Debate Gay Marriage (Pro)

November 5, 2017 | Author: Rica Avila | Category: Marriage, Same Sex Marriage, Homosexuality, Civil Union, Loving V. Virginia
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Did You Know? As of July 17, 2013, gay marriage has been legalized in the following 13 states: Massachusetts (May 17, 2004), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Iowa (Apr. 24. 2009), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (June 24, 2011), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012), Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), California (June 28, 2013), Delaware (July 1, 2013), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), and Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013). 35 states have gay marriage bans through either laws or constitutional amendments or both. The District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage on Mar. 3, 2010. [1] [79]

Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage on May 17, 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. [2] PRO Gay Marriage

Same-sex couples should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment in the same way as heterosexual couples. [40] The Human Rights Campaign Foundation states that many same-sex couples "want the right to legally marry [and] honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer..."

Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. Many benefits are only available to married couples, such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending

The concept of "traditional marriage" being defined as one man and one woman is historically inaccurate. Given the prevalence of modern and ancient examples of family arrangements based on polygamy, communal child-rearing, the use of concubines and mistresses and the commonality of prostitution, heterosexual monogamy can be considered "unnatural” in evolutionary terms. [3]

Marriage is redefined as society's attitudes evolve, and the majority of Americans now support gay marriage. Interracial marriage was illegal in many US states until a 1967 Supreme Court decision. Coverture, where a woman's legal rights and economic identity were subsumed by her husband upon marriage, was commonplace in 19th century America. No-fault divorce has changed the institution of

marriage since its introduction in California on Jan. 1, 1970. With a May 2013 Gallup poll showing 53% of Americans supporting gay marriage, it is time for the definition of marriage to evolve once again. [72]

Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution's commitments to liberty and equality. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1974’s Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur that the "freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.” US District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote on Aug. 4, 2010 that Prop. 8 in California banning gay marriage was "unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses." [41]

Denying same-sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian families as inferior and sends the message that it is acceptable to discriminate against them. The Massachusetts Supreme Court wrote in an opinion to the state Senate on Feb. 3, 2004 that offering civil unions was not an acceptable alternative to gay marriage because " is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status." [42]

Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Revenue from gay marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes (the so-called "marriage penalty"), and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. [4] The Comptroller for New York City found that legalizing gay marriage would bring $142 million to the city’s economy and $184 million to the state’s economy over three years. [43]

Gay marriage would make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt, providing stable homes for children who would otherwise be left in foster care. [68] In the US, 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted. [44] A longitudinal study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems. [45] A July 2010 study found that children of gay fathers were "as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents." [46] As Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein argues, "We should be begging gay couples to adopt children. We should see this as a great boon that gay marriage could bring to kids who need nothing more than two loving parents." [68]

Marriage provides both physical and psychological health benefits, and banning gay marriage increases rates of psychological disorders. [5] The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and others wrote in a Sep. 2007 amicus brief, "...allowing same-sex couples to marry would give them access to the social support that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages, with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support.” [47] A 2010 analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health found that after their states had banned gay marriage, gay, lesbian and bisexual people suffered a 37% increase in mood disorders, a 42% increase in alcohol-use disorders, and a 248% increase in generalized anxiety disorders. [69]

Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or "family values," and society will continue to function successfully. A study published on Apr. 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found that "[l]aws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage, divorce, and abortion rates, [or] the percent of children born out of wedlock..." [48] The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association found that more than a century of research has shown "no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." [8]

Marriage is a secular institution which should not be limited by religious objections to gay marriage. Nancy Cott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that "[c]ivil law has always been supreme in defining and regulating marriage” and that religious leaders are accustomed to performing marriages only because the state has given them that authority.

Gay marriage legalization is correlated with lower divorce rates, while gay marriage bans are correlated with higher divorce rates. Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. Alaska, which altered its constitution to prohibit gay marriage in 1998, saw a 17.2% increase in its

divorce rate. The seven states with the highest divorce rates between 2003 and 2008 all had constitutional prohibitions to gay marriage. [2]

If the reason for marriage is strictly reproduction, infertile couples would not be allowed to marry. Ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington, often referred to as "the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and neither did four other married US presidents have children with their wives. [9]

Same-sex marriage is a civil right. The 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia confirmed that marriage is "one of the basic civil rights of man," [60] and same-sex marriages should receive the same protections given to interracial marriages by that ruling. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), on May 19, 2012, named same-sex marriage as "one of the key civil rights struggles of our time."

