Judge asks: ‘How Does Gay Marriage Affect Conventional Unions?,’ Stumps Anti-Equality Lawyer

IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER? Chris Cooper, a lawyer for a group of California voters who sponsored Prop 8’s proposal to ban same-sex marriage, motioned to dismiss the recently filed lawsuit which challenges the gay rights ban as discriminatory under the U.S. constitution.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker declined the motion and asked Cooper to explain how allowing same-sex civil unions would threaten conventional marriage. Cooper couldn’t answer the question, later clarifying, “The people of California are entitled to step back and let the [same-sex marriage] experiment unfold in Massachusetts to see whether our concerns about the health of marital unions have been confirmed or assuaged.”

EATBABIESUSA Today also covers the story, which we’ve screenshotted for you  [right]. Seriously who’s in charge of the stock photography situation at the USA Today? Who said “let’s find a photo of the gay-seeming  Teletubbie where he looks like he’s about to hug you real big but for slightly too long and throw it up next to this article about the gays.” We added a speech balloon to the screenshot in case you’re unable to read between the lines.

Andy Pugno, general counsel to the coalition of religious and social conservative groups behind Prop. 8, complained that the “real impact” is that people are saying mean things about him! I KNOW HOW UNFAIR! See, the cool kids at the other side of the cafeteria keep saying him and his friends are “being irrational and bigoted for restoring the traditional definition of marriage.”  Okay that’s like when your girlfriend cheats on you and then complains you don’t trust her anymore. You did the crime, Andy, now do the time.

MORMONS: Senator Harry Reid admits that the resources Momons put into fighting gay marriage could’ve been put to better use, although he does agree with his church that marriage is between a man and a woman. The following response comes from LDS apostle Dallin H.Oaks: ‘We must insist on our constitutional right and duty to exercise our religion, to vote our consciences on public issues and to participate in elections and debates in the public square and the halls of justice. These are the rights of all citizens and they are also the rights of religious leaders.” I couldn’t possibly agree more — and that’s exactly why we gays deserve equal rights, asshat.

MAINE PROP 1: Maine’s Proposition 1 gay marriage vote is coming up, and the AG has informed the villagers that gay marriage will not affect teaching in the public schools. The Yes on 1 campaign disagrees, and asks supporters to “look at the facts,” wherever those are.

SECULAR SABOTAGE: “The battle for the soul and future of America rages on between those trying to preserve America’s Judeo Christian foundation and those who hate it, and have dedicated themselves to destroying it.” Take a gander:

Did you know they say the ACLU is “Americans United for Separation of Church and State”? That actually doesn’t make sense, but neither does anything they say, so.

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE: This article, Notre Dame criticized for funding student travel to D.C homosexual march made my blood boil! Firstly, why does the term “homosexual marriage” upset me so much? I don’t know. ‘Marriage’ in quotation marks is another favorite technique. Good news though it didn’t cost much, “[Colleen King] told the Observer that the group hung out in the homosexual neighborhood of the city and stayed with friends to minimize costs.”

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2695 articles for us.

70 Comments

  1. Coming from a Canadian… what you guys need to do is stop being polite to these people. Stop acting like they have anything of value to add to the conversation.

    you cant change someones mind, who doesn’t have one.

  2. Religious zealots are disgusting. It will be a delight to expose the bastards, and their money laundering institutions, such as Catholic enterprises, Mormon inc., and Evangelical mega franchises. They deserve to drink their own poison!

    I am so excited for the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial on 1-11-2010 @ 8:30 AM, in San Francisco. We will resume our practice of marriage equality on that day, or shortly after. The burden rests with the religious pig bigots to provide proof that gay marriage will cause destruction, and that is an impossible task. So, for now, they blindly cling onto their reckless hate, and flamboyant ignorance.

    Their religion will crash and burn like the Led Zeppelin, and we must fight to protect the next scapegoat from their desperate, pathetic religion!

    • Not much of a Bible reader, eh? You want an example of what sexual promiscuity and all its attending vices does to a society? All you gotta do is look at Sodom and Gomorrah. Look at the failing morals of the United States over the past forty years. Broken homes, children out of wedlock, etc. What more proof do you need? Impossible task to prove? Hardly for those who are true enough to themselves to step back and see things for what they really are. You say my religious point of view make me a hate monger? “Religious zealots are disgusting,” doesn’t sound like you’re going to invite me to *your* next birthday party. It sounds a lot to me like the pot calling the kettle ‘black.’

        • I’ve heard of the separation of church and state, it came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and not the US Constitution. Oh wait… did I bring reality and history into that BS debate? ;^)

          “Religious zealots are disgusting. It will be a delight to expose the bastards, and their money laundering institutions… We will resume our practice of marriage equality on that day, or shortly after.”

          This is the type of attitude as to why I voted for Prop 8.

          People like FlexSF will never be happy coexisting with people who disagree on the basis of morality.

