Gay marriage

From Issuepedia

Overview

Gay marriage (where "gay" refers to same-sex relationships of any gender; also called "same-sex marriage") is an issue because some people want to do it and some others find it distasteful and/or believe it to be immoral.

As with homosexuality, there do not appear to be any arguments against gay marriage which hold up under scrutiny. Those who seek to prevent gay marriage are waging a war on the family – and, with typical religious-right hypocrisy, use that same term to defend their actions.

For arguments for/against, see #Arguments and #Opinion.

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    News

    Opinion

    Positions

    Points

    Against

    Arguments against gay marriage include:

    • all the arguments used by the anti-gay viewpoint
    • the "it will destroy civilization" argument, which is easily refuted in a number of ways, including the fact that it was accepted in a number of earlier civilizations which were destroyed by completely unrelated causes. Not to mention the fact that it's also widely accepted in a number of contemporary civilisations that it has hitherto failed to destroy.

    Additional arguments against:

    2009-03-22 anti-gay marriage rally in Olympia, Washington
    right-arrow debaticon "gay marriage" is a contradiction in terms
    down-arrow debaticon This is an argument by definition. What gay people want from "marriage", aside from the feeling of being part of a family with their loved one, is the legal recognitions and protections for that family.
    • One compromise position is to separate the two – tie the legal rights to a word other than "marriage", and apply that universally; the catch is that it must be universally recognized, the same as "marriage" is now; see #Solutions.
      • Some states (Vermont, California, and Connecticut) have tried this with "Civil Unions" and many proponents of gay marriage say that it is not enough, they want to redefine marriage. (See Why Civil Unions Aren't Enough for one explanation of this.)
      • Personally, I believe that the governments should remove the term "marriage" from all government regulations and stipulate those rights for all persons as a "Civil Union," leaving marriages to the religious institutions. Midian 16:33, 28 July 2006 (EDT) Again, this is essentially equivalent to the first proposal under #Solutions, below.

    In Favor

    The essential argument in favor of gay marriage is "why the hell not?". It's kind of hard to write a cogent paragraph summarizing why it should be allowed, for much the same reason that it's difficult to write an argument for why people should be allowed to hold hands in the living room as well as in the dining room, or why we should allow houses to be painted green instead of blue.

    In lieu of a definitive argument, then, here is a relevant quote:

    Erin Lindsay writes (Venus Envy news for 2006-07-27) (with some reformatting and emphasis):

    This morning, the Washington States Supreme Court handed down their decision that homosexuals didn't deserve the right to marry. Their basic reasoning, like most every opponent's, is that being gay is a choice, so it's not something you need special consideration for.

    I'm not going to break off into a tirade about whether or not gay is in-born or learned, and whether its a choice or something you're just given without your consultation, but if it were up to these same sorts of people, being black would probably be considered a lifestyle choice, too.

    The line that really stuck it to me was in mentioning that gays weren't being discriminated against, because they're free to marry people of the opposite sex any time they want. Dear lord, if ANYTHING would cause damage to straight marriage, it would be forcing gays to do it.

    The primary justification for the judicial discrimination was that gay couples couldn't procreate (well... gay male couples, anyway; as near as I can tell, there's no such thing as lesbians), so in years to come, expect to see a lot of court decisions from Washington state outlawing marriage between the elderly, sterile couples, and heterosexuals who don't want children.

    Luckily, thanks to extremely close-minded birth-certificate modification laws that prevent a transsexual from being re-assigned as her new gender, I can still legally marry the woman I love. I guess two wrongs can make a right.

    Inquiries

    • What arguments can be leveled against gay marriage that cannot be leveled against interracial marriage? (see wikipedia:Loving v. Virginia; apparently, at the time of that decision, more people were against interracial marriage than are now against gay marriage – not that this proves anything, but it shows how opinion can change given a few decades)

    Solutions

    • Remove "marriage" from goverment governance.
      1. Remove references to "marriage" from all govermental documents, and replace it with "civil union" or "civil partnership", allowing any two or more persons to enter into such an arrangement for legal implications.
      2. Remove benefits and detriments from "civil unions" other than those pertaining to legal entities (e.g. health decisions, death benefits, etc.)
        • Prevent any legal enforcement of benefits for "marriages", if this isn't already taken care of by removing any legal meaning for the term
        • Allow individuals in a "civil union" to sue for benefits given to those in a "marriage" (thus discouraging gay-hostile companies from trying to weasel out of proving CU benefits while providing those same benefits to heterosexual couples)
      3. Leave "marriage" and the rules regarding such up to the religions of those who engage in such ceremonies.
    • Educate the populace on the distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage so that they stop thinking of "marriage" as a term that is synonymous with their religious ceremony.
      1. This may not help as the most vocally against "redefining marriage" tend to not understand that people of all religions and atheists also get married, not just people of their religion or religious people in general.

    Slogans

    Pro

    • "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get one!" – popular bumper sticker

    Con

    Notes