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I frequently read conservative news outlets in an effort (albeit hopeless these days) to understand both sides of the story.  Typically I find little in the way of substance.  But I was encouraged to see a conservative defense of same-sex marriage in a thread on one of the most conservative sites in my state (included below).  Hopefully this is a sign of things to come:

Tommy Valentine:
Both of those candidates support homosexual marriage. For that reason they should not be supported, regardless of their personal sexuality - I can't speak for Forbes, but I would not support a straight candidate who supported homosexual marriage either. It is contrary to Republican principles.

And what principle is that? Limited government? Acknowledging that protecting the minority voice or opinion is a critical component of liberalism (in its traditional sense)? Or maybe the principle of "personal freedom"? Oh wait...

Tommy Valentine:
Not injecting the government into an institution it didn't create? And not forcing the government to sanction romance in which it has no legitimate interest? Gay marriage is big government at its finest.

Wow, I don't know where to begin. This is an utterly misguided bastardization of liberalism, but here goes...

First, "injecting government into an institution it didn't create." Implicit within this assertion is some contrived narrative that Christianity "created" the concept of marriage. Google any civilization that existed before Christianity (and yes, there were advanced civilizations long before Christianity was invented).

Second, the government acknowledges marriage as a legally enforceable contract whereby both parties have rights. I guess we could remove it in its entirety, but you do realize that would result in a myriad of problems in terms of wills, divorce law, adoption law, and a litany of other areas that relate to the family unit. But this is probably where you will contend that homosexual families are perverse or something asinine like that.

Third, "sanction romance." Seriously? I'm hoping this is a sick joke. Why should the government have any authority over the romantic life of two consenting adults? And don't give me some BS line about it being a "crime against nature." Only you and Ken Cuccinelli actually believe that legislation is anything other than a thinly veiled attempt to legislate morality.

Fourth, "big government at its finest"? Hardly. Gay marriage merely affords the same legal rights to homosexual couples that heterosexual couples already enjoy.

And don't forget about that pesky little thing known as the equal protection clause-but that probably doesn't resonate with your flawed conception of "conservatism" either.

Tommy Valentine:
When did I say Christianity created marriage? Marriage has existed from the beginning of man, before any organized religion.

Government is not involved in marriage just to enforce contracts. Government is not involved in marriage because it's interested in the love between two consenting adults. If that were the case, by all means, get the government out of the bedroom. But government is involved in marriage because it is the relationship that unites a man and a woman as husband and wife who are then equipped to raise any children that union may produce. This is based on the anthropological reality that men and women are distinct and complementary; based on the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman; and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.

Since gay marriages cannot produce children, all that government does by recognizing them is recognizing their romance. Why should the government have any authority over the romantic life of two consenting adults? It shouldn't. So why do you want the government to recognize it if it has no interest in it?

Allowing the government to redefine an institution it did not create is a massive expansion of government power.

The equal protection clause does not apply, because homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are not equal. That is a fact, not my belief. To say that they are equal is to deny reality; you're only fooling yourself. I'm all for marriage equality. I'm not for false equality.

While eloquent, your argument essentially states that "homosexuality is not natural"-which is laughable. I could cite various species that have been found to engage in homosexual activity. I could also cite thousands upon thousands of legitimate, scientific studies indicating that homosexuality is biological.

Or I could highlight that your line of thinking would effectively prohibit sterile men or women from enjoying "marriage".

But it's more fun analyzing your completely self-contradictory statements. "But government is involved in marriage because it is the relationship that unites a man and a woman as husband and wife who are then equipped to raise any children that union may produce" What if they aren't equipped? What if it's a gasp one-night stand between two people completely un-equipped to parent or raise a family? Maybe we should legislate when and where you can have sex too?

Now, if you're asserting that the government has a vested interest in encouraging the nuclear family unit, that's a distinctly different conversation. But everyone knows that is not your point as it would undermine your entire argument. A family is a family. The only "big government" maneuver currently being promulgated is coming from the Republican camp when it attempts to define what a "family" is unilaterally - which is precisely what you are doing.

Tommy Valentine:
Where did I make a claim about whether homosexuality is natural? That's an enormous red herring you're presenting, as is "Maybe we should legislate when and where you can have sex too?"

 On sterile couples - any heterosexual couple capable of consummating their marriage is inherently capable of bearing and raising a child. This includes "infertile" couples. A couple that was not capable of the marital act is not capable of marriage. Sexual intercourse is still inclined towards bodily union and reproduction whether conception occurs or not and whether the couple is seeking conception or not. Which is why the law has always recognized "infertile" marriages. The costs of SSM are still being counted and will be counted for as long as it exists, but some of those already identified are corrosion of public perception of the purpose of marriage and the dismantling of monogamy. As for the benefits of "infertile" marriages - I keep putting it in quotations because many couples believed to be infertile end up conceiving children, but regardless, determining fertility would be an unjust invasion of privacy, as I'm sure you would agree. Even if they never have children, their marriages do not corrode the marriage culture. Not recognizing infertile marriages would violate the principle of equality, because they are equal to fertile marriages, just varying in degree.

