Thursday, January 3, 2008

Gay Marriage: Live and Let Live

I found this article earlier today, from the Dunkirk, NY-based Observer. It is written by Fredonia State University professor Stephen Kershnar.

The article is about "...whether the state should recognize gay marriage. This issue is distinct from whether gay sex is immoral, because one might think that the state should recognize some immoral contracts (for example, a contract to supply pit bull puppies to the Aryan Brotherhood). The issue is not merely academic. Gary Gates of UCLA Law School points out that a 2000 U.S. Census report noted that there were 600,000 same-sex couples and in 2005, the Census Bureau estimated that the number is greater than 770,000."

Among other interesting points it discusses are:

*"The notion that gay marriage harms children not born to gay couples is a claim in need of supporting studies. I haven’t seen any. I should note that a few anecdotes are not data. As always the opponents of liberty (in this case the liberty to form a contract and have it enforced) should bear the burden of proof."

*"However, let’s assume that there was data supporting the claim that recognizing gay marriage correlated with greater harm to children and higher divorce rates. This still would not provide a sufficient case against gay marriage because the harm would be indirect. The responsibility for harm to children should fall on those who molest, injure, or abandon them, not third parties who affect how others think about the world." [emphasis added]

*"The same reasons that justify gay marriage also justify permitting adult-incest and polygamous marriage. People are still free to try to get others to avoid this sort of behavior, they just can’t use state coercion as a means of persuasion. I realize a lot of readers find adult-incest relationship and polygamous relationships disgusting, but this is merely aesthetic. The same can be said for those who find the idea of obese people having sex disgusting."

I agree completely. Anti-gay arguments that involve incest and polygamy merely prove that the objection to homosexuality is a moral one, not one that is based on love or concern for any other group of people. If sites like Opine Editorials were interested at all in the welfare of children and families, they would devote much more of their time to causes that help those they claim they are trying to save.

The other most frequent argument used by sites like Opine Editorials and other anti-gay blogs/arguments is that if same-sex couples should get marriage or marriage-like rights, then why can't other relationships (like a mother-daughter pair who live together)? Again, this only shows that their objection to same-sex marriages lies more in their inability to see the gay relationship as a "true" relationship. We are not asking for the moral approval. Only for equal protections under the law, which would be a step in the right direction for allowing gays and lesbian relationships to be seen as more than second-class.

This, I imagine, is what people like On Lawn (the ringleader of Opine) mean when they say we are using our hypothetical "gay identity filters." Instead of acknowledging that GLBTQ people have been shat upon throughout history for no good reason, they now claim we are using our identities to seek special rights and privileged status for rights that they have and we do not. Well, here is my solution to that: instead of identifying as a lesbian (an alleged political identity to some anti-gay activists), I will identify as a person who wishes for same-sex couples to have legal recognition of their marriages. It's a plan. No "gay identity filter," no problem.

Anyway, like Kershnar, I have also asked opponents to provide their burden of the proof required to deny same-sex couples a liberty (ie-that same-sex marriages are harmful to society and/or children). And thus far, not one has done so. I eagerly await their answers. Oh, and "proof" does not come from fundamentalist Christian "pro-family" organizations. I'm talking legit scientific evidence. But perhaps I expect too much.


John said...

"*"The same reasons that justify gay marriage also justify permitting adult-incest and polygamous marriage. "

You have touched the third rail.


John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Jane, the fact of the matter is that we are dealing with dishonest people. OnLawn, the ringmaster of the Opine Editorials has been proven to be the very liar he claims others are. He was caught posting under other names.

Trying to get a straight answer out of a liar will be quite a task.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Even when he tries to explain his short comings he doesn't realize he is giving the same answer Christian gave when he was caught. It took me a while to realize what was going on, but the cat is out of the bag now.

Jane Know said...

You're right. Once again, he is showing more evidence that the only "echo chamber" that exists here is his own. He's pathetic.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

So now that OnLawn has conceded in debate here, do you think he will continue to focus his assault on you and Fannie?

I am wondering how many times he can get burnt by the hot stove before he realizes he shouldn't touch it. ;)