Sunday, June 15, 2008

Love and Marriage


[Weekend rant. Homophobics and those uncomfortable with their own sexuality ought not read further.]

During training, in San Francisco, our landlords were Dan and Del, a couple who'd been together for several years, and who remained together for another twenty-five or more, until Del died. Loving, thoughtful, and kind, they were the best landlords ever; eventually we bought the house we'd been renting from them, and they gave us a great deal. Terrific guys. We visited them whenever we returned to SF. I talked to Dan recently, not long after Del had died, in his seventies I think.

Here are a few things that I consider inarguable.

First: By logic, and by mounting scientific evidence, sexual preference is largely determined by genetics or other biologic factors. (Logic = in a society that discriminates and harasses and to a large extent reviles, who'd choose to be gay?) I recognize there's a spectrum, and that people at all points on the spectrum are capable of experimentation. But for most -- and especially those committed enough to choose to marry -- it seems beyond obvious that homosexuality is not a matter of choice. Corollary: You can't catch gay. Additional corollary: if you think your god considers gays sinners, it seems he's the one making them, which says more about your god than about gays.

Second: For all of recorded history, in every culture, in every religion, in every country, there have been homosexuals. It's part of life. (And considering their contributions, a very positive part of it.)

Third: There is no argument against gay rights other than religious. In order to oppose gay rights, you have to believe one thing that's demonstrably wrong, and another that's unproveable; that is, you have to believe both that homosexuality is a choice, and that it is an abomination in the eyes of your particular version of the Person- or Persons-in-the-Sky. But on this planet there are lots of views of the sky-people and what they do and don't want. One is entitled to one's, but not to foist it on others. "Defense of Marriage" is a bogus argument of the bumper sticker variety: I've seen no discussion, nor any attempt to have one, other than simple declaration, that explains why my heterosexual marriage of thirty-seven years is in any way threatened or diminished in value if gays are allowed to marry. None. What evidence there is on the subject is to the contrary: in Massachusetts there has been no decline in heterosexual marriage since gay marriage was approved. The same is true in countries that allow it. (The opposite, in fact, seems to be the case.) Which is, of course, exactly as expected: there simply is no line that can be drawn between allowing gays to marry and the decline of heterosexual marriage. Nor need it be said: heterosexual marriage has been on the decline for decades; gay marriage appears only recently.

Fourth: Lots of good-hearted people feel uncomfortable about and around homosexuals. Many religions, in fact, seem in very large measure predicated on dealing with sexual discomfort of all sorts. Hide women. Separate them from men. Marry a bunch of them and keep them silent. Sexual pleasure is sinful. Especially the personal kind. Religious mores, as they apply to sexuality, seem based on repression, which in turn is based on fear of one's own sexuality, displaced on others.

I don't like anything about brussels sprouts. I don't even like looking at them. Yet it doesn't threaten me that others do; nor do I feel the need for a law to keep others from eating them. From a secular point of view, there is no reason to oppose gay marriage. It has no impact on society, one way or the other. Objections are based on religion, or on personal discomfort, neither of which are the business of civil law. Unless it can be shown that gay marriage is in some way a threat to our country (it can't), there is no justification for passing laws to prevent it. (Asking questions about gay adoption is legitimate, I'd say; but it's a separate issue. It's fair to ask if there's harm to kids living in a gay household. But the evidence is to the contrary. Which is also intuitive: growing up in a love-filled home ought to be good for any kid. (How many kids are in homes where they're not wanted?) And since sexual preference is biologic, it would be expected to have no impact on that of the child. Questions? Sure. Grow up more tolerant? The horror! Moreover, the logical extension of preventing it would be to forbid lesbian women from having babies. I'd think even religious conservatives would recoil from the state mandating who can bear children. Right? Right?...)

