get involved with this kind of thing. Politics, gays, alcoholism, abortion, religion, prostitution, drugs, even taxation, the economy and other crap is off the table. I have a nice wife, three healthy children, a good job and a sport/hobby that I love. Do what's right every day (we all know what that is), live and let live, screw everything else attitude is a good recipe.

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  39. A well thought-out thesis. Thank you.

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  40. Hello Again,

    Isn't it a bit silly for any one person to "define" marriage or the purpose of marriage for an entire society?

    Marriage and sexual mores develop over time in response to the needs of society within the context of its "ecology". This is basic anthropology. Marriage customs develop in the same way that institutionalized homosexual relationships developed in the Spartan military over time. They satisfied some "need" in Spartan culture.

    Wouldn't it seem ridiculous for a traditional Spartan to insist today that all American boys, except the sissies of course, should have sexual relationships with active duty soldiers and marines, and that current laws against such behavior are unnatural, unsoldierly, and unmanly? Think about that.

    Our society is rapidly changing, or rather disintegrating, mainly as a result of neo liberal economic policies which have destroyed jobs and economic stability for ordinary people, and I'll add, a perverse commercialized "entertainment" industry exemplified by the likes of "Lady Gaga"

    In any case the fact is that, for what ever reason, many people today wish to live in openly same sex relationships. And so marriage for gays may make sense as a way for society to stabilize these relationships and give respectability to these persons. Our society needs stability and gay marriage adds to social stability. Of course, GL will respond that social stability is not the purpose of marriage. Well, good for him.

    There are so many chilidren today that need stabile homes. Gays, like everyone else, should be encouraged to establish long term relatonships, marry, and most especially, adopt children, and as many as they can. All for the betterment of society.

    By the way, many marriage and child rearing experts rate gay men as the very best of parents. Adoptive parents rate right behind them. This has nothing to do with gayness, but with the demographics of gay men who adopt, and people who adopt generally. Highly educated, affluent, focused on achieving a long term goal against high levels of prejudice, disciplined, and most of all, a burning desire to parent a child.

    Marriage is a social institution. Correct. It promotes social and personal stability and responsibility. It gives respectability and dignity to individuals, and establishes a home for the rearing of children. Today's society is slowly permitting gay marriage because it must have a need for gay marriage. Otherwise it wouldn't do so.

    Also, marriage today no longer has very much to do with reassuring sexually insecure men that their children are "their own." Today, that admittedly important concern is secured by the integrity of the woman a man chooses to marry.

    A few points. What kind of "libertarian" says that marriage is not a right but a privilege? How about having children? Right, or privilege granted by the state? Also, I've heard of "cafeteria catholics", but our blogger is a strange one indeed. He accepts the Church's sexual teachings as a matter of cultural catholicism, but not its social teachings because that might cut into wealthy people's income. He accepts the Church's role as a promoter of political and social reaction, but not its belief in Jesus as the son of god and redeemer of mankind.

    And with his views, he's so lucky to have been born in our immoral and permissive age, for if he had written this blog post a few hundred years ago in Southern Europe at the hight of the Counterreformation, that conservative catholic culture he promotes today would have had him arrested, tortured, tried before a Church court in secret, and burned at the stake as an atheist. Makes you long for the good old days, eh? The flames of an auto da fe. The public affirmation of the Holy Faith. Oh well, we do live in different times and GL is still young. He has ample time to repent.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  41. Gonzalo,

    You say that "society" as if it were some homogenous blob, (but that's another issue) should not allow gay marriage for the greater good. The Bolsheviks were very concerned with the greater good. The Democratic Socialists in Germany were focused on the "greater good". Untold millions have been murdered and tortured under that same hollow, high-minded platitude called the "Greater Good". Do you seriously hear yourself???

    The government has no business being involved in marriage in the first place. Marriage should be a private arrangement between two individuals and a church, if they care to have one.

    You would just prefer to have your own brand of totalitarianism.

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

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  42. Thanks for the piece Gonzalo. Thoughtful and well-reasoned as ever.
    I think that, if you’re naturally inclined to oppose gay marriage, this is probably sturdy enough to provide a defence of that view. But if you’re not against it, then it doesn’t (mainly for the reasons Aleksy outlines above).
    Essentially, for the sake of its own future, it makes sense for society to try to find a way to subsidise childbearing and childrearing. That makes perfect sense. As does marriage developing as a way of solving that problem. But in a modern, civilised society, where much more intricate laws can be implemented and upheld, marriage seems like quite a clumsy way of doing it, as it covers so much more than just people with kids (older couples, sterile, no-kids-by-choice etc).
    Would it not just be a better answer to let anyone get married (to satisfy those who think there’s more to marriage than childbearing and childrearing), but only give them extra rights when there’s a three-way contract binding two adults to care for a child?

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  43. You are making few mistakes here. Children are not my future. I don't care what will be here after me. Even a deluge. It it a height of foolishness to assume you have an interest in society's future, through someone else's children.

    Those bearing children, therefore, should be the only ones supporting them. I don't care how. Society laying a burden on me to support someone's future, is exactly what is wrong with the system.

    Because of this unfairness, the tool that would work is to burden them all back with support of homosexual couples, to the point that they realize that each should bear his own load. Without demanding equal benefits for gay couples, there is no hope to ever remove the unfairly placed burden of support for children for those who decided to have a future on those who decided not to have such future.

    Secondly, you are wrong historically by assuming that society has an interest in having children. It does not. The king does, because he needs cannon fodder. Always. So, what we actually are forced to support is the production of cannon fodder for the king.

    Either no one should bear any collective responsibility for married couple business, or everyone should receive those benefits, again, with the net result of zero. That's the whole point of my support of gay rights, - I don't want to be shackled to support the children of the stupid people.

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  44. Enlightening synopsis GL, no wonder you have been absent for some time.

    If you agree or disagree, God, Human nature, or years of evolution was not intent on making either man reproduce with another man, or woman with woman. No mammal in the history of existence has ever bore offspring from a same sex act.

    However, many animals display homosexual behavior, and engage in it often. Even the Black Swan that GL is so enamored with, has a propensity for homosexuality, Penguins also love a bit of “Boys will do Boys” philosophy maybe that explains why gay men walk the way they do!!

    Surely there must be a reason for God or Evolution to engineer it this way, and the reason is very well explained by GL. Lady Gaga has it right “They were born this way” you may not like it, but that how it is, and it’s been in the making for millions of years for very good reasons.

    I am not against any type of homosexual activity, as GL correctly states, if that’s your pre-disposition, then enjoy it, however, I am not about to bend over to what God, Evolution, Creation intended, and change basic human anatomy because my gay friends want a kind of equality that negates the basic principles of ensuring that future generations are produced.

    To me it is religion that is at fault, no other species has the religious act of marriage, even with the act of a religious ceremony, and many heterosexual fathers abandon their children and wives.

    Maybe we should abandon marriage as we know it, and embrace those in society for the ability to love and take care of future generations through the moral obligation of wanting to, and not because of the benefits it entails.

    I have four children, and have often wondered why gays want children, hell, if I had that predisposition to be gay; I believe my life would be a lot simpler, with a lot less stress.
    If gays want to be married, I say fine, let them. As of today it is still impossible for same sex couples to produce offspring, and that’s how nature intended.

    Quote: “As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children”.

    And that is where the problems arise..

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  45. How refreshing to read your argument. If there is only one, the point of a society is to perpetuate itself. This means children. So it seems reasonable that said society should invent some carrots to encourage its members to produce children.
    If homosexuals lay claim to these carrots by reason of marriage, the justification of the carrots changes entirely. This is a choice society can make. But then it is difficult to argue that homosexual's claims are any more valid that of any other group.

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  46. The brothers of the mother can help take care of her children. That is what happens in a matriarchal society.

    Gay rights are impositions. For the State to recognise gay marriage is to extend further impositions on taxpayers who are forced to subsidise married couples.

    The State did not invent marriage. It ought to butt out.

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  47. One thing you might consider, Gonzalo, is the idea that a childless couple can serve as a model for other heterosexual spouses. One of the best marriages I know of was of a childless couple. She spent most of her fertile years in the US in an effort to get her husband out of political prison in Romania. They were eventually reunited too late to have children but were faithful to each other until death did they part.

    Ultimately, men understand men because they are familiar, the same for women. We all need as many models as possible of successful heterosexual long term relationships because fundamentally they are hard to do. Childless heterosexual couples with good marriages do not create children by definition but they increase the chances of positive outcomes for those who do have children in a way that homosexual couples simply do not.

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  48. Why does the state have to sanction marriage at all - heterosexual or homosexual?

    Your argument that certain benefits are bequeathed to married heteorsexual couples because it results in a "social good" -- men providing for women raising children -- is fallacious.

    First, the state does a downright crappy job of guaranteeing ANY social goods.

    Second, do you really believe that if the state stopped sanctioning marriage, marriage would suddenly disappear and huge percentages of men would go around wily-nily impregnating any woman they could find and then abandoning the offspring? That already happens now to some degree of course -- with, I might add, all of the supposed state benefits of marriage in place. (Parenthetically, if you DO think that would happen, see the example of ancient Greece above... With all of the buggering that went on in ancient Greece, they seemed to do alright)

    I say get the state out of the marriage business altogether -- heterosexual or homosexual. Marriage should be a personal choice between two people. If you want to get married in a Catholic Church fine. If you want to get married in the First Flaming Church of the Holy Homo, go for it. It's not the state's business, so they should butt out.

