Same Sex Marriage - why is this an issue?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008 16:28 by The Lunatic

 

A number of states have gay marriage on the ballot today.  Why is this even an issue?  There are people that are gay, and there always have been.  Depending on what statistics you read, the percentage of humans that are gay is somewhere between 9% and 14% (probably substantially higher among Catholic Priests).  And the percentages hold up across all races, all religions, all geographic regions of the world. On a per capita basis, there are no more gays living in San Francisco than there are in any farming town across the midwest - they're just a little more open about it. It doesn't mean they are bad people, or they'd be bad parents, or they can't fall in love and get married - or divorced.

In fact, the percentage of gay people far outnumber people with red hair - which is only 1 to 2% of the world population.  Instead of picking on homosexuals, why don't you say that redheads shouldn't marry?  That makes about as much sense! (actually, redheads were persecuted as witches in the middle ages - maybe we haven't evolved as far as everyone thinks we have)

We need to stop this widespread bigotry. This is akin to not allowing black people to vote.  It's shameful.  History will view this period in time as another "dark age" where ignorant religeous views encourage ignorant people to do hateful things to their fellow man.

And while we're on the subject, let's look at what "marriage" really is.  Marriage is a legal contract.  It gives two people legal rights as a family, and affects things like income taxes, insurance, property ownership, and inheritance. One objection that I do have is when people want some of these rights, without the responsibilities of being married.  Take health insurance for example - employers pay for health insurance for employees and their families, and it's not cheap. I have a huge objection to the concept of a "domestic partnership" where an employer pays for health insurance for a non-married couple - and it doesn't matter if they are gay or straight.  We should not burdon the system with this financial overhead if the couple is not willing to go all the way and get married, and assume all the other responsibilities that that entails.

Until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, I applaud the companies that have made "domestic partnerships" a part of their benefits package.  But when gay marriage become legal, these policies should be abandoned.

 

Categories:   Social Issues
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Comments

November 6. 2008 19:01

That is SO sweet!  Thank you for writing this article!  If I liked guys, I'd give you a great big kiss Smile

Lesbian Baby

November 13. 2008 03:45

most of the gay couples i know who have been together for 10 plus years are not particularly moved by this issue. and most of the gay singles i know who are obsessed with this issue lack the substance of character to maintain a relationship with a goldfish, let alone a lifelong marriage to another human being.

in the 30 states that have placed same sex marriage bans on the ballot, they have ultimately all passed. this is not something the american people are ready for quite yet. i'm going to live my life just the way i want no matter what the outcome of such propositions are.

as with scotty, the larger issue for me concerning prop 8 was the inappropriate use of the most undemocratic branch of our government, the courts, as a backdoor to invent new laws and new rights. we should make such cultural changes at the ballot box, not via i-pulled-this-new-right-outta-my-ass judicial fiat.

we need to seriously b*tchslap these activist judges to make them understand that we as voters will not tolerate a political class that works diametrically against the will of the majority of the citizens who put them in power. that principle burns in my bosom more strongly that a desire to have the government validate my relationship with my same-sex partner scotty as a marriage.

i voted yes on prop 8.

the shocking display of destructive intolerance in the video below elucidates the pointthat we shouldnt demonize people *at all* in our political discourse simply because they disagree. i shudder to think what might have happened to this elderly woman had the tv cameras not been present!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ZvPR09N4Q

bro_in_law

November 17. 2008 04:16

Where did you get the statistics on the number of gay people in America?  I find it difficult to believe that the numbers are that high.  What sort of criteria was used in the studies?

Kesteral

November 17. 2008 07:01

To say this is like not letting blacks vote is a horrible offense against the black community.  You want to know why 70% of them voted for the ban?  Foolish and knee-jerk comments like that.  It diminishes what blacks have suffered and insinuates that blacks are just like gay people.

Same thing for comparing this to women's suffrage.

Another thing: Marriage is in trouble because so many people feel the way that you do that it is nothing more than a "legal contract".  It is so much more, and if you don't know that then this argument would be wasted on you, but I'll offer it anyway.  It is important to society and therefore must be sanctioned by the government, but more than a legal contract, it is a sacrament.  It is sacred to most people, and above all for those who find it sacred it is most symbolic of the relationship they pledge to have with their Creator - which relationship becomes a mockery on many levels when engaged in a way that is contrary to the way they believe their Creator defined.  In fact much of the symbolism simply doesn't fit.  Adam was a man.  Eve was a woman.

davea0511

November 18. 2008 01:20

The thing that people don't understand about the "activist judges" in this case is that they weren't "pulling a decision out of their ass".  They were looking at legal precedent set in California in the last century (in the memory of many still alive) where it was against the law for people of Latin American descent to marry outside of their "race".  That was struck down as unconstitutional.  By "activist judges".