Yes, I am asserting that the government has a vested interest in encouraging the nuclear family unit. That's the basis on my argument. Children do best with a married mother and father. Period. A homosexual marriage with children inherently deprives the children of either a mother or a father. I don't see how I or the GOP is trying to "define" family - it's already defined, and leftists are trying to redefine it.

"A couple that was not capable of the marital act is not capable of marriage." Saaaay what??

I don't recall being asked if I was capable of copulation when obtaining our marriage license. Is that something new?

Tommy Valentine:
"determining fertility would be an unjust invasion of privacy, as I'm sure you would agree."

You said 'a couple not capable of the marital act is not capable of marriage. The 'marital act' is known as sexual intercourse or copulation.

So I repeat, I was not asked about my ability to copulate on the marriage license. And yet I was permitted to marry.

Ergo, whether/not I can complete the 'marital act' is inconsequential to whether/not I have a right to marry.

Tommy Valentine:
To ask this question would be an invasion of privacy, and it applies to almost no one.

I agree it's an invasion of privacy, so why is it your litmus test for determining whose marriage is recognized by the state?

Tommy Valentine:
It's not, because the state must assume that all heterosexual couples are capable of intercourse.

The state has no compelling interest in procreation - we aren't China. In this country, the intention of marriage is to obligate participants to take care of offspring, dependents, or any other obligations created by the union ... so the State doesn't have to ... and to make possible the distribution of tax, social security, inheritance, etc.

Tommy Valentine:
Here's the best summary - because same-sex unions can't produce children, the government has no legitimate interest in recognizing them.

So, the government has a compelling interest in recognizing children that do not exist??

Tommy Valentine:
Not understanding what you're saying.


Tommy Valentine:
If you are of good will and genuinely interested in good public policy, I encourage you to read "What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense" by Ryan T. Anderson, Sherif Girgis, and Prof. Robert George of Princeton.

I read Anderson's work on the Heritage site. His positions are framed from personal biblical views, as are Robert George's. And I will say again, if we are to justly deny equality to any group, it must be founded in something other than "my bible says ...".

I agree with Anderson; marriage does play an important role in civil society because it encourages exclusivity and permanence. So if exclusivity and permanence are good for society ... why the hard fight to limit access?

The free choice of a spouse is a fundamental right. If the state legislatures can't see this, then the courts will have to come in (again) and correct the wrong.

If I wanted the Catholic position on gay marriage, I would have picked up the Catechism (which I've read in its entirety-gotta love Catholic schooling). But if I remember correctly, the last time the Church was granted political authority it perpetrated violent behavior far beyond the scope of anything we see today - Middle East included. But I digress...

As for the red herrings, they're largely a byproduct of your completely disjointed logic. I know I can't persuade you anymore than I could any other hard-line ideologue. But the court of public opinion does not fall in your favor, regardless of what contrived statistics you might want to throw out.

And "tradition" is never a cogent, logical justification-as is assumed in your statement that family is "already defined". But you're probably too young to remember when family was "defined" as only two people of the same race. Or two people of the same social class. Or whatever other arbitrary lines have been drawn in the past to define "family."

Tommy Valentine:
When losing an argument, do not address the points being made; instead, result to mischaracterization, straw men, name-calling, etc.

And when arguing an indefensible position, rely on confirmation and self-selection bias to rationalize your utterly intolerable worldview.

"intolerable" nice tolerance there bub.

Tommy Valentine:
And I'm the ideologue?

Yes, in fact you are...I'm glad we're in agreement on something.

Tommy Valentine:
Funny. Your narrow-mindedness is quite striking.

Yep, ignorance is bliss what can I say?

Maybe one day I'll possess your intellectual rigor and I can follow in the footsteps of guys like you, Ken Cuccinelli, et al. I can't imagine a more fulfilling life.

Tommy Valentine:
You are not a serious person. Come back when you are genuinely interested in having a serious discussion.

"Serious" went the way of the dodo bird when this conversation didn't demand a logically coherent platform or a holistic political theory. If you don't already see that, you never will.
Have fun hurting the Republican cause though. After all, it's better to lose a purist. Right?

Tommy Valentine:
I presented you with an argument that was reasoned, articulate, and "eloquent", to quote you. Your responses were the opposite. Instead, you're telling me that what you perceive to be my entire worldview is wrong. That's not an argument.

Then let's just get government out of marriage all together. Picking and choosing which marriages is nothing more than government sanctioned discrimination.

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