    As for the role of the state, it should be strictly limited to enforcing the non-aggression principle -- your right to swing your fist ends precisely when it reaches my nose.

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  49. Totally agree. Homosexuals are at higher risk for disease, drug abuse, domestic violence, and mental illness. We all have urges to engage in destructive behavior, but you don't have to act on those urges. You have a right to pursue happiness, but you don't have a right to government sanction your deviant behavior. Marriage is supposed to be a private institution. The church defines marriage as between a man and a woman, end of story. But because the government has wormed its way into the institution of marriage through the back door of income taxation and government benefits (which libertarians know are not legitimate functions of the state in the first place), marriage has become politicized and is now an institution that must be defined by "the public."

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  50. Gosh, you sound to me a little like an ancient Roman man. They used marriage for reproduction and boys for sex.

    Anywhere you see marriage 'contracts' (really, is it a contract if the penalty for breaking it is death?) that are so repressive, men use boys for sex.

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  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  52. By the way, "it's not the business of government"--what a dumb fucking argument. I assume the person making it is a nerdy 20 year old libertarian who will eventually shed his callowness but not before filling the Internet with stupid reasoning. People form governments for security and stability, so it's the business of government to do things (like regulate marriage) that help attain those goals. Jesus, how fucking naive can you be?

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  53. Get some Udolpho. Just spents some time on your site. The Jews, fags and minorities are ruining it for all of the rest of us right?

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  54. Men, women and marriage were created by the God you refuse to acknowledge.

    It is scientifically illogical to believe such a highly complex and varied biosphere in which we live came about without an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator and Sustainer.

    When people fail to recognise the Creator, His RIGHTS (He owns everything), laws and ways, ANYTHING goes, i.e. lawlessness abounds, until said Creator intervenes and stops it, once said stupid people learn the errors of their ways.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the police state the Creator has allowed some nefarious government officials to foist on you ungrateful Americans as corrective retribution against your rebellion against Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit (the Matrix of everything that was, is and is to be).

    Even the top hierarchy who controls international affairs knows that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is real.

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  55. Stop to bullshit everybody, there is no such thing as a god.

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  56. I don't need to infer anything from your argument. It is very clear. You said: "Gay rights-no." You have spoken out to deprive me of my human rights, and not just marriage by the way.

    Actually, I feel you have "encouraged ostracism and open contempt" towards me and others. You feel that gays are somehow subhuman and therefore not entitled to equal protection. Got it. Nice.

    You should be aware that at least in America we have a document called the Constitution. It says "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." There is no asterisk. Telling me I have the equal right to opposite gender marriage is just like arguing that Mildred Loving had equal rights to same race marriage in 1967 - convoluted and unconscionable.

    I'm glad Anitra Auster-Birnbaum deprived you of the opportunity to "make America a better nation" according to your vision. It allowed you to experience the kind of injustice you can now openly wish upon gay people while pretending to be a civilized person.

    Otherwise, I enjoy your blog. Be well.

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  57. Your premise that disallowing gay marriage will maximize the net benefit to society is at best unproven. You give no weight to the societal benefits of promoting stable same-gender relationships via marriage (e.g. reduced social services because they take care of each other, etc.).

    Even if we accept your unproven premise as true, your implicit logic that this should be given more weight than the consideration of granting equal protection and dignity to all is completely undeveloped. You set up a classic ethical dilemma of rights versus maximizing benefits, and then you punt it by presuming that maximizing societal benefits trumps all. Very weak.

    To answer your question directly, we as a society shoulder costs which make a homosexual couple’s lives easier, but without the concomitant expectation of children to carry on the existence of the society, because they are human beings entitled to equal protection and dignity.

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  58. Jean, of course he is going to gloss over the human rights/equal protection consideration. To address it head on while allowing the argument to stand, Gonzalo would need to confess that he feels gays are subhuman and worthy of fewer human rights than everybody else because there is some presumed net benefit to society by not allowing gay spouses to visit each other in the hospital, pass through immigration together upon re-entry to their home country, tend to their children as married co-parents, and enjoy the other incidents of marriage. He doesn't have the guts to just come out and say he feels that gays are less than human. I have more respect for the folks who just come out and say God Hates Fags, etc. At least they are expressing their honest view and not cloaking their bigotry in sophism.

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  59. The last Anonymous poster is on to something. I don't know if Gonzalo's antipathy for homosexuals is as intense as the critic envisioned, but his comment cannot be dismissed as altogether misleading. In the opening paragraphs, GL stated that he has no problem with homosexuals just as he has no issue with alcoholics or left-handed people. It is clear that he regards homosexuality as a moral vice, otherwise he would not be comparing it to alcoholism. Just a thought.

    It is difficult to prove that Gonzalo's argument was motivated by his belief that homosexuality is less respectable than heterosexuality, but the author has made his views clear. Homosexuality, just like left-handedness is something to be tolerated, not respected. We don't provide special privileges to left-handed people; Gonzalo implied, so why should homosexuals be beneficiaries of such privileges?

    In my last post, I raised the concern that his definition of the purpose of marriage may not maximize social benefits for the entire society. I also voiced my observation that social benefits or practicality may have little to do with his definition of the purpose of marriage. If he is not concerned with achieving social benefits, what exactly is he concerned with? That gives us a good reason to be suspicious that his vulgar prejudice, or unwillingness to recognize homosexuals as dignified individuals is what motivates him to define the purpose of marriage in a way that he did.

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  60. Re. comments:

    Doug from Oz: Thanks!

    Nebris: Jumping through technological hoops that are currently severely impractical if not impossible in order to create a child out of two same-sex individuals doesn't advance the discussion. We gotta work with what we got.

    Nightjohn writes: "Marriage is no longer about children for most people. The majority of people get married in order to share their lives with those they love." But this is not accurate: Most marriages—formal and common-law—produce children. From this disproven assumption, the rest of your argument falls.

    Anonymous (Unna) at Dec. 12, 2:25 am: She puts me down for a flippant reference to Lady Gaga, then seriously references the movie “300”—not to mention blathers all over the place without a single coherent argument. I would have ignored this post, altogether, but Unna is quite persistent.

    daveholden makes an very good point that coupledom promotes a lot of other social values besides childbearing and childrearing. I agree with him. However, he cannot say that these other benefits—companionship, love, psychological health and well-being and so on—override the primary benefit of marriage, which is provide protection to women and the children she bears, while obliging men to care for them. They don't. Hence he doesn't present an objection to my points about marriage, and its inaplicability to homosexual couples.

    Aleksey at Dec. 12, 10:00am, asks me to explain why I define marriage the way that I do, in a faux-conciliatory approach. In this comment, Aleksey makes no effort to refute any of my arguments—s/he only goes after the why of my definition of marriage. A fairly creepy person, this Aleksey, as we'll see later: The 10:00 am post (and private e-mail s/he sent me) tries to be appeasing—yet clearly, Aleksey hates everything I write. His/Her problem is, s/he can't bring a reasonable argument against any of my points.

    Unna again at Dec. 12, 1:32pm, making a little more sense—but not much: She asks, “What kind of "libertarian" says that marriage is not a right but a privilege?” My answer is, one, I do not identifuy myself as a “libertarian”—I identify myself as indifferent; and two, I said marriage wasn’t a right—but I also said that it wasn’t a privilege: I said it was a contract, where both parties had certain expectations and certain obligations.

    Anonymous at Dec. 12, 3:35pm blasts me: “The government has no business being involved in marriage in the first place. Marriage should be a private arrangement between two individuals and a church, if they care to have one. You would just prefer to have your own brand of totalitarianism.” Actually, a church is not necessary for a marriage—but government is. Because only the state can enforce the civil, contractual obligations of a marriage—for instance, child support in the case of divorce. In fact, it is easy to argue that the state has far more standing in a marriage than any church or religion.

    [More in next comment]

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  61. notesfromtheteapot raised not one but two interesting points, back-to-back: “[I]n a modern, civilised society, where much more intricate laws can be implemented and upheld, marriage seems like quite a clumsy way of doing it, as it covers so much more than just people with kids (older couples, sterile, no-kids-by-choice etc). Would it not just be a better answer to let anyone get married (to satisfy those who think there’s more to marriage than childbearing and childrearing), but only give them extra rights when there’s a three-way contract binding two adults to care for a child?”

    With regards the first issue, the law has always been a clumsy tool to sort through the mess of human relations. If it were neat and tidy, there’d be no need for trials, judges and juries—just a computer.

    With regards the second issue: That’s pretty much exactly where my argument arrives at: No benefits for people without children, be they married or not, straight or gay. Take the rights, privileges and benefits of marriage issue off the table—just restrict it to people who have had children—and the issue of gay marriage evaporates.