          If marriage is completely opened, I would expect FlexSF and his idiot friends to sue a bunch of churches that would refuse to marry them or sue the LDS church for not allowing them into the temple and that is the only reason I gave Prop 8 my vote, to protect my right to freely worship. Something that is explicitly in US Constitution.

          However, if there was an initiative to repeal Prop 8 and protect religious institutions from professing homosexuality immoral and allow the churches to opt out of marrying same sex persons, then I’d most likely vote for it, as long as the verbiage and protections were satisfactory.

          I could care less if two men or women want to get married, but the moment there is a threat to my faith and the only option of defense is one of the extremes to vote for? Sorry, I had to go with the defense.

          Try again and try to actually propose something that most all people can agree on.

          • Dear Joe the Plumber,

            I hear what you are saying. I really do but you are confusing LEGISLATION with PERSONAL BELIEFS. Why are you worried about your personal beliefs? As you stated above, the first amendment already allows you to believe whatever the hell you want and protects your rights to say so. No one is trying to take that away from you. The dispute surrounds not allowing gay individuals the same rights to marry as heterosexuals. You can believe homosexuality is wrong all you want, but when you try to enact legislation that denies a minority the same rights that have been given to the majority that is where the problem lies. You have stated “and that is the only reason I gave Prop 8 my vote, to protect my right to freely worship. Something that is explicitly in US Constitution”. Exactly, it is already in the constitution and allowing gay individuals to marry DOES NOT threaten what you can and can’t BELIEVE OR PROFESS. Your speech against the LGBT community is protected as is you right to meet with like minded individuals to worship and believe whatever you want. PROP 8 denies MY rights, not yours. You can still go on “professing homosexuality immoral” as you say. That will not change if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. YOur 1st amendment argument argues AGAINST you. It does not allow you to pass laws or amendments that TAKE AWAY rights.

      • I would like to point out that all the broken homes and children out of wedlock are heterosexual issues. Why don’t you let us homosexuals give it a try? Maybe we can fix it up for ya.

        • And you know who wants to adopt these kids from broken homes who get thrown into foster care? GAY PEOPLE! So, really, it’s the best solution to most of the problems described by “scott.”

          Also, I am much of a bible reader. I’ve read The Old Testament A LOT, and The New Testament only once all the way through, but there’s many sections I’ve read several times. It’s a great book, and there’s lots of different ways to interpret its content.

          Furthermore, it’d seem that religion and sexual deviance are not exactly mutually exclusive.

      • Hummm, the real problem for you is sexual promiscuity? So it seems that you should be FOR any social practices that would reduce “promiscuity”…. say, like a legal civil agreement between two consenting adults who pledge themselves to each other.

        Gee, someone in the gay community should look into that. [snide smile]

      • Stick your bible up your ass, pervert. Don’t impose that disgusting bullshit, via constitutional amendments, into my life.

        Proposition 8 will be destroyed in court, very soon, and you can’t do anything about it!

      • If you really believe that “sexual promiscuity and all its attending vices” are destroying our society, why not give all people the opportunity to legally pledge themselves in marriage? This celebrates the commitment of two persons to each other, thus reducing sexual promiscuity. Are you saying that if one is gay, assumed sexual promiscuity is the only option s/he should have?

        Many of us heteros know same sex couples who have committed to each other and been monogamous for decades. What you’re saying is that the commitment that these people have made to each other is somehow less than that of any hetero couple, despite the fact that they do so without any legal recognition of their relationship. Of course, like many straight couples who live together and choose not to marry, they do enjoy a tax benefit to not being married. But it seems that they want the right to pledge themselves to a two-person union and are willing to pay the taxes to do that.

        If you argue that, sure, they’ll get married, but they’ll still be sexually promiscuous, well, how many straight people do that? Are you proposing that we find a way to bar all people who do not remain monogamous during marriage from being able to get married? What about people who get married, but do not produce any biological children? Should they no longer be able to get married?

        By banning marriage to the gay population, you not only withhold a legal union with the commensurate rights and responsibilities from them, but you deprive the government of the extra taxes they could derive from such unions.

      • Bible reader? hmmm Im interested in seeing a talking burning bush or a giant that is unstopable or seas that split open… so far have not seen any of these “miracles” that the bible says happened. If you hold the bible to be such a true fact, where are the other things that come with? seriously, i havent seen any and for you to come up and mighty with your book of stories that were meant to be used as a bed time story. LOL i wont be suprised if later on the future you people use Aesop’s stories as part of a new bible…. funny

    • I discussed this at length here: LGBTQ Community Divided, Not United, by Obama’s Speech to the HRC, how we do need to prove that it’s good for society (and the economy) instead of just reiterating that it won’t hurt anyone,because that’s how to run an effective campaign; we should go into the economic benefits, and how many foster kids are helped by gay families. Also we have an overpopulation problem so no one should be pushed to reproduce, that’s not what our planet needs right now. We do need to fight back and show how this helps people.

      However, it’s unfortunate/appalling that we actually need to prove why equal rights for all people would better society. Ideologically, a culture of equality and tolerance inherently betters society … like, by definition.

