Are there actually any good arguments out there against allowing gay marriage?

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LifeCharacter:

Here's the thing though, how exactly do you expect the people who are currently married to take being told that their current, honored status as married has been symbolically downgraded to that thing they were forcing on them evil gays? Do you think they'll accept that easily enough to justify telling homosexuals to just give up on being married like they wanted because we need to compromise with the bigots?

They just got told "Well, sucks to be you. Gays can enjoy the same rights as you can now, and if you thought differently you're just stupid". It wasn't a compromise as much as it was a feint.

If such a bigot asked a lawyer if gays can get married now or something, the lawyer would say "In layman's terms, yes. But we call it '[insert new name here]' in legalese. If you thought they were two different things, that's your problem."

And what about international issues? I'm not fully aware of the status of Civil "we compromised with bigotry" Unions amongst the countries of the world and whether they would be given the same rights as married couples there, so you could potentially be creating a complication of laws involving every other country besides our own.

Not a new issue (after all, rights of married couples differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in details, even if they're generally very similar), but I expect that in law, it's more important what it means than what it's called - that's my entire argument actually, that the meaning is the only thing that matters, not the string of letters that's used to refer to said meaning.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

When a thug tries to steal my wallet, I don't compromise with them and settle for only giving them half of my money.

How about giving them a fake empty wallet, and if they later figure out it's empty after you're long gone, the joke's on them?

When a bully tries to kick me to the ground, I don't compromise with them and settle for just being slapped on the head.

How about holding up an effigy of your head that the bully is too stupid to figure out so he thinks he slapped you when he really didn't? It's not your fault he's stupid, after all.

When a bigot tries to deny me my rights, I don't settle for giving up half of my rights.

How about making him think you gave up half of your rights, while you've actually got even more rights than before now?

The "all or nothing" attitude here is essential, because opponents of gay marriage are 100% in the wrong. They don't have any legal right to deny homosexuals the right to marry. So there should not, must not be any compromise with them.

Well, maybe I just like trickery and deception approach when it comes to bigots. Make them think they've won, while you got exactly what you wanted, then laugh at them when they figure it out and rage about it. If you think that kind of approach is bad, alright, fair enough. But my personal motto is that the easiest way to beat someone is to make them think they've won.

Shaoken:

Except that really isn't what was proposed; the poster was letting the other side think they "won." Considering their goal is to keep Marriage strictly heterosexual, how exactly are they going to think they've won when they lose marriage?

That's their problem now. Who cares if they're butthurt about it?

The whole point of the exercise was to avoid a long fight, yet offering a solution that pisses both sides off and pleases no one is not going to be that solution.

Why would it piss off anyone but the bigots? The opposite side got everything it fought for. That's a call for celebration, not to call to be pissed off. They just got exactly what they asked for smuggled to them in a slightly differently looking wrapping. But when they unwrapped it it was exactly what they wanted.

Why the hell does the wrapping matter?

Vegosiux:
Why would it piss off anyone but the bigots? The opposite side got everything it fought for. That's a call for celebration, not to call to be pissed off. They just got exactly what they asked for smuggled to them in a slightly differently looking wrapping. But when they unwrapped it it was exactly what they wanted.

Why the hell does the wrapping matter?

Because you are telling people that gay people are not deserving of the same things as straight people, they have to have a separate thing to stop them getting their icky gayness on it.

By comparison, if someone wanted a national "Gay people are just wrong" holiday, even if nothing else about that day was different, it'd still be a very bad idea.

thaluikhain:

Because you are telling people that gay people are not deserving of the same things as straight people, they have to have a separate thing to stop them getting their icky gayness on it.

No matter what thing is wrapped in, it's still the same thing. What I want is on the inside of that wrapper, I throw the wrapper away after I unwrap my thing.

Seems we're at a bit of an impasse, really. I'm basically willing to remove the word "marriage" from legalese and replace it with a new word/expression (such as "martial union", maybe?) that grants all the rights and benefits that currently only "married" people can enjoy to everyone, including homosexual couples - because I think those rights and benefits are important, and the word itself seems utterly irrelevant to me.

What gay couples want isn't to flash their certificates with the word "marriage" on it. What they want is to be considered next of kin, to be able to adopt children, to be eligible for inheritance from their partners, to be able to visit their partners in the hospital. They want so many more important things than that one word on a piece of paper.

And yes, I am aware I'm being pretentious and even presumptuous to speak for others here. But that's what *I* would want.

By comparison, if someone wanted a national "Gay people are just wrong" holiday, even if nothing else about that day was different, it'd still be a very bad idea.

If nothing was different, it wouldn't be much of a holiday (nor would it even be acknowledged). But as long as it was acknowledged, something is wrong with such a holiday, namely, it states that some citizens are "wrong" simply for existing. There's substance behind a national holiday, as much as I despise symbolism, it's a symbolic thing[1]. And bigots have "Gay people are just wrong" days every day as it is, anyway :/

[1] I might hate symbolism, but I do not pretend it doesn't exist or that it doesn't work.

Vegosiux:
What gay couples want isn't to flash their certificates with the word "marriage" on it. What they want is to be considered next of kin, to be able to adopt children, to be eligible for inheritance from their partners, to be able to visit their partners in the hospital. They want so many more important things than that one word on a piece of paper.

This is not true of people fighting for gay marriage in places that gives those as de facto benefits, mind.

The reason that gay people don't have equality is because society perpetuates the idea that they aren't equal. Not letting them get married the same as straight people is part of that.

(As an aside, apparently there's a big problem in that people nominally sympathetic to the cause assume that the next big step is the last. "It isn't illegal to be gay anymore, what more do you want?" and so on, and this is predicted to rear up again once gay marriage becomes established)

thaluikhain:
This is not true of people fighting for gay marriage in places that gives those as de facto benefits, mind.

The reason that gay people don't have equality is because society perpetuates the idea that they aren't equal. Not letting them get married the same as straight people is part of that.

