Monday, April 8, 2013
Homosexual Marriage Debate
Hello readers! I have recently been arguing for homosexual marriage with an individual on Google Plus. For those who do not know, I recently made an argument against this article by a Mormon apostle found in my blogpost not too long ago, here is a link. Following this article, a "friend" on Google Plus attempted to provide a counterargument. The link to his counterargument is located here. Please read his essay before reading mine as it will make my essay make much more sense. Also, it is beneficial to have his essay open side-by-side with mine as it will make the essay make much more sense (note that the word "you" below is a placeholder for his name so as to keep him anonymous):
I find that the best way for me to argue your points without becoming accusatory is to rebuttle each point one at a time, as such my essay will largely model yours. You will probably want your essay open when you read this as I will not be explicitly mentioning what paragraph of yours I am debating.
I agree with your point that gender is a core characteristic that is fairly permanent (however it is changeable via surgery and hormone treatments). But your gender should make no difference other than for reproductive reasons. Yes, men and women have natural secondary characteristics and differences in ability, such as men tending to be stronger and women tending to be more flexible, but that is no reason to treat them different socially. Why can a man not be a house husband and the women the main breadwinner? Why can a woman not be a body builder and a man be a gymnast or ice skater? The fact is that anyone of any gender can be their own individual separate of gender biases and traditional gender roles. It is to my understanding that you agree with this so I should make it clear why I bring this up: it is a response to you saying that “equality” is removing everything about gender. Essentially my point is that the only permanently unique characteristic of each gender is which role they play in reproduction and the line stops there.
You mentioned that marriage is “ancient, millennia-old, universally recognized” as if its universality and longevity is an argument for maintaining its current form; it’s not. Slavery, selling of children, and torture were all once, and in some cases still are, “ancient, millennia-old, universally recognized.” Yet these three institutions, among many others, are inhumane, harsh, and degrading. So an institution being “ancient, millennia-old, universally recognized” is a completely invalid reason for maintaining marriage as it is, however you have other arguments of a more valid nature that I will soon debate.
I don’t understand what’s wrong about “genderless marriage” or even what it fully means and don’t want to make an argument against it that is going to be off topic or miss the mark. Could you please elaborate?
I’m not saying separate all values from law, I can see where my statements were ambiguous. What I am saying is that values that are solely religious should not be incorporated into law, ever. I know you disagree that homosexuality is solely religiously based and you have made several arguments, however I will debate those later. For now it sufficeth to say that the fight against homosexual marriage has no logical basis other than the “majority prefers it” (which is not true, a recent poll puts the number of American’s supporting homosexual marriage at roughly 58%) and the majority once preferred slavery, torture, etc. A majority preference is often oppressive and is typically a weak argument for law. Also, laws should not be based off pathos. Laws need be based of logos. Laws based off pathos have often led to harm and oppression. I repeat that there is no sustainable logical argument against homosexual marriage.
The lawyer makes a good point between tolerance and endorsement and I agree. However, endorsing an action for one group and not another is oppressive. Saying that one social group as a whole can exercise a right or power but another is prohibited from making those same decisions is to endorse one group over another. In other words, it still marginalizes and damages a social group, typically a minority. The law needs to endorse all social groups, or not. To elevate one social group or another is naturally oppressive and harmful.
To your question about why have marriage at all, I actually agree with that point where the government is concerned. I don’t believe the government should have any say in a social ceremony other than for immediate bodily protection (such as crowd control and traffic control during large gatherings). And, in fact, couples are very capable of raising families without being married. In fact, one can raise a family just as well without being married as if they were married. The only reasons statistics differ from my above statements is because many “less-than-optimal” households have unmarried parents. It is not the lack of marriage that makes them bad parents, but rather the type of people that the parents are that causes them to not get married. In the same sense, anonymous individual, I’m sure you’d be just a good of a parent whether you were wed or not. Marriage does not spontaneously increase one’s parenting skills. There are only two purposes for marriage: to gain a social sanction to have sex, and for a couple to create a socially binding promise to be loyal to one another. The first point (social sanction for sex) only applies to couples who believe that extramarital sex is wrong and care what others think about their having extramarital sex. The second point (commitment) is only for couples who see marriage as having a binding power to create a commitment; in other words, if a couple believes that they are capable of commitment without marriage and doesn’t desire marriage because they see no value in it, it is useless. To reiterate the above few sentences, marriage is an inherently useless institution that only has the power that individuals grant it. So the question naturally arises: why am I fighting for homosexual marriage if I would prefer no government involvement in marriage? It is a point of inequality and oppression and it is much more likely to get the government to sanction homosexual marriage than to take their hands completely out of marriage.
