Obey No1kinobe


This conversation is closed.

Will same sex marriage damage the family?

Proponents of same sex marriage suggest it is an issue of equality - human rights - an end to discrimination.

Opponents object firstly on religious grounds, that it is unnatural. That it breaks tradition. Racism, sexism are often supported by religious views and tradition. Weak arguments in this case as well.

The argument that perhaps resonates most is that same sex marriage will damage the family unit, damage, children, damage society.

I propose gay marriage has no significant impact on heterosexual families. So this argument also fails.

Agree or disagree?

Closing Statement from Obey No1kinobe

Thanks All. I guess society hasn't collapsed with the introduction of civil unions or gay marriage in some states and countries. In fact there wasn't too much debate about the consequences.
Most objections related to changing the traditional definition of marriage. My understanding is some of these related to marriage having a spiritual or religious dimension. Some just think homosexuality is a defect, unnatural or worse. I expect these views are not limited to religious people.

I agree it is a change to the definition. Those for and against need a stronger argument than their personal or religious views. I respect that marriage is an important institution and should not be changed lightly. However, I still find the argument in terms of civil rights and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation compelling. Considering the arguments against I note none really presented a rationale that this change would be harmful in some tangible way.

I think we have a right to be free from the religious views of others and pursue happiness that does not harm others. I think we should end unjustified discrimination.

There was sense in some of the comments that SSM is going against some natural laws, will impact families or even threaten the continuation of the human race. I suggest that what same sex couple does not and will not impact heterosexual couples, and the the human race is in no danger of dropping population growth.

My own opinion is that some just oppose the normalisation and acceptance of homosexuality. Some religious folk expressed a respect for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. This gives me some hope.

This may not be the most important issue in the world right now, unless it directly affects you personally or a loved one. It just seems something relatively easy that will improve the situation for many ordinary people who love someone but are denied the right to marry.

Thanks all.

  • Feb 29 2012: Marriage is a personal choice and an individual choice, one chooses to marry or not. When government allows groups of people to marry and forces others not to marry it is transgressing against those that do not have that privilege. That is if you assume we are all equal.

    And that is the point. People against gay marriage are discriminating against gays because they do not see gays as equal human beings. But apparently murderers, pedophiles and zoophiles are... go figure.

    Plain and simple.
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        • Mar 1 2012: marriage is about having children, offspring to continue humanity.
          One chooses to marry?? THaat's highly debatable.
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          Mar 2 2012: William, some marriages are, some marriages aren't about children.
          Opening marriage up to infertile couples or same sex is not going to impact those who have children or the future of the human race.
          Seriously - 1 Billion 1900, 7 Billion 2012
          Do you think SSM is a threat to human existence.
      • Mar 1 2012: Mr. Parker, not even sex is about having children anymore, at least not how most human beings practice it (pleasure), except maybe for the Duggars. Case in point, I was married for 5 years to Satan and we did not have children, thank you Jesus, but we did have sex. When I saw how much damage that agent of death was doing to my fragile mind, I decided to divorce her and became a sinner. Years later a met a different woman, an angel of love as I call her. We lived together for a while and one day she became pregnant, we were not married (oh no! how do you explain the children?) we had our baby, got married after the fact and now we are happily married with two beautiful children.

        Marriage is two human beings deciding to live together, period. The only reason why we put so much stupidity behind it is because there are legal implications and rights of people that are married to each other. Remove religion and discrimination and there is no issue.
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      Mar 1 2012: Unless there is some good reason to treat these people different it is simply unwarranted discrimination.
      Totally agree Luis.
  • Mar 6 2012: It may not damage the "family", but I believe it will damage the authenticity of "growing up" for a child. Your question does not suggest children, but their place in a gay marriage is becoming topical now.

    The existence of a gay "married" couple should not damage the family per se, but if this marriage includes children the debate is a new one all over again.

    Humans (and most else) has two genders. Each has different construction and processes towards achievement of goals. Unless the two same sex "parents" can display, teach and promote both genders in a more or less equal proportion to the children, then the children are going to be robbed of "growing up" with an equal chance.

    Fathers teach boys how to be men and how men should treat women. Mothers teach girls how to be ladies and how women should treat men. These are learned by example. They are behavioural lessons, not factual matrices. If both "parents" are the same sex, (no matter how effeminate or butch), I don't believe the children will learn these lessons.

    Many heterosexual couples fail at providing good examples here and it has led to an incredible breakdown in the family unit and the state of our society. The desirable trend would be to reverse this trend rather than to enhance it.
    50% of marriages fail, and that is a societal issue, so society needs to find a solution. It may be as simple as making advertising illegal, who knows without trial and debate, but I think most would concur that having children in a same sex marriage is not going to enhance the family unit.

    This is not to say that the children could not be loved, well provided for, educated and given great opportunities. It is merely removing an important part of their upbringing that moulds them to be future parents and members of a dual gender race.

    The logical conclusion may help illustrate. If all marriages were same sex, procreation is lost and genetic diversity becomes reliant on choices made in the laboratory. This is not nature.
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    Mar 2 2012: "natural" means present or produced by nature.
    Homosexuality has always existed, so it is natural.
    Nobody chooses his/her sexual orientation, it just happens.

