Gay Marriage Strawman 1: Free Sandusky!

First in a four-part series.

The implementation of same-sex marriage has been accompanied much gnashing of teeth, mostly along slippery slope lines, about the impending collapse of civilization while not noting that civilization has been collapsing just fine without it. This Saturday my cousin will be in some sort of ceremony with her girlfriend of several years. I really don’t know whether it is a legal marriage since the Maryland marriage equality law does take effect (barring a referendum challenge) until January.

Regardless, the entire family including my very conservative father will be there to celebrate this happy occasion. This seems to be a good time to ruminate on the various arguments which have been arrayed against gay marriage.

One is that once gay marriage is allowed, it will shortly allow pedophiles to marry the objects of their affections and for incest to run rampant. One such subscriber to this fear mongering is Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) who worries:

Why not allow an uncle to marry his niece? Why not allow a 50-year-old man to marry a 12-year-old girl if they love each other and they’re committed?

The National Organization for Marriage raises the concern this way:

When you knock over a core pillar of society like marriage, and then try to redefine Biblical views of marriage as bigotry, there will be consequences. Will one of the consequences be a serious push to normalize pedophilia?

Notice the way that both of these quotes are in the hypothetical because nobody is seriously proposing this. When pushed to extremes, groups will cite the North American Man-Boy Love Association aka NAMBLA, a nearly apocryphal group not unlike the New Black Panthers which seems to exist only to serve as a strawman. No serious statement has been issued by the groups since the late 90s when they were driven out of GBLT umbrella groups out of genuine outrage.

As the recent Sandusky case attests, nobody is out there defending the right of adults to sexually exploit minors. Even in cases which would seem to push the boundaries such as Mary Kay Letourneau (afterall, what middle school boy hasn’t been hot for teacher, amirite?) the social approbation has been nearly universal.

Several issues get conflated, but several broad bullet points need to be always mentioned.

Few gay men are pedophiles.
Most pedophiles, even those who abuse boys, are straight.
Most pedophiles were victims of sexual abuse themselves.

Frankly , most revulsion towards gay marriage is simply thinly veiled homophobia over the fact that gay sex is icky. That is why lesbian couples such as Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, as well as my cousin, are much more palatable to the public than the male variety. But that is why straight men watch ‘lesbian’ porn and women write slash fiction.

But to say that same sex marriage is going to release the floodgates for pedophiles eager to use this as a camel nose under the tent is simply false. And the key difference is one of consent. Minors are not considered able to consent knowledgeably. And while the laws vary widely from state to state, there are key broad assumptions about how and when minors can engage in sex and/or get married, and the rules are often different. For example, Maryland had an age of consent exemption allowing a marriage to women as young as thirteen provided the bride was pregnant (thus making Hartzler’s argument above moot). And by simple biology this situation can’t possibly be gay. It’s the straight abusers of children who were being legally protected.

Letting adult gays and lesbians marry isn’t going to make pedophilia socially acceptable as long as parents love and protect their children. And adult homosexuals fucking each other in their own marriage beds is not something kids need protection from.

112 Responses

  1. yello:

    Congratulations to your cousin. Perhaps they will legally marry in DC, which would be recognized in MD, and have a commitment ceremony in MD.

    That reminds me that David Blankenhorn recently changed his mind about SSM.

    Oh, and you forgot to mention the possibility that SSM will promote “man on dog” sex.

    Like

    • Mike:

      That reminds me that David Blankenhorn recently changed his mind about SSM.

      That’s not quite right. He’s changed his mind about actively opposing it, I think. Basically I think he has given up more than changed his mind.

      Like

  2. Oh, and you forgot to mention the possibility that SSM will promote “man on dog” sex.

    That will be an upcoming strawman. I’ve gone and added a note to that effect.

    Like

  3. yjkt, do I have any need to know what constitutes “slash fiction”? I prefer the answer to be “no”, so do not feel constrained to explain.

    It was useful to point up the notion of consent wrt children, as part of the answer to the slippery slope argument.

    As for the incest problem between consenting adults, we are in murkier territory. Beyond the blood ties and the genetic risk enhancement, there are personal psychological issues. Role confusion is how I would describe brother-sister or parent-child sex. My guess is that role confusion is not sufficient grounds to argue against sibling marriage in a courthouse, real as it may be. We will not be faced with significant numbers of sibling marriage requests, but at some point we can imagine having to deal with that issue.

    I am of the opinion that each of these matters is severable and none are like the other. “If men can marry men why can’t brothers marry sisters?” has no resonance for me. But it does for QB, for instance. It would be enlightening for me if we could characterize what consenting private adult [CPA][!] sex should not be celebrated in lawful marriage and why not. Personally, I oppose sibling and parent child marriage, and with that I oppose step-sibling and step parent-child marriage as well. All on the grounds of unhealthy role confusion. And I know I am on weak ground.

    Let us assume monogamy as the norm here and discuss, if we must, multiple partners last.

    Like

    • Mark:

      As for the incest problem between consenting adults, we are in murkier territory.

      I think there is a conflation of sex and marriage going on here that is unjustified. Do/will laws allowing same-sex marriage require the participants to have sex? I doubt it, and there is no reason to expect they would. What possible interest would the state have in any physical relationship that might take place between two homosexuals? And if there is no requirement of a physical relationship for same-sex marriages, then from the state’s point of view it is strictly a financial arrangement between the two contracting parties. In which case why should a brother and sister who are not having sex, or a mother and child who are not having sex, or any two people at all, be excluded from being able to get married?

      The fact is that the state’s historical interest in recognizing and legally defining a personal, sexual relationship between two people as marriage has always rested on the fact that those relationships tend to produce children. Same sex relationships do not, and so if the state has an interest in recognizing and legally defining such relationships as marriage, the interest must lie somewhere outside of the fact that the two people have sex. And that, of course, opens the door for all manner of relationships to demand to be recognized as marriage in order to be able to make the same financial arrangements that two people who are having sex are allowed to make.

      Like

  4. do I have any need to know what constitutes “slash fiction”? I prefer the answer to be “no”, so do not feel constrained to explain.

    I will explain anyways. Slash fiction is a subset of fan-generated fiction (often called fanfic) where people write erotic stories about existing characters in television, film, or literature. Many of the writers are women and a lot of the erotic frission is generated between characters who do not have a sexual relationship in the canonical work. The slash is shorthand for the common way of designating which characters are the romantic pair in the story. The archetype is Kirk/Spock slash fiction where the two leads of the Star Trek series hook up. It is not necessary for it to be a homosexual coupling (there is a lot of Mulder/Scully slash fiction, for example) but it frequently is since the target market is heterosexual women.

    There are easily googled repositories of slash fiction often sorted by source work. As you might imagine, the Harry Potter universe is also popular in this genre.

    Like

  5. As a libertarian, my position on this is easy. What two more more consenting adults do from a relationship standpoint is not within the purview of the state. However, the state can define who receives tax benefits etc. Also, none of this has anything to do with the U.S. Constitution.

    My solution is to therefore get rid of state sanctioned “marriage” entirely and convert everyone to civil unions. I’d also get rid of filing taxes jointly and have everyone file taxes as an individual with the single rates (or ideally rate) applying.

    With regards to the social implications, the line between adults and minors is a pretty easy one to draw. The harder one will be to try and maintain some sort of justification against Mormons and others who wish to practice polygamy between consenting adults.