    Andy Shand asks: “Surely there must be a reason for God or Evolution to engineer it [ie. homosexuality] this way.” Actually, I’ve read somewhere that current schientific thinking is that male homosexuality might have evolved so as to restrict competition for females. Statistically, in a family of all boys, the second boy is more likely to be gay than the first, and the third more so than the second, and so on. The problem with figuring out evolution is that it can get politically dicey, unless you keep a Buddhist indifference to the whole thing, as I try to do.

    I removed Udolpho's link to his site: I wrote this piece, so I want the discussion here, not elsewhere. (Also, the fucker reposted my entire piece without my permission—very uncool.)

    Anonymous at Dec. 13, 7:09am, threw an ad hominen blast at me, accusing me of saying this I've never said. Bo-ring.

    Jean at Dec. 13, 8:00am starts off as is she's going to discuss my fairness objection to same-sex marriage—something that nobody really dwelled on in the discussion—but then goes back to the tired old equal protection argument—which is not what I've been arguing at all, which is why my arguemnt is so strong: If you pivot your argument, ignore Equal Protection and instead focus on the concept of marriage-as-contract, then the pro-gay marriage camp has no argument. Jean's blabbering comment pretty much proves my point.

    Aleksey comes back at Dec. 13, 12:43pm and gives a remarkably creepy comment. First s/he is all nice and polite, and then s/he springs this one on me: “It is clear that he regards homosexuality as a moral vice, otherwise he would not be comparing it to alcoholism. Just a thought.”

    I compared homosexuality to both alcoholism and left-handedness in order to discuss it as a predisposition that the subject has no control over. I specifically said that predispositions can be positive, negative or neutral, and throughout my piece, I was very careful not to characterize homosexuality in any qualitative way.

    Aleksey—as is his/her wont—makes stuff up. I was particularly struck by this paragraph of Aleksey’s—for its sheer dishonesty: “It is difficult to prove that Gonzalo's argument was motivated by his belief that homosexuality is less respectable than heterosexuality, but the author has made his views clear. Homosexuality, just like left-handedness is something to be tolerated, not respected. We don't provide special privileges to left-handed people; Gonzalo implied, so why should homosexuals be beneficiaries of such privileges?”

    The ‘graph starts out by saying that you can’t pin my thinking down as to homosexuality—then goes right on and says (without a shred of proof) that I “hate the gays”.

    Oh boy!

    Keep on commenting, I’ll be commenting right back.

    GL

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  62. No, actually Aleksey admires you for the fact that you made the effort to produce thoughtful essays. I don't hate the conclusions, but I reserve the right to criticize them. Had you not produced the essays that cover controversial topics, it would have been impossible to create any intellectually stimulating discussion, let alone find arguments to destroy.

    The reason why I have not refuted any of your "arguments" because if I do, you'll simply say that whatever I refuted simply was not your argument. So, I just focused on what you clearly identified as your argument. If you go through the effort to point out what else constitutes your argument, I'll respond. That does not mean that I'll attempt to refute them. I never implied that I "hate" everything you wrote or that I even have antipathy for it. I strongly disagree with some of the views you seem to have expressed, but that does not mean that I would prefer that you did not express them at all. If I "hated" them, I would have made no effort to respond because by responding, I actually give you more opportunities to state your position in greater detail.

    So, I stand by what I said earlier. This is a very thoughtful essay in a blog that shows serious intellectual ambition. I appreciate this because such achievements are truly rare in the modern Western culture of banality. I also appreciate that you made an effort to answer some of my questions. I just wish you'd stop equivocating and state what your position truly is. But before you do that, why don't you explain why you defined the purpose of marriage the way you did? That's an appropriate thing to do because this definition was central to your argument. Once you cover that, we can see if there is more to be said in criticism or support for your other arguments.

    Of course, you don't have to do as I say, I was only hoping that this blog would create an intellectually stimulating forum of discourse. You've made the first step towards achieving that, the next step is responding to your critics in a forthright and an intellectually honest fashion. I hope that you can proceed from step one to step two. While you're at it, keep in mind that when I criticize your position, I am not showing contempt, I am displaying an intellectual interest in it.

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. "I compared homosexuality to both alcoholism and left-handedness in order to discuss it as a predisposition that the subject has no control over. I specifically said that predispositions can be positive, negative or neutral, and throughout my piece, I was very careful not to characterize homosexuality in any qualitative way. "

    Okay, I see that. However, alcoholism is usually interpreted as a deplorable condition. If you had no intention of implying that a genetic predisposition to homosexuality was undesirable, comparing it to alcoholism was quite misleading. People who are left-handed are also often deemed to be less adaptable and less efficient than right-handed people. That genetic predisposition can also be regarded as negative. So, I'd say this example misrepresented your idea. Why didn't you liken homosexuality to an obviously neutral predisposition, that is, one that virtually nobody will see as either desirable or undesirable. Say, for example, the predisposition to like carrots? Or the predisposition to enjoy running?

    Yes, by the way. I was careless in the way I worded my comment regarding your attitude about homosexuals. To be clear, it seemed to me that you did not have a visceral hatred for that demographic group, but your comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism made me think that you regarded it as merely something that ought to be tolerated rather than respected. I now see what your views were, but you know that the predisposition towards alcoholism is generally seen as negative and undesirable. If anyone else interprets you to believe that you the predisposition to homosexuality as undesirable because you compared it to alcoholism, you can't blame them for it.

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  66. Right! I think I'm getting there...

    So to summarise, would it be fair to say that if all legal, tax, financial rights were stripped from marriage (given to child-bearing, child-rearing couples instead), leaving marriage simply as a way for a couple to demonstrate a loving commitment to each other, you would be pro gay marriage?

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  67. I replied to Gonzo directly in complete agreement with his logic and ethical position, and explained why it wasn't posted here thusly:

    I would have left this in the comment section, but it was getting catty over there. I have noticed that when your topics are mostly controversial among, say, economists, the comments are typically pretty germane. But when the Gonzo mental acuity turns to subjects such as today's post, about half the commentators reveal themselves to be heavily conditioned dogmatists.

    He kindly replied post haste and suggested I put that paragraph up. So, there it is, folks.

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  68. Your argument would also apply to heterosexual couples that never intend to have children, or physically are not able have children. They then should not be allowed to marry.

    Why should government sponsor religious contracts? All unions should be civilly recognized.

    Casting one group into permanent Second Class citizenship is inherently unfair, will divide society and hence weaken it over the long run.

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  69. The mere existence of contingent beings absolutely requires that they were, in some manner, created by a non-contingent, i.e., necessary Being -- which being we call God. The arguments from causality and motion are unassailable, GL, and, for all of your intelligence, I assure you that you would be unable to refute them.

    As for the rather tiresome subject of sodomy, the fact that the ass-hole does not naturally and sufficiently lubricate itself in order to facilitate repeated penetration by a penis is rather telling, is it not? The key naturally goes into the lock, so to speak -- and an ass-hole is NOT such a lock. Further, this highly unnatural act, even when facilitated artificially, produces...nothing.

    The natural law is the natural law and no amount of modern insanity is going to alter anything. No one has or can have a right to do what is wrong. As much as otherwise-intelligent moderns might like to think otherwise, sodomy is wrong -- end of story.

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  70. No, actually arguments from causality and motion have been famously refuted by the 18th century philosopher, Immanuel Kant. This fact is known very well by every sophomore student of philosophy. I won't go into detail with this, but let's take the basic argument from first cause.

    Premise: Everything had a cause, nothing was uncaused. Hence, assuming that God was the first cause for everything solves the problem. This argument succumbs is guilty of the infinite regress fallacy. Who caused God, another God, what about that God, some other God? So and so so on. The assumption that God is the cause of everything is just gratuitous.

    What about the so called argument from motion? All motion came from somewhere, so might as well assume that all motion came from God. What about the motion that created that God, another God created that motion, right? So on, ad infinitum, we have the infinite regress problem once again.

    The proofs for God's existence that you have in mind belong to St. Thomas Aquinas and they are known as the "five ways". Before you fly off the handle insisting that all proofs for God's existence are unassailable, just look into Immanuel Kant's refutation of "Thomism's theistic rationalism". Theistic rationalism is the thesis that God's existence can be justified by reason alone, it is now known to be demonstrably false. The demonstration of the falsehood of theistic rationalism led to the development of Kant's doctrine of fideism, or accepting a belief in God partly on faith as opposed on the basis of reason alone.

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  71. Just to keep things interesting, I will gladly disclose that I am a red-headed, left-handed alcoholic...who knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that sodomy, in se, is contra legem naturalem. BTW, GL, the classical primary end of marriage is...the procreation and education of children. Such is the raison d'etre of marriage, which, to ruffle absolutely everyone's feathers, renders birth control intrinsically evil. Such is the natural law. Still, having been raised in the modern world as much as anyone else, I realize that such easily-proved, unassailable positions seem repugnant to the modern so-called mind.

    As for I. Kant, his entire philosophical system is absolutely insane and easily refuted.

    Ciao for now...

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  72. As for your 'refutation' of the argument from causality, refuting a falsely-presented premise accomplishes nothing. I'll come back and present the actual argument as time permits. All the same, I thank you for your attempt at rational discourse...and for presuming that I might or would "fly off the handle."

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  73. Hello GL,

    Of course I don't take the movie "300" seriously. Who could? I was making fun of it.

