When I posted last month, I referred to same-sex marriages, and got a few comments from folks who disagree with my take. One of them was a nice guy named Ben; we exchanged a few comments in the box, and then Ben asked if I wouldn't mind if he addressed my own comments on his blog, to which I agreed. My comments were,
- As to your questions... the crux of my position is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman in which they engage in reproductive-type sexual acts. The final clause indicates and implies that sexual activity has a two-fold purpose: the spiritual and physical union of the spouses, and the bearing and education of children. Sex, then, is for the good of the spouses and for the procreation of children. And marriage is recognized as a public institution b/c it provides a stable environment in which the children can be raised, thus ensuring furture generations of a culture/society (hence the state's interest).
But if the procreative dimension is reduced or negated -- as it is in gay "marriages" -- then one of the essential purposes for marriage is negated as well. Not only that, but since the natural means of having children is impossible, one of the essential reasons why the state recognizes marriage (may *the* essential reason) is negated as well.
Furthermore, if marriage is *only* about committed, consensual relationships, then why is polygamy and polyamory looked down upon and illegalized?
What do you think?
Ben's first comment:
- Rubbish. By that logic the existence of married couples unwilling or unable to have children means that this "negation" of the essential "purposes" of marriage already exist in society. Conversely, many heterosexual couples have children without ever getting married. From an evolutionary perspective, the use of contraceptives is as "unnatural" as homosexual sex.
- I'd also be interested in knowing why any secular democratic state which equally recognises all faiths, and lack thereof (or rather, SHOULD), would include the loaded religious term "spiritual" in any definition of marriage. I don't recognise the "spiritual" side of anything. Should I be limited to "civil unions" as a result?
- What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Polygamous heterosexual marriages are just as, if not more, geared towards procreation (the "essential reason" for marriage, as you put it), than monogamous heterosexual marriages. We're talking about gay marriage here, not polygamy. The issues are completely irrelevant to one another.
- I think that the main problem people have with gay marriage is not the "erosion of society", or the "sanctity of marriage", or the "survival of the species", or any of that alarmist horseshit, but rather the anachronistic persistence of an general unwillingness to recognise the natural phenomenon of homosexuality, be it based upon religion, culture, ignorance, or otherwise.
Now, for Ben's questions...
- Do you believe that a person's sexuality has any bearing on their morality, intelligence, ability to form relationships, or otherwise live up to their full potential?
- In your opinion, does a homosexual relationship differ in any objective way from a heterosexual relationship, when the gender of the two parties is ignored? (ie, is a homosexual relationship somehow less "serious" than, or in any other way disparate from, a heterosexual one, all things considered?)
- Do you believe that it is ethical for there to exist inequalities in society towards an individual based upon any inherent characteristics established irrespective of that individual's free will?