Legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t affect traditional marriage

There are no good arguments for denying homosexuals the right to a civil (non-religious) marriage. But of all the arguments that opponents make, perhaps the most ridiculous is this: If gays are allowed to marry, heterosexual marriage will be weakened.

How, exactly, does that work?

Despite the utter illogic of the argument, a nationally-known, so-called expert on marriage — David Blankenhorn, founder of the Institute for American Values — testified in California’s Supreme Court yesterday in a case challenging a law that prohibits same-sex marriage.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in California rolled out their star witness Tuesday, an author and advocate who predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to wed would discourage heterosexual marriage and might lead to legalized polygamy.

Extending marital rights to couples who cannot conceive children would change marriage from “a child-based public institution to an adult-centered private institution” and “weaken the role of marriage generally in society,” David Blankenhorn testified at a trial in San Francisco federal court on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Blankenhorn, the trial’s last scheduled witness, said he believes “leading scholars” share his view that same-sex marriage would weaken heterosexuals’ respect for the institution and accelerate a half-century-old trend of increased cohabitation and rising divorce rates.

But under cross-examination by a lawyer for two same-sex couples, Blankenhorn was unable to cite any supporting statements or evidence for that conclusion from the scholars he relied on for his testimony, though he said he was sure some of them would agree with him.

Though I’m divorced, I’m a fan of the institution of marriage because of the benefits it delivers to those in good ones, including better health and financial security. However, I know perfectly well why marriage has been under pressure in the Western world for decades — reasons that have nothing to do with gay and lesbian couples.

For most of human history, marriage has been an institution that resolves economic problems and property rights — conferring economic benefits to a wife and property heirs to the husband. (And please don’t tell me that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. If the Bible story is literally true, who did Cain marry?) As any student of ancient history — or the Old Testament — knows perfectly well, the traditional marriage didn’t involve one woman. It involved as many as the man could afford to take care of.

Down through the ages, marriage has evolved as society has evolved. In the Western world, where women can control their reproduction and work at jobs that give them financial security, it has evolved into an institution that couples rely on for mutual support and fulfillment. That’s a high bar, which helps explain why roughly half of marriages end in divorce.

That will not change when gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. They should have that right under the law. No church that opposes gay marriage would be forced to perform one, but churches that do perform gay marriages, like mine, should do so and have them recognized. (Marriage is a civil rite as well as a religious one. Couples get married everyday at courthouses and city halls around the country.)

768 comments Add your comment

Rick

June 18th, 2010
7:47 am

This is one of the times that I fully agree with you Cynthia!

Mrs. W.

June 18th, 2010
7:53 am

I believe laws should change as times and public opinion changes. Nothing remains the same. I am pro-life but I realize it is none of my business if you choose to have an abortion. Gay marriage doesn’t affect me and it doesn’t affect you. Butt out. This post is on honor of my much loved, gay niece – perhaps her being gay and me loving her and realizing that this was not a “choice” on her part has changed my perspective – I don’t know

Rightwing Troll

June 18th, 2010
7:55 am

Marriage is a quaint and outdated concept.

My advice to young men is shack and make babies if you must, because once it’s over, your assets will be better protected, and you will have the SAME exact rights to your children as if you had been married… next to none.

Granny Godzilla

June 18th, 2010
7:55 am

Prop 8 The Musical

I look forward to being one of cousin Jane’s groomsmen!

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
8:00 am

This is the problem: If we allow gays to marry, you know some siblings from Arkansas are going to come out and want to get married too. Some people in Utah are going to claim discrimination for not being able to marry more than 1 wife. It’s going to be like opening Pandora’s box that probably should stay closed.

felix

June 18th, 2010
8:14 am

Problem is CT, the gay mafia wants it to be religious. Notice how there is absolutely no cry for civil unions, which would give homosexual couples all the legal and financial benefits of a normal couple. No, they want to attack the institute of marriage and destroy it, as well you know.

cake

June 18th, 2010
8:15 am

Legalizing slavery wouldn’t affect traditionally freed blacks either, now would it?

Peachtree St.

June 18th, 2010
8:16 am

If you open this window where does it end? What do you say to the freaks that want to marry their cars, their trees, their pets?

Joel Edge

June 18th, 2010
8:17 am

This is never going to end. I say ban marriage entirely. Make it a legal contract. Negotiated by lawyers. Then we can all be equally miserable. Maybe then CT and the gay groups will shut the h@#l up.

Tave

June 18th, 2010
8:22 am

Mrs. W,

And which public opinion do you speak of? Even in the bluest of blue states, such as California and Massachusetts, gay marriage is shot down on the ballots time and time again. Fact is, public opinion hasn’t changed one bit. But the Marxist goons in our corrupt media like CT can’t come to grasp with these realities and refuse to admit they are in the VERY slim minority on this issue.