    Your post is almost totally devoted to money and who pays for kids - and you can't even get that right. You say for example: "Thus the state grants married couples tax incentives for each child they have..." Wrong! The state grants tax breaks to any adult who is supporting a dependent child. It doesn't go to "married couples". It doesn't even go to biological parents "for each child they have". It goes to grandparents, unwed mothers, foster parents, single parents, and gays, who actually raise children. The state gives tax breaks to adults who rear children. Get it. The tax break does not subsidize procreation per se, as you seem to think. Have a child and give it up or have it taken from you, and you get nothing. The state supports child rearing - period. And employers include dependent children in their health plans for workers.

    By the way, don't you see the contradiction in proclaiming a conservative catholic perspective on anything without a belief in "God" or the message of Jesus? You want catholic sexual morality - did you maintain your virginity until marriage - but you reject the commandment to be your brother's keeper which includes catholic social teachings.

    Now you could argue that you don't want to give any of your money or grant tax breaks for anyone's children, and that would be consistent, but most unchristian. I don't read you that way. You admit that children are a society's future. and that's good.

    Marriage and sexual customs are not some a priori set of rules. These things are relative to historical time and place which is why I brought up the extreme, for us, sexual practices of the Spartans to make that point. What part of this do you find confusing?

    Now pay attention: I mention the above because in the West today, marriage customs and state laws may in fact be changing to accommodate new social need. Get the argument now?

    But you still want to impose the culture of catholic conservatism on the rest of us. Haven't you noticed that this brand of culture has had a very poor record as far as production of knowledge, protection of freedom, running competent open governments, and so on?

    Your position on marriage and gays is not based on sound argument,but is a concoction of facile explanations to justify a world view famous for its oppression and backwardness.

    The discussion is certainly fun, and we all knew it was coming. So good job with that. Keep up the good work.

    Regards

    Unna

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  74. You refer to Jean's "tired old equal protection argument" without any explanation for why you feel it is invalid.

    You go on to say that if you ignore equal protection your argument is strong. Of course, if you ignore inalienable rights, then you can go ahead and just maximize benefits to society with complete abandon. For example, society might be better off with a public park where your home is and might contemplate seizing it without paying you just compensation. Is it ethical for society to seize your home? Of course not. Why not? Because you have individual rights that trump whatever societal benefit would otherwise be maximized.

    The same logic applies to gay marriage. Even if we accept your flimsy premise that the net benefits to society are maximized by depriving gays of their constitutionally guaranteed human rights, you have failed to explain why that trumps the rights of gay people to marry the person whom they choose to marry like anybody else. You just dismiss the comment as "tired and old." I hope you have more intellectual capacity than that.

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  75. GL,

    You're just sticking your head in the sand.

    The tech for stripping one set of DNA out of an egg and replacing it with another is already here. Hell, there was a “Law & Order” 'custody' episode based upon its use three or four years ago. The bone marrow/stem cell tech will be ready for general use within half a decade. The egg-to-egg fertilization tech is maybe a decade further than that, but it's already been successful with small mammals.

    Within a half century these technologies – if not 'politically' repressed – will become Standard Practice and not in any way 'jumping through hoops'.

    This tosses Heterosexual Marriage’s hold on reproduction out the window and with it the basis for nearly all of your above argument.

    I suspect what you're really doing just cooking up justifications for your own sexual squeamishness.

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  76. ...and speaking of sticking things into things, thegreatpurifcation's 'key into lock' metaphor was epistemologically hysterical and quiet revealing. “Gotta keep 'Teh Seckz' locked up!” That's the Core Philosophy of Patriarchy btw.

    Dude, men have been sticking their Johnsons into anything that'll fit 'em for millennia before anyone ever even heard of Yahweh. Get over it. lol

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  77. Hello,

    I want to make a comment on the issue of the right to gay marriage that's bound to please no one.

    GL has a fixed idea about what marriage should be and it does not include gay rights. Others say gay marriage is and always has been a human right. Well not quite.

    The contours of the institution of marriage in any society fulfill and are relative to that society's needs at a certain time and place. "Rights" arise to promote and protect the needs of society.

    Rights don't come out of the air nor do they exist for all in some ideal Platonic realm. Gays do not, nor does anyone else, have "rights" apart from those that are recognized by a society.

    Rights are recognized because that society has made a collective decision that it is in the society's best interest to recognize and enforce certain rights. That's the way the real world works, even if you don't like it.

    If today's Western societies make a collective decision that society, here and now, not in the far past, not in the far future, but "today" will, on balance, benefit from gay marriage, then gay marriage will be allowed and protected with rights.

    It is starting to be believed that allowing a large number of people who wish to live openly in same sex unions to acquire respectability, position, stability in their finances and relationships, the ability to form households for the rearing of children, etc is a benefit to society.

    Of course, it's phrased in terms of rights. And it looks like gays can and will most likely acquire marriage "rights" that will be legally recognized. But only because society now sees itself better off by granting these rights.

    That's the way it works, and no amount of nostalgia for the past, or natural law theory will derail this. Societies change through time because of internal and external changes in circumstances. Marriage customs and "rights" change accordingly.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  78. Thegreat Putrification, a lot of people think that Kant's system is insane because it is highly counter intuitive. That is, it is incompatible with our modern common sense view of the world. To put it very crudely and simply, its fundamental assumptions are quite inordinate and the reasoning Kant employs is very subtle. The complexity of his reasoning makes his arguments very difficult to follow and they are easily misinterpreted. I cannot blame you for assuming that it is easily refuted. However, I must point out that your view is not shared by most professional philosophers. Although many contemporary philosophers reject several of Kant's doctrines, his position is almost never categorized as "thoroughly discredited" or "comprehensively refuted". That is what sets him apart from some of his predecessors in the history of Western philosophy such as Descartes or Berkeley. I would be more than happy to discuss this topic with you at length, but this may not be the proper forum. So, feel free to email me.

    By the way, I am not sure if I understood your response to my criticism of St. Aquinas's proofs for the existence of God. My basic point was that it is simply gratuitous to assume that God was the first cause or the first mover. It is simply an appeal to magic, an easy answer to a difficult problem. Simply put, we don't know where the first cause came from or where the first mover came from, so we just say God somehow made it happen. Can't you see the problem with the method of solving problems you've just proposed. Every time we find a problem that we can't solve, why don't we just say God somehow provided us with the answer. For example, we can't exactly figure out how synchrony of neurons causes conscience to rise, so let's just say God causes conscience to rise? We can't find an empirically demonstrable way of showing what activity in the brain empowers human beings to have free will, but let's say God has it figured out somehow, right?

    Anyway, back to your original contention. The choice to assume that God is the first cause is simply arbitrary for the reasons I explained above. Therefore, we must accept the necessity of our ignorance of what the first cause was. Thus, we have two options. Either, find an empirical way to demonstrate the existence of a first cause or assume that we don't know the answer to that question. The Big Bang theory advanced in the direction of the former. You might say that the Big Bang theory is guilty of the fallacy of assuming that the first cause comes out of nothing. Maybe true, but the thesis that God is a self created being that comes from nothing is the same fallacy. Perhaps there is something wrong with the idea that "nothing comes from nothing". Where do we get that from, anyway? That's just our common sense view of the world, and this view is based on our experience with the universe. It does not mean that it actually holds true in the 4th dimension or some other distant realm where the universe was born and that is the realm that we likely have no experience with. So, there is no reason to assume that just because nothing comes from nothing on this planet, the whole universe could not have emerged out of nothing.

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  79. Thank you gardner1 for saying what I think/feel.

    All in all, it just gets back to the human condition. We're afraid of what we don't understand; we're afraid of change; we all feel like our beliefs are under attack by others; we just want to live our lives. I promise I won't impinge on your rights as long as you don't impinge on mine.

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  80. @ Aleksey,

    Maybe an easier way to explain Kant is to say that in Kant's view causality is, at best, only the way we perceive the world to behave. It's "true" of the way our minds organize things. The only certainty about causality is that it's the way our mind represents the world to our consciousness. So causality may not, in fact, be a characteristic of the way things are "in themselves".

    Therefore it's a mistake to impute causality to metaphysical entities such as God, or to use causal reasoning as a proof for the existence of God.

    Saint Thomas' proofs for the existence of God were never meant to be "proofs" as we commonly use that word, but were formulated as a means to show that a belief in God is not unreasonable, and/or that the existence of God is more likely than not.

    I hope I have this right since you clearly know much more about this than I do. At least this is what I remember from my, I shudder, catholic education.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  81. I removed Udolpho's link to his site: I wrote this piece, so I want the discussion here, not elsewhere. (Also, the fucker reposted my entire piece without my permission—very uncool.)

    Then reply to it here you blubbering faggot, it's long and I couldn't be bothered to cram it into your tiny comment box. BOO HOO SOMEONE MIGHT CLICK ON A LINK AND READ SOMETHING. It's the Internet you fucking retard. Jesus you are both insecure and dumb.

    Also I didn't quote your article, someone did AND LINKED TO IT, which is how I found your poorly written blog.

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  82. Gonzalo, kudos for trying.

