A Case Against Same-Sex Marriage (2)

This is the second of three posts responding to a request that I explain my opposition to gay marriage. Read part 1.

Marriage as the foundation of the family, which is the foundation of society. The lifelong union of a man and a woman has historically been understood to be the basic building block of society. This is the best context for the raising of children, which ensures the future of the society. Some caveats are certainly in order here: Bearing children is not the only reason for marriage, just one of the major ones. Some families do not consist of a father, mother and children for various reasons; they are not for that reason less valuable or real families. But the point stands that a family including a mother and father is the best, most natural environment for raising children. This is so ingrained to the way nature works that it is biologically impossible for two women or two men to produce a child. Even with all the medical advancements we have today, at the end of the day you need a sperm and an egg. If at some point it becomes possible to synthesize one or the other, it will be because humans created an artificial workaround to circumvent how things naturally work.

The role of government in sanctioning morality in general, and marriage in particular. It is not the government’s job to prescribe our religious choices, exhaustively govern our behavior, etc. But it is the government’s job to enforce some moral standards and curb some types of immorality. For someone to deny this, they would have to oppose laws against murder, theft, rape, and many other offenses. Nobody I know of opposes these kinds of laws. So the difference between advocates and opponents of gay marriage lies in which moral standards we’re going to enforce-a difference in degree, not in kind. It is good for the government to officially recognize marriage and grant certain rights to married partners, because marriage is good for the stability and healthiness of society. Same-sex marriage does not carry those same benefits or bring that kind of stability.

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Comments

  1. Just to let any commenters know, I’m out of town with my family today, so I probably won’t be around for most of the fireworks. I’m not giving you the silent treatment, just have other things going on. Have at it.

  2. Marriage as the foundation of the family, which is the foundation of society.

    I disagree. Individuals are the foundation of society long before they form families. It is through individuals acting in concert that society functions.

    Families are a byproduct of individual’s needs, not a building block.

    Furthermore it has been shown that in raising children two parents provide a more stable and nurturing environment than one parent or none. An extended family also provide additional support. If you can point to a study that shows that the make up of one male and one female parent is more effective than other dynamics I would be interested to read it.

    Besides which you dismiss the requirement for male-female parent structures in your next sentence. If homosexuals cannot be parents naturally then what does it matter if they marry?

    Also marriage isn’t a prerequisite for bearing children. It may seem obvious to state that but marriage is a social construct to legitimise relationships in the eyes of the more conservative members of society. It is not a requirement for anything although many desire it as a personal choice. Denying anyone this equal choice is groundless.

    Your second point is just inviting people to knock it down. Murder, theft, rape and similar crimes are acts where something is taken forcibly from another whether it be their life, their property or, their dignity. We expect our governments to protect the citizens from these violations. How does allowing two people who profess their love for one another to marry violate anyone? Where is the harm that citizens need protection from?

    marriage is good for the stability and healthiness of society. Same-sex marriage does not carry those same benefits or bring that kind of stability.

    How can you determine this when same sex marriage has been banned? Where is your evidence? Anecdotally I can tell you that the lesbian couples I know have very stable, loving relationships. Where they have children they raise them in a spirit of cooperation and care that is markedly absent from many typical heterosexual relationships. They have less conflict and almost no empowerment issues that are common elsewhere. They aren’t perfect by any means but they certainly aren’t unstable and confusing as you attempt to portray. I’m afraid that I cannot comment on gay male relationships with children but those I know without them seem stable and loving, just as much as heterosexual partners.

  3. What about all the studies that show the importance of fathers?

  4. It is the role of “parent” that is important rather than the stereotype male and female role of “father” and “mother”. If one of my daughters wants to discuss the changes in her body with me rather than her mother am I to ignore her because it isn’t a father’s role? If my son wants to help to cook a meal am I to keep him out of the kitchen because that is the mother’s role? Never mind the fact that I prefer to cook and we share parenting responsibility.

    Our roles in my household as parents are not segregated on artificial gender rules. Why would they be when it would reduce the richness and variety of parenting and limit my children’s experience of growing up?

    You might argue that this is simply anecdotal evidence and therefore of no value but look closely at the studies. They will express a need for the parenting role to be shared and suggest that an extending network of role models and support is the best structure.

    The only thing that a man and a woman are required for is reproduction. If you consider that closely you don’t even require that, just egg and sperm.

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