« State Climatologist Might Lose Title For Voicing His Opinion on Global Warming | Main | Salon Reporting that Edwards Has Fired Bloggers »

I think I like this idea...

...but I'm going to have to give it some more thought.

This is the kind of legal tactic I wish my fellow gay marriage supporters (er... "supporters of gay marriage," not "gay supporters of marriage" -- not that there's anything wrong with that) would take up more often. It goes directly at the heart of one of our opponents' arguments, in a way that perfectly addresses their STATED position. This gives the other side the choice of accepting the logical extension of their arguments, or having to admit that their agenda isn't what they have been saying it is.

Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have a quibble or two, or at least a suggestion. Instead of locking in a three-year deadline for couples to have children, I'd make a fertility test part of the requirements for a marriage license, along with an Affidavit Of Intent To Reproduce.

If they can prove that they're willing and able to have children, then let them get married. If not, then tough rocks -- let them get their own "civil union" and see how THEY like it.

This does mean that, after a certain operation I chose to have a few years ago, I won't be eligible to get hitched, but it's a sacrifice I guess I'll just have to make in defense of my principles.


Comments (53)

The law of unintended conse... (Below threshold)
MagicalPat:

The law of unintended consequences works both ways though. While it's true that those that defend marriage as between a man and a woman because of their ability to produce offspring have backed themselves into a corner here, if this were to pass as a law, Gay marriage would be off the table for good.

The gay rights groups may think this is clever right now, but it could backfire on them.

Piffle.This is a b... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

Piffle.

This is a bill to knock down a straw man of its advocates' own making. I assume, Jay, that you would not be comfortable allowing your debating opponent to represent your view. That's what the advocates of this bill are doing, and dishonestly so, IMHO.

All that aside, why 3 years? Why not immediately? Why not 25? What about adoption?

This is a bill to knock ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

This is a bill to knock down a straw man of its advocates' own making. I assume, Jay, that you would not be comfortable allowing your debating opponent to represent your view. That's what the advocates of this bill are doing, and dishonestly so, IMHO.

I can't count the amount of times gay marriage opponents have repeated the argument that the only purpose of marriage is to procreate, to have and raise children. Aside from "the Bible says so" and slippery slope arguments about beastiality and whatnot, it is the only argument they have. A straw man it most certainly is not.

This is a grandstanding stu... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This is a grandstanding stunt which does absolutely nothing to bring gay marriage any closer. In fact, the more ludicrous the tactic such as this, the more entrenched th anti-gay marriage forces will be. Also, this can tend to drive some people who are undecided or moderate on the issue away. It smacks of third-grade tactics.

Breeding as a requirement ... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Breeding as a requirement for marriage? Interesting concept. Perhaps we could ammend this so that the only way you could get married is to prove you are fertile, would you need a breeding permit to practice before hand? Are there Stud fees involved? would you have a short term license or a learners permit? perhaps you could have a free trial basis to see if you and your chosen broodmare/stud are a suitable match? or limited domestic contracts for X number of years with so many option years available. Do I get a refund on my "fees" if it doesnt work out? Is there some kind of mail in rebate or membership discount. Do we have a secret handshake?
What two concenting adults do between them is of no concern to anyone else. If they love each other and wish to spend the rest of their lives together fine, let them. Give them a certificate that says "we vow to love honor cherish etc.. for the rest of our lives yadayada..." they are partners in life. Give them the rights of partners, but make damn sure they cant just walk away anytime they want to because they technically arent married. you want the rights and benefits, you take the same risks as all us married folks, if things dont work out you cant cut and run, you have to go through the same process to dissolve the partnership as legally married couples. you get the BAD with the Good, or no deal.

sigh.trying to cal... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

sigh.

trying to call an apple an orange.

Definition of "marriage":

The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

This is what marriage is. Gays have civil unions. What's the big deal? Why does it have to be called a marriage?

Don't start with health care and wills. Every place I have worked has health care options for companion. And as far as wills go, you can will all your stuff to a dog in this country if you want to.

OK what happens if you bree... (Below threshold)
Drew:

OK what happens if you breed and the children grow up and leave home? if the marriage is only good while you are breeding, does that mean that once my children are grown the marriage is then void or expired? What if we have to raise our grandchildren? do we then have to apply for a new marriage license? And what of those folks that breed out of wedlock? are they somehow instantly married because they procreated?
Wow this debate could go on for years, or at least until we get bored with it... Ok ....Next topic?

And as far as wills go, ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And as far as wills go, you can will all your stuff to a dog in this country if you want to.

Not social security benefits. You also can't make life-or-death medical decisions, funeral arrangements, etc. if you aren't married or next of kin. I agree that these problems could be solved by civil unions, and I don't care what you call it, but there must be equal protection.

