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

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

June 18th, 2010
10:31 am

kevinbgoode – Are you daft? What body fluids are dykes passing? Kissing will NOT cause Aides.

Billy Bob

June 18th, 2010
10:32 am

I beleeve in individual rights and less goverment involvement in peoples lives! Thats why I support the goverment being able to tell people they cant get married if theyre gay! Duuuurrr!

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
10:32 am

DBoy – Oh, puhleeze. I thought that God’s creation of Eve (from the “rib” of a sleeping Adam) and the creation of Adam in God’s image, was an indication of the original homosexual act – and the consummation of the first “marriage” relationship between Man and God. So there.

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:32 am

Mike

June 18th, 2010
10:26 am
You have it right but please do not ask me to believe it is normal behavior.

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

June 18th, 2010
10:32 am

kevinbgoode – Let me also ad carpet munching.

AmVet

June 18th, 2010
10:32 am

Slightly chubby and precocious eight-year-old,

They ain’t going back in the closet as much as you’d desperately love to force them to do so…

Joe

June 18th, 2010
10:33 am

I see Tucker is blocking me again because like most libs she lacks the intellect to win a debate…

No Slippery Slope

June 18th, 2010
10:34 am

PD @8:54am: “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.”
Are you completely unaware that gays are currently allowed to marry in several states and in several other countries? So kindly document where all of their courts were flooded with those cases. No? Nothing?
(By the way, the Divorce rate in 2009 for the first state, MA, to legalize marriage for gays is still at the bottom of the divorce rate for all states)

Billy Bob

June 18th, 2010
10:35 am

I am the gatekeeper of what is and isnt normal! If I dub something not normal, then it cany be legal! Duuuuurrr!

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

June 18th, 2010
10:36 am

No Slippery Slope – I think the BIGGER point, is it’s NOT normal.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
10:37 am

So it would be safe to assume PPD, that you are agnostic.

ppd

June 18th, 2010
10:38 am

Joe… No, this paper just has standards.

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

June 18th, 2010
10:39 am

ppd – Didn’t you mean to add extremely LOW standards?

Let Freedom Ring

June 18th, 2010
10:39 am

People should be allowed to do whatever they choose with regards to whom they would like to spend the rest of their lives with. I don’t think it’s wrong and should be protected under the 14th Ammendment to the US Constitution. I also think what was supposed to make America the land of the free is that the government was seperated between church and state. Outside of folks individual religious beliefs, where is the wrong in 2 men or 2 women getting married? There is none. Because there is supposed to be a separation between church and state, the religious factor should not be the sole purpose of denying 2 men or 2 women from marrying. If the religous factor is included in the decision to deny them the opportunity, would 2 ammendments to the constitution be violated? Gays and Lesbians marrying would not have any affect on the rest of us. Legally – with the separation of church and state – they should have the right to marry. I agree with Cynthia! Thank you CT for bringing it up! I think the Judge in the case in California asked some good questions!

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:39 am

What is it about the word marriage! Why do homsexuals want to use THAT word. They have unions and legal binding civil contracts. Why does the word marriage have to be part of their lives. They can not fulfill all the concepts of marriage such as procreating but they can fornicate as much as they want. Why use the word marriage? I know! They need to be recognized as NORMAL people.

ppd

June 18th, 2010
10:39 am

Johnson… Why should I sign up to be a Christian? All I see is a bunch of hatred and fear. Sounds awful!

ppd

June 18th, 2010
10:40 am

Willibkind… They have unions and legal binding civil contracts. NO THEY DON’T and that is the point.

Union

June 18th, 2010
10:40 am

didnt realize liberals were so selfish and insensitive…. we have a diverse culture in this country and you are completely disrespecting the muslim faith.. billions of people and you are just telling them to kiss your a** ..