EqualityEdit Over 1,100 rights and responsibilities are afforded to heterosexual couples through marriage. Simple rights such as hospital visitation and healthcare coverage are easily available to heterosexual couples through marriage, but unavailable for same-sex couples. Denying same-sex couples marriage essentially creates a group of second-class citizens without access to the same rights as heterosexual couples. Gender discriminationEdit An interesting, though academic, issue is that of gender discrimination. Addressing this overall controversy with the label of 'Gay Marriage' is actually a misnomer. A lesbian can legally marry a gay man, but two heterosexual women cannot legally marry each other.

When same-sex marriage is prohibited by law, a person is denied a right (or privilege, depending on semantics) based solely on their gender. Some people try to argue that is not the case, that a man has the same rights as a woman to marry the opposite sex. However, if a woman wants to marry another woman it is her gender that is the sole factor that restricts her rights.

This principle is not unlike those surrounding the interracial marriage issue that was only recently addressed in the US. The argument was made that a black person has the same rights as a white person to marry within their 'race' and that both blacks and whites were equally prohibited from marrying outside their 'race.'

Until 1967, many states had laws banning interracial marriage. In Loving v Virginia the US Supreme Court struck down all those laws. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a US citizen who thought interracial marriage should be illegal... in fact most people under 40 might be surprised to learn how recently it was still illegal.

The arguments against interracial marriage were not unlike those against same-sex marriage. Many quoted scripture that forbade it. Many felt it would undermine the institution of marriage. Many felt it would harm the children.

It all comes down to a simple point:

Denying a person the right to marry another consenting adult based solely on their gender is simply gender discrimination...

Gender identityEdit All of this inherently requires the state to produce a legal definition of the terms 'man' and 'woman.' In most cases, this is not an issue, but transgendered/transsexual people cause a bit of a problem when it comes to same-sex marriage laws.

Freedom and individual liberty The United States was founded on the principles of Freedom and Personal Liberty. Many heterosexuals also support same-sex marriage for this reason. While many heterosexuals who don't have a moral objection just don't care, these individuals consider it to be a symbol of larger civil liberties issues. One reason for this is opposition to governments eroding their rights and civil liberties to enforce moral values that they may or may not share, violating separation of church and state. Just as its often argued that allowing same-sex marriage is a slippery slope toward allowing more unconventional marriages, civil libertarians would argue that prohibiting them is a slippery slope toward further erosion of rights

and, ultimately, an unconstitutional theocracy.

The article Same-sex marriage/Con has a section with a rebuttal to this argument. Distorted view of GLBT people and cultureEdit GLBT persons who participate in pride parades and other festivities are often considered to be representative for the entire GLBT community. This makes GLBT people seem extravagant and careless, characteristics which are difficult to unite with a serious marriage. It must be noted, however, many of GLBT people are not eager to express their sexuality. They consider it to be a personal issue. Such people could establish a very robust marriage and be very good at child rearing. These people do not fit a distorted view of GLBT people and are often not considered in debates. DissentEdit This type of discourse suggests individuals must fit into a standard of normalacy to have the freedom to marry, though this qualification does not currently apply to heterosexuals. It is not the ‘sameness’ of GLBT people that should entitle them to marry whomever they please, it is their citizenship and equality as human beings which can not and should not be negated through the participation in parades or celebration of identity and sexuality. The fallacy of 'protecting' traditional marriageEdit A common tactic used by those opposed to equal rights for GLBT citizens is to claim that they are 'protecting' traditional marriage. Allowing same-sex marriage would in no way limit existing, or future, heterosexual marriages. Heterosexual marriages would be as legal as they are today. Allowing gay marriage would simply mean that more citizens would have access to the rights and protections that are currently only provided to heterosexual couples It is also worth pointing out that the concept of "traditional" marriage, as used in these arguments, is far from being clear-cut. It is often argued that the institution of marriage has been around for millennia (hence "traditional" marriage), yet it is now in jeopardy because some liberals want to change it. Closer examination shows that although we use the same word, the institution of marriage has changed drastically over the centuries. For much of that time, marriages were about property, and the bride was merely one of the chattels. Bride as bribe, if you will. The womens' suffrage movement had profound impact on this institution, since changes to the role of women within "traditional" marriage meant changes that affected the majority of society. Similarly, the increased social freedoms that arose after the world wars, and the sexual revolution of the 1960s, are both phenomena that helped changed the role of women quite considerably. By extension, this changed what the phrase "traditional marriage" actually means. These changes affected the majority of the population and had a major impact on traditional marriage, and yet the institution survives. It is difficult to see how gay marriage, which by definition affects only a minority of the population, could pose a threat to traditional marriage.

