Thursday, December 01, 2011

An Iowan for gay marriage 

A young Iowa, the son of two lesbians, makes a personal case for lawful gay marriage, or at least against some of the sillier arguments in its opposition.

I switched my opinion on this subject perhaps ten years ago, when I realized that I could not sustain a single strong argument against lawful gay marriage.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Dec 01, 10:38:00 PM:

"the son of two lesbians"
"I could not sustain a single strong argument against gay marriage." Holy crap. Stay out of Texas.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Thu Dec 01, 11:23:00 PM:

I have spent a lot of time in Texas, and much as I love the state and its people I have not heard a strong argument against gay marriage there, either.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 02, 12:28:00 AM:

The best arguments against Gay Marriage originate at Princeton from Robert George.


By Blogger Rohan, at Fri Dec 02, 02:58:00 AM:

I think Megan McArdle's old post about gay marriage is the most thought-provoking argument I've seen:


Especially as it comes from someone who reads like, emotionally, they are pro-gay marriage.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 02, 07:00:00 AM:

Austin is in fact physically located in Texas. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Now you know.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Dec 02, 07:04:00 AM:

Anon 12:28 -- Thanks for the link to the Robert George article. I'll read it and maybe I'll flip my position again!  

By Anonymous Jim Nicholas, at Fri Dec 02, 08:01:00 AM:

Zach is the best proponent for his cause I have yet heard.  

By Blogger W.LindsayWheeler, at Fri Dec 02, 09:59:00 AM:

I'll give you an argument Tigerhawk.

Aristotle records the ancient Wisdom that is the criteria of Truth.

"what is in accord with nature".

Homosexuality is NOT in accord with nature. The anus is not built to accept penetration! There you go. The Physical nature of things.

Next, the Natural Law. All things are in harmony. Harmony is the mix of the high and low. Nature is full of harmonies. The human family is a harmony. It is a mix of the Male and female. Opposites. In a harmony. All of reality is guided by the Natural Law.

Now, Western Culture, starting with the Doric Greek pagans taught the dysfunctionality of men. Christianity picked that up and married that to Biblical texts, that man is born in original sin, dysfunctionality. Homosexuality is an aberation of what is "Normal". What is Normal, according to nature, is what is right. Aberation and abnormality is not True.

Furthermore, Plutarch was a priest at the Doric Temple at Delphi. Served there many years. He also records the teaching of the Dorian God Apollo:

"We are NOT in the world to give the laws, ...but are here to obey the commands of the gods."

Man to woman is what Nature created, What God created thru nature. We have no business, no authority to change that!  

By Anonymous LukeWangen@yahoo.com, at Fri Dec 02, 05:28:00 PM:

Lindsey: I use that arguement as well...Marilyn VosSavant (the highest womens recorded IQ ever) said if you want to understand something take it to the extreme. So..assume everyone on the planet turned gay. How long would the human race survive? 1 generation...thus Nature shows that it is not right and we will become extinct if that type of behavior is followed. I have yet to hear a good reason why gay marriage should be accepted.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 02, 06:43:00 PM:

You also might want to see the "Princeton Principles" on Marriage (by Prof. George and others): www.protectmarriage.com/files/WitherspoonReportonMarriage.pdf  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 02, 07:52:00 PM:

Why exactly would gay marriage need to be "what is in accord with nature"? Sounds like a ridiculous presupposition to me. So only natural things have validity?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Dec 03, 11:28:00 AM:

I'm of the opinion that we all have our own lives to worry about and scheming to control someone else's life seems like a disgusting way to pass the day. Why does the government even get involved in this sort of messy domestic stuff, anyway? The Congress can't even figure out how to hold spending steady, for crissakes, and yet there are people out there who want to get government involved in stipulating the definition of "happiness". Sheesh.  

By Blogger Kurt, at Sat Dec 03, 11:55:00 AM:

This video made the rounds a year or two ago, if I remember correctly, but I'm puzzled as to why it has suddenly started circulating on facebook and elsewhere again.

