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

shadow_man

June 18th, 2010
9:27 pm

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

shadow_man

June 18th, 2010
9:28 pm

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don’t feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren’t human.

“I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if “Gays” have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate “(Legal Document)” of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. “

thomasAlex

June 18th, 2010
9:35 pm

Separation of Church and State; your god may think homosexuality is an abomination but others gods do not. Shall we allow one religious doctorate to governor over other religious doctorates? If so, isn’t that stepping on others religious rights? The fact of the matter is, this issue has nothing to do with Religion whatsoever, but everything to do with Constitutional Rights under law. The 14th Amendment guarantees Equal Rights to all and Equal Protections to all; no where does it say only if your heterosexual. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled since 1888, that Marriage was a basic human right, and therefore guarantees that Gay marriage is a basic human right under law and shall be protected. Homosexuality like heterosexuality and bisexuality is 100% natural and healthy and neither have had a choice in their outcome.

God

June 18th, 2010
9:58 pm

Mike T. you are right about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. But you are forgetting about their next door neighbors Bill and Phil who ran a floral shop until all Hell broke loose with Adam and Eve. Bill and Phil were such a nice couple, it was a shame that they had to relocate.

Larry Craig’s great-great X 50 grandfather altered the original version that was sent to the printer. That guy had issues.

thomasAlex

June 18th, 2010
10:24 pm

@ God.

Who’s Adam and Eve?

Joe

June 18th, 2010
10:24 pm

Cynthia rocks!:

Are you refering to Robert Byrd. A former clansman and leader of the dem party.. LOL… Put your dunce cap back on and get back in the closet….

Joe

June 18th, 2010
10:26 pm

shadow_man:

How about this for reason not to allow gay marriage. We simply don’t want it! Enough said…

thomasAlex

June 19th, 2010
1:49 am

last I checked, 53% of the Nation was in favor of Gay Marriage, the tides are obviously shifting.

Jake

June 19th, 2010
3:57 am

So many crazies out there. It’s pretty obvious where things are going, though, whether people want to pretend otherwise or not. In California in 2000, Proposition 22 passed 61-39. In California in 2008, Proposition 8 passed 52-48. “The people voted against it, so there,” may not be the argument to hang your hat on in another four years… SO looking forward to the comment boards as all the fundamentalists freak out… 45 states to go!

Joe

June 19th, 2010
9:43 am

Why then does state after state resoundingly dissaprove of homo marriage… You may need to check your so called polls again…

Larry

June 19th, 2010
11:09 am

the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.

Call it a union, a mating, a coupling but don’t call it marriage. Marriage is reserved for individuals of the opposite sex.

shadow_man

June 20th, 2010
11:48 am

Joe: You need to work on your trolling :) That’s way too obvious

Larry: Sorry, but as past history shows, separate is not equal.

natalie merritt

June 21st, 2010
10:54 am

is this good?

Did you see me? When I was driving on the opposite side of the road. I didn’t see you coming, it happened so fast, one moment I was in my car listening to the radio, then the next I’m laying on the pavement with glass all around me, and a warm liquid surrounding me, did you see me? I saw you walk by me and stare then get in your car and drive off.

What they give is what they take away.

June 21st, 2010
4:16 pm

Let all of them get marriad.Just make it harder for them to get a devorce. Thay have worked years for the right to get marriad, Make them stay married for ten years before they can leave each other. It sure is a shame that it is always a real good looking girl wants to be with a big fat slob most of the time. I guess it’s like the old country song Marry a ugly women and you have her for life.

To hold and not reproduce.

June 21st, 2010
4:22 pm

Let them all get hitched, will be less of them born after that. Maybe we will run out of them. If none of them have kids, One generation is all they have left.

aint they so cute, hold hands, wlking down the street.

June 21st, 2010
4:27 pm

Gay honneymoon, sound like somebody is going to have to use the back door, to get in where they want to be. Well maybe, that what thomasAlex told me he done.

planetspinz

June 22nd, 2010
5:48 am

All government recognized marriages are civil marriages. Courts have ruled for more than 40 years now that religious wedding ceremonies do not confer any of the 1138 federal and state rights of marriage. Only a state-issued signed, witnessed and filed marriage license confers those rights on two people who marry.

In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right. The court did not rule that this right is for heterosexuals only. The court did not rule that this right requires the permission of a tyrannical voting majority. The court did not rule that marriage is a religious institution, or that the purpose of marriage is procreation. All the court ruled is that it is a fundamental right.

This right, along with all other constitutional rights, must be unconditional, and must never require permission, acceptance, agreement, approval, understanding, tolerance or respect of anyone who believes that they have chosen to be heterosexual.

The rights of all Americans must be applied unconditionally, and never be denied based on how we look, love or believe. There is only one reason why marriage equality is a fundamental right for gay men and lesbians, and that’s because we are Americans.

The Anonymous, MD

July 1st, 2010
1:37 am

I think both sides are wrong. Check out Gays Ain’t Got a Civil Right to Get Married! (neither do straights) This book solves the problem of how gays can have all the legal rights and responsibilities that current-day marriage affords, and how the right-wing religious folks can protect the sanctity of their religions. No sacrificing. No compromising. Make it fair for everyone by admitting that gays ain’t got a civil right to get married and neither do straights. By removing civil rights from marriage we re-separate church and state and reallocate civil rights and religious rights. Nobody has a problem with modern-day baptisms or funerals. Baptisms and birth certificates, along with funerals and death certificates already lay out a structure of how religious ceremonies can coexist with civil rights. Anonymous, MD approaches marriages and civil unions with a similar methodology. A marriage should not be a civil right for anyone. A marriage should be a commitment that defines a non-legal relationship. A civil union should be a commitment that defines a legal relationship. A civil union should be a civil right for anyone. Civil unions are not scary, are not marriages, and should be required for anyone seeking legal relationship status. Anonymous, MD takes you through a personal journey to demonstrate how this issue affects everyone—even those who are not on one of the two hotly contested sides. Anonymous, MD is neither for or against gay marriage but cannot tolerate the lack of logic that is used to frame the current debate; therefore, Anonymous, MD offers examples of canon law and civil rights, politicians and prostitutes, Catholics and Mormons, S/M and incense, foreskin and fidelity, and gay sex and the afterlife to graphically illustrate the sensibly simple solution.