But the idea is that they get to "get married" the same way straight people do, only that it would be called "entering a martial union" or something, for both gay and straight people. They'd get the exact same rights, down to having the exact same wording on their certificates the straight people get.

(As an aside, apparently there's a big problem in that people nominally sympathetic to the cause assume that the next big step is the last. "It isn't illegal to be gay anymore, what more do you want?" and so on, and this is predicted to rear up again once gay marriage becomes established)

Naturally, I expect no less, unfortunately. Some will even argue that gay people shouldn't be "given" rights they already have under equal legislation.

Captcha: Nap time.

I say, good idea. Not sure I'll abide yet, tho >.>

Shadowstar38:
Why do you care about having the right to marry?

This question wasn't directed at me, but I'd like to answer it anyway. I'm a gay guy currently in a civil union who is looking to get married, and there are several reasons for that.

1) My partner is American, marriage is the only form of domestic partnership recognised by the federal government.

2) Kind of related to 1, as long as gay couples have a separate status to straight couples in law, our relationships will always be vulnerable. After the introduction of civil unions in my state there was an election and the government changed, and at the top of their agenda was repealing the civil unions law. They ended up not entirely repealing it, but renaming it and removing the parts of it that "mimicked marriage" too closely. Gay relationships need to be as respected as straight relationships by the government and the only way to do that is for our relationships to be recognised in exactly the same way as straight relationships, through marriage.

3) "Marriage" is a universally understood concept, "civil union" isn't. There is no universal agreement on the language (civil union, civil partnership, domestic partnership, registered relationship, etc.), no universal agreement on what protections and benefits they grant, the requirements to enter into one or the method through which to enter one, whether they're equal to a marriage in status, and many other problems. Even though there are different requirements to marriage in different jurisdictions, there is a universal understanding of what a marriage is and with few exceptions, marriages solemnised in one jurisdiction tend to be recognised in all others, unlike civil unions.

4) I hate calling my partner my partner, I want to call him my husband. Language does matter. Our ancestors didn't develop the language to be "civil union", the language is "marriage", and to force people to accept something cold like "civil union" when English naturally revolves around marriage, wedding, husbands and wives (contrast that to civil union, civil union ceremony, civil partners) is like Newspeak out of 1984.

Vegosiux:
No matter what thing is wrapped in, it's still the same thing. What I want is on the inside of that wrapper, I throw the wrapper away after I unwrap my thing.

Seems we're at a bit of an impasse, really. I'm basically willing to remove the word "marriage" from legalese and replace it with a new word/expression (such as "martial union", maybe?) that grants all the rights and benefits that currently only "married" people can enjoy to everyone, including homosexual couples - because I think those rights and benefits are important, and the word itself seems utterly irrelevant to me.

What gay couples want isn't to flash their certificates with the word "marriage" on it. What they want is to be considered next of kin, to be able to adopt children, to be eligible for inheritance from their partners, to be able to visit their partners in the hospital. They want so many more important things than that one word on a piece of paper.

And yes, I am aware I'm being pretentious and even presumptuous to speak for others here. But that's what *I* would want.

That's not what I want, so stop speaking for me. Can you think of any jurisdiction that's legalised gay civil unions that hasn't subsequently legalised gay marriage, or doesn't have campaigning to legalise gay marriage?

When I had my civil union I was relieved, because although my state and my country recognises cohabiting couples legally and grants them more or less the same rights as if they were married, without a piece of paper to prove you're a couple things can get very difficult if your relationship status is ever challenged by anyone. So I was glad to have conclusive proof of my relationship, but it wasn't a life changing experience. Few of my family members or my in-laws really understand what a civil union is despite how many times I've explained it, and subsequently few consider us to be legally bonded to each other like we would be if we were married. We're in this weird stage where people see us as more than boyfriends but less than husbands, and this isn't at all how my partner and I see our relationship.

Civil unions are never really going to catch on, UK civil partnerships and NZ civil unions were two of the best examples in the world of complete legal equality for gay couples without granting them the word "marriage", and they each lasted for less than ten years. Yes, to most gay people, the rights are what's most important, but we are also fighting for a word, because words really, truly, do matter more than, ironically, what I can put into words.

ten.to.ten:

That's not what I want, so stop speaking for me.

I'm sorry. I won't do it again.

As I said, I'd want to be considered next of kin etc. regardless of my sexual orientation, but I understand that I'm being presumptuous by speaking for others (which I actually acknowledged in my post!)

But that doesn't mean I'm not a bit cranky at you about the following:

Can you think of any jurisdiction that's legalised gay civil unions that hasn't subsequently legalised gay marriage, or doesn't have campaigning to legalise gay marriage?

Have you read previous posts in this thread?

Why do a handful people insist that I'm doing this "separate but equal" shtick despite me, repeatedly, stating I'm not, drawing several analogies, and repeatedly elaborating on how I'm not doing that, and how what I'm saying is distinctly different from the "normal" proposition of "civil" union that does nothing but validate the self-absorbed feeling of superiority for a bunch of hillbillies.

In my hypothetical jurisdiction, "civil union" and "marriage" would mean the exact same thing, only that one of them would be a layperson's term for it. Just like "shanking" is a layperson's term for "stabbing", but they both mean the same act, no criminal report is going to say you went to prison for "shanking" someone, they'll all say you went to prison for "stabbing" them.[1]

With that, I don't think I need to respond to the rest of your post, because it's basically an argument against something I haven't said. I agree that "civil unions" as "separate but equal" are a bad idea, but I am going to respond "to everyone".

FOR.

THE.

LAST.

GOSHDARNED.

TIME.

What I am not asserting is a "civil union" (or actually, "martial union" was the term I began to like more in my recent posts) that would be "separate" or "different" from "traditional marriage". Now read the previous sentence three more times, please, so that we're perfectly clear. Done? Okay, I hope you now understand I do not support any kind of that "separate but equal".