Keep in mind that many state resolutions passed in recent years ban civil unions (even if they don't exist yet) and marriage to homosexuals.

I'm glad that I am not the ... (Below threshold)

I'm glad that I am not the only one who saw this as a blatant straw-man argument. Why three years? Why not 9 months? What about abortion? Doesn't that take away from the couple's right to an abortion? Where's the woman's right to choose? ...

This is laughable. Are you feeling OK lately Jay? I think your new job has your brain a bit tired.

What has always surprised me is that the gay people -*want*- their unions called marriage. Getting married is what straight people do. I always expected the gay people to come up with their own name for choosing a mate. How un-original.

"I can't count the amount o... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

"I can't count the amount of times gay marriage opponents have repeated the argument that the only purpose of marriage is to procreate, to have and raise children. Aside from "the Bible says so" and slippery slope arguments about beastiality and whatnot, it is the only argument they have. A straw man it most certainly is not."

OK, Mantis, I'll bite. If there's so many examples that they can't be counted, maybe you could readily supply a small handfull of links to websites, articles, etc., where opponents have said, in their own words, that "the only purpose of marriage is to procreate, to have and raise children."

As one who opposes gay marriage, I'd be interested to learn who on my side holds that view, because it's not one I've heard publicly expressed.

Thanks for this Jay..my wif... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Thanks for this Jay..my wife read it to me yesterday...(I too was snipped...after we had our second child it made more sense then serious surgery for my wife)...just like the guy who took over Joe Lieberman's pretend political party..these folks are simply highlighting a hpocritical stance...
well done...it will be interesting to see if they get the signitures..
...remember how the Michigan "marriage law" stripped rights from hetro common-law relationships...

A better idea is to just pu... (Below threshold)

A better idea is to just put it up for a straight vote, on what the definition of a marriage is.
Let the people decide instead of a bunch of lawyers and the courts.

You also can't make life... (Below threshold)

You also can't make life-or-death medical decisions, funeral arrangements, etc. if you aren't married or next of kin.

Well, that's not true; I know couples -- both straight and gay -- who have been written into wills, have health care POAs, etc. Some are established 'couples', some are roommates. This entire discussion is focused on gay vs. straight, when it should not matter.

Should there be a mechanism to make it 'as easy' to get all of these privileges as it is for marriage? Yes. Should the antediluvian definition of marriage be changed? No.

I agree with those who scof... (Below threshold)

I agree with those who scoff at this ridiculous ploy.

Besides being hilariously unconstitutional, it is aimed solely at (what I consider) the weakest of the fundamentalists' (one small element of the opponents) justification for hetero-only marriage ("marriage is for procreation" -- ugh).

(dave, careful what you ask for).

The debate is about defying the "natural order" of things. Turn it into a Christian vs. Atheist thing all you want -- it is not that at its heart. I think even supporters of gay marriage understand the concept. They might not agree with it politically.

Now I'll brace for brickbats from the moonbats and get da hell outta dodge.

From The National Review 20... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

From The National Review 2004

"For a simple and compelling reason, traditional marriage has been the norm in every political community for 5,000 years. Society has an interest in the future generations created by men and women. Decoupling procreation from marriage in order to make some people feel more accepted denies the very purpose of marriage itself. And such a radical transformation should not be imposed by judges upon people who would not choose it for themselves. Yet absent a constitutional amendment, that is precisely what we face."

-- The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch is a Republican senator to the United States Senate from Utah. Senator Hatch is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

*

OK, Mantis, I'll bite. I... (Below threshold)
Brian:

OK, Mantis, I'll bite. If there's so many examples that they can't be counted, maybe you could readily supply a small handfull of links to websites, articles, etc., where opponents have said, in their own words, that "the only purpose of marriage is to procreate, to have and raise children."
As one who opposes gay marriage, I'd be interested to learn who on my side holds that view, because it's not one I've heard publicly expressed.

Well, the State of Washington, for one. I assume you have the ability to do your own Google search for more.

of course Sen. Hatch is no ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

of course Sen. Hatch is no longer chairman...this was the end of the article..

This tactic, while providin... (Below threshold)
Scott:

This tactic, while providing a certain amount of humor, is simply silly. The states that define marriage tend to define it as a union between one man and one woman. On it's face, there is no equal protection issue with that definition -- each man has the right to marry one woman, each woman has the right to marry one man. No one is depriving anyone of that right by virtue of their race, religion, age, or any other constitutionally protected class. Even if you want to raise sexual orientation to a constitutionally protected classification, the definition of marriage does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. A gay man can still marry one woman. Now, the gay man may not have any particular desire to exercise that right, but he has the same right as a straight man.