Among the oft-heard and stupid phrases one hears in the public square, at or near the top of the list is "the homosexual agenda." (Although, recently, "terrorist fist jab" has a special sort of transcendent lunacy that's hard to top.) It's freighted with hatred and fear, and implicit misunderstanding. Those who use the phrase, it seems to me, must be a little uncertain about their own sexuality: afraid they might be susceptible. After all, those who doth protest too much... That there is an "agenda" at all is pretty laughable, other than the desire to have the same civil rights as everyone else. Or is there something more sinister? Laws outlawing bad fashion? Outing closet thespians? Seems to me wanting an end to harassment and the right to marry hardly qualifies as an agenda. Unless breathing does, too.

Two adults love each other. They want to marry. Where's the harm? If a church doesn't approve of gay marriage, it shouldn't perform them. If you don't like gay marriage, don't do it.

Stick that on your bumper!

Oh. And happy Fathers' Day, GDad and GPop.

46 comments:

ER's Mom said...

Thank-you for expressing beautifully what many people think.

rlbates said...

Ditto er's mom. To take it farther, I don't understand why gay couples can't foster/adopt children. Isn't having someone to love and care for a child a good thing?

Devorrah said...

I couldn't agree more. There are several gay people in my family, and I wondered if one of my sons would be gay (not even close). I would have loved them no matter, of course. I tell them that all the intolerant rednecks get the gay sons, and what do I get--straight kids!

Sid Schwab said...

ramona: in many states, they can. Far as I know.

devorrah: good one!

Tanya said...

How can a committed relationship between 2 people, whether gay or straight, be a bad thing for society? If 2 people choose to care for and support each other, doesn't that make us as a society stronger? And remember-it hasn't been so far back in our history that interacial marriages were unacceptable. We seem to have weathered that one without the collapse of our society.

Anonymous said...

2 gay people got married here last week, and I've been noticing more potholes in the streets ever since...

*rolls eyes*

Great post!

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, and with all of your commenters here.

The thing that disturbs me most is that people are using petition to amend the constitution to remove a right of other people. The U.S. Bill of Rights were written to protect the people from the government, and it is a gross misuse of government to decide based on religious belief who we can and cannot have for a committed life partner.

I don't think that genetic predisposition towards homosexuality should be considered a necessary argument for the defeat of the California initiative to the amendment. Choosing is a right that should at last be recognized 219 years after the adoption of the United States Constitution. The Cal Supreme Court finally recognized that the laws against gay marriage are no more based on society's needs than were the "anti-miscegenation" laws.

Marrying the one you love is not a "special right."

The "gay agenda" is freedom.

scalpel said...

Your article presents many illogical assumptions as fact. "Why would anyone choose to be gay?" you ask. Therefore homosexuality must be genetic, you state. And your assumption that any opposition to gay "marriage" must be based upon religious reasons is similarly off base.

Why would anyone choose to deform themselves with a hundred facial piercings, or a facial tattoo? Are those decisions genetic as well?

There are many people who don't fit into "normal" society, and they often find a group of like-minded individuals to join. More power to them, I say - let them "marry" whoever they want or tattoo their faces to their hearts' content, but the government doesn't have to sanction their lifestyle quirks.

In my view, homosexuality is mostly genetic, sort of like a dysfunctional mutation, but as you said, there is likely a spectrum of interdependent factors with bisexuals being an example of the center of the spectrum.

Perhaps affected individuals would be more likely to have their "marriages" being officially government-approved if homosexuality were considered a genetic defect (disability) under the ADA. I haven't seen many folks championing that option, though.

Sid Schwab said...

scalpel: wow.

scalpel said...

Sorry to break up your little Kumbaya party, but someone had to.

Sid Schwab said...

It's not that I mind contrary opinions. I do, of course, perfer that they are less wrong, as a matter of discourse. Like suggesting I said that "therefore homosexuality must be genetic." And it gets wronger from there. But I don't mind. Really, I don't. It's just that I like to be able to breathe after reading comments.

rlbates said...

Sid, here in Arkansas the debate continues about gay couples or individuals being allowed to foster care children or adopt.

jb said...