    With regards to the distinction between sibling and other “unhealthy role confusion” vs gay marriage, you can make these distinctions if you believe that the state has a role in defining marriage through the democratic process. If it’s somehow a constitutional right to marry whomever you wish, not so much.

    Lastly, I don’t see how you can square the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution. If Rhode Island says you are married, the other states have to recognize it, just as they did divorces done in Reno, NV during the 1960’s.

    Edit: Congratulations to your cousin.

    Like

    • I’d also get rid of filing taxes jointly and have everyone file taxes as an individual with the single rates (or ideally rate) applying.

      I followed everything else you wrote.

      The Tax Code is written as it is to keep the eight community property states from having an unfair citizen advantage over the 42 English property states. Before 1948, iirc, taxes were individual. But in TX and NM, AZ and CA, and LA, plus some others, all marital earnings are deemed earned by each spouse equally by reason of a partnership theory of marriage in the original Spanish [and French] law on which these states are patterned. So each spouse reported half the earnings of the marriage. Joint returns equalize NY with TX.

      If marriage is determined by state law and property rights are determined by state law this is unavoidable.

      Like

  6. corked by jnc4p. NTTAWWT

    Like

  7. OT, RIP Nora Ephron

    Ephron died of complications from myelodysplasia, a blood disorder she was diagnosed with six years ago, The Washington Post reports.

    The beloved screenwriter, who brought to life award-winning films including “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail” and, most recently “Julie & Julia,” belonged to America’s top tier of filmmakers, but her talents extended far beyond Hollywood. Ephron was also an accomplished essayist, novelist and reporter, not to mention the Editor-at-Large of The Huffington Post.

    Raised in Beverly Hills, Ephron graduated from Wellesley College before beginning her career as a journalist at the New York Post. She then went on to write about the 1970s women’s movement for Esquire.

    “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady,” Ephron told Wellesley’s Class of 1996 in a commencement speech. “I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

    Ephron had the wit and the guts to follow her own advice.

    Like

  8. yello:

    Is Dick Cheney invited? He has a heart now you know, even if it’s not his own.

    Like

  9. “markinaustin, on June 27, 2012 at 8:32 am said:”

    If marriage is determined by state law and property rights are determined by state law this is unavoidable.”

    How is it unavoidable, especially if it wasn’t the case prior to 1948? The IRS gets the income information individually. They simply say that for purposes of federal income tax, everyone’s an individual. State taxes can still be structured however each state wishes.

    You can argue that it may disadvantage certain couples who live in specific states, but that’s not the same thing as unavoidable.

    Edit: Also, with a flat income tax rate that applies equally to all income, I suspect the distortions caused by married filing jointly vs filing separately become moot.

    Like

    • How is it unavoidable, especially if it wasn’t the case prior to 1948?

      We have a misunderstanding. TX did have the advantage over NY pre-1948.

      I think the Supremes would still uphold community property concepts over a Congressional determination that the recipient of the W-2 or 1099 created a conclusive and irrebuttable presumption.

      And if there is no requirement of a physical relationship for same-sex marriages, then from the state’s point of view it is strictly a financial arrangement between the two contracting parties. In which case why should a brother and sister who are not having sex, or a mother and child who are not having sex, or any two people at all, be excluded from being able to get married?

      Exactly the conversation I hoped for. Thank you, Scott. Like JNC and NoVA, I think the govt. has no business determining marriage but should allow civil unions and domestic partnerships. And probably should recognize them, as taxable entities, accordingly. Child bearing and child rearing relationships would be subject to laws protecting children, as well.

      But there are other possibilities, too.

      Like

  10. Also, as marriage is clearly related to and potentially influences commerce (see “Marriage Industrial Complex”), why can’t the government define marriage as between whomever it pleases under the Commerce Clause precedent set in Wickard v Filburn, especially if the couples are engaged in wheat (or marijuana growing)?

    Like

  11. OT: Mark – how are your AC issues?

    Like

  12. scott

    Only if they are conscripted into the militia first

    Like

  13. I am not a lawyer, but isn’t not having sex a legitimate grounds for annulment or divorce. I’m a fan of a new series on ABC Family called Bunheads where Alan Ruck, a nebbish shoe salesman, impulsively marries a Las Vegas dancer played by Broadway star Sutton Foster. Spoiler Alert: The two go back to his hometown where he lives with mother. The two proceed to have sex upstairs during a party thrown in their honor much to the mother’s consternation. I initially thought this plot point a little crude for a family oriented comedy, but the Alan Ruck character shortly thereafter dies of a car wreck but not before willing all his property (including the residence of his mother) to his new wife. Hilarity ensues. It would seem that without the clear acknowledgment that the marriage had been consummated, the mother would have a better case for challenging the will.

    An old joke I used to tell is: Q. If you need a fishing license to go fishing and a driving license to drive, what type of license do lesbians need? A: A liquor license.

    The point I poorly make is that a marriage license would more traditionally be considered a fucking license in that it confers on two people their legal right to have sexual intercourse exclusively with each other. And that right seems to confer an entire range of benefits.

    Like

    • a marriage license would more traditionally be considered a fucking license

      I think that has history on its side. But what happens to that notion when most of us see that as antiquated?

      Does that mean marriage lost its institutional meaning during WW2, or after Kinsey, or after the pill?

      What does it mean when more than half of all kids are born out of wedlock?

      There is a lot of stuff here. I think gay marriage opponents see all this stuff as the end of a social compact and take gay marriage as the official stamp of approval of that break.

      In fact, kids born out of wedlock is a problem, when it means no loving family, but raised in a loving family is not a necessary result of marriage, either.

      Like

  14. It’s been a long time since I got married and I haven’t even been to a wedding in a few years but do the wedding vows incorporate the fact that having children is essential to marriage? Do they actually mention procreation? Isn’t it more simply; love, honor, cherish and obey each other? And why would that be limited to only heterosexual couples? I’m not arguing for incestual or polygamous unions, just two consentual adults who are not related to each other. That’s sounds like a marriage to me……………keep it simple.

    Someone said over at the PL the other day that a homosexual union cannot be a marriage because procreation was impossible, as if a biological connection between parent and child were essential to a family. Tell that to all the adoptive and step relationships across the country and see how far you get.

    Like

  15. “markinaustin, on June 27, 2012 at 9:06 am said:

    There is a lot of stuff here.”

    And no one has really addressed the issue of Constitutional right vs good idea that should be enacted democratically.

    Like

  16. Isn’t it more simply; love, honor, cherish and obey each other?

    My wife refused to have the O-word in the vows. It is an option in the Catholic wedding ceremony (the one I am most familiar with) that is rarely exercised.

    Like

  17. It is interesting all the furor over “marriage”. With the demise of cohabitation and sodomy laws, it really is optional at this point.

    Like

  18. yello, I’ve heard it both ways. My husband and I had a civil ceremony, we eloped, and it wasn’t in the vows or I might have objected also. No one, here or anywhere, has ever explained to me properly why two men or two women shouldn’t have the same rights to marriage as a man and a woman. It seems obvious to me.

    Congrats to your cousin btw.

    Like

  19. it really is optional at this point.

    It’s a lifestyle decision.

    Like

  20. My sister-in-law just returned from 2-3 years in Montreal. apparently nobody gets married there. but she had a line of guys willing to move in with her. seemed to be a very causal approach to it — too much so for her, and she’s not exactly conservative in her social outlook.

