Five Arguments for Gay Marriage

Emboldened and energized by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s scathing and intellectually dishonest ad hominem attacks in his ruling overturning the Defense of Marriage Act at the federal level, advocates of same-sex marriage are campaigning to put the definition of marriage up to a vote in Ohio and there are also efforts under way in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania both at the ballot and in the courts. In the last example, the State Attorney General has unilaterally announced she will not uphold the state constitution. This is a serious issue which raises difficult questions, so instead of flinging insults, let’s have an honest debate. To wit, here are some reasons we should support same-sex marriage:

1. Gay Marriage is Going to Win, So Get Over It

Only Doc Brown and Marty McFly Know What the Future Will Be

Only Doc Brown and Marty McFly Know What the Future Will Be

This is called the bandwagon fallacy, or the argumentum ad populum. In any difference of opinion, both sides believe in the certainty of their cause. For example, in sports, both teams think they are going to win or they wouldn’t bother playing the game. In history, opposing armies may win and lose many battles but there are examples of wars that have gone on for decades or even centuries. Every great empire thinks it will last forever, but they never do. Unless you own a Delorean with a flux capacitor, leave your convictions about the “right side of history” to future historians.

2. Gay Marriage Doesn’t Hurt Heterosexuals

Traditional practicing Catholic families are free to have children and raise them according to Church teaching. What’s so bad about same-sex marriage, right? However, this is a dodge of the larger implications of redefining marriage. Heterosexuals have already seen great injury to families and children from welfare dependency and no-fault divorce over the past century. Same-sex couples have not been around nearly that long, so we won’t know the full impacts of redefining marriage will be for decades. In line with the first point, the only sure thing in history is that it is full of unpleasant surprises and unintended consequences. Ignoring this fundamental truth invites only misery and suffering. We disturb long established precedents at our peril.

3. If We Accept Gay Marriage, Peace and Love Will Reign

Polyamory: There's a Flag for That Too

Polyamory: There’s a Flag for That Too

Advocates of same-sex marriage have not managed to come up with a rigorous limiting principle of what they think the essential character of marriage should be. Even though the same-sex marriage battle is far from over, some proponents are already talking about polygamy. What is the next battle after that? Will bisexuals claim that limiting marriage to only two people is unfair because it makes them choose which partner will get the benefits of legal recognition? In the absence of any limiting principle, same-sex marriage advocates respond to innovations like polygamy and polyamory either with outright excitement or else with the defense, “No way, that’s gross!” People used to say the same thing about same-sex couples. Before we redefine marriage, let’s decide what the new definition is actually going to be first.

4. Marriage Is About Love and Commitment

See point two. Marriage is already in rough shape. “Until death do us part,” now has an escape clause, “or one of us decides to hire a lawyer.” The corollary of this argument is that heterosexuals have no right to lecture homosexuals about marriage because so many marriages already end in failure. However, this is a great example of the tu quoque fallacy, because as it happens, same-sex couples are much more likely to have affairs than heterosexuals. See point three, again, what is marriage supposed to be if not an exclusive partnership? It would be great if our laws recognized marriage as a lifetime commitment, but they do not. Redefining marriage to make the institution even weaker is not going to help.

5. Couples that Don’t Have Children Still Get Married

Human Life is Not a Science Experiment

Human Life is Not a Science Experiment

More families than ever are missing a mother or a father. Others, often through no fault of their own, are childless. Some couples who are unable to conceive choose to adopt. Others may dedicate their lives to helping others. Unfortunately, because procreation has become detached from marriage in our culture, there are also couples who wait to have children until it is almost impossible to do so. They then go to incredible efforts to conceive a child through in-vitro fertilization and other techniques which results in the commoditization of life. Instead of bringing life into the world, this leads to the destruction of life at its most delicate and vulnerable. There is already talk in California of making this unethical and immoral practice an entitlement for same-sex couples who are obviously unable to beget children in the usual way. Procreation needs the boundaries of marriage just as much as marriage needs the boundary of procreation. The two are inextricably linked.

