Carol Platt Liebau: Supporting Marriage

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Supporting Marriage

It's an amazing sign of the times that there would actually have to be a statement calling for legal and social support of marriage -- and that to some, that principle would be controversial, or at least seem unattainable.

Liberals love to act as though social stigma attached to certain kinds of sexual misbehavior (such as out of wedlock childbearing) is nothing but a collection of misbegotten attitudes from a neanderthal past. Actually, it's central to helping a free people remain free.

That's because -- the less people are able to exercise self-restraint, and the less society encourages them to do so -- the more government must become involved to mediate the mess that results, with custody agreements, social workers and the like. The end result of untrammelled "sexual liberation" is less actual freedom from the dictates of the state.

This truth was, in a sense, what John Adams was talking about when he said: We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.

41 Comments:

Blogger Josh said...

What is it about gay marriage that makes it so important an issue to you? This is an honest question, and I don't mean to start any arguments or anything. I'm just genuinely curious and would love to hear from anyone else who feels strongly about it.

Because personally, I don't give rat's ass if two gay people are recognized as marriage. Marriage, to me, is a private contract between two individuals and it is therefore no concern of mine. I can't identify any tangible harm that comes to anyone from it, seeing as it's just a private contract.

"Sanctity of marriage" arguments don't make sense to me, either. When I get married, the sanctity of that marriage isn't going to have anything to do with how the government or anyone else defines it, it's going to be based on our own spiritual beliefs and love for one another. In short, I don't see how homosexual marriage harms, or has any effect for that matter, myself or anyone else, which is why the level of emotion and time devoted to the issue puzzles me.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

The importance of marriage is to protect families and help to insure a strong bond between parents and their children. All major civilizations were strong until the family unit began to crumble in that society.

Just for the arguement, let's say three people wanted to get married, two guys and a girl. would you have a problem with that?

Why?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

The linked piece mentions "husband and wife" twice, and "same-sex marriage" once. In the (approximately) 1400 word article, 9 words hardly constitute a focus on "gay marriage." Nor do Carol's own words mention, or even imply, the article's "importance" is on "gay marriage."

That being said, European nations that have allowed same-sex marriages have found there are social costs: "“There is a broad base of social and legal research that shows marriage to be the best structure for the successful raising of children. A child of out-of-wedlock parents has a greater chance of experiencing problems in his or her psychological development, health, school performance, and even the quality of future relationships." stated five Dutch academicians (07-08-2004).
And there are religious liberty costs: "Swedish Pastor Ake Green was sentenced to jail in June of 2004 for one month having been found guilty of offending homosexuals in a sermon under Sweden’s law against incitement." and "In April of 2004 it became illegal to publicly express disapproval of homosexual behavior in Canada under an amendment to the hate propaganda laws."

These example of "tangible harm" are devastating to children and society as a whole.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

There is also the notions that they don't have the same "rights" to marry. But they have the same rights as anyone else. They do, however, wish to gain the privelege of marry within the same sex and use examples such as visitation in hospitals, to illustrate their perceived oppression. Yet, it would make more sense to alter such hospital policies, since it is the patient's desires that are in question. Other laws and policies can also be altered or tweaked, though perhaps not all. Some are specifically to support the traditional family because to do so will have benefits that other "arrangements" wouldn't.

My biggest problem with the gay marriage issue is that it doesn't seem proper to legislate against what has been in place for thousands of years, based on how some wish to pleasure themselves, for that is the real issue. The word "love" is tossed around a lot in this debate, but I don't believe that it is primary. It's laid on top to provide legitimacy to the argument.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

That's right Marshall you should be very concerned what Cheney's daughter does in the prvicay of her bedroom and how she pleasures herself because it will destroy America. What a joker!

12:54 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

I've tried to stay out of the arguements, but Really - Chaney's Daughter?

What a foolish statment. I have two children. My love for them is all encompasing, as is any decent parent. I am sure that Vice President Chaney and his wife's first instinct is to provide love and understanding for their daughter -- AND THIS ENTIRE DISCUSSION IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!

7:09 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

If we change the definition
of marriage,which has been
carved in stone since the beginning of time, we will do serious damage to the fabric and foundation of this nation. Marriage is between TWO people, a MAN and a WOMAN. Any other variation would destroy the family bond and erode our society.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I need to add that marriage
is also, and most importantly, for the protection of the children.
Children learn how to function properly and decently in society, if they first learn proper behavour in a strong and well established marriage and home.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

But "we" aren't changing the definition of anything. I think that the best course of action would be to leave it to individuals to define marriage for themselves, rather than having the state mandate it.