Anyway, with regard to the arguments here presented against gay marriage and homosexuality, I have to say that W.LindsayWheeler's arguments all strike me as pretty weak and unpersuasive. As Anonymous at Fri. Dec. 02, 07:52:00 PM rightly asks "So only natural things have validity?"

That question summarizes the rebuttal succinctly, but I can't resist the temptation to elaborate further: neither reading nor writing blogs qualifies as "natural" activities, so I guess that's out in Lindsay's world, as is flying on airplanes, driving cars, wearing shoes, and undergoing modern medical treatments for any number of unpleasant maladies. To complicate matters further, biologists have documented some instances of homosexual behavior among other species, and anthropologists have found it in all kinds of societies from the most primitive to the most civilized.

As far as the public policy question is concerned, I thought the Megan McArdle piece linked to above provided a good case for being agnostic on the issue; I've not yet read the Robert George pieces, but am curious to do so. I would say, though, that the whole push for gay marriage is really coming from two different places philosophically: one is the desire by gay couples to have the same sorts of financial privileges as straight, married couples, which is a consequence of having written laws and policies designed to provide special status to married couples; but the second place it's coming from is what has been called "the politics of recognition," i.e., the desire of gay people to have their worth recognized or validated in some sense through public policy. The second push comes more from a psychological need which might be emotionally appealing, but which doesn't necessarily qualify it as good policy. The first, though, comes from a more legitimate grievance against a government which is more interested in deciding which sorts of relationships are "more equal than others."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Dec 03, 09:59:00 PM:

Kurt - Keen observation on the 2 forces driving Gay Marriage. From my experience debating on blogs like The Ruth Institute or Maggie Gallagher's blog, I'd say the latter, Political Recognition, is by far the driving force.

In California, The State Supreme Court even acknowledged that Domestic Partnership laws had all the State rights and benefits of Marriage, but were still unconstitutional simply because they "stigmatized". Same Sex Marriage advocates will settle for nothing less than a Government imposed redefinition of Marriage.

Why does marriage have to be in accordance with Nature? Because the other alternatives stink. A relationship of care opens marriage up to incest, or one based arbitrarily on 2 is no better than marriage based on 3 or 5 or 55 (go Brigham Young!). Professor George does a great job on addressing these issues.

The one area of George's analysis that I find a bit wanting is his defense of the inclusion of hetero infertile couples. Rebuttals to George harped on that weakness, but none of them could answer his central question "What is Marriage", without defining it out of existence.  

By Blogger Aegon01, at Sun Dec 04, 01:22:00 AM:

I'm having trouble opening that paper to read it. I don't mean to judge a book by its cover, and if I figure out how to open the "book" then I'll give it a read, but for now I have to: in response to the Abstract, his argument SEEMS like it's going to be "Marriage is an institution designed to encourage couples to have children." Well, that means that couples that don't want kids shouldn't be married, and we could also let homosexuals marry each other if and only if they adopt kids.

Or we can decide that since marriages are based on love and commitment, then what the hell is wrong with homosexuals marrying each other? When I look at Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres, their relationships seem 10 times more stable than most other celebrity relationships. Brad, Jen, and Angelina destroy the sanctity of marriage on a regular basis.

WLW, you really seem to like ancient Greek philosophers. Athenians are also famous for pederasty and sodomy.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 04, 01:50:00 AM:

"Why does marriage have to be in accordance with Nature? Because the other alternatives stink. A relationship of care opens marriage up to incest, or one based arbitrarily on 2 is no better than marriage based on 3 or 5 or 55 (go Brigham Young!)."

No, the alternatives do not stink. You have chosen very extreme alternatives to illustrate your point. This should be in the dictionary under the definition of a bad slippery slope argument. Two consenting adults of the same sex, who have been a couple for 20 years (for example), cannot get married because then brothers and sisters could get married?! You could make that exact same argument with the institution of heterosexual marriage.

It is still absurd to me that two people who have known each other for fifteen minutes can easily get married in Las Vegas, yet a same-sex couple of 20 years can't in most states.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 13, 05:09:00 PM:

Before you get too excited with Robert George's strong efforts to defend discrimination, you may want to look at this series (earliest is at the bottom) -



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