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Pro/Con: Con same-sex marriage



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June 10, 2014 | 03:36 PM
The institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as between a man and a woman. In the Oct. 15, 1971, decision Baker v. Nelson, the Supreme Court of Minnesota found that “The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis.”

Allowing gay couples to wed will further weaken the institution of marriage. Traditional marriage is already threatened with high divorce rates (between 40 percent and 50 percent) and with 40.6 percent of babies being born to unmarried mothers in 2008. As argued by Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, “In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs... Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the culmination of this revisionism, and it would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds.”

Gay marriage could potentially lead down a “slippery slope” giving people in polygamous, incestuous, bestial and other nontraditional relationships the right to marry.

Glen Lavy, JD, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, argued in a May 21, 2008, Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, “The movement for polygamy and polyamory is poised to use the successes of same-sex couples as a springboard for further de-institutionalizing marriage.” In April 2013, Slate published a plea for legal polygamy by writer Jillian Keenan: “Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less ‘correct’ than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults.”

People should not have their tax dollars used to support something they believe is wrong. Gay marriage would entitle gay couples to typical marriage benefits including claiming a tax exemption for a spouse, receiving social security payments from a deceased spouse, and coverage by a spouse’s health insurance policy. On Dec. 17, 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost to the federal government of extending employment benefits to same-sex domestic partners of certain federal employees (making no mention of additional costs such as Social Security and inheritance taxes) would be $596 million in mandatory spending and $302 million in discretionary spending between 2010 and 2019.

Gay marriage may lead to more children being raised in same-sex households, which are not an optimum environment because children need both a mother and father. Girls who are raised apart from their fathers are reportedly at higher risk for early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Children without a mother are deprived of the emotional security and unique advice that mothers provide. An Apr. 2001 study published in American Sociological Review suggesed that children with lesbian or gay parents are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior. In the 1997 book Growing up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development, Fiona Tasker, PhD, and Susan Golombok, PhD, observed that 25 percent of sampled young adults raised by lesbian mothers had engaged in a homoerotic relationship, compared to 0 percent of sampled young adults raised by heterosexual mothers.

Gay marriage will accelerate the assimilation of gays into mainstream heterosexual culture to the detriment of the homosexual community. The gay community has created its own vibrant culture. By reducing the differences in opportunities and experiences between gay and heterosexual people, this unique culture may cease to exist.

The institution of marriage is sexist and oppressive; it should not be expanded but weakened. Paula Ettelbrick, JD, Professor of Law and Women’s Studies, wrote in 1989, “Marriage runs contrary to two of the primary goals of the lesbian and gay movement: the affirmation of gay identity and culture and the validation of many forms of relationships.” The leaders of the Gay Liberation Front in New York said in July 1969, “We expose the institution of marriage as one of the most insidious and basic sustainers of the system. The family is the microcosm of oppression.”

Same-sex marriage has undermined the institution of marriage in Scandinavia. Sweden began offering same-sex couples benefits in 1987, followed by Denmark in 1989 and Norway in 1993. According to a Feb. 29, 2004 report by Stanley Kurtz, PhD, from 1990 to 2000, Norway’s out-of-wedlock birthrate rose from 39 percent to 50 percent and Sweden’s rose from 47 percent to 55 percent. Unmarried parenthood in Denmark rose 25 percent during the 1990s, and approximately 60 percent of first born Danish children have unmarried parents. As Kurtz states, “Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia.”

Marriage is a privilege, not a right. Society can choose to endorse certain types of sexual arrangements and give support in the form of benefits to these arrangements. Marriage was created to allow society to support heterosexual couples in procreation and society can choose not to give the same benefits to same-sex couples.

Marriage is a religious rite between one man and one woman. According to a July 31, 2003 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II, marriage “was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman…”

Gay marriage is incompatible with the beliefs, sacred texts, and traditions of many religious groups. The Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church, Islam, United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, National Association of Evangelicals, and American Baptist Churches USA all oppose same-sex marriage. Expanding marriage to include same-sex couples may lead to churches being forced to marry couples and children being taught in school that same-sex marriage is the same as opposite-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue, and conflating the issue with interracial marriage is misleading. Matthew D. Staver, JD, Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, explained: “The unifying characteristics of the protected classes within the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include (1) a history of longstanding, widespread discrimination, (2) economic disadvantage, and (3) immutable characteristics... ‘Sexual orientation’ does not meet any of the three objective criteria shared by the historically protected civil rights categories.”

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