    I honestly can't see how this could damage the "family"...but wait, what is a "family"? The concept of "family" depends on cultures and changes throughout time.

    "Damage children"? Children are damaged by lack of love, not sexual orientation of their parents.

    As for "society", I highly regard states or countries that passed the law for same sex marriage, because oddly enough (or not), these states or countries are usually at the avant-garde of many societal challenges.

    Therefore, I agree 100% with you, is has no impact whatsoever on anything. It shouldn't even be a debate.
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      Mar 2 2012: Thanks Bruno.
      Some people, most I guess are strongly hetero or homosexual. Not much choice in it.
      Maybe it's not on off for everyone. Some might be across a range.
      Also sexual behaviour is like many aspects of human behaviour - diverse.
      Expect plenty of people enjoy both sexes.
      Totally agree - Children are damaged by lack of love, not sexual orientation of their parent
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    Mar 5 2012: As a Christian, I wonder how I would feel if there was a law preventing Christians from getting married..and the basis of such law stemmed from the beliefs of an alternate "dominant" religion.

    I can't believe people argue over such things. Let people do what they want...
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    Feb 28 2012: The idea of the 'nuclear' family is a relatively new concept, not something that has been practiced through history like some people would like to believe.
    Infact im quite sure single-parent families make up a fairly large percentage of all families at present...so in a sense you could say 'yes it will damage the family unit...because theres 1 extra person'.
  • Mar 1 2012: At the peril of enhancing the rodential emotional state of VG , I throw all caution to the wind and toss my two peanuts worth of curiosity into the fray: How does SSM interfere with any other types of marital arrangements? The US marriage license is actually a legal, financial contract, and is paid for and witnessed by a civil office, usually well before any optional, traditional religious wedding takes place. I've heard that even though some individual states have recognized SSM's, that the Federal government doesn't afford any of the tax breaks given to OSM's. I would like to know more about why this is the case. It appears to me that the lack of validity for these civil contracts, actively causes undue hardship, and mental duress for couples in the throws of physical health crisis, financial equality/responsibilities, and when handling estates for the death of a partner...all because of religious influence on this legal contract. Your turn.
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      Mar 2 2012: I agree Becky
      It is just discrimination sticking to an old definition.
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    Mar 1 2012: From what I gather of your responses to comments, your actual point, as differs from your stated point, is why should traditional marriage be the norm, because you see it as the unfair imposition of religious beliefs on non-believers.

    I propose that all arguments for and against are both weak. Those oppposed to SSM are using text, but unwisely, and those for SSM are using fallacies of logic. SSM is not the same as my sister wanting to marry her black husband in the 60s. Not even close. My apologies if I offend those who disgree.

    Where we have gone astray is that we believe that marriage is a civil union. We have blended the two. We use the words interchangeably,but they are separate. The civil union aspect of marriage is what is presented to the world: the rings, the vow to fidelity, the distribution of stuff, etc. The "marriage" aspect is the reflection of the unity of the full qualities of God, the yin/yang of God, if you will, the earthly reflection of the unified harmony of complementary opposites. That is the real reason (unstated because it is unknown even to the religious adherents) for opposition to SSM.

    We must clarify the difference in our collective minds if we are to go forward with the only rational conclusion: Civil unions for the world and marriage solely for God. In every single worldly aspect of the union, it will be civil.

    Lastly, do I think it'll hurt the family? Not as much as divorce has. Frankly, those most outspoken against SSM should apply the same fervor to trying to heal broken families, and they can start by keeping their own vows.
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      Mar 1 2012: so you are against atheist marriage? hindu marriage?
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        Mar 1 2012: No i think verble just forgot to add "Western nations" and "christian marriage"
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        Mar 1 2012: CTM (instead of LOL=Laughing Out Loud, CTM=Chuckling To Myself).

        My friends, I am not against anything, so much as FOR clarity. I am merely stating for everyone weighing in on the debate that every single one of us is using the word "marriage" when what we have meant throughout the millenia is "civil union."

        The cause of much of our questioning arises from confusion over the definitions of our most common terminology.

        Just mull it over a bit . . .

        (Oh yeah, and just because you've put me in a squirrely mood: I would propose that under this proposed distinction that there have truly been very few 'marriages' in all of history, but rather, billions of 'civil unions' . . .)
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          Mar 1 2012: so you don't see why atheist marriage is the same as gay marriage according to your principles?
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          Mar 1 2012: I thought that was why civil unions were created for,the non religious or those who just weren't interested.
      • Mar 1 2012: Why would you think he is saying that? His point of view seems to be that "marriage" is religious in nature and that should be separated from the "legal marriage" which he calls a "civil union". I fully support that notion. From now on I think ALL legal marriages should be called "civil unions" men-men, men-woman, woman-woman, that way the religious fervor is out of the equation... then if anyone wants to marry then they can go to their church, and when they get divorced, they can go to a different church and so on. It would be awesome. Am I married? No, I am civil unionized.
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          Mar 1 2012: if he is saying that, i agree. it means that the state should abolish all laws about marriage. there should be no special tax code, no special rights, and so on.
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          Mar 1 2012: Thanks, you have all understood my point. And Kristián, you have accurately extrapolated the next level (which is actually beyond the scope of this conversation, but let's sally forth . . .)

