Question for those who support same sex marriage

This post was written by marc on March 16, 2004
Posted Under: Bush,Law,Letters to the Editor,Politics,Religion,Sex

Letter to the Editor

I have some questions for those who support same sex marriage – should I be allowed to marry my brother? If not – why not?

I would point out that the reason for not marrying my sister is that if we reproduced – then we would likely have birth complications. However – that doesn’t apply if I marry my brother because I can’t get him pregnant. For that matter – should I be allowed to marry my sister of one or both of us are not capable of reproducing? – If not – why not?

Should I be allowed to marry more than one person? Why limit marriage to only 2 people? Why not 3 or 4? Why have a limit?

Should I be allowed to marry my cat – especially when a cat is much more likely to make a lifelong commitment that a human. In fact – I would bet that if someone compared the average number of years an owner and their pet stay together and a man and wife stay together – the pets would win.

For those who want to move the line on what people should and shouldn’t marry – where do you want to move the line to? And – why should the line be there?

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If it were up to me – I would move the line back the other way to include only couples with children. To me marriage is about families – reproducing – creating new generations. I would therefore – if I were King – grant civil unions to same sex couples and non-reproducing heterosexual couples.

All marriages are really civil unions in the eyes of the state because all states have no fault divorce laws. Therefore the state doesn’t really recognize the “relationship” part of a marriage and marriage is really just a bad property agreement where if the relationship fails then two lawyers get to keep your property. From someone who has been chewed by the courts I say to same sex couples – be careful what you ask for – you might get it!

Reader Comments

I would have been far better off if I’d married my cat.

#1 
Written By Andrea on March 16th, 2004 @ 9:28 pm

The people who are interested in expanding the definition of “marriage”, no matter how disturbed and vile they may seem, are simply acting based on what they believe will make them happy. Some of them are just weirdoes trying to show off, yes, but when the dust settles it becomes apparent that many of them truly are no less committed than typical heterosexual couples. Historically, people who desire to do the things that make them happy, no matter how unusual but as long as those things do not hurt anyone, become better and more integrated members of the society when they are granted those freedoms. This empowers people to decide for themselves what makes them happy – a precedent that leads to better quality of life for all, even the least deviant among us.

Based on this model, same-sex couples, adult siblings, groups of more than two adults, and whatever other arrangements that can be imagined, should not be oppressed by denial of right to live together, to give consent in sexual behavior, and to unofficially call themselves whatever the heck they wish. Thus, without question: it’s very wrong for the Government, the Church, or any other power to look under the people’s sheets and count the number of penises and vaginas, and nitpick if the count isn’t what it wants. Any power that does that practices unmerited oppression. But this isn’t as much of a problem in the modern times, and consenting adults can do whatever makes them happy… except one thing: a declaration of “marriage”.

“Marriage” is a very special thing to the religious institutions that invented it. It makes the practitioners of those religions very angry when this term is used outside their definition. Frankly, I think that is more childish than the desire to marry a dot-matrix printer: after all, how hard is it to just look the other way? Truly, how does it hurt a married couple of highly polished Catholic values if other people, in other belief systems, get “married” on their outlandish terms? Well, apparently it does, and this reflects very poorly on those established religions: it shows just how uncompassionate and morally shallow they are. If the history of computers was like history of religion, everything Charles Babbage didn’t himself invent would be rejected as sin. But, nonetheless, “marriage” is foremost a religious concept, and let dominant religions control it as they please. Love and commitment does not require “marriage”. By unnaturally controlling this concept, the rightwing fanatics render it morally meaningless.

But, now, here’s the problem: the secondary use of “marriage” is a legal and discriminating distinction enforced by the government. It is a sad example of how the views of a shrinking majority are unquestionably enforced by the government and are held in place despite their flaws. Millions of families that don’t fit this definition of “marriage” are discriminated against financially and in many other ways, but perhaps the most important issue in this is the right to adopt children. Due to overpopulation and poverty in the world, adoption will become an ever more popular and sensible alternative, even for couples biologically able to have their own children. Yes, adults who adapt children should be thoroughly reviewed for financial, psychological, and other criteria of competence to be parents, but homosexuality or polygamy isn’t a in itself a deterrent of being worthy parents. A “Children on the Brink” census in 2000 estimated that there are 34.7 million orphans in the world, most living in poverty that we cannot even imagine. It would be in the best interest of those children, and of society in general, if traditional definition of family didn’t prevent many of those children from being adopted.