A Lumpkin Resident

June 18th, 2010
8:23 am

No, legalizing gay marriage WILL affect traditional marriage. What it would do is destroy the definition of marriage. If a woman and a woman, or a man and a man, can marry, then why not a woman and two men or a man and two women? If you can’t define marriage as between one man and one woman, what legal basis do you have for maintaining the 1:1 ratio?

If you cannot define marriage as between a man and a woman, then why can you put artificial limits (like a 1:1 ratio) on it? What about one man and three women? There are plenty of cultures and religions around the world that find this perfectly acceptable. How could polygamy be outlawed 100 years ago in the LDS religion and gay marriage be allowed now?

NOW, you see that our law, based on a 1:1 ratio, will change drastically. Everything from Healthcare to SS benefits WILL be affected.

Drawing Black Lines

June 18th, 2010
8:24 am

I actually agree with you on this one CT

gale

June 18th, 2010
8:25 am

The plain fact is, a civil union is not the same as marriage because that is not nationally recognized. This is not a religious matter. Gay couples find many churches willing to marry them with full religious ceremony. The problem is the 1100+ rights and responsibilities that are recognized in our legal system because of centuries of court decisions related to the relationship and contract of marriage. Civil unions are not the same and would need to revisit all those decisions. “Separate but equal” is never equal.

another lie

June 18th, 2010
8:25 am

Even that “evil” George Bush and Dick Cheney have long been cheerleaders of civil unions. As it was said above. If this was truly a fight for equal rights then gays would be all over the civil union bandwagon. But no, this is an assault on anything that the radical left deems traditional and sacred. This is why gay marriage will never be accepted.

Eric

June 18th, 2010
8:25 am

Right on! Straight people are still free to marry regardless. It seems to me, if more people (gay and straight) participate, it would strengthen marriage. Isn’t faithfulness, commitment, and monogamy what marriage is all about? Great article.

joan

June 18th, 2010
8:30 am

I gather that before the Bible all kinds of incestuous things went on, like old men on boys in Greece and Rome, and mothers with their sons, and all sorts of things. I believe the teachings in the Bible sort of codified what was right and wrong, and the world was probably better for it. But since Obama just opened the public’s pocket to gay unions, I couldn’t care less if people in perverted relationships thrive, so long as they don’t do it under my nose.

gale

June 18th, 2010
8:31 am

I don’t see an open door. What is so hard about defining marriage as a contract between two consenting adults? Note: Consenting adult is defined as a human of legal age defined in the laws of the state who is competent to form a contractual agreement. There are also laws in most if not all states forbidding marriage between siblings.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with polygamy, though I see a lot of problems with inheritance and property rights in such a relationship.

Sighko Sis

June 18th, 2010
8:34 am

Right on, Cynthia. There are no valid reasons for denying civil marriage to gays and lesbians. Those who say that this would open the door to other unconventional marriage arrangements are blowing smoke. You don’t have to be a genius to see that the reasons given for denying marriage rights to gays (all invalid), are nothing like the reasons for denying marriage to blood relations or multiple partners. If the reasons given for denying those types of marriages are also found to be invalid it will have nothing to do with gay marriage. And can we stop with the stupid posts suggesting that the next thing is marrying outside of our species? Oh, wait. Perhaps they want this arrangement because they are jackasses and would like to marry humans.

greg

June 18th, 2010
8:36 am

@ctucker,

It must suck knowing that the majority of blacks and hispanics do not agree with Democrats on any social matter. Once they begin to start thinking for themselves and doing their own homework, the veils will be lifted and the Democrat party with cease to exist.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
8:38 am

Well if the gay marriage thing gets past it will be mayhem.

I predict we will then have Mother/son marriages, Grandpa/granddaughter marriages, dog and cat marriages, Men/animal marriages etc and of course then NAMBLA will wont to get into the action…where does it stop.

Mid-South Philosopher

June 18th, 2010
8:41 am

Good morning, Miss Cynthia,

As a son of the first half of the 20th Century, I am not in favor of same sex marriage. It is a prejudice that is a product of my raising and my values. It may be petty, but it is how I feel.

However, I do favor the legal concept of civil union.

All of that being said, it is clear to me that under Section 1 of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, the issue of marriage, which is a state matter, is nationalized to the extent that “full faith and credit” to those marriages of gays in states that recognize such unions must be given by states (like Georgia) who do not. At some point in time, the “Big Nine”, aka the Supreme Court, are going to have to point this out.