          Marriage as an institution has been artificially fortified by tax incentives (as Kristián has stated), which I feel were put into place in order to try to prevent what is happening now: the decline and decrepitude of the institution of marriage. A lot of hetero couples have married for society's breaks, and that to me is not a true marriage by the definition I've proposed. When people marry, they should truly understand that they are not two people sharing a bed, but becoming one single inseparable human being - one's blood flowing through the other's veins, one's thoughts the synapses in the other's brain.

          Can homosexuals acheive that? Yes, they can. What they can not achieve is the balance of opposites mirroring the full range of God. But who really wants to do that anyway?

          My wife rightly tells me that by this definition,nobody would choose marriage over CUs - why would anyone sign up for something THIS difficult? Very true, I'd say, but at least we'd all know what we were doing, and we would trying to make the sacred marriage as base as the worldly civil union - and that's frankly what the trouble is: we're trying to define a beautiful holy spiritual blessing in terms of our worldly stuff.

          To bring it back: I'm all for consenting adults unifying their lives and making plans for who gets the house and who gets to pull the plug and whatnot, and if these two consenting adults are loving and kind and build a family and care for themselves and their children, then it matters not to me if they are man-man, woman-woman, man-woman.

          But you can not claim something to be a reflection of the divine when it is not, and I truly deeply apologise for any offense.

          Again, SSM won't damage the family any more than OSM already has, by they way!
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          Mar 2 2012: Interesting re civil union vs marriage. It really seems a way for governments to give SS couples most of the legal rights bundled with marriage without actually calling it a marriage.

          Agree with Kris, the spiritual dimension of marriage is already optional for heterosexual couples.

          The spiritual is not the foundation of marriage to those of us who do not believe or accept we don't know if there is a spiritual realm except as a subjective experiences in your brain.

          My view is there is no divine. In fairness the religious can have their marriage, the non theist can have our marriage, same sex couples can have their marriage. Lets celebrate what we all have in common - a public commitment to a very special bond, commitment to each other, between 2 consenting adults. Even if all 3 will end in divorce half the time. We are all entitled to give it our best shot.
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          Mar 2 2012: @ krisztian

          Yes, i see what you're getting at and really whats there to disagree about it.
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      Mar 2 2012: A thoughtful comment. If I understand correctly, essentially you are saying it is a matter of definition. And this definition is immutable because of some theist belief

      I agree same sex couples are not the traditional view of marriage as far as I know. However, there seems to be no reasonable impact changing it to make it more inclusive.

      We will go around circles if the basis for saying marriage is immutably between a man and a woman because on some religious/theist basis. You say marriage is from/for God. I say marriage, god, religion are human constructs. We'll get nowhere. I'm an atheist and I got married. No god in our union. Others can believe they have god in the mix.

      If you accept freedom of religion and freedom from religion, any secular or religious based opinion needs to have a non sectarian rationale to be reasonable for all. E.g. you need more than your religious beliefs to stop me working on the Sabbath or using contraception. I need more than my opinion to stop religious people indoctrinating their children. Suicide bombers need more than their religious beliefs before non religious accept there is a reasonable basis for imposing this violence on others.

      Even if someone thinks homosexuality or eating pork is an abomination, what right do you have to impose this or use this prejudice to stop others finding happiness that does not hurt others. You bedroom is yours. Mine is mine. And a bit of tolerance and compassion when we mix in public.

      I would even argue that SSM will improve society by showing that as a whole, not as individuals we do not discriminate against homosexuals.

      No issue if the religious have their religious marriage with god and the rest of us have our marriage without, including SSM. And if a SS couple belief god supports their union, good for them.

      If there is a supreme being, I doubt it is concerned about who marries who, what humans eat or wear, what the draw, even what they worship.
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        Mar 3 2012: This is an excellent post here with many ideas that iI will have to ruminate for awhile, parehaps there may even be different discussions, but permit me to get to what is the root of the whole SSM debate: respect for others and basic human dignity, which is what the homosexual community does not receive from societies in general. Based on that, I feel that a societal acceptance of the union is indeed necessary if we will define ourselves as societies that support human dignity.

        The point of contention is that religious couples who stand for marriage as an opposite sex union is because they innately understand (you would say "believe") that marriage is a reflection of all the attributes of God, and therefore is to be kept wholly for God, as a symbol of the harmony that exists in balancing all of creation. It's THAT important.

        One will naturally say that they don't seem to act like it's all that important. You're right. Can't argue with that. America is littered with the ripped bodies of broken marriages. I'm not exception, by the way. Had a few myself. What I have not stated yet is that while I call for the religious community to understand that the secular community see them as invasive ignorant hypocrites, I also call for the secular community to see to see that often the religious community are just people like you, trying to to the eight thing the best they know how. This may be off topic but I think it should be said.