    Like

  21. Neither of our daughters are married. The oldest (32) lives with her boyfriend, and doesn’t want children, so has no burning desire to marry yet. I think he may be winning her over though as she seems to be warming up to the idea a little. The youngest was engaged at 21 and her fiance was killed in a motorcycle accident three weeks before they graduated from college. That messed her up pretty good in the relationship department. At 30, and getting ready to finish up school (again), she’s beginning to think about marriage and a family. She’s been solely focused, except for a fling or two (the ones I know about, lol) with unmarriageable guys, on her education and career. They’re both socially very liberal but also very family oriented, as am I.

    Like

  22. lmsinca – Did you happen to see the Atlantic article I linked to yesterday? I understand if you didn’t feel like wading into the commentary, but it’s worth a read and is interesting to compare and contrast with the decisions your daughters are making.

    Which daughter is the outdoors one who does the research in the Grand Canyon and is possibly going to work for the oil companies (or am I completely misremembering?)

    Like

  23. OT, since this appears to be the thread of the day. Worth a read:

    “The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal
    June 27, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

    A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

    By Katherine Eban”

    http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/?hpt=hp_t2

    Like

  24. jnc

    I did read it and yes I did intentionally remain aloof. You’re not misremembering, that’s the youngest who lives in CO and will be working in Denver beginning Nov. 1 for an oil company. She was set to go to pharmacy school at 21 and get married the summer when she was 22 and continue school while her fiance worked to support them. That all fell apart and she took an environmental consulting job instead of pharmacy school and ended up in DC for a couple of years. Somewhere along the way she fell in love with geology so came home and earned a second Bachelor’s Degree and then was off to School of Mines. She can’t really stand many of the guys at the school and keeps meeting BLM guys and river raft hunks that are more interesting but not exactly marriage material……………..hahahahaha.

    Like

  25. BLM guys?

    Like

  26. Bureau of Land Management guys. When they find out she’s going to work for oil, they freak out.

    Like

  27. Way, way OT, but I’m a giver.

    I really don’t care about secret prisons Gitmo or “torture.”. In fact, I’m all for using the Winston Churchill solution for Nazi war criminals. Why KSM hasn’t been capped yet, and his family charged for the bullet I’ll never know.  

    That being said, here’s a link for the civil libertarians amongst us about Obama’s “secret” prison in Somalia. 

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/27/somalia-s-prisons-the-war-on-terror-s-latest-front.html

    Like

  28. An interesting addendum to Forbes piece on Fast and Furious story.

    Warning, Ace of Spades link!

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/327658.php

    Like

  29. I do believe your “Straw Man” title is apt, given that what follows it is largely that. And, by the way, “homophobia” is a nonsense put-down used for avoiding reasoned argument.

    The argument against SSM (will try to avoid calling it marriage) is not per se a slippery slope argument. That is, it is not an argument that X is okay but will lead to Y, which isn’t. Examples like pedophilia, incest, and plural marriage are, rather, used principally to attack the “logic” of SSM proponents with their own weapon, which always consists of some form of, “Prove to me why X is is different from Y.” And, of course, all reasons offered why X is different from Y are further ruled out of order as requiring further “proof” that, e.g., men are different from women. As illustrated in the the previous comments, SSM proponents virtually always resort to some form of the argument that, unless a principle accounts for all cases, it is not valid. Thus, we always see, “But tell that to childless couples, tell that to adoptees.”

    The argument against SSM is essentially what Scott said: marriage is sanctioned (and legitimately so) because sexual relations between men and women produce children, and a permanent, legally and socially recognized, exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in a sexual relationship is beneficial to children and society–and ultimately the state. National Review published several very good essays laying out this case in the past several years. I have not seen better expositions.

    Objections about childless couples, adoptions, or that “we don’t require childbearing for a marriage license” do not invalidate that principle. We know that same-sex relations never can and never will, ever, produce children. It is male-female relations that produce children. That they do not always produce children does not change this. We simply do not and cannot build social mores and laws around the exceptions. We build them around tendencies and types. SSM is not of the type that marriage is and has no similar tendency.

    A slippery slope argument as to pedophilia is, I agree, subject to the consent objection, but that is not really the chief point of interest. It is, rather, that if there is an association between them it perhaps tells us something of interest about homosexuality itself and its influences. I will not get into marshalling competing studies and evidence on this point, but I will simply note that the propositions stated by yello above do not establish a lack of correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. They are red herrings. There are two notorious pedophilia stories in the news today. One is Sandusky (abuse of boys), the other is a prominent homosexual activist arrested in San Francisco for possession of child pornography.

    There are several ironies I always note in the arguments of SSM advocates in this area. One is that the long-standing Catholic Church scandal involves … well, you all know what it involves. Not men and girls. Another is that SSM advocates frequently appeal to the (claimed) acceptance of homosexuality in ancient Greece (as if this appeal to an ancient culture has some special force), without noting the strong association it had with pedophilia. Casual dismissals like yello’s are just that … casual and easy. They really do not confront the issues. If there is a correlation, then serious people ought to consider whether their beliefs about the normality and healthiness of homosexuality, and whether society and the government should endorse it, bear scrutiny.

    As for legal recognition of marriage, proposals to eliminate government’s role in marriage and replace it with a gender-neutral “civil union” really solve nothing, and they abdicate government’s legitimate role in promoting and protecting important social institutions. This is where I depart from doctrinaire libertarianism. It is not possible for government to be “neutral” on marriage (or on many other things). Either marriage is recognized and sanctioned as an institution, or it isn’t, and if it isn’t, then it has been consigned to the category of the unimportant as far as government is concerned. Calling legally recognized relationships “civil unions” is just changing a name. If any two people can enter into a “civil union,” which term replaces “marriage” throughout the law, then we’ve just redefined marriage to be gender-optional and given it a new name.

    I am not generally a proponent of constitutional amendments or federal government resolutions of legal questions, but I don’t believe that a society can function healthily without a uniform definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, and I therefore favor an amendment if neceessary, particularly since the campaign for judicially imposed SSM continues by force of chop-logic through the courts.

    Lastly, if your response to this is anything on the order of “Homophobia,” then please don’t bother, because I have no interest in that discussion and will not engage it.

    Like

  30. One other point. Recently a study came out, greeted by a firestorm from the left, refuting claims that children do equally well raised by either a mother and father or by same-sex couples.

    It will not surprise anyone which side of that debate I am on, but the question I am more interested in is whether anyone will stand up and say he or she really believes that a child is just as well off with two “moms” or two “dads” as with one of each. That is, don’t cite studies; tell me that you believe that, as a child, boy or girl, you would not care whether you had a mother or father, as long as you had two of something. Or as a parent, is it really of no significance to you whether your child has a mother or father as opposed to two gender-optional “parents”?

    Like

  31. and, btw, the “Free Sandusky” part of the title, which I just now got, is deplorable.

    You ought to take it down.

    Like

  32. Gotta love the Kennedy’s, apparently I’m one SCOTUS decision away from a rampage. It’s hard not to read it as permission.

    http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/patrick-kennedy-warns-of-tea-party-rampage-if-scotus-upholds-obamacare/article/2500752

    Like

  33. McWingnut,

    I’ve never been a big fan of the ATF after it came to light how badly they bungled the David Koresh Waco incident. They seem to have a noted inferiority complex to the FBI and it colors their behavior and attitude. Based on the Forbes article, much of the F&F chaos is due to a few bad actors who should have been drummed out long ago.