    A few points, as tweeted:

    - On your fuzzy-headed gay marriage piece, I'd say you're pretty much in the Catholic/conservative mainstream. And wrong.

    - If marriage was simply a contract btwn2ppl,there'd b nothing abt heterosexual marriage2 defend,or abt gay marriage2 oppose

    - Love is the glue that God created to keep SOME couples together, the better to advantage their kids.Marriage is man-created

    - Your argument tht gay marriage wrongly imposes 'costs' on everyone is entirely unsupported.Certainly not costs for children

    - Many societies DO have a #marriage status of some sort,but not all+of wide range,up to harems+polygamy. #Anthropology

    - For much of old West,informal, common-law 'marriage' was common.Churches of course provided marriage ceremonies of members

    - Man evolved in small clans,+children raised w help of extended family+community.It is likely that women had choice

    - In larger societies,formal marriage served many purposes,not least of which was2 abate conflict over reproductive resources

    - Women were (many places still are) often married off young w/o their consent. They were essentially treated as property

    - Marriage also served to cement bonds btwn families--often useful when families comprised civil society+chief economic units

    - ’engagement' served2 declare 'hands off' to other men--anyone persuading a betrothed2 break it off cd be sued 4 estranging

    - Govt got involved in marriage biz mainly2 keep better track+control of citizens,+to weaken religion-centered community

    - Ur view of Govt as comprising 'society' tht subsidizes heterosexual marriage also fails.Only some benefits provided by Govt

    - Many benefits to married couples r provided purely as a matter of contract btwn worker+employer.This can chng w/o chgs2 law [or damage to others]

    - There are many levels of Govt-Fed,state,local,Govt-owned-all act as employers+can choose how to treat couples of any stripe

    - Now,in modern age where Govts+corps have undermined community,perhaps 'child support' is most imp part of 'marriage law'

    Thanks for your interest in my thoughts. I put these together here, as food for thought for your readers, and to keep the comments focussed.

    Regards,

    TT
    http://twitter.com/#!/Tokyo_Tom

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  83. lmao...blog author confirms he is a thin-skinned nerd

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  84. Here is the entire comment for this big baby who shivers with rage at someone leaving a link:

    I agree. The article quoted in the OP is redolent of all conservative efforts to find some objection to gay marriage on specious utilitarian grounds. This reaches a climax of doubletalk:


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    Since a homosexual couple can never have a common biological child, society has no vested interest in granting both members of a gay couple the same benefits that it grants straight couples: Gays can’t have children, and if either does have children, it’s with someone else, and thus those children are legally protected by the mother or father of those children outside the homosexual union.

    This sort of argument is tailor-made to be ripped apart by gay activists. It is uncompelling, unconvincing, and presumes an imperious, technocratic "society" that measures the benefits it bestows based on some parsimonious formula of utility. Since "most" gays will not have children, none of them should be granted rights intended to facilitate strong families. As conservative reasoning goes, this is just pathetic.

    Of course this all proceeds from an unwillingless to argue that homosexuality is abnormal and a form of mental illness. Conservative pundits are very uncomfortable making this argument, because today's conservative pundits have been cowed by libertarians and neoconservatives (Jews) into accepting many of the premises of liberalism. Immediately before the quote in the OP begins, he wrote:


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    As an inborn predisposition which I do not share, I am indifferent to homosexuality, to the same degree that I am indifferent to left-handedness or alcoholism: Two other traits which I do not share. (Parenthetically, I’ve always suspected that those who belligerently “hate the gays” are secretly afraid that they themselves might be gay; but that’s for another post.) And just as I think that people who are left-handed or alcoholic should not be discriminated against, I think it’s wrong to discriminate against homosexuals qua homosexuals.

    When you start from error you are very unlikely to end with sense. And in fact the very first reply to the article exploits the central weakness of his argument:


    Quote


    Not very laissez-faire of you. People can do whatever they want as long as it isn't a crime (the act or threat of aggressive violence against another person).

    Because Gonzalo Lira can't bring himself to say that gays should be discriminated against (even though he has just written a post arguing that exactly this should be done), he is vulnerable to the (meritless) libertarian argument that society should be governed by amoral law.

    On another level his argument against gay marriage is a failure--while it applies some sort of sociobiological rationalization for marriage, it makes the mistake of arguing that because something has been done in the past, it must continue to be done in the future, without arguing convincingly why. Thus he has no real response to an additional argument made in the comments, that "states should get out of the marriage business altogether, gay or otherwise".

    It is foolish to argue against gay marriage without arguing against homosexuality itself. Were homosexuality not abnormal or a threat to social cohesion, there would be absolutely no reason beyond mere custom to object to it. It is the stupid and lazy conservative insistence on arguing from custom (usually out of fear of controversy) that has led to so many calamitous social changes.

    By the same token, it is foolish to argue against gay marriage without first laying the groundwork--that moral cohesion is essential to the endurance of human society. The law itself is worthless without a moral people living under it, as should be all too apparent in today's world.

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  85. There are a number of children on the planet who do not have parents. They live in orphanages, raised by the state and administrators. If gay people could marry, they would have the incentive to adopt and take care of these kids knowing that they would receive the benefits that come with marriage. Since children are our future, we have an obligation to make sure that they are brought up by loving parents. We can work towards that goal by allowing gays to marry. There is really no downside. We pay for plenty of marriages between straight couples that have no children or are not physically capable of having children. Many couples also get married with the understanding that they do not want kids, but believe in the expression of love. Many people get married for money, power, fame, etc. Your argument is a solid attempt to rationalize bigotry, but ultimately misses the point that there are certainly a ton of children who would benefit from being brought up by devoted gay parents but there is very little incentive, by comparison, for gays to sacrifice so much to raise a kid when they know they will not be rewarded in the same way as straight parents.

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  86. Hi Unna, thank you for addressing my post regarding Kant's metaphysics. I agree with your interpretation of his views. It is clear that Kant rejected a common sense view of the world that naively assumed that causality is inherent in the empirical realm. As you may remember, Kant claimed that we interpret the world through the apparatus of perception known as the 12 categories. On this basis, he draws the famous distinction between noumena and the pheneomena: the world as it is and the world as we experience it. Although some modern analytic philosophers such as Russell or Ayer question the legitimacy of that distinction, they really should have considered Kant's contention that everything we know about the external is filtered through the prism of our apparatus of perception. Even if we reject Kant's assertion that there is such a thing as the world as "it is" that sharply differs from the world as we know, we at least have to concede that we cannot be certain that the world as we know it is the ultimate reality.

    As you have implied, on this basis we can infer that Thomists unduly use the principle of causality which belongs to the world as we know it in order to explain God. Even if such an entity exists (and Kant believed that it did), it must belong to the world as it is (the noumena) rather than to the world as we experience it (phenomena). Thus, it is simply a category mistake to draw conclusions about the noumena by using methods that are only known to be reliable when understanding the phenomenal world. Thomism is guilty of precisely that kind of a mistake.

    From the standpoint of only the philosophical integrity of the argument, I do think that your method is a more precise and a comprehensive way of critiquing Thomism. But I thought that it'd be just too much to get into when introducing Kant to someone who may be only scarcely familiar with the philosopher's key arguments. It just might reinforce the notion that Kant's position is "insane".

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  87. I am glad to see this as an economic argument than as a religious one. However, I think the cost to society of marriage (tax breaks, insurance) without children whether it be a homosexual or heterosexual marriage are being overstated, at least as relates to the U.S.

    The tax deduction from filing jointly is primarily a benefit when there is vast income disparity between the married couple, such as you would find if only one worked and the other stayed at home raising kids. If the two earn within the same tax bracket the savings from filing jointly vs singly are going to be nill, and may even result in paying more taxes as the joint income could be pushed into a higher tax bracket. You will have corner cases where there is enough income disparity for the filing jointly to be of great benefit but I would put that in the same bucket as heterosexual couples without kids.

    In terms of insurance, many large companies already offer domestic partner insurance at the same cost as for people who are married without kids. It's a benefit making the company more attractive to potential gay employees and can improve the image of the company while also protecting against potential discrimination lawsuits. It's a benefit, and I have worked jobs where I wish that I had worse health insurance and was paid more (young, single & healthy I didn't need a great plan but had one)

    Finally, they don't have maternity leave unless they are actually having kids so this cost is nill unless children are being born from homosexual couples.

    Overall, I don't believe the cost to society for gay marriages is a valid reason for not allowing them. You will have corner cases where the income disparity of a homosexual couple costs the government some $ in taxes, but this is in the same boat as childless couples saving money on filing jointly. And if the cost is not a valid negative reason, then even if you see no positive reason for them to marry I don't think that carries sufficient weight to disallow gay marriage.

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  88. @Unna

    "Marriage and sexual customs are not some a priori set of rules. These things are relative to historical time and place which is why I brought up the extreme, for us, sexual practices of the Spartans to make that point."

    GL isn't arguing against sexual customs, especially as practiced in ancient Sparta which btw did not have gay marriage. In fact no pre-20th-century civilizations had gay marriage. (Please don't mention the corrupt Emperor Nero as an example of Roman gay marriage because it doesn't prove that the entire civilization sanctioned it.)