Also, I really don't see how allowing gays to marry would cause civilazation to crumble. Can someone give me a logical progression of events that begin legalizing gay marriage and end with the downfall of Western civilization?

Also, numerous psychological studies have shown that children raised in a gay relationship are no more or less healthy then those in heterosexual families. This summary from the American Psychological Association sums up most research done on the subject. Hell, children of gay parents aren't even more likely to become homosexual themselves.

Just for the arguement, let's say three people wanted to get married, two guys and a girl. would you have a problem with that?

No, because it's none of my business. I can't really bring myself to give a shit what three random people do in the privacy of their home, or whether or not they are married.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Just for the arguement, let's say three people wanted to get married, two guys and a girl. would you have a problem with that?

"No, because it's none of my business. I can't really bring myself to give a (blank) what three random people do in the privacy of their home, or whether or not they are married.

What about sex with, three people and, let's say, a twelve year old girl. Is that any of your business?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

What about sex with, three people and, let's say, a twelve year old girl. Is that any of your business?

Yes. That would be rape, as the 12 year old girl is not old enough to consent.

My basis for opinion on all of this is the harm principle. As long as an act involves consenting adults, and no one else is harmed, then it should be legal. The example of the 12 year old should be illegal because having sex with a child is rape and is obviously harmful.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

So then you do agree that
marriage needs to be defined, and that children can be harmed if those definitions are to loose or broad.

Question, What is the purpose of marriage, and should three people be allowed to be married?

2:09 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

My point is, You CANNOT re-define the traditional and age old definition of marriage, ONE ADULT MAN WITH ONE ADULT WOMAN, without destroying and causing harm to others involved. Homosexual,"marriage," if ever made legal, would destroy the purpose and fabric of marriage along with society as a whole.

2:21 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Folks who believe in marriage between a man and a woman carved out whatever benefits and obligations exist in law and contracts to further the concept of a family unit. Primary was not the concept of a man and woman, rather man, woman, children.

Gay marriage revolves around man, man, or woman, woman. Ya, sure, children can join the equation but that's not what man, man is all about.

However, if gays want to carve out legal and contract benefits for themselves, have at it. Just don't try to piggyback on the benefits obtained by those who pursue traditional marriage. Just as union members object to non-union members getting the same benefits given to union members.

Nothing moral involved.

As to the post topic, there are those in society who don't marry, yet bring children into the world, then want the same benefits, sans obligations, that traditional marriages carved out.

Its like health insurance. I don't buy health insurance, yet when I get sick I want those who did buy health insurance to pay my bills, albeit through their higher premiums.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

With the rate of divorce inAmerica at 50% I don't think marriage has any "sanctity" except in the minds of the few who feel they MUST remain married to a person forever no matter what. I would support an amendment that would declare divorce illegal. If marriage is such a "sacred" institution i would give up any right as a lesbian to marry my partner if all male/female couples were bonded for life with no exceptions. If same sex partners cannot have a part of the marriage institution then those who can enjoy its benefits should treat it with the respect that I would.

D.T.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

So then you do agree that
marriage needs to be defined, and that children can be harmed if those definitions are to loose or broad.

Question, What is the purpose of marriage, and should three people be allowed to be married?


Yes. Marriage should be defined as a contract between adults with
government recognition of certain rights.

The purpose of marriage is whatever the individuals getting married want it to be. Love for one another, desire to raise a family, it doesn't matter to me and it shouldn't matter to the state.

As for three people, sure, why not? If three adults want to enter into a consentual contract then I have no business telling them they can't. Of course, there haven't been any studies about a three person marriage on the effects of their children. In the event that children would be harmed then a case for it's prohibition could be made.

It's really a nonissue, though, since such marriages would be desired by almost no one besides random offshoots of the Mormon church.

My point is, You CANNOT re-define the traditional and age old definition of marriage, ONE ADULT MAN WITH ONE ADULT WOMAN, without destroying and causing harm to others involved. Homosexual,"marriage," if ever made legal, would destroy the purpose and fabric of marriage along with society as a whole.

Why don't you provide examples of tangible, quantifiable harm that would be done as a result of homosexual marriage. What the hell is the "fabric of marriage?" And I'm still waiting for a logical progression of events starting with the recognition of gay marriages and ending with the destruction of society.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh, you keep avoiding the question. If marriage is,as you say,..."for three people, sure, why not? If three adults want to enter into a consentual contract then I have no business telling them they can't." then the question is, why not four people, five? Why can't the law be changed to allow a man to marry his own son, if the son is a willing partner?
Yuk factor, yes, but tell me why not?