The proposal here, however, to limit marriage to couples who can and will procreate, is fraught with equal protection problems. It clearly discriminates on the basis of age -- no woman above child-bearing age could marry. It also discriminates on the basis of disability (infertility).

The fact of the matter is that the debate over gay marriage does not and should not rise to constitutional levels with court's creating "constitutional" rights that do not exist out of thin air solely to further a political agenda. While both sides are free to pursue their political agendas on the gay marriage issue, political agendas should be kept in the political arena. Politics belong in the legislature, not in the courts. Courts make bad decisions when they use the constitution to resolve political debates.

One word--eeeeeeu.... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

One word--eeeeeeu.

This is a grandstanding stu... (Below threshold)
lonevoice:

This is a grandstanding stunt which does absolutely nothing to bring gay marriage any closer. In fact, the more ludicrous the tactic such as this, the more entrenched th anti-gay marriage forces will be. Also, this can tend to drive some people who are undecided or moderate on the issue away. It smacks of third-grade tactics.

Posted by: Steve L. at February 7, 2007 02:53 PM

Words of wisdom.


And to the OP: Are you stoned?

If ya want I can do a bunch... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

If ya want I can do a bunch more..most have to do with Republicans speaking in favor of a Constitutional Amendment..after all I live in Musgrave's State...marriage to those speaking in favor of the Amendment is about "babies" or direct quotes from the Bible..according to stuff I found...
I won't even get into groups like Focus on the Family

OT, sorry. Salon and NRO ar... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

OT, sorry. Salon and NRO are reporting that Edwards has fired his potty-mouthed bloggers Marcotte and McEwan. The nutroots going crazy, Wizbang trolls likely weeping. I'm making popcorn.

"In fact, the more ludicrou... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

"In fact, the more ludicrous the tactic such as this, the more entrenched th anti-gay marriage forces will be. Also, this can tend to drive some people who are undecided or moderate on the issue away. It smacks of third-grade tactics."

Is that kinda like the ludicrous tactic of"The Surge"? Why should ludicrous tactics not be shared?
To claim that ludicrous tactics are limited to a single ideology is unAmerican

I would not dismiss what th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I would not dismiss what the Bible guides us to do. Well, you can at your peril. ww

So, Jay Tea, you want a hal... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

So, Jay Tea, you want a half million more 50 year old horn-dogs with low sperm counts and a bottle of viagra throwing money at schoolgirls because they CAN'T have a wife with a rolling pin at home?

ah Cott..I mean coot I just... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

ah Cott..I mean coot I just checked your sources and there is nothing..I checked the "nutroots" nothing..cause,; Coot's World does not apply to reality..

Willie..is it ok that we ig... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Willie..is it ok that we ignore this part of the Bible? http://www.rationalchristianity.net/slavery_ot.html#general

nogo,It would be m... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

nogo,

It would be much better for all if they (and you) attempted to actually understand a topic before (mis)using it.

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html

Based on comments you have made on this blog, you yourself ignore parts of the Bible.

Well, it is an interesting ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Well, it is an interesting law to be proposed. Assinine, ill-founded, foolish, but interesting.

The whole debate can be solved if the government, at any level would just stop regulating and controlling marriage. Inheritance rights can be handled with a well executed will. Medical decisions can be handled with a properly written POA, etc. Even Paternity is better established with a DNA test than a birth-certificate now as well.

If people want to identify themselves as married, life-partners, buddies-for-ever, or whatever let them. If they want to be part of an organization, religion, philosophy, cabal, club etc that recognizes their relationships, give them names, let them.

Well, let's extend that "ar... (Below threshold)
Patricia:

Well, let's extend that "argument" a bit further.

That means that brothers and sisters or fathers and daughters can get married and stay married if they have a child within three years of the marriage...correct?

There's your "logic."

Straw man.It isn't... (Below threshold)

Straw man.

It isn't the marriage, it's the institution.

It's whether the institution deserves priviledged status in society and that requires it benefits society.

Everyone can get married... it just has to be to someone of the opposite sex. It's been that way... forever. Given that same-sex marriage represents a 'change' in this by granting preference to someones preferences the burden of proof is upon advocates to prove that same-sex-marriage deserves preferential status.

I myself am secular, I have a "civil union", in effect because I don't care who sanctified it. So I would not argue against any two consenting adults wishing to enter into a "civil union".

But the red flag for me was watching the arguments FOR "civil union"s being used to support same-sex marriage in my state when a referendum had to be passed to restate the plain language of the law.

The real difference?

The real difference is the 800 lb Gorilla in the room. Gay activists hate "Christianists" and want to show up at every church and demand they be accomodated.

In other words... force the Christians to change their religious views.

I will not be a party to the continuing onslaught of bigotry against Christians.