    • I personally operate on the assumption that we live in a society that bases its judicial system on the premise: “innocent until proven guilty”. Why should anyone have to prove something is positive when there is NOTHING to show that it’s negative?

    • We’re not required too in this court case. It is the bigots who must prove how gay marriage will bring harm. If you don’t like it, go tell it to the mountain, idiot!

    • As FlexSF stated : We’re not required too in this court case.

      Correct, however, I will offer these facts. In the California case last week, a federal judge asked the prop 8 lawyer how same-sex marriage would adversely affect traditional marriage. The prop 8 lawyer responded, “I don’t know”. The lawyer then argued that the purpose of marriage was procreation. The judge countered that in the last marriage he performed, the groom was 93 and the bride was 85! He added that procreation has never been a requirement for marriage. It appears that he has effectively swept those two major arguments off the table! Courts rely on evidence not innuendo.

      In Massachusetts, SSM has been legal for five and a half years. The sky hasn’t fallen, there has been no mass exodus of heterosexuals leaving the state and in fact, that state’s divorce rate has fallen to pre-World War II levels. Works for me!

      The Maine Attorney General has published a report that states unequivocally that SSM will NOT be taught in kindergarten or any schools, in contrast to what the anti-equality ads are trying to scare people into believing.

      I am not gay, but I have been a gay rights supporter all of my life. I have never been able to understand how anyone can deny or even remove equal right for all citizens.

    • There is evidence that shows gay marriage will better society. Here are two big facts:
      1. Massachusetts’ divorce rate has substantially decreased since gay marriage became legal some 5 and half years ago.
      2. The states with the highest divorce rates are located in the least gay-friendly states (mostly in the South).

      When we talk about the marriage issue in California, we need to recognize that sexual orientation is a suspect classification. This is not a matter of opinion, this is legal precedence established by the California Supreme Court in May 2008. This means sexual orientation is equal to race, religion, national origin, gender, and disability in terms of its “protected” status. Generally, it is assumed that any law affecting only a suspect classification is discriminatory unless proven otherwise. If you read the Prop 8 decision, the reason it was upheld was that it only granted the word “marriage” to heterosexuals. In theory, same-sex couples have access to all the benefits of marriage in California. In practice however, this creates a “two-drinking fountain” situation. And we know from past court cases, separate but equal is never equal.

  3. Im glad that judge walker asked that question and I can hardly wait to see what the bible thumpers will come up with as their response.

    Im willing to bet though that they wont have any specific answers but rather just a bunch of what ifs…

    Equality for all with harm to none.

  4. “The people of California are entitled to step back and let the [same-sex marriage] experiment unfold in Massachusetts to see whether our concerns about the health of marital unions have been confirmed or assuaged.”

    Man, it drives me crazy when people do this. I am from Massachusetts, and I can tell you what the deal is: It has been almost ten years and literally nothing is different. Except some nice middle-aged lesbian couples in Newburyport are happier now because they can wear wedding rings when they walk their golden retrievers and have them poop everywhere. SERIOUSLY THAT IS ALL YOUR BABIES WILL BE FINE. You should be campaigning for more pooper scoopers instead.

  5. It’s time for marriage equality.

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA

    Let’s not forget that marriage is firstly a civil matter, as marriage licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls not church halls or mosques in America.

    And to the marriage police and sexually phobic, please find something else to do with your time, because life’s just to short. Find love.

  6. “U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker declined the motion and asked Cooper to explain how allowing same-sex civil unions would threaten conventional marriage.”

    “Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship. Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children. What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don’t confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.”

    Walter Fauntroy-Former DC Delegate to CongressFounding member of the Congressional Black CaucusCoordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on DC

    • but marriage isn’t about procreation. if it were, infertile couples couldn’t be married and women who have gone through menopause would be out of luck. and there are plenty of differences between men and women, but nowhere near as many as the differences among men and among women. marriage is about recognizing a relationship and giving people the benefits and rights that come along with it.

  7. Laura – Marriage is reserved for the one and only coupling of individuals capable of procreation (men & women). Just because an individual couple may not be able to procreate does not mean that marriage is not necessarily about procreation. Planes, trains and automobiles are those things designed for locomotion. Just because a particular plane or auto can’t fly or drive does not negate that they are designed for locomotion.

    Under and over inclusiveness has never been a test of constitutionality.

    “marriage is about recognizing a relationship and giving people the benefits and rights that come along with it.”

    This is a subjective and not objective basis for marriage. There are lots of caring relationships from siblings, to triads, to roommates that are relationships analogous to marriage in many respects. However we do not call them marriage and give them those benefits.

    • Fitz,
      You’re totally right. How could we have forgotten the legal requirement to have children before a marriage is considered valid?

      The problem with your argument is that it is outdated. Marriage is no longer an institution to establish ownership over women and confirm paternity (when matrilineal societies make so much more sense).

