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

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:15 am

I dont think gays want the court to decide, they know this would end in defeat.

However they would love to get it to Congress, where the ppl messing everything up already can squeeze it through based on special interest.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:16 am

TO kulfv – but why do I need a new church? I’m not trying to stop you from marriage – seems to me that I’m allowed the same constitutional rights as you to worship as I choose, don’t I? Or . . .was that just another conservative con-artist game where they tell us the forefathers really meant to say “except the gays” in the Constitution?

Ben Dover

June 18th, 2010
11:16 am

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:18 am

Legal Angel: hell no what?

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:18 am

As a true lesbian decided at birth, I would truly enjoy being as miserable as the rest of you married heterosexuals! I’ve grown up to be a productive member of society, have been a lesbian my entire life, am considered to be an extremely beautiful woman who does not appear to be a lesbian. We are not pervesive and would just enjoy the rights afforded to all people in America that are covered by the US Constitution! I don’t think anyone that’s not gay or lesbian would have the right to say what my rights should be as an American citizen.

songbird

June 18th, 2010
11:19 am

Rev Shatbat – the constitution protects people from the tyranny of the majority. The US is a republic, not a democracy. The forefathers saw the need for this so bigoted people like yourself could vote to deny rights to others you don’t agree with. This is exactly what is going on with gay marriage and is the same as the civil rights fight for rights that blacks fought in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s a shame so many of them have forgotten how hard they had to fight for their civil rights.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:19 am

So if its not okay for churches to be tax exempt, no others should be either. Cant have favortism. If churches were the only ones, you could argue favortism. Since they are not, you cant.

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
11:19 am

Honest @ 11:10, get over yourself. The AJC blogs automatically filter posts with certain words. It’s not just a liberal thing, as the “teab@&&er” word is one.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:19 am

If everybody believes in equal protection, why is legalizing gay marriage so bad? Do we have a right to discriminate against other groups.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:19 am

lesbian at birth: right on!! you go girl

gerry

June 18th, 2010
11:20 am

VVD, I can tell by your comments, that you do not believe in GOD; and you have that right. But I’d rather live my life believing there is this mythical God you speak about and find out in the end that don’t exist. In that case I will lose nothing. If I live my life like there is no God and at the end of time this mythical God appears then I have lost everything. It’s that reason I will keep believing he not only exist but is alive.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
11:20 am

Tired of it all:

If you bothered to notice, I used all N.T. versers including the words of Jesus. We are not under O.T. ceremonial/dietary/religious law ………. we are under N.T. moral law. That’s why Jesus healed and gathered food from the fields on the Sabboth. A big difference.

Keep up the good fight! :

Under your logic then I should be able to claim 6 wives and 18 kids on my Tax Returns.

Couldn’t disagree with you more ……………… our society continues to degenerate.

Williebkind

June 18th, 2010
11:20 am

“was that just another conservative con-artist game where they tell us the forefathers really meant to say “except the gays” in the Constitution?”

Yeah, you know the gay thing is really new to the scene! Yankee doodle and all that. It is you who is so special that you need to be recognized as a normal person down the street. I do not feel sorry for you and I hope you know that.

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
11:20 am

This is a test. I have some relevant points to make that are contrary to Cyndy’s, but it appears as those she’s filtering them off her property (I’ve submitted twice; and nothing, nada). Funny how liberals work so hard to ensure only their point of view sees the light of day.

Funny how you think that you are the only one that has happened to.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:21 am

Willie – “Liberals have defiled this country so very much! Now that want us to accept it as a rational and proper course of action. It is not normal and it will never be normal. You should not be allowed to change traditional customs and beliefs simply because it is you.”
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Oh puh-leeze. Heterosupremacists have been changing “traditional customs and beliefs” for themselves all along. Marriage used to now have one damn thing to do with “love” – that came along in much more modern society.
And didn’t the Georgia legislature just change the definition of marriage to exclude those 15 year old boys who impregnate a 37 year old woman. . .so they can’t get hitched without parental permission?
Marriage in the year 2010 is not the same as marriage was in 1850. Y’all have been changing it to accommodate your own “individual” desires all along. Since marriage has been long recognized as an individual endeavor, why is it that you deny gays the individual right to engage in legalizing their love relationships? It’s not like you would be forced to have one. . .is it?

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:21 am

Les at Birth–

Not all marrieds are miserable.

Also, you are not born gay. That is ludicrous. It is a choice you make. Its not in your brain.

Finally, the Constitution does not give any rights to gays. The Constitution does not recognise unlawful acts.