    @Nebris

    Maybe science can strip and replace DNA from a cell (as in cloning) someday to produce babies en masse from 2 human females or 2 human males, but until and if (big if) that day ever arrives, can we stick to present reality please in GL's argument?

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  89. Basically what GL is stating here is this:

    If the government "rewards" certain human behaviors with economic benefits, society gets more of that type of behavior. Why does the government encourage traditional man-woman marriage with economic incentives? Because marriage between a man and a woman is still the best, easiest, most efficient and stable way to produce future generations of citizens.

    If the government starts financially rewarding other types of marriages that don't produce children, or that produce fatherless, motherless or multi-parented (communally raised) children, we'll get less of the traditional family structure that has been documented to be most beneficial to children, and more of the adult-oriented structures that are alot less beneficial to children.

    Result: children will be raised in more dysfunctional environments, society becomes less stable, government goes broke trying to enforce all these various marriage contracts when they all fall apart and people start suing each other for custody of their communal fatherless/motherless children.

    Marriage used to be about families and children. Now it seems to have become all about fulfilling adults' desires.

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  90. @Anonymous 3:00PM
    On the other end, overly rewarding having more children purely for the sake of having more children can cause them to be born into dysfunctional environments. There are no incentives for raising children well, which would be nearly impossible to do anyway without creating even more perverse incentive structures.

    Also it is important to note that the marriage rate in the US is at an all time low. If anything the incentives for being married and having kids are too weak. (And if you increase them be ready for the uproar from single mothers)

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  91. @Luke

    It's not impossible. Government can implement policies that encourage two-parent man-woman marriages to stay intact, and to be responsible for their children. Government can also take away welfare incentives for single-parent households and discourage that type of behavior.
    But we don't want to be like China which only allows one child per family which has resulted in a surplus of men due to female infanticide.

    If the solution is to throw up one hands and allow marriage to get even more broken by allowing all kinds of arrangements to be considered marriage, that's not a solution.

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  92. My comment about being nearly impossible was in relation to incentive structures for being a "good" parent because of the unintended behaviors of parents trying to reach them. Adding more rules may help but that also adds more potential bad behavior/loopholes.

    I don't think the solution is just to throw our hands up. I believe strengthening the incentives for married couples who have kids would be a good start. Though this doesn't really affect the overall conversation on gay marriage or childless marriages.

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  93. Gonzalo, here's a basic outline of the US federal role in marriage:

    http://volokh.com/2011/12/12/marriage-as-a-creature-of-state-law/

    TT

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  94. @ Anonymous December 14, 2011 2:31 PM,

    Yes, Sparta did not have gay marriage, but there was a lot of same sex activity going on as was typical in the ancient world. Zeus himself had Ganymede as his companion - to the consternation of his wife Hera. But Zeus was married to Hera and not Ganymede. Apollo, had his own coterie of friends. The Emperor Hadrian had a young friend, who when he died, was deified and his person was used as the subject of a homosexual religious cult. But of course the emperor had a wife. So same sex relationships had devine sanction, but people were married to a person of the opposite sex. The devine sanction meant that no moral approbation or shame attached to these relationships in those societies.

    Perhaps it's the case that people generally need devine or official sanction for activities such as publicly known sexual relationships and marriage. Devine sanction bestows respectability. Marriage today may fulfill the role that the devine sanction did for same sex relationships in the ancient world. It certainly does so for heterosexual couples. Combine our society's value for monogamy, which would perclude having both a spouse and publicly a same sex lover, and the result is same sex marriage. A strange thing indeed when you think about it.

    Of course I'm speculating here.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  95. Over 90% of homosexuals--in my experience--do not want "marriage" and do want to be extremely promiscuous. It is only an excuse to legitimate their evil, depraved choices. Let's suppose for the sake of argument that homos are "born that way". So what? If an alcoholic is born that way do we make excuses and accommodate him/her? No. Why should we? That just opens a door to all types of iniquity. Does that mean we should have group "marriage"? Should we become like Muslims and have 4 wives? This is just insane. Homosexuality is a mental illness.
    Moreover, children need a mother and a father not two mothers or two fathers instead of a mother and a father. Nature endowed men and women with different characteristics that complement each other. That is why homosexuals do not replicate, because it is not the natural order. Until 1972, homosexuality was considered a mental illness, which it is. This is not about hate. This is about defending civilization. No child should be denied a mother or a father. It is morally wrong.

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  96. There are many errors in the Gay Marriage argument.

    1. Marriage is not a right. It is a privilege. It is political recognition of a union blessed by society because it serves society’s purposes.

    That privilege confers benefits and requirements. A cohabiting couple need not have a marriage ceremony nor a state license, but if they have children and tell the community that they are married, then after seven years, the state considers them so. It will hold them to a common law marriage for the purpose of protecting their children.

    Many people are legally prevented from governmental recognition of their cohabitation. Brothers and sisters cannot legally marry, yet sometimes, they have children together. At one time, people of different races would not have their cohabitation recognized.

    Societies and government have the right to change the requirements of the privileges they grant. Even Leftists agree with this rule, but they want those changes to be munificent and expansive.

    2. The government, and society, is not required to make sense; they can confer benefits on anyone who meets the requirements to serve a social need. If the government, absurdly, wishes to encourage homeownership, the requirement is that you must purchase a house to get a mortgage deduction. Since this is a privilege, then the government can change its rules willy nilly.

    3. This is not about equality, either. The equality is only in that the government cannot exclude people who meet its rules. Homosexuals are not forbidden to marry. But, to get the benefits, they must marry women. A homosexual couple could marry a lesbian couple if they wished. They could have children via artificial insemination and they would get the benefits. They need not live in the same town. This issue is something more than about money.

    4. Like many Socialist causes, Gay marriage is not about marriage. It is about attacking America’s social morality.

    America is undergoing a culture war which is intend to stamp out conventional morality and traditional virtues. No fault divorce has been made easy. Abortion has become commonplace, most often among the Left. Infidelity and perversion are promoted as normal or sensational by leftist venues in Hollywood, TV and the Press. Homosexuality and promiscuity are promoted in the Public Schools as acceptable. Sex Education classes tend to increase sexual behavior. The espousal of common morality and self restrain is called sexist.

    The Left want to corrupt society, but they end up corrupting themselves. This is why Leftists have fewer children than at replacement rates. They are breeding themselves out of existence. This is why, after a Census, locations under leftist control lose representatives to the Red States which have higher birth rates.

    What the Gays are after is social approval. They want social acceptance of their most flagrant behavior. America is the most tolerance society in history, but that is not enough. Most people don't care what gays do behind closed doors.

    But, the Gays want mind control. Sexually normal people are not allowed to express disapproval of the homosexual lifestyle, even though it is counter productive. Even before the AIDS epidemic, Homosexuals had short life spans. Hepatitis would kill them, because they were promiscuous. Suicide was the next cause for death after infectious decease. In the Sixties, before AIDS, Homosexuals had a life expectancy in their 50s.

    The arguments for Gay Marriage are bogus. Gays do not deserve any privileges, because they serve no social purpose.

    All we need do is look at Europe, with its collapsing birth rates, to determine that this is not a good path for America to follow. If the Blue States wish to follow this path, they bankrupt themselves all the sooner. But, the Left wants to enforce this on unwilling conservatives in the Red States. This is what we must fight.

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  97. GL ... no offense, but are you losing it?

    The whole world is very close to going over a financial abyss - much worse than 2008 - and you choose to debate Gay Marriage? Why not discuss sports scores, or the latest developments in "bimbo paradise" as revealed by the Kardashians??

    My favorite quote for the current times comes from author Jim Kunstler, who observed wryly in his November commentary ..."The clowns and villains who run America have accomplished something really epic: they have vanquished meaning."

    A lot of people are really wondering if he is really right at the moment. Why is Jon Corzine not in jail??

    PeteCA

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  98. So a lesbian couple wants to have children. They get a sperm donor. How is this any different?

    Gay couples DO have children. Often they adopt, lesbians get sperm donors (artificial insemination), and sometimes there is a surrogate mother.

    Also, not all straight couples have children. And sometimes one of the partners is infertile or sterile. Should infertile or sterile people not be allowed to marry?

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  99. @PeteCA.

    This discussion has been fun, and I appreciate that GL and provided this forum - and I can't imagine how he must feel after being attacked by half the commenters, including myself. But I'm sure he'll say he can take it. And that's a good thing.

    Meanwhile, most of the congress and Obama are shamefully poised to legislatively take away Americans'right to Habeas Corpus in "terrorism" cases. What does that mean and portend?

    Question: if forced to choose, would a person who is, sincerely and on principle, opposed to gay marriage rather live in a society which outlaws gay marriage along with the right to habeas corpus, or in one which recognizes gay marriage along with strictly protecting the right to habeas corpus?

    Sometimes we can't get everything we want and we have to choose. Which society would you rather live in?

    Looks like PeteCA is saying we should all put our clothes back on, so to speak, and get to work.

    Regards,

    Unna

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  100. Hi Gonzalo. Enjoyed your post. Unfortunately you are 100% wrong on this one. Substitute "Republic party member" or "Fox News viewer" for homosexual, and you have the same argument. Those folks are unfit for marriage and therefore should not receive any of the benefits society confers upon them. Not to mention they should not reproduce under any circumstance is an added benefit.