You can say that “there is no argument against gay rights other than religious,” and you did, and it’s your blog. And I can say that you are evil because you don’t think that Brussels sprouts are delicious, And I would be wrong about that. You are a good enough writer to state your case without the tired attempts to discredit opposing arguments by simply declaring them non-existent.
My argument against “gay rights” is that it’s not an argument against gay rights as such. Homosexuals have no more and no fewer rights than heterosexuals in the USA. Every unmarried adult in the USA has the right to marry any other unmarried adult of the opposite sex at any time, with mutual consent. Same rights to vote, enter contracts, own property, everything else. This argument is about same sex marriage, not gay rights.
Marriage exists, in my opinion, to perpetuate the human species in the optimal fashion. Humanity would not die out in the absence of marriage, as the sexual urge is strong enough to cause women, voluntarily or not, to become impregnated, and have enough offspring survive to keep us from dying out. The institution of marriage allows reproduction to occur in an organized fashion, with a man and woman providing care and protection for their children to allow a better life for all.
It doesn’t always work out like this, of course. Lots of marriages end up in divorce, usually but not always to the detriment of the kids. Yes, a very small number of homosexual couples adopt or otherwise produce kids, and lots of older folks marry who are incapable of reproducing. Still, the majority of marriages do end up with children, and I believe that in the majority of cases, these children do better in intact families.
The traditional family has taken a beating in recent years, and likely represents a minority of households, but its decline has paralleled, and I believe, resulted in the deterioration of society that has occurred over the past half century. I have nothing against homosexuals enjoying the same rights as everyone else, as they do. I do object to another pillar of society being cheapened and degraded to make a small minority of people, of what ever sexual preference, feel better.
You may ask what harm it does if two men marry. The harm is not that two men get married; the harm is that they may get married. Marriage means literally nothing if any two people can enter into it. Why can’t I marry my brother if he has a better health plan? Why not my mother? - it would greatly simplify estate planning. What if I want to marry Lisa and Marie? - they’re both really hot and both want to marry me because I’m a rich doctor, and they don’t mind sharing.
Marriage should be preserved for people who can produce and optimize the raising of children. It’s a special status. Others can sign a contract or enter into a “civil union.”

As for “If you don't like gay marriage, don't do it,” or it’s analog, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one,” my response is “If you think owning a slave is evil, don’t own one.”

Sid Schwab said...

jb: okay, I should have said there are no cogent arguments other than religious. Yours fail in a number of ways. The most obvious, of course, is the procreation bit. You identify one of the problems yourself. The other is that homosexuals are not going to marry heterosexually and produce children anyway, so their marriage does nothing to decrease the gene pool. Yes there are some cases of gays marrying heterosexually and having kids and then getting divorced. Which is hardly the stable marriage you'd like to see, and represents a small number of the whole.

And, as I stated in my post, simply to state that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that gay marriage in some way "degrades" marriage is not to prove it. Far from it. "Marriage means literally nothing...." is simply a declaration without basis. I'm happy in mine, a little proud that it's lasted 37 years and counting, and I feel in no way diminished by the fact that on the other side of the country (or, hopefully, right here) people of the same sex enter into it. If you feel somehow diminished, I guess you could divorce (assuming you're married.) But it seems sort of a shame.

To argue that gays already have the right to marry as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex is to argue that misegenation laws were fine in that blacks and whites could marry as long as they didn't marry each other. The right to marry heterosexually, obviously, is not what they're asking for. So to argue that it should suffice is silly.

The final analogy, about slaves, is such a logical pretzelling that I won't deconstruct it. But I imagine if you think about it you'll see the fallacy.

Tanya said...

jb-you said,"marriage exists in my opinion to perpetuate the human species in the optimal fashion."
My husband and I have been married for 32 years and are childless, not because we are physically incapable of reproducing but because we chose not to. So, according to your reasoning, we should never have been allowed to marry, since we refuse to procreate? Isn't that a pretty narrow view of what marriage means?

Anonymous said...