I may not like it, but the Constitution is the Constitution.

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
8:41 am

“There are also laws in most if not all states forbidding marriage between siblings.”

Correct. But if gay marriage is allowed, what’s to stop 2 siblings from challenging these laws and say they are unconstitutional?

THE TRUTH

June 18th, 2010
8:41 am

If you people think our courts are maxed out now, just imagine how it would be if this disgusting perversion were ever legalized. Just look at the some of the same sex cases now that are in the courts. It’s madness. Especially the ones that involve the real victims of this sickness, the children. It’s bad enough if you want to marry someone of your same sex, but to traumatize innocent children with your sickness is criminal. But again, look at the cases now that are in the news. There is no way for the courts to decide who gets the children, and some of the defenses for these people are crazy. “Well I was gay, then I become straight again, then I thought I was gay again but now I’m really straight.” This is the very definition of Pandora’s Box. Luckily the overwhelming majority of Americans are sane and will never support this.

gale

June 18th, 2010
8:41 am

I am going to be waiting eagerly for the CA court decision on this case. If there is a narrow, CA only, decision, it will be a legal nudge. If the court decides more broadly, the decision could effect all states that have enacted such bans.

tam

June 18th, 2010
8:42 am

GAY IS NOT THE WAY! GAY IS NOT THE WAY!

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
8:42 am

I find it quite amazing that conservatives are all against goverment intervention and are worried about freedoms and individual liberty, but when it comes to gay marriage, they want all the government intervention in the world.

Joe Mustich

June 18th, 2010
8:45 am

Kudos to Cynthia Tucker.

As a justice of the peace, I perform non-religious and civil marriages for opposite-sex and same-sex couples all the time in Connecticut. Just last week a great couple flew up from Atlanta to be wed because Georgia doesn’t allowed same-sex couple to wed just yet. It’s time Georgia. It’s time America.

Onward to equality and fairness in marriage rights in 21st century America,
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace, Washington, Connecticut, USA.

And kudos to CT, most of New England, Iowa, DC, many EU countries, and many other cities and countries around the world for supporting marriage in the 21st century.

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Legalized incest———post #5
Legalized zoophilia—–post #8

Going off the rails on schedule and at the usual places.

Union

June 18th, 2010
8:47 am

thought you had to consummate a marriage for it to be a marriage.. definition of consummation? look it up… so we would need to change that law as well. other than that.. this discussion is irrelevant.. majority of americans oppose gay marriage.. as is their right.. doesnt matter their reasons.. and you have no right to question that

gale

June 18th, 2010
8:49 am

“But if gay marriage is allowed, what’s to stop 2 siblings from challenging these laws and say they are unconstitutional?”

Gay marriage has nothing to do with it. 2 siblings can challenge the marriage law now. Polygamists can challenge the law now. Persons who wish to marry minors may challenge the law now. Each of these cases are currently illegal in most states. Gays and lesbians are simply the largest group wanting to marry. The only difference is that gays are only forbidden to marry because of gender. They are otherwise able to form this contract, just not with someone of the same gender.

Joel

June 18th, 2010
8:51 am

If you would quit defining them as gay or straight, then you would realize a man has the right to marry a woman and visa versa. Everyone has the same rights!

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
8:53 am

Didn’t know consummation was a legal term

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
8:54 am

Mid-South has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Eventually, this will be decided by the SCOTUS, and I think even the most conservative of justices will view this as a 14th Amendment (”equal protection”) issue and either same sex couples will be permitted to marry, or all heterosexual marriages will be disolved as unconstitutional in favor of some sort of civil union or domestic partnership. Americans have always and will continue be permitted to “marry” before the god of their choice (just as some gay couples have done). At it’s core this is a very clear legal (14th Amendment) issue. And for all the conservatives who yammer about “no mention of healthcare” in the Constitution, please direct us all to the Article or Amendment which specifically addresses “marriage” (and heterosexuality/homosexuality, for that matter).

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
8:54 am

Gale, the point is homosexuality, incest, polygamy, etc. is not normal. If gays are allowed to marry, the courts will be flooded with incest cases, polygamy cases, etc. etc. I don’t think they are ready to go there.

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
8:57 am

Useless post not contributing anything to the topic @ 8:46 from the usual suspect.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Cynthia: I wonder why Jesus didn’t mention gay marriage?

Matthew 19:4-6 (New International Version)

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

…………. and I guess your church conveniently ignores other passages you don’t like:

Romans 1:24-27 (New International Version)

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

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

Sam (The Cool 1 )

June 18th, 2010
9:00 am

The Cisco Kid and Poncho would never marry each other. That has got to tell you something.

