Same Sex Marriage Made Easier

Michael Hawkins has posted a rather facetious diagram on his site which is meant to explain the same-sex marriage debate – and looking at it, I can understand his confusion. But it’s really not that difficult to understand, in fact I can sum it up in a single statement:

The definition of marriage, from a biological, historical, social, moral, and Judeo-Christian perspective inherently excludes homosexual relationships.

There, that seems clear enough and clear enough to most of the citizens of this country as well.

It’s even clear to legislators in New York, who are generally exceedingly obtuse.

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7 Responses to Same Sex Marriage Made Easier

  1. 1) The government doesn’t define marriage based upon reproduction ability.

    2) You’re cherry-picking your history. It would be just as valid to say that a dowry defines marriage.

    3) Citing status quo is no more to the point than a U.S. citizen in the 1910’s arguing that women shouldn’t be given the right to vote because they’ve never had it.

    4) The government reaches actions, not thoughts. That includes your morals. Of course, you would readily recognize this if Muslims became a majority.

    5) The constitution was never meant to cater to Judeo-Christian perspectives.

    So, you’re right. Your definition of marriage (assuming your particular morality) does exclude equality. Unfortunately, I just tore every piece of your argument to shreds.

    But more to the point, here are the boxes (in order) which correspond to your points. See blue boxes for responses.

    1) “Homosexuals can’t breed!”
    2) “America is a CHRISTIAN nation and all other faiths are here on sufferance.”
    3) “The majority gets to tell the minority how they must live.”
    4) “You’re going to HELL!” (or a number of others).
    5) “Marriage was Created by GOD, specifically the Christian God.”

  2. jackhudson says:

    1) The government doesn’t define marriage based upon reproduction ability.

    Actually, the government doesn’t define it at all, it just recognizes it; it’s been defined for a few thousand years.

    2) You’re cherry-picking your history. It would be just as valid to say that a dowry defines marriage.

    No, a dowry is a marriage custom, not a definition of marriage.

    3) Citing status quo is no more to the point than a U.S. citizen in the 1910’s arguing that women shouldn’t be given the right to vote because they’ve never had it.

    I’m not citing status quo; I am telling you what marriage is. You have yet to come up with a better alternative.

    4) The government reaches actions, not thoughts. That includes your morals. Of course, you would readily recognize this if Muslims became a majority.

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean; no one said the ‘government reaches thoughts’

    5) The constitution was never meant to cater to Judeo-Christian perspectives.

    The Constitution was never meant to re-define marriage in accordance with the whims of the gay lobby.

    So, you’re right. Your definition of marriage (assuming your particular morality) does exclude equality. Unfortunately, I just tore every piece of your argument to shreds

    No, the definition of marriage excludes homosexuality, just as it excludes marrying one’s car or goat. That isn’t inequality. And your arguments were weak, emotional, pedestrian and reactionary, which is why they remain unconvincing even to the most liberal constituencies.

  3. 1) So it recognizes a common Christian definition but it ignores all other definitions?

    2) Tell that to all those cultures which have families that will deny marriage of their children without one.

    3) The “social” definition is one which is temporal and culture-specific (though many cultures may share similarities). That is the status-quo.

    For what it’s worth, marriage is not a privilege. Except in Maine and 31 other states. I can’t wait until enough Christians get together and tell me I can’t marry because I don’t meet all the criteria you’ve listed by virtue of being an atheist.

    4) The government does not rule on morality. Where it does (such as blue laws), it is wrong and not on constitutional grounds. The morality of one group is entirely irrelevant where rights and liberty are concerned; it must be shown how one’s actions infringe upon someone else’s rights before those actions can be lawfully denied.

    5) Non-responsive.

    No, the definition of marriage excludes homosexuality, just as it excludes marrying one’s car or goat. That isn’t inequality. And your arguments were weak, emotional, pedestrian and reactionary, which is why they remain unconvincing even to the most liberal constituencies.