There are all sorts of families out there: unions both sexual and unsexual in nature, involving different numbers of people in different circumstances. All of those families deserve to be judged not by whether they fit the traditional idea of a “marriage” but by the content of their characters. All those families deserve equal rights and opportunities with no prejudice. They need and deserve for Governments to create a legal definition of family that isn’t limited to religious ideals. Fine, don’t call it “Marriage”, if that word is off limits. Call it a “Civil Union”. Call it a “Declaration of Family”. Call it a “Group of People Sharing a Household, Who Are Seriously Committed to Each-other”. Call it by a number of the legal code that defines it (as is the case with “401k”). Call it what you will. But giving untraditional families equal rights is simply the right thing to do.

#2 
Written By Alex Libman on March 17th, 2004 @ 12:16 am

If someone can define marriage, then we can make accurate assertions about what it is. But like everything, defining something is an endless journey towards nowhere until you squash all other opinions through some sort of genocide.

#3 
Written By chris on March 26th, 2004 @ 12:49 pm

Your position would be fine if marriage were only considered a license to raise a family. In our society, however, marriage has come to mean more than that, and there are numerous legal rights that are afforded only to married couples.

Look, as an example, at only one of these rights: the right to family health insurance. If you say that you would grant male/female couples who do not plan on raising families civil union status, would you include the right to family health insurance to these couples? What about hospital visitation rights, tax benefits, property survivorship rights, and countless other rights that have traditionally been afforded to married couples?

Personally, I don’t need the recognition of the government to validate my fifteen year long committed same-sex relationship. What I do need, however, is the same rights and benefits given to our heterosexual counterparts. In a country which is based on freedom and equality, how can we justify giving there rights to only part of our population?

So you should not be allowed to marry your brother, any more than you should be allowed to marry your sister. And this is true whether you want to have children with your sister or not. And you should not be allowed to marry barnyard animals, robots, or multiple partners. The issue is not one of redefining love or relationships. The issue is one of civil rights. How can we continue to justify allowing the rights associated with civil marriage to only a portion of the population?

#4 
Written By Michael on March 30th, 2004 @ 6:03 am

Marc,

I’m not sure I’m following you here…”is really just a bad property agreement where if the relationship fails then two lawyers get to keep your property.” In no-fault divorces, at least, both parties to the marriage agree to the equitable distribution of property, hence why it’s called no-fault. And regardless of how the divorce is filed (fault/no fault), I’ve never heard of one single divorce lawyer receiving any property from a marriage.

Here’s another fun quote from you:

“As many of you know – I oppose Gay marriage. But I’m not strongly opposed to it.”

Um, ok…and that renders you what? Slightly convincted of your beliefs?

This coupled with all of your posts regarding not just the phoniness of the Nick Berg video but now that it was actually Americans who murdered him, forces me to tell you: I think you’re kinda nutty, guy.

#5 
Written By phoenix on May 30th, 2004 @ 10:31 pm

I have been with my partner for 26 years with out the benefit or the blessings of the majority in this country. It seems that many people with religion are incapable of empathy, or of turning their ideas around. How would you feel if you were not allowed to marry the person you love?

It always amazes me when people equate gay marriage with marrying a family member. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but never the less I find myself baffled in this day and age that people are still a bit ignorant of what being gay is all about. OR That some would judge gays by biblical verses no one can prove are legitimate let alone correct.

Note also that just as odd as gays may seem to you, straights are also odd to gays, but gays aren’t out to prevent straights from living happily with whom they choose.

#6 
Written By boo2 on February 13th, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

I took Marc’s questions to be fairly innocuous: it would be a good idea for all of us to think about why it’s not the same for society to give certain rights to straight couples who register and different rights to gay couples. Straight marriage is not restricted to us breeders. If it’s about taking care of the kids, then post-menopausal marriage would not exist.

So how about polygamy? Throughout history it’s been very common, so should we forbid it? My gut tells me Yes, but homophobes’ gut tells them gay marriage is wrong, and racists hate miscegenation. Disgust is not a good basis for taking away others’ rights. I want to figure out a principled position on this. Looking forward to your answers.

#7 
Written By Deedub on August 25th, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

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