Monday, July 04, 2011

Love n' Hate And The Gay Marriage Debate

New York just became the latest state to legalize same sex marriage, when several Republicans decided to support it after some money and quid pro quos changed hands.

That makes six states, ( Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire) plus the District of Columbia that now will issue licenses for same sex marriages.

In every case, this was achieved through judicial or legislative action. In fact, when it comes to direct referendums to legalize same sex marriage, the record is 31-0 against, and in several cases, California, Massachusetts, and Iowa among them, laws permitting same sex marriage were implemented in spite of the very clear wishes of substantial public majorities.

The tactics being used to promote same sex marriage are almost exactly the ones its advocates swore would never be used to force same sex marriage on the states back when they were arguing against the need for a Constitutional Marriage Amendment. They claimed that the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA) would prevent states from having same sex marriage forced upon them by lawsuit.

They knew, of course, that DOMA, if it couldn't be destroyed legislatively could be destroyed in the courts.

Now, what we're seeing is one of two scenarios. In the first one, as evidenced by New York, the public isn't allowed to actually vote on the matter, but their state legislature simply imposes it. In the second, you normally have a scenario where a homosexual couple gets married, moves to a jurisdiction where same sex marriage doesn't exist and then sues the state based on the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit clause, which demands that one state respect the marriages of another.

In California, you had the interesting spectacle of the politicians in several jurisdictions declaring same sex marriage legal and issuing licenses in defiance of state law, the State Supreme Court concurring, the people of California subsequently passing Proposition 8 in 2008 by an overwhelming majority to say that marriage was between one man and one woman and the California Supreme Court ruling that Prop 8 was both legal and constitutional. Another ruling by Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker, a homosexual, said that Prop 8 was in fact unconstitutional. So Perry v. Schwarzenegger is now likely headed to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, President Obama has instructed his Department of Justice not to defend DOMA in the courts, and is actually talking about repealing parts of the measure that was supposed to be a 'defense' against imposition of same sex marriage by lawsuit.

Dishonest tactics aside, is this a positive development?

To answer that question, let's first examine the three main arguments one always hears advanced by same sex marriage activists. They're illuminating in showing us what's actually at stake here so we can look at this from a big picture standpoint.

The first argument is that homosexual couples are denied the same rights married couples are. This one is almost completely untrue, and the small amount of truth it contains is something easily repaired.

In the jurisdictions where most homosexuals live that still are without legalized same sex marriage, domestic partnership laws quite properly make sure that same sex couples and heterosexual unmarried couples in civil unions have virtually the same rights married couples do. In California, for instance,the Supreme Court Justices themselves admitted that California law eliminates any difference in rights between same sex partners and heterosexual married couples when they initially decided to ignore state law and legal precedents and rule that same sex marriage was 'a fundamental right'.

Non-married couples of any sexual orientation can assign benefits and pensions to each other, appoint a significant other to make medical decisions for them in the event they're incapacitated, co-parent, enter joint contracts, jointly own real and personal property, and become each others' beneficiaries when it comes to life insurance or probate.

The two main differences are federal and involve the right to assign Social Security benefits to a surviving partner and to file joint tax returns. While there are perfectly valid reasons against extending these rights to same sex or unmarried couples, if equality was really the issue a legislative solution could be easily adopted without disrupting society or trampling of the rights and wishes of the majority of Americans.

The second argument same sex marriage advocates invariably use is the comparison of same sex marriage with the civil rights struggle of the 1960's and the use of laws that were enacted in some states against mixed race marriage as a talking point.

The situations couldn't be more different. The last time I looked, I didn't see water fountains or bathrooms that said 'gay only’, homosexual sections in restaurants and public buildings or a state or municipality using legal restrictions or de facto pressure to keep homosexuals from voting. I somehow seem to have missed the ads for employment stating 'we don't use gays', the people seriously defending segregated and inferior schools and facilities for homosexuals, or the property deeds with restrictions written into them preventing the sale or rental of the property to homosexuals.

The miscegenation laws are likewise a ridiculous argument for same sex marriage. The chief rationale defenders of those deplorable laws cited was always the effect on the children from such unions. And that couldn't apply less to same sex marriage, since, as we all know, it still takes a man and a women to produce children, even if it's via a test tube. While some gay couples adopt or use techniques like in-vitro fertilization, the number is small and the children involved unaffected by whether the adults parenting them are joined by a civil union or a marriage.

The final argument advocates of same sex marriage invariably use is that it's good for society, will extend the stability of marriage to the homosexual community, and won't have any effect on traditional marriage. Examining this argument in detail not only gives us the big picture look at the effect same sex marriage will have on traditional marriage and society but a peek at the real agenda of its most passionate advocates.