Union

June 18th, 2010
9:00 am

some .. stupid..
. yes.. they are.. and yes.. it is..

gale

June 18th, 2010
9:00 am

Peadawg, your point is pointless. Those cases still have nothing to do with whether gay marriage is legal or not. Check statistics and you will find most individuals convicted or charged with incest and polygamy are straight males. In fact, if it was legal for siblings to marry, or a marriage to include more than two people, how would that cause more court cases. Those situations would no longer be illegal.

blutto

June 18th, 2010
9:01 am

CYNTHIA: “They should have that right under the law.”

While “legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t affect traditional marriage” can be debated, the inconvenient fact for gay marriage advocates is that California voters have twice decided that marriage requires a man and a woman.

Proposition 22 which stated that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” was approved by California voters in March of 2000 by a vote of 61%-39%.

From Wiki: “The official citation of Proposition 22, the “California Defense of Marriage Act”, is almost the same as that of a federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1996. This federal law had a similar purpose, and was intended to prevent any state from being obligated to recognize a same-sex marriage contracted in another state.”

In May 2008, the California Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision (In re Marriage Cases) struck down Proposition 22 and declared that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry.

In November of that year, California voters overturned the In re Marriage Cases decision by approving an amendment of the state constitution called Proposition 8. This amendment used precisely the same language as Proposition 22 and was approved by California’s voter by a vote of 52%-48%.

QUESTION FOR CYNTHIA: Why does the left–especially Democrat Party liberals–have such a difficult time accepting the will of the voters as expressed in democratically held free and fair elections?

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
9:01 am

1) Peadawg, you’re still an idiot.

2) Union, you’re running a close second.

3) THE TRUTH, you actually take the cake.

2) Gay marriage doesn’t affect anybody but the 2 people getting married. It doesn’t open a pandora’s box of anything (see every other country that has legalized gay marriage – no boxes, pandora or otherwise, have opened) That’s reality.

3) Gay marriage doesn’t “traumatize” children, and it most especially does not traumatize the children of gay parents. The only people it seems to traumatize are the narrowminded religious nutjobs who are terrified of anything “different” or “new”, or outside of their particular stunted comfort zone.

4) Civil rights are NOT supposed to be decided by a majority vote. No minority would EVER get rights if it was left to the majority to grant it. Learn your damn history. Read a book that doesn’t start with “Genesis”.

5) MARRIAGE is not an inherently religious term, you need to realize this. The word actually means “the joining of 2 or more pieces”, a blending, osmosis, etc. People getting MARRIED at city hall in a civil ceremony are still MARRIED. No church, mosque, synagog or otherwise has EVER been FORCED to perform any marriage (not just gay ones, they have all sorts of fun restrictions) since gay marriage has become legal in other nations.. their right to refuse any ceremony outside their doctrine has been upheld.

So given all that, what the hell are you nuts so worried about? Did interracial marriage destroy the universe back in the day too? No? This is the same thing. You sound just as stupid as the racists did back in the day.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
9:01 am

Peadawg-

How is homosexuality not normal, it happens in nature(some animals exhibit homosexual behavior. It’s not normal in who’s eyes? I guarantee 2 gay people thing its normal.

Jethro

June 18th, 2010
9:01 am

It’s all pretty silly if you ask me.

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
9:04 am

I have a question to Cynthia and others:

If we allow gays to marry, do you also agree that we should allow incest and polygamy? I think all 3 and wrong and disgusting. But if we allow one, we should allow the others, right?

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
9:05 am

Oh and Peadawg: gay IS normal. The same percentage of people have been gay throughout history. It’s been around since the dawn of time. Hell, it’s even all over the animal kingdom… animals, that barely have cognitive abilities, who obey their NATURAL instincts.

Of course, now you’ll argue that people are supposed to be better than animals and control their urges based on some 2000 book of fairy tales written by bronze age cavemen in a desert 300 years after their prophet died… but, frankly, that sounds about as silly as anything I can imagine.

ctucker

June 18th, 2010
9:08 am

blutto, the us constitution protects the rights of minorities, no matter what the “will of the voters” may be.

ctucker

June 18th, 2010
9:09 am

Woody Mellor, I think you’re right

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
9:09 am

Gridlock, when you call someone an idiot for not agreeing with you, your opinion means jack sh*t. Have a good day.

ctucker

June 18th, 2010
9:10 am

Joe Mustich, thanks for weighing in.

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
9:11 am

If we allow gays to marry, do you also agree that we should allow incest and polygamy?

No.

I think all 3 and wrong and disgusting.

I don’t give a fat rat’s @ss what you think

But if we allow one, we should allow the others, right?

False comparisons.