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

Charles

June 18th, 2010
9:39 am

Ms. Tucker,

If you read the comments section, I would like thank you for a great editorial. I like that people as yourself are speaking up for us, and I hope to hear more from you in the future!

Charles

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
9:39 am

Scout- For your argue against polygamy

So says Jehovah, the God of Israel, I anointed you (David) king over Israel,
and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.
And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives
into your bosom…2Sam.12:7-8

Fundamentalists Go Home

June 18th, 2010
9:39 am

Peadawg @8am: maybe YOUR family members from Arkansas want to marry each other, and YOUR family members in UTAH are polygamists, but aside from your own screamingly dysfunctional family, your arguments are stupid and not based on the law. Which, by the way, is the only thing that matters here – the law. And the FACT is, that prohibiting legally consenting non-related adults to marry is a violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. End of story. This WILL happen in the United States -it’s only a question of when. And as soon as all the religious zealots crawl back into their stone-aged caves, the rest of us can get on with the 21st century.

TGT

June 18th, 2010
9:40 am

Another myth in this debate: That gays (especially men) are all that interested in being bound by traditional marriage. The homosexual lifestyle in general is notoriously promiscuous. As one supporter of gay marriage has put it: “There are many gays and lesbians who strongly value the right to marry, but few (none, more or less) who think of it as a gay ideal to have relationships that are as close as possible to the traditional hetero myth/ideal. The possibilities for different types of relationships have been common currency in the gay community and gay press for as long as there has been an open gay community.

It is a given in the gay community that one-partner-forever hetero marriages are not necessarily a model for gays, or even a healthy model for straights either. As “sexual outlaws” to begin with, legally denied the stereotypical relationship even when they ask for it, gays are in a position to look across the board and choose more freely. They have had the chance to think carefully about what relationships they most value, and try to find ways to make them work. And in seeking to broaden the accepted legal definition of marriage, not all of them want to stop at the obvious first step – monogamous marriage for gays – but choose instead to take the opportunity to create legally-recognized relationships that fit the various ways in which humans combine.”

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
9:40 am

There are 18,000 married gay couples in California right now; What if there were only 15,000? Would you wingnuts magically notice the difference this made in YOUR marriage?

lmno

June 18th, 2010
9:41 am

Yeah, I agree. Let gay people get married.

I’m really disappointed in the people of California by the way. I thought that they were more progressive than here.

In November the people of California will vote on whether to legalize marijuana. I am anxious to see how they decide.

Liberal Laughter

June 18th, 2010
9:41 am

Marriage was designed and created by GOD. Between a man and a women. Enough said, Ms. Tucker!

Mark

June 18th, 2010
9:41 am

Sorry if this isn’t coherant, I haven’t had my morning coffee, and it was a late night; what with staying up late to plot the downfall of humanity with my other heathen lefties. Seriously, do you people believe the stuff you say? That there is really some huge conspiracy being plotted against the concept of marriage? If you want a conspiracy, go read The Divinci Code or something, but realize it too isn’t true.

As for civil union/marriage discussion. I’ll gladly accept civil union the moment that you accept it for yourselves as well. You can still go get your marriage act performed in church, and frankly, I could careless if a priest, rabbi, or shaman performed mine. Let’s just realize something here, that marriage certificate you received has nothing, let me repeat that, NOTHING to do with your church or religion. It is a civil contract between two people. The fact that you had a priest perform the ceremony doesn’t matter. You could have just as easily had someone at the courthouse do it for you.

The problem is this, as I see it. Long ago, probably centuries before the USA was ever founded, man institutionalized marriage. Meaning both the concept and the word itself moved from the religious realm to the government realm. Like Cynthia said, this was all about heirs, inheritance, and insuring that your wife produced your kids and not someone elses.

All that would need to be done is to change the contract between all parties in the government realm from a marriage certificate to a civil union contract. Then you and yours can go your merry way and have your priest, rabbi, et. al. perform your ceremony, and I’ll go about my way and have mine with family and friends.

And for those with the polygamy and beastiality “arguments” I ask one thing. Really? You aren’t being serious, right? So, because you think somewhere down the line in history, gay marriage may be used agaisnt marriage in general to allow polygamy, etc then a whole group of people generally accepted as including 8-12% of the population should not be allowed to marry with the same rights that straight people have. So, you want to live in fear of this? Or is it really that there just aren’t good arguments against gay marriage so you have to throw the kitchen sink at it. Honestly, when I hear people make those ‘arguments’ I think they are poorly educated and running scared from something they don’t understand.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

June 18th, 2010
9:41 am

Gay unions affect me in no way. I could not care less one way or the other. But to call them “marriages” offends me and my beliefs. Wow, after 53 years I’ve finally been offended. Maybe I should march on some place or possibly declare a jihad, nah, been done and it looks as stupid when I type it as it does when people do it.