Dr. Phil

June 18th, 2010
10:40 am

YOUR DIVORCED? Who woulda guessed! explains a lot of the bitterness in life you show in your “writing”.

unreligious

June 18th, 2010
10:40 am

Blutto, you have a serious misunderstanding of the federal government and the role of the courts. The founding fathers set up three branches of government to act as checks and balances. Yes it is the legislatives role to pass laws and the executives role to sign them into law. However it is the courts role to examine the constitutionality of said laws and overturn those that do not pass muster. Using the term activists judges, has become a conservative talking point to try to discredit court rulings that they don’t agree with. The courts are preforming the role that was set out for them in the constitution. DOMA will be over turned as it violates the 14th amendments equal protection provisions. It does not matter how many people voted for it, or who signed it, it is an illegal law.

anastasia

June 18th, 2010
10:41 am

Saying that the 1:1 ratio will change if gay marriage is legalized is the most “joe critter”, ignorant thought I have ever heard. Also, there is absolutely no logical basis for saying that legalizing gay marriage would change the meaning or significance of any heterosexual marriage. Anyone who believes that, please give specific examples of how that would happen. Since when does the importance and success or failure of any marriage depend on whether another couple gets married, regardless of the gender of the two people? That doesn’t even make any sense. REALLY, people are going to marry their cars…REALLY?! c’mon! people!

Susie Home Maker

June 18th, 2010
10:42 am

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.

Blutton – FYI yesterday’s Democrats are Today’s republicans. (Strom Thurmond et al.)

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
10:42 am

Religious Zealots Sunshine and Scout…

Please explain to me how you can pick and choose which parts of the bible you live by. I notice you pick certain parts to simply uphold your own prejudices and rather than take responsibility for your racism and sexism, you blame your religion. Explain these following to me…

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

Thanks for your help.

A "Voice"

June 18th, 2010
10:45 am

Except for listing a partner as a dependent for health insurance purposes I just don’t see why homos believe they don’t have the same rights a straight couple. Anybody can be listed as a beneficiary on any policy and they can own property jointly; they can have joint checking accounts . . . certainly they can adopt a child . . singles can do that. And as for staying in the hospital w/a sick partner . . . I stay all the top w/friends and relatives when I need too. So what is the big deal?

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

June 18th, 2010
10:46 am

tired of it all – How witty, You either BELIEVE (that’s also known as FAITH) or face the HOT option.
Unless you become a deathbed convert.

Nod

June 18th, 2010
10:46 am

WilliBKind: What is it about the word marriage! Why do homsexuals want to use THAT word.

Me: So what if we call it NASCAR… or WalMart… or Pabst…

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
10:47 am

PPD, Not everyone who claims to be Christian is, many claim to be. Its through actions, deeds, faith PPD.

That said, I have never witnessed the core Christian base to promote hatred and fear. That is the basis of Islam. Not Christianity.

I can see how someone with no morals or belief system to think that immoral gay/lesbian behavior is acceptable. It is not up to me to condemn that person for it however, for that shall come on the day of judgement, and that will be worse than any opinion i could ever give.

While I do not wish to restrict a persons right to choose, I do not feel the legalization of gay marriage is right. Whether marriage has evolved or not is not the issue. Marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman.

If it is okay for gays to legally marry, what would hold man from marrying animal, man from marrying multiple wives, or from parent marrying child? Once you open the door to one immoral act, you release the floodgates to SO much more.

Hypocrites Beware

June 18th, 2010
10:47 am

If the religious people are so concerned about the morality of it all, they should probably focus more on closing Trapeze. :-)

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
10:48 am

anastasia @ 10:41, that’s exactly what happened in court. The wingnuts can offer no example, no evidence whatsoever as to how legalizing gay marriage would affect straight marriage. So don’t expect a coherent, logical answer.

GreginTampa

June 18th, 2010
10:48 am

Re: LUMPKIN RESIDENT “NOW, you see that our law, based on a 1:1 ratio, will change drastically. Everything from Healthcare to SS benefits WILL be affected.”
This is just one prime example of the discrimination that already exists. As a gay man, I pay the same SS rates as everyone, yet because I can’t marry or adopt children, no one will benefit from what I’m paying in except me–the SS rates should be similar to insurance, i.e. more dependents, higher rates, and vice versa…so either equalize everything, or lower what I pay into SS to support people like you!

gale

June 18th, 2010
10:49 am

A Voice, here is one little bitty example for you. Try filing a joint income tax return if you are a gay couple, civil unioned or legally married in your state.

socrates

June 18th, 2010
10:50 am

Gridlock “it’s all over the animal kingdom”. Cite examples and sources. Didn’t think so. Like all liberals throw enough s#$t at the wall some of it will stick. There are probably some nimrods that read your post and think wow I didn’t know that must be true since it’s posted.

socrates

June 18th, 2010
10:50 am

Enter your comments here

ButtHead

June 18th, 2010
10:51 am

Gee I wonder who the “Christian Bashers” cry for in times of grave danger to themselves, do they say” Oh butt buddy” help me…. No the pray to God that something happen to help them. Funny how that works….

