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

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:26 pm

so hmm what do you think your doing? the same thing…just say your piece and be done

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:27 pm

I did. I’m just trying to get you to shut up.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
1:28 pm

Jimmy – Marriage hasn’t been a “religious” institution for centuries. They lost that distinction because of the Church’s own corruption. . .their failure to recognize or banish members they didn’t like (and refuse to recognize their children and marriages) and their inability to provide accurate records of the population in their communities. That was long before America was established. If marriage was a “religious” institution, then our laws would be forcing people who marry in certain denominations to adhere to the requirements of those churches for both marriage and divorce – and we all know that heterosupremacists readily walk out of a church that won’t let them wed – or divorce when a couple wants otherwise.

Why don’t we just admit that we believe individual rights exist only for heterosexuals?

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
1:28 pm

To Oxymoron: Not really! There are an extremely large amount of comments being made from a lack of education or knowledge. If the comments are being made from knowledge and education, wouldn’t they be considered ignorant? I remember when the KKK performed lynchings under the claim “It’s in the Bible”. I also know for a fact that white supremicists groups also use the same “Bible” to support their race hatred. I find it also odd that the American government can step into other countries with the argument of “defending democracy” but there are still people in America that don’t have equal protection under the law. I would just like to hear some valid argument outside of a religious belief of how my marriage to my partner would actually have an affect – negative or positive – on a heterosexual marriage.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:29 pm

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
1:29 pm

LAB trying to make it a discriminatory issue…lol.

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:30 pm

And once again, you’ve missed the point. SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY AND QUIT REPEATING YOURSELF! I said what I needed to say: 1 comment about homo’s – that’s it. The rest have been about you and Lesbian repeating yourselves like a broken record.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
1:30 pm

God created Adam and Eve…not Spot and Whiskers.

Ant

June 18th, 2010
1:31 pm

Hate to break it to you Bible-thumpers, but CIVIL marriage is a CIVIL institution, not a religious one. That’s why no one in this country is required to believe in the Bible to get married. Atheists, Buddhists, Jews… the government doesn’t care about your own private religious definition of marriage. It’s only concerned with the legal benefits and protections that come with civil marriage. If you’re so concerned with making marriage a religious, and more specifically Biblical, institution, I hope you are also as passionate about passing laws that prevent Hindus, Muslims, agnostics and everyone else from marrying. If you’re so concerned about protecting marriage, I hope you are collecting signatures to try to outlaw divorce. Otherwise, you are hypocrites of the highest order.

And what’s this about “liberals” wanting to destroy morality? Do you think that they don’t have families and morals too? You know what, it’s always “family values” politicians and church leaders who are caught cruising men in public bathrooms, buying drugs from male prostitutes, sexually harassing young male pages, and screwing around in bed with other guys. I’ve seen immoral behavior from both liberals AND conservatives, and obviously many conservatives agree that gay marriage should be legalized. You can get away with calling liberals immoral when there is no more immorality among conservative ranks.

The whole slippery slope argument is utterly baseless too. We’ve had gay marriage here in MA for some time now and there has been NO push for legalized marriage between siblings, animals or anyone else. No church has been forced to perform any marriage it doesn’t want to. That whole line about “if we allow gays to marry, then anyone must be allowed to marry” is just a lame excuse, the kind people used back when interracial marriages were legalized.

Gay people are creating households and raising families that deserve protection under the law. They pay their taxes, fight your wars, teach your kids, bag your groceries, perform your surgeries, fix your cars and make your favorite TV shows. There is no reason whatsoever to keep law-abiding, contributing citizens from marrying legally.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:31 pm

ha your jealous. i thought you said you were going to drop the subject? hmm

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 18th, 2010
1:32 pm

Looks like Lezzy Girl and Natalie are ready for a hook-up.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:33 pm

what makes you say that?

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
1:33 pm

Thank you ANT!!!!!

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
1:33 pm

“NO push for legalized marriage between siblings, animals or anyone else” give it time…next thing we here will be Gay Rights for the animal kingdom…

“Lets watch as Marlen peers thru the blind and we witness the courtship of two very muscular yet adolescent male lions as they experiment and explore their inner most feelings…”

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:34 pm

Oh my gosh, Natalie apparently got dropped on her head too many times as a baby because all reasoning has gone out the window with this stupid chick!

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 18th, 2010
1:34 pm

Hmmm….How about the way you two are panting over each other’s comment, for what 4+ hours.

George Foreman 3:16

June 18th, 2010
1:34 pm

Genesis 1:1…”God gaveth Adam a wee-wee and Eve a woo-woo, and proclaimed go forth and fornicate until you both climax and it was good, so sayeth the Lord”

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
1:34 pm

With a name like natalie what would ya expect.

blutto

June 18th, 2010
1:35 pm

Some People are stupid: “In the old days the majority thought black people were 3/5 citizens….”