    You’re a flat-out bigot and you should be ashamed. As valid as you think it is to exclude my extensive arguments (search my blog for far, far more) based upon the fact that I think this, you’re wrong. I call you a bigot because you are intolerant of the rights of another group without showing how that group can or will harm you.

    Not allowing a felon to carry a gun is not bigotry because it can be shown how doing so will impair other’s rights (namely the ‘right to safety’ in the myriad ways we might define that). Not allowing a gay or black or white person to have a gun is intolerance of rights without showing how those groups can or will harm others. This is the level of standing your arguments have.

    As for being reactionary, I do react to vile arguments which compared same-sex marriage to car or goat marriage. It’s a scummy thing to say. However, I only wish I could say the same of your arguments more directly; your basis here, we both know, is that you think gays are icky people who can’t be the One True Christian like you. You are reacting to your ignorance of what it means to be gay; you just aren’t very honest about it (which follows along with the intelligent design creationism).

  4. jackhudson says:

    1) So it recognizes a common Christian definition but it ignores all other definitions?

    I didn’t say anything about a Christian definition – marriage existed millennia before Christianity did.

    2) Tell that to all those cultures which have families that will deny marriage of their children without one.

    That doesn’t change the customary nature of a dowry. Families aren’t obligated by law to recognize any marriages.

    3) The “social” definition is one which is temporal and culture-specific (though many cultures may share similarities). That is the status-quo.

    For what it’s worth, marriage is not a privilege. Except in Maine and 31 other states. I can’t wait until enough Christians get together and tell me I can’t marry because I don’t meet all the criteria you’ve listed by virtue of being an atheist.

    Actually, the basic nature of marriage is universal with some variations throughout the world and through time. But at its core it is always about the relationship between a man and a woman, for the reasons I mentioned previously. And it is neither a privilege nor a right, but a core human institution, without which culture does not exist.

    4) The government does not rule on morality. Where it does (such as blue laws), it is wrong and not on constitutional grounds. The morality of one group is entirely irrelevant where rights and liberty are concerned; it must be shown how one’s actions infringe upon someone else’s rights before those actions can be lawfully denied.

    Actually, the government primarily rules on morality; laws against theft, rape, murder, etc. are all based on moral precepts about those activities. But the marriage debate supersedes morality and comes down to the definition and purpose of an institution.

    5) Non-responsive.

    It’s completely responsive, and obviously correct by your inability to demonstrate otherwise. The Constitution doesn’t compel us to re-define basic human marriage.

    You’re a flat-out bigot and you should be ashamed.

    *yawn*

    As valid as you think it is to exclude my extensive arguments (search my blog for far, far more) based upon the fact that I think this, you’re wrong. I call you a bigot because you are intolerant of the rights of another group without showing how that group can or will harm you.

    I only exclude arguments that amount to “Wahhh, I don’t like you and people who disagree with me are mean!”, which seems to be the lion share of them. Until you can show it is in the fundamental interest of our society to change the nature of a core, universal, multi-millennial human institution, your whining about it doesn’t amount to much.

    Not allowing a felon to carry a gun is not bigotry because it can be shown how doing so will impair other’s rights (namely the ‘right to safety’ in the myriad ways we might define that). Not allowing a gay or black or white person to have a gun is intolerance of rights without showing how those groups can or will harm others. This is the level of standing your arguments have.

    And not changing the definition of marriage to suit the whims of a political lobby is not bigotry either. None of your arguments have demonstrated a good reason why this should happen.

    As for being reactionary, I do react to vile arguments which compared same-sex marriage to car or goat marriage. It’s a scummy thing to say. However, I only wish I could say the same of your arguments more directly; your basis here, we both know, is that you think gays are icky people who can’t be the One True Christian like you. You are reacting to your ignorance of what it means to be gay; you just aren’t very honest about it (which follows along with the intelligent design creationism).