      The modern definition of marriage is one based on love and not necessity. Therefore, Laura has it absolutely correct. Marriage is about recognizing a relationship and giving people the benefits and rights that come along with it. This cannot apply to siblings, roommates or triads (aren’t triads the Chinese mafia, btw) because marriage is considered a sexual relationship between two unrelated people. If you want to petition to change that, then fine. God knows, Tegan and Sara would make a good couple 😉

      However, if you can’t recognize LGBT couples as capable of legitimate, loving, sexual unions, as I am led to believe from your comparison of LGBT relationships to siblings (srsly tho, wtf?!), then you will never be able to respect us as fellow human beings worthy of equal rights.

      So please step away from the ballot box with your hands in the air…

      • Excellent, southpaw. I second that.
        _
        I’ll never understand people that can’t adapt to the changes in society that will INEVITABLY happen. Don’t y’all get it? The definition of marriage HAS changed over time constantly. And those that believe otherwise are delusional. Keep postponing this inevitability… it’s fucking annoying. But american history has always sided with justice and equality and I don’t believe this outcome will be any different.

    • Fitz:
      “Marriage is reserved for the one and only coupling of individuals capable of procreation (men & women). Just because an individual couple may not be able to procreate does not mean that marriage is not necessarily about procreation.”

      Excuse me, but I got married NOT for the purpose of procreation, since I have never had the least desire to do that, but for the purpose of pledging my love and fidelity to the man I love. Since he’s known from the minute he met me that I would never bear children, he married me to pledge his love and fidelity to me. Oh, and we get to pay higher income tax rates for this state.

      When taking into account the whole of human history, marriage is a relatively new institution, one created to protect men’s assets and control women.

    • *Maybe* then the solution is to separate marriage and procreation! Can you imagine how much better the world would be if you could marry the person you love by standing in one line for that license, and how many problems would be solved if you want to procreate and thus stand in a completely different line for another license? That would rock. They could then deny the ‘right’ to procreate so that only the people who fall into specific categories could have babies, and it’d be none of anyone’s damn business who marries who! Everyone would be smarter, and dumb people wouldn’t be allowed to pollute the gene pool. We could all be blonde haired and blue eyed, and gradually exterminate people who did not fit our intellectual and physical genetic goals by refusing them procreation certificates and maybe, someday, when we’re more civilized, do the merciful thing and sterilize them altogether. It would separate them into another class, and then we could focus our energies on promoting the blond haired/blue eyed babies’ capabilities and create a superior human race. The second class could save labor issues by tending to their needs–Just think of all the possibilities, if only we could separate the fact that we love someone and want to share our lives and all the social and state/provincial benefits with them, from religion, and from requirements to make babies.

      (For those wondering, yes, this is mostly sarcasm.)

      God is love, people. It says in the bible far more than it says anything else, that god flat out loves everyone. Gays are not excluded. (Sigh, stop talking about sodom and gammorah, according to resources -in that time frame-, sodomy was with animals. Not buttsecks. It was not unusual and was somewhat accepted that men would have boys in their ’employ’ for tending to their needs. Girls were right out. Wouldn’t wanna have babies out of wedlock with little girls, after all.)

      Many gays don’t hate God, or do what they do in defiance. What leads, often, to people starting to feel that way is NOT God. Because any man or woman who has faith and waits for that -feeling- of the Holy Spirit, be they gay or straight, can feel it. What leads to that is YOU, the people who use God as a justification for hate. That leads people to be resentful. YOU stop that, and what is meant to be, will be.

      I say if two people love each other and have the social benefits of that as well, let them have at it. If God supposedly wants to squash them, we’ll know by the sudden appearance of pillars of salt popping up all over the place.

      Course then there’ll be those who walk out in the garden they don’t take care of and curse that “obviously those damn homos are bringing down the wrath of God; my tomatoes wont grow!”

      Give up the hate. Love the gay people, and help them, and take care of them: they’re PEOPLE first. Your brothers and sisters. Caring for them isn’t going to contaminate you with Gayness. Help tend their garden, go out for coffee with them, treat them like human beings and part of the family. Acceptance, love, support, things like that are what God told you to do first and foremost.

      “Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

    • Except that it isn’t.

      For decades now criminals in jail for life, with no right of conjugal visits and no hope of ever attaining that, have been accorded the right to marry others not in prison.

      Your assertion that civil marriage enshrines the act of sexual union between a man and a woman is simply an incorrect fantasy.

  8. I second the following comment: shove your Bibles up your ass (along with your Korans, books of Mormon, etc. etc.). Mythology is not justification for restriction civil rights.

  9. Wow, the bigots are out in full force today, huh. What’s the point of coming to this site other than to just be your usual dickish selves? It certainly isn’t about understanding or having a positive conversation. And saying Marraige is about procreation is a straight up lie and you know it. That’s not why people got married originally and it’s not now. Many people have children out of wedlock and many marry and don’t have children at all. Should these people also not be allowed marriage licenses because their unions are not about procreation? You people are just making shit up now to justify your hatred. Jesus, who loved everyone, would be embarrassed of you.