    Nevertheless, as much appeal my version has, it is no more defensible logically than yours.

    weinerdog43

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  101. GL- Always a well thought out article, making your position clearly known. I appreciate your willingness to tackle a sensitive issue.

    But my issue is your desire for government involvement in the first place. How about getting the government out of the "marriage" business.

    Why not allow:
    - contracts to be voluntarily entered into between two people
    - allow insurance companies and employers to set their own policies of who they will, will not cover in terms of benefits

    Use these two principles as the basis, to quote Richard Maybury:
    1. Do all you have agreed to do (according to the contract)
    2. Do not encroach on another person or their property (this applies to creating a baby - the parents would be financially and emotionally liable for their creation)

    Wouldn't it be better if the government reduced it's power...do we really want the government to decide individual, moral issues?

    I prefer them out of such business... Thanks again.

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  102. Unna ...

    We should be getting our clothes back.
    Personally, I may be lucky to even keep my clothes. I may need to sell them on EBay just to make ends meet :-)

    I do agree that the reent passage of the bill allowing indefinite confinement of Ameicans - and suspending Habeas Corpus - is deeply disturbing. I don't think that people in the current Administration or the military are planning on applying it to the general population at this stage. I think the President was just covering his legal rear-end, in view of the assassination of two Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen. But this bill has opened the doors to abuse in the future, and should be a concern for all Americans.

    The acrimony that is currently happening in Europe is just a foretaste of what will arrive on our own doorstep in the USA in the future.

    PeteCA

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  103. Spot on Gonzalo. You said it right as soon as you said that marriage is not a right, it's a contract.

    I'm left-handed, but have nothing against right-handed people, gays, lesbians or alcoholics (as long as they don't drive).

    .... so how PC would it be for Pfizer to develop a pill to suppress the urges of homosexuals? There are already pills to suppress other urges, such as smoking....

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  104. Ahh, my dear Gonzolo, you miss a HUGE point with your argument.

    POTENTIAL child-bearing is the crux of your discrimination of heterosexual versus homosexual couples for the case of marriage.

    Now, pray tell, how do you feel about couple in their eighties getting married? Heterosexual or Homosexual?

    NEITHER of them can bear children, however the heterosexual octogenarians have the privileges that the homosexual octogenarians do not.

    Explain that!

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  105. My advise: stick to economics and loose the social commentary.
    This really isn't a philosophical issue, but a simple practical one. Marriage is a religious compact as well as a social one. Freedom of religion dictates that religions should be allowed to make this decision for themselves. However, social side of marriage is about partnership, that two people can get through life better together than apart which is better for everybody. Especially when it comes to raising children, which is a universally accepted gay right.
    There are over 3,000 laws in California (the only state I'm familiar with) that mention marriage. Many, such as survivor benefits and rights, are truly cruel for gay couples. It makes no sense to try and rewrite all applicable laws. It is far easier to just allow gays to have the same legal rights a heterosexuals.
    We assume that a heterosexual marriage is more important to society than a gay marriage. But the simple fact is gays have children, and that is certainly the most important reason to sanctify marriage.
    Gays have been part of human society for 100s of thousands of years, if not millions. It is socially corrosive to ostracize these people from leading healthy, normal, productive lives.
    Would I be happy with a "civil union"? Yes, if it assured such couples all the same rights. But this makes "civil union" identical to marriage except in name, which is just a silly word game. Changing all the laws just to accommodate a new euphemism is a waste of everybody's time an money.

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  106. I've been thinking about a definition of marriage.

    We could define marriage as a contract between a man and a woman. But I think that would be slightly too minimal insofar as it implies that i'm married to my landlady. On the other hand, requiring marriage partners to be over 50 years old would might be somewhat too restrictive lacking some sort of reasoning for why 49 year old people should not be eligible for marriage.

    So it seems that if marriage is definable (and if not, then why do we discuss it?) then there should be some sort of minimal definition to capture the essence and purpose of marriage. So here's my submission:

    A marriage is a contract between a man and a woman wherein the man agrees not to impregnate other women, and the woman agrees not to become pregnant by another man.

    This definition, of course, excludes same sex marriages. But it also makes explicit that marriage is not an agreement to have children. Rather, it is agreement to abstain from having out-of-wedlock children.

    From the definition, it's apparent we may have multiple husbands or wives provided that we abstain from bearing children with any of them.

    So the definition does not require monogamous relationships, but only restricts childbearing to monogamous couples.

    Comments?

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  107. Funny, I for sure thought you were gay.

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  108. Die, fudge-packers! Die!

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  109. Hi Gonzalo!
    My dad was a doctor. He read in one of his many medical journals that there really is a difference in the formation of the brain of a genuinely homosexual person... it is really hard-wired.
    Gay marriage? I'm kind of a libertarian... I think they should have the opportunity to suffer as much as us non-gay people. They are welcome to endure losses of fortunes through divorce, savage child support/custody fights, and all that other junk. I already know several gay couples in which one is nursing the other through catastrophic illness.

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  110. hi concerning the death penalty-releasing a man after 20 years does not give them the 20 back. those agaist capital puishment always cite this as if false imprisonment is ok. think please, the argument that bad convictions should warant no death penalty logicaly argues against prison sentences. g l, do some more logic if you will on this. most people who are convicted of capital crimes are undeniably guilty, eg jw gacy, when any doubt exists then lets commute to life.

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  111. 1: Your definition excludes marriage between two people that cannot have children IE those that are past child-bearing years.

    2. Taken to excess, it would annul all marriages of those that can no longer bear children.

    3. In no instance in history is there a child-bearing requirement on marriage.

    4. A heterosexual couple can marry with no intent to ever bear children.

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  112. A great piece Gonzalo!
    If I want to point someone to a complete pro heterosexual marriage argument, it's gonna be your text.

    Personally, however, I find many problems with state supported marriage. Marriage should stay a social contract, not a legal one. And I do understand law being an extension of social norms. Nevertheless, I think both homosexuals and heterosexuals should have same rights, and there should be no state provided privileges for marriages, regardless of their genders. Corporation are free to provide any benefits, but for tax, pension and labor law purposes, marriage benefits should be removed. People should be equal, whether they decide to have children, befriend a dog or a tree. It's not my business and I will not pay.

    I do think a heterosexual marriage as a binding contract is necessary, and perhaps even could be enforced by law, but only with respect to child support and such.

    @Slamlander
    3. Catholic marriage may be declared invalid if one of the spouses is impotent and in some cases if it was not consumed. Ergo marriages that don't have children have lesser status.

    4. Historically marriage is an approximation of the intent of having children. Because of human physiology this intent must be declared before the couple even has a chance to conceive an offspring. By doing so, the contract bounds the father to care for the bearing mother.

    Because we cannot find if a child is already on its way for any given couple (we do not want to examine everyone, and even then there is a delay), we approximate that every couple might have a child coming.

    Cheers,
    alt

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  113. Like! Never thought about it this way particularly, makes a lot of sense. As a mother of two, having made the physical, emotional and social investment in parenting a couple of now-adult children, I appreciate your perspective. It ain't easy being a parent, especially a good parent, and bringing up responsible, hard-working citizens. Glad to say that my husband and I have done just that--we miss the tax breaks now that they're grown and gone!

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  114. Suzanne said:
    "He read in one of his many medical journals that there really is a difference in the formation of the brain of a genuinely homosexual person... it is really hard-wired.”

    True, but the cause is not genetic, as it may appear. In twins separated by birth, if one is homosexual, the other is as well. Homosexuality increases by sex order. The Gay Lobby says this is evidence that the cause is genetic. But there is another cause: developmental problems in the womb.

    Studies in animals are clear. In rutting season, about 10% of the rams attempt to mount other rams. What causes this? It has been shown to be a lack of hormones during fetal development.

    The more offspring a female has, the weaker her hormones become. When hormones are lacking, necessary changes are left incomplete in male fetus’ brain. Hence, a homosexual does not fully develop into a male. A $5 hormone supplement planted under the skin completely prevents this in animals, but it is not governmentally approved for women yet.

    Of course , the Gay Lobby is opposed to women doing this when they get pregnant. If women did, the Gay Lobby would be gone in a generation or two for lack of members. Meanwhile, they could no longer play the victim. Homosexuality would become just another birth defect which a person must live with.

    So, you are right, Suzanne. Homosexuals are not responsible for their condition. But, society is not compelled to treat them as they would a normal couple. Marriage is a privilege, not a right. It is a social acceptance of a union. Society gets to set the standards of privileges.

    The just over one percent of active homosexuals do not get to change social standards even when they are backed by the twenty six percent of highly organized Liberals in Society. I expect a huge back lash; the Left are going to get blamed for much of the social discontinuity we are going through. Demographically, the US is moving toward the right.

    I also believe that the government should get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses. There were none in America before the 1850’s. Marriage licenses were enforced to prevent inter-racial marriages. Before the 1850s, a preacher married people and left it up to God and the community who was truly married. It would be better to privatize this issue.