    While feelings about homosexual acts may certainly be determined in part by the inherent revulsion felt by heterosexuals of all stripes, (which is quite conceivably biologically determined) it really has nothing to do with the definition of marriage, as Christians aren’t inclined to generally view homosexuals any different than the rest of fallen humanity.

    It does in fact come down to the definition of what marriage is, which was determined long before our society or the church existed, and you have yet to make an argument for re-defining it, despite your knee-jerk moralizing about people who happen to disagree with you. Until you can do this, none of your other arguments suffice.

  5. 1) You may want to review your original post where you define marriage from a “Judeo-Christian perspective”.

    And of course the government defines marriage. The institution involves legal rights, the very domain of government.

    2) Okay, fine, if it will get you to stop being so weasely, how about a dower as required by law? Or how about the historical definition of marriage that says a woman cannot divorce a man? Or how about all the other awful, irrelevant pieces of history as they pertain to marriage? Since part of your argument is predicated on the notion that history is important here, you ought to be arguing for a definition of marriage as it existed thousands of years ago. Fortunately, no one would ever buy such a barbaric definition in the U.S.

    3) There’s a lot of non-sense to tackle here.

    First of all, the definition of marriage has changed drastically. We (and especially all women) are fortunate not to have to endure such stupidity. Second, several countries and states now allow same-sex marriage, thus defeating your assertion that “it is always about the relationship between a man and a woman”. Third, saying marriage is neither a right or a privilege, simply an important thing which exists, is a complete cop-out. Of course, if Muslims found themselves as the majority and started saying that Christian marriage should be illegal, I think you might just start cloaking yourself in the ideas of rights and liberty.

    4) I love the silliness of this particular argument. Just because something also has moral relevancy does not mean that that is the reason it is illegal. All the things you listed infringe upon the rights of others.

    As for marriage being all about this purpose of reproduction, you still have not satisfactorily addressed infertile or by-choice childless couples.

    5) Still non-responsive. You said the definition of marriage comes from a Judeo-Christian perspective. I rightly pointed out that the constitution does not cater to this perspective. Your response about something else to which you believe the constitution does not cater is not an appropriate response; you have entered a red herring. Until you stay on topic and manage to muster a proper response, I will have to assume that you acknowledge that the constitution, in fact, does not cater your religious perspective.

    Until you can show it is in the fundamental interest of our society to change the nature of a core, universal, multi-millennial human institution, your whining about it doesn’t amount to much.

    Marriage, as far as any government is concerned, amounts to a legal contract which conveys particular rights. It is always in the interest of society to allow all its citizens their proper liberty and rights. That should be obvious to anyone who has ever read anything ever said or written by the Founding Fathers (or the philosophers they praised).

    And not changing the definition of marriage to suit the whims of a political lobby is not bigotry either. None of your arguments have demonstrated a good reason why this should happen.

    You do not understand the analogy. Please demonstrate how same-sex marriage infringes upon your rights.

    While feelings about homosexual acts may certainly be determined in part by the inherent revulsion felt by heterosexuals of all stripes, (which is quite conceivably biologically determined)

    Please stop abusing science. I’ll read your posts on intelligent design when I want that sort of rubbish.

    There is no “inherent revulsion” by heterosexuals. That much should be obvious by the fact that tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality varies by culture and time.

    it really has nothing to do with the definition of marriage, as Christians aren’t inclined to generally view homosexuals any different than the rest of fallen humanity.

    That must be why it’s been so easy to get equal protection laws on the books. It’s all those tolerant, equal-minded Christians.

  6. jackhudson says:

    1) You may want to review your original post where you define marriage from a “Judeo-Christian perspective”.
    And of course the government defines marriage. The institution involves legal rights, the very domain of government.

