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WRITING: Essay: Gay Marriage Part II: Common Assertions

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27 March 2009, 06:10 AM    #1
Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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Part II – Responses to Some Common Assertions

The following are a number of common assertions and questions that people who are opposed
to Gay Marriage sometimes raise.

Gay Marriage (Homosexuality) is Unnatural

This is a fascinating assertion and question really. What is natural? What is unnatural?
If you look up the terms natural and unnatural in the dictionary you get about a dozen
different takes on it. Sometimes too we contrast “natural” with artificial or we say
that something unnatural is artificial, they are synonyms. And sometimes something that is
unnatural is called supernatural, above what is normal or natural. I think it sounds silly
to say that homosexuality is artificial or supernatural so that would seem to leave it
only as being natural but let’s examine the question a bit closer.

If by “natural” we mean “occurring normally in nature” and we apply that to
homosexuality then we can easily prove or at least assert that homosexuality is natural.
Not only does homosexuality occur in small fractions of the populations of many different
species of animals, but just from human beings’ perspectives, homosexuality has
“naturally” occurred, that is to say there have been persons who were homosexual, from
the dawn of time or at least for all of human history. So if it is normal that there will
be some minority fraction of humans who are homosexual how can we argue that it is

Most of the time when people say that homosexuality is unnatural they either mean that it
goes against the norm or they mean the actual sexual acts are “unnatural.” Let’s
dissect each of these quickly.

It is true that the majority of humans (and other animal species are heterosexual). But
being in the minority or abnormal is not the same as being unnatural. If you saw an albino
tiger would you say it was unnatural or only abnormal? It is a natural tiger and its
genetically based albinism is perfectly natural though obviously rare or a fraction of
what is normal. Similarly, being gay or lesbian or bisexual only places the person outside
of the norm. (And by the way, there is some evidence which supports the viewpoint that if
1 was “absolutely heterosexual” and 10 was “absolutely homosexual” that most
people in the world would place themselves somewhere on the scale between 1-10.)
Nevertheless, someone asserting homosexuality is unnatural based on the fact that gays and
lesbians are a minority is only showing their bias and lack of understanding that being a
minority in a population or outside of the norm doesn’t make something unnatural.

More often, what such persons are referring to are the actual sexual acts of homosexuals,
most specifically, oral sex, anal sex and vaginal-to-vaginal sex, and of course other
same-sex affection and sex play. But is this unnatural? Another way of looking at it is to
consider whether something is possible in nature. If something is possible to do without
the assistance of any artificial help then it is natural. Since the sex and less-than-sex
behaviors that gays and lesbians have occurs without any artificial means how can we say
that it is unnatural? 

More amusingly, if the view is that these things are unnatural then don’t heterosexual
couples imitate gays and lesbians when they engage in oral or anal sex? It makes me wonder
how many uptight pastors and deacons would be less quick to criticize homosexuality if
their wives began asserting that their husbands could no longer go backdoor or have a
blowjob because that would be “unnatural honey!” Well, frankly that’s probably the
problem. They aren’t getting them enough so they are jealous of the gays. Lol

Sometimes the issue of homosexuality not being natural is tied to procreation which brings
us to the next discussion.

The purpose of marriage is to have children

Marriage is a social institution that has a number of purposes it is true. (This is
discussed more in depth in Part III)
But if we take this ridiculous assertion at its face value then we must say that if a
marriage doesn’t result in offspring, then it is not achieving its purpose. This would
mean that ALL marriages that didn’t result in children should be annulled and voided.
Every childless couple should have their marriage dissolved because they aren’t
achieving the purpose of marriage. See how ridiculous this is?

A large number of marriages and married couples remain childless, many out of choice and
many due to fertility problems. Marriage isn’t just about having children and for many
persons it isn’t about that at all!

So to say that Gays and Lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to marry because they won’t have
children is a really stupid reason.