    • Yes! This has always been my argument. It’s about legal civil marriage, not Holy Matrimony. We aren’t asking for churches to give us ceremonies, but for states/the country to give us legal marriage and all that comes with it. The churches can marry us, or not- THAT is NOT the issue.

  10. southpaw –

    Why should your “modern definition of marriage” be based on love? This is completley subjective. It is only because it serves your argument narrowley,,,

    I mention subling not to bring up incest but to say why to loving commited idividuals should be denied the rights of marriage. Sex is not important to the goverment recognizing relationships outside the fact that heterosexual relationship produce children.

    Warmed over feminist revisionist history does not change the fact that marriage is designed to encourage proper family formation because opposite sex couples procreate. Otherwise their is no real govermental interest in giving benifits to people.

    This is clear legal precedent and well established in both law and culture.

    your misreading of Supreme Court case law on the subject of marriage: you are making the same mistake the New York Court points out in its recent decision. Discussing the Supreme Court precedents of Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987); Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942)

    Judge Graffeo noted….

    “To ignore the meaning ascribed to the right to marry in these cases and substitute another meaning in its place is to redefine the right in question and to tear the resulting new right away from the very roots that caused the U.S. Supreme Court and this Court to recognize marriage as a fundamental right in the first place.”2

    2 – Andersen v. King County (J. Graffeo concurring)

    • Is there an Incest Movement I’m unaware of? Until siblings rise up en mass and demand their right to marry each other, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no need to put that issue on the table. There’s a million reasons why it’s not comparable, but there’s also the simple fact that no one is arguing for a right to marry their dog or their sister, so why does the right wing keep fearmongering and making comparisons on that issue?

      Science is fun! You should check it out. We have an overpopulation crisis, and a bunch of gays who can’t have kids! AND! a lot of them want to take on unwanted children! EXCELLENT! YAY SCIENCE! See, if siblings have sex, they can make kids with birth defects. GO BIOLOGY! But gay sex doesn’t produce more people, let alone people with birth defects. I love science so much!

      it’s just silly, it’s silly to even attempt to argue with the incest comparison. Incest is a crime under the law, why are we comparing criminal acts to sexual orientation? that’s just stupid.

    • Fitz asks, “Why should your “modern definition of marriage” be based on love?” Why shouldn’t it? Why do heterosexual couples marry these days? Their marriages are motivated by love. I’m not even sure why you asked that question. (Did you marry for some other reason than love?)
      You use the word “subjective” a lot in your arguments yet you fail to see that your views are subjective born as well. There’s not much in this world that isn’t subjective. If laws, the Constitution, the Bible, etc, were not subjective objects then human beings wouldn’t spend so much time arguing over the meanings they convey.

    • So, allowing gay marriage would prevent you or millions of other heterosexuals from getting heterosexually married and procreating? How? Or are you under the impression that one chooses their sexual orientation and that, if gay marriage is allowed, you and your heterosexual friends would prefer to get gay married as opposed to straight married?

      I don’t follow your rationale.

      You seem to indicate that the government has a vested interest in procreation and that marriage is something the government uses as a means to encourage procreation. This is likely true. We can look at Japan and how their dwindling population has the government providing substantial incentives for having children. However, gay marriage did not cause their current population problems. In fact, Japan does not allow gay marriage and they seem to be suffering from the fate that you are seemingly warning us about.

      Science tells us that sexual orientation, while somewhat fluid (allowing for various levels of bisexuality), is not a matter of choice. So, it would seem that a heterosexual would not choose to get gay married, if such an option existed.

      So, if population decline is a result of something other than gay marriage (as in Japan’s case), and sexual orientation is not chosen, then your rationale for opposing same sex marriage falls flat. Literally. It does lead one to believe that your reasons for opposing same sex marriage are a result of underlying homophobia than anything else. If so, you should own up to that and stop masquerading your views as some form of pseudoscience.

    • Furthermore, marriage is not a zero-sum game. If you allow gay marriage, you are not taking anything away from heterosexual marriage. The government can encourage procreation all it wants. Although, you must realize that our government encourages procreation, not by one’s ability to give birth, but by one’s ability to raise a child. Tax incentives are provided for children’s legal guardians, not necessarily to the person who physically gave birth to that child. And since science (not pseudoscience) tells us that children raised by two same-sex parents are no different from children raised by two opposite-sex parents, the government IS encouraging “procreation” by allowing same-sex marriage. (Actually, science tells us that children raised by two same-sex parents are actually more accepting and tolerant of other’s differences than children raised by opposite-sex parents. But I’m not trying to imply anything here. 🙂

      Because this is not a zero-sum game, the government can have it’s cake and eat it too by allowing marriage equality. Equality, in general is not a zero-sum game. That is the principle behind the concept of “E pluribus unum,” which is one of our greatest national mottoes. (It means “Out of many one.”) Essentially, we raise our nation when we raise others.

    • At the very least I see that you were able to successfully marry your distaste for gay marriage and your apparent distaste for dictionaries.