The arguments for same-sex marriage sound easy and simple, but they hide difficult and disturbing questions. Heterosexuals have been grappling with marriage for thousands of years and it’s still not easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of sacrifices. It’s impossible to discuss marriage honestly without acknowledging that there are no easy answers and nothing is straightforward. Indeed, this timeless truth reveals the greatest error of the same-sex marriage cause: there can be no such thing as marriage equality because there is no equality in marriage.

Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract

Men and women have different strengths and weakness, different abilities, different fears and different needs. By combining these complementary forces, marriage makes the couple stronger than they would otherwise be on their own. Homosexual couples on the other hand will inevitably have many of the same strengths and weaknesses in common. Instead of making them stronger together, the redefinition of marriage will only amplify their weaknesses, just as it reveals the weakness of the logic behind their arguments. Redefining marriage is fundamentally about eliminating the wonderful and beautiful distinctions between men and women–and especially the greatest difference of all: the ability to perpetuate the human race, and not only through procreation, but in every respect as parents and members of society at large. Pace the old feminist saw about fish and bicycles, men need women and women need men.

This is really what is at stake. Marriage is an essential force in our society because it makes you become a better person. This is only possible because of the encounter between the opposite sexes which reveals how little we know about the human condition and how much we have to trust what we cannot experience and cannot ever know in order to truly love another person. Redefining marriage as a genderless institution robs it of the very essence that makes it worthwhile in the first place. Even if same-sex marriage advocates get their way, little good will it do them.

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Categories:Culture Marriage Politics

27 thoughts on “Five Arguments for Gay Marriage

  1. Kyles says:

    Gays are people too. They can love whoever they want.In case you have not noticed, they have feelings too. Also, I am living proof that kids can grow up just fine without a dad (or mom). If the homosexual couple gives their kid the perfect amount of TLC and all the assets they need to grow, well, that should be truely matters. And just because a couple is gay, does not mean they dont want their kid to have a mom. By the way, there are some heterosexual parents who are terrible parents, so why must all the blame here be pointed to gays? How is that fair? It is not. I cannot understand how people can be so heartless. I have so many choice words but I will not say them. The government should not be so nosey and ripping love apart. It is not their business. Love is love. And one more thing, POPE FRANCIS IS PRO GAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! How does that not phase you guys!? Ugh.

  2. Mikayla says:

    1. It may be true that no one knows what the future will entail, but you cannot deny that there is a prominent trend of acceptance and toleration that has been growing in society for centuries. It used to be punishable by death for practicing certain religions, but many countries have fought for and earned religious freedom. Racial discrimination has become a social taboo, when it once was the norm. Even sexism is frowned upon now. Now, with more and more countries allowing same-sex marriage, it is very probably that gay marriage will become as common as interracial marriage.

    2. I can’t argue with this point, considering it wasn’t even an argument. But, just because the pros and consequences are not readily apparent does not mean that it’s not worth the risk. Discoveries are made by taking risks.

    3. Since you seem to love logical fallacies so much, haven’t you heard of a “slippery slope”? That is what this point is. Homosexuality has nothing to do with polygamy, since gay marriage is between TWO people of the same gender. Also, you used the word “bisexual”, but I do not think it means what you think it means (see? I can reference movies too). Bisexuality is sexual attraction to both genders. I don’t know how someone could get “They must want to marry one man AND one woman!” out of that. Bisexuality just means you don’t care about someone’s gender, and will just as willingly commit to a heterosexual relationship as a homosexual one.

    4. This is basically the same point as 3, but with a laughable article to “support” the point. Just to enlighten you, “over 500″ couples were studied. So, to be fair, let’s say it is 550. I’ve done high school science fair projects with a larger sample size that that. If you’re going to determine the sexual activity of one group of people, you need a decent sample size. Think about it. There are about 314 million people in the United States. About 9 million of those identify as LBGT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, or trans*). And there are definitely more than 9 million, considering many are afraid to come out because of rampant discrimination and bullying. Now, 550 out of 9 million is about .0000061% of the entire gay population. That survey doesn’t even come close to representing even 1 percent of the community.