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
9:43 am

I AM A RACIST

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
9:44 am

“And the FACT is, that prohibiting legally consenting non-related adults to marry is a violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. End of story”

According to you, then, polygamy and incest should be allowed as well. Thanks for agreeing with me. Those laws should be overturned.

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
9:45 am

GEORGE W BUSH WAS BEHIND 9/11

Sluggo

June 18th, 2010
9:45 am

Enough already with gay marriage. There are a whole lot more pressing problems going on in this country. Those who are not gay are tired of hearing about it.

Kenbud

June 18th, 2010
9:46 am

If people in traditional marriages think they are the end-all, be-all and perfect examples, then what say we of Larry King, Elizabeth Taylor, my uncle (4 times), pick-your-own-closeted-and-married politician, Rush Limbaugh, etc. (I think we could add to this list quite easily, and it doesn’t have to be celebrity names).

My problem is how easy it is to get married. People get married on a whim (Vegas) or in a show-stopping, multi-million extravaganza (we’ve all been there). They get married before they even know each better or have lived together to know habits, past life, etc. It should be tougher to get married. How? I’m not sure, but that fact that a person can be “ordained” online within minutes and “marry” someone. That’s just downright pathetic.

Divorce rates are going sky-high and the fact that many “straight” people still think they own a monopoly on the institute of marriage makes me think it’s all more about the majority scared to lose their grip to a minority.

Women, African-Americans. They have both advanced over the years as a gender and a race. Both have made great strides to improve society as a whole. There are good women. There are “bad” women. There are good African-Americans. There are “bad” African-Americans. There are good homosexuals. There are “bad” homosexuals.

For every “God-fearing, church-going” straight person, I can introduce you to the same, who happens to be homosexual. For every “party animal, go crazy” homosexual, I can introduce you to the same, who happens to be straight. For every “straight suburban couple who just bought a house, leads a quality life, pays taxes and does it right”, I can introduce you to the same couple, who happens to be homosexual.

We are all the same. Straight or gay. I think that is what scares humans the most. To find out we really aren’t all that different. Some people are just discriminated against to make it seems as if they are.

AmVet

June 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Scout, various toy soldiers and Talibaptists.

Take heart, you could always emigrate to Iran, where of course, there are none of those people!

Gwinnett Mom

June 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Queers getting married is unholy and not what God wanted. Thats whats wrong with this country, queers and mexicans.

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
9:47 am

I BELIEVE IN HANDOUTS, ENTITLEMENT, AND THAT PEOPLE DESERVE EVERYTHING – REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO WORK, SAVE, OR MANAGE THEIR MONEY CORRECTLY. THIS IS EQUALITY

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
9:48 am

TGT, yeah right…because heterosexuals have never been promiscuous…. there are no recent examples in the news, nothing about heterosexuals claiming “sex addictions”. What next in homophobia?

And of course, to borrow from Steven Colbert, WRBWJD?

DannyX

June 18th, 2010
9:49 am

There are millions of divorces every year but of course Scout wants to blame the downfall of civilization on gays. If you really want to save the world through your Bible you may want to start there.

Divorce is a choice!

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
9:49 am

Gwinnett Mom….. Flaunting your ignorance is just so unattractive!

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
9:49 am

still don’t see the difference. You didn’t explained why you think they are different…just some stupid nonsense about spinach.

The only link that you provided between the three was your disgust. Just because three things are disgusting, that does not make them the same. I was hoping that the spinach would illustrate your nonsense.

Lee

June 18th, 2010
9:49 am

Cynthia, you’re divorced? Say it ain’t so!

cy

June 18th, 2010
9:50 am

Cynthia – You’ve actually got a major point wrong in the post and it is central to what is going on in this case. The testimony is in “Federal” court, not the California Supreme Court. Yes, it is taking place in California concerning the Prop 8 ban on gay marriage but it is a Federal Court and that is why it has national implications. Otherwise this is an excellent post on the irrationality and weakness of the arguments of those who oppose equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

Sunshine

June 18th, 2010
9:50 am

Homosexuality is a Sin, Pedriod!. If you don’t believe it is, then you might need to delve a bit into the bible. You can rest assured the Homosexuals can’t and won’t respond to that part of the bible that says it is an abomination to God. The reason they won’t is because they love their Sin and want to continue it. In other words, they have their head in the sand. If we make that legal, then why not make adultry legal, make sodomy legal. Cynthia, you need to get your head out of the sand and wake up and smell the coffee. You seem to know there is such a thing as a bible but apparently are not well versed in it. Maybe you should do a bit more studying and then see if you have the same opinion.