The first result of diluting marriage - for that is exactly what 'expanding' the definition of marriage amounts to - will be to encourage all sorts of variations to dilute it further. Same sex marriage is certain to lead to a slippery slope of legalized polygamy and the euphemism favored by a number of polygamy advocates here in the US, "polyamory" (group marriage).

Much of Europe has had same sex marriage for a while now, and de facto legal polygamy is already a fact there because of the huge influx of Muslim immigrants. Parts of Europe even have a problem with bestiality in the form of animal prostitution that they're unable to eliminate because of their existing laws on sex and marriage. And why not? How can one discriminate legally between lifestyle choices?

If same sex marriage becomes the law here, expect the same result. And expect polyamory, which already has a well-organized lobby here to take root as well, with marriage being redefined as a connection between two, three, or more individuals in every conceivable combination of male and female.

There are two major books out right now promoting polyamory, Deborah Anapol's "Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits," and University of North Carolina Professor Mim Chapman's "What Does Polyamory Look Like" that are regarded as major guides for the movement, and it already has a flagship magazine in Loving More.

The cause is also being championed by a group of influential family law specialists, including Paula Ettelbrick who teaches law at the University of Michigan, New York University, Barnard, and Columbia, and is the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and New York City's Stonewall Community Foundation; Emory University law professor Martha Fineman; University of Maryland Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor of Law Martha Ertman; Judith Stacey, the Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology at NYU; and David Chambers, a professor of law at the University of Michigan.

A little research makes it quite clear that a number of these academics actually champion the radical remaking and even the dissolution of marriage as an institution in favor of a series of 'contractual relationships, and are quite open about championing same sex marriage as a entryway towards the abolishing of traditional marriage as we now know it in favor of loose, contractual and even non-monogamous relationships in any sexual combination you can imagine.

It ‘s obvious why a number of the most outspoken advocates of same sex marriage belong to the legal profession. After all, they're the ones who will be pocketing handsome fees for a whole new round of divorces, custody battles and the drawing and redrawing of marital 'contracts' if same sex marriage, polygamy and polyamory become the law of the land.

This is far more important than it seems. Like it or not, traditional monogamous marriage between one man and one woman is one of the foundations of western society, as well as the ideal environment for raising children as all serious research on the subject shows. That's why it's lasted as long as it has. Diluting marriage by 'redefining ' it is likely to lead to a number of bad effects on our society, most of which can already be seen in Europe. The clear trend there since same sex marriage is for less marriage, drastically lower birthrates, and a vastly greater amount of out of wedlock births. In order to make a society like that work even slightly, you need a vast and well-funded welfare state. Again, looking at Europe as an example, not only doesn't such a state work if you have massive immigration, but it freezes social and financial mobility and eventually topples under its own weight into bankruptcy once you run out of other people's money to spend.

Ironically, another side effect of same sex marriage is a clear dilution of freedom. Same sex marriage has literally become a sacrament of the Left, and any criticism of it, let alone the right of Americans to have a voice in the matter be damned.

The real motivation of many gay activists in insisting on redefining traditional marriage isn’t equality per se, but forcing the normalization and mainstreaming of their lifestyle by whatever means necessary. The effect of this is already evident, as children in many public schools are already being indoctrinated to believe that GLBT behavior is exactly that, regardless of their religious or ethical beliefs or those of their parents, who are paying for the indoctrination.

The same intolerance is now in the process of being extended to business owners, clergymen, foster parents, religious institutions, and anyone else who might feel perfectly fine with exhibiting tolerance but might take exception on religious or ethical grounds to normalization and mainstreaming. The recent New York State law is rare among same sex marriage statutes in that it allows for religious exemptions. See how long it takes before another round of lawsuits trashes that part of the law.

This sort of tyranny of the minority is simply unjust on its face. It’s establishing a legal and legislative precedent that will be used many times over to change anything the Nanny State deems necessary and establish thought control to keep it that way. When Perry v. Schwarzenegger hits the Supreme Court, the result will affect not just marriage, but the entire direction of our society.

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Rob doesn't have a handle on the definition of a slippery slope said...

On the one hand, you're a homophobe. On the other, your arguments are irrelevant. So it all balances out.

Rob said...

On the other hand, you have absolutely no arguments in reply except the traditional Leftist cry of 'ra-aa-aa-cism'! 'homophobe'! 'bigot'! which you spout off knowing absolutely nothing about me. Talk about not having a handle!

I've given you several opportunities to behave properly, but at this point I think you've had quite enough attention. So from now on, you'll have to subsist in front of the monitor on mere memories, or find someone else to give you your attention fix.