I, a gay man, also used to think that the whole gay marriage thing was a phony cause, a fairly silly one, designed simply to create strife and controversy.  That was until about four or five years ago when people started talking about amending the constitution of the United States because of it.  It was no longer silly.

Yes, marriage is, in the mind of many, a sacrament.  No, no church should or would be made to perform or sanctify a gay marriage against their beliefs.  Many churches won't perform marriages between a person of their faith and one outside it.  This is not against the law, nor should it be.  

Yes, it is also, and for many, many straight couples, only a legal contract, an agreement, between the couple and the society at large.  Some gay people who want to marry simply want the contract, as most straight people do.  However, many want the sacrament.  And there are many churches willing to give it to them, even if the state won't.  Some fairly orthodox, conservative churches, by the way, I'm not talking about churches founded on a certificate printed from an Internet site.

Oh, and no one here has mentioned that most of the money backing the passage of the proposition came from out of the state and most of it was used to make very reasonable sounding advertising that was jam packed full of lies and half-truths designed to scare the people in California who hadn't much thought about the issue.

In the grander scheme of things, I think Prop 8 passing will be looked back upon in perhaps as few as 4 or 5 years as the turning point where enough people started to understand the issue rationally that it all fell away, people could marry who they wanted to and it became a non-issue.  Most of the people I know who are outraged about the passage of Prop 8 are straight.  Many of them married.  Most of them never thought about it before, but it just seems wrong to them on a very visceral level.  That said, I think the passage of Prop 8 will ultimately be a good thing in that it will have woken people up.  

Geoff Hoff

November 22. 2008 19:12

uhh, 9-15%?   sure, in the SF Bay Area.

try 6-8% nationally

yaright

December 2. 2008 18:56

the civil rights movement was not "protecting minority rights"; it was ensuring that minorities were accorded the same rights as everyone else. there is an important difference. every citizen in this country has the right to marry someone - of the opposite sex. (until very recently) no citizen in this country has had the right to marry someone of the same sex. allowing same sex marriage entails the creation of a culturally significant *new* right. gays are not being denied a right that everyone else has; we are being (in almost every state) denied the creation of a new right that no one currently has.

bro_in_law

December 2. 2008 19:05

denying gay marriage differs from denying interracial marriage in a significant sense. our nation has a very deep-rooted judeo-christian heritage. and the bible, the ultimate written authority of that heritage, has shaped the values of most american people - even people who arent particularly religious via cultural mores. there is no dogmatic prohibition on interracial marriage in the bible (any version); that was a total subjective invention of racists of yesteryear. there are however many prohibitions written therein against being gay and against anything like being gay.
since most americans (democrat or republican) are self-identified christians, considering whether to allow legal gay marriage is a question of whether tolerance of people being Amorally different should be extended to tolerance of people being (per traditional values) IMmorally different. thats a choice each person has to make with his own conscience.
it is legitimate for someone to vote for gay marriage because they believe it is a fundamental right. it is also legitimate for someone to vote against gay marriage because they believe it is morally improper. that doesnt mean automatically they "hate" gays. traditional values say we are all supposed to be virgins until we marry, marry one person of the opposite sex and remain betrothed to him/her til death. anything else is morally improper. its an issue of a world view with generally stricter sexual mores, not the singling out gays for special persecution.

bro_in_law

December 2. 2008 19:30

if 5 "activist judges" on our currently strongly right wing leaning supreme court decide that gay marriage is unconstitutional and outlaws them all nationwide with the rustling of opinion papers and the pounding of a gavel, perhaps the point i'm making about judges short-circuiting the ballot box will register its true weight in your consideration.
we live in an advanced democracy. we eradicated our most odious social injustices decades ago. any change now is fine tuning, and the people should do that themselves via voting or via elected legislative branch representatives, not via the often misguided opinion of a judge or oligarchy of judges.

On October 10, 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled "4 to 3, that the state's civil unions violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law."
In a scathing 25-page dissenting opinion, Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage."
"The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry," Zarella wrote. "If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court."

to be honest, i couldnt give two cents one way or another if gays win the right to marry or not. however, in the dissenting opinion expressed above, the judge admirably shows wise restraint and respect for the integrity of our democratic process.

your argument that judicial activism is altogether fine since we used it in the past seems to imply that there are no limits to what a judge can decide is correct and lawful even if it is against the wishes of the citizens. the flaw in such sentiment seems obvious.

bro_in_law

December 2. 2008 23:22

Come on guys, there is nothing morally improper about two girls having sex. And I'm surprised that someone would say that only 6-8% of the population is gay, I think it's 20% at least. The author is correct that most studies say around 15% - but they define it as the number of people who have HAD sex with someone of their own gender, not the people who just fantasize about it all day long and never actually do it.  These people are gay too. I can see it in their eyes!