Sexual orientation is not a choiceEdit Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed. It is a fact of human psychology that, while a person can choose to act or not act on a desire (depending on competing desires), one cannot choose what one desires. Given the social stigma and risks of violence of being gay even today, unless one assumes or believe that same-sex attraction is appealing on some level, it is difficult to rationalize why one would choose to be gay if it really were a choice. Framing the argument Many opponents of gay marriage like to describe the argument as a definitional one; they claim that the real issue is how we define the institution of marriage. This argument avoids the real question. As Jon Stewart put it in his debate with Bill Bennett, "I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish." Rebuttal Counterpoint to slippery slope argument Conservative opponents of homosexual $marriages$ often make what is known as the slippery slope argument. They argue that if we allow gay marriages, then that is simply the first step towards allowing polygamy, adult-child sex, bestiality, and other sorts of unconventional sexual behaviors. This argument is flawed in many ways. First of all, same sex marriage is intrinsically different in nature from pedophilia, polygamy, and bestiality; polygamy is a choice and not a condition (and multiparty marriages would be challenging to write into law), adult-child sex involves non adults and is a form of abuse (considered to be nonconsensual), and bestiality is not a union between two consenting parties. These distinctions can be, and regularly are, clearly made between what rights we ought to grant to two consenting (human) adults, and what rights we ought to grant to minors or animals; opening marriage to homosexuals does not expose the institution to a slippery slope any more than opening voting to women or racial minorities threatened democracy. In addition, the slippery slope argument could go the other way: if we let the government decide who we can marry based on sexual orientation, then what is to stop them from making income level or race qualifications for marriage?

Conversely, the slippery slope argument presents no top end of the slope: who's to say we haven't already started down the slope with, say, no-fault divorce (or even divorce at all)? Or even with allowing marriage that's uncondoned by the bride's or groom's family? Or allowing married couples to have sex for pleasure, not just procreation? All of these are uncontroversial now, but at one time could have been argued against using the same slippery slope argument.

Counterpoint to natural order argumentEdit Evidence for homesexuality in other species Many species of animals, including mammals other than humans, have members that mate with members of their own sex. Some species display homosexual mating for life, the most notable example of which are penguins[1]. As high as 15% of male penguins mate for life with another male penguin. These "gay" couples "adopt" and raise the abandoned eggs of other penguins. It seems, then, that nature needs homosexuality.

The biological role of homosexuality Reproduction is not the sole biological role of sex in humans. If reproduction was the the only role of sex, we would only have sex 2 times in our life (on average). No other species of mammal spends as much time performing sex as humans, both in frequency and duration of the act. Why would nature have designed sex to be so inefficient? What is the advantage? The answer is that sex has other secondary roles, such as social bonding. Therefore, sex performed for non-reproductory purposes isn't any more "unnatural" than an elephant using its ears for cooling rather than hearing. Natural does not equal moral What is "natural" and how is it even relevant? If by natural you mean that non-human animals do something, then there are many examples of homosexual behavior among animals. Since it occurs in the natural world, then that makes it "natural." Being "natural" or "unnatural" does not make something good or bad. For example, Hemlock and viruses are natural, kidney transplants and scissors are unnatural. Arguing if homosexuality is not “natural” does not seem to prove very much. Attempts to make a moral argument based upon the natural order employ a logical fallacy: the naturalistic fallacy. Attempting to argue that something is morally correct because it's natural would also condone behaviors such as murder, rape, and theft.

Nature vs. choice Can a "straight" person choose to be "gay?" No. They can choose to perform gay acts, but cannot intrincically change to be gay. The opposite is also true - gay people can "act" straight, but inside, they are still gay, as they were born. #1: The Constitution

"The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." - Article 4 Section 2 (1) The Government has a duty to its people. To protect them against unjust laws and maintain equality amongst them. What goes for one, goes for all. Yet, Anti-Gay Marriage laws only restrict gays from marrying. What about Atheists? They can marry. (2) Even Hindu can marry!! (3) Yet, you continue to attack strictly gays. As if gay people didn't have enough hate thrown at them everyday by friends, strangers, and family alike, this law has made them feel more like outcasts, unwanted. And while they may indeed be unwanted by one religion, it doesn't mean they should be excluded by their own government. The fact that a law has been passed against them is proof enough," They are now able to use government as support for their religion.