3:30 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

The point is, traditional marriage is pointless and void of meaning if, as you say, "whatever the individuals getting married want it to be."

Just because you, "love"
dosen't mean you can get married.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

This is getting kind of ridiculous. If a man wants to marry his son I don't really care as long as his son is 18. Of course, this whole argument of yours is just ridicoulous

Anyway, I'm still like to hear more about gay marriage ending civilization. Because that's what several people have basically said and I would love to hear how exactly that would happen.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

"What the hell is the "fabric of marriage?" And I'm still waiting for a logical progression of events starting with the recognition of gay marriages and ending with the destruction of society"

If you don't understand these things, then our society is headed for trouble. EVERY major civilization in history, tragically collapsed and ended when traditional values were tossed out the window. When the traditional family, one man with one woman, was torn apart and not protected by law, civilizations fell. You can find that pattern throughout history.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh said...
"This is getting kind of ridiculous. If a man wants to marry his son I don't really care as long as his son is 18."

Question, Why should it matter if the person is,
18 years of age? Why is that your business, as long as they, "love?"
Why not 12 years, or 7 or 8 years of age?

Right?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

In other words Josh, you DO want society to regulate
marriage, with your insistance upon a 18 year age limit. Obviously then you have "standards."

The question in this debate is, who's standards,
will our society abide by and make laws to protect?

4:00 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

You're right, I do have standards, and those are that the marriage can't harm anyone. An adult having sex with a child is rape, so obviously someone is being harmed.

Our "standards" aren't the same at all. Yours are logically arbitrary, drawing a line deciding who can and cannot enter into a private, consensual contract. Mine, on the other hand, is based on allowing individuals to enter into contracts freely as long as those contracts do bring harm to anyone.

You are saying that we both want marriage regulated, it's just a difference in how. I'm saying that you want marriage regulated in an arbitrary way based on your personal beliefs. I want it regulated like we would anything else: prohibit it only if does harm to someone who did not or cannot consent to it, ie, a 40 year old marrying a 11 year old.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh said,"Our "standards" aren't the same at all. Yours are logically arbitrary, drawing a line deciding who can and cannot enter into a private, consensual contract. Mine, on the other hand, is based on allowing individuals to enter into contracts freely as long as those contracts do bring harm to anyone.

Children have to be artificially introduced to a same sex union, as they cannot be biologically reproduced. Homosexuality is not natural and therefore will only confuse those artifically introduced children as to what a healthy family is. Citizens have the right to pass laws that protect those children from psychological and sociological harm. I am one of those citizens.
We obviously differ on this matter, but my hope and prayer is that there are more who believe like I do in this country than there are who might believe like you.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

One more thing, maybe this can save you some time and trouble. If homosexuality were "natural," then all of those species of plants and animals that you might sight as, "proof" would have died out many eons ago because they cannot reproduce. Believe me, I've
heard all the arguements.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I'd like to take a stab at the downside of gay marriage, but it is late and I'm determined to break the habit of late nights, even bowling nite where I drink beer and don't care. This is such a nite and it's already way past time to snooze. Stay tuned.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

You have clearly heard all the arguments and like a Byzantine ruler Cliff you have listened to none. You base your argument on the only thing that you hold dear and that is the biblical teaching of marriage. So I reiterate if marriage is "sacred" then make it a permanent bond. Lock men and women into the Divine Contract with no way out and let that be known from the very start. Make it a crime to get divorcced for the salvation of American Christian society. I would say that Rome and Great Britain the two mightiest Empires ever fell apart not because of a disruption of the family, that's a real Reconsrtructionist historical view. What caused these great monoliths to fail was exactly what America suffers today. Imperial hubris in what should have been a republic and just plain old corrupt government.

When the divorce rate in America among the very people who think like you Cliff falls below 25% then we can have a talk about about the issue. Until then all your do as I say not as I do and I'm pious until I'm caught out crap is just alot of Jimmy Swaggart hot air.

Good day sir!

D.T.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Diane Tomlinson said... "You base your argument on the only thing that you hold dear and that is the biblical teaching of marriage"

Yes Ma'am, you are correct.
I can't think of any book that has more importance and truth than the Bible.
That's why I hold it dear.

One more thing, God dosen't FORCE you, me or anyone to follow or apply
Biblical teachings and principles. So for you to say,'Lock men and women into the Divine Contract with no way out and let that be known from the very start. Make it a crime to get divorcced for the salvation of American Christian society," is not what God's love is all about. I serve a God that allows free will, but our choices, whether they be good or bad ones, have consequences and rewards.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Children have to be artificially introduced to a same sex union, as they cannot be biologically reproduced. Homosexuality is not natural and therefore will only confuse those artifically introduced children as to what a healthy family is. Citizens have the right to pass laws that protect those children from psychological and sociological harm. I am one of those citizens.