    No, if you read carefully, I said, “…biological, historical, social, moral, and…” it wasn’t ‘from a Judeo-Christian perspective, but from a universal perspective, which of course includes the Judeo-Christian one.
    Typically our government has not defined marriage; recently, due to the gay lobby, our government has been forced to define the sort of marriage it will recognize, that being the historically accepted one.

    2) Okay, fine, if it will get you to stop being so weasely, how about a dower as required by law? Or how about the historical definition of marriage that says a woman cannot divorce a man? Or how about all the other awful, irrelevant pieces of history as they pertain to marriage? Since part of your argument is predicated on the notion that history is important here, you ought to be arguing for a definition of marriage as it existed thousands of years ago. Fortunately, no one would ever buy such a barbaric definition in the U.S.

    Again, none of these have anything to do with the core notion of what a marriage is, which has consistently involved the relationship between a man and a woman. This has been true as long as marriage has eisted.

    3) First of all, the definition of marriage has changed drastically. We (and especially all women) are fortunate not to have to endure such stupidity. Second, several countries and states now allow same-sex marriage, thus defeating your assertion that “it is always about the relationship between a man and a woman”. Third, saying marriage is neither a right or a privilege, simply an important thing which exists, is a complete cop-out. Of course, if Muslims found themselves as the majority and started saying that Christian marriage should be illegal, I think you might just start cloaking yourself in the ideas of rights and liberty.

    While it is certainly true a few countries have attempted to re-define marriage, this no more proves that it should be re-defined, or that the historical and biological purpose of marriage is illegitimate, than the fact that some countries deny the holocaust makes that event less real.

    4) Just because something also has moral relevancy does not mean that that is the reason it is illegal. All the things you listed infringe upon the rights of others.

    “laws against theft, rape, murder” infringe on the rights of others? Odd.

    As for marriage being all about this purpose of reproduction, you still have not satisfactorily addressed infertile or by-choice childless couples.

    Actually neither changes the basic definition. If I say the primary purpose of an airplane is to travel through the air, the fact that some planes breakdown, or people choose not to fly in them, doesn’t change that basic understanding of a planes purpose. However if someone comes along and says that planes are also good for traveling underwater, then it contradicts the basic notion of the purpose of a plane.

    5) Still non-responsive. You said the definition of marriage comes from a Judeo-Christian perspective.

    I said no such thing; I included the Judeo-Christian notion, but I didn’t limit it to that. Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and pagans historically had the same notion.

    I rightly pointed out that the constitution does not cater to this perspective.

    The Constitution says nothing about marriage; in that respect it tells us nothing about marriage.

    Your response about something else to which you believe the constitution does not cater is not an appropriate response; you have entered a red herring. Until you stay on topic and manage to muster a proper response, I will have to assume that you acknowledge that the constitution, in fact, does not cater your religious perspective.

    Well, again, as the Constitution says nothing about marriage, your use of it is the actual red herring. I will assume you were simply dissembling here because you have run out of reasonable counter-arguments.

    Marriage, as far as any government is concerned, amounts to a legal contract which conveys particular rights. It is always in the interest of society to allow all its citizens their proper liberty and rights. That should be obvious to anyone who has ever read anything ever said or written by the Founding Fathers (or the philosophers they praised).

    Again, government doesn’t need to be involved in marriage at all; to the degree it is, it is because traditionally understood, marriage has and is a benefit to society at large. If it is reduced, as you desire, to a mere legal contract, then marriage isn’t necessary at all – any two people can draw up a contract.

    That should be obvious to anyone who has ever read anything ever said or written by the Founding Fathers (or the philosophers they praised).

    What is obvious to one who has actually read our seminal founding documents, is that they say nothing that would suggest the Founding Fathers intended them to be used to make homosexual marriage legitimate – though I am open to seeing where they might have suggested it.

    You do not understand the analogy. Please demonstrate how same-sex marriage infringes upon your rights.

    It has nothing to do with rights in this case; marriage is an institution that exists for a purpose, and extending it to homosexuals undermines that purpose.