Sid,

Agree with your post overall except for one fallacy - opposition to homosexuality is not always necessary based on religion. Witness the former Soviet Union - an avowed atheistic state, that nontheless had the penchant for imprisioning gays in psychiatric hospitals.

It may be a more accurate statement to say that conservative societies frequently have problems with homosexuality... it's not just a religion thing.

Other than that, I agree with your post overall. If we are a civil society with equal protection of the laws for all, then either homosexuals need to be afforded the exact same legal benefits that accrue to heretos who marry, or those benefits should be removed from the heterosexuals, and marriage should be nothing more than a religious ceremony.

Sid Schwab said...

anonymous 6:06, I think you're right; maybe I should have said "in the US..." or in "modern times." I did include, later in the post, the idea of personal discomfort, which probably informs some of the Soviet attitude; also, there were various state-sponsored psychiatric "diagnoses" directed at people felt to be a threat to their authority. At some level they did consider homosexuality a psychiatric disease, and they were not alone in the world in that.

George Smiley said...

Ah... incandescent brilliance that those of us who teach premeds get out of bed for:

"Marriage should be preserved for people who can produce and optimize the raising of children. It’s a special status."

He's saying that we should deny marriage privileges to the infertile and the postmenopausal.

Patrick said...

Query: Isn't there a VERY strong conservative argument for gay marriage that essentially says "What I do inside my home is none of the government's goddam business"?

Shouldn't small-government people like Scalpel be in favor of *less* regulation inside the holy castle of the American home?

Shouldn't he be freaked out by suggestions JB's which (as I read it) argued that because married people procreate, the STATE should control who gets married?

Of course he should. We all should!

But the blather for and against this issue almost never touch on what actually upsets people. Procreation? Come on. Is that really the policy point on which this whole issue turns? Procreation?

Framing people's passion over this issue in terms of intellectual/policy discussions is such a mind-boggling load of crap. And notwithstanding the tenacity of the folks who work so hard to cook that crap, or the glee with which many people swallow it, I continue to believe you can't polish a turd,

People fall into two camps on the gay marriage question. Camp A, where Sid lives, is made up of people who feel that in the totality of te circumstances they are are more like gays than are different. This point of view sees legal distinctions as illusory at best and destructive at worst. Camp B, where (presumably) Scalpel lives thinks gays are mostly different and sees the legal distinctions as maintaining something important. (Or "sanctimonious," or whatever the buzz-word is.) The fight about marriage is not about procreation or whether civil unions are adequate as a matter of logic, or any other inapposite political blather -- it is about making the decision to reinforce perceptions of "other," or tear them down.

That is the complete extent of the "values" on which this debate supposedly turn: do we want to live in a society made up of us and them, or us and us? It's shameful to live in a political climate that actually thinks there may be more than one answer to that question.

Patrick said...

. . . just like it's shameful to live in a society whose more educated members forget to perform a basic proofread!

;)

Apologies for the typographical messes above.

Sid Schwab said...

Patrick: typos or no, much better said than I did! Getting to the nubbin, like a lawyer ought.

Sid Schwab said...

And, of course, there are LOTS of things going on now about which conservatives, of all people, ought to be enraged. Presidents claiming the ability to imprison anyone by declaring them an enemy, with no need to make the case. Deficits. Were these things being seen under the aegis of a Democrat, conservatives would, as night follows day, be up in arms, impeachment papers a-wavin.' Which is why "change" is needed in our body politic. But I digress.

scalpel said...

I don't care what they do in their own homes. They can be best buddies, they can cohabitate, they can share financial arrangements, they can even approximate intercourse in various fashions (or not).

But it's still not marriage. People who want it to be so are in the distinct minority. Heck, even California will probably vote it down (again). The concept of gay marriage has been soundly defeated in every state that put it on the ballot. It's not discrimination, it's nature.

jb said...