      That marriage has historically served the purpose of establishing and exercising ownership over women and ensuring the hereditary transfer of private property to biological kin is not warmed-over, feminist revisionist history, it IS history. Do your homework – the nuclear family as an economic unit grew out of industrialization and early capitalism, not some divine order.

      Western society’s understanding and application of marriage has shifted, at times gradually and at times dramatically, to reflect society’s social and cultural shifts over time: interracial marriages are no longer prohibited; men and women are understood to be autonomous agents possessing equal rights and power within marriage; the nuclear family is no longer the only socially acceptable framework in which to raise children. Divorce rates among heterosexual couples have also skyrocketed over time, affecting/reflecting the way society views marriage as a social contract. All of this indicates that marriage is not an immutable institution, and never has been.

      Regarding procreation yes: biological man + biological woman is the formula required to produce a child. But biologically it’s just sperm and an egg, and there are several ways to combine a sperm and an egg that are in no way facilitated by marriage. Countless heterosexual couples who aren’t able to conceive with each other exercise these options regularly, and gay couples have access to these options as well. A sperm and an egg is always going to be how a baby is made, and the babies will never stop coming, no matter who makes them. To imply that the only “proper” family is one that made itself out of good old-fashioned boot-knockin’ does a disservice to the countless different healthy, happy, HETERO American families that don’t fit this mold. You’re linking two things – marriage and procreation – that effectively no longer have anything to do with one another. Your argument is undermined by heterosexual marriage itself.

      Also your whole “trains planes and automobiles” argument above, besides being a tacky reference to a John Candy movie, is just silly. There are plenty of game-changing inventions that were originally intended to serve one purpose and actually ended up being something way better – like BRANDY. And PENICILLEN.

  11. I honestly understand why the procreation argument made sense…10000 years ago. But now the whole world is over populated! We don’t NEED heterosexuals to hump and have babies like crazy anymore. There are millions of kids out there living in horrible conditions without a home, without parents, without any love…so wouldn’t it be nice if a couple of gays decided to care for and raise some of these kids to be happy and healthy members of society? Whatever, the procreation argument pisses me off, why don’t we take care of the kids who are already here? and maybe teach people in our contry how to be responsible so teenagers can stop getting preggo?

  12. Quick question: Why is this even an issue? It should not be. I should not have to fight for the same rights that are granted to others without question because I am regarded as ‘different’ or ‘not normal’ by society at large, or that I am continuously defined by what I do or not do in private. I have to fight for rights that are taken for granted by most people. Hey how many times was Elizabeth Taylor married? Or better how long was Britney Spears married?

    We cannot simply define marriage as between a man and a woman. Women are no longer considered property and marriage is no longer the basis of our economy, as it once was. Today, in this country at the very least, marriage is about love. It is not about what the Bible says marriage is.

    Yes, I will concede that we are deviating away from our so-called ‘Judeo-Christian’ roots (I do believe that Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian). However, this is the evolution of our government. This is why we have the AMENDMENTS to the Constitution. Things change. This does not to imply that homosexuality is some kind of new thing. It’s been around since there were humans.

  13. Wow, Blog Away!
    I’m married in California!!! Our ‘safety net’ timing allowed us to marry and now, thanks to justice, we remain married.
    We have not procreated, but we have legal guardianship of my nephew. He is excelling in school, now that he is not with his biological heterosexual mother. Marriage should focus on ‘relationship and love’, not old world definitions.
    I am a Christian. A Gay Married Man. A Tax Payer. And an Optomist.
    I appreciate and respect everyone’s views and opinions. I take a stand when my civil rights and my human rights as an equal adult American are attacked.

  14. Pingback: Judge asks: 'How Does Gay Marriage Affect Conventional Unions … | marriageproblems

  15. Honestly I’m far more accepting of those who are outright against legal recognition of gay relationships than I am of the lily-livered wretches that trumpet “legal protections” for same-sex couples. It might not be tactically smart to say this, but civil unions “with all the rights and privileges of marriage” ARE MARRIAGES. The verbal distinction is made solely to clarify that gay relationships are believed to be of inferior status.

    Straight people will not cease procreating because of gay marriage. The trend towards smaller families in Western society existed long before gays were even acknowledged as more than ephemeral sexual predators and is related to far more complex processes including scientific advancement and the education of women.

    Humans are defined by their ability to ponder their history and modify their destiny when the old ways are no longer relevant. Homosexuality may have been a practical liability for certain populations during times when procreation was essential to creating a sustainable and supportive family, but that situation no longer exists now that all are free to marry outside their class, race, and religion and create families of diverse origins (think adoption and artificial insemination).

    To argue against MODIFYING the institution of marriage to include a long suffering group of people, an act that would violate NOT A SINGLE American’s constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, would be akin to arguing that mankind shouldn’t explore space because it just might find another planet that was more suitable to its modern existence than Earth.