If people want same-sex marriage, advocate for that change, but the burden is upon those advocates to convince the majority.

But don't insult me by advocating for same-sex marriage by making the arguments for civil-unions because it leaves me suspecting the actual motives.

Jay,This ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jay,

This gives the other side the choice of accepting the logical extension of their arguments, or having to admit that their agenda isn't what they have been saying it is.

Another alternative is to demonstrate the logical extension of the gay marriage supporters argument is invalid, and that's what I have done many times on this blog.

The reality is that the government deals with people by type not by individual capability, and thus, marriage is reserved for procreation type couples apart from any individual capability. For example, individuals of type 65 and older can claim an extra tax exemption on their income tax returns. If the government treated these people as individuals rather than by type, the income tax return is the perfect place to see which of the elderly really needs the extra exemption. Even within couples of one-man one-woman, those that are of type "closely related" are not allowed to marry, which proves that marriage has always been about procreation of the next generation of law abiding citizens. It has nothing to do with love, stability or commitment. Those are benefits the individuals get from marriage, but society gets the next generation of law abiding citizens; without which it cannot survive. It's for that compelling reason and that reason alone that society grants scarce benefits to married couples.

If gay marriage supporters want the government to treat people according to their individual abilities rather then by type, then by extension of their logic, seniors must be treated as individuals when it comes to that extra tax exemption. People would also have to prove they were competent to vote, which the law now assumes those of type 18 and older are and those under 18 are not. Affermitive action would have to be likewise modified to make sure potential recipients have in fact suffered from discrimination. Just being of a particular type of race or gender wouldn't cut it any more.

Logically extending the gay marriage supporters argument would mean that government could no longer define people by type. Not for purposes of tax benefits, not for marriage, not for voting, not for affirmative action, not even for the military draft. Does society really want to turn itself inside out to accommodate the greed and sexual appetites of a few percent of the population? Is there injustice in the current system? No more so than for the quadriplegic who cannot get the extra tax exemption that a blind person gets, or the young man who was forced to register for the draft to get federal tuition aid while all the young women were exempt. What about the injustice suffered by young men in the late 60's and early 70's who were subject to the draft while all others were exempt?

I suggest we go back to the... (Below threshold)
Mark:

I suggest we go back to the old version of marriage. A couple would post "Banns" which was an intent to marry. Once the bride to be was confirmed to be pregnant, they are married by a priest. This was standard practice in many cultures since marriage was about the children.

And it also shuts up the same-sex marriage crowd.

The reality is that the ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The reality is that the government deals with people by type not by individual capability, and thus, marriage is reserved for procreation type couples apart from any individual capability. For example, individuals of type 65 and older can claim an extra tax exemption on their income tax returns. If the government treated these people as individuals rather than by type

You disprove your own argument. If it's appropriate to treat seniors by "type", and marriage "has always been about procreation", then seniors should be prohibited from marrying.

Also, by your argument, children, and certainly post-pubescent children, should be allowed to marry.

Brian,You... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

You disprove your own argument. If it's appropriate to treat seniors by "type", and marriage "has always been about procreation", then seniors should be prohibited from marrying.

Not at all, what I have disproved is that government treats individuals by their actual circumstance or ability. In the case of marriage, government bestows that status on procreation type couples based on their gender and blood line (can't be too closely related).

Also, by your argument, children, and certainly post-pubescent children, should be allowed to marry.

Marriage is also a legal contract between the parties and that requires they also be of type 18 or older in most states.

Marriage is currently based on the two rock solid principles of procreation biology and the equality of the partners. Simply stated as one-man one woman.

The real difference is t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The real difference is the 800 lb Gorilla in the room. Gay activists hate "Christianists" and want to show up at every church and demand they be accomodated.
In other words... force the Christians to change their religious views.

Wow, that viewpoint is almost comical, and contrary to everything the gay marriage supporters are trying to do. When San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses for gay couples, it was strictly a secular affair, with no "Christianists" involved. But the thousands that showed up were perfectly satisfied with that.

No one asked Christians to change their religious views. The only ones bringing religion into the gay marriage debate are those who oppose it in the name of religion.

In the case of marriage,... (Below threshold)
Brian:

In the case of marriage, government bestows that status on procreation type couples based on their gender and blood line (can't be too closely related).

That's just arbitrarily declaring that what already is in practice today is by definition the right set of elements to consider. Race used to be another element that government would consider, but it's not anymore. In fact, government could add any number of additional elements to consider, such as age, race, religion, etc. Government can also at its discretion remove any number of elements, including gender or blood line.

Marriage is currently based on the two rock solid principles of procreation biology and the equality of the partners. Simply stated as one-man one woman.