Wrong on two counts.

No one North or South thought that black people were 3/5 citizens. Free black people were citizens. Slaves were not. The 3/5 compromise was proposed as a way to gain southern support for the Constitution by agreement to count three-fifths of a State’s slaves in apportioning Representatives, Presidential electors, and direct taxes.

Article 1, Section 2: (Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.)

While some like yourself apparently think that this was an effort to claim that a black person was only 3/5 of a person, the compromise, proposed by northern liberal delegate James Wilson, prevented the South from dominating the Congress which their numbers would have permitted had slaves been counted as whole persons for purposes of apportioning representatives and electors. Thus rather than being an attempt to boost slavery, the 3/5 compromise helped ensure that the North’s voting power remained predominant.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:36 pm

what are you 6 act your age. i dropped the subject..you keep saying stuff about it.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
1:36 pm

OMG! Now folk have really gotten off topic and reverted to what appears to be an attempt at insults. I thought we were all adults that could convey our opinions in a very adult manner instead of reverting to the 3rd grade.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

YOU”RE IN 3rd GRADE!!! BLEH!

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

Lesbian At Birth : four three five-seven three zero-four seven right zero

Ant

June 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

It’s also funny to me when someone says, “If everyone were gay, the human race would yadda yadda yadda”. What kind of argument is that? If we were all Asian, the world might be a different place. If we were all blind, things might be different. If we were all females, the human race might go extinct. What’s your point?

What makes you think that allowing gay marriage would turn you and every other straight person gay? Are you that impressionable? There has never been a time in history, even when homosexuality was tolerated, when there was a threat of everyone “going gay”. It’s not a contagious disease. In fact, the homosexual population has more or less always been proportionately smaller than the heterosexual population. Any apparent increase you might see in the number of gay people could only come from the fact that closeted gay people might feel less of a need to hide their sexuality, but they were always there to begin with.

Seems that anti-gay crowd will throw anything at a wall and pray that it sticks. Pathetic.

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

I’m here…, we’ve passed through the drain my friend. Surrogate parenting, in vitro fertilization, and sperm banks are all reality. The difference between these abominations and and same-sex marriage is; they’re legal in all states (along with abortion, by the way – why do we have some doctors making babies out of thin air and others killing perfectly healthy ones?). I couple can choose to procreate the old fashioned way, or the “test tube baby” way. Same sex couples CANNOT marry in all 50 states. So, as has been argued, the gub-mint needs to ban all marriages in favor of legally recognized civil unions, or domestic partnerships, OR provide the same LEGAL benefits/rights to gay couples as married, heterosexual couples. Frankly, if the straight folks want the word “MARRIAGE” I’m cool with it, but I am straight. Maybe we should have a contest to pick a word for same sex marriage, but not including the word marriage. Would “faggiage” be too offensive?

Michael K.

June 18th, 2010
1:38 pm

@Lesbian At Birth
Let me say that I’m pretty ambivalent about the gay marriage issue. On the one hand, I think consenting adults should be able to do as they please. On the other hand, since marriage and sex are social practices, I do worry about some of the potential consequences of expanding the legal definition of marriage.

Not sure if you read my earlier post, but I argued that legalizing gay marriage will make the legalization of polygamy more likely. Excluding European cultures, I think every major civilization has allowed men to take multiple wives. If gay marriage (which has no historical precedent, even in societies that were very permissive about homosexual behavior) is legalized, I think that the courts will also likely accept the argument that the traditional monogamous definition of marriage in America discriminates against other polygamous groups. For a number of reasons, I think legalizing polygamy would have tremendously negative repurcussions.

I guess I don’t really come to a satisfying conclusion about the right thing to do. If I were in your shoes, I’m sure I would have the same view as you. For you, unlike me, this intimately impacts your life. I think that might tend to blind you to the potential for negative externalities. In the same vein, since this doesn’t intimately affect my life, I probably don’t fully recognize the hardships the current law causes for homosexuals.

I also think that legalizing gay marriage probably contributes to a culture that values reproduction less and, thus, reproduces too little. That’s a problem, since we’re barely at replacement rate now. Of course, that’s also a hypocritical position for me to take, since my wife and I have no plans to have children.

I don’t know – like I said, I just don’t see a clear cut solution to this problem.

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
1:38 pm

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:39 pm

Natalie, dear, you’ve only proven how immature you really are. Thank goodness you’re a lesbian because you don’t need to be reproducing right now, and neither does LAB from the sound of it.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 18th, 2010
1:40 pm

Lezzy at Birth – Insult? Don’t you WANT to be with a woman. All I said was you too are becoming very “chummy” and a hookup might be in order.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:41 pm

Oxymoron: you really need to get laid.

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:41 pm

mmmm,mmmm,mmmm:

They are overly sensitive about their ’situation’, therefore they are very defensive. Don’t look at them!