What I am asserting is defining "martial union" to mean the exact same thing "marriage" means, making them literal and legal synonyms. Then deciding that hey, we don't need two legal terms describing the exact same thing, so we opt to use one of them, while the other is relegated to a casual layperson's term for it. Which would rid us of all the baggage the word "marriage" brings and the assorted bigotry by some around it, while giving all couples, homosexual or heterosexual, the exact same rights that the "married" people currently enjoy, down to the spelling on their certificates. There would be no "separation". There would be no "difference". IT WOULD NOT BE "SEPARATE BUT EQUAL", IT WOULD BE "EQUAL FOR EVERYONE, DOWN TO THE PUNCTUATION OF IT, BECAUSE IT WOULD COVER ANY KIND OF LEGAL PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR GENDERS."

Yes, I'm yelling. Because, frankly, I'm getting tired of people assuming my position because I used a "trigger word" in some cases, or because they just wanted to mess up my day in other cases.

Or maybe I'm just getting tired of being so bad at English that I can't get my point across and assert the difference between the "separate but equal" "civil unions" bullshit and what I'm actually asserting, even while I see it clear as day. Honestly, next time this happens, I'm going to start drawing Venn diagrams, and I'm not fucking kidding.

[1] This better not be the main point people build any kind of a counter-argument around

Vegosiux:
Well, maybe I just like trickery and deception approach when it comes to bigots. Make them think they've won, while you got exactly what you wanted, then laugh at them when they figure it out and rage about it. If you think that kind of approach is bad, alright, fair enough. But my personal motto is that the easiest way to beat someone is to make them think they've won.

Someone who wants to impose power over another person because of who that person is doesn't deserve to think they've won. It's bad for society to allow a pretense of bullying and discrimination just because it saves us from confronting the dark side of ourselves.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

Someone who wants to impose power over another person because of who that person is doesn't deserve to think they've won. It's bad for society to allow a pretense of bullying and discrimination just because it saves us from confronting the dark side of ourselves.

What I get is more important to me than what they think I got.

However, you raise an interesting point, that legislation might not be enough to do away with bullying and discrimination. But I've not yet seen a way that would do away bigotry which would be both 100%-effective and non-barbaric. Maybe it will pop up somewhere in the future, I don't know. If it does, I'll acknowledge that I've given people/the society too little credit for their ability to become more empathic and less bigoted.

Vegosiux:
However, you raise an interesting point, that legislation might not be enough to do away with bullying and discrimination. But I've not yet seen a way that would do away bigotry which would be both 100%-effective and non-barbaric. Maybe it will pop up somewhere in the future, I don't know. If it does, I'll acknowledge that I've given people/the society too little credit for their ability to become more empathic and less bigoted.

You misunderstand. I don't seek to do away with bigotry. It's not feasible for any society to try to change people's thoughts like that. However, it is absolutely unacceptable for anyone to deny citizens' rights. Let the public have whatever thoughts about gay marriage they want, but the moment they take away from someone the rights and abilities they have no authority to remove, society must stop them without delay.

Vegosiux:
SNIP

Hang on, I might be missing something here. You're suggesting a complete re-name of the institution, right? Equal for all, with none of the baggage that comes with the term "marriage", and all of the legal rights.

Surely this would simply anger the traditionalists even more than allowing gay marriage would.

Silvanus:

Vegosiux:
SNIP

Hang on, I might be missing something here. You're suggesting a complete re-name of the institution, right? Equal for all, with none of the baggage that comes with the term "marriage", and all of the legal rights.

Surely this would simply anger the traditionalists even more than allowing gay marriage would.

He apparently thinks the traditionalists would be tricked somehow by laws which clearly state that marriage is no longer a legal status and that everyone is now capable of partaking in civil unions.

Vegosiux:
Have you read previous posts in this thread?

Why do a handful people insist that I'm doing this "separate but equal" shtick despite me, repeatedly, stating I'm not, drawing several analogies, and repeatedly elaborating on how I'm not doing that, and how what I'm saying is distinctly different from the "normal" proposition of "civil" union that does nothing but validate the self-absorbed feeling of superiority for a bunch of hillbillies.

In my hypothetical jurisdiction, "civil union" and "marriage" would mean the exact same thing, only that one of them would be a layperson's term for it. Just like "shanking" is a layperson's term for "stabbing", but they both mean the same act, no criminal report is going to say you went to prison for "shanking" someone, they'll all say you went to prison for "stabbing" them.

With that, I don't think I need to respond to the rest of your post, because it's basically an argument against something I haven't said. I agree that "civil unions" as "separate but equal" are a bad idea, but I am going to respond "to everyone".

FOR.

THE.

LAST.

GOSHDARNED.

TIME.

What I am not asserting is a "civil union" (or actually, "martial union" was the term I began to like more in my recent posts) that would be "separate" or "different" from "traditional marriage". Now read the previous sentence three more times, please, so that we're perfectly clear. Done? Okay, I hope you now understand I do not support any kind of that "separate but equal".

What I am asserting is defining "martial union" to mean the exact same thing "marriage" means, making them literal and legal synonyms. Then deciding that hey, we don't need two legal terms describing the exact same thing, so we opt to use one of them, while the other is relegated to a casual layperson's term for it. Which would rid us of all the baggage the word "marriage" brings and the assorted bigotry by some around it, while giving all couples, homosexual or heterosexual, the exact same rights that the "married" people currently enjoy, down to the spelling on their certificates. There would be no "separation". There would be no "difference". IT WOULD NOT BE "SEPARATE BUT EQUAL", IT WOULD BE "EQUAL FOR EVERYONE, DOWN TO THE PUNCTUATION OF IT, BECAUSE IT WOULD COVER ANY KIND OF LEGAL PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR GENDERS."

Yes, I'm yelling. Because, frankly, I'm getting tired of people assuming my position because I used a "trigger word" in some cases, or because they just wanted to mess up my day in other cases.