Your sentence #1 has little relationship to sentence #2. As noted many times, partners who can't procreate can still marry. And I'm not sure what you mean by "equality", but I can certainly cite male/female couples who are "unequal".

Brian,Tha... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

That's just arbitrarily declaring that what already is in practice today is by definition the right set of elements to consider.

It's not arbitrary, it's biology and that means people of the opposite sex. The government could use other types, but gender is the most relevant type.

Race used to be another element that government would consider, but it's not anymore.

And yet the government uses race for affirmative action and federal set asides regardless of the individual's actual history of being the victim of discrimination. The government could use other types, but race is the most relevant type.

Government can also at its discretion remove any number of elements, including gender or blood line.

But they can't change biology and society must have future generations of law abiding citizens to survive. It's not in the interest of society to fool with the vary foundation it rests upon.

Your sentence #1 has little relationship to sentence #2.

Only if you understand sentence #1 can you understand sentence #2.

As noted many times, partners who can't procreate can still marry.

And as noted many times, such partners are of the procreation type and that's the level at which government deals with individuals in many areas of life including tax exemptions, voting, affirmative action, and military service. There's simply no compelling reason to alter society at such a fundamental level just to satisfy the greed and sexual appetite of a small minority.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "equality", but I can certainly cite male/female couples who are "unequal".

In trying to understand "one-man one-woman" the words man and woman are the procreation biology part. The one and one are the equality of the partners part. There's one of each, so the partners are equal in number and equal under the law. Look at it again.

Marriage is currently based on the two rock solid principles of procreation biology and the equality of the partners. Simply stated as one-man one-woman.

Do you get it now?


It's not arbitrary, it's... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It's not arbitrary, it's biology and that means people of the opposite sex. The government could use other types, but gender is the most relevant type.

It is arbitrary, because the government DID use other types (race), but now they don't, and in the future they could again. So again I point out that you're using a circular argument that simply states that the way it currently is is by definition the "right" way.

But they can't change biology and society must have future generations of law abiding citizens to survive.

I've been told that same-sex partners can adopt and raise law abiding citizens.

And as noted many times, such partners are of the procreation type and that's the level at which government deals with individuals in many areas of life including tax exemptions, voting, affirmative action, and military service.

And just how are tax exemptions and voting rights based in human biology? In most of those areas of life you listed, the government deals with individuals with an age-based "type". So there's no reason they couldn't also apply an age-based type to marriage, if they so chose. It's strictly regulatory, not biological.

The one and one are the equality of the partners part. There's one of each, so the partners are equal in number and equal under the law.

Another circular argument. "It takes one man and one woman to procreate, therefore the laws of marriage are based on equality."

Not social security bene... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

Not social security benefits.

Wow... who knew turning over your responsibilities to a faceless government entity could turn around to bite someone in the ass?

Perhaps in the future you'll advocate something like, oh, ending social security, or maybe private accounts, or some other retirement method that won't leave your money in the control of those danged "Christianists."

The more power you give gov't, chum, the harder it bites when the "wrong" people get in power.

Late to chime in on this th... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Late to chime in on this thread, but I have only so much time for this hoddy activity.

Another point that hasn't been brought up in this debate is the raising of the next generation for a given society or country. The NATURAL family is the best institution in practice for raising children. It works across different cultures, different times, and all income spectrum. People naturally love their children more and usually willing to sacrifice to give their children the best they can. We are talking the norm here, so don't use the case of abusing parents, loving adopting parents to make the case for gay marriage etc... We live in a real and imperfect world. So don't use perfection for marriage or the natural family. Most natural parents naturally love their natural children. When they unfortunate happens, you try to approximate the natural family for children (who don't have or can't live with their natural parents). That 's why you try the extended family etc... The natural family is one man & one woman. That 's why divorce is bad for children because it breaks up the natural family.

Another alternative in raising children is by the gov. This happens in socialist countries like fascist Germany and communist countries. They destroy the family and let the gov take over the role of raising children. And we know the devastating results.

Gay people can have their civil union, the legal will etc.. Why trying to destroy an institution that has proven well in practice of raising children over thousands of years? One thing I agree with Jay is that we can structure our tax code to give benefits to couples with children because they are providing a vital function of raising the next generation for our country.

I am not sure I understand ... (Below threshold)
Rich:

I am not sure I understand all the rules. I just wonder if you have to fill out the paperwork and such for the goverment to grant you the rights for married couples,isn't that a contract for a civil union? Then you have your ceremony with whatever religion you want to declare yourselves married. I thought marriage was a religious joining,not goverment. Let the gays have their civil unions and rights with the goverment. The religions can decide to fight about whether they are married or not.

Jay Tea said: "I'm going to... (Below threshold)
Chairm:

Jay Tea said: "I'm going to have to give it some more thought. [...] It goes directly at the heart of one of our opponents' arguments, in a way that perfectly addresses their STATED position."