A group of nuns could get together and decide that I am their Mother Superior. They could really believe that and fervently support me in that position, but outside that small group, few would view me, a Jewish man, as a Mother Superior.
Words matter. That's why I made the point above about "gay rights," vs. "same sex marriage."
I don't know exactly when marriage evolved, but it dates back several thousand years, at least to biblical times. When I was growing up in the 50s, nothing had changed about the concept of marriage over those millenia- woman+man united until death parts them. Divorce was rare in most strata of society, same sex marriage laughable. Fast forward to today, a mere half century later. Divorce is the rule, not the exception. A noisy minority insists that the gender of the participants is irrelevant. As Scalpel points out, even in "progressive" California, it doesn't sit well with the majority. No matter. The judges will redefine what society thinks it needs to survive.
Where do I apply for that Mother Superior position? There must be a court somewhere that will decree that the Catholic church is a place of public accommodation, and that discriminating on the basis of religion is unlawful, as is discriminating on the basis of gender. I'm a two-fer.
Now you're being ridiculous, you will say.
Pot, meet kettle. Slope, meet slippery.
Standing athwart history...

Silverstar said...

Marriage tied to procreation is a creation of the patriarchy. Until men figured out that they had something to do with the production of a child, and wanted to make sure it was theirs, I doubt marriage existed. I doubt it would exist as the conservatives dream of it if women could support children on their own, and I believe that is one reason that society continues to underpay women.
Having said that, I think marriage should be separated from partnership. If the state wants to grant all the rights of marriage to domestic partners of whatever shape or form, it should do so. If the churches don't want to marry any couple except a man and a woman, that is their perogative. Many people, especially the elderly in this state and others, opt for domestic partnerships because marriage would screw up their finances. I just think the gubmint should get out of the marriage business, and just grant domestic partnerships.
My brother has been with his partner for 32 years now. The state he lives in has a constitutional amendment that states marriage is between a man and a woman. My marriage, the longest in my family, lasted 21 years. And I never did "procreate" in that time. Maybe they should just quit giving married people special privileges, like filing joint returns.

Patrick said...

I am so confused.

"Marriage evolved" . . . ?

Huh?

If marriage "evolved," then how on earth could a judicial opinion affect its existence or the nature of what it is? That is like saying that a judicial opinion, by itself, could threaten the integrity of our pancreases.

Marriage didn't evolve. It isn't a feature of our bodies and behavior that improves fitness. We have evolved many such features -- e.g, one of them is called called vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman. But that's not marriage.

"Marriage" in a strict sense is a formal union. "Formal" means recognized by the by the State. Who the state recognizes in their union is a separate question from evolution, God's will, procreation, etc.

You bring up California. The California Supreme Court was asked whether the words of the California State Constitution precluded same sex marriage, as had been assumed all along. After careful scrutiny, that Court concluded that currently, as drafted, the language of that constitution is not sufficiently specific to limit the formal, state sanctioned, legal category of "marriage" to between only men and women.

That has nothing to do with evolution or procreation or what God intended, and as proof I point out that the opinion (the majority opinion) was written by one of the most conservative justices on the Court. It is merely a matter of analysis and interpretation. Posters above do point out correctly that the issue will be on the ballot in California. But the ballot question will not be "Californians, were the justices wrong?" The ballot question will ask to revise the language of the state constitution such that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. And whether Californians decide to rewrite that part of the constitution (which is actually not a forgone conclusion -- as issues become more heated, voter turnout makes the state vote farther and farther to the left) will come down, ultimately, to the question "are gays mostly like the rest of us, or mostly different?"

The answer to that question seems pretty simple to me. There are differences between us. But they are not the kinds of differences the government should be busying itself over.

mibsphil said...

Bravo, Sid!!!
(And every day I think about how proud I am to live in Massachusetts!)

George Smiley said...

"When I was growing up in the 50s, nothing had changed about the concept of marriage over those millenia- woman+man united until death parts them."

It is safe to say that this person does not know diddly squat about the history of marriage in western culture. It is also safe to say that he knows even less about marriage in other cultures. If he did, he would not suggest that the insitution of marriage was essentially static across cultures and across thousands of years.

Like so many, he's incompetent, and unware of it.

a feminist pre-med said...

I agree with George. "Marriage, A History" by Stephanie Coontz, a notable feminist historian, documents the evolution of marriage. The "traditional marriage" touted by conservatives was a blip in history during the 1950s.

Also, Gayle Rubin's "The Traffic in Sex" does a great job in explaining the social function of marriage and kinship ties in relation to sex/gender systems.

Sid Schwab said...

scalpel: I think you're right about California. It doesn't change my point, which is that the reasons are religious and personal discomfort. I think I'm right about that. I don't expect to be able to influence you, or California, and certainly not jb who prefers silly straw-man arguments. The good news is that polls indicate (yes, I think polls are bullshit quite often, especially when I disagree with them) indicate the younger generation cares much less about what gays do than the older, and gay rights will inevitably happen. So I recognize my views are not widely enough held to take hold for now; it doesn't make my argument wrong. It IS about religion and discomfort; and there is NO argument that demonstrates a "danger" to the institution of marriage if gays are allowed in.

jb: see above.

silverstar: I think your point about separation is an interesting one. Marriage, ceremonially, seems largely religious based; full legal partnership is not. Which is sort of like my saying that if a church doesn't want to marry gays, they need not and ought not. But there's no state interest in denying fully equal legal partnership that we understand as coming with marriage.

gay CME guy said...

Sid:

I'm no longer a 'religious' man, but I have to say, "AMEN", and thanks, from one of the 'MOs who hopes to see the laws righted in this nation in my lifetime.
I have the argument all too often that civil rights are NOT special rights. I won't drone on, as most everything I'd say had already been said, other than, Scalpel, it's people like you who scare me.
Devorrah, Would you like to 'adopt' this gay son? ;)

Thanks for the post Sid. As a friend's father (who was a minister) once said to us about gay rights and the church, "It's not going to move forward very far until the heterosexuals take up and lead the battle." While it angered and disheartened me at the time (~20 years ago) I came to see the truth in his statement. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to change homophobic laws and institutions.

Devorrah said...

To Gay CME Guy: Sure! I only gave birth to two sons, but I have five who call me Mom (foster sons, past and present). Being a parent is more about love, constancy and acceptance, rather than just gestation and lactation. I tease my sons all the time about my disappointment in their heterosexuality (-: Seriously and sadly, though, their lives will be much easier because they are straight.

egomosperficio said...

well written, sid. i share your views on brussel sprouts, by the way. don't worry, eventually the usa will come around and sanction gay marriages. i believe it is inevitable. contrary to what the conservatives always say, it won't wreck your society. we canadians have been doing just fine, thank you.

Camilla said...

Wasn't there recent research hinting at a large gestational, rather than genetic factor in male homosexuality? Essentially, that if a women bears multiple sons, the younger are more likely to be gay, regardless of whether they are raised in the same family.

The details don't really matter as far as the politics go, of course (and thank you for such a civilized take on it), I was just surprised to see multiple people chime in with the "got to be genetic" line.

GDad said...

Doctor Schwab,

Please accept my sincere gratitude not only for your wonderful post, but also for the well wishes. I'm honored to be recognized by such a dignitary. I hope someday to visit the left coast and make your acquaintance in person. I'll buy the first round.

GDad

gay CME guy said...

I remember reading about the study Camilla mentions, but I didn't save the reference or the article. For the record, I'm the third of 3 sons.

Sid Schwab said...

Yes. And I guess I was a little sloppy in my statement that it's about genetics. So I amended it to "genetics or other biologic factors."

Anonymous said...

Well, given that the divorce rate for "straight" people is at least 50%, gay marriages can hardly do worse.

Rico said...

Scalpel: you do recall the neoconservative demigod Dick Cheney has an abomination of a lesbian daughter, correct? If she were to wish to be married to her partner of many years, do you think the Dark Lord would disapprove?