Moreover, it is wrong because just like many heterosexual couples, there are other ways
for the couple to obtain children. Females can be fertilized by donors or other means. Or
both Gay male couples and lesbians can adopt a child. And trust me there are too many
orphans in the world and not enough adoptive parents. That leads us to the next worry by

If Gay Marriage is allowed they may adopt or have children and they may turn out

God I wish we could prevent people from having children. There are so many people that
should never have children, shouldn’t be allowed to care for them or even be around
them. I wish there were tests that we could do, mental, physical and psychological and if
the person didn’t pass they had to be sterilized so that they could never have
offspring. But sadly we can’t do that or at least we don’t have the gumption to try
it. And so in the meantime we’ve got millions of crappy families with parents who suck
at being a parent. And we’ve got millions who are great too. Being a parent isn’t
easy, I know, and no one is perfect all the time. So long as we can’t prevent it for
heterosexuals I see no reason to prevent homosexuals from being the same crappy parents
that straights can be.

As for turning them gay that is nonsense. While some gays and lesbians (more often
heterosexuals that are along that are a little along that continuum I mentioned) say that
there is some choice in being gay, lesbian or bisexual, for the most part, the vast
majority feel they are “born gay” – it is hardwired into them the same way that
being straight is hard-wired into heterosexuals. Of the studies that have been done of
children of gay and lesbian couples, there’s been no deviance shown of them having an
abnormally high amount of gay children. Some are gay and lesbian or bisexual and many of
them are straight.

It is true, that children of gay and lesbian couples are likely to be more accepting of
gays and lesbians but that is hardly a surprise is it? The children of anything and anyone
tend to be more accepting of their own kind unless there is some reason that they hate
their parents or it is something that they wish to actively rebel against. If you ask me,
I am much more concerned about racist, or ultra-conservative, radical or other extreme
minded persons corrupting their children and warping their developing viewpoint then I am
about gays and lesbians teaching their children to be open-minded.

If we allow Gay Marriage it is going to be taught in schools

This assertion was a favorite of television ads that ran in opposition to Gay Marriage and
it always makes me laugh at how stupid it is. 

In the commercial I saw run many times a little girl goes to her mom with a book she got
from her teacher or the library and says: “Look Mommy, today we learned that a Prince
can marry a Prince.” Her mother looks wordlessly at her daughter with an expression of
baffled confusion about what to do and the horrors that her child has been exposed to.

Ugh, it does make me want to scream at the TV and I did several times.

First of all, I want to meet the teacher who is capable of writing up a sensible lesson
plan on “Gay Marriage.” It is so stupid. Gay Marriage isn’t a subject like reading,
writing, arithmetic that can be “taught” in school. At most, it could be a topic for
discussion and that is what these anti-gay people fear.

Lord (literally) forbid that their child be exposed to something outside of their comfort
zone or to alternative points of view in the world. I don’t know about you, but I want
school and education to challenge my child to think and to expose her to many different
points of view and bodies of knowledge and situations and even things that she is not
going to learn at home.
I want to know about it and that way I can do my job at home and explain the way that the
mother in the commercial should have used that moment as a teaching opportunity to share
with her child what her own family’s values are and to further explain that not
everything she will learn in life is correct, or at least explain the differences between
factual knowledge and personal beliefs and values.

But no, that’s too much hard work. These are the kinds of parents who believe that
school should teach only hard facts and leave all bits of cultural and social education to
the social institutions of church and family or they prefer to completely pass all
parental responsibility to the schools. I say so long as children in America are made to
stand and give the Pledge of Allegiance (conscientious objectors not withstanding), that
the schools should include training in ethics, morality, social and cultural education.

In any case the fear that Gay Marriage will be taught in school is an idiotic one. At
most, what children would learn is that there are some people who are gay who get married
and that is legal. What is feared by the Gay Marriage opposition is that acknowledging
that it is legal is the same as saying it is “OK” or giving society’s approval of it
and that is what they don’t want their children to learn. Even assuming that it is the
same, there are a lot of things that might child might learn are “OK,” that is legal
for some people, including hunting, smoking, etc. that doesn’t mean I think they should
be prohibited from learning about the existence of such things! Again, it comes down to
parents who should be doing their own job in helping their child to understand that just
because something is it doesn’t make it OK and if just because it may be OK for some, it
may not mean that it is OK for them.

Gay Marriage takes away from the Sanctity of Marriage

This one is so laughable that even many comedians have joked about this argument. If there
was ever any sanctity in marriage it went out a long time ago in our society. When half of
all first-time marriages end in divorce, and there is so much infidelity and adultery in
the world, it is really hard to argue that marriage is really so sanctified. 
The bottom line though is that only the couple involved can “sanctify” their marriage
and they do that by their attitude, actions and conduct towards each other. No one outside
of that relationship can take away the sacredness of their relationship unless they permit

Gay Marriage redefines the Traditional Definition of Marriage

Yes it does. The definition includes same-sex couples now. So what? Words and terms with
definitions are meant to evolve over time as their usage changes. Guess what? Its already
under the “marriage” definition in many dictionaries. Don’t worry heterosexual
couples are still listed #1.