Did you read the summary I posted from the American Psychological Association that cited dozens of studies that showed children raised in gay households are not any less mentally healthy then children raised in straight ones? Why don't you provide some scientific basis for your claim that being raised by gay parents is harmful for children?

If you can't, then I'm gonna have to assume that it doesn't hurt children in the face of the mountain of psychological studies that have been done that show there is no harm.

One more thing, maybe this can save you some time and trouble. If homosexuality were "natural," then all of those species of plants and animals that you might sight as, "proof" would have died out many eons ago because they cannot reproduce. Believe me, I've
heard all the arguements.


This is ridiculous. Homosexuality is observed in nature. Here is a short list from Wikipedia of animals who display homosexual behavior.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I stand by my statements.

ALL living things display
ABNORMAL behaviour, including you and me, but I GUARANTEE you that none of them can reproduce without joining with the opposite sex of their own species. Children who are raised in NORMAL, healthy families have a much greater chance of success and well being in their own life, than those who are confused by the observance and influence of ABNORMAL behaviour.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

ABNORMAL behaviour, including you and me, but I GUARANTEE you that none of them can reproduce without joining with the opposite sex of their own species. Children who are raised in NORMAL, healthy families have a much greater chance of success and well being in their own life, than those who are confused by the observance and influence of ABNORMAL behaviour.

And you have yet to provide one bit of evidence supporting your assertion that children are better off being raised in straight families.

Basically you're arguing that people are harmed if they are raised in a household that doesn't meet your definition of normal. However, given the fact that dozens of psychological studies have shown that children in homosexual families are no worse off then those in straights, why on earth do you believe it?

And you have still not explained to me how exactly society is going crumble as a result of gay marriage.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Why are you supporting and defending ABNORMAL and UNNATURAL behaviour? and allowing children to be confused as to what the difference is? To not teach innocent children the difference between right and wrong beahvior, is child abuse!

11:55 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

"And you have still not explained to me how exactly society is going crumble as a result of gay marriage."

As I said before, if you study the reasons why ALL previous civilizatons have crumbled and fallen, the attack on the traditional family and the acceptance
of homosexual lifestyles,
have all been on the "top five" list as to the reasons for that downfall.
Any responsible history book will tell you that.

The most important reason though, is that the Bible warns against anything that attacks and does damage to the Biblical family structure,because it will bring ruin and judgement, not only to the family but to that nation.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Why are you supporting and defending ABNORMAL and UNNATURAL behaviour? and allowing children to be confused as to what the difference is? To not teach innocent children the difference between right and wrong beahvior, is child abuse!

OMG KIDS MIGHT JUST LEARN TO TOLERATE THE SEXUAL CHOICES OF OTHERS IF WE ALLOW THE FAGS TO MARRY!!!!

Yeah, I think this has gone about as far as its going to.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Homosexuality is not a sexual choice because offspring CANNOT be produced from the contact of TWO of the same sex!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh said, " OMG KIDS MIGHT JUST LEARN TO TOLERATE THE SEXUAL CHOICES OF OTHERS..."

Do you mean like beastiality or NAMBLA?

1:23 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I went to a couple of sites to gather something for support of what I'm gonna say, but as there is a ton of stuff to sift through, I bailed. If this renders my comments invalid, so be it.

First off, bachbone's post answers to some extent the "where's the harm" question. I would add that an interview I heard on a broadcast of Concerned Women for America claimed in the Netherlands (or that general vicinity where gay marriage is allowed) they found the divorce rate wasn't much different than heteros, but the incidence of spousal abuse was higher, particularly among lesbians. Out of wedlock births were in the 60% range, with the assumption being that as the definition of marriage has been altered, no importance was placed on it as before, thus, many dismissed it. Also, it was said that infidelity, particularly among the guys, was quite common. (What a surprise) Now, as I've no link to send anyone to, this is a tenuous example, so save the retorts. I only use it to suggest that I believe we should take advantage of other countries experimenting with this concept while we watch to see how it all works out. Since the true commitment is in the heart and not on the license, those poor unfortunate gay lovers will just have to deal for perhaps another generation. Why take unnecessary risks with OUR culture when we can learn from others?

As to children with gay parents (pardon whilst I jump around a bit), I don't think it can be disproven that the ultimate best situation for kids is to be with their biological parents in a committed, loving marriage. Thus, though kids with gay parents might turn out OK, it ain't the best arrangement for them. Should any kid have less than the best?