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  115. Slamlander. no citizen can decide what privileges society or the government may grant. Many governmental privileges do not achieve their stated goals. This need not make sense. Sub prime loans were set up, by the Democrats, to foster home ownership, but this practice wrecked people’s credit so that they may never qualify to buy another home.

    Historically, marriage is a religious and social union, blessed by the community. It was a usurpation by the state when they started issuing licenses. So long as marriage was considered a sacrament, God and the church set the rules. So, the issue of equality could not be brought up. This became an issue only when the government made it one by interfering in personal matters.

    This is one of many social issues in the Culture War which will, eventually, backfire on the Left.

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  116. 1) A realist would think that (now)it is not always good to legislate for more and more children. Some countries have too many children, and some are starting to have too few.
    And, because resources are limited (food, copper, fish from the ocean) those alive would be better off if the world population were a quarter of what it is.

    2) If it's good to have a little support for children of married parents, it's good to have that support for children of unwed parents. And it's those kids that are up for adoption, that the gay couples would adopt - and take over the raising of, if not there own.
    Whether some third person is a sperm donor or baby carrier doesn't matter anymore.
    3) It is also good to support couples that have pledged to stay together, whether young, old, gay, childless or with children. The social burden of alone adults can be high. Some of the percs of marriage are cost-free but precious, such as visiting rights at the hospital.

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  117. @UrbanBard: Modern marriage is actually the State reasserting it's prerogatives after the institution was usurped by the Church.

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  118. Outlaw heterosexuality as the world is overpopulated. That would take care of much of the world's problems. And yes, homosexuals can now reproduce without having to be heterosexuals through artificial insemination, even a colony of just women can live on forever at this point in time. I pose this "solution" as some heterosexuals here are outright eugenists and are talking about homosexuality being a birth defect like left-handedness and how one can get rid of this abnormality of nature. Brave New World indeed. Booyah.

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  119. If we operate under the assumption that marriage is just a contractual agreement, why can't that agreement be modified like any other? Why does it have to remain boilerplate? Why can't the agreement state that a couple will take care of child X and partner A will act in fidelity and partner B will protect partner A and child X.

    Furthermore marriage contracts are not always needed, but licenses are. A state may not require that a formal agreement be made only that both people prove they are qualified, not currently married, no std’s, not family, not the same sex, etc.

    The whole crux of your argument stems from your alleged purpose of marriage:

    “The purpose of the marriage contract is to insure fidelity on the one hand (which will thus guarantee that the children born of the marriage belong to the man), in exchange for protection and sustenance from the other (which will thus guarantee the survival and prosperity of the children born of the marriage that belong to the woman).”

    This may be A purpose of marriage, but it is not THE purpose of marriage. If this is the de-facto marriage contract agreement, why is it not void upon breach or why can’t legitimate suits be brought? Can I sue my ex-wife for the cost of taking care of child she gave me under false pretenses, because she cheated on me? No instead I get to pay more.

    The legal definition of marriage is “the joining of a male and female in matrimony by a person qualified by law to perform the ceremony…” http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1217 i.e. a man and woman voluntarily joined for life, not a baby making/protectionist union.

    Government’s role is to regulate enforce the laws and this is what they enforce. The may subsidize baby making, but that does not make it the law or the fundamental purpose.

    If we assume your alleged purpose of marriage is correct then I think we would have to allot for homosexuals that intend to adopt, because even if they child is born to heterosexual parents and subsequently adopted then that would still subsidize child birth even if it is done indirectly. And hey kids are our future and all.

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  120. Mr. Lira. Your article is exactly covers this issue.
    It is chidren.
    Also the T shirt is not acceptable.
    Marriage ( merging ) is the duty and the right of every living creature of this Planet.It is not a human privilege.Why?Because sex was designed for the survival of the spices.Not for personal fun or just killing time.The pleasure is only icing on the cake.Not the purpose.
    I was living in a Communist State for 25 years
    where homosexuality was officially diclared crime against the State.Here are the Criminal Code points. " Homosexuality is against children, motherhood and the family.Since the family is the basic root of the State , homosexuality is against the State.The State exercise it's right to self-defense and destroy the enemy of the State the most forcefully."
    In the USSR any mother who had eight or more children was declared the Hero of the Soviet State and did not have to pay any taxes anymore plus she received many privigages.
    In Switzerlad the housewives who are staying home and taking care of the children and the family are receiving mountly paychecks from the Swiss Government plus all benefits. Because their 24 hours of work is considered a full time job. No fags included.

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  121. I wish I had seen this article earlier, as now my comment, one of so many will be at the bottom. But perhaps that is fitting, as I am an American adoptee and all we adoptees are at the bottom of the toteum pole when it comes to civil rights in this country. And as a heterosexual adoptee, I am just going to say outright that gays have no right to adopt infants or young children. For many reasons. One being that straight kids need straight parents. If this is not honored then it is a form of child abuse. Period. Secondly, the Christians, due to closed adoption records have been abusing us since they got most states records closed in 1951, a system started in the 40's by a lesbian pedophile, Georgia Tann who Christian infertile couples honor every day when they fight to keep birth records closed. Tann stole children and babies( Christina Crawford was one of them) from poor mothers and literally sold them to rich and or single women/couples. Adoption agencies, through social workers do the same. It is immoral and against the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to not let adoptees know gave birth to them as they were growing up, (and denying us our original birth certificates while we are growing up and as adults) it causes unnatural and intolerable pain and frustration to. The Catholic Church and many other churches forced single mothers to give away their newborns for both the money they made charging infertile couples for them and as a form of punishment for fornication. For gays to support the adoption system while they complain about how the churches discriminate against them is unforgivable and a loathsome form of hypocrisy. Therefore, I have no respect for them whatsoever and I am tired of their double standard. The adoption records should be open in every state, as no natural mother ever wanted his identity withheld from her child and gays should only adopt gay kids. And until that happens America will be the same damn practical joke it has always been to me. And to all the gays who may read this, if you do not agree and refuse to see my points then you are just as selfish, immature and abusive as the Churches, the Christians and the adoption industry that treats we adoptees like garbage every day. So you think on that.

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    Replies
    1. "A form of child abuse, period". You offer no premise to your conclusion. Using your logic I can say "you're an idiot, period" and it is true.

      Delete
  122. Typo: *corrected
    It is immoral and against the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to not let adoptees know *who gave birth to them as they were growing up,

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  123. Typo:*correcting
    The adoption records should be open in every state, as no natural mother ever wanted * her identity withheld from her child

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  124. I am a gay woman of the boomer generation.
    I have argued Gonzalo's position on several occassions to other lesbians, to their shock and horror, but they recover eventually. Actually I make an even stronger case against the silliness of such a "marriage" by extrapolating the logic to it's unnatural extreme by asking if they object to me marrying my sister. Of course they shreik "Incest!" in chorus but I dismantle that pretty quickly and move on to arguments by extension that legitimize all sorts of whacko unions. This really rattles their cages but they get the point. By the way, most gay men really want this "right" more as a monument to their power to spite an opponent if you can't gain their respect; women actually think this is a good and legitimate idea. I am awed by the power of biology even within homosexuality.

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  125. Jeez, I want the last 5 minutes of my life back after reading that twaddle, Gonzalo. So to recap. If you are a heterosexual couple who cannot have your own children, as my wife and I are (childless and very happily married for 15 years, by the way), we should not be allowed to be married. And those who adopt, whether gay or straight, should not be allowed to be married either, since the babies they adopt and raise from birth are not their own biological offspring, right?

    If that is your argument, then you have no argument specifically against gay marriage, you have an argument against *biologically childless* marriage, which means outlawing both straight AND gay marriages that either result in not having children or adoption. What a bunch of ignorant nonsense.

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  126. Wow. What a load of garbage. You offer no premise to most of your main thrusts of your arguments.

    What a naive and willfully ignorant article. What about gay couples who want to adopt kids? We don't need people to have any more biological kids. There are already thousands of kids out there that need homes with loving people to take care of them. Who cares what gender they are, it only matters if they are fit to raise children.

    You're everything that is wrong with this world.

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  127. This is a good article, I think you will like it, christian louboutin will continue to pay attention to it.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  129. I get so confused with these gay rights etc..Nobody is taking away anything from them..they are doing as they please anyways, some with one partner and others with multiple but that's their business As an individual they already do have their rights, so what are they complaining about? Yeah okay so they want to get married well do something romantic with their partner and get married but they can't expect the rest of society to stop what they are doing to pay attention.. It seems to me all they want is attention.. They talk about bible thumpers shoving God's word in their faces but what about them shoving their ways and "Oh I,m Gay and I have rights in everyone's faces" so freaking what..if you rather man on man or woman on woman go right ahead.."what goes into the cow's a-- don't affect the bull" like seriously I am so fed up with hearing this crap.. their are starving, homeless people out here, crime has risen..people getting crazy and shooting up schools with innocent children.Lack of money in the country to help..I mean seriously people..straight people get married and they move on and just become part of societies middle class families..there are straight people rather live as common law today so do that and stop whining about not being able to marry legally.No body is stopping gays from doing what they want like keep it moving folks ..we are all gonna die one day some sooner and some later and none of this will mean a thing.. There I said my rant and placed my 2 cents where it needed to be.

    ReplyDelete

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