Or maybe I'm just getting tired of being so bad at English that I can't get my point across and assert the difference between the "separate but equal" "civil unions" bullshit and what I'm actually asserting, even while I see it clear as day. Honestly, next time this happens, I'm going to start drawing Venn diagrams, and I'm not fucking kidding.

Yes, I did read through the thread before I posted, at the time I did think I addressed your points, but when replying to two people at the same time the points I was trying to make to Shadowstar merged a bit with what I was trying to say to you and it probably wasn't that clear.

You have bad idea that is completely unworkable. It is a nightmare scenario for gay people, people with strong religious convictions, and everyone else caught in the crossfire. You think that it's people who aren't understanding your argument, but you are not understanding our argument.

Gay people aren't just interested in equal legal rights, which is why so many countries and states that had civil unions superseded them with same-sex marriage. Why would places like New Zealand and Hawaii that have civil unions that are legally equal to marriage and can be entered into by both gay couples and straight couples approve same-sex marriage instead of stick with civil unions for everyone and phase out marriage? Because people like marriage. People do not want civil unions, gay couples don't want them and straight couples don't want them. [1]

To change the institution of marriage to the institution of civil union, or marital union which is equally as bad, is to forcefully rewrite the dictionary. If you ask someone what it's called when a couple pledge their commitment to each other in a ceremony in front of their friends and family, anyone will tell you that's called "marriage". You may think "in that case people can still call their civil union a marriage and be happy", but they won't. It's common for gay couples in the UK to refer to their civil partnerships as a marriage, but it hasn't stopped them from pushing to have it be called marriage by the government as well. Yes, it actually does matter to people what name the government calls certain things, including their domestic relationships.

If you don't accept that most couples in committed, long term relationships want that relationship to be called a marriage by their community and their government, then there's not much else I can say. If you do accept it, here's my point. Allowing all couples to enter into a civil union and eliminating the legal concept of marriage would:

- Make gay couples unhappy, because the one thing they wanted was to simply be treated the same as everyone else, and the result ended up being the complete restructuring of a fundamental legal institution, something that would be credited to them that they never actually wanted or asked for.

- Make religious people unhappy, because not only would gay couples have to be recognised the same way as straight couples by the government, something religious extremists are actually still against, but gay couples would have effectively destroyed the institution of marriage as we know it, something religious extremists have accused gay couples of secretly wanting to do since day one.

- Make everyone else unhappy that two small but vocal minority groups ended up making life that little bit more difficult and unnecessarily PC, being forced to learn about a change that is actually more complicated than you realise that they never wanted, and have their own relationship statuses and/or aspirations for a committed relationship cast into doubt.

Denmark, The Netherlands, France, The UK, New Zealand, Brazil, Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont, Washington, The Australian Capital Territory, I could go on and on, these are all places that have experimented with civil unions before deciding that the right thing to do for everyone is to just allow same-sex couples to marry. No jurisdiction anywhere in the world has decided that the solution is to allow a new type of union for all couples at the expense of marriage, because it is a completely unnecessary bad idea.

[1] There are a minority of couples who prefer the idea of a civil union to a marriage, and I am fine with the idea of civil unions running in parallel to marriage, just not with civil unions replacing marriage. In my state, approximately 25,000 straight couples married last year, while approximately 200-300 had a civil union.

Mr.BadExample:

thaluikhain:
Rubbish. Not every legal system handles gay de facto couples the same way, but in places where gay marriage doesn't exist, there are people fighting to bring it about.

That means absolutely nothing to me. Certainly there are areas of the world where people would interfere with and persecute married homosexuals, but this is an issue of culture or governmental overreach.

Marriage is a personal bond between individuals which requires no third party. Ideally it strengthens societal and familial structure to create a community (for raising children, taking care of the old or sick, promoting peace, etc), but ultimately it's a symbol of love and devotion. There is an issue if states do not allow the creation of contracts and free association of individuals, but not giving out goodies to married couples is hardly a violation of human rights.

My issue is with those who show up to protests with signs reading, "LOVE IS NOT A CRIME" or "Marriage is a Right!" as though it were a question of the state preventing people from living with and loving one another. Perhaps I'm wrong and one day they'll fight for my right to marry my sister/brother/clone/horse/thirteen year old MtF transsexual/inanimate object of my choosing/any combination and number of the above. Then I'll marry all the Russian "brides" to skirt the firearm import restrictions. I will remain doubtful until that happens and I expect that I'll see quite a few homosexual couples who couldn't bear for siblings to be married because it's unnatural, leads to birth defects, and is a blight upon traditional marriage.

Everyone, please spare me the outraged "HOMOSEXUAL IS NOT PEDOFILE" replies. There's no reason to think the age of consent can't be lowered eventually or that marriage necessarily leads to a sexual relationship. Yea, it's a slippery slope and it'll probably never happen. Thank you for writing the post anyways.

I know Captcha. There will be Coughequences.

Ugh...

1) Marriage relays over 100 different rights and benefits that are crucial, including federal health care, death benefits, living wills, hospital visitation, and tax filing. Those benefits are currently denied to homosexual couples.

2) The age of consent will not lower. 13-year olds cannot consent to marriage for the same reason 13-year olds can't drive, drink, smoke, enter the military, or vote. They do not possess the developed maturity to make those decisions.

Vegosiux:

Shaoken:

Except that really isn't what was proposed; the poster was letting the other side think they "won." Considering their goal is to keep Marriage strictly heterosexual, how exactly are they going to think they've won when they lose marriage?

That's their problem now. Who cares if they're butthurt about it?

The whole point of the exercise was to avoid a long fight, yet offering a solution that pisses both sides off and pleases no one is not going to be that solution.

Why would it piss off anyone but the bigots? The opposite side got everything it fought for. That's a call for celebration, not to call to be pissed off. They just got exactly what they asked for smuggled to them in a slightly differently looking wrapping. But when they unwrapped it it was exactly what they wanted.

Why the hell does the wrapping matter?