Back to "where's the harm". I think it is reasonable to assume that should gay marriage gain acceptance, other arrangements must also, since they can easily adopt the same arguments and be equally justified in doing so. Why shouldn't they be? Are they any less sincere in their "love"? But should there be no limits at all? Josh seems to think not and believes only the rare Mormon extremists would jump on polygamous marriages. But what of bi-sexuals? I can easily see them doing so as well. You must keep in mind that as you are changing the meaning of marriage, you are also impacting the general consensus of morality and right and wrong. Thus, in time, others will come to think of marriage in a different way than it's original intent and it could take unimaginable forms.

And how would this impact inheritance law and insurance premiums and health care costs? It would seem logical to conclude that bloodlines could become confused and unintentional incestuous pregnancies could produce deformities (which isn't a problem for those who can abort without problems of conscience.)

Josh seems to believe that kids would never be in the marital equation. But already, there are those like Judith Levine who look upon kids as sexual creatures who would benefit from sexual experience. Thus, a case could be made for lowering the age of consent for marriage, or doing away with it altogether.

Or it could all be rainbows and daffodils. Who knows? That's MY point. We don't know and can't know how this momentus change will affect our culture. That's why I prefer to shelve it and watch the Netherlands for a while longer.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

A few more things:

I read Josh's linked summary and can only say that there have been many studies purported to support the gay POV and many of those have been shown to be poorly done or have results that haven't been duplicated in other studies. A lot of research is necessary to judge Josh's offering, time I don't have in one lump. I would also say, that the APA decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders is also questionable. It seems pretty obvious to most that our equipment has a defined purpose, and same sex attraction is thus abnormal. This doesn't mean someone is a lunatic or psycho, only that their brains aren't working as they should in regards to matters of sexual attraction. Whether its' something to worry about on it's surface is one thing, but to suggest that it can be considered normal flies in the face of logic. Of course it's abnormal. Normal is opposite sexes attract. In some ways, I think the APA gave up on the condition. I don't think they are equipped to deal with the condition, and since it isn't a necessarily malicious condition, it was just easier to take it off the list. Yet, there are many who've left the lifestyle nad turned their lives around, so to speak. Some say that the success rate of motivated gays to change isn't very high. But the obvious response is that perhaps the failures weren't all that motivated. I bring this up only to point out that the underlying issue of whether or not being gay is beyond change hasn't been decided. Imagine all the negative possibilities I've mentioned taking place, and then a "cure" comes up. (And the lefties say we conservatives don't understand nuance) I can't see changing eons of tradition for something with so many questions not even close to being answered.

Another point brought up by Bachbone is the issue of religion and how it can be preached after gay marriage is made legal. We are already seeing preachers running up against hate crimes laws and other prohibitions regarding Biblical teaching of sexuality. Certainly freedom of religion is a paramount right in this country and the conflict would be terrible. Frankly, I think the arguments and evidence for the truth of the Bible is far stronger than for the notion of being "born gay". (A debate for another time) I find it hard to believe that these two disparate camps can co-exist peacefully. There is far more benefit to society in religion than in sexuality. All in all, sexuality is self-gratification. Homosexuality is no different. And with all other forms of sexuality, such as incest, bestiality (relax!), polygamy, adultery, masturbation, and out of wedlock sex of any kind, homosexuality doesn't provide for the ideal procreative arrangement for which traditional marriage is given it's preferential treatment in civil law. Personally, I see all the above as part of the same selfish mindset that has made a mockery of marriage in so many cases, but the law does not look to the fools who've made their marriage a joke, but to what marriage is meant to be. It's so with many of our laws. And on the whole, I do not support legislation that gives in to selfish desires, but prefer our laws encourage better in our people. In a recent Oprah interview with former New Jersey governor McGreevey, who was the subject of a sex scandal involving him and his homosexual lover, he speaks of being authentic or being who one truly is. Of course that's a problem if one is a jerk. But I think it is our duty as human beings to aspire to become better people and not "authentic" jerks. Sexual issues like those listed above are examples of when people are being authentic.

The Adams quote Carol used is perfect for this issue.

pardon my scattershot technique

8:27 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I know a few gays, and the saddest thing that I know about them is that they are very lonely people, and are desporate for love and companionship.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

My bro-in-law died of AIDS as a result of his gay relationship. But you know what, Cliff? They don't buy any "I know gay guys" comments and disregard them as a mere ploy to further our arguments. So, not only are we phobic, but liars, too.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Marshall Art, My gay friends told me that themselves. I didn't presume it. I don't believe in, "token" friends.

11:10 PM  

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