  16. Seriously, anyone who is this concerned about gay relationships and gay marriage existing is probably… GAY! Duh. So relax… these guys are struggling through their own self-hate. We’ve all seen it many many times before.

    As for all of the commenting on Autostraddle! It is wonderful! I’m so happy and proud to be part of Autostraddle. Here’s to making this website available and googleable and fabulous!

  17. Yup, just want to say autostraddle ftw right now! when i read the first anti-gay comment i was really taken aback, but now i’m super proud of all you guys who came back at them. totally second all the stuff you’ve said, don’t think that theres anything more i could add, pretty much in awe of the coherent rebuttals and general awesomeness going on. Apart from that we have gay (civil yay!) marriage in the UK and heterosexual civilisation hasn’t fallen apart just yet. These people make me crazy.

  18. Yeah, about this Bible business… I’m currently in a Bible study class; right now we’re reading the Old Testament. Personally, I don’t think the Bible is supposed to be taken literally. It is a collection of stories, whether you believe them to be true or false is your opinion. (I don’t know about you, but I’m down with science!) The themes in the Bible include stories of love, loss, sibling rivalry, etc. These themes (archetypes) have become the basis of many various stories throughout history. Why aren’t we allowed to change them once in a while? I don’t think G-d has a copyright on that shiz. If we are supposed to take things literally, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, then shouldn’t broader aspects be taken literally as well? Shouldn’t women be submissive? Shouldn’t we make animal sacrifices? Shouldn’t we live simpler? Using the Bible as justification for hatred is purely idiotic; people want to pick and choose what’s “right and wrong” so they can justify their personal preferences. Those nimrods can keep babbling. (GET IT!)
    —–
    I just wanted to get that out of my system. Everyone deserves to love and be loved, dude. P.S. Yay scissoring!

  19. It seems to me that straights put marriage in danger more than those of us who are gay and married. My husband and I are Canadian’s and here nothing happened to put the marriage of others in danger.
    I also happen to be Catholic and it doesn’t really matter how much of the rules or the dogma we accepted and lived by, if we’re not really living by the fundamental creed of the Catholic Church, which is service to others and finding God in ourselves and then seeing God in… everyone – including our enemies. If we are not pursuing social justice then we fail as Catholics. As a Christian I do not believe we have a right to place in government and making laws, especially those that oppresses others.

  20. Has everyone seen this story?: http://www.queerty.com/john-shelby-spong-is-sooo-over-debating-gays-in-the-church-bless-him-20091019/ It’s about the kind of debates that are happening on the site right now, and about what they mean about the future. Maybe the most important point is this: “I make these statements because it is time to move on. The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces.”

    Basically, the point is: these kinds of arguments are ugly and hurtful, but ultimately don’t mean anything. Nothing can stop the future. Marginalizing the gay community doesn’t make sense, and straight America on the whole is not hateful and doesn’t wish bad things for its neighbors. It’s only a matter of time now, and people who are scared about it will just have to take a deep breath and grow up a little.

  21. Your response to Dallin Oakes: “..and that’s exactly why we gays deserve equal rights…” is completely incorrect. Oakes comments that in a democratic society, people have the right to vote according to their consciences, and this right should be afforded to everyone.

    That doesn’t equal, as you put it “gays deserve [equal] rights”. It equals “gays deserve the right to vote according to their consciences”, which you already have, you asshat.

  22. The issue is not marriage, it is unconditional constitutional equality. Our rights should never be based on the approval, acceptance, agreement or tolerance of heterosupremacist tyrannical theocRATS. They can take their sun revolves around the flat earth bronze age bible and shove it down their own throats and choke on it. They also need to remember that in their creation myth, their god kicked the first heterosexual couple out of paradise.

  23. May I suggest “The Good Book: Reading The Bible with Mind and Heart” by Rev. Peter J. Gomes.
    Also “Wrestling with God & Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition” by Rabbi Steven Greenberg.

  24. Oh that good ole homosexual marriage. Here’s the thing kiddies… I don’t understand why so many people try to put religion in one corner of the ring and homosexiness in the other. If your religion says you should hate me and that I am a weird sexual deviant, then I support your freedom to believe that as long as you don’t try to deny me my rights, and in the same manner, I have the right to think you are a uneducated prick as long as I don’t try and deny you your rights (like not being able to pass all that hateful shit on by reproducing). So let’s all go to our quiet places and hate each other in private like how our country designed. We all should have the freedom to believe whatever the hell we want. The line is crossed when you start legislating your beliefs over mine. If you think same sex individuals should not marry, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. And I know many religious/spiritual/whatever individuals who are just as lovely as lovely can be and I’m tired of people acting like belief in a higher power and homosexies are mutually exclusive. The end

    • This is how I’ve always felt about it as well. Very well put Sapphicsass. Our country was founded on FREEDOM of religion. And if the country’s laws or government only reflected Christian beliefs, then we would not have freedom of religion. I mean, I don’t know many Christians who want to move to the Middle East right now and be forced into a Muslim way of life right? I don’t have any thing else to add. You all have argued our point so eloquently. To Riese and the rest of the team; AUTOSTRADDLE FTW

    • Though I agree with quite a bit of what you say, you are wrong here.