Gay Marriage will lead to the destabilization of Society or some other major

This is just stupid really. There’s no reason to think that recognizing a legal union of
a gay or lesbian couple would have any negative effects on society. Gays and lesbians are
already pairing up the way they always have done. Legalizing it won’t make any
difference nor will it lead to different ratios of those that stay single and those that
pair-up. If anything it is good for society for legal reasons and for economic reasons as
the whole wedding, marriage and honeymoon industries would all benefit from increased
“marriages” of gays and lesbians.

If we allow Gay Marriage what will stop someone from marrying an animal, child, or
bigamy and polygamy from being next?

This is what is called a “slippery slope” argument meaning that once you allow
something then you are bound to slide down further and further into an “anything goes”
or worse case scenario.

But this objection is wrong because no one is arguing that the law shouldn’t reasonable.
A reasonable law is one that balances the interests of the majority and the interests of
the minority, protecting both, and at the same time is some reflection of a basic common
denominator. As discussed in Part I, the law reflects society’s morals to some extent,
but hopefully it doesn’t allow the majority to tyrannize the minority.

What Gay Marriage proponents want is equal protection under the law and the same rights
and privileges that everyone else has.
In our society, we have valid and sensible reasons why we do not condone or recognize a
“marriage” between a beast and human, or why persons have to be a certain age to
consent to marriage and nothing about Gay Marriage would change these very basic reasons.
Thus, the whole idea that if we allow Gay Marriage, we got to allow the guy who wants to
legally marry his pig to do it is pure poppycock and not based in reality.

With respect to polygamy and bigamy, most people who say that if we allow Gay Marriage
then these things will come to be allowed also are simply ignorant of the reasons why
there are such laws prohibiting bigamy and polygamy.
It might surprise some to learn that the reasons why we have laws against bigamy and
polygamy are not based on any religious belief (or anti-religious feeling). Rather these
laws arose out of the need to protect women from fraud.

Back in the day, when most women wouldn’t give up the sex without a ring on their
finger, the only way a guy could get some was to marry the girl. Guys, naturally wanting
more on the menu were thus tempted to “marry” other women after the first wife,
usually secretly of course, and thus these other women were defrauded of their bodily
affections and later when the guy died, they weren’t able to inherit his property

Frankly, if a guy or woman is wealthy enough to adequately care for multiple spouses and
children from these, I think it should be legal for him or her to have multiple spouses in
an open situation like that. The problem is separating these rare situations or cases from
those that lead to abusive or exploitative situations like is seen in some cults and
insulated groups (communes and religious compounds) and from the continued problems of a
guy or gal having multiple spouses secretly. Thus the underlying reasons why we have laws
against bigamy and polygamy in our society would still be continuing if Gay Marriage were
recognized so it is just a red herring argument that some raise in objecting to Gay

Gays and Lesbians should be Happy with Domestic Partnerships; They don’t need Legally
Recognized Marriages

In California, since 1999, gay and lesbian couples and some qualifying opposite-sex
couples have been able to register as domestic partners, affording them many, but not all
of the same responsibilities and benefits of marriage.

It is true that the California legislature has over time broadened what is covered so that
registered domestic partners have almost all of the same rights and privileges as legally
married people or even “civil unions” that some other states have. But there are a
number of significant differences still, including Federal recognition of their marriages
and recognition of their domestic partnerships in other States. 

The outcome of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) which
essentially bans same-sex marriages, and whether President Obama, who included in his
campaign platform seeking a full repeal of DOMA, will pursue that, are questions that are
pending and which will have significant consequences upon this issue.

Currently, two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) allow same-sex marriage, five states
recognize some alternative form of same-sex union, twelve states ban any recognition of
any form of same-sex unions including civil union, twenty-eight states have adopted
amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty
states have enacted statutory DOMAs

But even if there are legislative solutions that provide the equivalent legal-status of a
marriage to gay and lesbian couples, there is something about the term and word
“marriage” that many same-sex marriage proponents insist upon. This brings us to Part

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