JF McNamara

June 18th, 2010
11:22 am

Legalizing gay marriage is about money. Companies don’t want to foot the bill for benefits, so, as usual, the rich Republicans have conned the Jesus Republicans into doing their bidding.

BTW, What’s wrong with polygamy?

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:22 am

Johnson – My thing is, you dont see the opponents of gay marriage out trying to have gay marriage banned by the federal government.

Really? Because of our right wig religious president past, there is a federal ban on gay marriage even though it is unconstiutional under Artcle IV of the constitution…zealots like those who argued from Prop 22 and Prop 8 are those who are in opposition of gay marriage. Get your facts straight.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:22 am

how is it unlawful

songbird

June 18th, 2010
11:22 am

I meant to say could not vote to deny rights.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:23 am

natatlie merrit: Thank you!!!

Avenger

June 18th, 2010
11:23 am

Cynthia is right – we don’t need homosexuals to ruin marriage. We heterosexuals have done a pretty good job in doing that. This issue is like any other issue that people disagree with. People will double talk and obfuscate to try to make their point. Of course the human animal will react to those who demonize him by insisting that he has the same rights that his demonizers have. The demonizers will resist with all kinds of reasons – the bible, polygamy, incest, sun rising, moon shining, and any other excuse.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:24 am

Willie – oh puhleeze – do you really think you are so very important that I would care if you “feel sorry for me” or not? That sounds so much like another heterosupremacist point of view. . .”I feel soooo sorry for those poor homosexuals. . .they can’t be like ME.”

And, I hate to break it to ya, but the “gay thing” isn’t new to any scene. It’s been around for centuries. Of course, it’s part of con-artist con-servative philosophy that anything they don’t like shouldn’t be seen or heard or read about in public – except when they want to reinforce condemning it. So it ain’t all your fault that you don’t know human history.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:24 am

Williebkind-
Should traditonal customs and beliefs be change. I don’t think anyone is arguing for that.

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

Mark

June 18th, 2010
11:25 am

TGT, I went back and read your 9:31 post. It’s nice to see at least one of your posts today was relevant…It points to discussion of how allowing gay marriage affects religious institutions more than anything. So, if gay marriage is allowed and legislation is written so as to acknowledge a church’s right to deny access to gays, would you be ok, then? Because I’m perfectly fine not having access to your church. Trust me, I’ve seen what it has done to people for centuries.

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:25 am

Scout, I recognized the versus you used, but does your bible not include the OT and NT? Are the jewish laws not the basis for your NT? If you bothered to truly study the religion rather than believing what the preacher said, I believe even you would question the facts in your book.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:26 am

Johnson – “Also, you are not born gay. That is ludicrous. It is a choice you make. Its not in your brain.”
————————————————————————————————————————————————-
I’m assuming then, that you aren’t “born straight.” It’s a choice you make. So perhaps you have a story to tell us all about how you made that choice.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
11:26 am

Ignorance, you may want to change your name to Irony. There are countless studies that show children do better in a traditional married home. This is not an opinion on single parents, divorcees, gay people, orphanages, or foster parents. As far as I have seen, there are not as many definitive studies on children in gay couple homes. Most studies show that children do not turn gay and some perform very well but we just do not have enough data points. Please think before you write.

Now I leave you with some wisdom from Mark Twain:

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:27 am

Johnson-
So being gay is against the law?

I can’t what to hear this one

A CONSERVATIVE

June 18th, 2010
11:27 am

.. CYNTHIA……YOU ARE ADVOCATING LEGALIZING SODOMY…homo sex issssssssss SODOMY….IT WAS PERVERSION DURING THE ROMANs TIME……..GAY SEX IS STILL A PERVERSION……..BY THE WAY……..ARE YOU A LESBIAN—–????

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
11:27 am

Also, you are not born gay. That is ludicrous. It is a choice you make. Its not in your brain.

So when, precisely, did you decide not to be attracted to the opposite sex?

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:28 am

There is no ban on gay marriage. It just isnt recognized as legal, so ppl cant get their money or benefits. That is what riles them. States have legalized gay marriage, which I disagree with.

And if you call Bill Clinton religious, you are crazy.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
11:29 am

Also, Ricky Martin.