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
10:51 am

I see Tucker is blocking me again because like most libs she lacks the intellect to win a debate…

Translation: Boo-hoo-hoo I am so important that my every thought deserves to be in print.

News flash sport. If your comment is in moderation, there is a good chance that an automatic filter was triggered by a combination of letters

MIchael Smith

June 18th, 2010
10:51 am

Until and unless Republicans learn that the Taliban wing of their party — those “social conservatives” that want government to dictate that gays cannot marry, to dictate that gays cannot defend their country in the military, to dictate that woman cannot have an abortion, to dictate that creationism must be taught in schools, to dictate who may or may not legally be in the country — until Republicans learn that demanding such government dictates amounts to a demand for the violation of individual rights — they can never be effective champions of individual freedom and its political corollary: capitalism.

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
10:51 am

@ A voice, ask Sadie Fields’ daughter.

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

June 18th, 2010
10:51 am

Aquagirl – Are there not LEFT wingnuts? Paint with that big brush and you only show your closed mind. Try opening it, you might find it’s a BIG world out there. And, BTW, Obama is so ONE TERM. He makes Jimmy Carter look good.

itpdude

June 18th, 2010
10:52 am

@Ms. Gale per you comments at 8:25. First, I cannot agree with your absolute comment of, “separate but equal is never equal.” That is dogmatic thinking that also invokes memories of Brown v Board and other race cases coming from Jim Crow. I don’t buy it.

Second, the point many are trying to make is creating a civil union system that confers all the same rights as marriage (this can be done with legislation) and will get around the defense of marriage act. Remember, DOM was a workaround for the Constitutions full faith and credit clause.

Also, it being a civil union, it will get far less resistance from the people. Most Americans adhere to the tradition of marriage being something between a man and a woman. It has been that way for centuries. And even where marriage was between a man and several women, it was still between different genders. It was not a marriage of the same sexes.

There is a way to legally confer every single right of marriage to a civil union through proper legislation, allow the union to be recognized between the states through full faith and credit, and not cause a huge ruckus on an issue that pales in comparison to the water cannons of Birmingham or the race riots of Baltimore.

Equating gay marriage to Jim Crow falls flat. Walk a bridge in Selma and get your face bashed in by a brick. Encounter resistance to anti-lynching party positions. THOSE were intense civil rights issues. This gay marriage issue is weak, particularly when it can be solved with clearly worded legislation codifying a civil union as having the same rights and privileges as marriage.

This shows what a disaster the Griswold v Connecticut decision was, which is no surprise. When the Court pulls something out of thin air, this is the kind of garbage you wind up with later.

Mr. Clean

June 18th, 2010
10:52 am

So If I’m unemployed I can have a few drinks with my bud’s get one of them to go with me to the local courthouse pay our fee ,say we are married and i can get on his insurance policy until I’m back to work. Sounds like a plan to me.

Marriage Defender

June 18th, 2010
10:52 am

There are at least two negative effects from legalizing same-sex marriage. (And these effects would be much worse if courts force legalization, which is what’s been happening, under the guise of constitutional construction.)

Effect 1. If same-sex marriage or polygamy is legalized today, this is what kindergartners will be taught tomorrow: “OK. Our lesson for today is about marriage. Bobby, before you marry a girl you might want to consider whether you would prefer to marry another boy or even marry both a girl and a boy at the same time. All of these are equally good, acceptable, and useful relationships. Remember we celebrate diversity. Any questions?”

I don’t want my children taught this. If this message goes out to our children I think it will have a devastatingly negative effect on family stability, child welfare, and the general productivity of our society.