    Like

  34. If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage.

    Are they going to run over people with their Rascals?

    Cheap shot. I apologize to any non-mobility impaired Tea Party members.

    Like

  35. Yello, what % of us TP’ers are believers in the principles of limited government versus “astroturfed” paid actors versus people just easily duped?

    Like

  36. i was duped into being a paid actor.

    Like

  37. Interesting debunking of the concept that American bought guns are the culprits for the slaughter in Mexico.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/03/video-the-mexican-gun-canard/

    If the ATF knows that US gun sales are not responsible for the Mexican slaughter, why do Fast and Furious?

    Like

  38. And still two more “final” points.

    Laws have heuristic effects and roles–legitimate ones. When the law changes to recognize SSM, it says to all married couples, the covenant relationship entered into by a man and woman that provides a stable, permanent mother and father to the children they may have is no different from the relationship between two men or two women and the sexual acts in which they might engage, which will never have a purpose of, or even contemplate, childbearing but are for personal gratification only. The law so rewritten places no value on fatherhood or motherhood. Both are expendable.

    This issue is a prime example of why I always say that the left-wing charge that conservatives just can’t process complexity and nuance is a risible inversion of reality. I never have seen an SSM proponent deal with questions like this beyond the superficial, straw-man level of rhetorical questions like, “Is everyone going to get divorced if gays can marry?” The entire case for SSM depends on brute denial of, or blindness to, distinctions.

    I have an adopted daughter and biological son. The very idea that either one would be just as well off with two of me or two of my wife is ludicrous, and there’s no pseudo-scientific study that could ever erase that truth. I can’t imagine how anyone who has raised children could think otherwise.

    Like

  39. “And adult homosexuals fucking each other in their own marriage beds is not something kids need protection from.”

    Homosexuals don’t need “marriage” to do that. And they’ll never produce children who will benefit from their being “married,” either.

    Our kids should not, on the other hand, be told by the government that Mom and Dad are just the same thing as “homosexuals fucking each other.”

    And thanks for putting it that crude way; it makes a point, although not perhaps the one you wanted.

    Like

  40. qb, I’m trying to stay away from controversy and so I wasn’t intending to respond to your comments on SSM or marriage (EDIT; your distinction, not mine), but this is too much.

    I can’t imagine how anyone who has raised children could think otherwise.

    Naturally, most heterosexual couples believe a marriage between a man and a woman that produces children and everyone lives happily ever after is the ideal “family”. Unfortunately, not everyone we love or care about fits into that comfy category of “Father Knows Best”. Parents of homosexual children very often want the exact same things for their children as you want for your own.

    You’ve detailed your opinions very well and I respect that when you do it, but I have to disagree on the basis that you really don’t know much about it, in my opinion.

    Like

  41. Parents of homosexual children very often want the exact same things for their children as you want for your own.

    And, I would posit, that homosexual parents want the exact same things for their children that you want for yours. I fail to see how making same sex marriage the law devalues parenthood.

    Like

  42. “abdicate government’s legitimate role in promoting and protecting important social institutions”

    I think this is the crux of the matter. If you think this is appropriate role for government, QB’s argument has a lot of merit behind it. Government is defining the role we play and this debate is the natural outcome as we struggle to bend that definition to how we’d like it.

    and i have no idea what the best situation is for any kid other than mine. and what’s best for him is to obey my orders as he would the word of God 🙂

    Like

  43. obey my orders as he would the word of God

    Good thing you don’t have a little girl, NoVA–I’m guessing you’d be wrapped around her little finger! 🙂

    I’ve been meaning to ask you: which came first, the lobbyist or the Libertarian?

    Like

  44. Yello, what % of us TP’ers are believers in the principles of limited government versus “astroturfed” paid actors versus people just easily duped?

    Trick question. Samuel Adams and all the Sons of Liberty died about 200 years ago.

    Like

  45. on the basis that you really don’t know much about it, in my opinion

    About parenting, raising kids? Lol. Well, I know enough that I’m always aware how little I know. I guess you can claim first blood.

    Unfortunately, not everyone we love or care about fits into that comfy category of “Father Knows Best”

    I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. All traditional families aren’t ideal? That doesn’t negate anything I said. It just means the world isn’t perfect. If you want to talk about absusive, unloving people, that’s a different discussion. If you think that two “Dads” who don’t fit that description are just as good as a Mom and Dad who don’t, I would say all common sense and experience say otherwise. My daughter is very blessed to have a Mom and a Dad. I couldn’t fill the role her Mom does, and vice versa. It’s unfortunate that there are children who don’t live in that sort of ideal, but it doesn’t change the ideal.

    What conclusion should we draw from the fact that life isn’t always Father Knows Best? Family is a sham? Marriage is an artificial construct? I just don’t see anything here other than a partial thought.

    Parents of homosexual children very often want the exact same things for their children as you want for your own.

    Again, I really don’t know what that means or how it responds to anything I said. First, I would contest the idea of “homosexual children” in the first place, if by that you mean a five- or ten- year old. But beyond that, part of what I want for my children is that they will be happily married some day to someone of the opposite sex. If that is what a parent of a homosexual child wants, then it is a vain hope, for it will never happen. If you mean that they want their children in SSM, then, no, they don’t want the same thing.

    And, I would posit, that homosexual parents want the exact same things for their children that you want for yours.

    They might in part, although they most definitely do not want them to have my values, and, as importantly, the question is less what they want for them than whether they can give it to them. They can’t. Oh, they can provide a lot of things, but not everything. I’m sorry that seems to be a hard truth, but a man could never be a mother to my daughter, for example, and I’m very glad that my daughter has a Mom to help her understand growing up and all the things happening and on her mind.

    I fail to see how making same sex marriage the law devalues parenthood.

    I just gave you an explanation that I didn’t think was too bad, but if you can’t see it there’s nothing I can do about that, although I will note that you don’t respond substantively to what I said.

    Like

  46. you know, michi, that’s a good question. I think inside the lobbyist there was a libertarian trying to get out. i’ve always been fiscally conservative. being inside Medicare was probably the catalyst. on the social stuff I think it was my EMT experiences — total got me hooked on the war on drugs and its problems. start doing some reading and it fell into place for me.

    Like

  47. I just gave you an explanation that I didn’t think was too bad, but if you can’t see it there’s nothing I can do about that, although I will note that you don’t respond substantively to what I said.

    What I think you said is that two adults being in a legal, committed relationship in which the sex (by definition) will not result in procreation devalues motherhood and fatherhood. I don’t agree; I understand that same sex marriage goes against your personal values system that you hope to pass on to your children, but I don’t agree that the very existence of it devalues parenthood.

    And, yes, no man can provide for a daughter the things that a mother can, and woman/son same thing, but by your argument that devalues single parenthood and turns it into a meaningless exercise.

    Like

    • Mich:

      What I think you said is that two adults being in a legal, committed relationship in which the sex (by definition) will not result in procreation devalues motherhood and fatherhood.

      I think what he said is that it is not the mere existence of such relationships that devalues motherhood and fatherhood, but rather equating it to traditionally understood marriage which does so.