If the wrapping doesn't matter, why has society put such a big fucking deal on that wrapping? Because you are discounting the massive emphasis that society has put on the word Marriage. For the lifetime of everyone currently living it has been something that has consistently been made out to be a big deal. Meanwhile Civil Unions have been around for what? Two decades at most? Most of those civil unions having been ditched and upgraded to straight-up Marriage?

So no, it would piss off everyone including the bigots. Gays want marriage because of what it represents; civil unions is a poor mans substitute that is saying "You're not worthy of the societal status we have given the word." They want their relationship to be seen as being legitimate, they want to lift themselves up, not drag heterosexuals down. Which is exactly what this idea is doing. So they are going to be pissed because again, that societal emphasis that you just flat out ignore means a lot and taking that away is going to just breed resentment of gay couples.

So no, this is not a cause for celebration; it's the same as George W. Bush showing up on that aircraft carrier and declaring the war was over. It didn't matter what he called it, there was fighting before that and fighting afterwards.

Vegosiux:

Pluvia:

You're not. One side doesn't want the other to have equality, so your compromise is to go "Ok, if side B wants to be treated equal, but side A doesn't want them to be, it's best if we listen to side A. But to make up for it we'll remove the rights side A has too."

But here's the thing, you're not actually removing any concrete "rights" if all you do is abolish the use of the word "marriage" in legal terms. At home, people can call it whatever they want, you're not actually banning people from using the word, you're just removing it from legalese.

Or at least, well...I mean, around here "marriage" and "civil union" are basically the same thing, hell, even two people who have simply been living together for 2 years or more, get all benefits that marriage would bring. So maybe I have a case of geographical bias going here or something.

Or maybe I have misunderstood Xan entirely.

Would you care to tell us what country you live in? I'm curious because if I were there, I'd be considered married like you say. I live in a 2 bed apartment, and live with my landlandy (I pay rent for my room), and have been for about 2.5 years now. So the possibility of being considered automatically married was a jarring one to say the least.

We don't want gay people to marry for the same reason we didn't want them in the military.
Our gay people are precious, one of the few groups around who are predominantly happy. Have you seen a video of war it is terrible miserable stuff, I for one would never put a happy gay man through that. The same goes for marriage, why should we give them a legally bounding document which not only costs money but ruins relationships.

I for one find it sick to allows gays to fight wars or marry. I plan on having as many children as possible so they may join the army in place of our precious gay soldiers.

Mr.BadExample:
That means absolutely nothing to me. Certainly there are areas of the world where people would interfere with and persecute married homosexuals, but this is an issue of culture or governmental overreach.

Marriage is a personal bond between individuals which requires no third party. Ideally it strengthens societal and familial structure to create a community (for raising children, taking care of the old or sick, promoting peace, etc), but ultimately it's a symbol of love and devotion. There is an issue if states do not allow the creation of contracts and free association of individuals, but not giving out goodies to married couples is hardly a violation of human rights.

My issue is with those who show up to protests with signs reading, "LOVE IS NOT A CRIME" or "Marriage is a Right!" as though it were a question of the state preventing people from living with and loving one another. Perhaps I'm wrong and one day they'll fight for my right to marry my sister/brother/clone/horse/thirteen year old MtF transsexual/inanimate object of my choosing/any combination and number of the above. Then I'll marry all the Russian "brides" to skirt the firearm import restrictions. I will remain doubtful until that happens and I expect that I'll see quite a few homosexual couples who couldn't bear for siblings to be married because it's unnatural, leads to birth defects, and is a blight upon traditional marriage.

Everyone, please spare me the outraged "HOMOSEXUAL IS NOT PEDOFILE" replies. There's no reason to think the age of consent can't be lowered eventually or that marriage necessarily leads to a sexual relationship. Yea, it's a slippery slope and it'll probably never happen. Thank you for writing the post anyways.

I know Captcha. There will be Coughequences.

You have a very simplified view of the issue, although you touched on some of it in your second paragraph. One of the things I hear anti-gay marriage people say a lot is "you can already live together, what more do you need?", but that's not actually true. In the US, if you fall in love with someone from overseas you need marriage if you want them to be able to get a visa to live with you. If you're an elderly couple, you need marriage to stop you from getting forced apart to live in separate nursing homes if you fall ill. If you're not married you may not be allowed to visit your partner in the hospital or be granted power of attorney over your partner, because a family member who doesn't accept your relationship could contest it, and unlike the couple, they have a piece of paper that proves they're related.

There are all sorts of legal issues that come up if you don't have conclusive proof of your relationship, and in the US the only airtight conclusive proof that is universally accepted throughout all states and federally for a spousal type relationship is a marriage license.

This is another reason why it's ridiculous to compare gay marriage to incestuous marriage. For starters, cousins can already marry in a lot of states, and outside of the US I don't think there is a single Western country that has any restrictions on cousins marrying, and I support that, but in terms of parent and sibling marriage, you are already regarded as part of a legal family and are already afforded certain legal protections and respect to the fact that you're a family.

Also in most places, people under the age of 18 can be married if they have their parents' permission.

Yuugasa:
I've heard many arguments against gay marriage in my time but they tend to be pretty nonsensical and shallow and once you dig into them a bit the actual source of the argument tends to be either 'because God hates gays.' Or 'Because I am personally disgusted by gays.' Has anyone ever heard an argument against allowing gay marriage that actually made sense and wasn't just petty or based on mysticism? If so what was it?

The best one I'd heard that wasn't about Christianity or simple bigotry was that marriage functions to benefit society by providing a better environment in which to raise children, and the tax advantages of such are to subsidize building and maintaining families. They didn't like me asking if that meant that childless, sterile individuals should be barred from marriage or not, and whether or not marriages should be summarily ended if no children are produced within some time limit of the date of marriage. Still better than most of the arguments I've heard, though that's not saying a whole lot.

RikuoAmero:
Would you care to tell us what country you live in? I'm curious because if I were there, I'd be considered married like you say. I live in a 2 bed apartment, and live with my landlandy (I pay rent for my room), and have been for about 2.5 years now. So the possibility of being considered automatically married was a jarring one to say the least.