Effect 2. Over 10,000 studies show that children do best when reared by both biological parents (a man and a woman). This is true in terms of health, safety, school performance, avoidance of teen pregnancies, etc. Putting the government stamp of approval on family forms in which one of the biological parents is always missing (such as homosexual families) will inevitably lead to more homes of that type—resulting in harm to children.

blkwrestl

June 18th, 2010
10:53 am

I am gay and do not beleive in gay maariage (gm). Look, marriage was originally designed to legitimize births. Although people in support of gm say it will bring about equality and provide services not offered to gay/lesbian couples now, there are some factors that need to be explored. Gay/lesbian couples can name each other as beneficiaries on their respective life insurance policies. Unless there is a minor child, insurance proceeds will go the designated beneficary. Gay couples can purchase homes together and have a right of survivorship provision. Again, unless there is a minor child or if either of the gay parties are legally married to another person, the property would pass to the surviving gay partner. If a gay person is hospitalized, exercise a health power of attorney(not sure of the exact title). This allows the other party to make medical decisions based on the initial parties wishes. Again, assuming that the party exericising the power of attorney is not married to someone else. In the same vein gays can exercise a power of attoney similar as hetereosexual persons. Religious insitutions have a right to ban gm. If the teachings of a church forbid gm society cannot expect said institution to be forced to accept something their teachings do not support. As long as the teachings remain within the church and are not thrust outside of church doors, no harm no foul. Finally, if for symbolic purposes a gay couple want to be “married” civil unions could be an option. And before anyone becomes ballistic, this is an opinion that I am advancing for healthy dialouge so maybe a positive resoultion to this matter can occur. Thank you.

Mike

June 18th, 2010
10:53 am

The sanctity of marriage is attacked every day by straight people – why did David Letterman and Harrison Ford wait so long to marry their wives? Why did Dennis Hopper and Michelle Phillips marry, or Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters, or Britney Spears and her friend from high school, only to divorce quickly?

There are many gay people in healthy, normal, committed relationships that last for decades. But there are also young people growing up who believe that straight people get married and gay people party until they’re thirty then become bitter old trolls. Not allowing gay marriage is a threat to the sanctity of monogamous, healthy gay relationships.

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:53 am

Let Freedom Ring

June 18th, 2010
10:39 am
What is the very next clause after separation of church and state. You need to learn that clause, it is just as important as the one before it. We all know the concept of separation of church and state has been defiled from its true intentions by our forefathers. I have the right to free exercise of my religion and the constitution does not say I can not do it on public lands or offices.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
10:53 am

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

———————————————————————————
How could an upstanding, con-artist con-servative, moral pillar of morality like yourself know anything, or even imagine anything about “carpet munching?” Seems to me that this is a prime example of how some heterosexuals, especially right-wing conservatives, should have their right ot marry voted on by the rest of us. . .whenever they project their fantasized notions of the intimate acts of others from their minds onto the rest of us, they indicate that they themselves do not possess the character or ability to engage in an exclusive, monogamous life-long relationship. Someone who is deeply devoted to their own orientation wouldn’t possess any thoughts projecting what they imagine other people are intimately doing, now would they? That would be….immoral.

Wow!

June 18th, 2010
10:54 am

@Scout: I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!

We wonder what is wrong with America. Why am I forced to agree with you, but you are not forced to agree with me. It is fowl and disgusting for two men to have relations. It is just disgusting. YUCK! I have friends of the same sex and love them as well, but my heart is not going pitter patter for them. When we were created, He said be fruitful and multiply. Two men and two women can’t produce together. Is ANYTHING sacred anymore in America?

TGT

June 18th, 2010
10:54 am

Marv, Mark, and anyone else: Again, go back and read my 9:31. There are significant consequences for changing the definition of marriage.

Granny Godzilla

June 18th, 2010
10:54 am

The Pastafarians have no problem with Gay Marriage.

All hail FSM!

Ramen!

Wow!

June 18th, 2010
10:54 am

correction: instead of fowl it should be “foul”

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
10:55 am

“Not allowing gay marriage is a threat to the sanctity of monogamous, healthy gay relationships”

Horsepucky!!