T Nation

Gay Marriage


I was wondering if anyone could help me out here...wait, bad start considering the topic. :slight_smile: Seriously, though, I understand why people would be opposed to homosexual matrimonial unions, but what is the legal defense of a ban on gay marriage (an amendment has been proposed, I believe)? I just don't see how that's a viable position.


I think the most legal reason,that I can think of, is that it blurs the line as far as insurance, taxes and what is a legal marriage by definition. I think that their reasoning is simple. They don't want things to get out of hand. Maybe they are scared of topics like, who pays for sex change operations? Can gay couples claim adopted kids on their taxes and things of that nature.


Marriage began in the Middle Ages, like most things back then, to preserve property rights, namely land. By having a legal marriage, all children born of that marriage could inherit property, but illegitimate children could not. It was a way to keep land "in the family." Marriage was based on economic necessity. Since the Catholic Church was pretty influential in the Middle Ages, they figured they'd up the ante by making marriage a sacrament and telling people that divorce was a sin, thus ensuring that property rights remained stable. Over time, marriage took on a religious significance as a sacred union between a man and woman.

They point of this lesson in legal history:

If you're religious, then the only proper union that a Divine Being would recognize would be that between a man and woman, and any other type of union is unholy and immoral. Thus, the government should encourage the moral behavior as opposed to the immoral.

If you take the view that marriage is for economic necessity, then the purpose of marriage is to have children and provide for those children. This way, if one spouse decides to take time off of work, they children and the stay-at-home spouse are the legal dependents of the working spouse and would be entitled to health insurance, etc. If one spouse dies, the surviving spouse has certain rights to make sure that that spouse and the children are protected financially. Since persons of the same sex cannot procreate, there is no need for this type of relationship to have the legal protections of marriage.


Mikethebear...marriage came well before the middle ages. Just read your Old Testament and the history of Israel. It was instituted by God Himself..

Homosexual marriage is an oxymoron.


Oh man, I wonder if this is going to turn nasty. . .?

For the record I think gay marriage is a good thing and should be supported by the government. To do otherwise is an attempt to legislate morality which is both wrong and invariably doomed to failure.



Just to clarify my last statement. That's in relation to government sanctioning of marriages.

Religions are of course free to do as they see fit and I'll not get involved in that aspect of the argument.



PTR, make an attempt to understand that NOT ALL OF US take the Bible literally. It's a FAITH, of which I personally differ significantly. That you insist upon shoveling it in every possible direction is an annoyance that has no place in this forum.



True, Jared. True.

Even though I completely disagree with the homosexual lifestyle due to endless reasons, it is a free country. Besides, everything else here is going to Hell, isn't it?

It's up to the family unit to pick up the slack anyway. It's pointless to rely on government to establish moral and ethical standards. But that's a whole other issue. :wink:

As Sam Cooke says, "a change gonna come."


There's no logical reason to stop gay couples from marrying.

With regard to property rights:
Whether both parties are male or female [or one or 'tother, or animal, vegetable or mineral for that matter]both parties will have property that requires some form of protection under the law [modern law].

It's anachronistic to present the middle ages and/ or the religious context of the period as reasons.

Firstly, you have to remember that the law has changed from the middle ages where women, and indeed most men were not only expressly forbidden from holding property, but were, in most cases, little better than property themselves. This is no longer the case, for in our Western, democratic, cpaitalist society anyonre can hold, or is entitled to hold property under the law, unless they have transgressed under the same law to the point where they are no longer allowed to hold property.

There are no laws that say Homosexuals can't hold property, therefore both partners in a relationship are entitled to the same protection. I know that in NZ, same-sex relationships of a de-facto nature, are protected under the law with regard to property rights a marriage of same should operate under the same fabric - unless of course you make it illegal for homosexuals to hold property.

Let's cast the religious stuff aside for a second. With all due respect to the various religions, they don't represent all interests or all people and in expecting people to hold to those values in a pluralistic society they marginalise themselves.

The institution of marriage has changed dramatically in the past few centuries, nowadays it is more about love and commitment and all that other good stuff. By saying that Gays legally can't marry, you are essentially denying them the same level of humanity and access to normal human feeling and expression as enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Marriage is a socially recognised institution, people seem to froget that Gays/ Lesbians etc, for all that their orientation is different still have a need and indeed a desire to live within society, legally making such an act impossible is simply another form of social ostracism.
[I'll get off my soapbox now]


Yeah wasn't Mary almost stoned to death for getting Prego before her marriage?