Oh my.

Is this a heady logical argument to make? Of course not, it's silly, much like trying to remain in a "Father Knows Best" ideal fantasy world of a mom, dad, and 2.5 kid household being what's best. Procreation will occur because man as a species will do what it needs to do to survive, with or without the Family Research Council or Planned Parenthood.

Government sanctioning of homosexual marriage costs less by making all marriages equal and transparent rather than making one kind of marriage one way legally and civil unions abide by a different set of laws, etc.

Conservatives just don't want to have to deal with uncomfortable questions like, "Why does Timmy have two daddies?" or "How do two mommies make a baby?"

In almost every state, after a heterosexual couple cohabitates for a period of time (and meets certain requirements), they are considered "commonlaw married" even though they've never been officially married by clergy or justice. Yet conservatives would argue that homosexuals who are willing to appear before both to do the same are still in an inferior position legally than those who haven't even bothered. Give me a break.

Rico said...

Oh and Scalpel's ADA argument combined with the summation that it's not discrimination, it's nature?

Homosexuality *IS* nature. You'd think it would have been selected against to extinction serving no purpose to the gene pool, yet it remains in almost every sexually reproducing species, albeit in the minority.

So in the minority, what harm is there? Think of it as giving the retarded kid a job at Wal-Mart if you must. He's happy, feels productive, and while yes, you can argue that the skills of the Ivy League cashiers are being devalued, as a collective it's OK...the workforce will remain in equilibrium in the face of a few pro bono handouts. Just trying to speak in terms of your analogies, that's all.

scalpel said...

Down's syndrome is nature too, but grocery stores don't have to give affected individuals the store manager job.

Sid Schwab said...

scalpel: I hope you were chuckling when you wrote that. Otherwise, well,...... yikes.

scalpel said...

All jokes have at least a kernel of truth behind them.

If homosexuality is exclusively genetic (which is doubtful) then it must be a dysfunctional mutation like Down's, because there is obviously no evolutionary benefit from homosexuality. If one believes in evolution, that is.

Being a sharp dresser and a fan of show tunes doesn't help one pass on one's DNA to future generations.

Sid Schwab said...

"there is obviously no evolutionary benefit from homosexuality."

Actually, that's not necessarily true. I'm quite sure you've read Dawkins' "The God Delusion," right? In it he discusses the "side-effects" (not his term) of certain mutations as being of benefit. I won't re-hash it because I'm certain you have it underlined and highlighted in your copy.

Also, as you know, biological explanations for homosexuality are not limited to "genetic."

But the bottom line is this: neither you nor anyone else has come up with something other than a declarative statement why same-sex marriage is a danger to society. You just don't like the idea, and, by clear inference, you are made quite uncomfortable by the idea of homosexuality. Fine. Entitled, are you. But if you are willing to accept even the remote possibility that most gays have no choice in their own sexual orientation (or even if you aren't), you still ought to be able to come up with something other than your own revulsion as a reason why it's harmful, even if you hate it.

scalpel said...

I have no revulsion toward gay people but admittedly some dislike of some of their activities. That's also how I feel about liberals in general, pretty much.

Same-sex "marriage" doesn't have to be a "danger to society" for the concept to be rejected by me or the other 70% of Americans who disagree with you. I'm actually more liberal than most, since I accept the concept of civil unions with most of the same benefits of marriage, but I wouldn't give them any tax breaks. Heck, why not tax them even more for the opportunity. Liberals love taxes, right?

Leigh said...

Scalpel:

"Biracial 'marriage' doesn't have to be a 'danger to society' for the concept to be rejected by me or the other 70% of Americans who disagree with you. I'm actually more liberal than most, since I accept the concept of shacking up with most of the same benefits of marriage, but I wouldn't give them any tax breaks."

There, fixed that for you. Do you now get even the beginnings of an idea about why you're wrong?

And btw, I have no revulsion toward conservative people but admittedly some dislike of some of their activities.

Leigh