      Like

  48. or it was when i got my first paycheck. FICA! man the barricades!

    Like

  49. FICA! man the barricades!

    LOL, NoVA!! Is that how you got into healthcare lobbying, or was that just coincidental?

    Like

  50. complete accident. first post-college job was a reporting on health policy. knew nothing about, well, either really. led to the medicare job. and K streets loves former bureaucrats and I hated — hated — the GS system. next thing you know, you may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife

    Like

  51. QB

    I don’t know what that is supposed to mean.

    Sorry, I’ve transformed myself into a woman of few words for the most part. If it doesn’t make sense the first time, it’s probably not worth me repeating it.

    Like

  52. And, yes, no man can provide for a daughter the things that a mother can, and woman/son same thing, but by your argument that devalues single parenthood and turns it into a meaningless exercise.

    It seems to me that there is a mystery here wrapped in what “that” refers to in this sentence. I don’t see how the reality that mothers and fathers are inherently able to provide different things to sons and daughters can “devalue” single parenthood, unless perhaps you mean single parenthood by choice, a la the current celebrity craze. Of that, I would say, yes, single parenthood by choice is a problematic choice and involves a bit of tragedy. Beyond that, single parents do the best they can (hopefully) and should be supported and commended for it. We all know some single parents. I know some wonderful ones, but I can’t think of any who thought it was best for their children.

    That is quite a different issue from the merits of SSM. We can’t call it a meaningless exercise just because an accepted premise of the argument is an unfortunate truth for single parents.

    OT: Btw, michi, I saw that you replied to my PPI post last night at the Thunderdome. I forgot to mention there the most important thing I discovered in my quest: supplemental HCL. After years of being sold PPIs by gastros, my research led in the opposite direction that many people need more and not less HCL. It seemed crazy but was true for me. I tried it, thinking, how could things get worse? It works. It isn’t perfect, but it works.

    Like

  53. Scott:

    but rather equating it to traditionally understood marriage which does so.

    OK, but still, why? Lots of heterosexual couples in traditionally understood marriages turn out–for whatever reason–to not have children. If they have sex anyway, does that devalue parenthood? I guess I just don’t see the connection between whether or not sex within a relationship results in children or not and the value of parenthood. Not having kids of my own, I can still recognize the excellent job that my brother has done (both in and out of marriage) raising his five as well as recognizing the awful job my sister-in-law (my ex’s sister) is doing both in and out of marriage raising hers.

    Like

    • Mich:

      OK, but still, why?

      I’m not sure I can explain it any better than qb did.

      “Laws have heuristic effects and roles–legitimate ones. When the law changes to recognize SSM, it says to all married couples, the covenant relationship entered into by a man and woman that provides a stable, permanent mother and father to the children they may have is no different from the relationship between two men or two women and the sexual acts in which they might engage, which will never have a purpose of, or even contemplate, childbearing but are for personal gratification only. The law so rewritten places no value on fatherhood or motherhood. Both are expendable. ”

      Lots of heterosexual couples in traditionally understood marriages turn out–for whatever reason–to not have children. If they have sex anyway, does that devalue parenthood?

      No. qb also addressed this point already.

      “Objections about childless couples, adoptions, or that “we don’t require childbearing for a marriage license” do not invalidate that principle. We know that same-sex relations never can and never will, ever, produce children. It is male-female relations that produce children. That they do not always produce children does not change this. We simply do not and cannot build social mores and laws around the exceptions. We build them around tendencies and types. SSM is not of the type that marriage is and has no similar tendency.”

      Marriage as an institution was created because of the consequences of the sex act between a man and a woman, and a presumed need for the culture/society to deal with those consequences. Marriage was sanctified in the culture and formalized by the law for the sole reason that when men and women have sex, children can be and are often the result, and a marriage arrangement between the mother and the father is presumed to be the most advantageous environment (both for the children and society at large) for raising children. We can argue about whether or not this received wisdom is accurate (it seems to be), but we can’t seriously argue that this is why marriage exists. Marriage does not exist to legitimize “fucking” (as yello put it) or validate personal feelings for another. And to suggest that it does exist for such purposes does, it seems to me, devalue the roles which marriage was actually created to promote. Perhaps those roles have already been devalued for other reasons, but that doesn’t change the fact.

      Like

  54. NoVA:

    next thing you know, you may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife

    Damn! And look where lobbying got you! 🙂

    Like

  55. qb: by “that” I meant the things (values, an example of relating to yourself and others, stuff like that) that a parent can pass on to the same-gender child. I don’t think that we disagree about the value of parenthood. I also don’t think that we disagree about single parenthood by choice, although the Libertarian (rather than the liberal) in me is bothered less by it than it bothers you–so long as they can afford to raise the child on their own. I don’t think it’s a terribly great idea, but if the kid is provided for I don’t know that it’s my place to judge.

    How do you get the supplemental HCl? I’ve got gallons of it in the lab, but don’t know that I’d want to try that route. . . 🙂

    Like

  56. qb & michi

    I just read qb’s link from last night. My doc just started me on PPI even though I don’t have any symptoms, just in case. I think I need to persuade her I don’t need it. Interesting information and now I know why I don’t do drugs, prescription or otherwise, unless absolutely necessary.

    Like

  57. lms: If you only just recently started I think you can probably just stop cold turkey. It’s when you’ve been on them chronically that you run into problems and have to wean yourself off.

    Interesting, also, now that I’m thinking about the acid and what qb said: I’ve noticed that when I eat a lot of salads–which I dress in vinegar only, not even any oil–my GERD seems non-existent. I wonder if acetic acid will also do the trick. . .

    Like

  58. How do you get the supplemental HCl? I’ve got gallons of it in the lab, but don’t know that I’d want to try that route. . .

    Yeah, that probably wouldn’t work out, guzzling the liquid. In college I worked as a lab tech and had some large bottles of HCL and NCL at hand. They told me, if one of those ever breaks or drops, just run for your life, if you can.

    What you look for is something calld betaine HCL in supplement tablets or capsules. There are many on the market. You can find them at Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, and all over the internet. Betaine HCL is a powder derived, I believe, from beets. Often it is combined with enzymes, which are also great, although I enzymes alone don’t work for me. Lots of HCL does, along with care in eating. I have been using one called PDA.

    http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/pda-combination-180-caps-new-size/sku-3245.aspx

    We have some other enzymes as well, since this only has one. I don’t like the cheap Vitamin Shoppe brand at all; it is harsh.

    Like

  59. Mich,

    Yes, acetic acid will help. This all seemed totally nuts when I started reading about it, and I don’t think the medical community understands it. But I started reading people who said, look, you aren’t digesting food right, and there is something about having sufficient acid that helps control reflux–your stomach responds to it.

    The first time was a total experiment. One night I just said, that is it, Nexium is killing me, I can’t take another one. I was up at 2:00 a.m. as usual. I took an HCL pill, expecting to turn into a volcano. Instead, everything calmed down, I went to bed and slept like a baby. True story. That was four years ago, and I’ve never taken a PPI since or even considered it.

    Gastros don’t like to hear it, but my stomach begs to differ with them. All thanks to the internet.

    Like

  60. I took an HCL pill, expecting to turn into a volcano

    That made me laugh…………..thanks qb.

    Like

  61. lms,

    I started on PPIs when I was fairly young and fit–in great shape actually. I just had a terrible problem. The first night with Aciphex was the first night I had slept through in years. Miracle, I thought.