The proponents of this proposal, like most SSMers around the country, mischaracterize the position with which they disagree.

Here is what WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow was quoted as having said (in the article you cited):

"For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation [...] "If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Gadow has mischaracterized the defence of marriage as the union of man and woman.

First, in absolute numbers, there are more self-identified Liberals and Independants than Conservatives who have voted for the various state marriage amendments. So at issue is not just something cooked up by social conservatives.

Second, the purpose of marriage -- in our society's customs, traditions, and legal systems -- is not solely procreation.

Third, no same-sex couple is barred from marriage. The simply are incapable of forming a conjugal relationship of husband and wife. What is at issue is the SSM argumentation that would replace marriage recognition with something else while labeling the substitute "marriage".

* * *

Point number two seems to be very difficult for SSMers to comprehend and I think this may be a question of their choosing to argue against a straw man rather than against the actual core of the social institution of marriage with which they disagree.

The core of marriage is the combination of 1) integration of the sexes and 2) responsible procreation.

Not just procreation. Responsible procreation. This is intertwined with integrating men and women in the universal social institution known as marriage.

This institution is a social (and, yes, religious) construct but it arises from the nature of humankind, which is two-sexed, and the nature of human generativity, which is both-sexed. Responsible procreation begins before childbearing and responsible fatherhood and motherhood flows from the principle that each of us, as one half in a complemental twosome, is directly responsible for the children we bring into this world.

Spociety, through state authority, recognizes this and benefits marriage because marriage benefits society. It is a common good. Integrating the sexes goes far beyond joining of gametes. It is more than a jump in the hay. This integration is essential to the flourishing a human community; it is not optional, really, and it is best protected, and stabilized, within the family -- the first community. This is what peoplel mean when they refer to marriage as a bedrock institution.

And so we have this status -- both legal and social -- which denotes preference for marriage over other kinds of arrangements. Marital status is a preferential status due to the nature of humankind -- we are one human race comprised of men and women. We are born equal -- of mothers and fathers.

Now, SSMers will point to adoption and to third party procreation. While adoption is a related social institution that is meant to make-up for the shortfall experienced by a child in need, it is not procreation, let alone responsible procreaton. And third party procreation (i.e. use of sperm and ova suppliers or "donors") is extramarital even when married couples choose it.

No double-dad or double-mom arrangement can occur without parental relinquishment (or loss). I doubt that SSMers would argue that homosexuality is not a disability. And since no one-sexed arrangment (whether it be a lone individual, a same-sex twosome, or a same-sex moresome) can be fertile, no such arrangement can be infertile or subfertile. Using third party gametes does not cure infertility nor does it cure homosexuality.

This means that the analogy with infertile couples is profoundly flawed.

As for married couples who choose not to create children together, well, choices can (and do) change; pregnancies can (and do) occur unintentionally. But the childless, if they adhere to their marriage vows of fidelity, will align with responsible procreation by not procreating outside of the contingency provided by marriage -- or by not risking it. To remain childless, typically, requires considerable effort for husbands and wives who engage in regular conjugal relations.

None of that applies to the one-sexed arrangement which, by default, is unerringly childless but not by choice and not by taking measures to avoid pregnancy.

As for the elderly, well, it is in the nature of humankind that for most of the month a man-woman copule will not be fertile even during their childbearing years. As well, human beings mature, they age, they begin as pre-fertile, they become fertile, they become less fertile, and eventually they become infertile. The elderly exemplify the variability of fertility in the both-sexed combination. That contrasts with the universal and constant sterility of all one-sexed arrangements.

This variability is not man-made. It is not a social construct. It is intrinsic to the marriage idea -- in sickness and in health, for life, and so forth.

Most married couples who experience infertility resolve their problems through changes in behavior (i.e. diet, exercise, and so forth) and do not depend on novel technologies. However, since some people nowadays postpone childbearing until near the end of their childbearing years (especially affluent women), the treatments for infertility have been extended to people who experience subfertility due to normal human ageing. They exemplify the intersection of disability and ageing.

From start to end, the one-sexed arrangment is as sterile as the lone individual acting solo.

And in case someone trips over the concept of fertility, when an individual is said to be fertile there is a silent phrase that is assumed. That is, "fertile with the other sex." Likewise with the infertile individual who is infertile only as one part in a complemental twosome.

Anyway, the proposal you posted about, Jay, is a farce not to be taken seriously on its merits.

I mean, that variability would be challenged so that eventually it would require that all both-sexed couples be presumed sterile until proven fertile by engaging in lots of sexual intercourse and conceiving and bearing children. That is at odds with the marriage idea -- it puts the cart before the horse. It would replace marriage recogntion with something else -- something that is akin to trial arrangements of unwed cohabitors. And that's not very stable or in the best interests of the next generation.