        Lastly, please know that no true Christian would ever "force" Christ on anyone. If you have ever felt that a Christian is forcing their beliefs on you then they either are a Christian for show or they are just presenting the message inadequately. And yes, there is a God who very concerned about what we worship and how we treat each other, but I don't believe He's all that hung up on what we wear.
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          Mar 4 2012: Thanks Verble. Glad we have some common ground around human dignity.

          I understand marriage is an important institution with religious meaning for many.
          For many others the end to discrimination around sexual orientation is equally important.

          Like many difficult issues this is a clash of values or perceived "rights".
          I would not advocate something that many disagreed with like SSM unless I thought one side of the argument outweighed the other.

          Try as I might I still can't see how SSM directly impacts other marriages other than it conflicts a deeply held religious conviction. I do get a sense some religious folk understand that they need more than God says so, or its in the bible to compel non believers or people whop believe in other gods.

          For example if someones holy book commands us to kill adulterers, homosexuals, witches, and people who work on a particular day, we non believers need a better reason than a religious one before.

          Look forward to your thoughts.
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          Mar 3 2012: Adrian, I haven’t thought this through thoroughly but agree with not forcing religious bodies to conduct religious weddings that conflict with their dogma or rules.

          E.g. I’m okay with the Catholic church having unwed male only clergy – its not hurting anyone but themselves and they can choose to be a priest or take part in the church.
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          Mar 6 2012: You asked for my thoughts, and they will have to be final thoughts, becuase the conversation is about to close. I want to thank you, because I think we have reached some real moments of agreement, and where we diverge in opinion, we do so with a deeper understanding of the other.

          I wish at some point we could discuss what my summation of your question will be in this answer: will same sex marriage damage the family?

          My reply: no. But mainly because you can't damage that which is broken.

          Divorce has broken marriage. Infidelity, spousal abuse, and general selfishness and lethargy has destroyed the family. In a world where in the richest countries the majority of children are raised by at least one parent who is not biological, all in all, I find it that any conversation about the "family" and marriage must include deep discussion about healing the current state.

          I will leave with a quote I heard on a radio station years ago. I believe that it was during that disastrous year in which same sex marriage amendments appeared on the ballots of over half the states in a shameless emotional manipulation of the electoral public (2004): one radio host said something to the effect of, "I just heard that a couple in Albuquerque sold their 16 year old daughter for cocaine. Sold her into slavery so they could get high. Why not let gays get married? They might do a better job than these heteros!"

          Yes. Given that, they just might.
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      Feb 29 2012: Thanks Adriaan. For many there is a sacred aspect to their marriage.
      No issue with that. Just question if everyone has to have that.
      Go back a few years and mixed race marriages were banned in some Southern States whether relgious or not.

      For many marriage is a human construct. It is up to us to define it. Suggest some variation is acceptable like mixed race or mixed religion.

      Not sure what the data is on divorce between secular and religious marriages.
      Sometimes I wonder if people should pass a test before having kids. OR at least some education programmes.
      It seems many are unprepared or struggle etc.

      I'm not religious, but feel blessed to have my partner to share my life wife and we work at it hard.
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    Mar 6 2012: It is already been legal in how many states?...and there hasn't been any masses of family destruction because of these marriages. In my opinion it's ignorance and bias beliefs of others who either think its unnatural or want to wrap their heads around how can people of the same sex be attracted to each other.
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    Mar 3 2012: SSM need not be a threat to traditionalists. Yet in a recent blog (maybe on TED) there was a proposal that all religions be forced to solemnize SSMs' in their places of worship. That very thing is one of the reasons the Mormon Church fought Prop 8 so hard. The alarm was being sounded that Prop 8 was just the thin edge of the wedge and that would result in pressure to force all churches to fully accept the whole gay lifestyle. The next point was that Mormon social services would not be allowed to discriminate when helping a baby find adoptive parents. This was enough to bring in lots of donations because it is the assumption held by many fundamentalists and most Mormons that ALL gays are recruited by seduction or brainwashing at a young age and that gay people are more often pedophiles than heterosexuals. I recently even heard someone complain that Hollywood was promoting the concept that the gay lifestyle was not "equal" but instead superior to straight peoples. (there seems to be a widespread fear that gay sex is more addicting and more fun and that even hearing about it in sex education classes will result in ever increasing numbers of young people being seduced by the dark side of the force) This echoes the fear that is still our there that the Presidents agenda was to give African Americans superior rights and privileges not just equal. Fear triumphs logic all too often and the fact that there are a few extremists is convincing PROOF to some people that this is the hidden agenda for most gay people.
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      Mar 4 2012: Thanks Chad. I don't support forcing religious groups to perform marriages against their dogma.
      I don't agree with their stand, but seems to be a reasonable expression of religious freedom.

      Unfortunately, many religious folks would deny others the freedom to marry. I think some of comes down to seeing homosexuality as an abomination and a blight on society. Sounds like some will go to desperate lengths.

      I understand sex and the resulting children is a big deal. Expect women are also thought of as property in the past. Surely with modern contraception and equal rights for women religion can now focus less on the bedroom.