    Ten+ years later, I had gained 40 pounds and could do nothing about continuing to gain. I had constant food cravings. I won’t go into the reflux details, but let’s just say that after a few years the problems had returned, transformed and almost worse. I couldn’t keep food down. I was sick all the time, no immunity system, got shingles, etc.

    For me it really became one of those, “I know what my body is telling me” things–this PPI stuff is destroying me. When I stopped Nexium and went on HCL and enzymes, and learned to eat right, my health immediately returned. The 40 pounds dropped off with no effort in three months. I am 5’10” and went back to a 30″ waist, I kid you not. I had not felt better in years. I was the size I was at 17 again.

    I think PPIs probably serve a great purpose for certain special circumstances, but they’ve become a panacea for millions of people who should be doing something else. Like so many things, there’s now a magic pill to stop heartburn, so everyone is on it.

    Part of what they do is starve your body of nutrients, so you can’t stop eating and craving. That’s my experience. I am not a big alternative health guy, but this is something I have no doubts about. I don’t completely understand it, but it works for me.

    Like

  62. And I say all this even though I defend drug companies in court! I was the dummy who took the PPIs.

    Like

  63. Few gay men are pedophiles.
    Most pedophiles, even those who abuse boys, are straight.
    Most pedophiles were victims of sexual abuse themselves.

    Haven’t read all the comments, this might have been covered, but I know I have seen (admittedly limited) data suggesting that the same percentage of homosexuals are pedophiles as are heterosexuals. Certainly, though it would be hard to develop hard data, it wouldn’t make much sense that heterosexuality has a hugely strong correlation with pedophilia that is lacking with homosexuality. There might be more straight pedophiles in raw numbers, but more as a percentage seems unlikely, and I’m not aware of any data that suggests it’s the case.

    Also, I think the slippery slope argument doesn’t necessarily suggest that homosexuality=pedophilia, only that redefining of morality and social constructs might eventually lead to an anything-goes Sodom and Gomorrah. The argument isn’t that gay people are more likely to be pedophiles, thus there will be more pedophilia, but that gay marriage is one brick in the wall of normalizing historically out-of-the-mainstream sexual and social relationships, which will eventually lead to 50 year old men marrying their 12 year old nieces. Although I think getting a broad change on age-of-consent laws will be much harder to get a broad consensus on.

    The slippery slope makes more sense as regards polygamy and incest. Ergo, what interest does the state have in telling adult relatives, or groups of people, that they can’t marry each other? If we are in the process of expanding the definition of marriage, by what rationale do we legally exclude historically foundational marriage traditions, such as interfamilial marriage and polygamy?

    Like

  64. OK, but still, why? Lots of heterosexual couples in traditionally understood marriages turn out–for whatever reason–to not have children. If they have sex anyway, does that devalue parenthood? I guess I just don’t see the connection between whether or not sex within a relationship results in children or not and the value of parenthood.

    In olden days, marriage was a social construct for the successful raising of children, and many of them, given the likelihood that many of them would die. For a long time, it was clearly the superior (i.e., most likely to allow the species to survive) system we had been able to come up with. We did not have the luxury of monkeying around with hard-won functional social structures, because we lacked easy access, by and large, to such things as clean water and antibiotics.

    It is a different day and age, and such social structures and traditions can probably change. But they will be slow to change, with much argument and thought, and that’s as it should be. It seems likely that gay marriage will be perfectly innocuous, on the whole, the prevention of which would not save Western Civilization, as such.

    Still, it’s slow to change, and that make sense.

    On a strictly biological level, our experience of love and pair-bonding, oxytocin and vasopressin, mostly, is all about procreation. So, the further you get away from the production of offspring, the more “unnatural” (or “pointless”) such unions are.

    Still, the same thing can be said of the consumption of prepared foods, I suppose. It could definitely be said about our clothing choices, how we nest in our modern homes, our fetish for gadgets, or how we socialize in modern life . . . or the playing of sports.

    As regards the general mission of sex and reproduction, I tend to suspect high speed Internet pornography and birth control does more damage propagation of the species than gay marriage ever will. So, there’s that.

    Like

  65. QB, interesting real life experience. I don’t think it’s necessarily helpful with what’s happening right now with me but I’ll keep it in mind. I think I’m just on them temporarily until they figure out what’s wrong with me, but I’m going to double check. I’ve never actually had reflux before so I’m hoping I won’t have to stay on them. My doctor already knows I won’t take unnecessary medication so hopefully she’ll work with me.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Like

  66. The law so rewritten places no value on fatherhood or motherhood. Both are expendable.

    I’m pretty sure the law already places no value on fatherhood.

    We can argue about whether or not this received wisdom is accurate (it seems to be),

    It is. The question is whether or not SSM will change that significantly, or more significantly than other cultural and technological shifts. I’m prone to think not.

    If people want to get married who will never raise children, perhaps that’s like people who collect action figures they will never play with? Or remodel their kitchens, yet never cook in them, but do so for the pleasure of knowing the remodeled and now their kitchen is fancy?

    Those people do not impact how I cook meals in my kitchen. Or if I use my kitchen.

    Or, put otherwise, the normal function of marriage is the raising of children in the best possible manner for children and society at large. That people who will not make babies get married seems a functionally lesser concern than something that’s been going on in earnest since the advent of the Great Society: the making of babies without marriage.

    There’s already a heck of a lot of that. I doubt officially sanctioned SSM will help, but I’m dubious that it will hurt.

    Like

    • Kevin:

      There’s already a heck of a lot of that. I doubt officially sanctioned SSM will help, but I’m dubious that it will hurt.

      By and large I agree with that.

      The biggest mystery to me, apart from any potential financial benefits, is why anyone (straight or gay) would even want to get married if they did not intend to have children. There is only potential downside.

      Like

  67. More OT nova

    I just read a piece at Huffpo (I know) that really clarifies the way I feel………………a nervous wreck.

    A ruling against the law would be a major blow to Obama, who achieved a goal that eluded presidents from Roosevelt to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton, though the issue bedeviled him from the start and voters remain sharply divided over it. The Supreme Court’s decision will also shape public opinion about its role in American politics and redefine the limits of Congress’ power. And the fate of the health care reform law will also influence the presidential contest between Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee who has vowed to repeal the law if elected. Opponents view the law as an unaffordable expansion of the federal government’s role in the health care system that places burdensome regulations on health care companies, employers and citizens.

    But the stakes are higher for the the tens of millions of Americans who lack access to health care. Fully overturning the Affordable Care Act would deny about 30 million uninsured Americans access to the health benefits that would have been provided under the health care reform starting in 2014. Invalidating health care reform also would eliminate consumer protections built into the law that would prohibit health insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions, charging higher rates to women, kicking sick people off the rolls and setting lifetime limits on coverage of medical bills, among other practices permitted before the law took effect two years ago.

    Like

  68. Good post QB. As a doctrinaire libertarian, I disagree but your argument is well stated.

    “It is not possible for government to be “neutral” on marriage (or on many other things). Either marriage is recognized and sanctioned as an institution, or it isn’t, and if it isn’t, then it has been consigned to the category of the unimportant as far as government is concerned. Calling legally recognized relationships “civil unions” is just changing a name. If any two people can enter into a “civil union,” which term replaces “marriage” throughout the law, then we’ve just redefined marriage to be gender-optional and given it a new name.”