But their proposal sheds a harsh light on how SSMers tend not to comprehend the actual position of those with whom they disagree. It also reveals the mindset that assumes the government could justly be authorized to revoke marital status. I know they refer to annulment, but that's a misuse of the word and the practice. They really mean that the state would retroactively void legitimate marriages and penalize the disabled and the elderly. So it also reveals a sort of totalitarian streak in SSM argumentation as well as a readiness to use false analogies. That's not new to SSM argumentation as per the comment upthread that again raises the analogy with racism.

Since there is one human race, it is wrong to press racism into marriageability. Selectively segregating the sexes in marriage law via the racist filter is very like selectively segregating the sexes under the auspices of marriage via the gay identity filter. Identity does not trump the nature of humankind from which our equality arises. It is nuts to say that the equal participation of man and woman in marriage is somehow on par with treating blacks as inferior to whites. Again, the analogy is profoundly flawed and sheds a harsh light on the SSM project.

Typo correction: "I doubt t... (Below threshold)
Chairm:

Typo correction: "I doubt that SSMers would argue that homosexuality is a disability."

I propose a counter to this... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

I propose a counter to this bill:
We'll let members of the same sex get married if they pledge that one, and only one, of them will undergo a sex change operation within three years to conform to the definition of marriage.

It's not any dumber than the original proposal...

* returns after long hiatus... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

* returns after long hiatus required by real life *

Much earlier in this thread, same-sex marriage advocates were invited to produce evidence that "...gay marriage opponents have repeated the argument that the only purpose of marriage is to procreate..." Brian took a stab at it with a link to an article about a Washington State Supreme Court decision. Nogo Postal provided a quote from Orrin Hatch.

Both miss the mark. (The Hatch quote is close; I was going to give you that one, Nogo, until about the third reading). The key element missing from both is exclusivity. Procreation is the obvious focus of both, but neither asserts that it is the exclusive justification.

The claim that those who oppose same sex marriage do so only because of the procreation issue is an obvious straw man.

And the stunt is still piffle.

Brian,It ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

It is arbitrary, because the government DID use other types (race), but now they don't, and in the future they could again. So again I point out that you're using a circular argument that simply states that the way it currently is is by definition the "right" way.

Not at all. Just because the government used an irrelevant type in the past doesn't have any impact on the gender type, which is the biological imperative. Gay supporters argued in the Massachusetts case that they were being denied the substantial financial benefits bestowed on married couples. The only rational reason for the state to bestow scarce benefits on married couples is in return for the next generation of law abiding citizens, which society must have in order to survive. Thus, gender is the relevant type.

I've been told that same-sex partners can adopt and raise law abiding citizens.

But they cannot be the source of those future citizens. Besides that, the children is same-sex partner families are denied having a parent of both genders and all that entails in their development. That also happens through other causes, but it's not something the government should promote.

And just how are tax exemptions and voting rights based in human biology?

The argument being promoted is that government should treat individuals by their abilities rather than by type in regards to marriage. The examples I cite show that government deals with individuals by type rather than by their abilities or status in many areas of life. Why should marriage be the only such area to change? If there's linkage like the gay proponents argue, then there's linkage to all the other areas where government deals with people by type. Do you really want to take a test before you can vote to demonstrate you are competent? Do you really want minorities to have to prove they have been discriminated against in order to qualify for affirmative action? If not, then way do you want couples of the opposed sex to have to prove they can procreate to stay married? What compelling reason is there for society to change in such fundamental ways?

Another circular argument. "It takes one man and one woman to procreate, therefore the laws of marriage are based on equality."

I've noticed over the years that simple concepts are often difficult for otherwise intelligent people to grasp. Apparently that's the case here. As I said there are two laws upon which marriage is based in the U.S. except for Massachusetts. One law is based on biology and the other is based on equality. The biology requirement could also be satisfied by polygamy, but polygamy violates the equality requirement. Gay couples could satisfy the equality requirement, but not the biology requirement. That's why the simple phrase "one-man one-woman" eloquently embodies the wisdom of the ages.

I'm afraid many of the comm... (Below threshold)
Fitz:

I'm afraid many of the comments on this thread are premised on a false dichotomy. It goes to the heart of understanding the efficacy of maintaining marriage.

Men and women are members of a class that can produce children. While any member of that class may not, or cannot produce a child, they remain members of a class that can produce children. Same sex pairings can never produce children. They are always and everywhere incapable of producing children. Therefore they are members of a class that can never produce children.
Marriage quo marriage is reserved exclusively to the class of couples that can produce children. While any individual couple perhaps cannot or will not produce offspring, they still retain membership within the class of the child producing (i.e. men & women)
Same sex "marriage" necessarily severs marriage from procreation. It both androgynizes the institution and separates it from any necessary link to childbearing.