Swede Atlanta

June 18th, 2010
11:29 am

Johnson, I suspect you escaped from Milledgeville. You are the most ignorant person on this blog today. Please resume taking your medication and return to your padded room immediately.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:30 am

why do you people care if she is a lesbian or not. its her buisness. and can you really prove that you arent born a lesbian? nope you cant so when you have prove of that then you can open your mouth till then its better you keep it shut :)

JKL2

June 18th, 2010
11:30 am

I’m all for personal responsibility. As long as you’re not relying on others to support your lifestyle, why not do what you want. For legal reasons, you are allowed one spouse of the opposite sex and your children. Anything else is on you.

If you want 20 wives, great. You just have to be able to afford them. If you want to marry your pet rock, great. It doesn’t get any legal benefit. I hope your both happy together.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:30 am

that last was was directed to johnson

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
11:31 am

None of the arguments against gay marriage make any sense at all.

1) “How dare you try and CHANGE marriage! It’s a tradition!”

Marriage has always changed. Back in the day, you weren’t allowed to get divorced. That changed. Women used to be property of men and a marriage was used to transfer that property. That changed. Marriage was used to pay debts. That changed. Marriage was used to cement political alliances. That changed. Argument 1 destroyed.

2) “If you let gays marry, people will want to marry their lamps or sisters or dogs!”

People already want to do that and have for a long time.. AND and still aren’t allowed. No country that has allowed gay marriage has allowed the rest to happen. Allowing gay marriage does not mean people will be able to marry their sisters, or lamp, or dog. Argument 2 destroyed.

3) “Churches will be forced to marry gays, it takes away religious freedom!”

No church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other religious institution, ANYWHERE, has ever been forced to perform ANY marriage that falls outside their doctrine. It’s not just gay marriages they refuse, they refuse all kinds, all the time. No religious institution, anywhere, in any country that has gay marriage, has ever been forced to perform one. EVER. Argument 3 destroyed.

4) “Gay marriage will traumatize children!”

There is no proof, not even a shred, that gay marriage will “traumatize” children. In fact, a number of studies have shown that the children of gays and lesbians often do better in school and are better individuals, more tolerant, accepting and otherwise. Argument 4 destroyed.

Since NONE of the arguments make any logical sense, what’s left? How does gay marriage affect YOU, specifically? How does it impact YOUR life?

Can you answer that?

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:31 am

You make a choice to go against what is right and commit sin.

Everyone is born straight. However, when you get to the age of accountability, you make a choice to do right or wrong. Some ppl choose the wrong.

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:32 am

Johnson – Yes, I call Bill Clinton a religious president. He passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 saying that the federal government recognizes marriage as that between a man and a woman, thus banning gay marriage on a federal level. Im sick of people not understanding their facts before speaking. Aren’t you glad that Bill Clinton is a peer of yours in religion. He really gives credit to the institution of marriage.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:32 am

how is it wrong? i dont see any reason for it to be wrong?

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
11:33 am

kevinbgoode, exactly. in fact, all the Bible-thumpers have kinda dug their own grave. If homosexuality was addresses in both the O.T. and N.T., and deemed to be sinful, case closed. Surely, the Founding Fathers were aware of homosexuality (some may have even been gay, or bisexual – I heard Ben Franklin was a freak!), and yet they made no mention of “marriage” or sexuality (hetero or homo). Does the Constitution require Americans to attend church on Sundays or temple on the Sabbath? Does it identify which foods (pork, shellfish, etc.) are legal and which are not? No, because these things are part of religious law, not civil law.

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
11:33 am

Also, if being gay is a choice, then so is being straight.

I invite ALL straight people to choose to be attracted to the same sex from this point forward.

I look forward to hearing how well that goes.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
11:34 am

Gridlock, ipse dixit.

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

June 18th, 2010
11:34 am

tired of it all – I bet Hillary and Monica thought he was GOD!

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:36 am

When they are burning in the fiery pits of Hades, they will see the error of their ways. It is not right to knowingly commit sin, or to be tempted by sinners.

And maybe the founders didnt add anything about gays because it wasnt their place to ban or legalize it. And maybe the sinners at that time were not as bold about coming out with their sin.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:37 am

Were in th bible is being gay mentioned?

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:37 am

johnson you need to get over yourself.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:38 am

Johnson-
It is not right to knowingly commit sin, or to be tempted by sinners.
and isn’t pre-marital sex a sin and working on the sabbath. So if you knowingly do that, arent you going to hell?

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:39 am

My desire to marry my lover if I had one would not be about money! My desire to marry my lover when I get one is strictly about taking the relationship to the next step, which is what every person who dates decides to do when they really love someone. That’s all it’s about, nothing less, nothing more. I already have my home, my cars, my finances, etc….