    5. You actually argued against your own point here. Marriage and procreation are not connected, because there are many heterosexual couples who are unable or unwilling to produce children who are married anyway. And, while opposites do attract, this does not only apply to the gender binary. Many people don’t realize that men and women have both testosterone and estrogen. And the amounts vary among individuals. While women typically have much more estrogen and men have more testosterone, the amounts vary. For example, one woman may have more testosterone than another in her bloodstream and can show more typically “male attributes”. Also, the differences between the two genders are influenced more by society and gender roles than biological reasons. While the biological differences between men and women are chromosomes, genitals, and hormones, gender role differences include hair length/style, clothing, family role, societal role, colors, and much, much more. And gender roles are constantly altering. It used to be normal to put baby boys in a dress. Men can now grow their hair out and women can cut theirs short. Women can have jobs, and men can take care of children, cook, and clean. It used to be socially unacceptable for a man to cry, while women were expected to be moody and emotional. It is fair to say that men and women have some traits that work well together, but to call them exact opposites is absurd.

    If you really want to make people belief that same-sex marriage is wrong, then come up with some better arguments. Most of yours are based on sweeping generalizations, improper studies, and logical fallacies.

  3. mominvermont says:

    I love the Back to the Future theme in point number 1.

  4. mominvermont says:

    SSM is not a “genderless institution.” Everyone has a gender. The problem with SSM is that by definition, it discriminates against and excludes a gender. The male/male union is anti-female. And the female/female partnership is anti-male. Therefore, SSM is anti-gender.

    Keep marriage pro-gender. Because gender matters to everyone, including people with same sex attraction and their children.

    1. SLCMLC says:

      Not sure I follow your logic here, a male/male union is anti-female? Is a Catholic/Catholic union anti-Protestant? Is a black/black marriage anti-white?

      1. mominvermont says:

        Here’s the logic: a union of two men excludes a woman and hence motherhood and femininity from their marriage and from their children’s lives.

        Ditto with a female/female partnership.

        You don’t need two Catholics or two blacks to have a marriage. What is needed is a man and a woman.

        1. Patrick says:

          mominvermont,
          with respect, that is circular reasoning, one cannot start with the premise that a marriage requires a man and a woman in order to prove the theory that marriage requires a man and a woman.

          1. Max says:

            Saying that it is “reasoning” at all is very generous. There is no logical argumentation there — all she is saying is that her assumption is her conclusion.

          2. David Gothay says:

            Thank you! That is exactly how I feel.

  5. peter o says:

    so this article begs the larger question- why, after so many ‘catholic’ politicians are blatantly anathema to church teaching, are the bishops and pope not publicly excommunicating these people? sorry for asking a question we already know the answer to. “hell is paved with the bones of bishops and priests”.

  6. John Connor says:

    I have been married for over 14yrs have no issues with homosexuals getting married. It has zero to do with my marriage and no effect upon it. I agree that marriage makes us better people but it has absolutely nothing to do with the spouse’s gender.

    1. mominvermont says:

      Tell that to the kids who have two dads and no mom. Tell them that a mom is superfluous and they shouldn’t want one anyway because their dads don’t want them to have one.

      Tell the kids is sex ed classes that gender doesn’t matter. Tell schoolchildren that sterile male/male sex is as beneficial to society as male/female sex which has the power to create children.

      Tell that to people with same sex attraction. Tell them that they can be equally attracted to their complementary sex because gender doesn’t matter.

      1. Grace says:

        Things like this is what’s ruining our world. Not homosexuals. They have done nothing wrong. All they are trying to do is love like the rest of us. Why is that such a sin? Every argument you have against gays on this page is invalid. Gay marriage has been around before your religion was even a thought, your accusations against them are poor and just morally wrong. Who cares if they can not reproduce normally? Why does it matter if a child has two dads or two moms? As long as the support system is there, I see no difference. As harsh as it may sound to your ears, I hope someone you love one day comes out of the closet. Would you disown them? Probably, and that’s sad. You don’t have to like them, you can hate them for all I care, but let them express themselves like you’re aloud to. You are utterly heartless. Let love be.Let love elope.

      2. Viva says:

        I will tell them that. With pleasure.

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