Gay marriage defines marriage for the better
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Back in September I said the Republican Party's icily calculated exploitation of gay marriage would be one of the main issues of 2004. Having said that I planned to shut up. Oh well, foolish me.
Given my village atheist orientation how can I ignore Christianity today's column on gay marriage. I didn't know getting the right to visit Charles in the hospital would lead to the end of civilization as we fancy we have it.
The first casualty of the acceptance of gay marriage would be the very definition of marriage itself.
The authors talk about the life-long committed union of a man and a woman. Can't argue, that is what it has meant. Mostly it was a way of protecting property by having a source of legitimate heirs. Since women were little more than property it was just an economic convenience, nothing tender or honorable. If the man were successful he might have mistresses, for some time openly accepted as concubines. Well into this century successful men affiliated them with a class of women often known as "professional beauties." Or gold-diggers. Husbands did what they wished. Women accepted this if they were prudent.
My own parents were bonded by a couple of things. Firstly my mother thought my father would murder her if she left. When she was once planning to leave him for my sake he pointed a rifle at her and told her she'd be dead if she tried to leave.
An institution of honorable lineage, no? Given the liberties we gay folks have enjoyed in our relationships if we find ourselves wanting to bind to another person we can only rehabilitate the institution.
Gay marriage would be bad for children.
They cite research that says children turn out better raised by two biological parents in low-conflict marriage. A cute bit of misdirection. This smacks of comparison of the lives of children raised in white suburbs and those raised by single parents in ghettos. Few people find a childhood lived in poverty, poor education and sheer meanness life enhancing. Data on the offspring of same-sex couples won't be available for some time.
Much of this part is aimed at gay women who the authors feel will be abusing science by using a donor's sperm. And they irrelevantly drag in the faux-bisexual chic of young girls that made the press recently.
Cited as a horrifying (if even true) statistic: a quarter of twelve-year old boys are uncertain about their sexuality. Better to start working that out early than go on and get married to a woman you don't really love.
Gay marriage would be bad for society.
You knew that one had to be in there somewhere didn't you? The authors must've been getting bored themselves at this point. They make a few vague remarks about how the "family," an entity some of us never found to live up to its billing will be (of course) threatened.
Gay marriage would be foisted on the innocent public by judges which makes it just like abortion. Clearly the authors are Protestants, Catholics getting better training in simple syllogism construction.
For those of you who didn't grow up among them the gay marriage, er, debate gives you a handy introduction to what passes for logic amongst the tens of millions of American Christian fundamentalists in our midst.