      I think the US declaration of independence borrowed the Roman phrase life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a perceived natural law (except for slaves). Surely gay people should be able to marry if it makes them happy and hurts no one else.
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        Mar 4 2012: I support your efforts GM. I can't help but suspect that part of the anti abortion fervor to protect babies isn't motivated by a perhaps unconscious male wish to protect sperm rights. Especially this insistence that the fruit of rape should not be recalled from its' accomplished mission. When I have made "modest proposals" ala J. Swift that would surely end any call for abortion but would require men to take 100% responsibility for their actions by proactive means (ie life time child support and sterilization and castration) the enthusiasm for protecting babies shrivels quickly amid protests of "why are you holding guys solely responsible?" When I reply that " women have been left holding the baby for all of history without effective results, why not try the shoe on the other foot? the silence is deafening.
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          Mar 4 2012: In line with your observations I note it is often male priests etc making statements about abortion. Of course we are all entitled to our opinion, but would have thought the views of women would be of more import.

          Abortion is one issue I struggle with. Rights of women (its their body) and rights of the fetus are paramount and clash. Unfortunate circumstances usually when abortion is being contemplated.

          I also note some religious organisations are against contraception. In the bedroom again.
          Don't get me started on HIV issues related to this.
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    Mar 1 2012: Hello Friends! Having read through all comments and replies, i wish to emphasize these points. First, Man is not an animal, no matter how related we are to them. The nature of a dolphin can not be a basis for defining what is natural regarding man. That smallest difference in genetic make -up, in DNA is enough to explain that Man is not an animal. I, Mark is not an animal, and you my friend, you are not an animal. That Dolphins exhibit homosexuality does not mean that we can be.
    A woman was normal, yes. All of a sudden, she became attracted to a fellow woman, this is a defect. You were straight, you became bend, this is a defect.
    To answer questions on the essence of marriage, i will quote Nicolas Bergyaeu, a Russian existentialist Philosopher, "If there were no Child bearing, sexual union would degenerate into debauchery"
    In case of medical problem, this is an unforeseen event without clear cause or man made, it is an accident. I rest my case.
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      Mar 2 2012: Thank you Mark. I do appreciate your passionate views.
      Honestly we are coming from polar opposite positions.
      Scientifically animals are a group of multicellular organisims with particular characteristics. Homo Sapian is part of this group. We are a different animal to the others. Just like a dog is not a cat.

      I guess the common ground we share is that the human species has mind unlike any other resulting in culture beyond any other we know of.

      I really don't know how much of same sex attraction is genetic and how much is learnt. Suggest there is a continuum where some are highly same sex attracted and others less so. I doubt people suddenly become same sex attracted. Maybe some do. I believe our experiences can shape our sexual preferences - he likes tall, she likes skinny, he like hairy etc. We'll just have to disagree whether it is a defect or a natural occurance with the human species.

      Nicolas and the Catholic church are welcome to there shared interpretation. Much of the world is enjoying sex while trying to avoid unwanted pregnancy until they plan to have children. Women post menopause should be able to enjoy sex etc etc.

      Appreciate your view. No issue if we respectfully disagree. I guess you lean towards creation rather than evolution that makes all living creatures cousins in a way. Every notice how 4 limbs is the norm for vertebrates. Or how mammals breast feed their young, have 2 eyes etc. We all have DNA.
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      Mar 4 2012: Mark, believe as you will the correlations between Humans and animals very often does allow meaningful comparisons. This is why medical trials are often done on rats, pigs and primates. Valid conclusions can be made although there are differences. There are also differences between even closely related humans in reactions to different medicines. If being identical is requisite for being human how will you choose which set of twins to define as the only true humans? If pregnant rats are stressed to a certain degree a high percentage of the male offspring will not exhibit effective reproductive behavior. After the siege of Berlin in 1945 a higher percentage of the boys born were reported to be Gay. All human populations exhibit a similar proportion of Gay behavior on average (yes even Iran). I do agree that some people seem to have more variation in their attractions and thus would appear to have choice. Oddly strongly gay people often think bisexuals are weird and unnatural, go figure. Also if it were true that merely having sex with the same gender were enough to "turn" most people why is it then that most long term prisoners who have behaved as gay do not persist in this behavior after release from prison?
    • Mar 4 2012: Hello Mark.

      It is not relevant (for this discussion) if you think humans are not animals. It also does not matter if you think that gay people are a result of a defect.

      What really matters is that gay people are like other human beings in terms of their rights to equal treatment and equal freedoms.

      In the past, for religious and political reasons only couples consisting of a man and a woman could marry. The couple could be religious (Christianity or other) or they could be atheists.

      Today, many people realized that gay people have the fundamental right to marry. Since marriage is also used by non-believers and predates Christianity we cannot say the marriage is exclusive to the Church.

      I also want to highlight that more and more married couples decided to NOT have children (esp. in developing countries) so having children is not a requirement of a marriage.

      My question to you is whether you agree? Or do you suggest that gay people do not have right to marry?