I'm not sure which country Vegosiux lives in, but this is the same way that Australia works. In Australia this is called a de facto relationship, but other countries have other names for it. It's not the case that if you live with someone for two years you are automatically wedded to them, just that that's the minimum amount of time you need to be living with someone to qualify for de facto recognition. Proving a de facto relationship can actually be quite a difficult thing to do, in Australia there are all sorts of criteria that government officials assess to gauge whether or not you're a de facto couple, one of them is time spent living together, other things are proof of shared finances, declarations from family or friends saying that you present yourselves as a couple, whether you've signed up for government programs together (for example, electing to have each other on your Medicare cards), whether or not your relationship is sexual, and all sorts of other things like this.

So in your case, if the government thought you could be a de facto couple, you'd be able to prove that you've been paying her rent and that you two sleep in different rooms and that it is clearly not a de facto relationship.

De facto relationship recognition I think is a good thing, but only as a last resort, considering how complicated it is to prove your relationship without an official certificate. In two Australian states, though, this is still the only way for gay couples to have their relationships recognised and given benefits and protections by the government, and it's really horrible.

If you pass a law saying that gay marriage is equal, then that could possibly mean that people who are uncomfortable (for any reason) will be penalized by the law. I'm not ok with this.

In Hawaii, there was a wedding planner who mentioned that if she was uncomfortable with helping a gay couple get married, that she could lose her job due to discrimination. Can this actually happen? If so, I don't think this is the solution that the gay activists want.

I should be able to disagree with your sexual orientation without being punished for it. I get that people have been killed for being gay, and ridiculed in the media, etc. But we're talking about making this a law. If there were anti-abortion laws, women could be incarcerated for letting their water break outside of hospitals or having home births with midwives that haven't been approved by whatever system that the anti-abortion law would provide.

It's really challenging to legalize moral issues. There are other religions (not Christian) that are actually hostile towards homosexuals. What happens when those people come across the gay marriage law?

I'm just putting the questions out there to see if any of it is exaggeration or not.

gamernerdtg2:
If you pass a law saying that gay marriage is equal, then that could possibly mean that people who are uncomfortable (for any reason) will be penalized by the law. I'm not ok with this.

I'll assume that sentence is just poorly constructed. No, people who are uncomfortable will not be penalized by law. At least not merely based on discomfort.

In Hawaii, there was a wedding planner who mentioned that if she was uncomfortable with helping a gay couple get married, that she could lose her job due to discrimination. Can this actually happen? If so, I don't think this is the solution that the gay activists want.

Why should we be any more sympathetic to wedding planners like this than to people who don't want to sell stuff to black people? It is discrimination. I'm not understanding this "Think of the bigots" mentality. In other cases I'd hope we'd have no sympathy, like some person who doesn't want black people in their store.

I should be able to disagree with your sexual orientation without being punished for it.

There's a difference between disagree and discriminate against.

I get that people have been killed for being gay, and ridiculed in the media, etc. But we're talking about making this a law. If there were anti-abortion laws, women could be incarcerated for letting their water break outside of hospitals or having home births with midwives that haven't been approved by whatever system that the anti-abortion law would provide.

Yes, and just like we shouldn't say it's okay to kick black people out of your store just because they're black I don't see why the same extension shouldn't be allowed for gay people.

It's really challenging to legalize moral issues. There are other religions (not Christian) that are actually hostile towards homosexuals. What happens when those people come across the gay marriage law?

And there are people bigoted against blacks, why do I care what happens when they come across a law that says they can't deny black people service for being black?

As far as *churches* go though, I think religious institutions probably have some leeway in that kind of shitty discrimination crap. Wedding planners are not religious institutions though, they are for profit.

gamernerdtg2:
If you pass a law saying that gay marriage is equal, then that could possibly mean that people who are uncomfortable (for any reason) will be penalized by the law. I'm not ok with this.

In Hawaii, there was a wedding planner who mentioned that if she was uncomfortable with helping a gay couple get married, that she could lose her job due to discrimination. Can this actually happen? If so, I don't think this is the solution that the gay activists want.

I should be able to disagree with your sexual orientation without being punished for it. I get that people have been killed for being gay, and ridiculed in the media, etc. But we're talking about making this a law. If there were anti-abortion laws, women could be incarcerated for letting their water break outside of hospitals or having home births with midwives that haven't been approved by whatever system that the anti-abortion law would provide.

It's really challenging to legalize moral issues. There are other religions (not Christian) that are actually hostile towards homosexuals. What happens when those people come across the gay marriage law?

I'm just putting the questions out there to see if any of it is exaggeration or not.

This is really a much broader question about anti-discrimination laws than it is about same-sex marriage. Hawaii already had civil unions and whatever obligations that businesses will have to respect same-sex marriages they would have already had with same-sex civil unions.

In Hawaii it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation, and this happened a long time before same-sex marriage. The Hawaiian government has deemed that sexual orientation is a special category like race, religion, national origin, etc., and that you can't refuse to serve someone just because they're gay, the same way you can't refuse to serve someone just because they're black, and that applies to everything, not just marriages. Religious organisations won't be forced to perform same-sex marriages if they don't agree with them, however.

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that it is also already illegal to work as an unlicensed midwife doing home births.

Master of the Skies:

gamernerdtg2:
If you pass a law saying that gay marriage is equal, then that could possibly mean that people who are uncomfortable (for any reason) will be penalized by the law. I'm not ok with this.

I'll assume that sentence is just poorly constructed. No, people who are uncomfortable will not be penalized by law. At least not merely based on discomfort.

In Hawaii, there was a wedding planner who mentioned that if she was uncomfortable with helping a gay couple get married, that she could lose her job due to discrimination. Can this actually happen? If so, I don't think this is the solution that the gay activists want.

Why should we be any more sympathetic to wedding planners like this than to people who don't want to sell stuff to black people? It is discrimination. I'm not understanding this "Think of the bigots" mentality. In other cases I'd hope we'd have no sympathy, like some person who doesn't want black people in their store.

