Friday, November 18, 2005

Gay marriage

I've been inspired by full metal attourney's post to talk about gay marriage. It's something that I am broadly for. I think there are two arguments here. Arguments about homosexuals being married under the law, with all the benefits that entails, i.e. civil unions and arguments about homosexuals being married under God, i.e MARRIED. I'm going to argue against these arguments first, then try and present arguments as to why homosexual marriage is a good thing.

So, lets deal with arguments against civil unions. These are generally rather weak, but I'll go through them

1-Gay people should not be allowed to adopt children, as this could harm them, or possibly mean they are more likely to be homoexual.

This is an argument sometimes made. First of all there is little evidence to show that having homosexual parents has a serious effect on a childs mental health or sexuality, remember that all adopting parents are STRONGLY vetted, and only those who would not damage a child's mental health are allowed. Secondly, its actually immaterial to the civil unions argument- a single gay person can adopt a child anyway, so its a totally seperate issue.

2-Gay civil unions would lead to unions of polygamous, incestual, or even bestial couples

Hmm. We can immediately discount bestial relationships as these are clearly non consensual. As for incestual relationships, these are usually deeply traumatic and possibly non consenual, so we can probably discount these. Polygamy is interesting. However, and this is important- an argument that gay marriage would mean that polygamy could happen is surely an argument FOR polygamy. If we ignore the "the bible says it's wrong" arguments, and are unable to come up with a rational reason why polygamy is worse than gay relationships then perhaps polygamy should be allowed: at least for civil unions anyway. I know this might be a slightly unpleasent idea for some of you, but if your opposition to an idea is based on only irrational prejudices, perhaps you should rethink it.

I can't think of any other reasons to block gay civil unions in a nation which is not overtly religious- if we decide that homosexuality is something we want to be legal, then they are surely entitled to the same rights as us.

Now marriage is a little different. Becuase marriage is a word held to be very important by many people, as something a little more. Not only a legal bond, but a religious bond. So it makes sense that gay people should not be married when marriage is a concept by people who do not even agree that homosexality is moral.

Only there is a flaw in this argument. The relgious types also surely should not approve of anyone getting married... who is, say, an atheist. Or an agnostic. Or just does not go to church every week. Why not? Their trangressions, if anything, are surely worse than that of homosexuals who might well believe in God and practice religon frequently. So yes, stop homosexuals calling themselves marrried... but do the same with everyone else who isn't strictly religious.

I wonder how much popular support you'd get for that.

I apologise that this post is a little less logically laid out than I'd hope. I hope you can present some stronger arguments against homosexual marriage- I really haven't been convinced by those I have found.


At 12:02 pm, Blogger Kirbie said...

To be married in a church, I believe you do have to attend services there for a certain period before they'll let you get married.
I don't think marriage is particularly a religious thing, although it may have started out that way. It has different meanings for different people and doesn't have to involve religion at all. My parents are married (I think they possibly got married in a church, can't really remember) and they're both athiests and have been for as long as I know.

As for gay marriage, I don't really have a problem with it. It's pretty hypocritical to say that it's fine to be gay, but treat them differently.

At 7:48 pm, Blogger Kelly said...

Kirbie, it depends on the church.
And I don't think it's hypocritical to treat them differently. If you would read the post which Mr. K linked to at the beginning of this one, then you would understand that there are many rational reasons for treating them differently.

And Mr. K, I think you assume that incest is adult-child incest rather than adult-adult (i.e. brother-sister or cousins) incest. And you're right that polygamy has nothing logical to distinguish itself from gay marriage.
But beastiality is not as obvious as you might think. If you accept the right to privacy the way that the US Supreme Court would have you accept it, and you extend it to apply to gay marriage, then why not let people have sex with animals? They're property under the law, and so the government's interest in protecting them would diminish in comparison to some hick's sexual choice, at least as long as the animal is large enough so that the owner would not cause it pain.


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