Peadawg

June 18th, 2010
9:51 am

Kamchak @ 9:49 blah blah blah. Still didn’t answer my question. You say marriage should be legal between 2 consenting adults. Then gay marriage, incest, and polygamy should all be allowed according to your logic.

blutto

June 18th, 2010
9:51 am

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

Indeed it does. It also gives Congress the power to enact laws and the President the power to sign or veto them. The Defense of Marriage Act provides for the following:

1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
2. The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman.

The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate[1] and a vote of 342-67 in the House of Representatives,[2] and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. California’s Proposition 22 and Proposition 8, also appropriately enacted, are virtually identical to federal law.

In this case liberals are once again asking the courts to assume powers never contemplated by state or federal constitutions in order to overturn the expressed will of the voters, the constitutionally enacted federal and state laws and the executive power to approve or disapprove.

No wonder conservatives are wary of judges/justices who assume that the law just gets in the way of what liberals deem “fair” and “just” and who are willing to arbitrarily change the meaning of state and federal constitutions in order to make “law” that neither voters nor legislatures nor executives approved.

gale

June 18th, 2010
9:52 am

If the restrictions against gay marriage were erased, this would quickly become a non-issue and we could stop discussing it. It would only be an issue to the rabid right who will fight against anyone who does not believe exactly as they do.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
9:52 am

Keep up the good fight! :

They have equal protection …………. if they are male they can marry a woman or vice versa. Or they can choose not to get married. Pretty simple.

They want “extra” in the law.

Darryl Moore

June 18th, 2010
9:53 am

Marriage is the union of a man and woman!!! If a gay/lesbian couple want to be together…more power to them. But they should not be given a marriage license in ANY state.

***Why is it wrong when a Christian, Jew, or Muslim speaks out against this or any other homosexuality topic**

lourdes

June 18th, 2010
9:54 am

Jesus was a gay hippie, he had 12 boyfriends…

Talking snakes happen all the time

June 18th, 2010
9:55 am

I don’t understand the biblical references here. That thing is like a sci-fi fantasy book…..If you really believe it, can you honestly say you believe there was a talking snake?

Really?

Scout

June 18th, 2010
9:55 am

Here’s the bottom line:

If God Himself showed up in front of Cynthia today at the AJC and said “print this” ……….. “I DON’T WANT GAY MARRIAGES OR CIVIL UNIONS. KNOCK IT OFF” …………………

Well, most of you would just continue in your sin ……….. it’s the way man has always been. That’s why so many spouses cheat on each other …………. and that commandment is pretty clear.

So, the choice is always yours. God has provided a way. Reject it or not.

Have to run ………………….

VVD

June 18th, 2010
9:56 am

Who said homosexuality is a sin? Oh right… some mythical God you “Christians” trot out every time you want to bash someone. You have twisted this religion so perversely it does not even resemble its original intent. You have used your religion and your God to start wars, defend slavery, starve the poor and kill off the sick. “Christians” have NO moral high ground and it is hypocritical and disgusting to see so many “God fearing Christians” swill in so much hate. Shame on you all. If your God is real you will be the first he will smite.

RxDawg

June 18th, 2010
9:56 am

This one is kind of a no brainer. A lot of people that lean right will agree with this.

lovelyliz

June 18th, 2010
9:57 am

How can the marriage of a stable, loving homosexual couple be more of a threat to traditional marriage and society in general than my heterosexual cousin’s, well ex-cousin-in-law, 4th marriage before the age of 45?

gale

June 18th, 2010
9:57 am

Sunshine: thin ice. You may want to reread that Bible for the many “sins” you probably commit on a daily basis. Just saying.

Mark

June 18th, 2010
9:57 am

For Sunshine @ 9:50, you are wrong. This homosexual wont respond to what the bible says, not because he can’t, but because the bible doesn’t have a dang thing to do with government and our wonderful constitution which requires separation of church & state. Try reading it sometime.

blutto

June 18th, 2010
9:57 am

HDB: “Any marriage entered into in one state must be recognized in ALL states”

See my post @ 9:51. The federal law (DOMA) says you are incorrect.

Buckhead Writer

June 18th, 2010
9:57 am

The Constitution of the United States of America says we have an unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and if it makes you happy to marry someone of the same sex or your cousin or more than one person, then by God, knock yourself out, I say.

Marraige ain't What it used to be!

June 18th, 2010
9:58 am

Marraige, for those of us who have tried and failed, ends up being nothing but a contract allowing a woman who was know where in sight while you had two jobs in college to build your education and wealth come along 10 years after the fact and gets awarded your money and property in a divorce settlement and now I am living ion a studio apartment in Kennesaw. I may be a little bitter because the wound is still fresh but I am stating facts. Let the Gays marry! Who Cares! My only issue with the Gay struggle is the fact that they continue to compare their struggle to slavery and IT DOES NOT COMPARE! Gays come in every ethnicity, every color under the rainbow and can jump in and out of that closet at their discretion. Try as they may, I have yet to meet an African-American who could change his color but I can name several gay men and women who are gay one year and straight the next, making then in fact..Bi-sexual. I personally could care less who another adult wants to sleep with, thats your private and personal business but the comparison to the slave trade and the millions of black men and women who were killed during that time the only true comaprison to slavery would be the Holocaust…not the Homosexuals!
LIVE AND LET LIVE!!! LIFE IS SHORT!! I WAS JUST 23 LAST WEEK AND NOW I’M 39! IT FLIES BY FOLKS!!

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
9:58 am

You say marriage should be legal between 2 consenting adults.

Please show me where I said precisely that.

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
9:59 am

Scout… why based on your 9:52 statement you could ban a lot of things… Why not ban interracial marriage…Why they can marry anyone they want in their own race?

They are not asking for extra, they are simply asking for equal rights. If a man/woman marry they get a different tax basis than a man/man. The only distinction is the sex. This is true in many areas of law.

lovelyliz

June 18th, 2010
9:59 am

The irony is that cousin-in-law met all his wives in the mega church he attends and teaches marriage prep classes and counseling. The same one where he married #1 & #2. The preacher came over to the house and performed a ceremony for #4

Steve

June 18th, 2010
10:00 am

The stupidity here is staggering. Marriage is between to people – whether they be male or female. The whole brothers, sisters, pets, cars, multiple partners thing is STUPID and won’t happen. There are very clear lines that can be drawn… Just like there are very clear lines between what is discrimination and what is not. Get your heads out of your backward a**es.

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
10:00 am

I think some of the anti-gay folk need to look up Poe’s Law. Your posts are so crazy it’s impossible to tell if you’re serious. That should tell you something.

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
10:00 am

Off topic–

USA!
USA!
USA!

Sunshine

June 18th, 2010
10:01 am

Well, Talking snakes, you will wish you had believed it on judgement day. But, its your life you are being rather ignorant with. But, then, you probably believe you came from the sea! LOL

I don't believe in gay marriages.....

June 18th, 2010
10:01 am

I don’t believe in ANY marriages.

Getting married screws up a good thing.

The institution of marriage is nothing more than a money grab. Expensive weddings, diamond rings, honeymoons…….You think the people behind this care who is getting married? They only care about the money.

TGT

June 18th, 2010
10:01 am

It is true that heterosexuals can be just as promiscuous as homosexuals, however, studies have shown, that in general the homosexual lifestyle lends itself to much more promiscuity than the population in general.

Multiple surveys and studies paint an extremely promiscuous lifestyle for the typical homosexual (again, especially male). A 1996 survey of homosexuals revealed that 42% had sex with more than 100 different partners and 16% claim between 40 and 100 partners. A University of Chicago study released in 2003 found that 61 percent of homosexual men in Chicago’s Shoreland area had had more than 30 sexual partners. In September of 2006, the Agape Press reported that “A survey by The Advocate, a homosexual magazine, revealed that promiscuity is a reality among homosexuals. The poll found that 20 percent of homosexuals said they had had 51-300 different sex partners in their lifetime, with an additional 8 percent having had more than 300.”

blutto

June 18th, 2010
10:01 am

CYNTHIA: “I’m so glad I didn’t have to depend on a popular vote to end Jim Crow”

Agreed. I am also glad that you did not have to depend on Democrats, who were responsible for enacting, enforcing and continuing such laws, to end Jim Crow laws–as well as slavery.