What is Truth Part 2 (Homosexual Debate: What is Marriage?)
Really this is the first question that should be raised, but often takes a while to get to: why should the state sanction a marriage? This is the question that is the crux of the legalization of homosexual marriage. This is not about rights, it is not about discrimination, what it is about is what our government is, what it is for, and how it should act. Obviously there are disagreements about the actions of the government and I am not here to debate those, although we can. I want to try to provide a general landscape of what laws are for within government, and not into the specifics of which direction we need to take as far as big government vs. small government. I think the general landscape fits both forms and everything in between.
According to Wikipedia, “Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state.” I am going to accept this definition for our argument here. Now, policy: (again according to Wikipedia) “A policy is a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes.” Again, I will accept this definition for our argument here. Thus, as we look at the marriage debate we see that whatever policy is determined by the governing bodies need to achieve “rational outcomes”. So the question before us is what rational outcome are we trying to achieve with any marriage, straight, homosexual, or otherwise?
I would assume, though I have not heard directly what from a supporter of homosexual marriage, a proponent of homosexual marriage is looking for an equality of status. I make this assumption based on the equal signs, and the general chatter amongst friends and acquaintances who support the legalization of these marriages. This could be a rational outcome, and I can understand how we have gotten to this point. Bullying, and the mean spirited attitudes of many (not all) opponents to homosexual marriages, and more exactly toward people with homosexual attractions, has caused a need to be balanced within society to protect those who describe themselves in this matter. Thus, a noble desire is to eliminate this evil of discrimination. A rational person could conclude that allowing homosexuals to marry will eliminate the hatred, and the bullying that occurs.
However, I think we need to take a step back to see if it is rational to allow the marriage in the first place. I do not believe we can make decisions (even noble ones) without seeing the impact of those decisions. The question at hand is if allowing homosexual marriages changes what marriage is? Tomorrow I will post a more religious post on what marriage is, but for today, I still want to stick with the government role, and a more secular view. The right to marry within the state is like many allowances the state gives, there is a rational outcome that is expected. The rational outcome expected is not equality. A single person has no less dignity in the eyes of the state then a married person. One does not need to be married to be equal. In fact statistics will show that often in today’s world a single person will make more money, will get hired over a married person, and tends towards more freedom then a married person. The rational outcome expected in marriage is stability, and nation building.
We have a serious problem in today’s world. While homosexuals are fighting to be allowed in the “marriage club” many heterosexuals are fighting to stay out of the “marriage club”. The benefits of marriage offered by the government are not encouraging marriage anymore. I know of heterosexual couples who have divorced because they benefit financially from it. They still live together; they still have babies together, but no marriage. We all know people living together without getting married, we know people sleeping around and not marrying, having multiple children with multiple women and never marrying. This is the society governments were trying to defeat by enacting marriage laws. A marriage between a man and a woman that is bound by law until death will have the rational outcome of a stable relationship. There is less fear of a spouse just leaving one day, and protections are put in place to try to make sure that spouse must still care for the family financially or emotionally in some regard. A marriage between a man and a woman generates fertile ground for procreation. Then as the child is born and raised in this family, these marriages impart socially balanced, stable environments for the children to grow and become productive citizens. The more a philanderer can be convinced to stay with one person, to help raise decent kids, to protect a family, the more stable society becomes. The more families the society has as building blocks the stronger the society is. It is rational to try to minimize the number of single parent households, the number of orphaned children, and the number of broken families. States recognize this, and are even giving more breaks to couples who go through premarital counseling. Tax breaks, health benefits, death benefits, and citizenship rights have been ways that the government in the USA has tried to encourage these stable marriages. Other governments have gone so far as to give payments for years of marriage, for number of children within a marriage etc. These policies have the rational outcome of supporting stability and family growth.
So, some might want to argue that stability is still the outcome wanted from homosexual marriages. That is a stronger argument then the equality argument. Should the government desire stability from two men being married, or two women being married? That is a good question. The answer lies in what the rational outcome of a homosexual marriage is. Is this stability necessary for the common good? After all the stability sought within the marriage of a heterosexual couple was paired with the procreation and nation building. In fact the stability is for the sake of the future generation and their well being, in order to have a strong nation that continues in perpetuity. By its very nature homosexual marriage is not procreative, it does not lend itself to the perpetuation of a nation. Sure, a couple can have a surrogate, they can do IVF, or adopt, but these each have their own problems. Surrogacy and IVF lead to a situation where only one of the parents is biological. If there is a break up or divorce this actually leads to greater instability and more problems for a government trying to figure out what should happen for the support of this child.
There is still the problem of the lack of natural procreative powers, which enables most homosexual marriages to remain fruitless (as far as children). This changes the very nature of a state sanctioned marriage. Stable, procreative, and nation building no longer rule the ways of marriage when the rational outcome is changes to equality or even a vague sense of “love”. Cynthia Nixon said, “Gay people who want to marry have no desire to redefine marriage in any way. When women got the right to vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter, alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table.” This shows that those who support homosexual marriage have already redefined marriage, to equate this to voting, or who is allowed out to eat has redefined marriage to not be a policy enacted to induce stable, procreative, nation building families, but to be about equality.
To change the definition of marriage to that of equality we must look at all situations in which a person is born a certain way. Pedophiles have been psychologically and scientifically defined as being born with the sexual inclination toward children; if marriage is about equality then they must be allowed to marry children. People who perform bestiality have been psychologically and scientifically defined as being born with the sexual inclination toward animals, thus if marriage is about equality they must be allowed to marry animals. I am sure polygamists can be psychologically and scientifically defined as being born with sexual inclinations towards multiple people, if marriage is about equality then they must be allowed to marry multiple partners. Those who practice incest I am sure can be psychologically and scientifically defined as being born with sexual inclinations towards their own family, and if marriage is about equality they must be allowed to marry family. In each of these situations it does not make sense for a government to encourage these marriages, marriages that do not lead toward stability, procreation and nation building of strong children.
Given the current state of affairs it makes more sense for the government to stop sanctioning and benefitting people in marriage then it does to redefine the rational outcome of a marriage. The current benefits the states are offering in marriages are not producing the desired outcome. Thus, the redefinition of marriage is taking place. The destruction of marriage started first (with heterosexuals destroying what it meant o be married), now the redefinition. Now is the time for government leaders to define what rational outcome they are looking for in policy, to think with heads, as leaders, not with emotions, from desires.
PS: I want to point out, that even though I am against Homosexual marriage for logical, philosophical and religious reasons, I do not believe in bullying, calling names, belittling or demeaning people who are homosexual. Though I do not condone the acts of homosexuality, nor the acts of premarital sex of heterosexuals, I know I have my own sins I deal with. I believe we can disagree with something and not hate the person we disagree with.