  • Mar 1 2012: Why do people insist on framing gender and sexuality as if they are the same thing? People seem insistent on the construct of gender being a duality when science has already extensively proven that it is not. Gender is a social construct layered over a instensive mix of biochemical reactions and productions. Humans are animals. We are mammals and we respond with biochemical reactions to everything from love to fear and anger. Why can we not embrace our humanness while embracing our ability to transcend it? How in any way, does taking a group of people who harm no one and determining that they and their behavior are some how wrong and then denying them rights, help any part of society?

    We are never made better by holding any group down.
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    Mar 1 2012: What I think we mostly concerned is all about children. No one intends to let their children suffer from rumors and gossips, and no one wants to become the target that everyone hates. Therefore, let's think about the most basic question, why do or don't we accept same-sex marriage? Is there anything wrong to accept it? Or is it because of the bias we have? Or is it about the human extinction we concerned? If so, is it possible for a homosexual to have a heterosexual marriage happily ever after and raise their kids healthy and happy at the same time?
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    Mar 1 2012: Thank you all for the comments so far. In review

    Some object simply on religious grounds. Related to this is the suggestion that marriage is or can be a sacred ritual with a religious or spiritual dimension. I suggest you apply your faith beliefs to yourselves and not force them on others. Should non Jews be forced to eat Kosher or be circumcised. Freedom of religion does not imply forcing your religious rules on the rest of society. No issue with Gay Christians choosing not to marry on religious grounds, or with Churches etc choosing not to marry homosexual couples. But a ban on non believers is unreasonable.

    Other objections argue that the basis of marriage is procreation. Marriage is already for more than procreation. We don’t ban old/ infertile people or those not planning to have children from marrying, if they are heterosexual.

    Some discrimination is arguably reasonable e.g. driving, voting, drinking and smoking have age limits, Discrimination on the basis of sex or race is no longer acceptable. I suggest discrimination on the basis on sexuality is also unacceptable.

    In fact I note we allow murderers, child abusers, spouse abusers etc to marry, if they are heterosexual.

    Perhaps the other element to this is definition and tradition. Traditionally marriage has been between a man and a woman. It has also been restricted by age, by religion, by race traditionally.

    Traditionally homosexual sex has been illegal. Religious texts instruct followers to kill homosexuals (and unruly children, and people who work on the Sabbath, or leave their religion etc). Slavery was traditionally accepted. Tradition is no justification against change unless there are valid reasons.

    They key insight for me is this is simply a civil rights issue. So far there have been no compelling non religious arguments against SSM. Is this just a deeply held prejudice like sexism and racism?

    Why should 5% of the population be allowed civil unions but not marriage?

    Like to hear your views
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    Feb 29 2012: I don't think it will damage anything. But:

    Does anyone know if family bathrooms/restrooms will have the traditional sign (with Man, Woman, and child figures) ?
    Or will they change for the politically-correct Man-Man-child OR woman-woman-child OR woman-man-child sign with all options listed visually.

    Everyone should be able to marry whoever they want to be attached to.
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    Feb 29 2012: I propose an experiment. Two islands, separate and incommunicado with one another. Populate one with male-female marriages and the other with an even split of male-male and female-female marriages. Leave them alone for three generations. Perform an exhaustive analysis of the results paying particular attention to genealogy.Hmmm.
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      Feb 29 2012: Thanks Edward. Get your point I think.

      How about putting all candidates same sex and mixed on the same island

      Suggest you'd get the same results as the sum of both seperate islands.

      The ssm will not impact hetero.
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    Feb 28 2012: What is Marriage? What is the essence of marriage? What is Man's principle of operation? A man's principle of operation is Human, to be human is to love. Man is a political (social) animal. This love which characterizes man tends to an end, which is perfect Happiness. This is the object of man's freedom, and the object of his intellect is the Truth. What is the truth about the essence of Marriage? Can the coming together of two people of same sex take them to a perfect happiness, that which has no potency of Becoming? One of the essence of marriage is procreation, reproduction, which is one of the characteristics of living things. This can not be achieve with same sex marriage. Yes, it is unnatural. For the object of the will is the good, that which is desirable. Same sex marriage is not desirable, that is why they need man made laws (societal laws) to protect them. Yes, these (gay) are souls created by God. The society can help them to correct the act, but not to encourage the act. For the laws of the societies are for the common good, reducing evil (absence of good) to minimum.
    • Feb 28 2012: My friend had also objection to the same sex marriage as, according to him, marriage is about having kids. Now I was surprised when later on he did not know if he will have any kids. So on one hand some claim having children is part of marriage but at the same time many do not want to have kids?

      I think the fundamental principle of marriage is love between two people with public commitment.

      By giving same sex people right to be married is not encouragement but rather necessity to make them feel equal.

      Interestingly many same sex couples adopt children from "normal" families, giving them love and family like environment.
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        Feb 29 2012: "They adopt children from "normal" families..........." If every one is gay, who will bring forth the children? We will turn to IVF, making Children products of Laboratory experiments. This is sad, reducing man to a Laboratory's product.
        Normal Families! In other words, same sex married couples' families are not normal families. Do you need a law to make what is abnormal, normal?
        Who made the law for the normal families? Nature
        In other words, gay marriage is unnatural, and it needs no law to make it natural. It is a moral defect that can be corrected by LOVE of God, just like prostitution.
        • Feb 29 2012: In Europe and other developed countries the birth rates are low and lead to population decline. Will you force people to have children because you believe that is the right thing to do?

          IVF is only making sperm and egg to combine. It does not produce children. I don't see anything artificial about it except this very first step.

          Did you know that, for example, dolphins engage in the same sex sexual interaction? Nature has several examples of this. So how do you define "natural"? Is it natural that someone gets born with disability? No because nature is not perfect and nature exhibits range of characteristics and behaviors of the same species.

          A man is an animal as it shares all characteristics, features etc.

          It is immoral to prevent gay people from having the same rights and freedoms. Not the other way around.

          It is also immoral to prevent children to have two loving people taking care of them if their "normal" families abandon them?
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          Mar 1 2012: Mark,

          Who is seriously suggesting SSM is going to make everyone suddenly same sex attracted?

          Homosexuality is everywhere and seems to go back as far as human history. Still the small % of gay people does not seem to have slowed down global population growth. I think your fears are unfounded.

          I think you are implying homosexuality is completely learn behaviour.

          Most the gay people I know were not surrounded or influenced by other gay people. It just became clear at some stage they were more attracted to the same sex. Then there are people who feel they are in the wrong sex body.

          In your opinion Homosexuality is abnormal. That is your opinion.
          It seems pretty normal given there are plenty of same sex attracted people.
          Its not a choice. Its not a disease you catch. It's not a learn trait.

          Same sex couple child adoption is another issue.
          If there is credible evidence that child in SSM are disadvantaged or negatively impacted in some meaningful way, I'd be happy to reassess the rights of SSM couples with the rights of the child.

          Lets think this through. Perhaps the children of poor uneducated parents are more disadvantaged than others. Perhaps the children of drug abusers (including alcohol), criminals and unemployed are more likely to be criminal, take drugs and unemployed. Perhaps single parents or the children or widows/widowers are more disadvantaged.
          This is a slippery slope.

          In Australia during the 50's, 60's, and 70's many unwed mothers were forced to give up their children. Sometimes they were tied up and drugged. Australian Aborigines had their children removed to assimilate them in the past - thinking this is what was best for them.

          Surely loving parents whether same sex or mixed is better than all the abusive parents.

          Perhaps ask the kids
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      Feb 28 2012: Thanks very much Mark.
      I understand this viewpoint.
      I guess we already accept married couple that choose not to have children
      This doesn't seem to impact those who choose to have children.

      We also allow unmarried couples to have children. And this does not seem to impact the married ones,

      My belief is married people are not impacted that much by what other people do.

      Gay people only make up about 5% of the population. I don't think hetroexual couples will be swamped and society will turn upside down.

      I guess part of it is how you fundamentally define marriage. I won't agree definitions. I note we now have female priests in some relgious traditions that were only men. Things can change.

      I just think from a harm perspective, the argument is weak against same sex marriage and it is unfair to force your definitions on others. I certainly wont be forcing gay couples to marry.
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        Feb 29 2012: Hello G M, Truth is truth. It is universal. It is the conformity of the intellect with reality. The intellect is not mine, neither am I the owner of reality. So, I do not have any definition. It is the universal definition, I am talking about. Gay people are 5% of the population, no problem. Married couples are not ready to get children. People are adopting children, Children are now Laboratory product in the name of IVF. Is there any law guiding people to adopt children? If No, why a law for a gay? I am not forcing them to marry, but it is unnatural for a man to be attracted to a man, it is not Man's principle of operation to be attracted to a man. Therefore, it can be corrected by helping them, just the way a Prostitute can be helped from being a Prostitute. These are all moral defects.
        AS to the harms same sex marriage does to families, will be none if all men and women are faithful. There will only be a harm from them if those who are married are not faithful to their marriage vocation. SAME SEX MARRIAGE CAN BE CORRECTED LIKE PROSTITUTION, AND SHOULD NOT BE ENCOURAGE BY LAW.
        And this correction will not come, if they are loved. Love is the correction tool.
        • Feb 29 2012: Mark, homosexuality is neither a defect nor unnatural. Sorry, no matter how disgusting you may find it, that doesn't make it so. Neither is homosexuality a choice. Did you choose to be straight? Could you ever see yourself choosing to be homosexual? Think you could just wake up one day and start being attracted to men?

          You didn't say it was a choice, though. Sorry, that was just kind of implied with the prostitute comment. So let's go back to what you did actually say. "it is unnatural for a man to be attracted to a man". Let me respond with this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

          Many creatures are homosexual. Also, this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13674-evolution-myths-natural-selection-cannot-explain-homosexuality.html

          Food for thought.
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          Mar 1 2012: I know one woman that actively chose to be gay and have met four others that made that choice aswel,i asked all of them did they ever think their life would turn out the way it has,they gave me the same answer.No, they never felt an attraction to the same sex in anyway whatsoever until they met their current partners.

          So was it a choice for them or a quirk in the hormone levels of their mothers when they were carrying them? Off the top of my head i would agree that a good percentage are born gay but it doesn't mean they all are.
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      Feb 29 2012: mark you seem to imply being gay is something to correct. i disagree with you there too.

      also you havent actually said how same sex marriage hurts families.

      interested how you think ssm hurts families.
    • Feb 29 2012: Mark, if the essence if marriage is reproduction, is it impossible that couples unable to have children for medical reasons have happy marriages? Are you saying that no one should be married if they cannot produce children?

      To answer the original poster's question, there are no grounds for the assumption that a contract entered into between two people and the state (that is what marriage is) to give them particular legal rights and responsibilities will affect everyone else entered into a similar contract. Put another way, the things one couple (no matter the sex) decides to do in the bedroom and how they choose to identify themselves because of it have no legitimate impact on what other couples are doing in THEIR bedrooms. Unless of course one of the people in the second couple wants to get involved with the first couple or something. That whole "oppose something because you see it in yourself" chestnut.

      It's basically a case of "My family values start in YOUR bedroom", and it's stupid.
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        Feb 29 2012: Hello Chris, the link is to animal's homosexual behavior. Man is not an animal, and we cant be animals. So, you cant use animals' homosexual behavior as a basis for justifying the act in man. Chris, we are not animals.
        Yes, "the things one couple (no matter the sex) decides to do in the bedroom......................" If it is private, they need no law to back it. It is between them and their conscience and God. I have nothing against what a man is doing in his room, his house. But, for it to become a public affairs, seeking for a law to protect them, to make the contract legitimate is nonsense.
        • Feb 29 2012: Mark, under almost every definition of the word, man is, in fact, an animal. It's a common brainbug that man is somehow separate from other living organisms for a variety of reasons, but we are not. Sorry again. http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Aanimal

          "seeking for a law to protect them, to make the contract legitimate is nonsense."

          Nonsense on what grounds? Your personal disapproval or perhaps bigotry?

          Also, you never answered this:
          Mark, if the essence if marriage is reproduction, is it impossible that couples unable to have children for medical reasons have happy marriages? Are you saying that no one should be married if they cannot produce children?
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          Feb 29 2012: the conversation so far in a nutshell:

          A: homosexuality is unnatural
          B: some animals do it too
          C: but humans are not animals
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      Mar 1 2012: With all the hate, hunger and wars going on out there why can’t we just stop fighting about trivial things as this? Just let people love each other... And yes, let them get married – it won’t change things much.
      Psychologically speaking - a person growing up in a gay environment has the same probability of being gay too as a person growing up in a straight marriage. Last time I checked, most gay people come from straight marriages.
      However, a child growing up in an unsafe environment, not being loved and appreciated will have problems later on... be that a gay or straight family. So let’s focus on creating better generations, and not worry about their sexual orientation.
      Also, being gay does not mean that people who are gay can't have/won't have children. Quite the opposite.
      And who are you are any of us to say that the purpose of everyone’s life is to procreate? It’s the 21st century people. I think it’s high time people realized that the Bible is after all just a book, written by men, it did not fall from the sky or was ‘delivered’ to the human kind in a ‘special’ way. It is a bestseller helping people cope with their existence.
      Just a quick reminder - marriage dates back to paganism (the same is with most of the ideas used by all religions today).
    • Mar 1 2012: Mark, specifically to you, if that is your picture. Race is a social construct as well as is gender. Should people be permitted to discriminate against anyone because of their skin color? Shoudl anyone get to tell any person how they should feel?

      There is no DNA marker for race. Race is a social interpretation of a series of physcial characteristics that can appear in any group of people. Should discrimination for it be permitted?

      There is no DNA marker for homosexualtiy. Sexuality is a social interpretation of a series of physical characteristics that can appear in any group of people. Should discrimination for it be permitted?
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    Feb 28 2012: will equal rights for women ruin the family? that question was asked a few decades ago.
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      Feb 28 2012: Agree.
    • Mar 1 2012: I hardly think that compares Krisztian
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      Mar 1 2012: And heavens forbid a black man and white woman marrying.
      William I suggest there are strong parallels between discrimination based on sexuality and gender, religion (or lack of religion) and race.
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    Feb 28 2012: I disagree on religious grounds

    I haven't seen any evidence that it impacts heterosexual family units.
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      Feb 28 2012: Fair enough Ken
      Suggest you can apply your religion to fellow believers, but not force beliefs on others.
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        Feb 28 2012: Well you did ask G M "Agree or disagree" I get the feeling that people get hesitant around issues that are sensitive? or are waiting for a group consensus? a steady level of "agrees" before they will commit,it's just something i've noticed across different forums and of course the kitchen is always hot.
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          Feb 29 2012: No problem. Probably a bit blunt commenting via the phone.
          Just making the point that perhaps people should apply their faith to themselves. Why should a non Christian have to follow Christian view. No issue if gay Christians don't want to get married.
          But why force that on non Christians.
          There needs to be a non religious rationale or justification against ssm ifa ban is going to be forced on non religious.
          Also I accept no religious/church gay marriage if against their doctrines. But should not ban on non secular marriages.
          IF there was some likely damage to children or society I would reconsider.
          Just seems to impact the status of marriage in some peoples views or conflict with their relgious views.