“Marriage” Means Something

Ellen’s position is that marriage only between a man and a woman violates her inalienable or Constitutional rights or her right to pursue happiness. But this is simply not the case. Gays and Lesbians have NEVER been denied the right to marriage in America based on sexual orientation! (That I am aware of.) Any man, gay or straight, can marry any other woman gay or straight. This has always been the law and the case as long as those individuals have met the other requirements for marriage such as consent, age and not being genetically related, etc.

Just show me one instance of a man wishing to marry a woman either of whom were denied the right to marry each other because either one or both were homosexual.

Men have never been able to “marry” other men until very recently in American history, i.e. Massachusetts & California,  whether they were gay or not. And women have never been able to “marry” other women until very recently in American history whether they were lesbian or not.

The issue is not that gay and lesbian Americans are being denied equal rights. On the contrary! The issue is that the gay and lesbian community is actually arguing for MORE rights or special rights based soley on sexual orientation! They want to ADD to their pre-existing, inalienable, Constitutional right to marry, the right to “marry” people of the same gender.

What if you are not gay or lesbian? Can a man now marry another man even if they are NOT gay? Why limit marriage to any two people at all?  What does love got to do with it? How about three or four… (Whatever makes them happy, right? Or as long as they are committed to each other?)

This issue has absolutely nothing to do with equal rights or happiness or love. It’s really about redefining what “marriage” is. (Lots of married people are not happy by the way, so be careful what you wish for.) And rather than simply accept that marriage between one man and one woman has a unique, natural, and culturally significant purpose, the gay and lesbian community has absolutley intruded upon and attempted to down-trodden the institution of marriage itself to the point of no real meaning at all. 

I’ve already explained that gays and lesbians can absolutely marry and always have been able to marry, so why domestic partnerships and civil unions don’t adequately protect this new, special right extended to same sex couples is a question they leave unanswered.  

I don’t argue that people can’t be happy. I don’t argue that consenting adults don’t have the right to form relationships as they see fit to form in a free democratic republic. I don’t argue that the Bible should or should not be the government’s guide in this area. All I’m saying is that marriage means something by simple definition, which the Gay and Lesbian lobby insists on complicating.

Finally, advocates of “gay marriage” point to supposed inequities or denied “rights” in various instances of state inheritance law, healthcare proxy decision-making, and other legal doctrines where spouses are presumed to represent the best interest of the decedent or incapacitated spouse. But ALL UNMARRIED straight/heterosexual couples are going to have these very same supposed “rights” denied just as non-straight/homosexual couples in the examples mentioned. There are plenty of estate planning and beneficiary designation changes that will resolve most of these issues for unmarried couples straight or not.

No re-definition of marriage required.

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9 comments so far

  1. matthew on

    Bravo Jay, for putting it so accurately and clearly.
    Having worked in the front lines of this fight in California and now becoming more involved in Illinois, I’ve heard this argument and it continues to be one of the strongest we have.

    It is a “just so” argument, because life is “just so”.

  2. Neil on

    Excellent summary. The media abandons logic on this topic and lets people get away with silly “we just want to be happy” reasoning.

  3. vitaminbook on

    I would assume that a man can marry another man if they’re not gay. Why wouldn’t they be able to?

    Saying ‘Well, marriage has historically been defined as being between a man and a woman, so let’s not get all complicated and try to change that’ isn’t a particularly strong argument. It doesn’t automatically follow from ‘We’ve always done it that way’ that ‘we should always continue to do it that way’.

  4. Jay on

    @ VB,

    Your assumption is likely the logical conclusion, based on the current minority trend in the States mentioned. So if anyone can now get “married” to another person for any reason, why would or why should the state continue to provide any benefits to any married couples? What would be the purpose in that? And furthermore, why should these married folks then have more rights compared to their single unmarried friends?

    The REAL Equal Protection issue is that singles are now automatically discriminated against whether gay or straight and denied certain benefits simply based on marital status. Should people be denied the same rights, benefits and advantages of others simply because they remain unmarried? They pay taxes too, etc! A single person shouldn’t now be treated any different under the law than a married person should they?

    Marriage has historically been defined as being the union between one man and one woman as long as the other requirements for marriage are met. Yet marriage is basically a self-defining institution. Marriage is sui generis (one-of-a-kind)and predates any organized religion and has been a significant institution in every culture as the basic family unit in a given civilization.

    So the burden of proof is on you. Saying that “Well, marriage can mean any number of things including two men who are not even gay” isn’t even based in common sense. Or saying that “Gays and Lesbians are being denied equal rights” is completely false. Please explain why special rights should be created in this instance? And more importantly, why should the will of the majority of the citizens be ignored on this issue?

  5. thismomentnow on

    Who are you to deny a tax-paying, consenting adult to marry another consenting adult? What gives you that right to deny them marriage?
    That is not just wrong, not merely unjust, but also cruel.
    Ellen wants to marry her partner of several years. What is wrong with that? People that have known each other for a single day get married in Reno every day, but you want to deny a loving couple the right to get married. Ridiculous.

  6. Neil on

    thismomentnow,

    Who is stopping the person from marrying? We are just saying that the gov’t should have no interest in the marriage and that it does not meet the definition of marriage for a man to marry a man.

    The fact that the couple is “loving” and “tax-paying” is irrelevant.

    And you seem to be sticking with the “adult” part of marriage, but why is that? The definition actually notes one man and one woman, but does not mention adulthood. So if youth are “loving” can they marry?

    Your reasoning would support polygamy and incestuous marriages, by the way. Are you in favor of that?

  7. Jay on

    @ thismomentnow

    I know an old lady who loves her cat and her cat loves her. “Loving couple?” Should they be able to get married? The only way to answer that is to know what marriage IS in the first place.

    I agree with Neil that it’s interesting that you assume that marriage should be limited to adult people. You seem to draw your own line in the sand. I wonder why that is? Who died and made you King? And what gives you the right to redefine marriage anyway?

    The fact of the matter is, the majority of Americans in every state have voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. It’s the minority voices and a few judges who seem to think they know better.

    Now, I’m just wondering how a free society with the rule of law can long endure when a few people make it up as the go along!? Our Republic is descending into Anarchy if we all get to do whatever we want. Anarchy is wrong. Anarchy is unjust. Anarchy is cruel. Anarchy is ridiculous.

    If the majority of Americans decided to change their state consitutions and create special rights for everyone, fine. If the U.S. Constitution is amended properly to secure these extended rights, so be it. But a few individuals, i.e. judges or lobbies, should never be able to simply override the law (will of the majority of a society) without the consent of the governed.

    The problem with people like yourself is that rather than let opposing views do battle in the marketplace of ideas and work to win a majority of people to your cause through careful deliberation and patience, you’d rather file a lawsuit and find some judge to force everyone else to accept your idea.

    How democratic of you.

  8. vitaminbook on

    The REAL Equal Protection issue is that singles are now automatically discriminated against whether gay or straight and denied certain benefits simply based on marital status. Should people be denied the same rights, benefits and advantages of others simply because they remain unmarried? They pay taxes too, etc! A single person shouldn’t now be treated any different under the law than a married person should they?

    No, they certainly shouldn’t. I’d much prefer a situation where being married was a private decision that was merely recognized by the government rather than controlled by it. Except in cases pertaining purely to couples (for example, who a person’s estate goes to when they die) I don’t think that the law should treat a married person as any different from a single person.

    J: “Merely recognized by the government rather than controlled by it.” That doesn’t make any sense. Government has a compelling interest to regulate marriage and promote strong families. Families are the very basic unit of any functioning society.

    Marriage has historically been defined as being the union between one man and one woman as long as the other requirements for marriage are met.

    In other parts of the world, both now and in the past, marriage has been defined as being between one man and many women or one man and what we would now consider a child. In Madagascar, a seventeen year old male can marry a fourteen year old girl. In Tanzania, under certain conditions, an eighteen year old can marry a girl of twelve – or younger, in some cases. Do you think these countries should keep their marriage laws the same based on tradition, or would you welcome a reform?

    J: You assume that age is significant. I assume this is because sex, the act of marriage, is the most critical, defining element of marriage. Sex with children is inherently wrong, malumn in se, and cultures that promote sex with children should reform. Marriage between a man and a woman is more than tradition–it’s an institution unto itself. And it is significant in the examples you gave that same gender marriage was no where mentioned.

    So the burden of proof is on you. Saying that “Well, marriage can mean any number of things including two men who are not even gay” isn’t even based in common sense. Or saying that “Gays and Lesbians are being denied equal rights” is completely false. Please explain why special rights should be created in this instance? And more importantly, why should the will of the majority of the citizens be ignored on this issue?

    Actually, saying that marriage can mean any number of things is based on common sense, because it already does mean several different things throughout the world. Why shouldn’t two men, homosexual or not, be allowed to marry each other? Is it just an empty appeal to tradition or is there some better reason? Why do you, personally, not think such a marriage should be allowed?

    And I don’t think the will of the citizens should be ignored. I’m against any ruling or law that is not supported by the majority of the citizens that it affects.

    J: While marriage may have different requirements around the world such as consent, minimum age or being genetically unrelated, the essence of marriage is the sexual union of a man and a woman to establish a family which government has a strong interest in preserving and promoting. So marriage does not mean “any number of things” as you suggest. Common sense tells us that marriage is a unique institution, self-defined as being exclusively between men and women.

    P.S. There are many prisoners who would agree with you that any laws creating crimes should be approved first by the majority of prisoners since those laws affect them the most! 🙂

  9. […] These ADF folks are your unsung heroes.  Pray for them in ‘09.  And if you didn’t already know, marriage means something. […]


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