Brian, When San... (Below threshold)

Brian,

When San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses for gay couples, it was strictly a secular affair, with no "Christianists" involved. But the thousands that showed up were perfectly satisfied with that.

They were perfectly satisfied to participate in an activist circumvention of the law just as they were 'satisfied' to circumvent the plain language of the law in Portland Oregon.

But the ACLU supported protesters with megaphones screaming at newly married couples at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City demonstrates that 'satisfaction' is simply the first step towards more sinister goals.

As I said... I am not religious, but to listen to the vitriol volunteered by Rosie O'Donnell or Andrew Sullivan demonstrates the 'satisfaction' is with the initial victory towards suspect intentions.

The 'government' is the means... not the target.

What is striking to ... (Below threshold)


What is striking to me about this is the vindictiveness on display. If they can't get what they want, they want to stick it to someone too. In this case, the disabled.

So the mask slips, and the hatred that the gay lobby has is fully on display in support of an initiative such as this.

Of course, the proponent considers it absurd. Of course it is absurd. In a country with handicapped access, special parking places for the handicapped, and disability benefits, its ludicrous to think that marriage should be annulled due to a disability.

But what the proponents hope is that when the initiative goes down in flames that they can spin it away from the real reason it failed, and blame the focus on responsible procreation in marriage. Which is one of our most important moors to help children and give their lives value that our society has. But that simply must be thrown under the bus to pamper small and already well-to-do, politically mobilized faction of society.

But what I figure it will really cause people to wonder about is, Is homosexuality a handicap? No, it is not. Then why are homosexuals after handicap benefits? The same-sex couple does not want equality with the companion sexed couple, they want equality with the disabled who form companion sex couplings. So why?

Neutering marriage for the sake of homosexuality, it was told to me many years ago, would be one of the most oppressive things one segment of society did to another since abortion as birth control and slavery. The way it throws children into the position of being a commodity, and the handicapped under the bus I have to say they are right.

I've given more of my take over at Opine, and it includes a fisking of Terrance's position of this law over at RepublicofT.

One of the most suspect arg... (Below threshold)

One of the most suspect arguments against same-sex marriage is that it is an attack on the institution.

Well... here we have an attempt to add additional burdensome requirements via the clumsy bludgeon of the Government and it's laws.

This is done without convincing arguments being made on the part of the advocates for this change.

Instead of, and because, of their own failure to meet the burden of proof to convincingly argue for same-sex marriage.

So... 'they' attempt to impose burdensome legislation. Any Libertarians out there want to justify that?

It's really interesting to ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

It's really interesting to read all these comments.
I see 2 fundamental issues in the underlying debate:

1: Do you consider a committed homosexual relationship to be a valid life-partnership that should be afforded the various legal protections that are available to married heterosexual couples?
Currently there are legal differences - advantages inferred by the status of being a married couple that are not available to committed homosexual partnerships.
Therefore if you do agree with a gay couple is a "valid" partnership entitled to the same legal protections etc, it seems to follow that this is a an area that should be addressed.
If you don't agree with that starting premise then that's really a basic difference of opinion that's pretty much impossible to talk through, I think.

2: What's in a name? If a civil union were really afforded the same set of rights and legal advantages (essentially the same legal status) as marriage should it be called a marriage, or is a marriage by definition a heterosexual partnership.
The second issue is a bit more up for debate, I think.
My opinion is that there's no need for a separate name for hetero vs homosexual relationships in the eyes of the law - therefore you should be able to call it a marriage (since that's the current name for this kind of partnership), or if a Marriage is specifically a faith-based thing, the law should only recognize civil unions for both straight and gay couples (and the "marriage" part of it could be considered the religious ceremony that blesses the union, etc).

I feel like a lot of the other stuff in this debate is really a distraction...
Frankly it's not really about the next generation so much as about the current one, and this kind of stunt isn't going to get at the heart of the question, or change anyone's mind.

Paul, if we removed the cor... (Below threshold)
Chairm:

Paul, if we removed the core of marriage (i.e. responsible procreation combined with integration of the sexes) from the preferential status now accorded the conjugal relationship of husband and wife, what's left?

And is that enough to justify a preferential status? See, marital status is not merely a protective status nor is it merely tolerated. It is a relationship type that is preferred in our customs, traditions, and legal systems.

Now what your comment suggests is that we should no longer recognize marriage for what it is but instead we should recognize some new ideal based on the limitations of the one-sexed alternative. This would mean replacing marriage recognition with something else.

That would constitute an attack on the social institution of marriage.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy