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

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
12:09 pm

Scout: how is being gay immoral?

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:09 pm

Love is not an abomination to God. Bigotry is.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
12:09 pm

Scout – I didn’t know the Constitution assigned you the special right to decide for ME what God condemns and thus must translate into denying me constitutional rights. I didn’t even know the Bible assigned to you the special right to sole interpretation of scripture and that all others must adhere to that interpretation.
I suppose that is what the First Amendment really means to Conservatives.

Aquagirl

June 18th, 2010
12:11 pm

Wow, I wasn’t aware God had changed His name to “Scout” or “Johnson.” How lucky He dropped by to clear up the whole matter. Must be Cynthia’s Pulitzer connections.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 18th, 2010
12:11 pm

Anti-Gay is not bigotry.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
12:13 pm

so does that make me a bad person if im friends with lots of lesbians and gays?

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:13 pm

Not treating others, including gays, as yourself IS bigotry.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:14 pm

TO PearlJam: I believe the hypocracy is within those of mankind that want to condemn everyone. Jesus also said “those without sin, cast the first stone”…”before you try to remove the mote out of thy brothers eye, remove the mote from your own”…..

To Scout: The scripture you posted doesn’t specifically refer to the gay lifestyle.

To Woody: I will take your post as a positive and say Thank you. You are absolutely correct, the Bible in all it’s versions was written by men that may or may not have existed centuries ago and has been carefully edited.

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
12:14 pm

Scout…you now seem to be arguing against polygamy not equal protection and you want to claim that there is a “degeneration” of the country because of your religious beliefs….not really a valid legal argument against constitutional rights.

Barring polygamy is a societal choice not a equal protection issue. In fact, there is nothing that says that this country could not recognize polygamy and it could determine that some of the legal matters would be limited to the 1st marriage. Swede made a cogent argument (11:00 AM)

As for any “devastation” to our society because of enforcing the Constitution…that is your right to believe but does not make it constitutionally permitted. We’ve heard this argument about civilization and the US going to hell in a handbasket time and time again. We survive your shortsightedness time and time again and we continue to fight back. Your shortsightedness denied woman the vote, denied slaves freedom, denied equal rights to woman and more. Frankly, your shortsightedness is what, in my opinion, is part of the problem in this country.

But you have made no valid argument against prohibiting same sex marriage. There is simply no valid argument against it.

Swede Atlanta

June 18th, 2010
12:15 pm

DOMA does NOT ban gay marriage.

DOMA simply says that if state A legalizes gay marriage, state B does not need to recognize it.

Congress thought they could invalidate the “full faith and credit clause” of the U.S. Constitution with DOMA. Personally I think DOMA would fail if it were every challenged in court.

Historically marriage and its attributes (e.g. divorce, etc.) has been left to the states. That is why the age limits, residence requirements, etc. for marriage and divorce vary by state.

Where the federal constitution enters the picture is when a state law such as the one in Georgia that prohibits same-sex marriage, violates the U.S. Constitution which is the supreme law of the entire country.

I submit to you that any attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to take away rights such as an Amendment to prohibit same sex marriage would fail. This issue will eventually be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court and it will invalidate laws that prohibit same sex marriage and reconfirm the requirement that all states recognize all marriages conducted in other states. It is just a matter of time.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:16 pm

kevinbgoode : As always …….. “you” decide. Your choice ……… your eternity.

natalie merritt : God specifically condemns the act just like he condemns heterosexual fornication or adultery. He even says the “thought” is a sin. Now, personally I wish it wasn’t that way but guess what …………. I don’t get to make the rules.

If God gave me the vote I would also vote out Hell ………. at least after the first 100 years. But ………….. I don’t fully understand His Love and Holiness ……… that’s why there is an eternal Heaven and an eternal Hell.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
12:16 pm

If nothing is wrong with being gay, then why do most hide it?

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

Moses and Paul are not God. Jesus never condemned gays.

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
12:19 pm

Scout…heaven and hell are functions of your believes…. other than being locked in the same room….there is no proof Hell or Heaven exists.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:19 pm

Keep up the good fight! :

“He who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

I wish you well !!

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

“If nothing is wrong with being gay, then why do most hide it?”

Because stupid people like you would persecute the hell out of them and try to destroy their lives?

There’s a thought.

Keep up the good fight!

June 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

Correction: beliefs….and locked in the same room with you…

I cannot type today

TGT

June 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

It is true that much heterosexual behavior is dangerous and disgusting as well. Prostitution, pornography, promiscuity, etc. are terrible plagues on homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. And there are laws against some such behavior.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

I believe most hide being gay to avoid the bigotry and condemnation of others as seen in this blog. I do not hide my Lesbianism. There’s an extremely large amount of hatred in America, which has been the case since it’s inception. This may be why the Constitution was created – to protect it’s citizens from the ill treatment and discrimination of others who just happen to be different.

A "Voice"

June 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

songbird @ 11:14 a.m. So does that mean that all tax-exempt organizations should also have their status revoked since many have “entirely too much influence on laws.”

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:21 pm

Lesbian at Birth:

1) So you agree Jesus did condemn for at least one thing ?

2) Romans 1

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Jimmy62

June 18th, 2010
12:21 pm

Marriage is a religious institution. I know all you liberals love the idea of separation of Church and State, but when it comes to marriage you are hypocrites. The ONLY consistent and moral solution to this quandary is for the government to stop recognizing marriage, and only recognize civil unions, which can be between ANY two people, even if they’re just friends/roommates that want the same tax advantages as a couple in love. And then each religion can define marriage in their own terms, and it won’t have a thing to do with taxes or estates or wills.

The only reason people give for why this can’t or shouldn’t happen is that it’s change. Well so is allowing gays to marry. Either changing long term traditions is ok, or its not ok.

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:22 pm

Gays hid their orientation for their own safety from a society that condemned it without understanding it.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:22 pm

TGT:

Exactly ……………..

jupnorth

June 18th, 2010
12:25 pm

I’m just a dumb hick but how can you look at the physical bodies of males and females and say that any other union is ‘normal’. Living a homosexual lifestyle is a sin. I believe homosexuality is an unfortunate affliction that some people will have to overcome. The same way someone who is predisposed to alcoholism must overcome that affliction. It’s not fair and is unfortunate but saying, “Well this is the way I was born and so it must be ok.” is a cop-out. Being born with the affliction is not the sin. The sin is acting upon it. I know what I say is not popular. I am not a gay basher. I love them in spite of their sins, just as I love anyone in spite of their sins.

Van Jones

June 18th, 2010
12:25 pm

Lesbian at Birth: This is not isolated to America only. Every country has a major disagreement with homosexuality, rightly or wrongly so.

BUT LIKE YOU I HATE AMERICA TOO. I BELIEVE REPARTATIONS ARE IN ORDER

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:27 pm

To Scout: I am not here to debate one’s different religious beliefs. We all have different religious beliefs. I am extremely comfortable with my sexuality as is my family and all who know me. Those of you who don’t know me, may not be comfortable with my sexuality – which is your choice.

Someone like me who has been a lesbian since birth could consider hetersexuality wrong as it is different than my birth orientation and therefore should be banned but I chose to allow everyone to make their own choice and live their lives as they chose as long as it doesn’t directly affect me. People who are born gay should not be permitted to partake in a hetersexual marriage (of course someone like you wouldn’t know that something like that does exist :-) ). I am here because I believe that gay people should be afforded the same protection under the law as afforded by the constitution.

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:28 pm

Love is emotional and psychological, not a matter to fitting body parts together like puzzle pieces. The love between gay is not something to be overcome like alcoholism. Bigotry is.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
12:28 pm

The Constitution was created to give us an identity as a nation and to set certain standards and beliefs. It is nice to know the founders didnt force a religion, or try to go into peoples homes.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
12:29 pm

How do you know you were Les at Birth?

David S

June 18th, 2010
12:30 pm

The minute the people allowed the government to stick its nose into marriage in the first place they opened the door to every kind of problem that government inherently is.

Marriage is a religious sacrament. It should only be governed by a church. A contractual union is something that anyone, or even multiple people should be able to enter into without interference by the government.

Christians and others blast gay “marriage” and complain that now the government is making a mess of things. That comes with govnerment involvement. The minute you give the power over anything to government, you enable any group to sieze that power for their own purposes.

Liberals blast the fact that republicans want to destroy the public schools by introducing teachings they don’t like, etc. Same type of problem, same root cause – government. If government had nothing to do with education and all the power that goes along with it (theft through taxation, teacher licensing, mandatory attendance laws, etc.) then government power over education could not be siezed by anyone and used to futher their agenda.

People like you Cynthia bash us principled libertarians and freedom lovers because we want government OUT OF EVERYTHING. This is why. People deserve freedom. Government is the opposite of freedom. Keep government out of everything and people will be free. Plain and simple.

gale

June 18th, 2010
12:31 pm

Johnson, Why do -some- gays hide that they are gay? The tendency of some people to think they can beat up, kill, or simply discriminate against them with impunity may have something to do with that.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:31 pm

To Johnson: I had my first crush on a woman at the age of 4 years old – or younger. I am not a victim of any type of trauma, grew up in a 2 parent heterosexual household in the suburbs, went to church 7 days a week, etc…..I had what most would consider to be a “normal” childhood.

Big D

June 18th, 2010
12:31 pm

I have no problem at all with a Legal Civil Union, I do have a problem with the term marriage being used. If we go off on that road ( changing a legal definition) we will allow ourselves to start changing any definition.
Van, if you hate America I would advise you to get get the hell out of here and quit stinking the place up.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
12:32 pm

Gridlock, I have posted a response that is awaiting moderation (I assume because it has links). It basically shows that there is some difference across common family structures (who knew?); it did not however address being raised by a wolfpack or as part of a religious collective. SPOILER ALERT: two-parent structures do better across the board. Every gay couple study I have seen is inconclusive.

Personally, I am all for non-interventionist approaches to sub-obtimal child development because that gives my future children a better chance. Now to just get the gubmint to stop feedin’ em and givin’ out book learnin’.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:35 pm

The only real way to protect what heterosexuals refer to as “the sanctity of marriage” maybe divorce should become illegal. My marriage of my partner will not have any affect on any heterosexual person whatsoever. How would my marriage of my partner affect the marriage of a hetersexual married couple? I applaud the Judge in California to posing that question to the opponents of the proposition. I do not believe they have a legal foot to stand on.

PearlJam

June 18th, 2010
12:37 pm

Lesbian At Birth:

Thanks, but I’m not claiming to be without sin or casting stones, you asked for verse where Jesus condemned someone and I gave them. I made no judgment.

Also that’s probably where we differ, I see myself as the biggest sinner of all, When I became a Christian there were many things in my life that I felt God and Jesus would condemn me for, I had to make drastic changes in my life, homosexuality was not my sin but believe me I had plenty, I’m trying to change those.

Some of those are lying, stealing, neglecting poor, adultery, list can go on and on.

Jesus came for me, died for me, no so I would continue in those sins but that I may be forgiven for them, my role is to repent and love Jesus for what he has done. Jesus said he who loves Me will keep My commandments.

One problem I do have for all those condemning gays and sanctity of marriage, gay marriage is not biggest issue. Divorce is, our laws allow for a lot of divorces that God does not approve of so I see that as a bigger issue. Jesus said that no man should divorce his wife, expect for if they commit fortification, the one who committed fortification is not to remarry, so that next marriage relationship is adultery. This is a bigger issue in this country that can destroy marriage.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:37 pm

Lesbian at Birth:

Yes you “were here” to debate a religious position because you stated Jesus never condemned anyone. When I should you just how much you were wrong ………. you no longer want to engage in a religious debate. That’s fine ……. your choice …….. just don’t hide what happened here.

Now I have a question for you (and I am not putting you in the same category – I am just asking the question).

Are those who engage in pedophilia, necrophilia or bestiality (to name but a few) BORN that way genetically or was it acquired ?

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:38 pm

jupnorht:

Truer words were never spoken.

I’ll also ask you the same question I posed to “Lesbian at Birth”:

Are those who engage in pedophilia, necrophilia or bestiality (to name but a few) BORN that way genetically or was it acquired ?

gale

June 18th, 2010
12:39 pm

The only way my marriage would effect anyone else’s marriage would be if only a finite number of marriages were allowed. When I marry, you are forced to divorce! Get a grip. If anything damages marriage it is the thoughtlessness with which people marry and divorce. Gay marriage will not effect the current fragility of straight marriage.

A CONSERVATIVE

June 18th, 2010
12:39 pm

HEY YOU LEFT-wingers………WHAT PERVERSION & SIN….in biblical times…is still….perversion & SIN….what was unnatural in Jesuss’ time is still unnatural..SIN is SIN…IS SIN…is SIN..

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:41 pm

Lesbian at Birth @ 12:31:

So be celebate …….. God specifically condemns the act.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
12:41 pm

Lesbian At Birth, I hope that anyone who actually professes to be uncomfortable around you is speaking out of lack of understanding. To this day I have no idea why/how/where two consenting people touching each other involves anyone outside of, potentially, a jealous girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse. For myself, I see marriage as one of the major phases of a relationship where you make a public declaration of love for another person in front of the other people in your life you care about. I don’t believe anyone should be limited from that opportunity. Why in the heck we entangled that expression of love in legal benefits is beyond me. Why do I have to be sleeping with the person I would like by my bedside if I am dying in a hospital?

A CONSERVATIVE

June 18th, 2010
12:41 pm

LIBERALS don’t want any limits of their sexual desires…just go to bed with whomever……..forget morality….& sin…Do whatever you feel like doing it to.

A CONSERVATIVE

June 18th, 2010
12:41 pm

LIBERALS don’t want any limits of their sexual desires…just go to bed with whomever……..forget morality….& sin…Do whatever you feel like doing it to.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
12:42 pm

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
12:42 pm

Are those who engage in pedophilia…

Well…there you go again.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
12:42 pm

To Scout: I have no idea! And I see you obviosly place gays in the same category – which is not a very good showing of your mindset. Although there are studies that could argue they are born that way. Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, was noted for killing animals before he started kindergarten and of course he eventually graduated to killing and eating people. The majority of those items you are asking about have notoriously been performed by “heterosexuals” and not necessarily gay people.

A CONSERVATIVE

June 18th, 2010
12:45 pm

LIBERALs seek to destroy all morality….& traditions..in society…LiberalS ARE FOR FREE SEX WITH ANYONE….regardless…Liberals don’t want society telling them who they can legally sleep with..be it a dog..or sheep…or whatever.

Joe Mustich, JP

June 18th, 2010
12:45 pm

Earth to many ACJ readers, in America, we have freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
And many couples, both opposite-sex and same-sex, prefer, non-religious and civil wedding ceremonies today.

Onward to fairness and equality,
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

And to the anti-marriage folks, please find another issue to focus your time and energies on.
How about aiding in the clean-up of all the BP muck washing up on our coastline?