    My argument for civil unions is under the religious freedom issues of the First amendment. i.e. no church should be forced to recognize as “marriage” something that violates their beliefs, but government should be neutral here in conferring any benefits.

    With regards on the ideal parenting situation, I’d actually agree with you that one father and one mother would be the ideal situation, but that does not automatically render gay parents or single parents as unfit which should be the lesser standard that used by the state.

    The question isn’t are they as well off as they could be in an ideal situation, but are they well enough off or better off than they would be in say an orphanage or other less than ideal situation. Here we slide into adoption in addition to marriage issues.

    Like

  69. I know some wonderful ones, but I can’t think of any who thought it was best for their children.

    My parents divorced the year I was born, so I don’t ever remember them being married. I do know that (a) I’m glad I missed the divorce, and it was never part of my life: my sister was 7 years old at the time, and has been a wreck her entire life, and it’s sad, and (b) I’m glad they got divorced. I’m sorry for my sister’s experience, but, lord, my parents did not belong together and my dad found my mother so traumatizing that he never even dated again. It’s much better that they weren’t married for any longer than they were.

    I’m pretty sure I’m better off having been raised in a quasi-single parent arrangement (one parent at a time, and after 6th grade mostly just by my father), compared to the alternative. Generally, though, kids are better off in two-parent households, and, in most cases, parents can make the marriage work if they try, and try new things instead of just doing the same stupid things over and over.

    Even so, I’m glad my parents got divorced when they did.

    Like

  70. Scott:

    would even want to get married if they did not intend to have children

    Tax code springs to mind immediately. 🙂

    Like

  71. Scott

    The biggest mystery to me, apart from any potential financial benefits, is why anyone (straight or gay) would even want to get married if they did not intend to have children

    Love? Commitment? I love being married and I’m pretty sure my husband does too and since the kids are gone no one really cares if we’re married or not. I do think that’s when a lot of divorces occur though………………after the kids move out.

    I just remembered something else………….when we got married I told him I didn’t want any more children. I already had a son from my first marriage and he married me anyway, thinking he could change my mind. Haaaahaaaa, look what happened….five.

    Like

    • lms:

      Love? Commitment?

      Those things can and do exist independently of marriage, and if they don’t then marriage won’t create them. The only thing that legal marriage does is give people who otherwise wouldn’t want to stay together a reason to do so. That, in fact, is (or was) precisely it’s purpose. It created a legal bond between two people, requiring them to stay together (or at least making it difficult not to stay together) even if they didn’t really want to be together anymore. Why would the state have any interest doing this? Primarily because of children. Also, not incidentally, it protected the interests of women.

      Like

  72. jnc,

    I somewhat neglected your earlier comments in mine (save for my “doctrinaire” shot) but thought they were well stated. I am a bit tied up but will try to respond more fully. I am not as versed in some of the technicalities of tax and other laws affected by marriage but definitely depart from my libertarian brethren in this area.

    This will sound foolish to some George Will haters (and I am not a great fan), but one of my profs once made the class read his book Statecraft as Soulcraft in conjunction with a Thomas Sowell book to illustrate differences between conservatism and libertarianism. It was a good exercise. Of course, the prof was a post-Marxist something or other, but he had no truck with libertarianism. I don’t remember much about Will’s book other than that it was readable and had a title that captured a big idea setting his views apart from libertarianism (and one that sounds a little scary to some people).

    Like

  73. I already had a son from my first marriage and he married me anyway, thinking he could change my mind. Haaaahaaaa, look what happened….five.

    Now that is something. Most people today would call that a recipe for disaster. The man knew what he was doing.

    Like

  74. Scott

    Also, not incidentally, it protected the interests of women.

    Is there something wrong with that? I realize love can survive without marriage but I’m not convinced commitment is really satisfied without the ring. Just a personal opinion that has nothing to do with states or the Constitution………….weird I know.

    Perhaps if the “idea” of marriage never existed it would be different but I think both men and women like the idea of legitimizing their commitment either in the eyes of God or the State as they prefer. It doesn’t all boil down to money or children………..I don’t think anyway.

    Like

    • lms:

      Is there something wrong with that

      Not at all. I think it was a good idea. But that protection was premised on expectations about gender roles that no longer really exist. That is one reason why I think, regardless of any effect SSM might have, marriage is probably a dying institution.

      I think both men and women like the idea of legitimizing their commitment either in the eyes of God or the State as they prefer.

      That is probably true. But I don’t think the state has much interest in legitimizing it outside of an interest in seeing children raised in a mother/father environment. Besides which, what kind of “commitment” is it really in a legal environment which allows one of the “committed” parties to so easily abrogate the “commitment” (ie no-fault divorce)?

      Like

  75. “Also, not incidentally, it protected the interests of women.”

    I tend to think that marriage plays a role in “civilizing” men and protecting women (in aggregate, obviously some women are still victimized.)

    I tend to think that changing, or expanding the understanding of marraige will decrease the civilizing aspect of marraige and (or as a result perhaps) decrease women’s physical safety. If true, isn’t there a feminist arguement for keeping traditional marraige only codified by the state?

    Like

  76. If true, isn’t there a feminist arguement for keeping traditional marraige only codified by the state?

    It’s really difficult to go as far as you’ve gone with the idea McWing. Most of the women I know, young and old, see no reason why their marriages would be threatened in the least. They’re not all liberal either. Our daughter-in-laws side of the family is very conservative and religious and they don’t have any problem with SSM. Her brother’s wife though won’t vaccinate her kids or take them to the doctor unless she thinks they might be dying.

    Like

  77. That is one reason why I think, regardless of any effect SSM might have, marriage is probably a dying institution.

    I hope you’re wrong about that. There have always been couples who preferred not to have the marriage vows get in the way of their love, or whatever, but now that it’s more accepted by society they’re more free to live that way. That being said, there will also always be young women, and even men, opposite sex or the same, who want the wedding and everything it entails. It’s a romantic notion for romantic people I think. I’d hate to think that romance is dying.

    Luckily, I was able to take advantage of one of those “no-fault” divorces so you can guess how I feel about that. We all make mistakes on occasion.

    Like

  78. Scott

    Do you mean that marriage is probably a dying institution in the eyes of the state? If so, I don’t understand why you would think that.

    Like

    • lms:

      Do you mean that marriage is probably a dying institution in the eyes of the state?

      No, I think that culturally it is a dying institution. For example, in 2009 the marriage rate in the US dropped to it lowest since marriage statistics have been collected. Birth rates of unwed mothers have climbed to record highs even as birth rates over all have fallen to record lows. Across Europe, often a leading indicator of our own cultural trends (eg, SSM) , the marriage rate has dropped even more precipitously.

      All the news that fit to print talks about how choosing to be a single mother is on the rise, and we even have organizations dedicated to supporting women who choose to be single mothers.

      Marriage may not ever fully die out, but it is dying.

      Like

  79. Most of the women I know, young and old, see no reason why their marriages would be threatened in the least.

    The point isn’t that married people will look at a new SSM law and say, well, so much for my marriage, I’ll have to get divorced now.