I just don't see how our nation, or any nation, can see homosexual marriages as legally different from hetero marriages. It's just a legal bond between two people. While many would consider the union highly immoral, is it a government's right to dictate our morality, as far as consensual activities are concerned? Saying homosexuals can't get married won't keep them from being homosexuals, and could even lead to more promiscuity, as there is no legal reason for couples to stay together.

Many homoesexuals strongly desire the advantages that married couples have. If my wife or I were infertile, does that then take away the right for us to get married? I don't think a couple's decision or ability to have children should exclude them from the legal protections that marriage affords.

And I don't see a slippery slope of any kind for allowing homosexual marriages. It really would change nothing about our current marriage system. We would still have two, and only two, adult humans joining each other in matrimony. I don't see the harm, legally, no matter what I believe morally.


I think that many will make the argument that homosexuals tend to have more partners more frequently than heterosexuals do. A lesbian friend of mine referred to this as 'u-haul syndrome' in lesbians... immediately move in, act like you're married, and break up 6 months later.

Of course, an easy way around this would be to ammend local laws so that no one could claim the legal benefits of marriage beyond a certain number of times. That is, I can marry, say, three times, and expect that my employer's insurance will cover each wife/husband successively. After three times, any future wives/husbands would not be entitled to the legal benefits of marriage, though we could be officially 'married.' Make sense?

In my opinion, things are worse as they are... to appear 'sensitive,' many companies offer insurance to 'same sex couples,' without distinguishing based on duration. That is, if I were a gay man, any of my boyfriends could be insured by the company I work for, but as a straight man, my girlfriends wouldn't get jack. Obviously, policies differ between companies, but a formalized, limited system of laws for marriage would probably be better for everyone.

And then there are the people like PtrDr, who want to legislate morality. For shame.


No, its wrong and inmoral they have rights but not this one. Only, man and women should marry.


nephorm, I see what you're saying, but I think that's exactly why homosexual marriages would be a benefit to our society, and gay culture in general. Homosexual boys and girls (who know they are) don't grow up thinking about marriage. And when they're old enough to start making sexual decisions, what's wrong with living with a man for 6 months, then deciding that it's not a good idea?

There's no moral or legal advantage for homosexual couples to stay together. Providing a legal union would make homosexuals think longer about getting married (they use the term now, but more loosely), as a divorce would be quite a hassle. Plus, homosexuals never have to worry about prenups or alimony, so marriage isn't taken as seriously. I think it would increase morality among the homosexual community in the long run, so any moral argument against it is pretty pointless, let alone not relevant.


Why should heterosexual couples have the market cornered on being miserable. I say let homosexuals get married and be miserable too. Seriously, who cares? I don't see how it's anyone's business if a homosexual couple wants to get married. I don't see how it affects the integrity of the institution of marriage at all.


Magnus :"Why should heterosexual couples have the market cornered on being miserable. I say let homosexuals get married and be miserable too"



Magnus, also LMAO!

I can't believe that a politician would even suggest such an amendment. They're gonna lose all of their gay votes!

What's next? An amendment that says you can't marry outside of your religion? The Bible says that this is immoral.


Jared, the 'union' argument fails for many because marriage is so highly esteemed in Judeo-Christian culture.

Not only is it sacred, but many would argue that it's modern origins lie in Genesis and the New Testament (i.e., two flesh will become one).

So, as you aleady know I'm sure, it all depends on your idea of "marriage." [One of endless words that has more historical baggage than any arbitrary sign should bear. But now we are getting into Saussure.]


poohbaya - But that's kind of the point, legally. We all have different thoughts on what marriage is, as Christians, Muslims, Jews, athiests, and a myriad of other religious divisions get married in this country every day. At what point are one's beliefs "wrong" enough to prevent getting married?

While marriage may have Judeo-Christian origins, it's not just a Judeo-Christian institution, but in this case it is a legal union between two people. Again, I'm only speaking in the eyes of the law. It's kind of like most of our holidays. Many of our religious holidays have their roots in pagan practices, but should that prevent us for celebrating them as we see fit now? I don't think so, yet that point could be debated.

I just don't see how another's conservative take on a religion that I may or may not practice should affect whether or not the government allows me to get married. ("I" as in the general "I", as I am male and married to a female. :slightly_smiling: That's almost as bad as if white people had decided a long time ago that marriage was a white institution and that blacks shouldn't be allowed to marry, as that was not the original intent of the institution.

And pooybaya, I understand that I we're just arguing in a devil's advocate fashion and that either of us could still personally be for or against homosexual unions. I'm not arguing against you, but our legislators, I guess.


I think the whole subject is kind of queer.