Your paragraph concerning harm dealt to society by less-than-ideal households is by far your strongest point. As such I will spend some time on this point. You are very much correct in the assertion that less-than-ideal households produce children more likely to commit crimes and be overall detrimental to society. However, homosexual households don’t produce children of this nature. Slightly over 20% of homosexual households are raising kids either from a previous marriage, rape, or adoption. These children are no more likely to be violent or criminal in nature than children raised by heterosexual parents. The only study that states to the contrary defined homosexual parents as any adult (in a heterosexual union or otherwise) that has had the desire to cheat on their spouse with another of the same gender. In other words, they didn’t truly study homosexuals as a comprehensive whole, but rather those with a desire to cheat and potentially ruin their current relationship. The study did not accurately sample the homosexual population and is therefore completely void. The notion that homosexual couples’ children are more likely to be homosexual is also highly false. Homosexuality is biologically determined and not taught, so it’s not possible to teach a child into a sexuality. On the reverse side, sanctioned homosexual marriage would decrease divorce rates and crime rates. A decent number of divorces are due to a homosexual marrying a heterosexual in order to hide their homosexual nature and gain social acceptance, not for love. As such these marriages often end in divorce. Also, many homosexuals living together stay together for life. Allowing homosexuals to marry would decrease divorces due to the first mentioned reason and increase the number of permanent couples due to the second reason. Finally, since homosexuals cannot have their own biological children (actually, a friend who I won’t mention and I came up with a biologically valid method for homosexuals to have their own offspring and supposedly such research is being conducted) so many homosexual couples adopt. Orphaned children who aren’t adopted by the time they reach maturity are often lacking in proper parental care and harbor angry feelings. These children are more prone to crime and other detrimental activities. By increasing the number of adopters, more children will be adopted increasing the number of children who receive proper parental attention and thus reducing the crime rate. In addition, as homosexuals adopt kids, it increases the quantity of many available to orphanages and decreases the number of children the money must be spent on. The newly enriched orphanages can perform give much higher quality care to the children left in the orphanage and better fund campaigns to get people to adopt. Allowing homosexuals to marry is all-around beneficial for any society.
You apparently misunderstood why I related homosexuality to the soda ban. I was showing that declaring a law as “arbitrary and capricious” is, via precedent, a valid way to attack a law. I was also comparing the ridiculousness of banning homosexual marriage to the ridiculousness of banning large sodas.
“What happens in your house doesn’t affect what happens in my house” is a very valid and true statement. If what I do does not affect your rights, than why inhibit it? If a man choosing to marry another homosexual does not take away from your rights (which it doesn’t), than why prohibit it? If a woman decides to marry another woman, what forceful affect does it have on you? Nothing. A homosexual couple marrying doesn’t take away from any of your rights. They’re not taking away from your rights, don’t take away from theirs. Finally, about your last few sentences of that paragraph, what happened? Your arguments had at least some basis until these sentences. Let’s reiterate those sentences in a few other contexts to show their invalidity:
· Atheist: But what happens when I'm trying to teach my children about what I believe, and I have to explain to them that these nice people are oppressing minorities in the name of an imaginary being and that society is wrong about something I know and believe is right?
· Different religion: But what happens when I'm trying to teach my children about what I believe, and I have to explain to them that these nice people are doing something our God says is wrong and that they’re wrong about something I know and believe is right?
· Liberal/Conservative: But what happens when I'm trying to teach my children about what I believe, and I have to explain to them that these nice people are doing something politically wrong, and that the government is wrong, and that society is wrong about something I know and believe is right?
Etc. etc. etc. These are things that cannot, must not happen. Because you do not agree with your neighbor does not mean you can force their hand. Freedom exists. I legitimately feel like your final statements of that paragraph are a direct attack on freedom. Let people be themselves.
I adequately addressed your final paragraph in my last essay, I will not bring it up here.
I have a final point to offer. Before you get offended, I am not attacking your religion, I’m being legitimately curious. You believe that your god gave us agency to choose. You believe that he is the one to judge mankind and that man are to not judge others. Why then do you not allow homosexuals the agency to choose to marry and, if your religion turns out to be correct when we all die, for your god to judge them and punish/reward them? Why do you feel it to be your need to force others to conform to your god’s standards?