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

lovelyliz

June 18th, 2010
10:03 am

I am still waiting for these pro-traditional family values; we oppose gay marriage because the Bible says homosexuals are an abomination, folks to start protesting outside of Red Lobster, McDonalds and Wal-Mart. That whole eating shellfish/pork products and wearing mixed fabrics are abominations thing.

65 foot tall burning Jesus

June 18th, 2010
10:05 am

Why God? Why did you do this to me? Oh wait…..you don’t exist, and neither should any of this pseudo christian rhetoric…..

gale

June 18th, 2010
10:05 am

I do agree that comparisons to the black civil rights movement by gays are wrong. I am certain I could stand next to 90% of you and would never be identified as gay. I don’t wear it on my skin like a person of color, and I use that phrase to mean any color but pasty to tan white.

Blue

June 18th, 2010
10:05 am

“No good arguments”? All bow to the omniscient CT. Just because you don’t THINK there are any good arguments does not mean there are NO good arguments. By the way…why don’t we just legalize bestiality and pedophilia as well…allow people to marry animals or marry children? If there is no ‘line’, where does it end?

Will

June 18th, 2010
10:05 am

Gay marriage should NEVER be legalized. Gays try to be like african-americans in the 50’s. You’re not another race!!

Not So

June 18th, 2010
10:06 am

TGT… so why should that keep people like me and my partner who have been monogamous for over 15 years from being allowed to marry? My brother-in-law cheated on my sister and lefter her for one of his many girlfriends… should he not be allowed to remarry?

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
10:07 am

off topic—

KAMCHAK IS MY PROTEGE

gw

June 18th, 2010
10:07 am

if marriage is a quaint and out dated religious custom, why do gays want it?? the gay rights problem is that they insist on calling the union a marriage. give it another name and your issue goes away. breeders do not deny non-breeders any right except to call their union a marriage. why is that so hard to understand?

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:08 am

“I believe laws should change as times and public opinion changes.”

Ah this is the liberal concept of our constitution as a “living document”. No truths, values, and beliefs are usually stable. Our forefathers got it right. This prevents one place like NY or Cal from making all the laws because they have a larger population.

As for gay marriage, it is an attempt to make homosexuality look normal. Gay unions are no problem. Marriage is a concept used since the beginning and refers to the union of men and women to become as one. Gays need to find another word or phrase. Gays should look at the word marriage like most look at the “N” word. It is ok for gays to call each other married but can not do it publicly or offically.

bob

June 18th, 2010
10:10 am

lovelyliz – try transitioning from the old to the new testament. you still can’t find a verse to agree with gay marriage.

Joe

June 18th, 2010
10:10 am

I think with my many posts have have put up many arguments that have yet to be rebuked….

lourdes

June 18th, 2010
10:11 am

The last supper was a homosexual orgy with copious amounts of hemp and wine consumed…..

TGT

June 18th, 2010
10:11 am

Not so: Go read my 9:31. Changing the definition of marriage will have significant consequences.

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
10:12 am

KAMCHAK IS MY PROTEGE

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I know who you are.

Not So

June 18th, 2010
10:14 am

Ha! Like it did for my sister? Her husband cheated on her and left her… would you deny him another marriage? He is straight…

Mark

June 18th, 2010
10:14 am

TGT, really, with the promiscuity thing? Yes, I have probably had more sexual partners than most straight men. In my prime, I like to think that I was quite a catch, for a night or more. But let’s think about this, would straight men have had as many sexual partners if it was so available to them? Umm, Yes please, would be the answer you would hear from 95% of them. You have 2 men who have sex drives out their minds, then guess what, you tend to have sex happen. It’s natural. But what does it have to do with marriage. And FYI, yes, I had many sexual partners, but I’ve settled down and been monogamous with my partner for the last 6 years. It’s a phase generally driven by hormones, but it has nothing to do w/ marriage. Next topic, and this time could y’all make it relevant, please?

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
10:16 am

KAMCHAK-

WE HAVE A SIMPLE RELATIONSHIP:

I HATE WHITE PEOPLE AND SO DO YOU.

Michelle Mal's Kin

June 18th, 2010
10:18 am

The Gays of America should refuse to pay taxes until they are fully represented within the same standard as The Straights of america. Money talks.

N

June 18th, 2010
10:19 am

Soulfinger — that’s a good point. And makes for a good civics lesson.

To me, the most important part of your statement is the stress on “I”. While gay marriage is an intensely personal issue for some straight people as a result of their individual brand of religious belief, the personal preference, while important for debate, has no bearing on the resolution of a legal issue in our system of government. Look at any number of hot-button social issues — abortion, the death penalty, interracial marriage — and you will find people’s individual preferences don’t bind or determine the outcome. In many cases, states attempted to amend their constitution to forbid, or control what was allowed, and it still did not matter. Our legal system places a premium on inalienable rights.

I’m not telling you that you should change your feelings, I believe that will come in time, if not for you, then for your children. But I will suggest what other like-minded people posted above — this is a legal issue, and there is no legal basis to deny access to a fundamental right based upon gender.

Cynthia — little fact checking on your article, I don’t believe any evidence was given in that case recently — I believe the evidence wrapped in February sometime, and the closing arguments (only) were this week.

Curious

June 18th, 2010
10:20 am

I’m just curious – if marriage was so sacred, why is the divorce rate so high? Also, I’m not sure why folk think gay and lesbian people are so perverse. Most pedifiles are straight men, most rapist are straight men, most terrrorist are straight men. The majority of things mainstream America hates is being performed by straight men. So folk think it’s wrong for 2 men to have sex but don’t see a problem with a man wanting his woman to either give him a bj or let him perform sodomy on her. Just a bunch of hypocrites if one was to ask me. A committed relationship between to people should be honored. According to the national statistics, the top 2 reasons for the extremely high divorce rate among heterosexuals is finances and infidelity. If marriage was so darn sacred, why would infidelity be the secondary cause of divorce.

sam

June 18th, 2010
10:20 am

that is true CT, but it would however put alot of gay conservative anti-gay marriage preachers out of business.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
10:20 am

Ah. . .the great heterosupremacist debate over the rights of other Americans. I’ve always found it fascinating at the willingness of heterosexuals to readily “vote” on whether gays can have the right to marry – but they bristle at any idea of putting any one (or group) of their own marriages up for a public vote. Now why is that? Why should the gays, for example, or even the rest of society, be forced by the government to recognize “marriages” of irresponsible heterosexuals, particularly those straight people, who by their own lack of character and commitment, work so hard to destroy the institution while still demanding individual special rights for themselves?

It is always interesting to note that heterosupremacists never seem to want the public to “vote” on their own marriage, or even the definition of marriage (save for the bans on interracial marriages). Wasn’t it Georgia, where conservatives ran around foaming at the mouth in earnest to vote the rights of gays out of their state constitution by passing a heinous marriage amendment (cuz the straights NEED to vote on any redefinition of marriage) – while quietly ignoring their own precious statutes on the books that allowed a 37 year old impregnated woman to marry the 15 year old friend of her son’s without any parental consent? Seems like the state of Georgia had no problem “defining” marriage as “between a man and a woman” as long as a 15 year old was a heterosexual male who could impregnate a legal adult woman. Nope – no crazy conservatives running around the state, wasting money demanding constitutional amendments to remove the rights of 15 year old minors from marriage.
Of course, one of the heterosupremacist arguments was that, if gays could marry, it would be taught in the schools. I suppose much like it was apparently taught (in Georgia) that if a legal minor is able to get pregnant or make someone else pregnant, he/she can marry anyone they like without parental consent. Right?

We already know that this is really not about protecting children at all. Since gays adopt or have children of their own, heterosupremacists are perfectly happy to point out that existing laws governing SINGLE people are more than adequate to protect any ‘gay” relationship, and yet demand over a thousand special rights laws for their own relationships, citing their own self-claim to having a “greater value to society” so the 51+% of legally “unmarried” adults must be forced (without any vote on any of those laws) to financially support them. This, of course forces the gays (who heterosupremacists demand must not be allowed to marry) to support (up until a few years ago) the teenage heterosexual’s voyeurism, the roving adult male or female’s adulterous behaviors, the 24-hour marriages of celebrities, the child-abusing heterosexuals, the serial rapists and heterosexual sex offenders right to marry – all without any “vote.” Why, even convicted serial rapists and murderers, with little or no chance to “consummate” their marriages, are allowed to tie the knot to outside heterosexual partners, even if they are permanently put behind bars. Doesn’t the law even allow heterosexual child sex predators to marry and produce their own children?

The point is here that the question is about individual rights – which heterosupremacists readily demand be guaranteed for THEMSELVES – while at the same time demanding they have the “right” to vote on what individual rights gays are “allowed” to have under the same Constitution. It is called tyranny.

Michelle Mal's Kin

June 18th, 2010
10:21 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.

You’re talking apples and oranges. Gays are advocating to marry ONE partner at a time, just like Straights.

Sick and Tired

June 18th, 2010
10:22 am

I’m so sick and tired of folks that would use the Bible in defense of thier own inability to accept the reality of human nature.

In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for reasons such as working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT), being gay (Romans 1:24-32), cursing your parents (Leviticus 20:9), not being a virgin on your wedding night Deuteronomy 22:20-21, or being a bratty kid (2 Kings 2:23-24); and the list goes on.

So who’s first in that judgement line from your own house?

Creamy Crack

June 18th, 2010
10:23 am

Let’s make creamy crack illegal first!

TGT

June 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Also: In general homosexuality is a very unhealthy lifestyle. According to the CDC, gay and bisexual men account for more than 60 percent of all syphilis cases, and more than 82 percent of all known sexually-transmitted AIDS cases in 2006 were the result of male-to-male sexual contact. During its 2010 National STD Prevention Conference, the CDC revealed that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women. Also, the rate of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM is more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women.

According to Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, “While the heavy toll of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men has been long recognized, this analysis shows just how stark the health disparities are between this and other populations.”

This is especially true for black men. Again from the CDC: “The HIV/AIDS epidemic in African American communities is a continuing public health crisis for the United States. At the end of 2006 there were an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV infection, of which almost half (46%) were black/African American. While blacks represent approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV/AIDS—from infection with HIV to death with AIDS—compared with members of other races and ethnicities.”

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
10:25 am

WE HAVE A SIMPLE RELATIONSHIP:

You mean apart from you humping my leg?

I HATE WHITE PEOPLE AND SO DO YOU.

Not me. Not gonna pretend to speak for you, however.

BugintheirEar

June 18th, 2010
10:25 am

VVD, i am saying we SHOULD get to vote on these issues that effect everybody, but instead the rich elite feel like they know better than us what we need.

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

June 18th, 2010
10:25 am

No matter how many times you say it, it’s WRONG. No wonder this country is going to hell. Go ahead and whine – “it’s not hurting anybody” – so that makes it OK? HELL NO!

sam

June 18th, 2010
10:26 am

let gays get married..let them be as miserable as the rest of us.

Billy Bob

June 18th, 2010
10:26 am

Duuur whats to stop people from marryin there furniture if we allow gay marryage!

Mike

June 18th, 2010
10:26 am

I am not opposed to a civil union between 2 people who want to make a legal, binding contract between themselves and that will be recognized by the local, state and national governments. Just don’t call it a MARRIAGE!!

Michelle Mal's Kin

June 18th, 2010
10:26 am

joan: I gather that before the Bible all kinds of incestuous things went on

They went on before during and after the bible was written!! As a matter of fact in the Old Testament there were a lot of licentious things that went on between so-called children of god and the “sinners” that they were sinning with. Kinda like what’s happening now!

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
10:27 am

“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.”

———————————————————————————–
So you are essentially saying that “men” = “homosexual?” Apparently women, who represent over half the population, and by the research you are citing here, are less apt to be promiscuous. Therefore, lesbians would be less apt than, say, heterosexual men, to engage in promiscuous behavior, and by extension, are more “qualified” to be married to each other than straight men.

Michelle Mal's Kin

June 18th, 2010
10:27 am

Enter your comments here

sam

June 18th, 2010
10:27 am

as long as the creamy crack lobbyists keep giving millions ti obama, it’ll never be illigal. one more reason to hate obama

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:28 am

lovelyliz

June 18th, 2010
10:03 am
If you know these things then deep down you have a problem. You just want me to pat you on the back and say, “its ok liz”. Do you have a problem with the forefathers LL? So you believe everyone should change because a few want to be different. You want me to recognize homosexuality as NORMAL? Right?

twinkletoes

June 18th, 2010
10:28 am

What do you MEAN Felix? Just how will homosexuals destroy marriage if they get to use that word? It’s not that they want to be religious, they want social equity. Many states DO NOT honor civil unions as they do marriages. Marriage has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with achieving equity. Personally, I think that Heterosexuals do a good enough job destroying marriage without one bit of help from homosexuals!

BugintheirEar

June 18th, 2010
10:29 am

ctucker, Jim Crow if it were a popular vote would have been removed a lot longer ago, but in reality the democrats where the ones holding up the repeal of Jim Crow….. how come liberals forget that?

Susie Home Maker

June 18th, 2010
10:29 am

Yes — let’s protect the institution of marriage so that people like Gov. Sanford (SC); can, after 10+ years of marriage, announce that he’s finally found his “soulmate”. (while saving the tax payers of SC thousands of travel)

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

June 18th, 2010
10:29 am

Sick and Tired – Oh well, too bad for you, you’ll probably be on of the MANY deathbed converts. The Bible is the Word and I will cast the first stone. Wrong should be punished anythime. You don’t have to be perfect to understand that.

Marv C.

June 18th, 2010
10:29 am

Hey TGT… maybe if gays were allowed to marry and were not subjected to lie at the back of the closet, they would grow out of the one-night stands. Besides… what do any of your numbers mean to a gay couple who wants to marry? Are you suggesting that they should not be allowed because they were promiscuous at some point? Please… if that is the case then every girl in Buckhead on a Saturday night should be denied the right. Besides… African American men who are spreading AIDs are not necessarily gay. You know that right?

sam

June 18th, 2010
10:29 am

thanks for the stats PCP, but what does that have to do with the question at hand?

Mark

June 18th, 2010
10:30 am

TGT, you seem obsessed with the inconsequential. What do STD rates have to do with marriage? Let me throw you mind for a bender. Maybe if you allowed marriage, and gay folk decide to sign up, then the promiscuity would not be there. Then the rampant spread of STDs you prescribe upon us all would decrease, and the ‘burden’ we cause on the healthcare system could be eased. How about that for random post of the day. Back on topic, please.

D Boy

June 18th, 2010
10:30 am

I guess a lot of people don’t read the bible. GOD forbides homosexual sex.If you are for gays to marry then I suggest you go ahead and prepare for hell. You fools.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
10:30 am

Mike – we already have “civil unions”…they are called “CIVIL marriage.” Everyone who marries has a CIVIL marriage – there are no legally recognized “religious” marriages. No church is allowed to enforce its doctrine on any couple that marries within the church in a court of law. No state demands that church doctrine be complied with as a condition for divorce. Heterosexuals walk right out of a church all of the time if the Church says “we don’t recognize your right to marry” or “we don’t recognize your right to divorce.”
So why do conservatives demand that gay citizens, who are likely not members of their church, be denied the same CIVIL license – but must be forced to adhere to some other church’s doctrine?

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
10:31 am

With the nation being in recession and people needing jobs, I find it hard to believe you still have one Cynthia. The partisan, immoral views you advocate are way off base with the majority of Georgians.

ppd

June 18th, 2010
10:31 am

Silly straight hypocrites! Cling to your sad little word “marriage” if it makes you feel safer. You are a bunch of scared little children… So sad, so typical, so Christian.

Thad

June 18th, 2010
10:31 am

One more reason the AJC should be allowed to go bankrupt… Keep those quarters in your pocket.

blutto

June 18th, 2010
10:31 am

Meanwhile, as we debate gay marriage, here on DAY 60 the federal response continues to be just what one might expect.

From yesterday’s ABC News: “Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore … Sixteen barges sat stationary today, although they were sucking up thousands of gallons of BP’s oil as recently as Tuesday … the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because (they) needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.” Note: The barges are now back operation having lost a day or two to federal incompetence.

Nice work, Barry!