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
1:42 pm

everybody needs to leave Lesbian at Birth alone.

After all she, BARACK OBAMA AND I HATE AMERICA

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:43 pm

Natalie:

Sounds like you’re the one who needs to get laid…by a man! Get a husband, girl!

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
1:43 pm

To I’m Here from the government- Why don’t you get over YOUR self? I mean, all this history of con-artist con-servatives demanding special rights for themselves – and then claiming “life isn’t fair” as they demand the right to “vote” the rights of other Americans out of the Constitution.

The whole argument boils down to the con-artist con-servative ideal that some citizens deserve a thousand special rights laws, including protecting the individual heterosupremacist right of child sex predators and spousal abusers to marry, while proclaiming that they MUST have be allowed to remove the individual rights of gay Americans. The whole con-artist game being used by conservatives to “amend” the Constitution to “define marriage” to reinforce heterosupremacy and special individual rights had nothing to do with “activist judges” and everything to do with promoting tyranny.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
1:44 pm

Thank you Van Jones, except I don’t HATE AMERICA. I actually served in the military for quite some time in defense of the Constitution – or so I was told that’s what I was doing. :-)

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

But legal traditons should be changed if they discriminate between one group. That’s what the 14th amendment is about, equality

You are not being discriminated against. You can have all the vile sex you want. You just can not call it Marriage.

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
1:46 pm

That is what homosexual marriage is all about.

Granny Godzilla

June 18th, 2010
1:47 pm

Lesbian at Birth and Natalie

Thanks ladies for providing your perspective.

I am ashamed sometimes of my fellow humans and their behavior. If it makes you feel any better, some of the bloggers you have heard from today would have treated you even worse if you were undocumented aliens or muslim!

Keep the faith my sisters, these folks will pass eventually and so will
their meaness of spirit.

Hope to see you here again.

Ant

June 18th, 2010
1:47 pm

“give it time…next thing we here will be Gay Rights for the animal kingdom…”

So gay people and their families who deserve legal marriage benefits and protections should be denied them because of your prediction? Thanks, Nostradamus, but we have evidence based in REALITY that no such thing is happening, especially in nations that have had legal gay marriage for much longer than MA.

And you know what, allowing one thing does not mean we have to allow anything else. What kind of thinking is that? Every issue should be judged on its own merits and faults. If polygamists wanted to legalize polygamy, let them try. What does it have to do with gay marriage, straight marriage, interracial marriage, interfaith marriage or any other kind of marriage?

I’m sure there were people in the 60’s who said “If we allow people of different races to marry then we’ll have to allow ANYONE to marry.” Does that mean we should never have legalized interracial marriages?

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
1:48 pm

George Foreman – “Genesis 1:1…”God gaveth Adam a wee-wee and Eve a woo-woo, and proclaimed go forth and fornicate until you both climax and it was good, so sayeth the Lord”
———————————————————————————————————————————-
Hahaha…and then they were kicked out of paradise. . .and for centuries, it was blamed on the women whose punishment and reminder was, apparently, their monthly visitor.
Maybe if the original heterosexual relationship hadn’t corrupted our original relationship with God, new people could have been constructed out of clay and/or spare ribs and procreation wouldn’t really be necessary. So maybe it was the heterosexuals who ruined original society and created original sin.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:48 pm

Granny Godzilla: thank you :)

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
1:49 pm

GG:
“I am ashamed sometimes of my fellow humans and their behavior.”

Me too GG. Some do get vile and disgusting.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 18th, 2010
1:49 pm

Granny – are you for undocumented aliens? Breaking the law is OK with you. If so, you are the real FOOL. AZ prop is OK with me. Go to a foreign country without proper paperwork and see what happens.

Big D

June 18th, 2010
1:50 pm

L.A.B., you’ve had some good points and you have remained cool under fire, so don’t go placating the idiot VAN.
Van, if you would like to leave I will gladly pay for your one way ticket to where ever.
You sound like your mommy didn’t hug you enough.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
1:50 pm

To Ant – Hahaha. . .well, you know con-artist con-servatives always love to demand others make sacrifices to coddle their fears and insecurities. They naturally ask “what’s wrong with removing a few constitutional rights for the gays if it means we can reinforce our own belief of natural superiority over them?” So of course, they think the gays should sacrifice their rights for con-servative insecurities. That’s what they mean by “life isn’t fair. . ” they mean that life is supposed to only be fair for them.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 18th, 2010
1:51 pm

And Granny, I learned all I need to about Muslims on 9/11. I guess you forgot, or maybe you had a plane ticket and didn’t show up.

Oxymoron

June 18th, 2010
1:52 pm

Granny,

It’s time for your enema and diaper change!

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
1:52 pm

to natalie merrit: lesbianatbirth at gmail.com

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
1:53 pm

and these people think im immature. GG just member what you said
“these folks will pass eventually and so will
their meaness of spirit.”