My point is, not only is the government supposed to protect us, but we are supposed to protect each other. #2: The Civil Union First of all, only SIX states have civil unions. If civil unions were such a great solution to this issue, there wouldn't still be an issue, and more states would have adopted it. Yet, over TEN states recognize same sex marriage as legal (1).

Also, civil unions do not offer the same legal benefits as marriage. You cannot sponsor your spouse for immigration, you cannot file for joint tax returns, and many more things. Out of the thousand plus benefits that come with heterosexual marriages, only some are given to civil unions. #3: The Slippery Slope There is a very significant difference between gay marriages and the types of marriages you listed. Gay marriage is opposed by a large sum of people because their RELIGION is against it. Child marriage, animal marriage, etc. are opposed because they are IMMORAL. Children aren't allowed to marry because they are too young to be making serious commitments, you aren't allowed to marry an animal because it could be seen as forcing/abusing an animal since you would have no way of getting consent from the animal, especially if attempting to commit bestiality, and you aren't allowed to have several partners because marriage(or any uniting ceremony likewise)'s whole purpose is to promise to remain faithful and devoted which one is not if they are with one person one night, and another the next. So, as you can see, each of these types of marriages have legitimate, and universal reasons for not being legal.

To sum it all up, anti-gay marriage laws are prejudice to gays, civil unions are still second-hand to marriage and so are not seen as an equal solution, and legalizing gay marriage will have no effect on our view of other marriages and their immoralities. Therefore, gay marriage should be legalized nationally.


Gay marriage is one of the most controversial issues in the modern world. For the past thousand years, marriage has been recognized as the social union between a man and a woman. In most cultures across the globe, homosexuality was viewed with disdain, and marriages between same-sex couples were forbidden.

However, homosexual relationships are slowly gaining acceptance, as homosexuals have become vocal in fighting their right to marry in the early 90s. With an increased in tolerance for homosexuality in the society, the controversy over the legalization of gay marriage has been disputed among people in many nations. While the majority of the population believes that the legalization of gay marriage will have negative impact on the society, gay activists claim that it is against basic civil rights to prohibit them from marrying.

This report will first review the history of battle to legalizing gay marriage, and the current status in today’s world. It will then examine the reasons for and against the legalization of gay marriage. The conclusion will summarize the main arguments.

REBUTTALS 1. Marriage has evolved throughout history, so it can change again.

Different cultures have treated marriage differently. Some promoted arranged marriages. Others tied marriage to dowries. Still others saw marriage as a political relationship through which they could forge family alliances. But all these variations still embraced the fundamental, unchanging essence of marriage. They still saw it, in general, as a public, lifelong partnership between one man and one woman for the sake of generating and raising children.

This understanding predates any government or religion. It’s a pre-political, pre-religious institution evident even in cultures that had no law or faith to promote it.

Yet, even supposing the essence of marriage could change, would that mean it should? We know from other areas of life such as medical research and nuclear physics that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you ought. After all, such action may not be ethical or serve the common good. Even if this argument had historical basis, it would not necessarily be a good reason to change the meaning of marriage.

2. Same-sex marriage is primarily about equality.

This argument is emotionally powerful since we all have deep, innate longings for fairness and equality. Moreover, history has given us many failures in this area, including women banned from voting and African-Americans denied equal civil rights. The question, of course, is whether same-sex couples are denied equality by not being allowed to marry each other.

To answer that, we first must understand equality. Equality is not equivalency. It does not mean treating every person or every group in exactly the same way. To use an analogy, men and women have equal rights, but because they significantly differ they require separate restrooms. Equality means treating similar things similarly, but not things that are fundamentally different.

Second, there are really two issues here: the equality of different people and the equality of different relationships. The current marriage laws already treat all people equally. Any unmarried man and unmarried woman can marry each other, regardless of their sexual orientation; the law is neutral with respect to orientation just as it ignores race and religion.

The real question is whether same-sex relationships differ significantly from opposite-sex relationships, and the answer is yes. The largest difference is that same-sex couples cannot produce children, nor ensure a child’s basic right to be raised by his mother and father. These facts alone mean we’re talking about two very different types of relationships. It’s wrong, therefore, to assume the state should necessarily treat them as if they were the same.

Same-sex marriage advocates may argue that it’s discriminatory to favor heterosexual spouses over homosexual couples. With all of the benefits flowing from marriage, this unfairly endorses one set of relationships over another. But if the state endorsed same-sex marriage, it would then be favoring gay “spouses” over unmarried heterosexual couples. The argument runs both ways and is ultimately selfdefeating.

3. Everyone has the right to marry whomever he or she loves.

Though catchy, few people truly believe this slogan. Most of us acknowledge there should be at least some limitations on marriage for social or health reasons. For example, a man can’t marry a young child or a close relative. And if a man is truly in love with two different women, he’s legally not allowed to marry both of them, even if both agree to such an arrangement. So, the real question here is not whether marriage should be limited, but how. To answer that, we must determine why the government even bothers with marriage. It’s not to validate two people who love each other, nice as that is. It’s because marriage between one man and one woman is likely to result in a family with children. Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.

To put it simply, in the eyes of the state, marriage is not about adults; it’s about children. Claiming a “right to marry whomever I love” ignores the true emphasis of marriage.

Notice that nobody is telling anyone whom he or she can or cannot love. Every person, regardless of orientation, is free to enter into private romantic relationships with whomever he or she chooses. But there is no general right to have any relationship recognized as marriage by the government.

4. Same-sex marriage won’t affect you, so what’s the big deal?

Since marriage is a relationship between two individuals, what effect would it have on the rest of us? At first glance, it sounds like a good question, but a deeper look reveals that since marriage is a public institution, redefining it would affect all of society.

First, it would weaken marriage. After same-sex marriage was legislated in Spain in 2005, marriage rates plummeted. The same happened in the Netherlands. Redefining marriage obscures its meaning and purpose, thereby discouraging people from taking it seriously.

Second, it would affect education and parenting. After same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada, the Toronto School Board implemented a curriculum promoting homosexuality and denouncing “heterosexism.” They also produced posters titled “Love Knows No Gender,” which depicted both homosexual and polygamous relationships as equivalent to marriage. Despite parents’ objections, the board decreed that they had no right to remove their children from such instruction. This and many similar cases confirm that when marriage is redefined, the new definition is forced on children, regardless of their parents’ desires.Third, redefining marriage would threaten moral and religious liberty. This is already evident in our own country. In Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., for instance, Catholic Charities can no longer provide charitable adoption services based on new definitions of marriage. Elsewhere, Canadian Bishop Frederick Henry was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for simply explaining the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in a newspaper column. Examples like this show how redefining marriage threatens religious freedom.

5. Same-sex marriage will not lead to other redefinitions.

When marriage revolves around procreation, it makes sense to restrict it to one man and one woman. That’s the only relationship capable of producing children. But if we redefine marriage as simply a loving, romantic union between committed adults, what principled reason would we have for rejecting polygamist or polyamorous — that is, multiple-person — relationships as marriages?

Thomas Peters, cultural director at the National Organization for Marriage, doesn’t see one. “Once you sever the institution of marriage from its biological roots, there is little reason to cease redefining it to suit the demands of various interest groups,” Peters said.

This isn’t just scaremongering or a hypothetical slippery slope. These aftereffects have already been observed in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. For example, in Brazil and the Netherlands, three-way relationships were recently granted the full rights of marriage. After marriage was redefined in Canada, a polygamist man launched legal action to have his relationships recognized by law. Even in our own country, the California Legislature passed a bill to legalize families of three or more parents.

Procreation is the main reason civil marriage is limited to two people. When sexual love replaces children as the primary purpose of marriage, restricting it to just two people no longer makes sense.

6. If same-sex couples can’t marry because they can’t reproduce, why can infertile couples marry?

This argument concerns two relatively rare situations: younger infertile couples and elderly couples. If marriage is about children, why does the state allow the first group to marry? The reason is that while we know every same-sex couple is infertile, we don’t generally know that about opposite-sex couples.

Some suggest forcing every engaged couple to undergo mandatory fertility testing before marriage. But this would be outrageous. Besides being prohibitively expensive, it would also be an egregious invasion of privacy, all to detect an extremely small minority of couples.

Another problem is that infertility is often misdiagnosed. Fertile couples may be wrongly denied marriage under such a scenario. This is never the case for same-sex couples, who cannot produce children together.

But why does the government allow elderly couples to marry? It’s true that most elderly couples cannot reproduce (though women as old as 70 have been known to give birth). However, these marriages are so rare that it’s simply not worth the effort to restrict them. Also, elderly marriages still feature the right combination of man and woman needed to make children. Thus they provide a healthy model for the rest of society, and are still capable of offering children a home with a mother and a father.

7. Children will not be affected since there is no difference between same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents.

This argument was most famously stated in 2005 when the American Psychological Association (APA) wrote that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

However, several recent studies have put that claim to rest. In June, LSU scholar Loren Marks published a peer-reviewed paper in Social Science Research. It examined the 59 studies that the APA relied on for its briefing. Marks discovered that not one of the studies used a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children. Several used extremely small “convenience” samples, recruiting participants through advertisements or word of mouth, and many failed to even include a control group. Furthermore, the studies did not track the children over time and were largely based on interviews with parents about the upbringing of their own children — a virtual guarantee of biased results.

One month later, Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus released a comprehensive study titled “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?” His research used a large, random and national sample and its scope was unprecedented among prior work in this field. Contrary to the APA, Regnerus found that for a majority of outcomes, children raised by parents with same-sex relationships drastically underperformed children raised in a household with married, biological parents.

He quickly noted that his study didn’t necessarily show that same-sex couples are bad parents, but that it did definitively put to rest the claim that there are “no differences” among parenting combinations.

8. Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on bigotry, homophobia and religious hatred.

These accusations are not so much an argument for same-sex marriage as personal attacks designed to shut down real dialogue. Let’s look at each one.

First, bigotry. A quick visit to Facebook, Twitter or any online comment box confirms that for many people, support for traditional marriage is tantamount to bigotry.

So, is the charge accurate? Well, the definition of bigotry is “unwilling to tolerate opinions different than your own.” However, tolerating opinions does not require enshrining them through law. One can tolerate advocates of same-sex marriage, and seriously engage the idea, while still rejecting it for compelling reasons.

Second, homophobia. This refers to a fear of homosexuality, and the assumption is that people who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they’re irrationally afraid. But as this article shows, there are

many good reasons to oppose same-sex marriage that have nothing to do with fear. Branding someone “homophobic” is typically used to end rational discussion.

Third, religious hatred. Some people disagree with same-sex marriage solely for religious reasons. But, again, as this article demonstrates, one can disagree for other reasons, without appealing to the Bible, divine revelation or any religious authority. You don’t need religious teachings to understand, analyze and discuss the purpose of marriage or its effects on the common good.

If these accusations were all true, it would mean that the overwhelming majority of people throughout time — who by and large supported traditional marriage — would likewise be homophobic, intolerant bigots. That would include the most profound thinkers in many different traditions: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes, Plutarch, St. Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and Mahatma Gandhi. Most people would reject such an absurdity.

9. The struggle for same-sex marriage is just like the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The suggestion here is that sex is similar to race, and therefore denying marriage for either reason is wrong. The problem, however, is that interracial marriage and same-sex marriage are significantly different.

For instance, nothing prevents interracial couples from fulfilling the basic essence of marriage — a public, lifelong relationship ordered toward procreation. Because of this, the anti-miscegenation laws of the 1960s were wrong to discriminate against interracial couples. Yet same-sex couples are not biologically ordered toward procreation and, therefore, cannot fulfill the basic requirements of marriage.

It’s important to note that African-Americans, who have the most poignant memories of marital discrimination, generally disagree that preventing interracial marriage is like banning same-sex marriage. For example, when Californians voted on Proposition 8, a state amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, some 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor.

According to Peters, “Likening same-sex marriage to interracial marriage is puzzling and offensive to most African-Americans, who are shocked at such a comparison.”

10. Same-sex marriage is inevitable, so we should stand on the right side of history.

On Nov. 6, voters in three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — voted against marriage as it has traditionally been understood. In Minnesota, voters rejected a measure to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Many advocates of same-sex marriage considered this a sign that the marriage tides are turning. But is that true? And if so, how does that shift impact the case for same-sex marriage?

First, if the tide is in fact turning, it’s still little more than a ripple. The states that voted in November to redefine marriage did so with slim margins, none garnering more than 53 percent of the vote. The tiny victories were despite record-breaking funding advantages, sitting governors campaigning for same-sex marriage and strong support among the media.

Related Reading Understanding the definition of marriage

Before these four aberrations, 32 states had voted on the definition of marriage. Each and every time they voted to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Of the six states that recognized same-sex marriage before the November election, none arrived there through a vote by the people. Each redefinition was imposed by state legislatures and courts. Overall, Americans remain strongly in favor of traditional marriage. Most polls show roughly two-thirds of the country wants to keep marriage as it is.

Yet, even if the tides have recently shifted, that does not make arguments in its favor any more persuasive. We don’t look to other moral issues and say, “Well, people are eventually going to accept it, so we might as well get in line.” We shouldn’t do that for same-sex marriage, either.

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