    Please stop abusing science. I’ll read your posts on intelligent design when I want that sort of rubbish.
    There is no “inherent revulsion” by heterosexuals. That much should be obvious by the fact that tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality varies by culture and time.

    Well, tolerance for lots of things varies by culture and times (slavery, torture, etc.) but if such variation undermines the biological basis of such feelings, it would seem to undermine the presumed biological basis for the attraction homosexuals have for each other as well.

    None the less I was just stating an observation as a heterosexual who has heard it expressed by numerous others; you can accept it or not.

    That must be why it’s been so easy to get equal protection laws on the books. It’s all those tolerant, equal-minded Christians.

    Or it might have been “tolerant, equal-minded” folks like Jefferson, who while claiming to respect human rights, kept slaves for his own purposes.

  7. No, if you read carefully, I said, “…biological, historical, social, moral, and…” it wasn’t ‘from a Judeo-Christian perspective, but from a universal perspective, which of course includes the Judeo-Christian one.

    This is entirely inconsistent with your definition. You are clearly saying that marriage from a Judeo-Christian perspective excludes homosexual marriage. This is true, but irrelevant. You said nothing of any universal perspective. Perhaps you should actually say the words you mean, especially if you’re going to put them in bold.

    Typically our government has not defined marriage; recently, due to the gay lobby, our government has been forced to define the sort of marriage it will recognize, that being the historically accepted one.

    It varies by state. Maine, for instance, had marriage defined as between one man and one woman. The bill which was passed and ultimately defeated removed that language and then rewrote the legal definition. But for other states, the definition was more slack in this area. However, what is true of all states is that they have always defined the legal benefits, ramifications, and rights which are associated with marriage.

    Separately, they define rights which are relevant, such as we see in the 14th Amendment on a federal level.

    Again, none of these have anything to do with the core notion of what a marriage is, which has consistently involved the relationship between a man and a woman. This has been true as long as marriage has eisted.

    If you’re going to be this wrong on something, I’m at a loss. Financial or similar agreements have long defined marriage. Those are not relevant today – and here’s the point that matters – because history does not constrain the present. If it did, your argument could be validly used in the 1910’s against women’s suffrage or in the mid-1800’s against universal freedom from slavery. Your argument is invalid on its face.

    While it is certainly true a few countries have attempted to re-define marriage, this no more proves that it should be re-defined, or that the historical and biological purpose of marriage is illegitimate, than the fact that some countries deny the holocaust makes that event less real.

    Your argument is that because marriage is always about the relationship between a man and a woman, it should remain so. That isn’t a very good argument in the first place (see previous blockquote response), but it is wrong in its facts anyway.

    “laws against theft, rape, murder” infringe on the rights of others? Odd.

    …the acts you listed infringe upon the rights of others in obvious ways, thus making any moral argument irrelevant. And given the fact that many generally considered immoral things are legal, your argument has obvious flaws. Why, if the majority considers the KKK an immoral organization, do we allow its existence? Could it be that the government reaches actions, not thoughts? that the government is concerned with rights and liberty, not what the Moral Majority wants?

    Actually neither changes the basic definition. If I say the primary purpose of an airplane is to travel through the air, the fact that some planes breakdown, or people choose not to fly in them, doesn’t change that basic understanding of a planes purpose. However if someone comes along and says that planes are also good for traveling underwater, then it contradicts the basic notion of the purpose of a plane.

    Your primary definition is that marriage is for reproduction. Couples who cannot reproduce are absolutely trying to fly your plane under the sea; they contradict “the basic notion of the purpose” of marriage if the basic purpose is reproduction.

    For aesthetic purposes, however, I did like that analogy.

    I said no such thing; I included the Judeo-Christian notion, but I didn’t limit it to that. Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and pagans historically had the same notion.

    First, one of your definitions is about history. So, you are saying that these groups have historically had the same notion of an historical notion throughout their histories.

    Second,

    The definition of marriage, from a…Judeo-Christian perspective inherently excludes homosexual relationships.

    While those other groups may have similar notions in regards to biology and social norms, they do not share a Judeo-Christian perspective. You cannot rightly include this phrase in your definition of marriage and then 1) claim it includes virtually all cultural definitions and 2) claim you didn’t include it. You offered a culture-specific definition. You could simply be done with this embarrassing corner and say that you want to define marriage from a more universal perspective. If you can be humble with your error, I can offer you the same, but to keep up with these shenanigans just isn’t going to fly.

    But, again, the history of the term is not relevant to whether or not we should extend marital rights to same-sex couples. Perhaps an academic exercise in the philosophy of marriage could yield promising discussion where its history is concerned, but that is not important in practical – and ultimately legal – terms.

    The Constitution says nothing about marriage; in that respect it tells us nothing about marriage.

    The legal concept of marriage has nothing to do with a Judeo-Christian perspective. It’s that simple.

    Well, again, as the Constitution says nothing about marriage, your use of it is the actual red herring. I will assume you were simply dissembling here because you have run out of reasonable counter-arguments.

    If you notice, my original numbering conformed to each individual aspect of your definition in order. Number 5 was about your fifth aspect, the Judeo-Christian perspective. It is correct to point out that this perspective has no bearing on the legal definition of marriage.

    Again, government doesn’t need to be involved in marriage at all; to the degree it is, it is because traditionally understood, marriage has and is a benefit to society at large. If it is reduced, as you desire, to a mere legal contract, then marriage isn’t necessary at all – any two people can draw up a contract.

    Marriage as the government defines it has always been a legal contract. The social and cultural definitions have evolved in a myriad of ways without regard to this fact.

    And of course marriage remains necessary. It is absolutely necessary that two people in a relationship be given proper legal rights, i.e., the right to visit partners in the hospital.

    What is obvious to one who has actually read our seminal founding documents, is that they say nothing that would suggest the Founding Fathers intended them to be used to make homosexual marriage legitimate – though I am open to seeing where they might have suggested it.

    Here.

    Here.

    And here.

    It has nothing to do with rights in this case; marriage is an institution that exists for a purpose, and extending it to homosexuals undermines that purpose.

    Now I’m just beating a dead horse. 1)Marriage is a legal contract which is not predicated on an ability to reproduce. 2)You still have not shown how infertile couples do not undermine marriage being for reproduction.

    Well, tolerance for lots of things varies by culture and times (slavery, torture, etc.) but if such variation undermines the biological basis of such feelings, it would seem to undermine the presumed biological basis for the attraction homosexuals have for each other as well.

    This assumes that homosexuality is currently detrimental using an argument which inherently relies upon the notion that natural selection would not allow homosexuality. It fails because 1) selection pressure against homosexuality is not at issue in modern times, and, more importantly, 2)there are valid pathways by which homosexuality might be maintained within a human population (sexually antagonistic selection). And, in fact, we do observe relatively high rates (not merely instances) of homosexuality in other animals. Sexually antagonistic selection is possible, but there are other, better explanations.

    At any rate, simply because our biology is conducive to one type of behavior, it does not mean that we should engage in the behavior (and the same goes for behavior to which our biology is not entirely conducive).

    None the less I was just stating an observation as a heterosexual who has heard it expressed by numerous others; you can accept it or not.

    You extended your observation to “heterosexuals of all stripes”. More importantly, you claimed without evidence that your anecdotal revulsion was inherent.

    Or it might have been “tolerant, equal-minded” folks like Jefferson, who while claiming to respect human rights, kept slaves for his own purposes.

    I will gladly address this point where it is relevant, however, it has nothing to do with whether or not Christians maintain different views of homosexuals versus the rest of humanity. The fact that it is Christians who tend to lead the charge against basic rights for homosexuals suggests you are gravely mistaken.

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