Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Gay Marriage

Posted by Michael Dickens on February 1, 2009

I think that we should allow gay marriage. I even think that it should be in the constitution. But why? Some would say, “Why not?” But I don’t see that as a legitimate argument. Here’s why.

A bond between the same gender is no different from a bond between a man and a woman. So why should marriage be different? Denying homosexuals the right to marry is on par with denying African-Americans the right to vote. It is simply denying someone rights because he or she is different.

* * *

Here I have ten arguments, which are “a synopsis of the new book by Dr. James Dobson, Marriage Under Fire.” I will now explain why they all fail.

site
The arguments are a bit rambling, so I have summarized them.

Gay marriage will lead to divorces and remarriages; children will be forced to move frequently, and will have dozens of half-siblings and half-relatives.
Allowing gay marriage will not lead to more divorce. The article talks about how divorce rates are increasing, but fails to explain how gay marriage will lead to more divorce.

Gay marriage may actually lead to less divorce. If, say, a gay man marries a woman, he will be more likely to get a divorce because he will be less likely to be happy with that marriage.

Gay marriage will open the door for polygamy and other immoral institutions.
If gay marriage is legalized, it is because people believe it is right. If people believe that polygamy is morally right, it will be legalized. If not, it won’t. The only way I see that gay marriage opens the door to polygamy is that maybe people will start thinking, Is polygamy really wrong? They may arrive to the decision that it is wrong, and they may not. Either way, thinking about it is better than blindly assuming that it’s wrong.

“…divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver’s license or a hunting permit.”
This is completely unrelated to gay marriage. The article fails to explain how gay marriage will lead to this.

“…every public school in the nation will be required to teach that this perversion is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”
This is not a bad thing. It IS the moral equivalent of traditional marriage. Maybe the article could argue that it’s not, but I have seen no such argument up to this point.

Same-sex couples will have equal priority when it comes to adoption.
Again, the article fails to explain why this is a bad thing. This article is really leaving a lot to the imagination.

“Foster-care parents will be required to undergo “sensitivity training” to rid themselves of bias in favor of traditional marriage, and will have to affirm homosexuality in children and teens.”
1. If this happens, it isn’t bad.
2. Did we have to do that during segregation of African-Americans?

“How about the impact on Social Security if there are millions of new dependents that will be entitled to survivor benefits?”
You know, it would be so much better for Social Security if no one got any money from it. It would cost so much less.

My point is, homosexuals should be entitled to Social Security, and the fact that it costs more is no reason to deny it from them.

“Marriage among homosexuals will spread throughout the world, just as pornography did after the Nixon Commission declared obscene material “beneficial” to mankind.”
I see this spreading as a good thing. The comparison of gay marriage to pornography applies to its spreading, but the comparison ends there.

“Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. “
Prove to me that the Bible is the word of God, and also prove to me that I should unquestioningly follow the word of God, and I will accept this as a legitimate argument. Not before.

“The culture war will be over, and I fear, the world may soon become “as it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37, NIV). This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance.

This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its future will sound alarmist to many, but I think it will prove accurate unless-unless-God’s people awaken and begin an even greater vigil of prayer for our nation. That’s why Shirley and I are urgently seeking the Lord’s favor and asking Him to hear the petitions of His people and heal our land.

As of this time, however, large segments of the church appear to be unaware of the danger; its leaders are surprisingly silent about our peril (although we are tremendously thankful for the efforts of those who have spoken out on this issue). The lawless abandon occurring recently in California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere should have shocked us out of our lethargy. So far, I’m alarmed to say, the concern and outrage of the American people have not translated into action.

This reticence on behalf of Christians is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacrament designed by God that serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Tampering with His plan for the family is immoral and wrong. To violate the Lord’s expressed will for humankind, especially in regard to behavior that He has prohibited, is to court disaster.”
I don’t understand how this is even an argument.

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3 Responses to “Gay Marriage”

  1. Phynnboi said

    Hmm…. Seems like he has basically one argument: “I think homosexuality is bad, therefore anything that leads or could lead to greater acceptance of homosexuality is also bad.”

    One guy I talked with about this made the interesting argument that, in the U.S., at least, marriage benefits (as in, from the government) are intended to encourage and support reproduction, and that since homosexuals can’t reproduce, they shouldn’t get the same benefits, and, therefore, should not be allowed to marry. He couldn’t really rebut any counter-arguments I raised–that we don’t really need any more people on the planet, that not all heterosexual couples want to reproduce, and that gays can adopt–but still, I thought it was an interesting anti-gay-marriage argument since I’d never heard it and it didn’t appeal to religion.

  2. Matt said

    “A bond between the same gender is no different from a bond between a man and a woman.”
    It is. Marriage between two of the same gender is no different from marriage between two of the same gender, but it is different from marriage between a man and a woman. I’m surprised that you would say otherwise.

    “Denying homosexuals the right to marry is on par with denying African-Americans the right to vote.”
    Potentially, at least, you are right; but we both know you are only using this comparison because “racism is bad” and that’s an appeal to emotion.

    “It is simply denying someone rights because he or she is different.”
    More specifically, it is denying them rights because the situation is different. Denying them rights because they are different would be saying gays can’t marry at all.

    I’m here because of what you said in your recent (4/14/10) article on the ethics of slavery. You said “If you are opposed to gay rights, and you object to my previous statement, then I’m sorry, but you are objectively wrong. There is no legitimate reason to hold a prejudice against homosexuals.” yet you provided no argument for such a bold statement. You can’t just debunk all of the arguments that someone has and then assume that there must be no more arguments.

    Here is one example of a hypothetical case involving a legitimate reason to be prejudiced against homosexuals: All homosexuals that Bob has met are mean. Thus, Bob believes that most, if not all homosexuals are mean.

    • (In order to avoid using too many quotations, each of my paragraphs is a response to your corresponding paragraph.)

      I see no reason why a bond between two of the same gender is different from a bond between a man and a woman, beyond the gender. The difference in genders alone is not enough to justify banning gay marriage.

      It is an appeal to emotion, I’ll admit that. But it still has a logical basis. The only legitimate reason I’ve ever seen to ban gay marriage is the argument that all marriage should cease to be a legal institution. I don’t agree, but I still accept the argument as legitimate. My point with the comparison was that gays deserve equal rights in the same way that African Americans deserve equal rights.

      The situation is different, but why does that justify denying them rights?

      You’re right, I provided no argument. My intention was for you to be startled or intrigued, and then to follow my link to this page. I’m not assuming that there are no more arguments; but unless the arguments are brought up, refuting them is not necessary. If you have any arguments against gay marriage that you wish to bring up, then I’d be happy to discuss them.

      That may be a legitimate reason to be prejudiced against homosexuals (although the conclusion is unsound and also arguably invalid), but it is still not a legitimate reason to ban gay marriage.

      Before anything else is said, I would like to make a note about burden of proof. In all cases, people should be allowed to do something unless there is a reason not to. People are given autonomy in most cases, but in some cases liberty is restricted: murder, theft, etc. If it can be proven that gays should not be allowed to marry, then so be it. But in absence of argument for either side, gay marriage should be legalized simply because freedom is preferable to non-freedom.

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