    The point is that over time a radical–it is radical–change in laws affecting the most fundamental social relationship will inevitable change the nature of that relationship and its role in society. Until now, the law has recognized a male-female marriage as something unique and special. When the law now suddenly says: forget all that. Heterosexual, homosexual, men, women, it’s all the same, and forget about the connection between marriage and children–there isn’t one. When the law does that, it does begin a slow but inevitable process of defining marriage as we have known it out of existence. Don’t ask whether people will divorce next week because of it. Ask whether anyone will marry 50 or 100 years from now. What will that society look like?

    At perhaps an even more fundamental level, laws should not lie. They should not call things what they aren’t. They should not call things that are different the same. They should not be tools or reflections of deconstructionist theory, which is exactly what this movement is. The demand to equate homosexuality and heterosexuality, and to redefine marriage, is part of the deconstructionist project. Ultimately, it can’t succeed in overcoming truth but will cause a lot of pain and loss before its failure is complete. Of course, if one doesn’t believe there is any truth involved, then one may not think this means anything.

    Like

  80. Scott:

    I was being flippant when I made the tax code comment as I was hurrying to shut down and get out of the lab and I missed your “other than financial reasons” part of your comment, sorry.

    I would expand on what lms said and say that the public recognition of your commitment to each other is a big part of it. We lived together before getting married for practical reasons, and our love for each other wasn’t changed by the wedding, but we both felt different afterwards–partly from making a public commitment and partly by the acceptance of us as a committed couple.

    Like

  81. qb

    Heterosexual, homosexual, men, women, it’s all the same, and forget about the connection between marriage and children–there isn’t one.

    I’m sorry, I just think you’re wrong. It’s not a matter of it being the same, it’s a matter of it being human. I also think there is still a connection between marriage and children, which is one of the reasons same sex couples need and desire the right to be recognized as married. I understand your animosity toward the idea but I truly think you’re over dramatizing the effect SSM will have on marriage in general or even society. There are a lot of other factors that will change society, some for the better and some for the worse, much more than including same sex couples in the marriage vows. It’s the world we live in which is always changing.

    Deconstructionist theory is really old and maybe in your world people still talk about it but most of the people of that generation are now getting old and have retirements to worry about and grandchildren to spend time with. If the younger generations are intentionally setting off on some deconstructionist project you might want to tell them what it means.

    Like

  82. Alas, I am a fogey for talking about deconstructionism. Perhaps it has a new name now. I’ll have to see if my son brings it home from college.

    It’s just a short hand way of describing what I think is going on here.

    Like

  83. Yeah, well I’m an even older fogey for knowing what it is. Colleges, as always, are a hot bed of ideas, plans, theories, exploration, etc. And then we get a job and grow up, or a few of us become professors, no offense to professors, as someone has to do it.

    Like

  84. Scott I read the first link and it sounds about right to me. I thought the last bit was interesting though.

    However, today higher proportions of young, highly educated adults marry, while fewer with a high-school degree and less education get hitched.

    The rest will have to wait………………………….the pool is calling me.

    Like

    • lms:

      I thought the last bit was interesting though.

      Me too, although not in a good way. It shows that the tendency to marry has declined most precipitously among that demographic that needs it most.

      Like

  85. “ScottC, on June 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm said:

    That is one reason why I think, regardless of any effect SSM might have, marriage is probably a dying institution.”

    In the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Gene Roddenberry posited that marriages in the future would be for a fixed term, like a lease, with an option to renew or not at the end of the term. Property division would be predetermined going in.

    Also, marriage for financial reasons only makes sense if there is a significant income disparity. For two earners each making over 100k each, it’s better to stay single.

    Like

  86. Scott

    Me too, although not in a good way.

    No, me neither. You may have been gone last summer when I shared our daughter’s experience with unwed teenage mothers while she was working in Midland, TX. Really, she was shocked and that doesn’t happen very often. She decided to live in a cheap apartment building for the 10 weeks as she was trying to save the money from the internship, and the place was full of young girls with babies and toddlers. She couldn’t even hang out at the pool she was so worried about one of them drowning. The question I guess is what do we attribute that to?

    Like

  87. lms:

    what do we attribute that to?

    Again somewhat flippantly, because I’m having too good a time relaxing on my back patio with my dogs to stay inside and type, but only somewhat flippantly: abstinence-only sex education. The only reason that Utah doesn’t have just as high a per capita rate of unwed motherhood as Texas as that there is a long, long tradition here of girls marrying straight out of high school to their returned missionaries. College students I’ve talked to seriously have told me that you can’t get pregnant the first time. It’s amazing how little these kids know in this era of The InterTubes and Teh Google.

    Like

  88. That’s the conclusion my daughter and I reached as well Michi. She even questioned some of the people at work. A few seemed to think in hindsight it wasn’t working out very well for the kids but most of the people she talked to blamed the girls.

    Like

  89. Wouldn’t it be totally awesome if you could convince high school kids not to have sex? That’s me being flippant.

    Like

  90. […] the first post of this series I mentioned that one of the arguments marshaled by opponents of marriage equality is […]

    Like

  91. I wound up writing a very long comment on the paper by Regnerus alluded to QB, which I’m posting as a related thread as it raises a number of other issues. I’ll note one point. Regnerus himself notes that outcomes for children of married heterosexual parents fare better than those of cohabiting couples. This would suggest that there are very real and positive impacts on children of gay or lesbian parents by allowing covenant relationships, i.e, mawwiage.

    BB

    Like

  92. “ScottC, on June 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm said:

    That is one reason why I think, regardless of any effect SSM might have, marriage is probably a dying institution.”

    This observation reminded me of something that Ross Douthat noted in his column on the “Life of Julia” narrative that the Obama reelection campaign released:

    “At the same time, the slide show’s vision of the individual’s relationship to the state seems designed to vindicate every conservative critique of the Obama-era Democratic Party. The liberalism of “the Life of Julia” doesn’t envision government spending the way an older liberalism did — as a backstop for otherwise self-sufficient working families, providing insurance against job loss, decrepitude and catastrophic illness. It offers a more sweeping vision of government’s place in society, in which the individual depends on the state at every stage of life, and no decision — personal, educational, entrepreneurial, sexual — can be contemplated without the promise that it will be somehow subsidized by Washington.

    The condescension inherent in this vision is apparent in every step of Julia’s pilgrimage toward a community-gardening retirement. But in an increasingly atomized society, where communities and families are weaker than ever before, such a vision may have more appeal — to both genders — than many of the conservatives mocking the slide show might like to believe. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-party-of-julia.html

    Like

    • jnc:

      This observation reminded me of something that Ross Douthat noted…

      Yeah. I never answered lms’ question about why these trends exist, but if I had it would have been something along these lines regarding the increasing role of government as a blanket security provider.

      Like

  93. Wouldn’t it be totally awesome if you could convince high school kids not to have sex?

    Yes. And, technically, you can, but it involves constant chaperoning.

    Like

  94. College students I’ve talked to seriously have told me that you can’t get pregnant the first time. It’s amazing how little these kids know in this era of The InterTubes and Teh Google.

    That’s not a lack of access to knowledge (in fact, they probably have been taught and told differently), it’s magical thinking. It’s wanting to get a freebie. It’s an urban legend that is easily checked, but they never do, because it sounds reasonable, and they like the sound of it. And what boy is going to try and argue them out of it?

    Like

  95. […] have previously discussed pedophilia and bestiality as slippery slope oppostions to to gay marriage. Another one frequently brought up […]

    Like

Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: