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View Diary: Pure and Simple: Equal Rights (196 comments)

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  •  You have got to be kidding me (none)
    To argue that society sees no benefit from men and women getting married is to argue that there wouldn't be negative consequences if the illegitimacy rate in the US went up by 10%.  I just don't think that is an argument that is posible to make.  

    Congratulations for recognizing that marriage is not perfect.  (I would have thought that rape wouldn't have been necessary to illustrate that point to you but I guess subtlety isn't your thing)  That doesn't mean that society doesn't recieve a huge benefit from men and women forming unions in general.  It doesn't have to be true in every case for it to be an overall benefit.  Do you really think it is no better to have legitimate children than illegitimate children?  Only granting benefits to couples who have children would be another way to help promote the formation of families (and one that we increasingly take) but it doesn't mean that it is illegal to promote all unions between men and women.  Just as there are several ways for an affirmative action program to be legal, there are several ways to promote the Union of men and women.  

    To illustrate the point, which person would cause more negative consequences for society:  a man who has unprotected sex with 10 other women or a man who sleeps with 10 other men.  Clearly society would gain more if the heterosexual man were to get married, even if that couple had no children.  Do you not see that?  Perhaps I am just oversensitive to illegitimacy because my mom ran a home for pregnant teenagers when I was growing up but this doesn't really seem to be a disputable point.   That doesn't mean that society would gain no benefit from the homosexual man getting married of course.

    You don't know what making decisions as a society means because you don't trust people to vote how you want them to.  You want people to support gay marriage?  Make the case to people that society benefits from gay marriage.  This is a decision that people should make.  

    •  Lost, Lost, Lost (none)
      You're in over your head here, Damon. Sorry.

      To argue that society sees no benefit from men and women getting married is to argue that there wouldn't be negative consequences if the illegitimacy rate in the US went up by 10%.

      To argue that society gets a benefit from men and women getting married has no bearing on an argument on why men and men, or women and women, should or should not get married. By definition it's off-topic.

      To illustrate the point, which person would cause more negative consequences for society:  a man who has unprotected sex with 10 other women or a man who sleeps with 10 other men. Clearly society would gain more if the heterosexual man were to get married, even if that couple had no children.

      Off-topic, off-topic, off-topic.

      And hopelesslly naive on at least three fronts.

      1. One, two, ten or none of those first couplings could produce kids. Those kids may or may not be a boon to society. Generally speaking, metaphysics is not the way to win this sort of debate.
      2. What are the health costs to society if either of those men catches something from one of their partners?
      3. Marriage wouldn't prevent any of the activity you describe. Heck, marriage wouldn't prevent man #1 from turning into man #2 -- or vice verse, for that matter.
      You don't know what making decisions as a society means because you don't trust people to vote how you want them to.  You want people to support gay marriage?  Make the case to people that society benefits from gay marriage.  This is a decision that people should make.

      Societies don't make decisions. They don't have a brain to make them with. And, no, that wasn't a "sheeple" crack. It was a simple statement of fact.

      As for gay marriage being forced to conform to some standard of benefit to get people to go along with it, why? That's your idea of how society works? "Well I think it's just gross, but it benefits society, so I'll vote for it!" I'd completely disagree.

      Who did interracial marriage benefit, other than the people getting married?

      Perhaps I am just oversensitive to illegitimacy because my mom ran a home for pregnant teenagers when I was growing up but this doesn't really seem to be a disputable point.

      That explains a lot, actually.

      Gay marriage would have no impact whatsoever on illegitimacy, Damon. It's just not relevant to this debate. Essentially, in a roundabout way, you're just following the 'threatening the institution of marriage' bugaboo. Nothing is being threatened. Children aren't going to lose their parents en masse if gay marriage is accepted.

      "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I find the puppet on the left more to my liking." "Hey, there's one guy holding both puppets... SMACK!"

      by Anton Sirius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:41:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  whoosh (none)
        The whole conversation is over your head.  Let me step back and try to catch you up.

        I think that government has a compelling interest to  promote men and women getting married.  Because of this, I think they should be allowed to offer benefits to this end.  You spent several posts talking about how I never showed that government had a compelling interest in promoting men and women getting married.  I further go on to talk about how reducing illegitimacy is a compelling government interest that would apply to heterosexual marriage but not homosexual marriage.  Illegitimacy is completely on topic.  Are you caught up to this point?  I am talking about whether it is legal to have marriage be only between a man and woman and you are trying to argue over whether it is right.  I agree that homosexuals should be able to marry and I would vote for it- but it is a choice that the people need to make.  

        Here is the best example of how why illegitimacy is relevant to the discussion.  First of all we can all agree that illegitimacy is a problem right?  That government has a compelling interest to reduce it?  THat a nation of single mothers would not be a good thing?  Lets say that 100% of gay people tomorrow get married and are completely  monogomous.  That does absolutely nothing to reduce the number of illegitimate children born in the US next year.  Does that mean that no good comes out of gay marriage?  Of course not.  Does that mean that none of those gay couples will do a wonderful job of raising children?  Of course not.   But it means that the decision over whether to grant benefits for heterosexuals to get married is different than the decision over whether to grant homosexuals the right to get married.  They confer different benefits on our society.

        This isn't metaphysics,  This is a strict fact that our society is worse off the more unwanted children there are.  No matter how promiscuous gay men are, there isn't going to be a rash of illegitimate children because of their behavior.  

        You are looking for me to tell you reasons why I think gay marriage is a bad thing and I don't have reasons why I think it would be a bad thing.  But I can also why people think it would be a priority to promote heterosexual marriage while thinking that homosexual marriage isn't as important.  And I definately see how it is legal to have one but not the other and that is why I think it should go to a vote.  The only problem I have with gay marriage is that I think it would get taken advantage of in a big way to get close friends covered under a health insurance plan at work.  But since there is nothing stopping people from doing the same thing with heterosexual marriage I wouldn't vote against  gay marriage because of it.  

        •  Government interest (none)
          The only possible interest the government has to promote marriage between men and women is to maintain a system of privilege and discrimination.  The "what about the children" argument is specious and the ideological wall behind which the advocates of maintaining these distinctions build their arguments.  

          Procreation does not require marriage.  Healthy and productive child rearing does not require that the rearing of the child is done by those that procreated nor by those who are legally bound to one another.  Healthy and production child rearing does require many things that society would be wise to try and promote, and those things can travel along with marriage between men and women, but don't necessarily, and can be found and promoted without it. Furthermore, in those instances (far rarer than any of the advocates of promoting m/f marriage will ever admit) where the elements necessary to raise healthy children ARE present in heterosexual marriages, it does not follow that the side-by-side existence of same sex marriage in any way threatens or diminishes said elements in the other.  

          The only thing same-sex marriage threatens is heterosexual privilege. The threats to children and impediments to healthy child rearing are in the social order not in the kind of marriages we have.

          •  government interest (none)
            Gilas girl- just answer this question- do you really think that there would be no negative consequences for our country if the illegitimacy rate went up 15%?  For all you talk about how marriage isn't perfect, I think it is brutally obvious that children who grow up in a 2 parent household are at an advantage.  

            The point is that both heterosexuals and homosexuals can be promiscuous.  But when a homosexual is promiscuous pretty much the only negative consequences are individual.  When heterosexuals are promiscuous there is a higher rate of illegitimacy which affects all of society.  Government certainly has a very compelling interest in lowering illegitimacy and the single best way to do that as far as I can tell is to encourage heterosexual marriage.  Because of this, I think that government is right to give some benefits to married couples that singles do not enjoy.  

            The same argument can be made about homosexual marriage.  Although illegitimacy isn't the prevailing reason, having people make a lifelong commitment to each other is good for society as well.  But the point is that you have to make that argument to people.  Talk about why it is good for society.  I have never made the argument that homosexual marriage diminishes heterosexual marriage in any way.  I simply think that because the reasons to support homosexual marriage are not necessarily the same as the reasons to support heterosexual marriage that it should be voted on by the people.  I think it is clearly legal to have one and not the other.

            •  That's the bloody point (none)
              Gilas girl- just answer this question- do you really think that there would be no negative consequences for our country if the illegitimacy rate went up 15%?  For all you talk about how marriage isn't perfect, I think it is brutally obvious that children who grow up in a 2 parent household are at an advantage.  

              Its NOT brutally obvious, its a convenient fiction that is so comfortable we don't explore what's underneath that "advantage" which is not that there are married parents in the household(different from a 2 parent household: there are any number of parents who are unmarried but not single - now you are obfuscating the argument about privileging heterosexual marriage, so let me ask you to be clear of what you are arguing)but that certain factors can and often do accompany 2 parent-legally married households.  When all those other factors are present, what "marriage" alone brings is completely unclear.  

              And, I would ask you to seriously reconsider your language choice when you engage in these debates, at least when you do so with me: there is nothing "illegitimate" about a child who is born to unmarried parents, that child is as legitimate a citizen, a member of the community and a human being as is the child who's parents are married at the time of his/her birth.  This is not the 17th century where property rights are going to be argued over (the origin of the notion of "legitimacy" as in legitimate heir, hence the need for marriage.)  Its offensive.

              I don't accept your premise that 1) government has a compelling interest to reduce promiscuity, or 2) heterosexual promiscuity affects society while same sex promiscuity is simply "individual".  Heterosexuals are not by virute of their sexual orientation as a class responsible for or representative of procreation.  The arguments you make are rooted in and dependent upon not only stigmatizing and denying rights and "normal status" to gays, but also to any of those heterosexuals who willingly and quite happily opt not to procreate.  Your position would place them into some kind of lesser status, as well.  Nor do I accept the premise that 3) encouraging heterosexual marriage discourages promiscuity, that certainly does not hold up historically.  

              You are not arguing about marriage at all, you are compressing together an entire cluster of social values and judgements and simply asserting that "marriage" is equivalent to these values.  That's specious.    

              •  Fine (none)
                Do you not think that children who were wanted by their parents have an advantage over children who were an accident?  Do you think that society would be no worse off if the rate of children who were an accident went up by 15%?  I think it is brutally obvious that children who grow up in a household where they are wanted are at an advantage.

                is that better?

                •  What makes you think that (none)
                  children who are born out of wedlock are "unwanted" and children who are born within it aren't?

                  Again this is specious.

                  "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

                  by a gilas girl on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 05:30:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  So? (none)
          Show me how granting legal benefits to homosexual married couples takes them away from heterosexual married couples.

          Oops, you can't. Your entire argument is irrelevant.

          You're too emotionally involved to see that though, Damon. Case in point: "illegitimate" does not equal "unwanted". It just means "out of wedlock". But that doesn't stop you from talking about the evils of a nation of single moms as though it has anything to do with the discussion.

          "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I find the puppet on the left more to my liking." "Hey, there's one guy holding both puppets... SMACK!"

          by Anton Sirius on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 02:12:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who ever said it did? (none)
            When did I ever say that granting legal benefits to homosexual couples took them away from heterosexual couples?  Granting marriage licenses to polygamous relationships would not be taking legal benefits away from heterosexual couples either but I don't think you are going to argue that polygamous relationships are clearly legal.  Or maybe you are?  

            To me the issues are the same.  Where the discrimination occurs is when 2 people are given benefits that they would not enjoy if they were treated as singles under the law.   As long as government has a compelling interest in discriminating against singles (heterosexual or homosexual) then it is legal to do so.  Government has a compelling reason to reduce illegitimate and unwanted children and marriage is a viable solution for accomplishing that.  It is completely relevant becuase that is why it is legal to discriminate against singles in favor of married people.  Why these benefits can be given to one group but not the other.  

            But just because the reasons are not the same to legalize homosexual marriage or polygamous marriage does not mean that the reasons are not compelling.  I can see many reasons why both types of marriage could be beneficial to society.  But the point is still that society must decide this and we have procedures that must be followed to change the law.  

    •  People are making the case (none)
      Same-sex marriage prevents illegitimacy for children of same-sex parents. It creates a legal bond that makes it more difficult for one parent to leave.

      It encourages couples to engage in monogamy in order to preserve their legal relationship.

      It allows the love of two men or two women to be recognized within their broader society, so they can be full members of society and not an alienated minority.

      It allows them to protect their property, for each other and for their children.

      Society benefits from their marriage, just as it benefits from the marriage of parents of differing gender. There is simply no difference between the social benefit based on whether the genders are the same or not.

      •  Absolutely (none)
        I have been saying the whole time that just because society doesn't benefit in the same way from heterosexual marriage it doesn't mean that gay marriage is a bad thing.  I just think that the benefits of gay marriage need to stand up on their own for people to accept them.  As I said before, I think that many people don't accept gay marraige because divorce has gotten to be so easy.  When it isn't likely that there are children many people see it as much less of a commitment and they are already upset as how "temporary" marriage has gotten.  
        •  What's so interesting about issues like this (none)
          Is how willing they are to convolute logic in order to maintain a conception field of logic that supports their own privilege/willingness to discriminate.  

          You argue that the high divorce rate among heterosexuals so disturbs people because it demonstrates the precarious and temporary nature of marriage itself (Brittany Spears and reality TV aside), therefore people don't want same sex marriage?

          The problem them, if you are correct, is NOT that people are threatened by same sex marriage, the problem is that people are threatened by gay people, or more specifically what they perceive to be as a "gay lifestyle" which is, in the mind of this terrified public, the most transient and temporary of affilations between consenting adults.  

          Congratulations, you have just supplied the single strongest argument (standing on its own) for why gay marriage is necessary: think of the collective social good that will be achieved when the image of the promiscuous gay person is replaced with the image of the committed and steady gay married couple. What better way to remove this spectre of excessive promiscuity that haunts our culture, than to provide a counter to it.  That's one fear we can all put to rest as we concentrate on the fivefold volume of potential dangers that the Radical Right wants to bombard us with.  In one fell swoop we can shorten that list and take something off of it.

          Besides, once gay marriage is legalized, we can as a society, increase the arsenal of cultural images, anecdotes and romantic stories with which to battle the dominant popular culture's "defamation of marriage/committed relationships".  I'll bet that photo of Phyllis and Del's wedding had heterosexuals across the country scratching their heads and counting on their fingers the number of couples they know who have stayed together for 51 years.  And then you'd have to stop and ask yourself of those who meet that 51 year threshold, how many of them stayed together SIMPLY BECAUSE they were married and not because the relationship was good or healthy?  That's 51 years with none of the "social super glue" that marriage supposedly supplies.

    •  I'll let you Anton Sirius hash out ... (none)
      ...the other issues, but, for the record, I detest the term "illegitimate child." Children are not illegitimate. They just are. Not so long ago in our common-law jurisprudence, they too were second-class citizens.  
    •  Half of them fail. (none)
      Where's the benefit?

      Catapultam Habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

      by Sasquatch on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 10:48:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Benefit (none)
        Once again, do you really think that society would be no worse off if the illegitimacy rate went up by 20%?
        •  Honestly? (none)
          I doubt it would make any difference.

          Being raised by a single mother who once was married and a single mother who was never married doesn't seem to be that much of a difference.

          Here's a question for you.

          Do you think society would be better off if some of these illegitimate children were being raised by a happy gay couple?

          Catapultam Habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

          by Sasquatch on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 12:27:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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