Lesbian Baby

December 3. 2008 02:02

Gay people should not be rights. God will punitc them! Its as the bible says.

Bob Jones

December 3. 2008 23:29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_union

civil unions are supposed to be marriage-lite for gays. i suspect each state that allows civil unions does it differently. the pragmatist in me says if youre going to allow civil unions then you might as well allow gay marriage. its de facto the same concept. whats the point of doing it half-assed?

however, i also appreciate the gravity of the position of pro-family advocates that traditional marriage is the very foundation of our civilization. diluting it at last officially could be an even further erosion of our cultural family fabric. should 8 afrocentric lesbians be allowed to marry and raise their children polygamously? by the same justification, they too are consenting adults.

the most egregious and cruel injustices that gay couples suffer by not being allowed to marry can be legally remedied without necessarily enacting gay marriage, a rather radical proposal given our civilization's (indeed our species)  traditions. we could have a "trusted friend" type of legislation which allows unmarried individuals to name another person as the inheritor of their estate, guardian of their children, health care proxy in case of becoming incapacitated etc. the chosen person could be your sister, your neighbor, your gay partner, whomever. it could be used by single heterosexuals. it would have no component regarding sexuality to fuel controversy, and could become immediately invalidated upon the person getting married.

unfortunately like so much of our political dialog, we have reduced this entire discussion to the crudest, most dullwitted lowest common denominator and mud wrestle one another there.

bro_in_law

February 12. 2009 23:13

One more note I'd like to add to the "building a family" aspect of gay marriage : Our orphanages are severely overcrowded, with few straight couples willing to help take on this oft unspoken of burden of our nation.  Allowing gay couples to adopt would help ease that particular burden of this nation, while giving children experiencing hardships and being shipped from foster home to foster home wonderful, loving, stable families more often than not.

Miriam Cammack

March 20. 2009 15:35

bob jones and bro_in_law:  go ahead and stand behind your bible but lets get it out there, you're basically homophobe and against this and gay people because you in fact fantasize about being with a man.  at some point in your life, you'll act on this.  it tends to happen.  very few actually make it to their grave denying theirself that experience.  its sad.  second, US has a separate church and state.  therefore, whether jesus, who i pretty much think was a big fag too, or god thinks being gay is wrong is pretty insignifigant.  if you're going to be against it, come up with better reason and maybe the gay community will take it seriously.  i dont care to get married to a girl or a guy.  but to say that two guys who are deeply in love with one another and want to be married can't because it will ruin the sanctity of marriage is so heinously stupid.  i'm glad about 50% of hetero married couples take it seriously by getting divorced.  I know more people who are divorced and/or who are on their 2nd and 3rd marriages than i know who are still in their first.  personally, i see more men being against gay people than i do women and you want to know why?  bro_in_law, bob jones, i think you're just a little bit pissed off that people like me get to have sex and be in a relationship with really hot chicks that you would never ever even have the slightest chance with.  stop taking it out on us b/c your fat ass wife doesn't want to have sex with your fat ass anymore.  it's proven that even straight women become arroused by girl on girl action.  women find other women attractive period.  i think the 15% figure is more like 30%.  you're fighting a losing battle.  gay people will marry sometime in the near future.  the more you publicy flight against it, the more exposure it gets and the more ellen and portia's step out and give it a face and breakdown the stereotypes out there.  all gays are not like rosie o'donnel. look at lindsay lohan?  and the fact that i only date straight girls should say something.

bro_in_law is an idiot

April 8. 2009 14:32

my gay partner thinks i'm an idiot too!

vermont is the first state to enact same-sex marriage using the proper approach, the legislature.

www.sfgate.com/.../a072845D15.DTL

it is only the usage of a judicial back door to invent new rights that draws my opposition.

bro_in_law

May 24. 2012 03:38

I think you wrote this article from an extremely closed minded prespective. You did no research on the actual reasons why People are against gay marriage, however you still found the space to slip in a not so subtle jibe toward the Catholic Church. If you did your research you would know that Catholics have absolutley no prejudice towards gays. We love them just as much as a straight person. However, we believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman where each leaves home and the they make a vow to look out fior each other until they die, as well as their children. A gay couple cannot have children, there is no possibility of them EVER having children. Where even a infertile woman can sometimes defeat the odds and produe children.

Nicole Dicken`

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