I should be able to disagree with your sexual orientation without being punished for it.

There's a difference between disagree and discriminate against.

I get that people have been killed for being gay, and ridiculed in the media, etc. But we're talking about making this a law. If there were anti-abortion laws, women could be incarcerated for letting their water break outside of hospitals or having home births with midwives that haven't been approved by whatever system that the anti-abortion law would provide.

Yes, and just like we shouldn't say it's okay to kick black people out of your store just because they're black I don't see why the same extension shouldn't be allowed for gay people.

It's really challenging to legalize moral issues. There are other religions (not Christian) that are actually hostile towards homosexuals. What happens when those people come across the gay marriage law?

And there are people bigoted against blacks, why do I care what happens when they come across a law that says they can't deny black people service for being black?

As far as *churches* go though, I think religious institutions probably have some leeway in that kind of shitty discrimination crap. Wedding planners are not religious institutions though, they are for profit.

The definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerant of anyone with an opposing view.

You're saying that anyone who disagrees with gay marriage is a bigot. I don't see how this is a response to people who actually aren't bigots, but they don't agree with gay marriage. Your response is bigoted. It's obvious in cases where there are discrimination that the law should be applied (at least...it's obvious to me), but I've never understood why people are automatically demoted to being "bigots" for not being ok with gay marriage. How does that help anyone? This situation has too many "gray" areas IMO., and people need to talk.

The race thing goes way deeper than sexual orientation in the US... I would say Money, Race, Gender, Class, and then Sexuality...but it's complicated. You can say that sexuality is interwoven through all of those other categories. Historically in the US though, I'd say that race has been way more of a hostile issue, even with a black president in office. I'm not sure that the US will ever be done with race, but there's certainly more hope for sexual orientation issues.

Also, I realize that text is "cold". I am in no way intending to offend you or anyone else who is gay. I'm presenting another perspective and trying to get some answers. The main thing is that people need to talk to each other.

gamernerdtg2:

Also, I realize that text is "cold". I am in no way intending to offend you or anyone else who is gay. I'm presenting another perspective and trying to get some answers. The main thing is that people need to talk to each other.

Talking's good, talking's always good, but I don't see there being compromise here.

One side wants to have access to the same institution that everyone else has, and the other side wants to prevent them. I would not support compromise with inequality, unless the intention was to attain equality later.

gamernerdtg2:
The definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerant of anyone with an opposing view.

You're saying that anyone who disagrees with gay marriage is a bigot. I don't see how this is a response to people who actually aren't bigots, but they don't agree with gay marriage. Your response is bigoted. It's obvious in cases where there are discrimination that the law should be applied (at least...it's obvious to me), but I've never understood why people are automatically demoted to being "bigots" for not being ok with gay marriage. How does that help anyone? This situation has too many "gray" areas IMO., and people need to talk.

No, the definition of "bigot" is someone prejudiced against other people. If I want to burn down your house, and you oppose that point of view, that doesn't make you a bigot.

Opposing gay marriage, however, the desire to treated certain people as unworthy of the same rights everyone else has...that's rather clearly bigotry.

gamernerdtg2:
The race thing goes way deeper than sexual orientation in the US... I would say Money, Race, Gender, Class, and then Sexuality...

That's your opinion, which is shared by the majority of states that have no anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and don't have same-sex marriage or civil unions, but that's not how things work in Hawaii.

Does not believing in gay marriage make you a bigot? I don't care, to me it's a waste of time to think about, and I don't like using the word anyway because it's so highly charged.

As a gay person, I feel like if a straight person can marry his wife I should be able to marry my husband. I think you are perfectly entitled to see me and my husband together and say to yourself "this is wrong, only a marriage between a man and a woman is a real marriage". That's your opinion and it has no impact on my life. What does have an impact on my life is being told that because I'm gay it's illegal to get married, or illegal for the government to treat my relationship with the same respect it treats everyone else's, or that I have to put my sexuality on display for the world and make a big deal out of it to every business I go to to plan my wedding and know that it's okay for businesses to treat me like there's something wrong with me and refuse to serve me just because I'm gay, something that no other couple who wants to get married has to put up with.

Mangod:
The "best" argument against Gay Marriage I've heard from someone else is... because it's part of old doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and why should they have to bend over backwards to accomodate some outsider they don't want to?

I'm not saying that the above is a particularly great, or even decent argument, but at least it has some bloody point to it. Personally, I think that the best argument against gay marriage is "why would you want to marry in the house of a religion that has persecuted you since time immemorial?"

Even this one has very little standing. Marriage laws varied wildly throughout history, even within the Christian world. Before the industrial revolution at LEAST, marriage was more of a business contract than anything regarding love. King Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines, so even the Bible is not consistent on the "one man, one woman."

Also, this is less about forcing churches from accepting gay couples, but the legal institution.

Look, the race-issue is a perfectly fine argument, especially when you use interracial marriage specifically. Many of the same arguments were used: It's unnatural, it doesn't belong, think of the children and so on. I really see no tangible difference there. In the end, the arguments against gay marriage are based on very personal issues people have with it, such as bigotry, yes.

It's very important to remember that we are talking about legal marriage here. That this is a governmental institution. That religious arguments have no place here until the conflict shifts from this to forcing churches to marry against their bigoted views, at which point I would actually support them in their right to bigotry. But this isn't about churches, about what marriage is or is not in the eyes of religious people or anything of the sort.

Plus, and I think this doesn't get emphasized enough, there are plenty of religious people who support gay marriage. And not just random people, but liberal and moderate churches and spiritual leaders and the like. So why in the world would the accepted "religious view" in this debate be that gay marriage is not okay, rather than the "religious view" as these people hold it, that gay marriage indeed is okay?

If we're going to base all this crap on what religious groups say, why value the fundamentalists' bigotry more than the moderates' tolerance? Even if we accepted that the religious' input was at all relevant for this legal question - which I don't think we should in the first place - why only accept the fundamentalists' input as the default, hm? Let's remember that these people crying bloody murder don't speak for "the Christians" or "the religious community" or whatever, okay?

ten.to.ten:

gamernerdtg2:
The race thing goes way deeper than sexual orientation in the US... I would say Money, Race, Gender, Class, and then Sexuality...

That's your opinion, which is shared by the majority of states that have no anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and don't have same-sex marriage or civil unions, but that's not how things work in Hawaii.

Does not believing in gay marriage make you a bigot? I don't care, to me it's a waste of time to think about, and I don't like using the word anyway because it's so highly charged.

As a gay person, I feel like if a straight person can marry his wife I should be able to marry my husband. I think you are perfectly entitled to see me and my husband together and say to yourself "this is wrong, only a marriage between a man and a woman is a real marriage". That's your opinion and it has no impact on my life. What does have an impact on my life is being told that because I'm gay it's illegal to get married, or illegal for the government to treat my relationship with the same respect it treats everyone else's, or that I have to put my sexuality on display for the world and make a big deal out of it to every business I go to to plan my wedding and know that it's okay for businesses to treat me like there's something wrong with me and refuse to serve me just because I'm gay, something that no other couple who wants to get married has to put up with.

Well said. I don't feel that you need to put your sexuality on display in order to be hired, or to be treated fairly, but it seems like the media rewards people who "come out". But as you've said, my feelings don't change the law. Very well put.

thaluikhain:

gamernerdtg2:
The definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerant of anyone with an opposing view.

You're saying that anyone who disagrees with gay marriage is a bigot. I don't see how this is a response to people who actually aren't bigots, but they don't agree with gay marriage. Your response is bigoted. It's obvious in cases where there are discrimination that the law should be applied (at least...it's obvious to me), but I've never understood why people are automatically demoted to being "bigots" for not being ok with gay marriage. How does that help anyone? This situation has too many "gray" areas IMO., and people need to talk.

No, the definition of "bigot" is someone prejudiced against other people. If I want to burn down your house, and you oppose that point of view, that doesn't make you a bigot.

Opposing gay marriage, however, the desire to treated certain people as unworthy of the same rights everyone else has...that's rather clearly bigotry.

If you burn down my house, that makes you a criminal first. I oppose you for wanting to commit a crime against something that I own, not because you may (or may not be) a bigot. I like the "Free Dictionary" online because that gives all the many shades of meaning for particular words. My definition isn't wrong.

I think ten.to.ten has hit this thing on the head when he talks about the law. The OP should be investigating the states that have laws in place that don't favor gay marriage to get his questions answered.

Yuugasa:
because God hates gays

not entirely correct.

its the lifestyle, all people on earth have the same opportunity to come into a relationship with the person who is our creator. He however has standards of behavior that He expects to be obeyed.

every single LGBT person on this planet has the same opportunity as every single straight person to do this.

gamernerdtg2:
Well said. I don't feel that you need to put your sexuality on display in order to be hired, or to be treated fairly, but it seems like the media rewards people who "come out". But as you've said, my feelings don't change the law. Very well put.

I should properly explain what I mean by "putting my sexuality on display".

So let's use the example of the wedding planner who doesn't want to cater to gay couples. When it comes time to plan my wedding I might want to hire a wedding planner, but there's really no easy way to tell which planners are gay friendly and which aren't, so what do I do? Do I not mention my sexuality until she asks me for my fiance's name or something like that? Do I lie to her and pretend I'm not gay, and possibly have the shit hit the fan later? I've usually found the best thing to do in a situation like that is tell them up front and make sure they don't have a problem with gay couples. So far I've been lucky in that no business I've dealt with as a couple with my partner have had a problem.

But my partner recently moved to a smallish town, and what happens if the only venue in town big enough for our wedding won't rent to gay couples? What if the best baker or florist for hundreds of miles won't cater to us because we're gay and we have to settle for something substandard? Or what if we're on our honeymoon and when we get there the hotel won't let us stay in the same room because we're two men, and insist that we stay in separate rooms or pay more for a room with two beds?

When you're gay pretty much all your dealings with the outside world are impacted by your sexuality, and you can't turn it off or pretend it's not there. This is what I mean by my sexuality being on display. It gets involved in everything whether you want it to or not, and I promise you, I would much rather it not be.

ten.to.ten:

gamernerdtg2:
Well said. I don't feel that you need to put your sexuality on display in order to be hired, or to be treated fairly, but it seems like the media rewards people who "come out". But as you've said, my feelings don't change the law. Very well put.

I should properly explain what I mean by "putting my sexuality on display".

So let's use the example of the wedding planner who doesn't want to cater to gay couples. When it comes time to plan my wedding I might want to hire a wedding planner, but there's really no easy way to tell which planners are gay friendly and which aren't, so what do I do? Do I not mention my sexuality until she asks me for my fiance's name or something like that? Do I lie to her and pretend I'm not gay, and possibly have the shit hit the fan later? I've usually found the best thing to do in a situation like that is tell them up front and make sure they don't have a problem with gay couples. So far I've been lucky in that no business I've dealt with as a couple with my partner have had a problem.

But my partner recently moved to a smallish town, and what happens if the only venue in town big enough for our wedding won't rent to gay couples? What if the best baker or florist for hundreds of miles won't cater to us because we're gay and we have to settle for something substandard? Or what if we're on our honeymoon and when we get there the hotel won't let us stay in the same room because we're two men, and insist that we stay in separate rooms or pay more for a room with two beds?

When you're gay pretty much all your dealings with the outside world are impacted by your sexuality, and you can't turn it off or pretend it's not there. This is what I mean by my sexuality being on display. It gets involved in everything whether you want it to or not, and I promise you, I would much rather it not be.

I hear you for sure... I don't know about the hotel situation, but I see what you mean. I think what you said earlier about the law is important, but then you have to deal with the other societal issues even with the laws changed.

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