      “So let’s all go to our quiet places and hate each other in private like how our country designed.”

      The 1st Amendment is designed to protect offensive speech, no one needs protection for being nice or polite. Though courtesy makes the process of debate much smoother and more effective.

      You should see my post above.

      • Easy there Joey. I don’t think you really understood what I was saying. My only point was to say that I support the right of any religion to hate/disagree with me (as protected by the 1st amendment) as long as they don’t try to LEGISLATE their private religious beliefs if those religious beliefs deny me my rights. And I know plenty of gay Christians who resent the false dilemma of having to choose between religion and being gay. I don’t think you realize that we are agreeing here. The “lets all go to our quiet places and hate each other in private like how our country designed” part was meant for a laugh. I’m well aware of what the 1st amendment says. You should know I am what some would refer to as a “jokester” a “leg puller” of sorts; some even call me the “gangster of love”. I like to spend time in a dungeon with a cauldron mixing various amounts of sarcasm, sexual innuendoes, and childlike puns. Also, Prop 8’s purpose was to LEGALIZE discrimination. We are not talking about free speech and the first amendment anymore. Voicing disapproval of homosexuality and trying to pass a proposition that says that I, a tax paying citizen, do not have the same rights as other citizens is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. As a result of that proposition, I am being preyed upon by the very government I help fund with my tax dollars. That proposition is an attempt by the majority to oppress the minority. If you were really worried about your religious freedom you would have voted AGAINST prop 8 because you wouldn’t want the majority to one day just up and discriminate against you based on your religious affiliation. If one minority is at risk, they all are. I hope you sleep well at night knowing that you contributed to breaking up homes and constructive, monogamous relationships and contributed to what will go down in history as yet another attempt to dehumanize your fellow Americans based on uneducated and hateful discrimination. Tootles 🙂

        • Sapphicsass,
          Glad to hear about the sarcasm, however it’s not about legalizing discrimination. Are you from California? I was born and raised here and it is a matter of protecting the majority from a minority; HOWEVER, most participants in last years election were taking the view of protection from the very wrong angle. I don’t need to look forward into history to be discriminated against because of my religion, it’s happened my entire life and the state of Missouri issued an extermination order for the LDS church and its membership, hence the reason for the exodus out of the US and into the Utah territory back in the day. And if you look into history, you’ll see that unjust laws can be corrected and typically are. Do I believe Prop 8 should be repealed? Yes, but only with stipulations that keep fringe elements from attempting to sue their way into my temple, that I myself can’t entire into. Just as you don’t want my religious views legislated on you, I do not want your views legislated or litigated into my religion. Which I believe is fair, how about you?

          • Dear Joe, (if that’s your real name)

            Allowing me to get married is not legislating my views into your religion. It’s called equality. If I don’t have the right to marry a woman, then neither should you. I am a lesbian AND a person of faith, so no need to preach to me about discrimination. I think it is interesting that you said that you would have voted in favor of Prop 8, and yet here you so you think it should be repealed. I think what is FAIR is for you to be able to speak out against me being gay; however, what is not fair is for legislation to be passed that denies me rights that you so ungratefully enjoy. If I don’t have the right to marry who I want, then I expect a HUGE fucking refund for all the taxes I’ve been paying. Yes, unjust laws typically are EVENTUALLY corrected after thousands of lives have been ruined. And just because people eventually wake the fuck up and realize how much harm they have inflicted on a persecuted minority doesn’t mean that is should happen. And who I sleep with is no one’s business but mine, and I think if you or the government or anyone else gets to vote on whether or not I get to marry who I choose, then I should get to vote on whether you have the right to marry who you want to, Joe. Now that is fair.

  25. @Scott— ‘Broken homes, children out of wedlock, etc.
    What more proof do you need?’ and your point is that
    homosexuals are causing ALL this for married hetrosexuals
    that commit adultery, cause broken families etc. REALLY?
    Reality check- not EVERYBODY believes in God or a bible or anything religiousfor that matter (and last I knew that is the ‘right’ in this country US of A to ‘believe’ or not)as well as any religion here is free will…
    I (as many)am sick and tired of getting religoulized by you or anyone else. I am a born again christian and have acceped Jesus Christ as my personal saviour quite a long time ago and I believe that God loves everyone of us and he will be our Judge not ANYONE else. This whole religous evangelical/mormon movement for the past 50+ years really has nothing to do with helping anyone else as Christ did and would have each of us do- quite the contrary as we all very well know now and for that each of you need to get that big log out of your eye before you stand on ceremony, blaspheming that you are Chris-tians!
    I believe God is equally and h-a-r-s-h-l-y judging those like yourself Scott, going about trying to his lip service with such lack of love, patience/understanding and forgiveness——- and do stop ‘cherry pickng the bible’ to suit your birds eye view of your so called convictions just for the sake of bashing a certain person or group of ppl.

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